The NRI swadeshi fervor, a growth industry

It is said a desi abroad grows fond of India and things Indian; native Bellary or Bhatinda tends to look more romantic from Boston or Birmingham. And our Bollywood thrives on the genre of movies that hype patriotic fervor of desis abroad – Dilwale Dulahania Lejayenge,  Khabi Khushi Khabhi Gum, Pardes, Aa Ab Laut Chalen and several others.

Indian TV news channels have made inroads in NRI living rooms. They pay hefty subscription to watch ‘Page-3’ frivility; and celebrity-related non-events jazzed up as ‘breaking news’. Headlines Today the other day made ‘breaking news’ of Aamir Khan taking to smoking again.

The channel gave viewers in the Bay Area an insight into why and how Aamir Khan took to smoking again, quoting extensively from the actor’s blog post. Those of us who were concerned about Aamir Khan’s smoking habit were reassured that our celebrity smoker doesn’t light up in the presence of children, and in company where someone objects. I don’t suppose Doordarshan carried this item. But then I don’t get to see DD channels in San Ramon, California. 

Swadeshi-minded NRI’s keen on keeping up with developments back home could count on better fare from DD channels, though their coverage may be boringly developmental. And I wonder how many NRIs are aware of the Lok Sabha channel that telecast Question Hour and notable parliamentary debates. But then how many flag-waving Americans watch C-SPAN, to get first-hand account of US Senate proceedings?

My blogger friend Maddy says the degree of swadeshi fervor of NRIs is  proportionate to the length of their stay away from India. He calls them India Deprived Desis (IDDs); the type that would drive 50 miles for a plate of masala dosa at Bhimas in Milpitas or Sunnyvale’s Saravana Bhavan. Indian eating joints have mushroomed in and around San Jose.  IDD zindabad.   

Tapping the NRI swadeshi fervor is a growth industry and Bollywood promotes its own version, notably, among ABCDs – America born confused desi. Their take on India’s socio-cultural tradition is shaped by Shah Rukh Khan and Karan Johar. A growing number of ABCDs are Bollywood movie fans. Many of them, with aspiration to be part of it, are reported to have signed up for courses at Anupum Kher’s and other acting schools in Mumbai.


2 Responses

  1. This IDD is finally going on vacation – to reduce the deprivation..Well we used o drive 130 +130 miles from Stafford to Eastham in London to eat dosas at Chennai Dosai!! that was the closest genuine SI eatery..

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