read with interest your article, “Want geniuses?
(India Abroad; October 6,
2017). I am totally unsur-
prised to learn that foreign-
born immigrants are overrepre-
sented among the winners of
MacArthur Fellowship, Pulitzer
Prize, Nobel Prize, and the like.
The Kauffman Foundation’s
index of entrepreneurial activity
is nearly 40 percent higher for
immigrants than for natives.
Immigrants were involved in the
founding of many prominent
American high-tech companies,
such as Google, Yahoo, You Tube,
Sun Microsystems, and eBay.
According to a report on immigration released last fall by the
National Academies of Sciences,
Engineering and Medicine, immigration to the United States from
1990 to 2010, both legal and illegal, produced net benefits worth
$50 billion a year to the native
population. This might seem
insignificant in an $18 trillion
economy but it is more than the
government’s estimate of what
the country would have gained
from the Trans-Pacific
Partnership, the grand deal with
11 other countries around the
Pacific Rim negotiated over eight
years by the Obama administration but abandoned by President
The number does not consider
many likely benefits from immigration. For instance, immigrants
are younger. They are slowing
the aging of the work force. Low-skilled immigrants may increase
the labor supply of high-skilled
natives, say, by providing cheap
child care and releasing mothers
High-skilled immigrants contribute disproportionately to
innovation, seeking patents at a
higher rate than natives. Besides,
26 million foreigners in the
American labor market added
some $2 trillion to the American
economy last year, according to
the National Academies report.
It is hoped that President
Trump would ignore the
demands of the ultra conservative wing of the party that tends
to be xenophobic and bigoted.
Instead, he should listen more to
moderates like Senators McCain
and Rubio, especially, in the context of the DACA (Deferred
Action for Childhood Arrivals)
children, although, we do need
to make concerted efforts to minimize illegal immigration.
Rising Intolerance in
Democracy is the rule by
majority for majority. Majority
unity is obtained only when the
minorities are lumped as traitors
The BJP won with a thumping
majority by calling the
Opposition alliance as traitors
and anti-nationals. Secularism
was branded as evil that
destroyed a nation. The educated
elite believe that Hinduism and
Hindus are in danger in India
because of secularism. Cows are
holier and more sacred than the
poor and downtrodden. Fear
The political and religious
leaders feed on the fears of the
majority. The majority Hindus
are convinced that cows are holier than minorities who eat beef.
Fear and intolerance go together.
Fear is needed for survival and
fear is an animal instinct.
Humans are no more than educated conditioned animals.
Fear and intolerance are
human nature and desperate
fighting for survival till death is
reality and truth. There can never
be an escape from fear and intolerance, for that is the driving
force in life.
Love in the Time of
Love in The Time of Polarization
(India Abroad; October 6, 2017),
is a clever twist of the title of the
Nobel Prize-winning Gabriel
Garcia Marquez novel “Love in
the Time of Cholera.”
Interfaith and interracial mar-
riages are common among sec-
Americans because they don’t
carry the baggage of prejudice
and bigotry prevalent in India.
My daughter, who was born in
New York and raised in Las
Vegas, married a white Mormon
man 17 years ago, the beginning
of the second-generation
Americans’ marriages in America.
We were not only not surprised
when she told us about her
future husband, we were happy.
For us, her independence was
important and we only looked at
his background, family, education, and values. Race and religion carried only an insignificant
part of our rationale for accepting
My wife is a mainstream
Hindu (I am an atheist) but she
had no problem when the daughter married in the Mormon
Temple of Salt Lake City where
we couldn’t enter because we are
not Mormons. The bride and the
groom were glad to have a traditional Hindu wedding also.
Recently we attended the baptism of our grandson. The simple
and meaningful, decipherable,
ceremony was conducted by a
bishop and other church person-
nel, all of them volunteers from
the community. That was a huge
contrast to Hindu rituals con-
ducted by a pundit (a temple
employee) in Sanskrit no one
understands. So, we are learning
from our daughter’s new life and
it’s changing our world view.
Now we are happy that the inter-
racial and interfaith aspects of
the marriage were not a hin-
drance for us, and more impor-
tantly, for our daughter and son-
in-law. True love and rationalism
will win over polarization due to
race and religion any time.
Las Vegas, NV
The news of a stampede at
Elphinstone Road Station in the
Mumbai which left many dead
and injured was sad and painful
to see. The Elphinstone station’s
bridge in the Indian financial cap-
ital was 150 years old, built dur-
ing the British regime.
Naturally, it required proper
maintenance and upkeep to
withstand its heavy use.
Thousands of people use it
everyday. In a city that is always
on the move, it is the responsibility of the government to maintain public places and ensure
safety and security of its people.
The prime minister is looking for
the country’s development and
this sort of unexpected happening should be solved.
However the responsibility
lies on the government. The government and railway board were
quick to announce compensations but the fact is these payouts
would hardly console families
that have lost their dear ones.
Let’s pray for the victims, grieving families, and wish speedy
recovery for the injured.
Reflections on the
Las Vegas Massacre
First of all I pray to the
Almighty, let the souls of the victims rest in peace and let the
Almighty bestow strength to
family members who have lost
their near and dear ones forever.
The U.S. government has
announced a travel ban on passengers from certain countries. It
has warned Pakistan to stop supporting terror groups in its efforts
to eliminate terrorism.
However what is noticed more
is that common people have lost
their lives due to gun shooting.
This exposes the fact that people
in the U.S. are unsafe from the
threat which is within and also
indicates that the government
does not take required steps for
the safety and security of the
public. Democracy is for, by and
of the people, so if the government does not value human
lives, how does it expect the public to cooperate? I humbly appeal
to the U.S. government, all senators and representatives to please
take care of the safety and security of the people — killings of
innocent people due to shootings
are fast increasing.
Jagdip H. Vaishnav
Mr. P.Srivastava wrote a lengthy
letter, almost a dissertation in
support of the spelling bee and
he recounted innumerable bene-
fits that accrue from such an
endeavor. Unfortunately my
view is antithetical to his and I
will try to be brief since “brevity
is the soul of wit!”
When a youngster spends
hours upon hours memorizing
(not learning) the spelling of
unusual strangely useless words
(like the moderator will define
by saying that it means a type of
toad seen in the Sumatran rain
forest), he or she must be
neglecting other studies.
After all, there is only a finite
amount of time in a day. To
improve the command of the language, the child should be reading books like “Crime and
Punishment,” “Anna Karenina,”
“Pride and Prejudice,” “War and
Peace,” “Canterbury Tales” and
When I see the expression on
the faces of the parents, I get the
distinct impression that they are
the ones who are really getting
ecstatic. P.S. claims that spelling
bee participants go on to excel in
their future endeavors. Is that his
opinion or is there any data to
support such a conclusion?
My suggestion is to scrap the
spelling bee and replace it with a
“Jeopardy” type of format where
kids are tested for their knowledge in all types of science, literature, history and politics to
appease the likes of P.S. We will
include a few questions on
spelling like this one: Culex
Haridas K. Varma
America Needs Immigrants
of the Right Kind
INDIA ABROAD October 13, 2017 5 LETTERS