Young Indians today consider the world as their market place. They are willing to study and work in any part of the world if it fulfils their aspirations and I admire them for that spirit.
Every one of us have a choice to make at every stage of our life. While our parents choose where we are born, we can choose where and what we want to study and what and where we want to work.
The educational system in our country although has evolved over the years still remains theoretical and thanks to private participation is run for profit more than a social cause. While there were only one or two engineering or medical colleges in a city in the past, today almost every street has two!
However, the cost of education is market led and also by the greed of profit which the private educational institutions want to make. This has led to many students migrating abroad and seeking higher education at places where it could either be cheaper or at the least guarantees them better career opportunities.
We should not blame the students or parents for the same as every parent wants to give the best possible education to their kids at the least possible cost. But when they end up in a crisis like a war or even a pandemic, every Indian citizen remembers his or her motherland and irrespective of which party is governing, blame the government for their sad state of affairs.
In my view, this is not fair. While we have the freedom to choose our place of study or work, we cannot blame our government for any crisis we end up for reasons beyond anybody’s control. We need to stand up and own responsibility for our decisions and we can request the government for all possible assistance and be grateful for the same.
Similarly, we go to different countries in search of exciting career opportunities. There is nothing wrong with it and all of us would do it if we get an opportunity. However, if we end up in visa issues or some other crisis like job loss or war, we cannot blame the government of the day for the same.
Even on the social front, we go to study or work to greener pastures. We need to own up these decisions and cannot blame the government for any personal tragedy which happens to us or our families. I have come across parents blaming the government when their child is kidnapped or murdered for reasons beyond human imagination.
Similarly, if we are not able to take care of our parents in their old age when they need us the most, we have a choice to make. We can either stay wherever we are and think that money can take care of the elderly or seek the help of friends or relatives to take care of them.
I recently witnessed two incidents in my known circles, which shook me apart. In one case a friend settled in a developed country could not visit her father suffering from a life threatening disease in India for two years firstly because of Covid and secondly because of the fear of not getting her permanent residency in that country. In the second case, another friend could not attend his mother’s funeral because his green card application could get impacted by his visit.
I would neither blame these individuals nor their parents for this state of affairs. All of us seek greener pastures and may be sometimes one has to sacrifice self or family in the process. We have to sacrifice our relationships or our career or may be both depending on what is priority for us at that stage in our life.
I assume we cannot pass on any judgements on anyone. Every decision would be based on sound logic and reasoning. However, we need to remember that sometimes logic and reasoning cannot justify all our decisions. As long as we are able to get over the guilt and not feel bad for any decision of ours, it may be fine for us.
The choice in life sometimes could be between the devil and the deep sea. Either of them would not be a wise decision. But sometimes decisions are also bound to go wrong. There are no right or wrong answers in life. What is right for us could be wrong for others and vice versa. At every stage of life, we need to ask our conscience, what is right for us and go by our own gut.
“The means to the end is as important as the end itself” said Mahatma Gandhi. We need to remember that both the way we achieve our goals of life and the goal itself could change. We are all HUMAN. We need to look within before we start looking out.
S Ramesh Shankar
3rd March 2022