Fight for NRI voting rights
ernment. When we celebrate Indian
Independence Day we are celebrating none of
these things. The government has nothing to do
with my culture or who I am. My heritage existed
long before the invention of the Indian govern-
ment, and my culture will continue to remain
with me irrespective of the government of India.
On the other hand, India has consistently committed diplomatic blunders. I do not understand
why India should succumb to US pressure and
talk to Pakistan when we know nothing will happen other than India being repeatedly humiliated?
The US has not only failed to stop Pakistan from
cultivating, promoting, and exporting terrorism,
but I suspect it has deliberately ignored Pakistan’s
illegal excursions into India for decades.
Narendra K Sinha
Chivukula is blaming
Volunteer for NRI Voting Rights Campaign
those fortunate enough in the megacities want to go
abroad. It doesn’t matter where. You name the place and
someone is trying to leave India to go there: The US, the
UK, Canada, Dubai, the Middle East, Australia, New
Zealand, Europe, and Africa.
My family also chose to leave India. And why did we leave
the land where people knew how to pronounce our names
and where our food and religion need not be explained?
Because, like many of those that left, there were ‘better
opportunities’ elsewhere. Opportunities — isn’t that what
the government is supposed to foster. We are here, because
in a sense the government of India has let us down. So 99.5
percent of those marching in these celebrations abroad
have voluntarily chosen to leave the land of their forefathers.
In 1997, I went for the 50th year Independence Day celebrations and listened to a venerable freedom fighter talk
about how he had dodged bullets in Bombay’s deer park.
Here was this brave and courageous man, who was willing to risk life and limb for his country. Yet now, both he
and his two children and all his grandchildren live here.
There is only one cause for that: Bad governance.
Of course there will be some American politician
addressing the parade goers about how great India is and
how great her people are. But half of the crowd consists of
US citizens and the other half want to be citizens.
America is not perfect. There are plenty of problems here
too: The recession, racial tensions, poverty, crime… But life
is better for the common man and this is largely due to
good governance here.
Before you castigate me, think about it. We are all here by
choice. Unless you are here on holiday or visiting, you have
voted with your feet. I feel very lucky and proud to live in
America. In no way have I relinquished or diminished the
role my tradition and heritage have in my daily life.
Moreover, as an American, I do not see why I should be celebrating the government of India or that of any other country. If one still wishes for a touch of indoctrinated Indian
nationalistic fervor, then celebrate Indian Independence
Day in India, as an Indian. We have plenty of other holidays
to celebrate here.
I read with interest your article, ‘Not enough
evidence to suggest this crime was racial’ (July
30). I am shocked, frustrated and angry how New
Jersey Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula reacted
to Divyendu Sinha’s murder.
First, the case is still under investigation and all
the facts are still not known, so how can we rule
out a racial motive, especially in light of the fact
that there was no robbery, mugging or personal dispute?
What was really outrageous were Chivukula’s comments.
He says, ‘While he is shocked and disgusted with the senseless murder, when one ponders why it is happening, one
has to blame oneself.’ Is he blaming the victim and supporting the perpetrators of crime?
What is so preposterous about taking an after-dinner
walk with one’s family members? Chivukula also goes on to
say, ‘My observation is that we tend to magnify our success
and brag it among ourselves. But our success is being
noticed by others, and many are envious of our success. We
need to put our success in the proper context and downplay
it to some extent. We need to figure out how to blend in
rather than be overly visible.’ While I agree with his advice,
I fail to see how it is germane to Sinha’s senseless murder.
From what I have read about Sinha, so far, is that he was a
low-key guy. Besides, does one deserve to be killed if one
brags about one’s success?
My gut feeling is that Chivukula is acting like the politician he is. He is trying to distance himself from a fellow
Indian to earn brownie points from his non-Indian, mainstream constituents. His remarks don’t make any sense at
all. He is acting like many gutless Indians I have come
across in US, who mistreat fellow Indians to show the
world how fair they are.
Roshi George of Staten
Island, New York, was crowned
Miss FOKANA at the
Federation of Kerala
Associations in North America's
annual convention in Albany,
New York. Roshi was mistakenly identified as Roshni in the
July 16 issue.
She is the daughter of the
actor and writer known as
The error is regretted.
The US won’t stop Pakistan
Arrogant that it has a nuclear arsenal (yes, with help
from China), and that it is pampered by the US, Pakistan
has neither the will nor capability to rein in terrorism
both outside and inside Pakistan, even though it risks self-
The whole world is now well aware of its lies and its
futile attempts to raise the Kashmir issue at every forum.
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