Libmonster ID: U.S.-1426
Author(s) of the publication: F. YURLOV

Currently, there are between 1.3 million and two million Indians in the United States, according to various estimates. Among them, in addition to doctors and lawyers , are teachers of exact sciences in universities and colleges, and recently in secondary schools, a large number of businessmen connected not only with high technologies, but also with more "earthly" business-trade, finance, maintenance of hotels, motels, restaurants, pharmacies, etc. In general, the Indian diaspora has managed to establish itself as a hardworking, law-abiding, prosperous, and prosperous part of American society, enjoying considerable authority among representatives of different ethnic groups and cultures.

The long prayer ended. The brahmana prayed to the many Hindu gods, the sun, the moon, the planets - all those who depended on the well-being and happiness of a three-month-old girl, who was quietly snoring in her cradle. One of the most important religious ceremonies in a person's life was namkaran: naming a name. The event took place at the home of Nitai and Sudha Saha, Bengalis from a small town near Calcutta. The girl was their granddaughter. The mother of the child, like her parents, took an active part in the ritual, following the instructions of the brahmana. My father, however, was away from home on a business trip. Business is business, and it cannot be postponed. But you can not postpone the ceremony to a later date - the stars came together in the best possible way on this day. The few guests, my wife and I among them, were also not idle. The brahmana invited each person in turn to read in English a pre-prepared translation of the prayers that he said in Sanskrit.

Finally, the main moment of the ceremony arrived. And then the brahmana asked in a very homely way: are there any disagreements in the family about the name? After confirming that the girl's name was agreed with all the family members, he announced it-Shreya, which means "virtuous"in Bengali. A final prayer followed, asking and invoking the gods to be merciful and grant peace and happiness to Shreya, her parents, family, and all people on earth.

After completing the ceremony, the brahmana said goodbye to the owners of the house and left for a nearby Hindu temple.

All this happened not in India, but in the United States of America, in the city of St. Louis (Missouri) in May 2000. All the Indians were American citizens.


The first large wave of Indian immigrants arrived in America in the mid-60s at the height of the Vietnam War. Then there was an acute shortage of doctors in the United States, as many of them were called up to serve the huge contingent of American servicemen in Vietnam.

The US authorities in search of doctors turned their attention to India, which was widely known for qualified doctors who gained credibility in many countries, primarily in the UK. In addition, and this is not the least circumstance, they knew English, in which they were trained in medical colleges. Offers to move to the United States were sent not only to experienced doctors. In 1964, by agreement with the Government of India, many graduates of leading medical colleges were invited to work in the United States.

A simplified procedure for obtaining documents for residence in the United States (so-called green cards) was proposed, a loan was issued for travel to the destination (with repayment from the subsequent salary), and a permanent place of work was provided. However, there was also a security check-it was necessary to present a certificate from the local police stating that the invitees were not connected with extremist, terrorist and similar organizations.

So, the Saha couple, like many other young Indian doctors, came to the United States in 1964 and have been living there ever since. Over the years, they have achieved great success in their professional activities, enjoy authority among their patients and occupy an honorable place in society. They have a married son and daughter-lawyers who have already established themselves as experienced professionals.

Indian doctors were followed by representatives of other professions and specialties, mainly people with higher education, many of whom had academic degrees and titles.

The second major wave of Indian immigration to the United States was associated with the development of information technology, computer technology, and computer software. Its peak occurred in the 90s.

American Indians have made great strides in information technology. The companies they have created in this sector are valued at $ 300 billion on the NASDAQ * stock exchange. Thousands of Indian millionaires live in California's Silicon Valley alone. Most of them are engaged in the information business, including computer software. One of them, Sabir Bhatia, invented Hotmail and sold it for $ 400 million to Bill Gates ' Microsoft. It is no coincidence that there is a joke among Indians in California: "It's a shame not to be a millionaire here."

Young professionals who have completed their higher education in India make extensive use of their family ties to establish themselves in America. Arriving there on a work visa or marrying Indian women,

* Data from before the NASDAQ crash.

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those who have American citizenship or a residence permit, they are dynamically integrated into the existing system of business and public relations in the United States. Connecting with your community in India and America, and knowing English helps you avoid the "culture shock" that immigrants from other countries often experience. Chidanand Rajghatta, author of a book about Silicon Valley Indians, writes: "To put it simply, 500,000 Indians, 50,000 a year, have arrived in the United States over the past decade. They represent the best of India - the cream of Indian talent. Those who came to America earlier-in the 80s-reached the top in business and professional careers. They were able to use the tidal wave of the technological explosion in the United States, which began thanks to the activities of such large companies as Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, Cisco and others. " 1

The activities of successful Indians in America are not limited to information technology. Among them there are big managers, bankers, brokers, heads of firms, etc. For example, Rono Dutta heads the world's largest American airline, United Air Lines, Rajat Gupta runs McKinsey, one of the largest advisory firms, Lakshmi Mittal has become one of the largest "steel barons" in the world: in addition to metallurgical companies He has factories in the United States, and owns businesses in Germany, Mexico, Indonesia, and Kazakhstan. Gururaj Deshpande is the owner of the telecommunications company Sycamore, which is valued at $ 30 billion on the US stock market. This list could go on 2 .


