Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sunday Times

Bobby Jindal. (our very own?) Governor of Louisana. He's been in the news all this week since he's been recently elected to the post i just mentioned. People in his village in India celebrated by distributing sweets and dancing in front of the tv screens. Let alone the fact that he's never visited India (and hasnt announced any plans of), the fact that he is Indian-American is enough for India to claim the honour and hail the new governor of an American state, no less.

Never mind that Bobby as he is known, spurned his Indian name (Piyush) at age 5, insisted on being called Bobby after a character in the hit (American) tv show "The Bradys bunch". He converted to Christianity at age 15, whilst giving up Hinduism (which he also made his wife give up). Husband and wife are now devout Christians, visiting the church every Sunday making the picture perfect American family, fit to occupy the governors chair. Did i also say that he mis-pronounced his brothers Indian name during a speech he made recently.

Why exactly are we hailing him then? No doubt he is the youngest man to have been elected tot his post, by a wide margin no less. Lets applaud him for that. And not cause he's Indian-American, because that's not what his victory is about, that's what we are making it out to be. Lets not cheer him for being the first "Indian-American" to be elected governor. Its more that obvious which half of the hyphen of Indian-american he falls on. So many people having Indian origins spurn their motherland, accrediting the places they've grown up in for their victories and accolades, which is only fair.

Another example is Sanjaya Malakar who captured everyone's hearts (and votes) during the recent American Idol. He is Indian- American too. During a post-idol interview he credited his Italian Grand father for his talent. while Indian tv and American media went berserk claiming a toothy gypsy haired Indian-American was taking over American hearts.

Geethali Norah Jones Shankar dropped her first and last names. yet we hail her and feel a sense of connection since shes our very own half Indian daughter. I can just see her making that effort to keep that half alive. Yep.

What im most annoyed about is how Indian media and people claim party to credit for someone whose never lived here, does not acknowledge his/her roots to India. why do we need to glorify individuals who have left India 30-40 years ago and perhaps never even lived here? What sort of contribution do we have to their success as Indians?

The need to glorify India and make evident her footprints in every field, every aspect of the world be it business, glamour, science, talent, research... is long gone. India has arrived on the global map since a long time... its time we revel a little.

On a completely separate note, Hoorah for Kimi!! Im been a BIG fan ever since. although Lewis has a new fan in me, although he is in a rival team. Ferrari proved that in the end, team-spirit prevailed over cut-throat competiton between two drivers of the same team.

10 comments:

Abhishek said...

Good to have you back after a long time...feels good...

Dusty Fog said...

hello there..my views only here. Here goes - those individuals that you have mentioned, not a single one of them has claimed by a long shot to have anything to do with India. If you notice, it is OUR media that hypes it up, make them OUR own, and then some of us do not like that. How are these people to blame? When you talk about that singer gal, hey, when the 'Indian' parent spurned her, what is the expectation that SHE should be "indian" than American? Me thinks, your views are perfectly justified. Me also thinks that, you may have to channel these thoughts towards OUR sense of 'claims', rather than make the individuals the centre of this storm.

Ashwin said...

foggy.... i think she blamed the media throuh most of her post

"SunShine" said...

Can not agree more S !! these 24X7 news channels need some masala to run ..this is how they get it :|

Serendipity said...

@Dusty - I agree. and its only Media i blame. none of these guys claim or show any inclination to claim any ounce of credit due to being half Indian, or otherwise. its annoying how we (i mean people from their villages, politicians from their states who celebrate and tel tall tales of pride and sense of acheivement)and the media just try to claim some stake in their success, which is stupidd in my opinion.

ToOothlEss WOndeR! said...

I have Norah Jones singin at my place right now - I like her.

And that was a fun race, wasn't it? :)

Jack Sparrow said...

Completely agree with you. I think it is silly that the media needs to find these kind of people, and then create a frenzy over their Indian connection. Makes me wish that they would spend more time finding people in India and highlight their achievements on a global stage. Or rather, just focus on more important news. I'm still reeling from the overdose of the Shilpa Shetty furore from the last time I watched the news channels back home.

TW: I second that ! Norah Jones is really good ! She played a concert here, and my friends who went really enjoyed it. Although my mom once thought that she only sang in one note and was kinda boring. Which kinda shocked me coz she's into soft music ... then I put on some Red Hot Chili Peppers and she liked it ! Confused the hell outta me man.

Serendipity said...

@ tw - it was an AWESOMEEEE RACE. Wayy too freaakiinnnggg cool. Ive always been a Kimi Fan!

@ Jack - exactly. specially the point about finding Indians back home and writing about them, though i dint mention that cos TOI recently did a LEAD INDIA campaign and selected people from different walks of life, who've made a difference in some way or the other. was very nice.

Just another Indian said...

well .. i dont see anything wrong in reporting or celebrating the victory of bobby jindal and also saying that he is an India after all ... the simple reason for thic is the fact that he too represents a class of people (our very own class for that matter) .. america in all its glory as being the haven of democracy is notorious for its treatment of the minorities .. (hispanics,muslims, indians, orientals alike) and in that light it is a big achievement for an Indian to be elected as a governor ... for that matter Kalpana chawla or Sunita williams' space stories ... these are stories of achievement and much better than all other stupid stuff that media reports otherwise .. at least this will inspire our youth to emulate their achievement ...

.I think there is nothing wrong with it and it would just add to the glory story that India is leading to ..

Serendipity said...

I dont see anythign wrong with creditign him for his victory. No doubt it is a big acheivement , and he deserves a fair share of Laurels. what i dont like is unnecessary adulation, and trying to be a part of a victory which isnt ours.

He doesnt embrace his Indian roots, (which I think is ok considering he spent his entire life away..)hence why should we celebrate this as a victory for India? in another 2 decades, every fifth person in the world will be an Indian so im guessing we wont be "minorities" then.

Diwali will be celebrated in the US Parliament this year. Now thats somethign im proud about!