The fading of the American dream
The American dream is apparently losing its appeal in the hearts of Delhi University's students. According to figures available from New York based Institute of International Education, the annual increase in the number of Indian students in US universities has trickled down from around 29 per cent in 2001-02 to a mere 1 percent in 2004-05 (no new figures available).
Earlier generations might have looked at US with starry eyes but now things are different. Rupali Chaudhari, a Miranda House student, says, "The scene in India is exciting, the job market has expanded and America has lost its prized tit1e of the land of dreams." George Bush's invasion of Iraq has led students who admired 'American values' to grow critical of US policies. Kartik Mishra, a 2nd year Ramj.as college student, says, "The war has not only destroyed Iraq but also the brand America." New York in Delhi Blame India's booming economy too. It has opened a new arena of job opportunities as well as shopping avenues for the Levi wearing generation.
New Delhi now has everything you see in New York: branded accessories, happening clubs, gay parties, flashy malls, burgers, and even Central Park. Times have gone when you would watch old seasons of Friends which friends abroad had already seen and forgotten. Now you witness Rachel's latest heartbreaks the same day it is being telecasted in San Francisco. Career-wise Thanks to outsourcing, the Indian job market is hot. Niharika Kaushish, an IP college student, says, "India is the new IT hub and international telecom firms like GE, Convergeys are opening offices in Delhi." Kamalika Bose, an English honours student, says, "The media industry is rapidly growing and even Humanities graduates are getting well paid jobs."
Besides, Delhi not only offers the many joys of living in America but it also saves one from the brown-skin stigma, a sad reality of the Big Apple. Robert Rahman Raman, an MPhil student, says, "The racial discrimination against Indians is always a source of dicomfort to the NRI student community there.
" Now students are also more confident of India's potential. Swati Mehta, a Hindu college student, says, "I wish to go to US for higher studies but I want to work here." That's reverse brain drain. Young enterprising professionals are shifting base from California's Silicon Valley to Gurgaon's Sushant Lok. Divyakant Gupta, who did his masters from US, returned to Delhi two years ago. "Jobs there provided no outlet for innovation," Gupta says. "I returned here to pursue the work I rea1ly wanted to do and which was possible only here," he adds. Perhaps you no longer need to apply for green cards for greener pastures.