Sunday, August 18, 2013

Responsibilities of Indian Diaspora to actions embarrassing India

Responsibilities of Indian Diaspora to actions embarrassing India

Thakur Ranjit Singh, Auckland, New Zealand.

We have just marked 67th Independence Day celebrations of India in Auckland and presumably other cities of Australia, Canada, UK and USA. As the dust settles from such celebrations in Auckland, New Zealand at Vodafone Event Centre, Civic Theatre and Mahatma Gandhi Centre respectively, the migrant Indians need to stop and think. We should not merely sweep and hide reality and problems of India TODAY under carpet and sing and dance about India’s proud history of the PAST.

At India Independence Day, we dance and sing to India's PAST. We need to have things in PRESENT India which also make us proud, and not shame us. We salute all freedom fighters who make us proud. Hope current generation of leaders can also make us proud.

Indian Diaspora needs to appreciate and understand their responsibilities to Bharat Mata, Mother India, which has been fast falling in the chasm of dishonour internationally in certain respects. We need to question: what has six and a half decades of Independence delivered us? Where is my India today?

Last year I riled Indian leadership in Auckland by raising some truths about India in the spirit of the motto of the country: Satyamev Jayate-truth shall prevail. For speaking truth, I was virtually lynched and blacklisted by Indian community which later agreed about the truths I has spoken.

This is a call on migrant Indian population in Developed World with more civilised rules, regulations, norms and customs to stand up to injustice in India. Fortunate Indian migrants/ Diaspora in Developed Countries, with better governance, social justice and human rights provisions owe a duty of care to the unfortunate and oppressed women, scheduled caste and poor people in Mother India.

Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi - two proud leaders of India who the present-day Indians need to emulate. Unfortunately most of their teachings have been eroded out of action of today's many politicians and citizens.

New Zealand is one of the “cleanest” and non-corrupt countries in the world, with Australia, USA and Canada not far behind. Misplaced nationalism and blind loyalty of Indian leadership and Indian media in New Zealand cannot remove the fact that today’s India is at the bottom of the ladder of “clean” countries. Hence as migrant Indians in Developed Nations, we can work as pressure for change in India, even in small ways. We owe an obligation in our fortunate positions to do this and raise voices against the rot in India so widely documented and unearthed.  We normally pray in Diwali to deliver us from darkness into light, and praise truth. However, we appear to show silence, in fact tacit approval of the rot in our former home or home of forbears. This goes against the grain of Diwali message and Hinduism to deliver us from darkness to light.

The land where the Ganges flows - a proud nation-India has been internationally tarnished for some vices which shame Indian Diaspora. There are many things in India which make us proud. We migrants collectively need to raise objections to New Delhi about poor governance and other oppressive practices that shame Indians worldwide. Diaspora need to act as pressure group to bring in changes.

This is a call to all Indian organisations, women and religious organisations beating the slogan of “MERA BHARAT MAHAAN” (my India is great) and publicly celebration India, its festivals and achievements, to stand up and be counted. Join Indian revolution now initiated by brutal rape in Delhi, and call for better governance, anti- corruption laws and better treatment of women in India. Let the Indian High Commissioners busy in cocktail circuits and public relations exercise in your respective countries to carry the message to India that actions of Indians and its corrupt governance shame all People of Indian Origin (POI) throughout the world. Economic prowess may be there, but as nation, India has failed to protect its women, lower caste and poor people. It appears to be country without a heart.

Organisations in Auckland like Bhartiya Samaj, Auckland Indian Association and Radio Tarana which organised respective Indian Independence functions in Auckland need to take a collective stand. So does the umbrella body of Indians, New Zealand Indian Central Association (NZICA) and Indian media, especially its radio stations and print media, need to stand up as watchdogs. They need to collectively raise their voices collectively against vices in India, so that, we as a Diaspora, may be able to pass a message to India that it needs to improve its human rights and social justice issues if it wants to do business with New Zealand and other respective Developed Nations. Indian trade delegations, conferences, forums etc. and other organisations promoting trade with India need to pass this strong message of distaste of things in India which shames all Indians in New Zealand and other countries. Other developed Countries with sizeable Indian population could follow suit.

"Satyamev Jayate": It is inscribed in Devanagari script at the base of the Indian national emblem. The emblem is an adaptation of the Lion Capital of Asoka which was erected around 250 BC. National motto of India is - Truth Alone Triumphs. But how true is this in activities of Indians in India and abroad?


And advice to Indian leaders, especially here in New Zealand, is to be more reflective as people from the largest democracy in the world and be protectors of free speech and media freedom. Therefore it belittles all Indians if they indulge in the shameful habit of shooting the messenger, and those who stand up for truth.

It is time to rise for your India. Cry, beloved country.

(About the Author: Thakur Ranjit Singh is a third generation Indo Fijian. He was born in Fiji Islands. His indentured grandfather, Bansi was a Thakur from Karauli in Rajasthan, India. He is also a holder of People of Indian Origin (PIO) passport issued by Indian Government that allows him free access into India. He runs his blogsite FIJI PUNDIT, which is accessible at: www.fijipundit.blogspot.co.nz.)