For John Laxmi

John Laxmi, a member of the board of directors of South Asian Journalists Association ( a group of people who think that India should not retain its own identity, but be grouped along with terrorist nation Pakistan, under the “South Asia” label), has an article in Rediff in which he expresses the opinion that Indians should not fight against the negative image of India being portrayed. For example
bq. There are hundreds of reputed academic scholars in the West who study and expound India’s history, culture and economy. Some of these scholars are now being attacked unjustly for all the negative perceptions of India. A fanciful notion suggested by some is to deploy rival academic scholars to ‘market’ a positive image of India.
John thinks that scholars who portray negative images of India should not be corrected. He says it is their right, fair enough. But he in the same vein denies the right of Indians to correct it. If you would like to know what is being portrayed and what is being corrected, please read Rajiv’s article “RISA Lila – 1: Wendy’s Child Syndrome”:http://www.sulekha.com/expressions/column.asp?cid=239156
But then John goes onto attack NRIs in general with statement without any basis.
bq. Whether Indians like it or not, most NRIs are not interested in marketing India. This is not because they are ashamed of their origins (as some Indo-philes frequently claim, using some vague Vedic psychiatry) but because most NRIs are preoccupied with their personal lives and, as they assimilate into new societies, they develop a greater level of interest in advancing the interests of their host nation than the interests of the country of their origin. One can debate whether this is right or wrong, but that is a separate issue. Many NRIs in America are, at heart, more American than Indian, although most may not admit it or even realize it fully.
Perhaps John has never heard of an organization called “USINPAC”:http://washingtontimes.com/world/20031219-093705-9413r.htm (Please note that this is an Indian Political Action Committee, not South Asian Political Action Commmittee). This organization is made up of the same NRIs whom John accuses of not being intrested in India. More than a year old, this organization has 27,000 members
bq. Next on USINPAC’s domestic list of issues is immigration and the controversial H-1B visas that allow foreign professionals with special skills to come to the United States to work. Indians currently are major beneficiaries of the program, obtaining 40 percent of the 65,000 visas issued annually. It is lobbying hard for the United Nations to admit India as a permanent member of the Security Council.
John does not know that many NRIs here do not go for the South Asian brand and like to promote the Indian identity, as a democratic secular nation.

12 thoughts on “For John Laxmi

  1. Right said JK! I second, third, fourth and fifth your voice! With creeps like John Laxmi, we don’t need Pakistan or Musharaff to further wreck all spirit of oneness and patriotism that is only now reviving (shall we say re-reviving?) slowly.
    Also, have you read Risa Lila-2?

  2. Sandeep, these SAJA people are people who get alarmned when the “caste, cow, curry” image of India is changing. They want to present this image, and when NRIs and other Indians try to change it, they get alarmed.
    We should blog and correct his article.

  3. WHAT IS A NON-RESIDENT INDIAN?
    JK has two interesting posts about Non-Resident Indians (NRI) here and here. My question is– what is an NRI? Even…

  4. Well said, JK. Fully agree. Projecting the caste-cow-curry image is what helps them stay in the business of tarnishing India. I am not known for being politically correct, so here goes: these people sadly lack any sense of self-respect, patriotism and dignity. One: when they denigrate India, they set themselves up in the eyes of foreign nations to heap any amount of filth about the country that fed them, educated them, and in the first place, made them what they are. In return what do they do?
    This is but one of the many aspects that Rajiv Malhotra has raised in his article on Rediff (in case you’ve not read it, here is the url: http://www.rediff.com/news/2003/dec/08rajiv.htm
    If you can give me the url of John Laxmi’s trashy article, I’ll certainly write a prim-n-propah rejoinder.
    Thanks.

  5. I have never enjoyed the blinkered vision of SAJA. Their views are not rooted in reality. I find their visions about secularism, peace etc as not grounded in reality or a sense of justice. Having said that I do agree with some of the criticism levelled against the behaviour of NRIs. I am a native. I know that I and my future generations will have to live with other communities within my country as well as communities in other countries. I cannot just oar my country and moor it somewhere else nor do I have misconceptions about other communities because I live among them. The case for an NRI is different. NRIs have their future elsewhere in countries where the social and political situation are different. India is nothing more than a land for spending vacations or staying in temporarily. If things go bad, there is always the West(new home) to fall back on.
    I am especially disturbed by the viruent anti-Muslim remarks made by several NRIs(bloggers being only a part of the whole). A native would never make such openly critical remarks and for good reason- he will have to show his face to his compatriots the moment he logs off his computer. I can say the same thing about many expatriate sikhs, muslims, or those belonging to various sub-ethnicities. They all seem to carry a blinkered vision of their own,supporting various crackpot schemes in India.
    I am a Hindu and I believe that I will have to live with my compatriots in peace and harmony. Islamic fundamentalism is a serious problem but it cannot be tackled by name-calling or marginalising important sections of the society.
    If you took note, India only “studied” the arrest of Saddam Hussein. India has its on strategic, social and economic interests and they may not all and not always coincide with the NRI’s adopted country.

  6. Blog Mela
    Hello, everybody! Here it is – the first blog mela of the year in a new & improved format. It is a close race since we have only three nominees this week – First and foremost is Jayakrishnan Nair with his defense of NRIs to John Laxmi of SAJA who…

  7. And the best entry is…
    Well, after a hard-fought battle between JK and Ravikiran for the best entry in the Blog Mela award, the winner has finally been determined out of 117 votes cast – and the winner is…(drum roll)…JK with his post for John Laxmi! Congratulatio…

  8. You are all too critical of anyone who disagrees with you. Grow up, people. John isn’t 100 percent right, but you are 90 percent wrong.

  9. Naresh, atleast other people who disagree have the intellectual capacity to explain why they diagree which is more respectable.

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