India Uncut

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Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Much ado about Hindi

Suketu Mehta writes in the New York Times:
My father came to America in 1977 not for its political freedoms or its way of life, but for the hope of a better economic future for his children. My grandfathers on both sides left rural Gujarat in northwestern India to find work: one to Calcutta, which was even more remote in those days than New York is from Bombay now; and the other to Nairobi. Mobility, we have always known, is survival. Now I face the possibility that my children, when they grow up, will find their jobs outsourced to the very country their grandfather left to pursue economic opportunity.
Unnecessary alarmism, all of this. Outsourcing might be a political hot button in the US right now, but it won't hurt America, and it baffles me why Mehta thinks he might have to teach his kids Hindi, as he speculates in his piece, to prepare them for employment later in life. All the outsourcing work coming to India is in English, and it constitutes less than one percent of jobs in India so far. Small change.

(Link via email, separately, from Olinda and Avinash.)
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