A response to the previous Letter to India Currents.
Dear Vandana Kumar,
Black Lives Matter, also relates to our own sordid chapter in the history of the Indian diaspora. For those of us who arrived in the fifties, sixties and decades before, have experienced the white heat of racial discrimination, insults, and rejection like our black brothers and sisters. The difference is that as a group we spread tentacles to connect with other brown folks for support, and pushed forward. A friend, retired president and CEO of a silicon valley business, related his viewpoint as a matter of fact. I saved enough, working as an engineer to buy the business and then broke the glass ceiling to reach the top.
Looking forward, most of us ended up in a better place as engineers, doctors lawyers, while giving our offsprings a head start. African Americans, Natives Americans, and Hispanic Americans, unfortunately, suffered many more setbacks due to poor education, weak support systems, and outright discrimination. That is perhaps an oversimplification. It behooves us, however, to be sympathetic to those who are less fortunate.
If it helps, let us remind ourselves that only a generation or two ago, we were under a brutal colonial rule in India. Most can trace their lineage to parents who fought, resisted, revolted, and gave birth to a nation called India. I am proud to say, that my mother led Azaadi marches at the age of 15 in Bombay. For her work, she was awarded a handwoven Khadi blouse made by Kasturba. The progressive mindset is in our bloodstream. Change for the better is natural. MLK said in his ‘I dream’ speech, paraphrasing, I dream of the day when White, Black, Brown, will share and live together happily. Please continue to highlight progressive views, because that is the path of enlightenment, I trust the mission of India Currents.
– Satish Chohan
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