The success of Indian immigrants in the United States, especially in the latest wave, is directly related to India's achievements in higher education, including mathematics. Every year, about 150 thousand specialists graduate from universities and colleges in India. The country is actively developing high-tech information technologies, software and computer equipment. Immigrant Indians are taking full advantage of this Indian potential by recruiting engineers living in India to work for their companies. Thousands of miles away in the United States, they prepare software for computers and then email it to their partners and hosts in America.

Thus, work in the field of high technologies is carried out by Indians both in the United States and in India, mutually enriching knowledge and financially stimulating both cooperating parties.

The "explosion" of computer science and computerization in India itself has also led to the creation of computers second only to American and Japanese ones. One of them is the Param (Absolute) -10,000 supercomputer.

Recall that back in the 60s, India did not have its own computer equipment at all. She bought it in the United States, the USSR and other countries. And when America refused to sell India its Cray X-MP supercomputer in 1990, saying that the Indians could use it for military nuclear research, Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi said that India itself would create the super-powerful computer it needed. It took less than 10 years to build such a machine capable of performing a trillion operations per second. Now this achievement of India has found application in Russian-Indian scientific cooperation. Created in Russia, in accordance with the program of cooperation in the field of advanced research, the Russian-Indian Center will use this computer along with other similar computing systems of Indian production.

The development of high technologies in India has been accompanied by the creation of numerous companies that are successful in this field. Its own Indian "Silicon Valley" appeared in Bangalore, Karnataka. India's success in this area is reflected in the fact that 140 of the 500 largest companies in the world use Indian software .3

India's success in the field of knowledge-based technologies has led to a large increase in employment in this area and the emergence of large entrepreneurs. Thousands of millionaires (in rupees) engaged in this business have grown in the country. And the most successful of them have made it to the highest echelons of "tech billionaires" in the world. According to the authoritative financial magazine Forbes Global, among 39 such people living outside the United States, six are Indians. The list of these businessmen is headed by the Japanese - 15 people, six people are from Germany, two each from Taiwan and England, one each from France, Hong Kong, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Israel, Spain and Sweden. The overall second position in the personal list is occupied by Indian Azim Hasham Premji (Vipro company, $ 21.4 billion), Subhash Chandra - in eighth place (Zee Telefilms company, $ nine billion), etc. 4

India's advances in software have attracted the attention of computer giants such as Microsoft, which has set up its Development Center in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh. In September 2000, Bill Gates and the head of the Indian firm Infosys Technologies, Narayana Murthy, signed an agreement on cooperation in the field of information technology, the use of the Internet for the sale of goods, financial services and insurance. Both companies plan to work together to expand the Indian computer market, in particular, to create software in Hindi and other Indian languages5 .

Narayana Murthy himself believes that so far the main market for Indian software has been the United States (60-70 percent of the revenue generated by this industry). To ensure further development in this area, Infosys has established its own centers in California and Massachusetts. However, it does not limit its activities to America only, but expands the market in Europe and Japan.-

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research institutes. Infosys has branches in Canada, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Japan, and Australia. The company's European headquarters will be set up in the UK. Indian software firms have set a target of reaching $ 85 billion in annual product exports by 2008.6


It would be extremely naive to present the case in such a way that all American Indians are only super - champions and millionaires in high and high-tech technologies. After all, most of them are engaged in ordinary activities that are necessary for every country and every city. They are present in varying doses in many areas of American business and public life. At the same time, there are specific areas of application of their work and talent. In many ways, they are connected with the traditional activities of their families in India itself. Thus, the followers of Mahavira Jaina brought to their new homeland the manufacture and trade of jewelry - one of the activities for which they were famous for many centuries. High professionalism in this business, combined with continued close contacts with India , the largest consumer of gold and gemstone jewelry, allows them to successfully compete with other entrepreneurs.

The propensity of Indians to practice law, which is based on British principles of law, helps them to navigate fairly freely in American law and join the huge cohort of American lawyers themselves. And the Indians themselves in the United States are more willing to resort to the services of their compatriots - lawyers, without whom you will not set foot in this country. Indian lawyers specializing in immigration-related issues are particularly successful.

Some idea of what Indians are doing in America is provided by an advertisement about loans from one of the banks managed by Indians. The bank announces that loans of up to $ 1.5 million in installments of up to 25 years are issued for the purchase of hotels, motels, gas stations, restaurants, dry cleaners, shops and other similar establishments.

