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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Loud Science | The American dream in India

It’s a startling world out there for an American. At some point in the previous decade, we’ve been sidled. All it takes is a visit outside the country’s borders to realize America is not the only country living the high life anymore. In an increasingly competitive world, we’re finding ourselves less and less prepared to tackle this century’s bag of tricks. What does that mean for us?
For the first time in more than 30 years, the United States isn’t that appealing to foreign talent. It’s far from a trivial change; it’s a paradigm shift. In light of the integral role that immigrants have had on American life, it’s hard to remain unfazed. It’s really a profound thought: when it comes to “lands of opportunities,” America isn’t the only shiny beacon.
How is this happening? Are we slipping? How could we be? I can still buy a delicious whatchamaburger from Whosetheplace. If that isn’t the litmus test for progress, I don’t know what is.
Our day to day life hasn’t changed much, but, as a nation, it’s clear our priorities are being reshuffled. In stark contrast to the Cold War’s calling for the best science and education, we now find ourselves basking in a supposedly comfortable lead on the world.
And then we start paying attention to the news. Our precocious new millennium is seeing the swift growth of eastern markets. India and China are developing almost faster than can be believed. In just eight years, the skylines of these determined nations have transformed into something unrecognizable.
If you’ve been following the issue for a while, you’d think you could get a pretty good picture. So they’re doing well and we may need to step up our act. Seeing the phenomenal change firsthand is another experience entirely. We’re talking impressive high rises, social shifts, rich young graduates and a distinct lack of desire to come to the US. What does it say when young minds, who have grown up under the shadow of America, realize they don’t need to be here to live the “American dream?” When you can live comfortably and freely in your own country, why traverse the globe to find yourself struggling for
respect in a land that’s beginning to devalue education, science and reason? Basically, what we used to feel.
Finding yourself face to face with an acquaintance who genuinely believes a better life awaits him in his own homeland is really the turning point. Having a talk with my cousins in India was the moment I realized things were moving a bit faster than I was led to believe. My value in the global market is atrophying and my country becoming yesterday’s news. When you see a young IT friend, just slightly older than you, making enough rupees to buy a Lexus, it doesn’t matter how proud of your nation you are… you wonder if you’re living in a place that will value and reward your contribution.
So keep that in mind. Soon enough we may find ourselves packing our own bags because our elite companies and bold research has found a new and more receptive home. Keep it all in mind when deciding which direction this nation’s going. Sure, there are a lot of things that need to be considered in our situation and things aren’t nearly as straightforward as some say. But there is a fundamental question.
Are we still devoted to bringing the best and brightest under a progressive and bold society? I know I’d still like to believe in America’s pioneering and ever striving spirit. Well, I’m sure it’ll all turn out great. Time to watch some TV.
Vineet Tiruvadi is a senior biomedical engineering major.

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