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Vijay Uncle
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xx some qualms with your views ......
« Thread started on: Feb 19th, 2003, 08:21am »

Original post has been removed to remove the name of the author at his request. But it is posted at the end of this letter. Please read that first. Thank you. Vijay Uncle

Dear Anonymous,

smileyThank you very much for your views and I appreciate and respect them and wish there were more Desi kids just like you.

I am not sure if you know that I am a firm believer of Indian traditions and values. Our culture and customs are so powerful that others need to learn from it.

What I object to is phony - balony approach to this important issue facing our culture to day. Our kids have become biggest liars because they have to live a double life. This is harmful to our culture.

I do not advocate wearing your pants at your ankles or marrying anyone you can find or to go wild. But I do believe that by empowering our youth, by open and honest discussion, by accepting that young adults have right to make their own choices - we actually can promote our culture and values much better.

Following ones traditions, culture and religion varies a lot from one family to the other. However, what is becoming clear is that there is a pattern to Desi failure. A large segment of our community is suffering from a wall between youth and parents. So many of them are now finding it hard to follow Desi values as we had envisioned many years ago. The main reason for this is not western culture as many of us would like to believe, but it is the way we have gone about to promote our values. In many a cases well meaning parents have harmed the future of the their kids.

While I do not profess to know what is the right way to raise our children in every case. I think it is high time that we look at all the issues concerning generation gap in an open and honest manner. Let us look at the situation with an open mind. Just like we cannot fight a war against terrorism with conventional missiles, this is a new war for all of us and it behooves for us to think outside of the box.

In addition, we have to agree to disagree. There is no one-way to raise kids or a single norm for human behavior. I would like you to be Indian by choice and not by force. I want you to be Indian at heart not pretend to be an Indian when you are not.

Moreover, I agree with you that no left-winger has to tell me that my culture is in decline. It is our job to recognize the affliction of our culture that we love so dearly and remedy any problem with it at earliest possible. We live in United States of America in 2003 and not in some remote village in Andhra Pradesh in 1972!

Our basic culture and religion are so powerful that we need not force on our kids. Show them the virtues of it and they will never go away. However, what is happening is so many of our kids are given such a toxic dose of this medicine. Even life-saving medicine, when given in toxic doses, has poor results or even death.

Thank you very much for your views.

Vijay Uncle
« Last Edit: Nov 14th, 2005, 02:43am by Vijay Mehta » User IP Logged

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xx some qualms with your views ......
« Reply #1 on: Nov 14th, 2005, 02:42am »


Following letter was posted in response to my presentation back in 2003. I have removed identity of the author by his/ her request. My response is posted above - Vijay Uncle

Pranam Ji,

I am a freshman at one of the Universities. I was at your lecture here on campus.
I would like to first start out by commending you on your work with bone marrow transplants in the Indian Community. I'm currently in the process of registering myself for that program. I do, however, have some qualms with your views on the Indian community here in the United States and back home in India.
You start out by indicting what many people in our community feel to be strong characteristics- the adherence to "rigid norms"(as you call them) of dress and the belief that one should stay in one's community for marriage. You define diversity of a wide range of people through the clothing they wear. I, and many others, do not. I don't feel that encouraging Indian youth to dress differently in any way motivates them to do something truly original and brilliant. Any person can sag their jeans to the floor and wear 200 dollar shoes that their mommy bought them, but all that does is reify the absolute rigidity of our people. We seem to love our newfound wealth and newfound status here, but any dissenting voice is immediately ignored. In response to your views on marriage, take this into consideration. There is no such thing as a perfect marriage, but being from the same caste and religion account for much. Coming from an orthodox Telugu Brahmin family, I can attest to the vast differences my cultural practices have with others. I don't like to eat meat, but my other Indian friends sure do and make no mistake about their sticking with that lifestyle. Can you not see the differences in a culture that respects life and one which does not? Making the blanket assertion that one's parents are wrong for wanting a same community marriage is the typical Indian pseudo-secular prejudice. Love is a good thing, but it can't bridge the rift between a people who sanctify life by refraining from eating meat, and a people who don't wish to follow that path. The problem with your views stem from the same systemic flaw in Indian thinking- since we come from a poor and ravaged nation and since we are the object of Western criticism, we should indict anything that seems too "dogmatic" or "orthodox." Tell me, sir, which culture is more sexist, more "rigid"- ours, where a person's virtue comes from their actions and intellect, from their belief in the truth of our ancestors, or Western culture, where women and men are paraded about like animal symbols of virility and sexual energy. You say that we come from a sensuous culture that embraces sexuality. This is true, but it does not embrace pre-marital sex or a cheapened view brought to us by the West.
My father is the smartest man I know. He told me never to relent to the views of others. He never did, and for that he was called a "bigot" and a "fundamentalist." He believes in the strength of Hindu culture. He believes that the only people to tell us when our culture is in decline are people of true learning. Men like Shankaracharya told us that our civilization was in decline when we needed to hear it. Now, everywhere I go, I hear the same voices from the same artificial-Left telling India to move away from its roots and accept the perversions of the modern-age. I choose to ignore those voices and won't relent for others to hear mine. Once again, I'm grateful that men like you are working for the community to get more bone marrow samples where they need to be. Thank you.

Sincerely,

- anonymous
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Greatest threat to Hindu religion comes from Dhongi Baba - Dada - Didi - Swami etc.
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