Has the Great American Dream ended for Indians?

Has the Great American Dream ended for Indians?

Summary: The U.S. of A has had a special place in the hearts of urban Indians.

SHARE:

The U.S. of A has had a special place in the hearts of urban Indians. Since childhood, I have seen many of my playmates, schoolmates and neighbors "disappear" into this "promised land", only to reappear after many years--in a new, Americanized avatar. As a teenager, I watched my peers write to universities, and sit for SAT, TOEFL and GRE. And if they still didn't manage to catch the flight to the U.S., many of them used the matrimonial route to accomplish their great American dream.

Clearly, Indians have been obsessed with the U.S. for many decades. Whether it was for career opportunities or for education, money or lifestyle, the U.S. was always the "better" place to be.

But, during this decade, we have seen many Indians settled in the U.S. return to their homeland. Earlier, it was the employers who encouraged them to go to India to set up Indian operations; later, they (themselves) opted for India (seeing much of the work getting offshored to India, in any case). And today, it seems like they have little choice but apply for jobs back here. The action is here; while the U.S. economy lies in doldrums.

Today, not many people living in India would want to trade places with people settled in the United States. Headhunters point out that companies in India are no longer as interested in hiring returnees as they were, say, five years back. If someone has worked abroad for more than seven years, they are often found unfit to work in "resurgent India". Besides, returnees don't earn a fatter pay packet compared to local talent. And post the financial meltdown, many Indians working in the financial services industry may have little choice but to take up jobs in India at far lower salaries than what they were earning in the United States.

Are Indians still as crazy about America as they were before? While the queues outside the American embassy may have become shorter, there's still time before we can safely conclude that the Indian craze for the Yankee-land is waning.

Topics: Tech Industry, Banking, Government US, India, IT Employment

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

4 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Has the Great American Dream ended for Indians?

    Swati I think to some extend what you have said is right, I have seen a lot of my friends going there and becoming more American than the native Americans themselves. There are still some wanting to go Amreeka (America). The obsession is all about the life style off course, and the disciple there which is not here, but now when they return it is because they are forced to. Well Indians will always be crazy about America, call them American instead, they will be more than happy to hear that.
    anonymous
  • Has the Great American Dream ended for Indians?

    Hi Swati.
    This is Nivedita (Nivi), a correspondent with Reuters News in Bangalore.
    I am currently working on a story that revolves round the very same theme as of your blog. Namely, "what's happenning to the great indian american dream." Would you please get in touch with me over this, it seems talking to you might help me with the article. If you are willing, do please contact me at nivedita.bh@thomsonreuters.com
    anonymous
  • Salary Caps......

    We are now facing a big pay cut. Also, Kazakhstan is facing a major economic crisis. Executives in other countries may have to get payday loans to get their gold plated back scratchers too. Kazakhstan has followed Obama's lead, and has announced its own salary caps. The president of the central Asian nation, Karim Masimov, only makes just over $50,000 a year (in U.S. dollars). Executives there don't make that much more than the president. $50,000 a year is the income level of a lot of consumers in the U.S. that get payday loans. Similar measures have been talked about in the UK and other places. Still, it is a highly dubious prospect that executives making about $50K are going to worry about getting <a href="http://personalmoneystore.com/moneyblog/2009/02/13/kazakhstan-obama-executives-payday-loans/">payday loans</a> in a country where the national monthly wage averages just under $400 U.S.
    anonymous
  • Has the Great American Dream ended for Indians?

    I think that even if someone had not thought about going to the US in the first place, peer pressure and pressure from parents forced them to! And I have noticed that many parents, especially in South India, wanted that their prospective son-in-law have a job in the great US of A!
    anonymous