Letter from New York

 It’s lunchtime at the home of the Consul General of India in New York, Shri. Dnyaneshwar M. Mulay. A young Hindu American arrives. Her name is Suchitra Vijayan (https://www.facebook.com/suchitra.vijayan) and she teaches part time in Columbia University, one of the most prestigious in the USA & plans to start there a course on South Asian Human Rights. She says that she is first going to travel to India to interview Kashmiri Muslims and Christian Nagas – obviously an anti Indian agenda – while her Indian consular mentor smiles proudly…

 Welcome to America, the home of millions of Indians, some of whom make a living out of bashing India in American universities and in US publications.

 Let’s face it: Indians who emigrate to America most of the time merge totally in the American way of life and their children never come back to their homeland. The culprit of course is Indian education, which mass produces brilliant Indians, who are only good for export, as they are not taught to be proud of their own culture, the way French are proud to be French or the Americans proud to be Americans. As a result, American Indians know nothing about Kalidasa, probably one the greatest poets ever, or Shivaji Maharaj, who is on par with Napoleon, or Sri Aurobindo, India’s greatest contemporary philosopher – but all about Shakespeare, the latest Dan Brown novel, or the best Italian restaurant in New York.

 This is the greatest brain drain in the world, which allowed the Silicon Valley to flourish (80% Indian engineers), or the American medical system to expand (60% Indians).

 Compare this to the American Chinese: not only do they unabashedly stand out as Chinese, but they repatriate many of their funds to China and even go back to the mainland, to be part of the great Chinese economic boom.

 American Indians rave about the American way of life, but it burns out a human being in 30 or 40 years, starting early for work – by 7 am, America’s millions of highways are already clogged with traffic; the fierce competitiveness in the work place – you can be fired in a minute for no reason; the late hours and heartburn produced over the years by food too quickly swallowed on the run or in the car; the immense stress at airports where security – thanks to continuing terrorism – has reached inhuman proportions…

 If only American Indians did retain a bit of their Indian-ness… Today’s Hollywood stars all do yoga, India’s gift to the world. Yet not only it is not taught in Indian schools and universities as it should, but our Hindu Americans do not practice it. What else? Pranayama is the ancient Indian science of breathing. Through it you can not only gain more energy, but also distress naturally and balance your mind. It is also a perfectly secular science: respiration has no religion and a Muslim, a Hindu or a Christian breathe the same air. In fact, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, who has revived and modernized pranayama, has many Muslims and Christians teachers & disciples. Yet, neither is it taught in India, nor our Indian Americans seem to practice it much. What about meditation, this most ancient technique, that has again no religion, and can be practiced by anybody, with wonderful effects on the mind and the body? In fact American companies have begun introducing meditation in their seminars and it is becoming mainstream in the USA. Does that mean that meditation is taught in Indians schools, as it should be, or that our Indian Americans practice it? Not at all. What about Ayurveda, the oldest medical science still in practice, that knew 3000 years before western medicine, that many diseases have a psychosomatic origin? Do our Hindu Americans use Ayurveda? Unlikely.

 Yet, what would happen if Indian Americans practiced a little bit of that Indian-ness? They would shine, be an example to their fellow Americans, and make India proud. Instead they want to become more Americans than the Americans, and merge themselves totally in American culture. In this process, they drop their unique identity and are a loss not only to India, but also to America, as they bring nothing new to American culture.

 And because they do not stand out, they allow these multiple South Asian groups that sprout everywhere, to be dominated by hostile Indian Americans, who for instance convinced for ten years the US Government to deny Mr Modi a visa.

 At the same time it is true that America, whatever its faults, has always stood up for freedom and democracy. It did so during the II World War, when it saved Europe from Nazi domination. It is doing so today, by being the only country in the world willing to take on terrorism head on. Americans are friendly, hard working, and it should soon dawn upon them that India is their natural political ally, in an Asia confronted with terrorism born out of Pakistan, Afghanistan or Indonesia. It is also the obvious democratic, pro western and liberal economic destination to counterbalance China’s aggressive hegemony in Asia.

 Meanwhile, it is very unfortunate that the second highest Indian official in the USA, endorses and promotes anti-Indian agendas, whereas he should be the first one to hunt them out. This Nehruvian mind-set in diplomats has got to stop.

