Former Google Engineer Challenges NRIs to Explain Why They Don’t Live in India Despite Praising It

Feature and Cover Former Google Engineer Challenges NRIs to Explain Why They Don’t Live in India Despite Praising It

Debarghya (Deedy) Das, an Indian-origin former Google engineer, has sparked a lively debate on social media with his recent posts calling on NRIs (Non-Resident Indians) to explain why they choose not to reside in India. Das, in a series of tweets on X (formerly Twitter), suggested that NRIs who commend India should feel “obligated” to justify why they are not living in their home country. He emphasized that it is acceptable for NRIs to have personal reasons for not wanting to live in India, but they should be transparent about these reasons instead of acting as though India is the “best place” in the world while living abroad.

“When Indians living abroad talk about how bustling the scene in India, they should feel obligated to answer why they are not living there,” Mr. Das wrote. He elaborated in subsequent posts, “To clarify, it’s okay to think India is growing but it’s not at a place you’d live because of, say, air pollution. I just think you should clarify the why. It’s disingenuous to try to act like it’s the best place in the world to be if you’re not in it.”

He further added, “And this isn’t about not feeling proud and cheering on your own country. You should do that. Do that. But be honest about why you’re not there.”

Das’s posts, shared just a day prior, have garnered significant attention, amassing over 2.2 million views. The comments section of his tweet became a forum where some users shared the pros and cons of living in India, while others discussed their reasons for moving abroad.

One user shared their experiences, “Have asked this question to few of my ‘homesick NRIs’ and almost always they resort to reasons like reservations, pollution or corruption.. When I follow up with ‘then how can u say the scene is exciting’ the response generally is: do you know how difficult to hire a maid here.”

Another user highlighted personal preferences, “Coz I prefer peace over bustling. Love to walk on the greens of my backyard while breathing in clean air that I cannot afford even with a 1cr package in India.”

A different perspective was offered by a user who commented, “I have zero respect for NRIs talking about India. They left it for better things. Enjoy. Don’t look back.”

Yet another user questioned the logic of Das’s argument, “What logic is that? And why would it apply only to Indians living abroad? By that logic, if anyone living in India says something good about Delhi or Mumbai they should also feel obligated to answer why they are not living there!”

Some users provided more analytical responses. One user explained, “Pollution for some, societal restrictions and norms for others. Women feel free in USA. Caste equations make some people sick in India. Lack of adequate salaries for some. Although this is changing fast. These are reasons I have been able to collect over the years.”

The discussion highlights a recurring theme among the Indian diaspora. NRIs often face a dichotomy: a deep-rooted connection to their homeland and the benefits and conveniences of living abroad. Many NRIs express pride in India’s progress and cultural heritage, yet they also recognize the challenges that come with living in India, such as pollution, corruption, societal norms, and infrastructure issues.

Debarghya Das’s call for honesty brings to light the complexities involved in the decision to live abroad. For many, the choice is not a simple one and involves weighing numerous factors including career opportunities, quality of life, and personal freedoms. While Das’s posts might come across as challenging to some, they also open up a space for meaningful dialogue about the reasons behind the choices NRIs make.

His insistence on transparency is aimed at fostering a more genuine conversation about the realities of living in India versus abroad. It’s a call for NRIs to acknowledge both the positives and negatives of their home country and to be sincere about their reasons for staying away. This, in turn, can contribute to a more nuanced understanding of the Indian diaspora’s experiences and perspectives.

The reactions to Das’s tweets reflect a wide range of sentiments, from agreement and shared experiences to criticism and counterarguments. This diversity of opinions underscores the multifaceted nature of the issue. For some NRIs, the decision to live abroad is driven by practical considerations such as career prospects and quality of life. For others, it might be influenced by more personal factors such as family ties and lifestyle preferences.

Debarghya Das’s social media posts have ignited a significant discussion about the reasons why NRIs choose not to live in India despite their professed admiration for the country. His call for transparency and honesty has resonated with many, prompting them to reflect on and articulate their reasons for living abroad. The resulting dialogue offers valuable insights into the complexities and nuances of the NRI experience, highlighting the diverse factors that influence their decisions and the ongoing connection they maintain with their homeland.

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