Wednesday, July 10, 2013

6 Things India Can Learn from the US

A lot of controversy and conversation surrounds the 'westernization' of India. My post is not addressing that issue. As humans we can stand to learn a lot from the world and I'm not discussing how India could be more like America and be better. Next week I'm going to be posting on Things America Can Learn from India.

**There is a LOT of generalization in this post. It is a common understanding that not every person is going to be like this and there are always exceptions to the rule. It would be ineffective and ridiculous for me to try to nit-pick all the way down to specific numbers of who does what. Generally, this is what I see/know about India. If this does not fit you, then great! You're well on your way to a better life for yourself and those around you.

1. Generosity. The US is well-known for its generosity towards both its citizens and around the world. Many an American has complained about how much money we give to other countries and there's tons of posts on Facebook representing how some citizens feel about the issue. US Aid. Sometimes we stick our noses in too far, sometimes not enough. Either way, we are very generous as a nation (generally). Whenever there is a disaster, like the recent Oklahoma tornadoes, the citizens band together to send donations to the people who were affected. Huge container loads of clothes, food, household goods and replacement furniture arrive day in and day out until there's so much there the citizens stop taking it because they have enough. You can see a little of this in India among communities but not nearly on the same nationwide scale as the US. India needs this kind of generosity to go further than just home. It both develops the sense of national pride (I know, Indians have plenty of this) and a sense of togetherness that India could benefit from.

2. Womens Rights. This is a currently hot topic all across India. India could learn a substantial amount from what worked and what didn't work when America went through the Womens Lib movement. There are things we got right - like the legislation - and things we got wrong - like the demise of the American family. These are important historical lessons and if Indians pay attention to how things worked here, they could advance their women's rights movement and make things better all the way around. Individual Indian men would also do well to pay attention to the outcry of women in that time frame in the US to see how they could help their wives enjoy the benefits of being liberated without losing their sense of family. You see, in the US women rebelled quite a bit and the men didn't step up to the plate to go along with it - they fought and that only led to a less desirable outcome.

3. Power to the People. If India really wants to end the massive amount of corruption in government then they need to give more power to the common man/woman to do something about it. That's right. Give the lower castes the power to kick some politicians butt when he screws up and then let's see just how corruption dwindles. It won't go away completely but at least the poor won't continue to starve so that one lone jackass in government can roll around in his money pit for fun.

4. A different sense of individuality. Indians call Americans individualistic quite often and it's never said in a good way but Indians are just as self-centered, just in different ways. In India, while most everything you do in life is for the good of the family, there is too much 'community' property sharing going on. For hygiene purposes, it would be good for Indians to learn not to share towels, toothbrushes, etc. In the US we are taught from the time we're tiny to take care of our own belongings, don't use other peoples hygiene items, etc. India could slow the spread of a lot of communicable diseases if they would learn to limit some of the sharing.

5. Consequences. There simply are no real consequences in India. Look at the justice system and how long it takes to bring a criminal to justice and what happens after they do finally impose a sentence. A man can live a normal life despite having murdered someone for 20+ years and then get out of prison if life is too hard for him there. Kids riding motorcycles at the age of 12 are not punished, their parents are simply bribed and then the kids go back to driving. No one really enforces much and as such, people exploit the fact they likely won't get into any real trouble. I'm not saying India should adopt the death penalty and imprison everyone. All I'm saying is that there needs to be a system in place where people actually have to suffer some kind of consequences for their actions and that system needs to be upheld.

6. Citizen Involvement. This is another place where India could knock the socks off of America. Citizens are rarely encouraged nor do they prefer to be involved in the daily happenings around their country. Very few volunteer their time to improve the conditions of orphanages, roads, schools, etc. The government can't do the job by itself and the people don't seem to be bothered. Everyone expects someone else to do the job for them (that's a cultural issue) or they think they need to get paid to do it half way. No one really cares it seems. It's only been recently that groups are popping up who are volunteering to do these things and I can only hope they continue to gain momentum among the population. The citizens of India really do need to take back their nation. Get a little aggressive about it and demand others to do their part.


