Letters

first_imgAchal Mehra states in “Bush’s Black Eye,” (July 2004) that the “most horrific violation of civil liberties in U.S. history” occurred when Japanese Americans were detained during World War II. He is wrong.The most horrific violation of civil liberties occurred on Sept 11, 2001, when 19 fanatical terrorists slashed the throats of helpless airlines stewardesses, hijacked four commercial airliners, destroyed the World Trade Center, damaged the Pentagon, and killed 3,000 innocent Americans in less than an hour. In addition to the loss of lives, these attacks instantly cost our nation $250 billion and resulted in a total of $2 trillion damage to our nation’s economy. What happened to the civil liberties of these 3,000 innocent Americans and their right to life?Mehra speaks of the “horrific conditions” on Guantanamo Bay, but he never speaks of the terrible conditions and the fate faced by innocent people kidnapped by terrorists. Even worse, he speaks of “Bush’s bogus war on terror,” as if we really do not face a continual threat of danger from terrorists. But the timeline of terrorist attacks against America clearly shows that terrorists have waged war against us for more than 25 years, in which countless Americans have been killed.It is even more important to realize the war on terror is a global one. And instead of dismissing the war on terror, Indian Americans should be at the forefront of this debate, considering that 60,000 Indians have died in Kashmir and the country has experienced other terroristic attacks. When we mock the war on terror, we mock the innocent people who have died.Mehra expressed a pessimistic, distorted view of the threat international terrorism poses to world civilization and displayed empty, partisan rhetoric due to his hostility on a personal level against President George W. Bush. Many members of our community understand the grave threat of terrorism against our nation, and they are standing behind the President in his resolve to win this war.Raghavendra VijayanagarChairman, Indian American Republican CouncilThe editorial “Bush’s Black Eye” (July 2004), is a welcome relief. It is heartening to see independent media doing what large corporate media should do in a democracy, which is critically examine those in power. Now, it is time for the media to bravely (and truthfully) attach the “R” word to Mr. Bush and his behavior.  No, not Republican, rather the “R” word “Racist.”The hallmark of a racist is his inability to see individuals as individuals.  Racists extrapolate the behavior of a few to entire populations. The actions of the 19 World Trade Center bombers are extrapolated to one billion people all of whom are expendable.  It is acceptable to racists like Mr. Bush that two entire ancient civilizations and countless innocent men, women, and children become  nothing more than “collateral damage.”  Any price to capture Saddam Hussein is worth it, because even though over 99% of the casualties have committed no crimes, they are unimportant, because they don’t look like Mr. Bush.I have to ask why all the previous American terrorists- men such as Terry Nichols, Eric Rudolph, the KKK, Tim McVeigh, and those who terrorized the Native Americans, slaves, and later Blacks – were all perceived to be individuals and were punished individually?  Why then are the WTC terrorists not understood as individuals as well?I appreciate the truthfulness of your editorial, but let’s not mince words.  Bush is a racist, and if we support him in 2004, his racist will become even more virulent in a second term unleashed from the worry of having to run for re-election.  As Americans, rich or poor, we will all suffer.Hersh ChopraAtlanta GAI was deeply disappointed by the disrespectful way Vijay Prashad referred to the passing of President Ronald Reagan, commenting, “When he died last month, I almost forgot that he was still alive,” (“Ronnie & Me,” July 2004). The reason why the media, and more importantly the American people, treated Reagan like a hero upon his passing was quite simple: he actually was a hero. President Reagan survived an assassination attempt, he helped secure freedom for millions of people by working to end Communism and the Cold War, and he helped to restore optimism and hope in the American people during troubled times.In 1980, Reagan carried 44 states in his victory over Jimmy Carter, and in 1984, he carried 49 states in his win over Walter Mondale. He won his reelection 59%-41%, one of the widest margins ever, and was a few thousand votes short of carrying all 50 states. He is the only President in our history given such a wide mandate to govern by the people. Under his leadership, Reagan created 20 million new jobs and 7 million new small businesses and our economy grew for a record 92 continuous months, nearly 8 years. Reagan reasserted America’s strength by investing in a strong national defense, and his memorable motto “peace through strength” revived confidence in the American people about America’s capabilities and our ability to defend ourselves against the growing threat of international terrorism.Prashad displays personal anger and resentment toward President Reagan and also against President Bush. His anger, hatred, and personal animosity against these leaders clouds his judgment. He admits, even boasts that he is an unabashed leftist, which clearly explains why his views are so distorted.I believe Indian Americans are rational, moderate people, and that Prashad’s views are not representative of our community.Dino TepparaWashington, DCLet me felicitate you on the insightful editorial “Defying the Imagination” (August 2004). What we have today in America is a divisive and reactionary political climate that is doing great damage to the fair name of this country.Since January 2001 the current administration has sought to strengthen the corporate world at the expense of ordinary working citizens and has sought support from the ultra conservatives. Granted there was an attack on the country in September 2001, the sense of panic and the need to sacrifice our independence to counter terrorism has been excessive. The military adventure in Iraq has provided the real terrorists opportunities to continue their acts as witnessed in Spain and other places. On top of the loss of the