Thursday, July 15, 2010

With love, from India.

Acknowledgements:

Joel Stein – for the wonderfully written piece of trash with insecure and spiteful undertones. (http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1999416,00.html

Rahul Parikh – for the truly amazing comeback to Joel Stein’s article which inspired this piece. (http://edition.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/07/13/parikh.stein.rebuttal/index.html?hpt=C2&fbid=Ee7Dj34bC72)

Kapil Dhawan – for posting the link to Rahul Parikh’s article.

Now, let me have my take on what Joel Stein had to say. And let me be very clear that this piece is not about insulting Americans in any way because I personally know some really nice Americans. It is just a rebuttal to Joel Stein’s “humorous” piece.

To begin with, for a nation Joel Stein so kindly referred to as poor and not-so-bright, we have had way too many “bright” people that the world admires. In fact, if one types “famous Americans” on Wikipedia, there is a list of 33 names that springs up. If one types “famous Indians”, on the other hand, the list runs into pages. Moreover, there is a separate list which talks of famous “American Indians”. And guess how many names are listed? 347! The names span all walks of life. So, looks like we are not that “not-so-bright” after all, are we? As for being a poor country, we’re one of the fastest growing economies in the world, besides holding a roster entrepreneurs who lead some of the largest organizations in the world. Yes, we are poorer than America but that is also probable because we do not go around declaring wars on smaller countries, accusing them of hoarding weapons of mass destruction, while the actual objective is just to acquire oil reserves. Plus, the world knows the reality of the American dream and how fulfilling (note sarcasm) it is!

Now coming to culture. India has had a civilized history is one of the oldest in the world. We have a menu of languages that is as varied as our spicy cuisine. And we do not borrow foreign languages, mutilate the spellings like changing “colour” to “color”, rape the grammar and try to make the world follow our version of the ravaged language. India is the place where Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism originated. And Rabindranath Tagore has been rated to be a multi faceted genius, second only to Leonardo Da Vinci. Moreover, an average Indian with a mother tongue other than Hindi grows up learning three languages at least! One look at politics will also clear the fact that India has already achieved the feat of putting a woman in the highest office of the country. America hasn’t. But despite all these achievements, our idea of the world doesn’t just revolve around India. We do not say that if aliens ever invade, it will only be India, or Indians are the only ones who will put up a fight. Neither do we say that every volcanic eruption, vampire epidemic, tectonic shift of earth’s plates has to begin or occur in India. Our view of the world pans 360 degrees.

Having said all of that, yes we do have our share of black sheep as well. But we have Charles Shobhraj, America has Jack The Ripper! Point being, nothing is black or white. Not viewpoints, not issues, not people. It is all grey. And I think considering the fact that most of the population that has moved to America is a part of the cream in their generation, if anything, Joel Stein should be thankful to us Indians. And I would like to agree with Rahul Parikh on the fact that a meaningless footnote for an apology doesn’t work. It just doesn’t. And next time, please leave the humor to people who know a thing or two about it.

5 comments:

SSK said...

While I am all for freedom of speech, I honestly feel that by commenting and promoting discussion on this article, we're giving it undue importance. Silly opinion pieces like these deserve to die quick deaths and be completely forgotten as soon as possible.

n.lea. said...

that Joel guy was an idiot. If you go into any hospital in the United States what are you going to find there? MANY Indian doctors or nurses! EVERY Indian I have ever met has been amazing bright!

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