Sigh, here we go again with the chest-thumping, fist-pumping, back-patting, standing ovationing, ek-salute-to-banta-haiing, BMKJ-PKMKBing, Hindustaan-mein-rehna-hoga-toing, pichle-70-saaling, this-is-not-Shanghai-or-Paris-but-Ahmedabading, Raul Vinching, soldiers-standing-in-Siachening, Go-to-Pakistaning, Modiji-ne-kiya-hoga-to-soch-samajh-kar-hi-kiya-hogaing, 800-years-of-slaverying, Nehru-was-British-agenting, Congress-mukt-Bharating, IACing, 2G-scamming, Sher paaloing, if-only-Sardar Patel-was-the-first-PMing, Bhagat-Singh-appropriating, India-got-freedom-in-2014ing, what-abouting, where-were-youing, movie-boycotting, Abdul-ko-tight-karoing, Godse-loving, apology-letter-writing, vegetarian-but-not-veganing, self-declared sanskaari, Ambani-Adani-mere-papaing, proud nationalist Indians, and eternally hopeful landowners and sons-in-law of Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh, who seem to get orgasms every time a multinational company appoints a, well, multinational CEO who happens to have some sort of connection to India (a name, birth, religion, education, something, anything, however tenuous), here’s a message:
The new Starbucks CEO, Laxman Narasimhan is AMERICAN, not Indian. Nor are any of the other CEOs or First World politicians (yes, including perhaps the next PM of the UK) Indians seem to be proud of. They are not Indian in the sense of the passport they hold, and the side they will owe their allegiance, were there ever to be a conflict of interest. Indeed, for anyone who has learnt even a bit of economics, you’ll know that their allegiance will lie with the brand and the corporate they serve, and its shareholders and customers, rather than any particular nation. But, if push comes to shove, and they must choose a nation, it isn’t India they will choose. How do I know this? Because they did get a chance, and they chose to discard their Indian nationality, which, to my international brain, is perfectly par for the course and I’d have perhaps done the same, who knows.
To celebrate their ‘Indianness’ may even be a reasonable reaction to their scaling such heights of leadership, perhaps even to call them Indians (in some vague way) could pass muster in a pinch. But to extrapolate their singular, and surely handsome, success as some sort of validation of Indian superiority is at once juvenile, vulgar, arrogant, and frankly laughable. To those who know how things work, it is nothing short of cringey to see the needless, and honestly baseless, gloating over and attempted appropriation of someone else’s success because they seem to share the one link that they voluntarily chose to give up.
So, to summarise: they are NOT Indians in the sense of any kind of proof of Indians, and by extension, you and I, being better as a rule to anyone else in the world.
At most, they are ‘Indian-origin’, and that too is an iffy statement to make, as some of them are second and third-generation non-India-born people.
And yes, while we are at it, Sonia Gandhi is INDIAN. If you don’t understand how this works, you need to go back to school Civics. A degree in Entire Political Science from WhatsApp U does not seem to include this in its curriculum.