surplus at the end of the Clinton era, we are now deep in deficit and haveover night become the detested bully by the world community.Your last sentence “For this is ineptitude and incompetence (by the Bush administration) on a scale that defies the imagination” speaks volumes on what ails our country now.Byravan ViswanathanGettysburg, PAI could identify with sentiments expressed in the article “Unhappy in America” by Lavina Melwani, (August 2004). Countless immigrant women professionals feel lost and hopeless in the United States, because they don’t have work permits. For young couples who come as students, making ends meet on their meager student stipends is difficult. They are frustrated, desperate and yearn for home. Bleak landscapes and their anonymity does not help. Melwani’s article inspired me to write this poem.Living in the USA, I was fascinated by thesophisticated technology everywhere,But,Watching the sprinklers spraying water on the lawn,  I wondered, where is the mali?Pumping the gas in my own car, I wondered,where is the petrol pump owner?Depositing the check in the ATM machine, I wondered, where is the bank cashier?Paying at the self-check-out machine in the store, I wondered, where is the grocer? Operating the ‘automatic’ washer and dryer, I wondered, where is the dhobi?Listening to the disembodied voice at the other end of the telephone, I wondered, where is the ‘live’ Operator?Walking through the empty roads, I wondered, where is the fruit and vegetable vendor?Jogging past palatious suburban homes with their empty lawns, I wondered, where are the children?I missed the multitude of people jostling past me, when I wandered in the streets. I missed the friendly shop-keeper, helpful garage-owner, rude clerk, the inquisitive neighbor and the ‘bossy’ maid.I missed my land and its people.Haripriya Rathnamvia eMailI read Lavina Melwani’s article “Unhappy in America” (August 2004) with interest and amusement. You have exploded a myth about young professionals. Now you might want to do a story on seniors and possibly explode another myth: many of them also feel uncomfortable in America. The contexts may differ. Seniors like me, who are visiting from India, have mixed feelings and perhaps thee views differ from the seniors residing in the United States.Suresh KumarCary, NCThe article “Unhappy in America” by Lavina Melwani (August 2004) saddened me, because all the Indians I have met are really sweet, intelligent people, and I wish more would come here. I can, however, understand their inherent desires to live in their own country with their family and neighbors. Who wouldn’t want that? I wonder if there is anything I can do to make things easier for the individual Indians I meet in the United States. I wish the article had some ideas on ways to improve the situation for Indians in America.CamiVia eMailThe article “Unhappy in America” (August 2004) is whiny and vastly exaggerates the problems that immigrant Indians face in America. Worse, it blames America for them, which is preposterous.I am an Indian woman in my 30s from a middle class South Indian family. I came to the USA in 1997 as a software consultant. I had no friends or relatives in the United States to help me out, and, yes, I had my share of problems, which any immigrant, Indian or otherwise, would face. I had to report to office on my first day, even though I didn’t have a car or license. I was expected to show up at the office daily and I did. Today, thanks to my friends, both Indian and non Indian, I am relatively better off and independent.Everybody has to face their share of problems; that’s life! Quit blaming society and grow up. If they cannot take up a job because of visa restrictions (as is the case for Indian women on H4), immigrants should try volunteering at the local Red Cross or similar organization. This will help them overcome depression and at the same time contribute to society. In fact, Indian American spouses have it easier than women like me who come here single. Every immigrant group has its share of problems; it is certainly not unique to Indians, as the article seems to suggest.Finally, every Indian came to the United States of their own free will, whether for a job or with family. It is meaningless to say, “I had no choice but to come here.” If preserving Indian culture is more important, people should just stay in India and quit blaming the USA.UpasanaVia eMailThe article “Langar Wins the Heart” is quite uplifting, except for one troubling detail. What does the writer mean by the use of the word pagan in the sentence, “Thousands of Christians, Muslims, Buddhists and pagans follow the Siukhs’s lead.”? Does the term refer to us Hindus? Are there other faiths that were not explicitly enumerated also included under the pagan umbrella?Perhaps the writer meant “other non-Sikhs” as I can’t see why a magazine targeting the South Asian community would tolerate this term of description. If members of the Pagan motorcycle gang were present, then I might be mistaken. Overall the writer Geneive Abdo provides a compelling vignette of Langar and Sikh history.Although I am not a Sikh, I was planning to use the article to edify my Western friends the next time they mention “Arbabs pumping gas in New Jersey.” Keep up the great articles. Little India provides a depth that’s frequently missing from other South Asian publications in America.Lavesh BholaSomerdale, NJEditor’s note: Professed pagan groups were in fact participants at the Parliament of the World’s Religions, and it is to them that the article referred.CorrectionsManna Dey’s first film song (“Ai Mere Pyare Watan,” September 2004), “Upar Gagan Vishal” was for the film Mashaal, not Ram Rajya, as was erroneously reported. Also, the reference by Dey to a composition by Shankar Jaikishan is for the film Basant Bihar, not Baija Bawra.In the interview with Jagjit Singh (“Mohabbat ki Zuban,” August 2004), the names of Surdas, Kabir Das and Meera Bai were misspelled due to copy editing errors.Little India encourages letters to the editor. Please email your comments to editor@littleindia.com or write to: Letters, Little India, Empire State Building, 350 Fifth Ave Suite 1826, New York NY 10118 or by fax to 212-560-0609.  Related Itemslast_img

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