Dear Jaya,


Welcome to the wonderful world of India Currents. As you take over the role of editor, you must be wondering what to expect from this new job. So here goes:

First of all, the reports of the demise of print media are greatly exaggerated. Three years ago, when I joined this magazine, the death knell was already being rung, yet here we are, in 2012, as relevant as ever. Our upgraded website has attracted a new set of readers, but there are many, like me, for whom nothing can replace the thrill of getting a fresh copy in the mailbox, to be perused at leisure with a cup of chai. That emotion is the heart and soul of this magazine, even as we reach out to new audiences and new generations across new media.

Your biggest challenge, as it was for me and the editors who came before, is to stay relevant and speak to the hyphenated identity that defines us, even as we take giant steps as a community to integrate, assimilate, belong in this country. When we seek success in the boardroom, or strive for public office, or audition for roles in mainstream television, what parts of our culture are we bringing along? What is uniquely Indian about our struggles?

What defines us as separate when we are doing our best to connect?

In finding that balance between Indian, American, and Indian American, you have two powerful allies. The first is our team of writers—insightful, provocative, and thought-provoking; their words surprise and inform us. They write of the complications of cultural hangovers, mixed marriages, and generation gaps that cannot be spanned by bridges woven of ethnic experiences. They rue the loss of the traditions that constitute identity, and celebrate the blessings of tolerance and acceptance that are the products of diversity.

Whether Indian or Indophile, they revel in the color, the pageantry, and the drama that we add to the American tapestry.

Then there are our readers. I believe that the worth of a magazine is determined by the quality of its readers. In this you are truly fortunate, for you could not ask for more discerning critics, more passionate supporters. Measured in their praise and civil in their censure, they will guide you and point the way; all you have to do is listen.

As you embark on this exciting journey, I am thrilled for you, but I am even happier that next month my copy of India Currents will be a  beautifully wrapped, much anticipated gift, contents unknown.

I can’t wait!

Vidya Pradhan

Vidya Pradhan is a freelance writer and political activist who lives and works in California. She has worked as the editor of India Currents previously. Currently she volunteers as an English tutor to...