  1. Feel compelled to play devil's advocate here...

    #1 India is quick and often generous in the amount of aid it pledges to devastation struck countries. It also turned down such pledges after the 2004 tsunami. The issue may be more that individuals do rally when their country is afflicted by tragic events by donating to the local temple or gurdwara rather than a central agency such as Red Cross. That brings up a whole other issue of corrupt NGO's.

    #2 Independent India, in her relatively young life, has managed to elect a female Prime Minister and President. This while the US struggles to back an overqualified candidate because she scares old white men in power.

    #3 Corruption will never end. It's more rampant in the US than any of us can comprehend.

    #5 I have read numerous times where villagers take the law into their own hands. Crooks, cheats, rapists meet their demise by their peers in a very swift (and arguably just) way. That would never fly in the US (although it should).

    #6 Organized religion is engrained in the culture. Followers are taught to believe the temple will provide. Certainly the gurdwara free kitchens do give back on a large scale within their communities. Individuals give money to religion in exchange for blessings. Easier and more trustworthy than another corrupt NGO

  2. Kristy, good points you have bought out to get us thinking and talking.

    Regarding aid- Americans are really good at GIVING money and some of us can give time. Giving time is more difficult everywhere. On the flip side, I feel giving money is easier when you feel you have disposable income. This is a huge mindset difference between Indians and Americans. Of course now a days more Indians have more disposable income, but still prefer to keep the money in the family and generally spend more thriftily than Americans. Though, this is changing as well! The other thing that comes to mind is the people in the US who give money and then EXPECT a tax break for it! Some may give money so they can fall below a particular tax bracket. Then, who are they really saving, themselves or helping others? That's a debatable topic!

    To me all the rest of the point have a LOT of overlap. They are complex and debatable topics. I'll come back later possibly, to discuss those :).

  3. On #1, yes India does have some welfare based initiatives but I'm not able to find anything on the same scale as what we do here. Perhaps it's not publicized in English and the fault is mine for not being able to read Hindi. I was not aware of the country pledging money to anyone. Thanks for sharing that tidbit. Maybe I'll have hubby research for me because I am very interested in reading things like this.

    You're right on #2 as well. I think overall you and I agree on this. The US did accomplish some things with the women's lib movement but some things backfired. I think India could learn a lot from this and avoid the mistakes we made in setting gender equality in motion.

    You're also right on #3. Corruption is a human trait and we're all prone to it in some form or another. Indians in general don't fight against it though. Some do and the numbers are growing. I would like to see it grow more. But, from what I see, many people feel powerless against it (as opposed to the US where many are just lazy or don't feel like caring). It's as if things have gone too far and no one knows where to start cleaning it up. (I don't mean that literally of course, it's just the general overall idea.)

    #5 I'm torn on the vigilante justice issue. In some instances I think it would go a long way in teaching people not to rape, steal, cheat etc. But, it could also easily be misused and then of course there's the herd mentality problem where if one person says 'so and so did this, I know it' then people believe that person who normally is honest and then later find out he was wrong and his word was based on assumption, misinformation, etc. I think you get the point. It has some scary drawbacks to it. Of course, I will always feel like pedophiles should be tortured and killed. To hell with them, they don't deserve life or the time it takes for prosecution.

    #6 I find many of the Indians I know have a strong distrust of the temples. I'm not exposed to many in the Sikh faith or their beliefs so I can't speak for them but when it comes to Hindu temples and Christian churches I see a lot of mistrust. I don't know how warranted it is but it always amazes me. Yes, they get blessings but when it comes to money, it seems like many Hindu's I know have a hard time parting with it (exclusive of ISKCON whereas this doesn't seem to be the issue).

