Now that the dust has settled on the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas held in Hyderabad, what struck me was that every state Chief Minister who came to address the gathering had only one thing to say, “Give us your money”. Of course some were a bit more dignified and also said, “Give us your expertise” but the thrust of the session was the same. How do we gouge some moolah out of these chaps? Not one word was said about what could be done for the People of Indian Origin (PIOs). Not a pip about how the problems of the Diaspora could be solved.
Yes, a fast developing country like India does need its Diaspora to invest in its economic development but harping on it to the exclusion of everything else did leave a bitter taste.
Any relationship, if it has to be successful, has to be symbiotic. If the PIOs feel that the only reason they are being called is because they can shell out some money then they will stay away. In fact this is already happening. The number of PIOs attending this conclave has reduced drastically and will reduce further unless there is a change in governmental attitude.
The tragedy is that the concept itself is such a wonderful one and can be used so effectively. A conclave of this nature is a great (social) networking arena and can help all PIOs to find and interact with each other for their mutual benefit. Not just when they are here in India but also when they go back to their adopted lands.
It can be used by the young generation of PIOs to explore their country of origin and to find their roots. Imagine if we were to help in this voyage of self-discovery, how very grateful these young people would be. Instead what do our politicians do? They tell the PIOs, “Give us your money”.