For people currently staying abroad e.g. in USA, Europe, Australia, there are 2 types of people: (1) people who are keen on settling down abroad, and (2) people who are keen to settle down in India. People who are keen on settling down abroad may be motivated by certain ‘clear’ benefits e.g. better job/business opportunities, better infrastructure and services, higher standard of living, etc. On the other hand, the people who are staying abroad and desire to return to India of their own will (i.e. excluding the people who desire to return because they did not get a job abroad etc.) are motivated by more complex factors. This article lists some of those factors, with insights from people who have already completed/are contemplating the transition.

1. Patriotism — the ‘Manoj Kumar’ effect

Why do I want to return to India? Because India is my country, dammit. manoj-kumar-1

For some people, only India feels like home. To them, other countries are always ‘vides’ (foreign), and thus ‘global citizenship’ is only a hypothetical concept. They feel that they must return to their country to best serve the country’s interests. In Bengali, the saying goes “ghorer cheley ghore phiruk” (may the son of the soil return home).

2. Family ties — the ‘Maa’ effect

Staying close to parents and family is another important factor which motivates people to return to India. The completely polar option is to ask your parents to move to your country of choice, but many times parents are completely against such moves.

3. Traditions and culture — the ‘e-Diwali’ effect


Indians abroad try to recreate every festival and cultural event when they stay abroad. But to some people, the recreated festival is just a virtual replica (or e-replica) of the real thing e.g. week-long festivals are crammed into convenient weekend slots, Holi is played with washable colors in marked areas etc.

4. Food — the ‘Halwai’ effect


Some people adapt well to Big Mac. But some need their Aloo Paratha. And for them, Deep’s frozen Aloo Paratha just does not cut (Deep is a company brand which sells many frozen Indian dishes). For those people, staying in the country is imperative so that they can get their food directly off the stove, or brought in fresh from the neighboring halwai. (Aloo paratha can be easily substituted by Masala Dosa, Kochuri-Aludom, Vada-paav, Biriyani, or the delicacy of your choice)

5. Economic motivation — the ‘Dhirubhai’ effect

abhishek bachchan in guru 2

The movie ‘Guru’ shows a young Dhirubhai returning from the Gulf countries to establish a vast empire in India. Similarly, many people are motivated by the business or development potential of India, or economic factors like the Dollar-Rupee conversion rate, to set up shop in India. Many also have their family businesses in India, and they might have gone abroad just to gather experience, before returning to join the business.

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