  4. I hadn't considered the disposable income angle. I think this is my Christian upbringing rearing it's ugly head again. I still recall stories of the widow giving all she had and I think that underlying concept stays stuck in my mind. I do see a significant portion of the poor here in the US giving what little they have. Perhaps that old Christian concept lingers in their minds too. Hazards of growing up in the Bible Belt maybe. Thanks for the comment. Now I have something new to think about.

  5. The best thing that we could pick from US is the old school ... as old as the mountains ... DRUM ROLL please ..... capitalism ! the ONLY system of freedom which exists and is thereby much reviled by the oxymoron "liberal socialists"

    Yes ! much of our ills are due to the hypocritical socialist path we steered ourselves just after independence and which was much strengthened by Indira in a very self serving and cynical way (I would suggest Aravind Panagariya book "India emerging") for a thorough economic history of India. It will be an eye opener for the uninitiated.

    Much to the shame of US, they are also drifting from the true blue chosen path of God (LOL) ... as we see so much of bailouts/QE/etc ... isn't there one El Do Rado in this world which keeps itself free from socialist shit ? what is the world upto ?

  6. On aid : I feel failure has a much higher price in India ... even a modicum of success (which mean financial security) comes after a lot of hard struggle for most of us. and we see a huge ocean of stragglers all around us ... naturally this inspires us to hold on tight to whatever anchor we are harnessed to. a natural consequence of this is stinginess ...

    wait for a few decades of economic growth (if we choose a free market system ... IF ONLY) and we also would be generous. your point number 3 and 4 are also some other manifestations of "free market system".

    Point number 2 and 6 comes with more exposure to new and modern ideas (which again means opening up to the world) ... did i say "capitalism" once again ?

    point number 5 is genuinely different from other points ... we need an wholesale improvement in governance and institutions to achieve this ... and this is so important to do even for an efficient functioning of the free market.... as venal institutions corrupt the freedom of the market and introduce distortions of all kind.

    OH God ! I sound like a free market ayatollah ... but that is what i am :)

  7. stragglers = strugglers

  8. Indira was no self made guardian of democracy ... she was a heiress ... her election only buttresses the point about female subjugation in India. just ask the question as to what she wud be if her dad was ramchandar das instead of jawahar nehru

  9. You are right ... Hindus are very suspicious of the temple management. I no of no Hindu who trusts management of most temples. so the devout ones (I am not one of them) treat the temple authorities as a pest and go straight for the deity and be done with it. that is why it is somewhat difficult to maintain a hindu temple.

    some of the temple trusts have earned the confidence of believers and they rake in so much money that it itself becomes a problem.

  10. ooops ...

    "I no of no Hindu" = "I know of no Hindu"

  11. Magguu, I agree with your points. This point I have seen in India AND the US... the mindset sometimes is worse in the US!!

  12. Yes, true, Kristy, about people giving up everything they have in the US (poor ones, I mean)... of course the OTHER issue I think is that in the US we rely on and trust that a process will manage the funds we give to charity in an honest way. When we see this doesn't happen we really are up in arms about it. This is not true in INdia, there is not much of a process for ANYTHING, and people don't put stock in others following through on the process, so many may have the first inclination that the money will not be used wisely and corruption is involved. Having studied my Master's degree fully in India in Social Work, I have seen this with my own eyes. Again this is not an India-only problem, I've seen it in the US, too but the way Americans think and approach it is different.

