Indian Superpower is a Dream

I applaud the author’s attempt to show in detail why he believes India, rather than China, is better poised to lead the world at the end of the 21st century(Advantage India, February 2010). I say “attempt” because I believe he, like most optimistic Indians, has glossed over a couple of key points.

Soft Power: The author correctly points out that Indian soft power has done much to change India’s image and respect. However, no matter how much soft power India has, until New Delhi can act like a leader, India has no shot becoming a super power or even a regional power. Witness the disrespect garnered from the Middle East in the past when dealing with any Muslim/Pakistani issue, despite the Mumbai film industry’s pervasive reach in the Arab world.

Internal Dissent: There are a wide range of internal issues in India the author neglects to mention, including Naxalite-Maoists insurgencies, Jammu and Kashmir, and the treatment of Dalits. New Delhi has shown itself incapable of solving any dispute without bloodshed and/or suffering.

With globalization, these issues will only become exacerbated. Until New Delhi leads with courage and conviction, dreams of being a superpower are just that.

Raj Nadar, Annandale, VA

Pass on Our Heritage

I read the editorial (Transmission Losses, March 2010) with great interest. Through five small paragraphs, the writer has beautifully expressed her views.

India Current may look like an ordinary magazine of news and views but fine editorials make it excellent. Every time I visit the Bay Area, the first thing I look forward to is the India Currents magazine and I have always found it to be informative.

The magazine pointed me to Margazhi Raagam, a 2-hour movie on Karnatik ragas. I was able to see it last year in the Bay Area. My son, who watched the movie with me, also became a lover of Karnatik music. It occurs to me that one great way to appreciate a language and culture and thereby continue its existence would be to expose the next generation to our heritage.

Ranganath Iyer, Irvine, CA

Emulating FDR

Sarita Sarvate’s recounting of the accomplishments of Presidents Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt and suggestions to President Obama are thought provoking(Dear Barack, March 2010).

She says, “It is not too late to stand up to highway robbers on Wall Street the way FDR did in 1929.” But FDR was the Governor of New York from January 1, 1929 to December 31, 1932. He became President only in 1933.

Does Sarvate reference FDR’S actions as Governor? If so, then the suggestion about reforming Wall Street should be directed at the Governor of New York rather than President Obama.

 Jayananda H. Hiranandani, Norwalk, CA

Just Look For the Change

The column (Dear Barack, March 2010) misses out on important changes that the current government has ushered in. The big stimulus spending it undertook early last year helped shore up the economy.
I think the columnist hasn’t clarified as to what specific actions she was expecting from the Obama adminstration. Her approach appears to be sentimental rather than fact-based. There has been plenty of change, you just have to look for it.

 Sharmila Mukherjee, on Facebook

Nosy Indians

Thank you for the article (Your Life, Our Business, February 2010).  It is indeed a shock to most people when they first go to India, or after a long absence, to be inundated with stares, questions, and comments, mostly unwelcome and unneeded.

It is both a virtue and a sin that Indians are as nosy as they are.  I hope that the author and her husband have made peace with the reality of living in India. I also hope that, in the future, Indians become less inclined to provide opinions on every single topic so that more Indians abroad feel like returning home permanently … including me!

Raj Nadar, Annandale, VA

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