KSA NRIs squabble over what content should be posted on WhatsApp


Daneesh Majid

Hyderabad: Like many children of the Indians working in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, I too have seen the NRIs from close quarters.

While many have turned religious, there are others who have begun to hide their worldly affairs behind the façade of false morality. There are also those who have committed themselves to serve the society of their origin and make it a better place for the have nots who were left behind in the cut throat race for existence.

Back in Hyderabad, I have noticed one of the many facets of the NRI life or that of those who have returned home earlier and settled down well.

Here is my observation of a recently formed group that appears to me to be on the fringe of extinction.

With the oil revenues drying up in the desert Kingdom of Saudi Arabia the outflow of about 3 million Indians has begun to turn into a tide.

And those who have arrived in Hyderabad earlier have thought of reconnection with each other on a wider formal scale. 

Among them many of the returnees from Riyadh thought that they should have an exclusive social network platform of their own. Hence, the birth of Capital Returnees.  The platform came into being only a few months ago following a sumptuous lunch meeting. The promise in the air was to do something grandiose and worthwhile for their folks in home town.

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But the NRIs, most of whom had lost touch with the ground realities in Hyderabad, were in for a shock. The Capital Returnees platform, instead of discussing ideas for betterment of life, turned into another WhatsApp group members of which start the day with Assalam Alaikum and its multiples in Arabic every morning, prayers, religious notes, exchanging jokes and posting sundry anecdotes.

There are also messages regarding what is haram (non-permissible) what is halal (permissible), though for most of them such messages are repetition since their childhood.  

Although, it may not be called uncharitable, but the language used by some members on this group entailed one person calling out another for what they feel are unsavoury views or thoughts that were expressed in such a manner.

It is here that fine line between a healthy difference and a personal attack blurs regarding a dissenting view. One particular post irritated a member so much that he blurted out words in rage, almost condemned the members and left the group in a huff. He had insisted that only such matters which concern the well-being of the group shall be posted.

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It was this exchange of heated words and shocking outcome that prompted another member to say that he would post anything on this platform he wishes.  That was a clear declaration of defiance against bringing any order to the warring factions within the group.

These and other interactions prompted a few others to take the exit further, thereby souring (WhatsApp) links between fellow members.

Meanwhile, a veteran member has requested everyone to maintain peace and suggested they discussed group guidelines over bread, butter and other goodies sometime next month.

The big questions pertaining to the life of the NRIs back home have been relegated in the background.  What members right now seem to be concerned is what should be posted on their group platform and what should not be. So much so on the supposed return of the drained brains to Hyderabad.

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