  13. Another fantastic point about struggle. In India we see struggle every time we go out. Even the rich are not exempt from struggle - even they face water problems, lack of electricity and can live near a garbage dump! Even driving on the roads a short distance that should take 5 minutes takes 1/2 hour with the erratic drivers and super-bad infrastructure. (I am an American living in Kochi...)... but in the US we KNOW people struggle, but most of us do not struggle for BASIC needs on a daily basis, and those who don't struggle much don't really see the struggle of others AS EASILY as neighborhoods are more broken up into 'rich' 'middle class' and 'poor'.. in even areas of India you can see people living in huts just outside a crore-pati's gate. You will not see this in the US, or it is VERY rare. So, yes, due to this, I think it effects people willingness to hold on to what they got... it is very fragile and could go at any moment. To give it away for free seems futile in an environment like that! Saying one is stingy is a good way of putting it, though maybe in the Indian sense 'stinginess' may be a more positive trait than in the US. In the US, stinginess is seen as selfish and no one would want to be stingy. But, again all of these concepts are hard to break out and isolate. They work in a complex cycle...

  14. Reading your blog makes me realize why (and which) Americans voted for Sarah Palin. Your naivette in simplifying huge and complex issues is astounding especially because of the authority with which you seem to proffer advice.
    When has humanitarian aid given just because of generosity? A poor country like India's giving 3 billion USD to Afghanistan (despite not being in NATO) and millions in Africa and it's neighborhood just so as to wield economic and political might. Similarly despite all the resentment citizens have towards aid the, the US is actually keeping American interests in foreign countries in check. They stop economic aid to Pakistan when it doesn't deliver on promises. That's how international diplomacy works.....You scratch my back, I scratch yours. Check this out.
    And btw, People are pouring generous amounts of aid for the Uttarakhand natural disaster even as we speak. ;
    Almost all govt employees are giving a day's salary. I don't know where you get the impression that Indians are not generous. Mumbai floods, the Tsunami, Leh cloudburst.....there are so many examples where Indians went out of the way to help others.
    As so many others have posted before, all your points are so intertwined and these issues have all to do with too many people and lack of resources (or rather an artificial paucity that's created due to socialist policies). Citizen involvement can only do so much and your nonsense about power to the people.....I mean, ever heard of Khap Panchayats madam? They're like local Taliban in rural Haryana with a LOT of power...all the problems women face in rural north India are due to these rigid elders who enforce what they feel's best....that's pretty much the reason why the US fails when it tries to bring democracy to tribal, uneducated masses in the middle east. Systems need to change fundamentally in this country and the rest of all your arguments will all fall into place. How is US so different from other capitalistic societies like the UK/EU to some extent.....unless you believe in American exceptionalism, I'd say not so much. Capitalism creates an individualistic society and when women are treated as individuals and not as a wives, daughters or sisters, this society will see change in women empowerment as well. Capitalism creates consumerism and rising expectations on better standards and equal opportunities and hence more citizen involvement. We're at a stage of step is in old, conservative, tradition bound India and the other where some aspire to 'ape the west'. It's like one step forward, two steps back.

    I can't blame you completely.....this country is far too complex, far too diverse, far too huge and carries a far too huge baggage of history and a foreigner, despite all the best intentions can't really make sense of this weird country. But honestly, read a couple of books on Indian social, political and economic hitory. As of now, I appreciate your frustrations, but the arguments you have shown, are at best immature and don't display any knowledge of the complexities of this country. Oh and btw, if you're planning to write an 'expert' book someday on India like so many expat bloggers eventually do, please, don't....yet. You have miles to go before you even get a hang of this place. Till then hope you have fun in the bubble of the deep South.

  15. Lol. No, I don't think there is an El Do Rado in this world free from socialist shit. :P

    Without intentionally being religious - America is going to hell in a handbasket! It's a sad thing. Hubby and I were just in my hometown today and discussing things that have happened there in my lifetime. It went from a thriving industrial city to a run down slum with barely any jobs in about 20 years. That's pretty fast but I know why. (I will spare you the politics.)

    I'll add that book to my reading list.

  16. Lol. Free market is good in many ways, don't beat yourself up. I really think your generation could definitely make these changes happen, or at least start to happen, if they put their minds to it. India could very well dominate over all other nations again if the people step up and push for it.

