Dear India Currents,

This response is regarding the article Why Forced Diversity Does Not Work…For Me Anyway! by Nandini Patwardhan.

What an articulate, thought-provoking, and timely article it was! I too felt that the show Never Have I Ever was an insult to Indians everywhere. My teen daughter remarked that she knew no one in her circle of desi friends who acted that way. The series merely reinforced the message that we Indians need to assimilate into and imitate the mainstream culture, in order to be accepted! That is contrary to the very notion of diversity! Beyond the dosa-eating and the occasional Tamil word, there was nothing Indian about the series. No portrayal of values, culture, heritage, beliefs, in short, all those aspects that make us who we are.

If many of us are typical helicopter parents chauffeuring our children to Kumon, soccer, and rearing hordes of future software engineers, so be it. It is no one’s business but our own. If one wants to be a writer because the call of the Muse is too strong, go for it. But don’t choose it simply to be different. That is not worthy of any individual.

As to Sex And The City reboot, I admit to finding it very watchable, for the simple reason that it was so different to my world, and hence made for fascinating viewing. If we were to replace the cast with say, four Indian women, I would simply tune out, for the same reason that I don’t watch Never Have I Ever. It would feel contrived and artificial to me, and that is what’s wrong with forced diversity. It doesn’t feel natural or organic, it’s more like people in a play reeling off rehearsed lines. To paraphrase the bard, “All the world’s indeed a stage, and all the men and women merely players, in this mad game of Forced Diversity.”

Sincerely,

Gayathri Chakravarthy

Cupertino, CA 


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