1. Why did you leave India?
Independence from conservative thought.
2.Do you plan to return to India to settle down?
No. I would like to retire in Canada or Europe or someplace liberal..
3.What do you like most about being abroad?
Individualism is more important than familial responsibilities. You are accountable to no one but yourself.
4.What do like least about being abroad?
Being a part of wastage of precious natural resources.
5.Would you be concerned about raising your family outside India?
6.What are your thoughts about marrying outside your immediate community, someone who speaks a different language or practices a different religion?
Way to go I would say.
7.What would be the first thing you would do if you became the Prime Minister of India?
1. Enact human rights legislation and prevent exploitation by government of citizens (minorities and otherwise) in the name of fighting terrorism.
2. Provide food, clothing, education and shelter to as many citizens as possible under a generous welfare program.
3. Pare down ministry of defense to an absolute minimum and use the extra cash to fund mandate in Point 2.
4. Merge India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh into a single secular country called United States of South Asia.
8.What do you think are India's greatest strengths?(max 3)
1. Secular character
2. Keen intellect among the population
3. Cultural diversity
9.What do you think are the biggest problems facing India? (max 3)
1. Religious intolerance, population and disease
2. Lack of human rights
3. Corruption and lack of social will to combat it
10.Do you think that a presidential form of government would better serve the needs of India's democracy?
No, but I do believe that a two party system will serve the nation better than the current multi-party system.
11.For whom do you have the highest regard amongst living Indians?
Gandhi - the icon of non-violent resistance.
12.Do you think that the national obsession with Cricket has helped or has it hurt India as a sporting nation?
It has helped one game to grow but has hurt other games.
13.What do you think are India's greatest achievements since Independence? (max 3)?
1. Green revolution
2. Economic Liberalization
14.What is your favourite pastime?
Reading, Traveling, Museums, Art, Theatre.
15.What is your happiest memory?
Going to Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York.
16.What's your most memorable journey?
Hiking trip in the pristine San Juan mountains in western Colorado.
17.What is your ultimate food dish?
Gyros and Pongal.
18.What are your favourite movies? (max 3)
1. You can count on me
2. Y tu mama tambien
19.What are your favourite books (please list authors as well)? (max 3)
1. Tragedy of Great Power Politics - John Mearshimer
2. Fortune favors the bold - Lester Thurow
3. The God of Small Thing - Arundati Roy
20.A message from you to other NRIs
Follow your dreams, be passionate about anything and never hesitate to assert your values even in a flood of hostility.
Meet R.S. He currently lives in Colarado, USA.
Published - October, 2003
Participate in 20-Questions
The views of this column are the author's own, and do not necessarily represent the views of NRI Online.