One of the areas in which American Indians have managed to prove themselves as skilled businessmen is the maintenance of motels and small hotels. The volume of this business can be imagined based on the huge number of roads that cross the length and breadth of America, and even more traveling on all types of transport, especially cars. Many of the motels in some parts of the country are owned by Indians, who often manage them on the basis of a kind of"family contract". Without resorting to hired labor, a large family, which includes not only parents, but also sons with wives and children, fully ensures customer service and maintaining order in a motel or hotel. Everyone works regardless of time and weekends, but all the income goes to the common family piggy bank and is actively used to expand the business.

In some American states, this business has become a kind of monopoly of immigrants from the Indian state of Gujerat, belonging to the Patel or Patidar caste - traditional village heads. Apparently, this is why the Indians, who can not refuse humor, introduced a neologism into everyday life, good-naturedly calling this phenomenon "motel-patel". The owners of motels and hotels themselves see this rather as advertising and continue to work hard and manage their economy efficiently, without being distracted by entertainment. They build up their capital, buy up old motels, upgrade them, and sell them at a great profit during the peak tourist season.

The restaurant business is as natural for Indians in America as it is at home. Tiny or spacious Indian restaurants and cafes are scattered in almost every city and city in the United States, especially in places where immigrants from India are concentrated. This business is also largely based on family ties.

page 26

As the network of Indian restaurants and shops grew, it became necessary to supply the usual goods and products from India and other countries, such as rice, spices, mango, etc., to Indian consumers. One of them is Raja Foods, which has its own large packaging plants and warehouses in Ahmedabad, Mumbai (Bombay), New York and Chicago. They all work for America. The company is developing successfully - its turnover has reached $ 30 million a year. As in many other cases, business in it is built on kinship and clan ties. The President of Raja Foods and its Chicago branch is Rakesh Patel, and the Vice President is Swetal Patel. Mahendra Patel is the President of the New York branch, and Paresh Patel is the Vice President.

Indian businesses in America are making extensive use of the benefits of cheap labor in India itself. One of the examples. An Indian-American interior designer told me about how she collaborates with traditional Indian silk craftsmen. According to her order and drawings, they perform works that are successfully sold in America. The financial side of the matter is as follows: for every rupee spent, she receives one dollar (that is, 40-50 times more).

The story of Indian immigrants in America is the life of specific people, men and women. The experience of the latter attracts special attention because in a completely new environment they demonstrate qualities that seem to be poorly compatible with the values of the traditional Indian family, namely independence, perseverance, and perseverance in achieving goals.

In America, I happened to meet Anjana Chowdhury, whose fate does not fit into the framework of the usual success of an immigrant who came to this country for his share of happiness and received it. Born in Calcutta to a well - to-do family, Anjana had graduated from college and was preparing for a master's degree when this calm, measured flow of life was interrupted-her parents decided to marry her to a young doctor, Ajit Chowdhury, who had come home after completing his studies in England. Anjana, in principle, was against organized marriages, but agreed to meet with a potential fiance, provided that she reserves the right to give a negative answer. However, this was not necessary: the young people liked each other. They married and in 1967 went first to England, and then to Canada. A few years later, the family found themselves in America, where in 1975 her husband suddenly died of a heart attack. By this time, Anjana had two children. She enrolled in a teacher and preschool teacher training course, became an American citizen, and started working at a school. But at the insistence of her parents, Anjana and her children returned to India, selling the house, car, and everything she owned in the United States.

However, life in a large Indian family could no longer suit her. "I've changed myself," she says. Result: Anjana and her children returned to the United States and started all over again: she worked as a teacher, helped children in their studies, and studied on her own. Eventually, she created her own private kindergarten and elementary school. And for about 20 years now, she has been running this school and teaching classes. The school is popular among city residents. Her two adult children graduated from colleges and lead independent lives. Anjana's key words, and she believes what she says, are " inspiration, freedom and order, success, confidence and independence."

Most American Indians are people with higher education, who received it both in India and in America. But there are others, and there are many of them. They are mainly employed in the service sector. So, according to some sources, 70 percent of all taxi business in New York is controlled by Indians. The Indian taxi driver is a familiar figure in the landscape of this city. But even in this profession, changes are taking place. The typical Indian craving for knowledge, as a tool for improving their socio - economic status, pushes them to give their children a higher education in America, despite the high costs. Here's how New York taxi driver Om Sharma explains why his son did not follow in his footsteps, but is studying at a medical college: the taxi driver profession in our family will end with me. A taxi is used to reach a certain place. If I can't help my children reach even a slightly higher position than I do, my life will lose its meaning.

(To be continued)

1 New Generation of Indian Americans Creating Waves in US. - NDTV-MSNBC Online. 10.08.2000.

2 Swaminathan S. Anklesaria Aiyer. Indians Succeed, India Fails. - Times of India, 26.12.1999.

3 See I. Firsov. Impressive scale of scientific and technological progress. - "India Today". Supplement to the journal "Asia and Africa Today", August 2000, p. 25.

4 Deccan Chronicle, 26.03.2000.

5 The Indian Express, 15.09.2000.

6 The Deccan Chronicle, 13.07.2000.



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