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Brownies

November 12, 2016

Let Trump keep in mind Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Google CEO Sundar Pitchai, Adobe CEO, Pepsico CEO Indra Nooyi, ex Citibank CEO, Sun Microsystems & Facebook initial/co-founders, inventor of Hotmail etc all were Indian engineering graduates who did their Masters/PhD in US. This is apart from over 30% Indian medicos, Software guys in Silicon Valley and NASA scientists. All immigrants true, but not of Melanie’s class 😀

http://www.rediff.com/money/report/pix-special-the-10-highest-paid-indian-american-ceos/20150417.htm

 

As someone who had an arranged marriage, I still cannot forget how my horoscope (kundali) and biodata (for the boy’s family) was drawn up in those days: page 1 was my birth chart as per tamil/Hindu calendar. In page 2 were personal and family details.

One distinct entry read like this:

Complexion of the girl: WHEATISH !!!

Cannot insult or degrade someone more than this. But I knew I was incapable of falling in love with anyone! Arranged marriage proved to be a blessing in disguise. Made matters easy for those like me!

Years later I am learning now, how Indian students last night were called out to as ‘hey brownies!’ in the US. More than an year in the US, these kids never felt so insecure. Looks like many universities across US like New York’s Columbia, UCLA etc., are offering counselling to foreign students to alleviate their fear.

Today I read a Facebook post by my friend’s daughter who is in Berkeley. I tried to assuage her – whether I succeeded, I am not sure.

Skin colour is no big deal in south India. Yet, at least a word is mentioned about the girl’s skin colour in our horoscopes. So what right do we have today to protest when someone alien to us calls us ‘brownies?’

My skin colour never mattered until it was time for me to marry. Even then it wasn’t as important but my uncle thought a word would thwart off unpleasant alliances who could lay more weightage to girl’s complexion.

I won’t say I was happy. I felt humiliated.

Always been proud of my brown skin. People describe it in many ways: brownie, coffee, chocolate or wheatish colour. Tamil Nadu is very close to Tropic of Cancer and we have only hot, hotter and hottest seasons except for monsoons. We don’t have a winter like the north.

North or south, all Indians are brownies outside India. There is no distinction. Sometimes I feel, that serves us good.

When we do not miss to assess a girl as if she is a commodity, we have no moral rights to expect fair treatment from outsiders.

By the way, ‘brownie’ is not a derogatory term is it? It is like black, white or any other. It is not the word that hurts I guess, it is the condescending tone, with an arrogant, threatening ring to it.

Take care of our children America. Indian parents are paying you heavy fee for their education. You are not giving us anything free. We send our kids to America because we think they will be safe there and will receive world class education. You know how much loans we parents avail? We repay for a lifetime the loans only because we want a bright future for our children.

Why not Australia: because an average Indian thinks Australia is openly racist. Very recently an Indian bus driver was set afire by a white Australian and he burned to his death in front of the public in Brisbane.

Why not UK? UK is cheaper in fact. But it is the US standards that are worldwide adopted and we parents feel the US is a more broadminded place with mixed crowd which our kids can benefit from. We rate US universities over those in UK. Only those who cannot get into top 25-30 US universities mostly opt for UK in India. Those who cannot get in anywhere go to Australia.

An increasing number of Indians were going to Germany for mechanical and automobile engineering, but after the influx of refugees from middle-east many are re-thinking.

Same goes for Canada. We do not want to send our kids to Canada because it is filling up with Pakistanis, Bangladeshis and those from middle-east who we view as potential trouble makers.

So this is why we send our kids to the US for masters/PhD. Getting into IIT or government colleges in India for masters is even more competitive.

So America, take care of our kids. They are brilliant minds – beautiful minds. Resourceful minds. Not garbage.

If you keep them, you benefit. If you turn them down, it will be India’s benefit.

In the meantime, spare our children the trauma. Open racist comment is something the boys and girls have not faced until today in US. They have been hanging out free, having a good time and working hard.

Sometimes when our children say they went without sleep for 36 hours studying for a test or doing an assignment, how do you think we mothers feel?

The toppers in many STEM courses in US include Latinos and Africans. Whose working parents had to scoop out their entire life savings to send them to the best universities in US.

The joke among Indian students:

Parents: who are the maximum in masters/Phd in US universities?

Indian students: Indians/Chinese some Africans, Latinos

Parents: Whites/Americans?

Indian students: A few.

Parents: But what are the Americans doing then?

Indian students: when we order pizza, the pizza delivery boys are white americans only. the barbers are. the grocers all are! but this is what they want to be. they are not ambitious like chinese/indians who all want to become doctors/engineers/NASA scientists. they love what they are doing and they are happy doing what they like. they prefer a relaxed lifestyle than us.

We Indian parents do not know what to say. I am at loss to guess who is right: the American parents who give their kids independence by 18 years or Asian parents who cling to their kids and insist on paying upto masters program even if we are from poorer nations?

Supreme sacrifice: this is what we do for our kids. Limiting our lives, our comforts, our luxuries so our children can live better.

Wish and pray, our children all stay safe. Trump, you owe them that.

Trump you are also an immigrant. Do not forget your ancestors’ hands were stained with the blood of the native Indians. And you have inherited your forefathers’ Karma. And that your wife Melanie was an immigrant herself.

America is no more the land of the natives. It is the land of dreams, it is the land of immigrants. Only if you are a native, you have a moral right to talk about immigrants. Logic is as simple. Or pack your bags and board your ship to England/Ireland where your great grandfather came from.

Something I read a very long time back comes to my mind: how the Spanish gave the natives in Latin America a rug infected with small pox virus after fighting numerous battles with them. In under 6 months, entire swathes of aboriginal Inca tribes were wiped out clean in a single stroke without firing a bullet. Do kids in Europe get to learn of this?

Goan christians in India are very proud of their Portugese connection but how the portugese converted them (Hindus) is a gut-wrenching true history. Lynched in thousands. Temples struck down and churches built over them. It is a shame Goan chrisitians should even tout the portugese surnames. The Goan inquisition was worse than what Aurangazeb did to Hindus in north.  Bewildered by Portugese names like Miranda and Gonsalves that these Indians sport! Same goes for African and native Indian converts in both Americas. The African slaves in America too adopted their masters’ surnames like the Goans. The native history is something none of us want to be documented.

The immigrants : a big question mark. Middle-east immigrants have nothing to complain about when none of the GCC countries took them in. No Arab nation has given sanctuary to Palestinians in all these years. But Indian students on F1 visa or Indians on H1B visa are an entirely different story. It is true, crime rates in the US have soared due to illegal latino immigrants.

And Trump has every right to deport the illegal immigrants. I am not talking about them here. Even India has an unfinished agenda: that of deporting illegal Bangladeshis, millions of them, now swamping Bengal trying to turn the state into IS stronghold. Native Hindus are reduced to minority. Waiting for Modi to crack his whip on the criminal lot.

So there are many distinctions among immigrants. Will Trump administration know how to identify the differences and treat them accordingly instead of enforcing a blanket ban on everyone?

 

 

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From → Dilli Durbar

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