MISLEADING THE PEOPLE
It is disturbing that a significant number of Indian-Americans have succumbed to the barrage of false propaganda emanating from the White House, aided and abetted by a silent Congress and a compliant press. If there still remains a small vestige of support, convinced that our administration had altruistic reasons for its invasion of Iraq, I am sure the same people can be persuaded to believe that consuming large amounts gulab jamun lowers cholesterol!

The mendacity of the Bush administration knows no bounds. The claim that Iraq imposed an immediate threat to the U.S. with its large stockpile of weapons of mass destruction turns out, not surprisingly, to be pure fiction. The attempt to establish a connection to al Qaeda also proved to be false—a crude attempt to exploit the raw emotions of 9/11.

Thousands of Iraqi civilians and many of our brave soldiers have died. Much of the Iraqi infrastructure has been destroyed. An increasing number of Iraqis are venting their anger at our troops whose lives are in jeopardy. The Bush administration dismisses these increasingly violent incidents as “pockets” of suspected al Qaeda terrorists. Seventy-five billion dollars of taxpayers’ money has been squandered. Iraqgate has turned out to be far more serious than all preceding “gates.” Bush and his junior partner, Tony Blair, are guilty of the most horrific war crimes. Congress must conduct a vigorous investigation and initiate impeachment proceedings if it can be proved that Bush deliberately misled the American people.

A recent Press Trust of India release reported that the Pentagon is now anxious to sell large quantities of military hardware to India, and thus persuade it to become a strategic partner with the U.S. India should resist such pressures. At a time when many countries are increasingly dismayed at the unilateral actions of the U.S. in unleashing its firepower and economic might to impose its will wheresoever it chooses, India must remain independent. Even more disturbing is the willingness of India to purchase Israel’s Phalcon Airborne Warning Control Systems aircraft. India must resist conducting any trade with Israel, a country, which has occupied huge swaths of Palestinian land, built large numbers of illegal settlements (in violation of U.N. sanctions) and committed unspeakable atrocities against the Palestinian people.

Jagjit Singh, Palo Alto, CA

CELEBRATING INDEPENDENCE
July 4, Aug. 15, Nov. 30, and May 25 have common significance. They brought new life to multitudes, as their colonial masters beat the retreat, leaving free but damaged societies. Human beings were created equal and independent, regardless of race or belief. Yet, “independence” was conceived of man’s belief in inequality and desire to rule. Naturally, “Independence Day” for some, is a reminder of an age of terrorism—the Imperial Age.

To experience the shattering effect of imperialism, one must see the movie, Veer Savarkar, recently screened by California Arts Association (CalAA). Based on India’s struggle for independence, it addresses a world audience. Abstract phrases, such as “injustices of the Crown,” “selfless sacrifice,” and “the struggle for freedom” become starkly tangible in this powerful, visually eloquent Hindi movie. While the movie Gandhi focused almost exclusively on Gandhi as the leader of India’s freedom movement, Veer Savarkar presents a stunningly different perspective of the times through another hero, Veer Savarkar. His courage, set against the backdrop of restlessness among demoralized Indians, grabs your emotions by the collar and challenges you to think. We share the agony of the closely-knit Savarkar family, shredded apart by circumstances beyond their control. You feel outrage over Savarkar’s personal sacrifice, and suffer the collective injustice that Indians may have experienced under British rule.

We have come a long way since we spent our entire life fighting death for dignity and freedom instead of living it. That past reality has been forgotten along with those who spent their lives challenging the terrorists to rid our planet of the Imperial menace.

Veer Savarkar, the story of man’s struggle for human dignity and respect, warns us of the consequences of America’s imperialist dreams. Should they materialize, we can once again expect to be stuck in an endless cycle of terror and distrust that began with the dreaded ambitions of Genghis Khan, Alexander, and Caesar. The human spirit will nevertheless triumph, and we all know what became of great empires.

Mona Vijaykar, Saratoga, CA

INSULIN RESISTANCE
I am writing to inform you about an innovative study that is going on at the Stanford University Medical Center concerning Indian women. Indians are at high risk for heart disease and diabetes, and this may be due in part to insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is a syndrome that is compounded by obesity and results in high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. South Asian Indians appear particularly susceptible to the insulin resistance syndrome. Dr. Gerald Reaven of Stanford University, a world renowned researcher and pioneer in the field of insulin resistance, is keenly interested in studying its high prevalence among Indians.

I am collaborating with Dr. Reaven in the South Asian Indian Women Weight Loss Study (SAIWWLS). This study hopes to define whether insulin resistance improves with weight loss, thereby lowering cardiovascular disease risk factors. We are seeking Indian women aged 30-65, without diabetes. The study will involve two days of insulin resistance tests at the General Clinical Research Center (GCRC) at Stanford University Medical Center. Following this, there will be three months of intensive dietary counseling, one hour per week with a nutritionist. At the end of three months, the insulin resistance tests will be repeated.

For your participation in the study you will receive the results of these specialized cholesterol and insulin tests, dietary counseling, and additional counseling to improve your cardiovascular risk profile at the end of the study. Your participation will help to define and decrease cardiovascular disease risk factors in the Indian Community.

Interested women can contact me at lathap@stanford.edu, or (650) 498-4427. Thank you for your help in improving the health and well-being of the Indian community.

Latha Palaniappan, MD, MS,
Stanford University Medical Center, CA

CHENAB FORMULA
Although the Indian Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani did speak about the need for compromise on Kashmir in one of his speeches in the U.S., I hope India will never agree to the so-called Chenab formula. That would mean acceptance of the two-nation theory. If India accepts the two-nation theory, does it realize what it means to its very basis? My reaction: Oh God!
Ram Narayanan, via the internet

FOR THE RECORD
The photo of T. Balasaraswati on the cover of the June 2003 issue of India Currents was taken by Jan Steward. India Currents regrets the omission.—Editor

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