 

Francois Gautier

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17 responses to “Letter from New York

  1. so well written…so true..so sad for India

  2. Dear esteemed Gautier,

    Please accept my heartfelt pranams. While it delights me to hear one “non-Hindu, non-Indian”, a Christian to boot, speak so richly and so truthfully about what ails us, at the same time, it immensely pains me to remind myself as to what sloppy depths have we descended to.

    You speak bland truth. The truth that is ugly. So ugly that no one, especially our secular, left oriented media and intelligentsia, those who have hijacked the social and political narrative in our country, wants to look at it, no one wants to hear about it and no one wants to speak about it. These are bastardized Indians, those self loathing, deeply psyched in inferiority complex, to whom it was the British who taught us manners and Islam that gave us “Tehzeeb”. As British PM, Cameroon recently said in context of ISIS savagery, this is a generational problem. Entire generations, post imperial India, have been brought up amid this cultural milieu. It will take a surgical precision like operation to rid Hindus of this deeply ingrained inferiority complex, result of close to a thousand years of slavery.

    Please keep me posted of the yeoman’s effort you are undertaking in order to waken up this docile community from deep stupor and even deeper slumber. Also let me know when are you returning “home”? I have some issues up in my mind, to discuss.

    With profound regards. Rakesh

    On Wed, Aug 27, 2014 at 11:38 AM, FRANCOIS GAUTIER wrote:

    > François Gautier posted: ” It’s lunchtime at the home of the Consul > General of India in New York, Shri. Dnyaneshwar M. Mulay. A young Hindu > American arrives. Her name is Suchitra Vijayan ( > https://www.facebook.com/suchitra.vijayan) and she teaches part time in > Columbia University, “

  3. My three siblings live in USA,UK ,I send them willingly in1995 ,things have not changed for lower mid class with clean image,army is very much colonial and army act is dracolian,I suffered for not using strings and bribery,you must raise this,Dr AK Sharma.sahaji since 1990

  4. Hello I am resident of pune and was a pleasant surprise about the article about Indian Americans. I agree to what you have pointed out. After Rajiv Malhotra some body appriciated Indian culture and Hinduism a way of life. Please write your views in Times of India a daily which contributes to wrong messages about Hinduism through so called intellectuals. Great work.

  5. You guys are totally biased or you have not known Desi-Americans properly. Indians here are more cultured than people in India. You must be a greedy Gujju or a pakistani for sure. Please don’t spread false assumptions, specially across Indian media. People tend to catch false statements very quickly there, specially if it is against America. I have a solution for you ————– PLEASE Go Back to India –For Ever.

  6. while i agree with some points, many points raised by you about the Indian americans are not factual.You need to come to the US and actually interact with many first and 2nd generation Indian Americans who are extremely proud of their heritage and culture.

  7. anti sickular

    Please let Narendra Modi and Sushma Swaraj know about the behavior of the Counsel General!

  8. You call Ms.Vijayan a Hindu and then say she’s going to interview Kashmiri Muslims and Christian Nagas and label her anti-India? Isn’t she free to choose her interests? Does talking only about Hindus make her pro-India? We are a better people than that Mr.Gautier. Maybe you should have waited for her report before blatantly labelling her anti-India, how do you know she will be so? Also, you should mention exceptions. Did you pause to think that long ago whoever left India might have done so due to adverse situations, nothing they have to be proud of? Don’t blame them or their children. Now lets work towards changing education system in India. Hindu or Muslim or Christian, every child needs to be taught to be proud of its culture.

  9. Dr. D. V. Giri
    The author seems to be ignore the contributions of Indo-Americans to India , USA and the planet in general in various fields of science, medicine, engineering.and humanitarian activities in India.
    If native Americans take to Indian values, it is precisely because of their interactions with Indo-Americans. The second generation of Indian origin in USA have combined the best of both Indian and American values and become better for it. This is a cause for celebration.
    I am surprised by the author’s one-sided comments and cannot believe this is a case of ignorance.

  10. Dr. D. V. Giri
    The author chooses to ignore the contributions of Indo-Americans to India , USA and the planet in general in various fields of science, medicine, engineering.and humanitarian activities in India.
    If native Americans take to Indian values, it is precisely because of their interactions with Indo-Americans. The second generation of Indian origin in USA have combined the best of both Indian and American values and become better for it. This is a cause for celebration.
    I am surprised by the author’s one-sided comments and cannot believe this is a case of ignorance.

