The February cover story by Anita Felicelli (Mad, Mad World, India Currents, February 2014) is an interesting analysis of expressions of anger in two different contexts: in the public primarily twitter-based social context in the United States and in the private south asian immigrant context. These are two very different factors at work and different ways in which people in these contexts process anger. Perhaps the same person resorts to different strategies depending on the context? Who knows what psychic schism that leads to! There are probably different prescriptions, if there be such, for the two contexts,too. Thanks for a thoughtful examination of a prevalent phenomenon of the day.
Sandip Roy’s article (Why the United States Emperor Has No Clothes, India Currents, February 2014) is typical of the Indian government, people and the media—It is all the fault of the United States of America. How strange that they forget there was another Indian citizen involved in this case who is totally forgotten probably because she is not a “dalit” and does not belong to any vote bank. Roy had the audacity to suggest that Khobragade deserves a pardon from the United States President!
Both sides made fundamental flaws. The United States didn’t expect the huge Indian emotional backlash. The Indian government ignored numerous communications on the issue prior to the arrest assuming nothing was going to happen anyway. Khobragade was one more trophy for Preet Bharara and nothing more. I’m sure Bharara wouldn’t have arrested Khobragade if it had been the Consular Officer of Israel.
The villain in this case is Uttam Khobragade, Devyani Khobragade’s father. He used his daughter’s plight to further his own political advantage in India. He wanted to be a Member of the Parliament (MP) and for that reason didn’t hesitate to tell the media that his daughter was subjected to a “cavity search” when in fact she had not been. I hope Devyani Khobragade’s husband and children can make the transition and live happily ever after in India. Uttam Khobragade has amassed such wealth that probably the next several generations need not work but as we all know, you can’t buy happiness.
Subru Bhat, Union City, CA
Regarding Sandip Roy’s article (Why the United States Emperor Has No Clothes, India Currents, February 2014), in one sense Shiva Keshavan, the Indian Olympian, is right, a thief can not protest his conviction on the grounds that some other has gotten away with it. One troubling aspect with the Devayani episode is that you can take an Indian out of India, but you can’t take India out of her. Submitting false documents or outright lies in applications is at the fine arts level in India. Many Indians take that skill outside of India. It may fit in many parts of the world, but then again, it may not. This is a lesson for Indian diplomats.
India has a serious national security problem. Almost all diplomats and service chiefs make the jump into the green card swamp as soon as they retire from their Indian posts. All of them wind up working in some form or the other and spill the beans from their past lives. The United States knows every minute detail of Indian diplomatic and domestic secrets. India is not alone in this mush. Most other third world countries are also in line.
So, my question is how to not salute the Emperor whether he is dressed or not?
Sam Channar, online
Rameysh Ramdas, the forum columnist (Should India Have Backed Down in the Khobragade scandal? India Currents, February 2014) is right. We Indians still suffer from the colonial mentality—worship the Gora (Rich, Powerful) but screw the Desi (Poor, Weak). Also, neither illegal nor immoral acts can be justified just because bigger scoundrels walk free. This is not the first incident involving Indian diplomats.
Mohammed Shoaib, Anaheim, CA
I was impressed by Zenobia Khaleel’s article (Coastal Cleanup, India Currents, February 2014), which reminds us about the importance of keeping our oceans free of pollution and the good work many volunteers like Rihanna Razack do.
As a follower of the over 4,500 year old religion founded by His Holiness Prophet Zarathushtra (ancient Greek philosophers called him Zoroaster) I am duty-bound to keep all of our environment clean. Similar to Hinduism we have prayers of praise for all of God’s creations. In my own small way, when I go to the beach, I pick up plastic bottles and other things lying on the beach, and put them in garbage cans so recyclers can collect them. Once, a family that was leaving their site without picking up their garbage, observed my efforts and were induced to follow my example.
The Greater Huntington Beach Interfaith Council organizes an annual event called Blessing of the Waves, attended by many surfers, local community leaders and general public at which representatives of different faiths share their belief in preserving the purity of our oceans. I recite a few verses from our prayer in praise of the waters.
We can all do our bit to preserve the environment, and contribute to the education and support of our communities by setting an example.
Maneck N. Bhujwala, Huntington Beach, CA
Online Notes of Appreciation
Sarita Sarvate (Of Gods and Faith, India Currents, December 2013) has this golden touch with simplicity where a complex emotional situation becomes untied for the reader.
I always enjoy Jeanne Fredriksen’s book reviews. I especially like the questions that she asks the author. They are insightful and add so much to the article.
I loved the threads of family and history and future described by Ragini Tharoor Srinivasan (Mrinalini’s Mississippi, India Currents, February 2014). Beulah deserves her own piece!
I have been reading Ragini’s column for years, but this one (Mrinalini’s Mississippi, India Currents, February 2014) I read and re-read. It was a treat for the soul.
What beautiful thoughts expressed by Ragini Tharoor Srinivasan (Mrinalini’s Mississippi, India Currents, February 2014). And I would love to hear more of the story of Beulah!