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Rajnish Singh

A student of political science from Washington University, Singh says that in future events like Pravasi Bharatiya Divas should aim to achieve more constructive and tangible aims.

india Updated: Jan 05, 2006 21:07 IST

I do believe that Pravasi Bharatiya Divas could become a turning point for the country, provided that a serious attempt is made to understand the lineage between the diaspora and their mother country.

Apart from what has been announced (like dual citizenship), the wealth, experience and talent of Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) and Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) can now be tapped to make India a stronger economy.

In fact, the idea of dual citizenship may help the country not only to check brain drain but also to call those NRIs back home who has an ambition to do something for the country of their origin.

In my view, dual citizenship will also provide an opportunity for NRIs to retire or stay longer in India without any problems of legality. Now, they can buy property or make investments without any restrictions. Its a win-win opportunity for diaspora as well as the motherland.

The NRIs live in almost all parts of the world—1.7 million in the US, some 1.2 million in Europe, 800,000 in Canada—and the smaller but no less influential communities in other Western countries, are professionals, earning high incomes and are our representatives in their adopted homelands.

Also, I do hope that while recognising the contributions made by NRIs toward their mother country, the government should also think of cementing this relationship so that future events can result in more positive results.

On the economic front, there's no doubt that NRIs and PIOs can help improve the situation back home by investing in programs that cater largely to the masses.

As most of the representatives of the diaspora acknowledged that the celebrations were just a step in the right direction.

But in future, such events should also aim at achieving more constructive and tangible aims. Toward this end, the government should regard China as a guiding light.

(Rajnish Singh is doing his post-graduation in political science from Washington University.)

First Published: Jan 05, 2006 19:27 IST