• This forum contains old posts that have been closed. New threads and replies may not be made here. Please navigate to the relevant forum to create a new thread or post a reply.
  • Welcome to Tamil Brahmins forums.

    You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our Free Brahmin Community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

    If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.

A view of India from an Indian American journalist

Status
Not open for further replies.

KRS

Well-known member
Folks,
This is a very interesting article about India, from a first heneration Indian American:

http://anand-g.blogspot.com/2009/06/once-clear-thoughts-are-clouded.html

Once-Clear Thoughts Are Clouded




June 19, 2009
LETTER FROM INDIA
Once-Clear Thoughts Are Clouded

By ANAND GIRIDHARADAS
MUMBAI — There has always been a lush, adjectival richness to foreign correspondence from India. We write of creaking bullock carts, curled moustaches, stinking latrines, sallow-cheeked farmers, smoky air, sweltering megalopolises and aching villages. We relentlessly describe.
We write about India this way because India is beautiful — not beautiful like Paris, sumptuous and elegant, but beautiful in its distillation of the extremes of human experience. To go into a Mumbai slum or a rain-starved Rajasthani village is to know how beautiful ugliness can be.
But description tempts us, too, because India is mystifying. Correspondents send home answers. India withholds reliable answers. Correspondents schematize reality. India waits for the schema, then cruelly disproves it. The temptation to write 1,000-word tone poems is fierce in a country easier to describe than to explain, and easier to explain than to understand.
I will leave India soon for America, from where I came. I have spent six years seeking to understand. Before going, I wanted to write a column saying something conclusive about India, why it matters, what it means.
But India is a place for seeking, not concluding, and here the chasm between what I wonder and know has widened with time. So I decided instead to write down the questions that still haunt me after 2,000 days here, about justice, love, culture, power, freedom — questions I hope someone abler will answer someday.
The first thing you see in India is indignity: filthy slums, boulevard defecation, puffed-out bellies. You feel shocked but also noble in your compassion. Then it becomes normal. You see that the true degradation is in human relationships, in the belief that people come in different levels of humanness. The idea is so pervasive and tempting of your vanity that, in time, it infects you, too.
And so I wonder: At what moment does a child learn her level of humanness? How did so many in this generation suddenly defy those destinies, as their parents never dreamed? How can callousness to poverty mingle so closely with the warmth that Indians rain on family? Which will change India first, the trickle-down of compassion or the trickle-up of rage?
Some of what I wonder was clear to me until India clouded it.
Indian love — family love, romantic love — once felt alien. It was not easy to spend time in giant, multigenerational households. Love meant scolding, meddling, judging, people obsessing about your eating, telling each other why their skin is too dark or their frame too thin. In romance, too, love was understated and assumed, given through sacrifice. It never aimed to fascinate, exhilarate.
Then I began to see the power of love in which it’s not about you.
Now I wonder: does love mean never taking another for granted, as it often does in the West, or is it the serene liberty to do so? Which is more of a gamble, marriage by arrangement or by love? Is love more durable when it is just the two of us or when it weaves together tribes?
Then there is the question of what you keep.
In the Davos Age, there is a formula for developing nations: low tariffs, privatization, sushi, English fluency, jazz bars, Bellinis, fashion weeks, consumptiveness, thinness, the purging of superstitions. These nations must in a decade Xerox a way of life that rich countries built over centuries.
But India is an ancient, continuous civilization, and Indians feel excitement but also pain in the dueling pressures to be someone else and be themselves: to subscribe to their astrology charts, schedule things on “auspicious days,” dance to the beats of Punjab’s plains, drink lentil soup.
Can one be “global” without being a mimic? Does the English language obliterate or liberate, disguising the caste and class of those who master it? Why is more culture flowing into India today than flowing out?
I wonder, too, about Indian power. This week, at a summit meeting in Russia, the Indian prime minister, Manmohan Singh, stood shoulder to shoulder with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the dubiously re-elected president of Iran. Mr. Ahmadinejad might have listened to Mr. Singh: India and Iran are cultural cousins, sharing elements of language and culture. Millions of Indians claim Persian descent. India buys Iranian oil.
But this week, as Iran trampled on the values that Indians hold so dear, Mr. Singh found nothing meaningful to say.
Why, when the world sees India as a great power, does India see itself as Burundi? Beyond its own affluence, what kind of world does India want? What will it do to build it?
And what can the world’s Irans learn from Indian democracy?
I once asked Mufti Shabbir Alam Sidiqi, an important Islamic cleric, whether disenfranchised Muslims were losing faith in India and taking solace in fundamentalist ideas.
“What you have in India you have in no other country,” he replied. “In this republic there are rights. We can demand our rights, speak out. In other countries: eat, drink and shut up. Go to Saudi Arabia: you can’t speak. There is Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Dubai, Iraq, Iran. These things are nowhere. They are all dictatorships.”
Indian democracy should not work. Indians share no language. They cling to their identities. Most live below that level of middle-classness beyond which democracy supposedly thrives.
But the system holds. The coups, election theft and statecraft-by-murder that afflict much of the developing world don’t happen here. Democracy brings little to the poor, the state is corrupt, politicians lack principles and ideas. Yet those with no reason to believe continue to believe, vote, speak, petition.
And I wonder: Is India reinventing democracy — democracy designed not for colonial Virginia, but for societies like this: poor; inequitable; ethnically, religiously, linguistically balkanized; in the throes of convulsive change? Would India, if it summoned the will, be a more persuasive lecturer on democracy’s merits than America?
Then there is one more question. This one I will seek to answer — not now, but in my next and final letter from here.
Is a land with such beauty and possibility, with these vast questions still to answer in my lifetime, a land whose addiction can ever be escaped?










