Microblogging platform Twitter on Monday announced the change in the top company position with Indian origin Parag Agrawal taking over the CEO duties from outgoing Jack Dorsey. The announcement was met with euphoria here in India, especially as people took pride in the fact that another fortune 500 company was being headed by an Indian. While the emotion is justified, for the achievement of any Indian on the global map should be celebrated, but we must also reflect and keep ourselves in check.
Intelligent brains like Parag who studied in local schools of India, went to prestigious institutes like IIT, and yet packed it all up to board a flight to America or other western nations should worry us. The phenomenon called ‘Brain Dran’ has once again nestled itself in the public domain for discussion.
Founder of CRED, Kunal Shah, while extending his wishes to Agrawal, mentioned the risks of brain drain and kick-started another round of the conversation regarding the same.
He remarked, “While we all celebrate how Indians are become global tech CEOs and bask in this reflected glory, we as Indians need to ask what is making our best leave the country and what will reverse this trend in years to come. A country with its best talent leaving will not win big.”
While we all celebrate how Indians are become global tech CEOs and bask in this reflected glory, we as Indians need to ask what is making our best leave the country and what will reverse this trend in years to come.
A country with its best talent leaving will not win big. https://t.co/SRdvGJGmfv
— Kunal Shah (@kunalb11) November 30, 2021
Indians, casteism, and reservation:
An example should suffice why the brilliant minds of India tend to prefer foreign destinations to churn up their magic. After Parag’s announcement hit the newsstands, some Social Justice Warriors (SJWs) here in India remarked that the IIT alumnus had become the CEO because of his caste privilege.
In the grand silicon valley tradition of white cismen passing the torch to Brahmin cismen Jack Dorsey is stepping down and Parag Agarwal is the new CEO of Twitter. Will he also remain silent about Caste? #casteintech https://t.co/jh0gZe62gb
— Dalit Diva (@dalitdiva) November 29, 2021
Imagine the brain cells that must have been stunningly destroyed whilst spinning such a mind confounding argument. The SJWs believed that the USA and its big tech companies discriminate on the basis of ‘Varna’, and because Parag was a Brahmin (which he isn’t, Parag is a Bania), he landed the plush job.
If this is how SJWs claim that people achieve greatness in the USA, then imagine the situation in India. Nobody denies that caste discrimination as a problem does not exist even in modern Indian society. However, dangling someone’s caste over their head, which they cannot control, to undermine their achievements, is just plain buffoonery. It is reverse casteism.
However, the supposed conscience gatekeepers of the lower class of the country paint the entire upper-caste majority with the same brush. Such generalizations breed catastrophe and divisiveness, and that is exactly what pushes people to take a flight to foreign shores.
The obsession to migrate and to gain safety:
While the reservation system and caste abuse play a role in the decision, another factor that forms a pivotal part is the obsession of few that only utopian lands like America can help them achieve their goals.
Indian parents tend to sell the dream that the western world is the final frontier that one needs to conquer, in order to really prove themselves. The little spark planted by the parents then turns into obsession, and many fly out of the country, just for the sake of it.
Then there is the safety aspect as well. The quality of life in most developed nations is far better than India, which attracts the majority of the tribe. The safety, added with the bonus of economic sustainability, is another point that drives the Indian crowd.
When seen in the context of the Purchasing Power Parity (PPP), average wages for a person in the USA is more than six times of his Indian counterpart in the academia, more than three times in management, and more than double in the IT sector.
Demons of our socialist past:
While it is understandable that we have made over 41 unicorns this year, suggesting that people are staying back and working for the country, there is still a long way to go. Often when an individual starts a business in India, the demons of the ‘Nehruvian Socialism’ threaten to drown the budding entrepreneur.
We as a society are highly suspicious of the wealth and job creators. By and large, India is a risk-averse society and thus, the notion that businesses are for the ‘few chosen ones with billions in corpus’, is an idea that is perpetuated and ingrained in our brains from childhood.
The child then grows up dreaming of being a mere cog in the industrialized machinery, rather than inventing the new machine. The current government might have strengthened the entrepreneurial environment but if we wind the clock by a few decades, the situation was perilously bad.
The labour laws were archaic, there was no incentive for the businessmen. The government and the public admonished businessmen who created millions of jobs for the public. The latter part of the argument still holds true, as vested interest groups continue to mudsling accusations on big entrepreneurs, thereby shattering the morale of up-and-coming business leaders, who then look for foreign pastures.
Atul Mishra, the founder of ‘The Frustrated Indian’, summarized the main problem that is giving rise to ‘Brain Drain’ by tweeting, “Ambani-Adani have generated more wealth and jobs for the nation than 20 Nadellas, 200 Pichais and 1000 Parags multiplied 10 times over, yet they only get hate on social media. We are a nation that worries about brain drain and curses the wealth creators in the nation.”
Ambani-Adani have generated more wealth and jobs for the nation than 20 Nadellas, 200 Pichais and 1000 Parags multiplied 10 times over, yet they only get hate on social media.
We are a nation that worries about brain drain and curses the wealth creators in the nation.
— Atul Mishra (@TheAtulMishra) November 30, 2021
Parag can be a role model but he is not the ideal one. If one indeed wants to contribute to the nation and wants an idol, then looking up to Indian entrepreneurs who stayed back should be the way to go about things.
People like Sridhar Vembu (founder and CEO of Zoho Corp), Vijay Shekhar Sharma (founder of Paytm), Nitin and Nikil Kamath (founders of Zerodha) should be the ones inspiring the people. After all, there is nothing more uplifting and rewarding than building your motherland when you have the desired skillset for it.