These Senseless Indian Student Deaths Overseas In Recent Times Make Me Wonder…

Indian students dream of studying abroad, but these deaths and the racism we feel ask the question - are we travelling there to only lose our lives?

Trigger warning: This speaks of racism and death of Indian students, and may be triggering to survivors.

Today morning while I was on my way to the office, I was scrolling Instagram and immediately my eyes got stuck on a post having the headline, “US Policeman ran over an Indian Student in Seattle”. Jaahnavi Kandula, a 23-year-old Northeast University Graduate student from Andhra Pradesh was struck and killed in January this year by a Seattle cop, Kevin Dave, while driving 74 mph on the way to a report of an overdose call.”

Further, I read that the investigating agency while watching the body-worn camera that captured the whole incident, were laughing and joking about the death and commented that her life had “limited value”. If the deceased had been a US citizen, would they have behaved in the similar way, I feel not?

Before I start my blog, I want to put a disclaimer that this is only a written presentation of my opinion and point of view; my intention is not to disrespect or contempt any particular country.

Indian students dream of higher studies overseas, but is this how we are going to be perceived?

It takes me back to my college days and I remember how my friends used to share their desires to travel abroad for higher studies and build a better lifestyle for them and their families. I too had applied for a Canada PR in 2019. I cleared IELTS and got my equivalent certificate from World Education Services (WES) Canada but changed my mind at the last moment.

Not only friends, I have family members who are settled in the US, Canada, Dubai, Australia and other countries too. I am not questioning someone’s decision but after reading these kind of headlines lately, I want to ask that “is it worth it?”

How NRIs think of life in India

When my family comes to India for vacation, they always crib about the lack of help in other countries, they always mention India is lucky to have maids, technicians, mechanics, elections etc but there we need to do everything ourselves. So my question to them is – didn’t you know this earlier?

If I talk especially about Indian students studying abroad, acknowledging the headlines lately, I don’t think they are safe anymore. This article says, “In 2024 alone, seven students of both Indian and Indian American origin have died. All men 25 years old and under, two died by suicide, two died of overdoses, two were found dead after going missing, and one was beaten to death, according to police records in states ranging from Connecticut to Indiana.”

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Also, they are not respected. We have been hearing about racism by white people – naming others brown people and black people for years.

My intention is not to stop people from going abroad but they should select the country wisely taking into consideration all the parameters so that they can fulfill also those dreams which they carry in their kitty while traveling abroad.

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About the Author

Smriti Malhotra

Smriti Malhotra is a Delhi girl and an avid dreamer. She works at the Embassy of the Republic of Congo by profession but is a writer by passion. She began writing while at school and read more...

41 Posts | 27,096 Views

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