We Indians immediately thump our chests and become ‘proud to be an Indian’ whenever people like Sundar Pichai or Satya Nadella make it in other countries, as though all 1.3 billion of us are collectively responsible for their rise from mediocrity to eminence. Sorry to disappoint you, guys, but actually, their ‘Indianness’ has nothing to do with their success. There is no great Indian secret sauce (or chutney) that makes us special. It’s just that they are exceptionally brilliant, smart and hardworking people. So, don’t be so quick to strut around and claim ownership for their achievements. In fact, just take a deep breath and sober up a little – they made it despite being Indians. We all know what would have happened to them if they had stayed on in India, right?
Respect, honor and be inspired by them. Seek to emulate their qualities. And not just Indians, but by all such high achievers, and use that inspiration to work towards your own. To be sure, their parents and maybe their teachers can claim some pride for having instilled in them the right values, the right tools to become achievers. The RIGHT values (which are universal), not INDIAN values.
But for the rest of us Indians and our great jingoism – we just have no right to their achievements. Stop using phrases like ‘proud to be an Indian’. They are meaningless and false.