  11. My dear Francois,
    I don’t expect a scholar of your caliber to be jumping to conclusions. It appears you have been blinded by your prejudice to everyone, howsoever objective and rational, if he does not follow your view of “Hindu” and “India”. Enjoy yourself freedom to interpret but do not misinterpret and misrepresent others.

    Your judgment of Indian American community is totally unjust and unfortunate and tragic. I have been in to journalism for more than a decade here in New York and have found the Indian American community very concerned with preserving and promoting their cultural heritage. Look at the number of organizations engaged in the task. Look at the number of people involved in the gigantic task. Look at the difference their efforts are making not only to preserving the rich Indian heritage but also promoting it, beyond the boundaries of the Indian American community. And the Indian Consulate,in New York, has become, over the years, the nodal point for this exercise, with half a dozen events being organized there every month solely to promote the image and culture of India.

    Dear Mr. Gautier, what do you know of the contribution of these people to enriching Indian way of life here and enriching India in India? If ever you honestly felt Indian Americans were not doing enough to promote their culture, you should have had the courage to say that from the platforms provided you by your friends in USA. How many times have you been to Hindu Temple in New York? Did you ever accuse the Indian American community of ignoring their culture? Be honest. Or, you want me to confront you with the organizers who may have transcript of your speeches. Well, they may not have but surely your friend from The Indian Panorama has a record of some.

    You had the cheek to comment shabbily on a gentleman who represents the government of India in New York. Here is what you said: “It’s lunchtime at the home of the Consul General of India in New York, Shri. Dnyaneshwar M. Mulay. A young Hindu American arrives. Her name is Suchitra Vijayan (https://www.facebook.com/suchitra.vijayan) and she teaches part time in Columbia University, one of the most prestigious in the USA & plans to start there a course on South Asian Human Rights. She says that she is first going to travel to India to interview Kashmiri Muslims and Christian Nagas – obviously an anti Indian agenda – while her Indian consular mentor smiles proudly”. Hats off to your understanding! Mere mention of issues can make a person anti-national, anti-India! It could be the perception of a sick and closed mind, not of a scholar, who looks at any subject objectively, dispassionately, examining all aspects of it. Come on, Gautier, what’s wrong with you? And I hate to mention you violated the principles of human relationship in abusing the hospitality of the Consul General. In India, we hade namak harams. I hope, you understand.

    Mr. Modi should appoint you his adviser on how diplomats of India should think, speak and conduct themselves. He would be happy with your judgmental comment: “This Nehruvian mind-set in diplomats has got to stop”. Would you write to Mr. Modi offering your services or you want me to recommend you for the job?

    Your friend,
    Prof. Indrajit S Saluja
    Editor, The Indian Panorama, New York

  12. Indians are master copy cats and tend to imitate dominant culture and tend to learn the language of the dominant races who may have ruled the country in the past,or after so called independent the elite who had the choice to give primacy to Indian languages chose to be slave of English language and culture,under Muslim rule the copy cat Indian monkeys who can only imitate others became master of Persian and later choose the yoke of Urdu a bastardised language born in the cantonment of Central Asian invaders,this is due conditioning of 1200 years slavery of Hindus who feel inferior to all the races of the world and have developed self loathing,the conditioning has been passed on to younger generation who now in typical fashion as master monkey imitators man the night shifts of out sourcing companies imitating American ,English accents and proudly and foolishly claim being weak in Hindi or their native languages.
    This behaviour is unheard of and cannot be imagined by people of any other ethnicity,it is a matter of shame which cannot be felt by thick skinned Indian slaves who take pride in their bondage.

  13. She is actually not raised in the US. She was I believe raised mostly in India first and then higher education in the US. She is from a Hindu family but she is an atheist, and has studied Marxism. She is more a product of Indian Marxism than of US Hindu upbringing.

