‘They are abroad, their heart is in Karnataka’


The New Indian Express

By Sangamesh Menasinakai

12th March 2011 03:36 AM

BELGAUM: “Many Kannadigas who are living abroad are looking at resettling in their native land,” said Captain Ganesh Karnik, Deputy Chairman, Non-Residents Indians (NRI) Forum, Karnataka.

In an exclusive interview with Express, Karnik, who is also a Member of Legislative Council, said the World Kannada Meet will have a great impact on all global Kannadigas to strengthen their ties with the land.

“Kannada folk art forms like Yakshagana, Veeragase have crossed geographical boundaries and everyone is looking at WKM though all of them cannot attend it personally due to various reasons.

They are watching curiously through internet and TV channels,” he said.

Karnik expressed the feelings of NRI Kannadigas saying that their expectations are very high, as recent cultural, social, economical changes have made them think of returning to their motherland. “Kannadigas living in Gulf countries, where opportunities have been decreasing due to religious and other reasons are very serious about remigration and WKM may become a mirror to see the present situation of the state,” he added. He pointed out that now there are a number of job opportunities in the state. “Most of the Kannadigas who migrated to European countries decades ago are now worried about their children’s exposure to western countries and they never deviated from Kannada as well as Indian culture. We can find better Indians and Kannadigas abroad compared with those who live here within the grip of Western culture. I have seen many families in USA and other countries that are still living a traditional life and their children are growing up as pure Kannadigas,” he said.

But he also observed that some families are now worried about the behaviour of their kids. It all depends upon the parents, he added.

Though he appreciated the WKM, he did not forget to make some demands on behalf of NRI Kannadigas. He said at least a session should have been arranged on investment opportunities to attract capital from global Kannadigas.

He clarified that we should not expect investment in terms of money, as the whole world is looking at India for marketing or generate alternative products here. He added that most Kannadiga industrialists are hesitating to come back due to the many hurdles created by the bureaucracy.

He suggested that the government and local authorities make good use of vacation of NRIs who visit their homes frequently. “There should be interactive sessions with such achievers in schools-colleges for the benefit of future citizens,” he added.


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