  17. I noticed that many temples were not as well maintained as they could be and others (which is why I mentioned ISKCON) are rolling in the dough so to speak.

  18. Very well stated, much better than I could word it. We also know of widespread corruption and misuse of funds but we do tend to be more aggressive about how we address it.

  19. It's interesting how you come here, read something and then change what I said and start throwing out insults. So typical of Indians and one trait I find disgusting.

    I said you see generosity in India but not on the same scale. I NEVER said Indians were not generous.

    As for power to the people and your response, how is one village panchayat (a governing body of the village) giving power to the people in the village? He's not. Especially not in the light you paint it. If the people of the village were to overpower/overthrow him, his 'taliban' rule would end would it not? That's my point. One man, no matter how powerful can be brought to his knees, especially with the kind of vigilante justice known to go on in Indian villages.

    Have you lived in the US? It doesn't sound like it.

  20. hehe ... nothing like an Indian who declares India to be too complex for a non-Indian to comprehend LOL

    and also throws insults about the deep South ... come to think of it, deep Southerners are really simpletons ... cakewalk for an Indian to mindread hehe

    keep em coming :D

  21. in some Indian communities (particularly the trader/businessmen), stinginess is something to be proud of. but it is not translated as ungenerosity but just plain old thriftiness. there are many gujju/marwari jokes about this trait and they relish narrating it.

    and i think there is a lot of positive in indian style thrift. i have seen my parents make use of everything till the last drop of it's utility is extracted and even then it is not thrown away. i dont know how much of that i have imbibed but probably great deal.

    anyway that was a sidetrack ...

  22. any city (industrial or otherwise) which is essentially a one trick pony risks devastation if that trick relocates or is needed no more.

    it will take some time and enterprise to re-thrive ... but try to diversify next time. it is something for the local administration to ponder. probably the bureaucrats/admins were so starry eyed about the one-trick that they explicitly or implicitly discouraged anything else. i maybe wrong but this is probably what happened to Detroit.

    hell ... once again i repeat the dreaded word - "capitalism" !!

    it also means keeping the govt away from direct economic activity ... neither explicitly encouraging any nor discouraging. your city forgot its own values probably.

  23. Well need to correct something, not all non-Indians can't comprehend India.....Some like Dalrymple, Mark Tully definitely do....But at least she at this stage she can't. Look at this: "Give the lower castes the power to kick some politicians butt when he screws up and then let's see just how corruption dwindles" So everything's got to do with caste, innit? Poverty=Caste?, To remove corruption, you just have to empower the lower castes,so that they can kick some ass? What a novel idea! Shows how informed you are about how crazy this country is......Why is it then that a lower caste politician like Mayawati continues to be voted again and again by the very same constituency Ms. Kristy Kumari wants to empower, despite huge corruption cases against her in the Taj Mahal scandal, and wasting crores in building monuments with her own statues. What we need is transparency, and as you've said before, a free market economy. The problem boils down to the fact that unlike the US, in India there is too much government control. It's a mai-baap relationship akin to the zamindaar/kiraydaar relationship of the 19th century, instead of a professional administrator-citizen relationship. Everything in India happens by sifaarish! There's so much govt. control and bureaucracy!
    Kristy, I agree with the overall sentiment and frustrations of your in India, I know all of this far too well, but kindly spare us the ignorant platitudes.....just displays your lack of understanding at how deep seated our problems are.

  24. Today's news.....this is what I meant by the mai-baap culture of India:

  25. The supreme court has given a verdict yesterday that a sitting MP or MLA once convicted by a court of law, would loose his seat. Earlier, they used to continue for years after going for appeal. Now, they cannot, even after challenging the verdict in higher court. This will go a long way in decriminilization of politics.

    Those who became prosperous, led a very deprived life not long ago. It is only ten years ago, the signs of prosperity became visible in India. We have still a long way to go before we start parting with our wealth generously. Once we develop effective delivery mechanisms, more people will get involved in public causes.

