Bangalore: History is a spiraling cycle and it repeats itself. It is very true with the second generation Indian-Americans who wants to go back to India in search of greener pastures. Their parents came to the land of opportunity decades ago in search of greener pastures too. A study by the Migration Policy Institute reveals that a growing number of second-generation immigrants wants to move to their native country for better opportunities. But the time has changed and the big question is that is it easy for them to relocate?
I remember reading sometime back that you fall in love with the U.S. in the first five minutes and then spend the next five years discovering what's wrong with it. With India, you hate it the first five minutes and spend the next five years discovering what's good about it. For many reasons such as aging parents, wanting to raise kids in India, not wanting to grow old in the U.S. in a senior citizen home etc, people wants to return to India. Some wants to relocate to India simply because of the feel that it is their home.
The Economist reported that between 2003 and 2005, approximately 5,000 tech-savvy Indians with more than five years' experience in America returned to India. In 2004, The New York Times reported there were 35,000 "returned nonresident" Indians in the Indian city of Bangalore.
Returning back to India has many seen and unseen woes that do not go well with the decision of relocation. Its not just the poor roads, highly corrupt political system, the hectic bureaucratic system or the lack of civility, rather it has much to do with adjusting to a new culture, lifestyle, a new working atmosphere etc.
Relocation is generally difficult for kids above 10 years. The parents should instill a sense of Indian culture in kids with proper exposure to Indian style of life if they ever want to take them back to India. Kids might find it very hard to get acceptance among their peers with an American accent.
Coping with the Indian lifestyle appears to be the most difficult part for people who relocate. The social luxuries, broadminded people, privacy, individual freedom, value for time and work that the American society guarantees etc may not be present in India in fullest, but with the proper mindset and attitude that you are in India to stay, you can overcome this hurdle. After all, it's a coming back home, a way to be with the culture once again.
Relocation from the U.S. to India is, in other words, a shift from the goal-oriented American culture to a more people or family oriented Indian culture. Anyone by Indian origin would not struggle much to adapt to this situation. Indian desire of stability can overtake the American love of mobility. The external factors such as poor infrastructure, bad politics, corrupt bureaucracy, not-so opened up society etc might outweigh the above positives which might make people to rethink about their decision to relocate.
The casual work culture, luxury of working only 8 hours a day, less favoritism and office politics are the best part of working in U.S. while Indian work culture is still riddled with false sense of hierarchy, politics and high levels of favoritism. The very thought of all these holds back people from their plans to relocate.
Relocation becomes hard for many as they will have to cope with the different income tax rules followed in the two countries. The observance of different tax year patterns in the respective countries increases their woes. In some cases, it so appears that one becomes a resident of both India and the U.S. for tax purposes.
The challenge is big, tough and scary at times. The woes of relocation can be overcome with the right attitude. It's at this juncture where India is spearheading the global economic recovery and where its economic prosperity accelerates its pace to be a superpower, the country needs its bright minds to help in the nation building process than draining their brains abroad.