India Currents is going through a reorganization; Vandana Kumar and I are trading responsibilities. Vandana, with her intimate knowledge of the community, takes the lead now as the publisher. I hope to bring my love for Indian culture and arts to my new job as editor. You will continue to see Arvind Kumar’s pithy editorials on this page, too.
As we go through this transition, we are reexamining our goals for the publication. It was the Festival of India in 1985-86, and the pride we felt in our culture while witnessing it, that inspired us to publish India Currents in the first place. After the festival, we discovered world-class Indian artists in our midst, and realized that if only people knew about all the local performances, they’d know that an ongoing festival of Indian arts was always in progress here. We decided that the focus of India Currents would be a comprehensive calendar of local Indian events.
Today, our focus remains the same, except that the scope is broader, because the South Asian population in California has since doubled and quadrupled to over 300,000, and reached critical mass in many areas.
Now, our communities are organized in a myriad different ways. Successful CEOs mentor budding entrepreneurs, and women’s organizations provide shelter and support to South Asian victims of domestic violence. Seniors gather to discuss the Bhagavad Gita, teens attend Gandhi camp, and families immerse themselves in weekend Sanskrit retreats. Theaters screening first-run Bollywood films have mushroomed all over the country. Now you can enroll in courses in ashtanga yoga or ayurveda, Nepali or Bengali, Karnatik music or kathak dance. Cerritos and San Jose have become the venues of choice for the best of Indian performing artists.
At India Currents, we get inspiration from keeping our collective finger on the pulse of this vibrant community. We strive to showcase this diversity and excellence in the pages of the magazine.
As Vandana and I take on our new responsibilities with renewed energy and enthusiasm, reexamining our priorities with new pairs of eyes, we have reached the conclusion that some things don’t have to change. Highlighting local happenings was our goal when we started India Currents, and today that goal has become all the more compelling. We feel we are on the right track. Let us know what you think.