    There is also something called national identity which is the bane of our problems. It is very difficult to develop a sense of belonging in a country which people speak so many different languages. I think there are seventeen languages on our currency note.

  26. India Don't Want To Learn Anything, Only Thing Which India Learn From Others Is Racism & Divide & Rule.
    They Are applying this Rule By using Reservation.

  27. You make some very good points. I hope that the verdict will be upheld. We know all politicians across the world are corrupt. Let's hope they can't bribe their way into staying in power.

  28. It's not that I can't comprehend India. It's that I don't give you any shining rainbow and unicorn examples. If I see something sick, depraved, ugly, etc. I will call it such and a lot of people can't handle that.

    What we have here is simply a difference in cultural views. You and I won't see eye to eye on these issues because I've not been raised to be Indian. It's a common issue between Americans and Indians to not agree on how things are addressed.

    I've also never professed to be an expert on India. I write about what I see and how it makes me feel. Obviously not everyone in the world would agree. That's common knowledge. But if you don't like the way foreigners see India, perhaps you should be doing more to change things so they don't see it this way. (That's based off your original comment about expat books. Obviously you're bitter in some way about them.) As an Indian, it's your job to make sure your country is what you want people to see it as. As one person, you can start changes or at least support them. That's not my job. I'm not Indian.

  29. Absolutely! It's happened in smaller cities too and I was just in my hometown and realizing all that you had said. That town was built up around a specific industry, that industry moved to Mexico and now the town is almost completely destroyed. It's very sad.

  30. I would comment but I don't even live in the Deep South. By 9/10 definitions I don't anyway. Virginia is sometimes considered the "old south" but as far as the deep south, I'm not part of that crowd. So I'll refrain from commenting as I neither support their stereotypical views nor the confederate flags they display so frequently.

  31. Well let me put it this way, any expat who's stayed in India for a year seems to think they've become experts on India and Indian culture. This blog post came across as such. I am not someone who's romanticizing about how great India is....let's be honest here: India can be crazy, great and awefully full of shit depending on the day :P. Great points were raised, many of which, as I said before, I agree with but what I'm just saying is that the suggestions that you gave lacked depth and a certain understanding. I've been reading your blog often and you seem pretty interested (and opinionated) about aspects about Indian culture/society....but sadly in so many of blogs, you form an opinion and make generalizations by just scratching the surface. While, I don't mind you talking about your experiences in India, some of which are interesting, insightful and amusing, but when you offer semi-intellectual, semi-authoritative articles based on your experiences (such as these) I've noticed knowledge that's just half baked (and often inaccurate). My humble advice is, please read a couple of good history books on contemporary India and really know why India has sub-saharan poverty in certain areas on one hand while it's sending spacecrafts to the moon; successes and failure of Indian democracy, reforms post 1991, stark rural urban divide. I wouldn't give you such advice if you weren't so interested in the social/political/culture of India. I'm not looking for unicorns and a shining rainbow but only pointing to how there are deficits about basic stuff about India....I mean having lived in Chennai and seen the amount of help people gave during the Tsunami, I do take offence when you make gross generalisations about India. Indian folks not only here, but from abroad were organising funds in donations worth millions, Now, what I infer from this is that you don't quite know much about India to be making such grossly inaccurate statements. That's why you should read more about contemporary India, catch up on a couple of weekly, monthly magazine Op-Ed pieces in Indian/foreign magaizines to know what exactly is going on in India before you color-code India and dish out opinions. I'm a housewife who 'generously' (unlike most Indians, you would say) volunteers her time at Sahayata, a cancer charity. We have a membership of housewives who spend a lot of their time with pediatric and adult cancer patients helping them out with logistics in public hospitals.
    But as far as you're concerned, with a blog roll that's going into 100s, understand that pardesis are more likely to believe you and seek advice from you and form an opinion about India from someone like you than some random Indian author. So be responsible when you write stuff!