  14. There are many Hindu Americans who are proud of their Hindu and Indian heritage, and now are speaking up for their rights. Please see one such organization The Hindu American Foundation http://www.hafsite.org/

  15. She grew up in India, not the US, is an atheist, supporter of radical left wing ideas, marxist, did her higher education in Europe and the US. And she actually is anti-Hindu and anti-India despite her trying to come off as objective and factual. Though she is an atheist, she is heavily biased in favor of Islam and Muslims. Read her own writings and see for yourself. It all is the same. Hindus bad, India bad, Muslims victims, Muslim countries misunderstood. She is doing a borderlands project traveling the borders of partitioned India, but always India in the negative, Muslims even the illegal ones from Bangladesh the victims. She is the type that promotes the erroneous idea that Jinnah was secular, and it was Gandhi’s fault for being so Hindu for the creation of Pakistan. She speaks often of Kashmir but never of the plight of Hindu pandits except to dismiss the idea that what they are experiencing is genocide or religious cleansing. It is very difficult for her to see Hindus as possible victims especially of Muslim aggression. And of course like a good Marxist, atheist, biased-in-favor-of-Muslims-above-all, Indian she hates Modi and still blames him for Gujarat despite all the investigations by the government and Supreme Court clearing him of those allegations. http://www.thehindu.com/profile/author/suchitra-vijayan/

  16. She grew up in Madras India. If you read her writing it all boils down to she cares for Muslims wherever they are in the world, and Hindus not at all anywhere in the world. Biased in favor of Muslims in India, Muslims of Pakistan and Bangladesh, Muslims of Burma the “Rohingya” Muslims of Gaza. At the same time she never speaks of the atrocities against Hindus especially if done by Muslims anywhere in India, violence against Hindus in Bangladesh, in Pakistan. On her public site she talks about where she is teaching in India right now, and this is what it is

    “A week of teaching at NUJS, followed by a talk on the Borderlands Project on August 15th.

    This was my first time teaching in India, and it was a pleasure to get to know and hangout out with the students.

    The case studies we looked at included
    1. Gaza Siege 2009 and 2014 – Politics of occupation
    2. Rohingya of Burma (statelessness in the age of the state)
    3. Genocide: Rwanda, Srebrenica and Darfur
    4. Rise and Futute of ISIS

    Thanks to the students Pranaav Gupta for organising the event and Maathangi Hariharan for the write up.”

    She gets to teach a whole new generation of young impressionable Indians to care for Muslims all over the world above any Hindu in India or elsewhere, and also above any other people of another faith outside of Islam. Muslims above people of all other faiths, Hindus, Buddhists etc… Her atheism is just anti-Hindu bigotry. She never finds any fault with Islam or Muslims. Totally prejudiced person.

  17. Ms Vijayan own words – you will see Gautier was spot on about her anti-India politics though he mistook her for an American when she grew up in India until the age of 17 or 18. She is an Indian Marxist, university education in Europe and America. She talks about Kashmir but never about Kashmir Pandits. About genocide around the world but never about any Kashmir Pandit or any other Hindu genocide. She cares only for Muslims. Read what she wrote in her article. She supports India’s fragmentation into many separate states, and is encouraging young Indians in India to think along those lines as if that is the mature attitude to have. She is also inconsistent. She says they do not imagine themselves as Indian like we do, but then says we do this to our own people. Which is it? Are they our own people or not? Are we one country one people or many countries that India should break apart into?
    “I have increasingly found that India is not a state. It is a culmination of many nationalities, some of which do not prefer to be a part of India and some of which have been given ideas of what India means. In relation to this Indian imagination, it is beyond the historical narrative, it is beyond Gandhi, beyond Nehru, its beyond sensibilities of nationalist history making. Huge parts of our population, especially border population, do not imagine themselves as quite Indian because a lot of them have seen the brunt of not just violence but legal trauma and other things, and that is the reality of it. They do not imagine themselves to be Indian the way you and I imagine ourselves to be Indian, because you and I have a very different sense of belonging to the Indian Nation State. We have denied them citizenship, we deny them their rights, and the fact that they have their own right of self-determination is something that is never talked about. Talking about it is treason. Those are things that new generations of Indians should understand to interrogate. They should be given the opportunity to understand what India means – is India truly democratic and secular? If we are truly democratic and secular, would we keep many populations under the subjugation that we are keeping them in, whether it is through the AFSPA and other things or PSA in Kashmir, or anything else? Forget the border, just go to Naxalbari and Dantewada, and see what we are doing to our own people, our own subjects that we may so call, forget others who do not consider themselves a part of the Indian union whether in political imagination or social imagination. It is time; India has been independent for long enough and we are no longer a young democracy. We should be mature enough to come to terms with the idea of state formation and nation and national formation.”
    https://jilsblognujs.wordpress.com/2015/09/14/conversation-with-suchitra-vijayan-barrister-at-law-political-analyst-and-writer/

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