On the morning of September the 2nd of 2010 I came across this article in ‘The Times Of India’ named “3L say ‘Kem Chho’ in Uncle Sam’s Land” and as the name suggests the report was about the growing number of Gujarati speakers in the States, and not to my surprise TOI gloated all throughout the article with pie charts and tables regarding the fact of growing number of Indian Gujaratis in USA.
Reading this reminded me of another article published in the prestigious ‘TIME Magazine’ and on CNN.com about a month back by the veteran author Joel Stein named ‘My Own Private India’ which created a lot of brouhaha in Indian Americans, specially those in New Jersey. The article was about how the desi influx has changed the face of his hometown Edison, New Jersey, the mostly white suburban town he left when he graduated from high school which has now become a mini India with 1 in every 5 people being Indian.
“Unlike previous waves of immigrants, who couldn’t fly home or Skype with relatives, Edison’s first Indian generation didn’t quickly assimilate (and give their kids Western names)” he writes. “For a while, we assumed all Indians were geniuses. Then, in the 1980s, the doctors and engineers brought over their merchant cousins, and we were no longer so sure about the genius thing. In the 1990s, the not-as-brilliant merchants brought their even-less-bright cousins, and we started to understand why India is so damn poor.”
Such a few statements roused the American Indians with rage and ire and finally forced poor Stein to apologize publically to all Indian Americans for ‘hurting their sentiments’ but the thing that I don’t understand is that why all this is required, its not that what Stein wrote was not correct or neither he directly pointed out the ‘Indian-ness’ that all Indians bring along with them and corrupt the culture of the place where they stay. (As mentioned in the lines in the TOI article “Jyan vase ek Gujarati tyan sada kal Gujarat” (Where there is even one Gujarati, there is a Gujarat forever) which stands true for the entire Indian community as whole, I mean don’t you see those ‘racial’ attacks on Indians in Australia. Wouldn’t the people be frustrated if they see an Indian spitting on their country roads, celebrating weddings with loud punjabi music on the street, locking themselves up on Christmas, refusing candies to kids on Halloween, having ‘India rally’ openly in their country and behaving so unethically in public! Now if such things were to happen in India in front of us, take for example a hypothetical American Independence day parade on Carter Road, I am damn sure that Indians wouldn’t let it happen. And seriously one can’t see a place called ‘mini Britain’ on the Indian territory. Then how does any Indian American expect an American to be satisfied with such influx and corruption of their land with places called ‘mini India’ and ‘mini Pakistan’. Coming back to the New Jersey thing, It is because of this Desi Influx I think that New Yorkers are programmed to loathe New Jersey. 😀
Also same is the case of those ‘racial’ attacks on Indians in the land down under, the ruckus the Indian created there (I am not opposing it, mind you) and on top of all this the freedom that Indians demanded from the Australian government included the freedom to wave the Indian National Flag anywhere they want, now look whom are we kidding, look at us, do you think that if some random fellow from Britain or Australia waved his National Flag in front of your house (technically it falls under ‘anywhere’) on say 15th of August and you would let him do it, its damn natural that you won’t like it and some unethical (read overly patriotic) people might even bash the poor fellow up.
So the point is that go wherever you want but respect the culture and traditions of the people of that place and if you don’t do it then you don’t have any right to complain about such articles and if you are in Australia, then these racial attacks are bound to happen.
Now I know that I have written way too much on this topic and I am sure if my blog had reach like that of TIME Magazine, then this article would have created a much greater opposition than Stein’s article BUT… I am lucky on this front, after all who reads my blog… 😀