Date More Openly

I read with interest Rupa Dev’s “Love Online” (India Currents, November 2008). Dev states that she goes on dates with “Indian guys” in part because they would be less likely to “threaten her safety.” As a middle-aged Anglo, I find this to be mildly racist. Does she think that non-Indian “guys” will attack their first date at the Starbucks or the mall? Everybody knows that a first date should be held at a public, well-trafficked place, where nobody’s safety could ever be threatened.

Perhaps it is an issue of ignorance; it seems that many members of the Indian community have not had the experience of dating people outside their race. Ignorance often breeds fear.

Since we all live in the United States, we should experience all that there is to offer here. Although you might find that you hate the taste of a cheeseburger, it might not hurt to try it once, although affairs of the heart should be approached more cautiously than the ordering of a meal. A cheeseburger can make you sick, especially if you are a vegetarian!

If you find somebody interesting, no matter what the race, give it a shot. As a lot of life is here, it can be scary—more for the chance of trying something new than any danger. It does not always go smoothly! I’ve certainly had my heart broken. But experience, openness, and trying new things are a part of life. At the very least, you might find a different way of looking at things, and I am not just talking about dating.

Dewane Van Leuven, Santa Clara, Calif.

Not Swooning Yet

I write to deflate Sarita Sarvate’s bubble and euphoria on Barack Obama’s Presidency (“A Tryst with Destiny,” India Currents, December 2008). I disagreed with her earlier column comparing Obama to Nehru, and today, I do the same with her comparison of Obama to Lincoln and Jefferson.

Barack Obama is just another Chicago politician, very ambitious and bereft of any professional achievement who was able to convince many of us to vote for him as the only viable choice given the disastrous experience with George W. Bush and the Republicans. The press largely ignored the cess pool that he came from in Chicago, but the arrest of the Illinois Governor on the garage sale of Obama’s Senate seat puts the focus back on where Obama came from. The press and the far left made Obama their candidate and paved the way for him to easily win in a year when anybody could have won against a Republican.

President Bill Clinton established the Democrats as the brand of effective economic stewardship and fiscal competence; Barack Obama also benefitted from that brand recognition.

To swoon as Sarvate does on Obama being Nehru, Gandhi, Jefferson, and Lincoln combined based on words that are easy to speak today by Obama as penned by a speechwriter and delivered from a teleprompter … I will wait for the tangible results that Obama brings in four years and then decide if I should vote to reelect him. Obama has only interviewed for the job today and has not proven himself in it.

I pray that President Obama is successful for the sake of our country and am reassured by his cabinet picks of Hillary Clinton, Tim Geithner, and Robert Gates—all bring gravitas, proven competence, policy grasp and experience. That is change that I can believe in today!

Rameysh Ramdas, San Jose, Calif.

Counterpoint

Sheila B. Lalwani’s article “Countering Section 377” (India Currents, November 2008) is, as the title itself proclaims, highly supportive of homosexuality and the gay rights movement in India. Although the article seems to be well-documented, it fails to investigate the causes of homosexuality, which Indian society in general condemns. The purpose of sex is procreation. I agree with the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs’ view that repealing Section 377 would undermine public morality and encourage unnatural sex.

V.G. Joshi, Saratoga, Calif.

Rangoli Appreciation

Sudha Subramanian’s article “Remembering Rangoli” (India Currents, December 2008) is very good. I am also passionate about rangoli. Even though it was mostly girls who competed in our college rangoli talent show and competition, I took special permission to compete. I won the first prize and was eventually made a judge of the competition. I have made many innovations and paradigm shifts in rangoli art. One example is to do rangoli art on water—yes, on water!

K.R.S. Murthy, Santa Clara, Calif.

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