July 8, 2010

No need to Apologize

Filed under: Anthropology — Tags: , , — HarryCool @ 12:09 pm

My response to Joel Stein’s apology

I am an Indian and I love my country. I see absolutely nothing offending when I read your article. It’s just a harmless humor-oriented view on the Indians who have come to live in your town. I can imagine how everything would have changed there and anyone would have felt amused at the strange ways of a foreign community. This would happen the other way round as well. Imagine a community of Americans living on their own in a small town in India. All Indians will find their ways and manner strange and amusing. I live in Manila and find Filipinos to be really strange in the ways which are part of their everyday life and considered absolutely normal. I see no hatred or malice in your article.

Indians make fun of Indians all the time. Punjabies find South Indians (commonly mocked at as Madrasies) strange. Probably no one likes Bengalies (except for the Bengalies). All joke about the Sindhies. Sardar jokes go around like Blonde jokes in US. This all goes in good humor. Our films are full of fun and mockery at one set of community or the other. In fact the various states of India are more different from each other than the various countries of Europe. There is more a similarity between the culture and ways of a French and British then there is between a Sardar and a Madrasi. It is an absolute cultural wonder of the world that a Sardar and Tamil can stand next to each other and say they come from the same country.

I think the reaction to your article comes more from a sense of insecurity and inferiority complex. There is Jealousy at play here too. There is no need to Apologize

…. it is his opinion and he is entitled to it just as we are to disagree. Yet, instead of leaving it that, Indians have gone overboard in demanding an apology from Time and Stein. Frankly, that sucks.
Indians are too thin-skinned, taking umbrage at the slightest writings or statements.
It is nothing but sheer hypocrisy, the kind at which we seem very good at, that every praise of an Indian community is lauded and hailed, but on reading the slighting negative piece, the knives are out.


June 27, 2010

Yanks rub it in with last-minute goal

I was surprised by own feelings when USA won by scoring in the dying minutes against Algeria. A neutral viewer like me would in general not want americans to win irrespective of the side they are up against. While everyone in the world has their own reasons for not cheering for the Americans, I think broadly it is because of either or a combination of these two – american arrogance and/or jealousy. In my case, it is more of the later.

I come from a culturally richer and older civilization. Yet due to its own shortcomings the land I come from is nowhere near the prosperity and success of the americans. India being in dumps in spite of the fact that indians have as much potential if not more as the americans, makes me jealous of their success. While I look at all American actions with utmost criticism, I know fully well, had my country been as successful as the Americans, they’d have been just the same in their attitude and actions towards the rest of the world (eg fighting terrorism); and would have been worse if not the same on the arrogance index as the americans.

In spite of this clear admittance of jealousy towards the US, I still didn’t believe I would want so bad for them to lose. I think it was the fact that they pulled it off so dramatically that it just added to my feeling of loss just the way it would have had an opposite impact on an american. Well, my feeling of loss would not be as high in intensity (since I am not an Algerian) as the joy of an american with that last-minute goal, but similar concept.

The Yanks did fight till the end. Well, a Draw would have kicked them out just as much as a loss, so they didn’t have anything more to risk by going all out.

“This team embodies what the American spirit is about,” Donovan said. “We had a goal disallowed the other night. We had another good goal disallowed tonight (on an offsides call), but we just keep going, and I think that’s what people admire so much about America.”

See the way he goes on about the “american spirit” and all about how great America is and all that crap. We do that so much in India too. Indian culture, Indian diversity, India’s rich heritage, how great we are yada yada yada.

“We’re kind of like the cardiac kids at the moment,” Howard said. “That emotion, that passion is what American sports fans thrive on. Given the American sports psyche, this is probably going to be more amazing for them than if we played unbelievable and won 3-0.”

Again the same BS about “american psyche”. Which sports fan in the world will not find a dramatic end like this more amazing over a straight forward 3-0 win? It’s obviously more entertaining anywhere in the world and has nothing “american only” about it. The fact is that Howard is just looking inwards, absorbed in his own big well, unconscious of the fact that the feelings will apply to anyone anywhere in the world.


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