Mouse, part 2

Continuing from where I left off yesterday, ET has a longer version of the Ramakrishnan article that TOI published. As always, its the comments that are interesting. Some are of the understanding kind, the others are, well..

This useles chap has discarded his own country, what morals he would have…

and

This gentleman should remember that winning a Nobel prize is not a passport to an inflated ego. Many undeserving also win Nobel Prizes…He should also remember that carrying an american passport does not make him an american, atleast no sane american will look at him and call him american…

and many similar comments.

I watched Delhi-6 recently and thought it was quite good. I did feel though that Mehra made a mistake by not killing Abhishek’s character. A person who recognizes that he has entered a claustrophobic world filled with bigotry and a mind-numbing orthodoxy, and yet sacrifices himself to “bring these people together” does not deserve to live. He does not appreciate the value of his life, or the millions of lives that are damaged or lost because of such a mentality. Thankfully, Mehra has fixed the flaw in his re-edit.

I bring this up because of its relevance.

I neither know nor care about Ramakrishnan’s life or work, or the reasons behind his ending up in the US rather than some institute in India—it might very well be that he’s just another Mittal, someone who knows when to, and when not to, make use of his Indian-ness. (Its not rudeness on my part, but plain disinterest.) I am, however, interested in the phenomenon—the sudden outpouring of affection, offers of directorships of “premier labs,” ministers talking about it, and maybe (I speculate) one of those awards the State grants in the tradition of erstwhile kings and emperors. If this is one (dark) side of the coin, the other (even darker side) is the occasional complaint issued by the government regarding the IIMs, IITs and “brain drain,” and ideas like “exit taxes” being thought about. After having all but trashed the education system in the country, and having created an atmosphere in which only pimps, or those who hired them, could run successful business ventures, forcing lots of people to either give up on the careers of their choice, or, for those who could manage it, leave the country, all this natak is disgusting to say the least. Sure its the Indian State which did it. But the State can’t do it unless there is a silent majority which supports such moves. I have no doubt that plenty of those who take “pride” in the achievements of Indians living abroad support and have always supported, such schemes.

This is why the attitude of hyphenated Indians like Abhishek is disappointing—one mustn’t let emotions mask reality; sacrifice things that you value or love in favor of some vague emotional “bond” one shares with people whose emotional reactions are either random, or based on some perverted concept of morality. And this is why Ramakrishnan’s reaction, whatever his reasons, is so refreshing.

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