SRK Inspires BJP leader to launch U.S. ‘Swades’ movement


Swades' movementWASHINGTON: Inspired by the Bollywood actor Shahrukh Khan-led blockbuster movie “Swades,” a Bharatiya Janata Party leader from Assam, who is in the United States on a Yale University fellowship, is motivating Indian students in American universities to return home.

Arguing that if the best and the brightest leave the nation’s shores, can a 21st century country be built with all those who have been left behind, Prodyut Bora is currently networking within the Indian student community in the United States—either in person or addressing them through Skype—to create a real “Swades” movement for India.

“If the 21st century is to belong to India, our best and the brightest have to accept the stewardship of the nation-building process. Today some of our finest young minds come to foreign educational institutions to study and do research. Unless they go back and contribute to the country’s development, how can we aspire to global leadership,” Bora told PTI during his recent trip to Washington, DC.

The movie—as well as our movement—“Swades” is inspired by the life of Aravinda Pillalamarri and Ravi Kuchimanchi, the NRI couple who returned to India with the mission of making a difference, Bora said.

Swades would be a completely student-run organization. “My role has been that of a catalyst, and would be that of a mentor,” he said.

“Perhaps, it is now a time to launch the Indian Dream in full vigor. We are a group of students, primarily from Yale University and University of Michigan, and we strongly believe in leading the journey to move back to India,” Shalmoli Halder, an undergraduate student of biomedical engineering and political science at Yale University, said.

“The call is clear: Back to India,” said Halder, who has teamed up with Priyamvada Trivedi, a Ph.D. student from the University of Michigan, and Suyash Bhagwat, an undergraduate student in economics from Yale University, to kick off the “Swadesh” movement in the United States.

“There are many Indians who do like to go back and work on their dreams. We want to establish contact with them so that not only can we have ambitious dreams but also stay in touch with reality on the ground,” explained Trivedi.

To this end, the core group of the Swades movement is organizing online sessions with Bora where students interact with him and communicate their own visions for what they would like to do.

Halder described Swades as an initiative undertaken by students living in the United States to pre-empt an institutionalized movement to reverse the “brain drain” happening from India. -PTI