Taboo to be Single?

The editorial by Jaya Padmanabhan (Her Red Lipstick, India Currents, September 2013) though of a serious nature, is hilarious and (sarcastically) amusing.

I believe that Huma is stuck in a situation that some women find themselves in. They are too scared to be alone. They fear that they might be worse off if they leave their man. This ideas is strenghthend by the stories, the news and the culture of making it a taboo to be single.

Keep up the good work, I enjoy the magazine.

AkramDin Hencie, Canada

The editorial (Her Red Lipstick, India Currents, September 2013) has brought back some of my “red” experiences. The slogan “give me red” became a powerful advertising tool for Eveready Battery. “Face becoming red” indicated embarassment and “eyes becoming red” represented both anger and an alcoholic hangover. “Going to red” became an indication of a negative balance in one’s bank account. A red pen was banned in schools and only allowed by examiners or teachers for correction or remarks (“get some marks not remarks”). While going for job interviews, encountering a candidate wearing red lipstick and carrying a vanity bag in the lift made other candidates nervous! I know cases where matrimonial alliances were turned down and stamped with the “ultramodern” brand when lipstick was used (sometimes by the would-be mother in law).

K.N. Ganesh, Fremont, CA

What Culture?

Regarding the article by Kamala Thiagarajan (Have Daughter, Will Move, India Currents, September 2013), it is a good reflection of what most of us, particularly the parents of daughters go through when we migrate to a new society. All of a sudden we start missing the same culture that we were so anxious to leave. The change and the new environment is scary.

Often we find ourselves all alone, unable to share our inner feelings with anybody. It is hard to adjust, but most of us ultimately do. What I find difficult to understand is why  are we not honest with ourselves when we talk of “our culture” and our values. In the article, the writer states “The Indian culture is of course a wonderful, age-old code of living.”  What is the “Indian culture?” Is it the total sum of our lifestyle, a combination of religion and rituals and ceremonies? What about putting our daughters at the mercy of dowry and the life long blackmail for it?  What about the corruption, lawlessness and the class system?

It is a good article to start the thought process and to see reality as it exists and not as we nostalgically remember.

AkramDin Hencie, Canada

A False Dichotomy

In response to the fiction story by Anu Chitrapu (The Legacy, India Currents, August 2013), by all means, kill the tiger. Kill all the tigers. Kill anything that might hurt a child who has no business wandering in the jungle in the first place. I’ll wager, however, that many more children are killed in every single major city in India by automobiles each year than are killed in the whole subcontinent by tigers. But do I hear demands to dismantle automobiles?

And will killing tigers solve the problem of poverty? Of rising population? If we kill the tigers and destroy the wilderness they won’t be coming back, and any chance of saving nature in India will be gone, and poverty will still be here. This is a false dichotomy: poor versus wilderness, as if the wilderness caused poverty and destroying it would solve it. The real problem is the maldistribution of wealth and its increasing concentration, globally, in fewer and fewer hands.

Bruce Duncan, Sacramento, CA

Rebel War Crimes

The forum debate title (Should America Intervene in Syria, India Currents, August 2013) should read “Should America Stop Intervening in Syria?” Pulitzer Price-winning journalist Seymour Hersh in his New Yorker article “The Redirection” revealed as far back as 2007 that the United States was planning on overthrowing the government in Syria and using terrorists to do it.

This is and has always been an imperialist adventure by the United States, France, and Great Britain along with their client states: Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Israel and Turkey.  Syria and it’s people have seen their sovereign nation destroyed by Al Qaeda terrorists masquerading as opposition rebels that have been openly funded and armed by the United States and its allies.

The same agenda was rolled out in Serbia, Iraq, Libya and now Syria, with Iran in the cross hairs. Where is the outrage and the call for crimes against humanity as these “rebels” wage their campaigns of violence against the civilian population of Syria?

Now the use of chemical weapons has been blamed on the Syrian government by the United States to justify military assault.  To Ramesh Ramdyas, while you genuflect on the criminal United States government from the comfort of your home, ponder the Iraqi babies born with horrible birth defects caused by depleted uranium, the massacred black Libyans in Tawerga by NATO-backed “rebels” and now the Syrian parents who look into their childrens eyes with fear in their hearts.

Nilesh Solanki, Sacramento, CA

A Better Parenting Outcome

This is regarding the Forum article (Do Teens Have it Better Today?, India Currents, September 2013)? The answe is: perhaps. But teens of today didn’t observe the teens of the previous generation first-hand. So they can neither make a fair comparison nor appreciate one made by others. However, parents of today did observe the parents of the previous generation first-hand. Therefore, a more interesting question may be whether parents have it better today. More specifically, do Indian American parents have an easier time raising children today, and do they have a better “parenting outcome?”

In terms of raising children, I think most Indian American parents probably have it a bit easier financially than their parents did, but a bit harder time-wise.

Clearly, most Indian American parents today give much greater importance to their children’s careers than their parents did. This is evident from their single-minded focus on academics and college admissions.

Many Indian American children are growing up in a family environment where they receive everything they need from their family, but don’t get any opportunity to give back. Will these children develop this important skill or habit of giving back to the family and societ later on in life? And if some of them don’t acquire this habit naturally, will there be an Indian American cultural ecosystem that will help and encourage them? Answers to questions like these may ultimately determine whether parents really have it better today.

Vijay Gupta, Cupertino, CA

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