Regards,
KRS
 

RVR

Well-known member
India has a time tested democracy which is an envy of western world. Indian republic has given voting rights to every body right from day one where as the western countries extended voting rights on selective basis and full voting rights were extended only over a period of time.

Since literacy levels are still very low, we cannot expect things to change overnight. Indian growth story seems to be slow and steady. China doesn't have a democracy and hence the growth is much better.

So far politicians were exploiting people with people with cheap politics. However now people have started ascertaining their rights and politicians are finding it difficult. If we analyse the recent past elections, Governments which are performing are getting reelected. Earlier people use to punish political parties alternatively. The concept of social security for the citizens has drawn the attention of the rulers.

We have to go a long way in eliminating corruption, improve law and order etc but I am sure things will change slowly and steadily

Let the western writers cover more about India's time tested democracy and its independent regulatory mechanism instead of writing negative points. Indian courts at higher levels are still very independent. Indian regulators are like RBI, SEBI etc have performed much better as compared to their counter parts in the western world.

Our ex-Governor of Reserve Bank Sri Reddi, predicted the impending housing loan crisis much earlier as compared to his western counter parts. India is fairly insulated from the global financial crisis thanks to our regulators. On the contrary, regulators have miserably failed in the western world which has resulted the present global financial crisis.

எண்ணாயிரம் ஆண்டு யோகம் இருப்பினும் கண்ணார் அமுதனை கண்டறிவாரில்லை உள் நாடி ஒளி பெற உள்ளே நோக்கினார் கண்ணாடி போல கலந்து நின்றானே
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
K

KRS

Well-known member
Dear Sri RV Ji,

My response in 'blue' below:

QUOTE=R.Venkataramani;25930]India has a time tested democracy which is an envy of western world. Indian republic has given voting rights to every body right from day one where as the western countries extended voting rights on selective basis and full voting rights were extended only over a period of time.

Since literacy levels are still very low, we cannot expect things to change overnight. Indian growth story seems to be slow and steady. China doesn't have a democracy and hence the growth is much better.
Agreed. If one reads Amrita Sen's book 'The Argumentative Indian' , one would understand the basis of Indian democracy. While one can argue about the efficacy of Indian democracy, there is no argument about the benefit of it in the long term, given the maturation of certain aspects of Indian society, such as releasing the potential of the society through entrepreneurship and meritocracy.

So far politicians were exploiting people with people with cheap politics. However now people have started ascertaining their rights and politicians are finding it difficult. If we analyse the recent past elections, Governments which are performing are getting reelected. Earlier people use to punish political parties alternatively. The concept of social security for the citizens has drawn the attention of the rulers.
Yes, this is a good sign. Performance should be the only criteria to vote for, and this is decidedly a middle class value. Shows the voting public is becoming more and more a middle class.

We have to go a long way in eliminating corruption, improve law and order etc but I am sure things will change slowly and steadily
Yes, you are correct

Let the western writers cover more about India's time tested democracy and its independent regulatory mechanism instead of writing negative points. Indian courts at higher levels are still very independent. Indian regulators are like RBI, SEBI etc have performed much better as compared to their counter parts in the western world.
The writer is an American born Indian. I would not agree with the above statements. Yes, compared to other thirld world countries, Indian system is better. From where I sit, I only see the SC of India as somewhat independent. And they are not doing anything to make sure that the high courts of the states of independent of the State politics. RBI and SEBI have ofcourse done a better job, because the Indian governments have been control oriented.

Our ex-Governor of Reserve Bank Sri Reddi, predicted the impending housing loan crisis much earlier as compared to his western counter parts. India is fairly insulated from the global financial crisis thanks to our regulators. On the contrary, regulators have miserably failed in the western world which has resulted the present global financial crisis.
This is not true. Warnings about the housing bubble have been sounded by Federal Reserve in USA a long time ago, by Greenspan. Politics played a major role in non regulation of complex derivatives of easy mortgages contributed to the housing issue in the USA.

This is the major failing of both partiy's administrations in the USA, that started with the Clinton Administration. A perfect storm happened to bring in the crisis.

எண்ணாயிரம் ஆண்டு யோகம் இருப்பினும் கண்ணார் அமுதனை கண்டறிவாரில்லை உள் நாடி ஒளி பெற உள்ளே நோக்கினார் கண்ணாடி போல கலந்து நின்றானே[/QUOTE]
 

RVR

Well-known member
Thanks Sri KRS ji,

I earnestly feel that USA has to improve the regulatory mechanism and it should be independent of the ruling governments.

India is likely to have a major fiscal deficit in the current year and the Government is resorting to unprecedented borrowings. To overcome the slow down, it has planned to spend large amount in infrastructural projects. The Governor of Reserve Bank of India has already warned the government against this and the government is also resorting to disinvestment of its holdings in public sector companies and reduce the borrowings.

USA has both a very large budget deficit and trade deficit which is not good for the global economy, leave alone USA economy. Unless the regulators intervene and attempt a systematic correction, the global recession will prolong.

Great depression of 1930's is considered as one of the root causes for World War II. Entire world should avoid such a situation now.

எண்ணாயிரம் ஆண்டு யோகம் இருப்பினும் கண்ணார் அமுதனை கண்டறிவாரில்லை உள் நாடி ஒளி பெற உள்ளே நோக்கினார் கண்ணாடி போல கலந்து நின்றானே
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top
Thank you for visiting TamilBrahmins.com

You seem to have an Ad Blocker on.

We depend on advertising to keep our content free for you. Please consider whitelisting us in your ad blocker so that we can continue to provide the content you have come here to enjoy.

Alternatively, consider upgrading your account to enjoy an ad-free experience along with numerous other benefits. To upgrade your account, please visit the account upgrades page

You can also donate financially if you can. Please Click Here on how you can do that.

I've Disabled AdBlock    No Thanks