Today morning I was reading an article about Donald Trump faking a run for president on TV. Why do you think anyone in this country should care so much about public figures or celebrities in America so much? Why is it that Paris Hilton is regularly featured and discussed in the Indian Media for her antics?
That got me to the point of thinking why it was the way it was. Why don’t we know anything South American companies or their politics or about prime ministers in Russia as well as we know about the Americans?
One may again argue that it’s because we were exposed to colonial British and thereby learning and using English extensively has a direct bearing on why America has an influence on India and its youth. But if that was the case, the attention of over 1 billion Indians should be focused and biased towards the British or Australians for that matter. Why America?
Why had American universities like Harvard and Stanford become so popular than Oxford, Cambridge and the like in recent years? Why does an average Indian graduate know that Georgia Tech is good at teaching industrial engineering but doesn’t know about an equally attractive Indian program?
If I had to give an honest opinion, I would say that American media did a very good job marketing their country as the land of opportunities to the English speaking world ( and to a certain extent on the non-English speaking world as well). By repeatedly implying and analyzing the strengths of various faucets of their own nation ranging from education to industries like banking to even scrutinizing the functions of an American fighter jet on national TV, they have done a impressive job of making it a self-fulfilling prophecy which has attracted millions of bright minds from across the world and further propelled its growth.
Although, there may be an historical perspective to this. At the end of second world war, Britain having won it barely was in shambles and poverty. America, a nation on the brink of industrial development and prosperity as history would record it much later, demanded payments from Britain in gold. This gold and wealth was used by America to attract many of the bright minds from across the seas and not to mention,the talented refugees of the war, the likes of Dr. Victor Frankl from as far as Austria. The American media was an extremely useful tool in this pursuit and the portrayal of the country as a land of opportunities, the effects of which seem to have triggered a self sustaining cycle till date for attracting the best and the brightest.
America is an on-going example of “act like it is and it shall be”. Only recently have this trend started to decline with the so-called reverse brain drain but even with that in mind, I am yet to see anybody from a known circle of friends planning to return anytime soon. My best bet is that this generation shall return at one time or the other depending on their priorities and their individual definitions of being financially and prestigiously well settled. Its only a matter of time they come back but the exodus of freshly minted college graduates will continue for as long as I can guess.