  32. I really think you took more offense to my post than you should have. I never used wording to suggest that all of India is this way or that India is doing anything wrong. I never said "most Indians" weren't generous and I don't even feel that way! I also mentioned that these were things I had seen, my personal observations.

    I have worked a cumulative total of 19 years volunteering here in the US for such generosity programs and I've also been a victim in need of rescue by them. I have a good working knowledge of how these programs work and how they are supported.

    In India, one of hubby's uncles runs a program himself and so I do have insider insight into how programs work there as well. I never said Indians weren't generous, I never said they did nothing. I said it wasn't on the same scale as in the US and that came from first hand knowledge of both systems. What I've seen is in India most of these organizations are local and that is not bad at all. It works quite well BUT, India could benefit from nationalizing some things and working together. From what I see, and I am only one person, most people feel divided by state boundaries, religion, etc. and that prevents them from helping. Some people, not all.

    The pardesi's in the community and I have actually discussed how authoritative a blog post is. Most all of them agreed that it's understood that a blog is a personal account and not the authority on anything. The American media and court systems have also addressed this in the recent past and blogs are not considered news amongst the general public here. So there's no reason I should assume anyone would read this and blindly think that what I write is the only way India could ever be. I am sorry if you feel like they would but I promise I have been taking measures to make the point clear that I am just one person with limited experience. I've openly stated it and changed the wording I use on the blog to reflect it as well. I now use terms like "sometimes" and "occasionally" much more than before. I have learned as I progress on this blog from commenter like you that I do need to be more careful with over-generalizing. I've also made it a point to state many times that a post may be generalized because of the subject or circumstances in it and to also state that there are always exceptions to what I post.

    A good many of the girls who read the blogs also frequent Indian authored blogs. They're learning to diversify and seek out more stories. I did the same when I wanted to learn as well. I am constantly adding to my blog roll and sharing these blogs with others so they can get other stories. I've also openly stated to them that not all of India, Punjab or even Amritsar is the same as what I've experienced. I can only state so much that this is my experience as it would get boring over time. My old banner even explicitly stated this was 'my thoughts' and experiences.

    I've also devoted entire posts to highlighting Indian organizations that are working to improve something in India. One was combating eve-teasing, another was tackling cleanliness. So I have showcased both sides of life as well as I can.I want my audience to see a wide variety of things in India. I want them to know what is available, etc.

    I will still consider your words and I appreciate this less insulting comment. I am always working on how I word things because I know I have a healthy following by Indian readers and there are a lot of cultural differences with wording as well. Indians don't read certain words the same as Americans and vice versa. Some of this I can't fix and no amount of rewording would solve the issue either.

  33. There has been another verdict of the Allahabad High Court the very next day, which prohibits political parties from organizing caste based rallies. However, some have pointed out that caste is a reality in India in walks of life. Therefore, it found it way in politics. Earlier, without political mobilization the lower castes did suffer a lot. So, caste based political consolidation would always remain in India till all sections of the society get their due share in this country. If some political leaders have misused caste it does not mean the concept of political struggle for the lower castes is all wrong.

  34. Virginia is not the deep South. It's a mid-Atlantic state, and the most northern of the "Southern" states. Perhaps Indians should become better informed about countries outside of India, instead of parroting the usual bigotry about westerners, and Americans in particular.

  35. There is no public trust in India. Nobody trusts anybody else, and even within families people often don't trust each other. Until people decide to work together for the common good, things will not change. The politicians and super-rich are just out to grab as much money and power for themselves, and then buy up property outside of India, for the day when things get bad.

  36. Read "Being Indian" by Pavan Varma

  37. Taking offense and getting indignant is an Indian pass-time! ha ha!

  38. Teacher at work: that would be El Dorado, not El Do Rado. El Dorado means the golden one in Spanish

  39. It definitely seems to be among some of them!