January 13, 2004


The second annual Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas (PBD) is set to be celebrated on 16th of January in New Delhi, India which is an attempt - and more than symbolic - to bring the 20 million-strong Great Indian family spread across the globe back to their native land, physically, emotionally - and financially (reports Asia Times).

Over 2,000 people of Indian origin worldwide are converging on the capital. They include Noble Prize laureate Sir V S Naipaul, management Guru C K Prahalad, economist Jagdish Bhagwati, entrepreneur and philanthropist Lord Raj Bagri and business magnate L N Mittal, both of Britain, and veteran West Indies cricketer Rohan Kanhai.

Other steps of the Indian Government to lure back the investment and other contribution to Indian society & economy are:

* Dual citizenship
* Foreign Contribution Act, an attempt to ease or remove the bureaucratic, financial and other impediments encountered by people and institutions in undertaking voluntary work in India.
* A handbook for Non-Resident Indians, which will give them rules and guidelines on taxation, property rights, special programs offered by state governments

And the Indian Government is also polite in their approach; as Vajpayee said at the inaugural gathering last year: "We do not want your [Indians abroad] riches, we want the richness of your experience."

Now here is the real truth:

The US Census Bureau has pegged the Indian American median family's annual income at US$60,000, compared with the national average of $38,885. Despite the recent recession, the dotcom bubble burst and the tech meltdown, the estimated annual buying power of Indian Americans still stands at $20 billion. It seems Indians began to be associated with software and computers rather than elephants and snake charmers.

No wonder, many of the Indians abroad are diamonds and their country wants them back.

(via worldchanging blog)


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