Why do you focus only on Bollywood?
I have been reading Khabar regularly for a number of years. I find your articles mostly very timely, accommodating multiple perspectives. However, your cover story in the December 2008 issue (“It’s Not You Dad’s Bollywood”) did not pass this acid test. Focusing exclusively on the movies of northern India and their growing influence, it did not even casually mention the existence of a number of large regional movie industries—such as Tollywood (Telugu) and Kollywood (Tamil). When I watch movies in these languages, either in theaters or on TV, I am stunned by some of the well-written stories, the technical content, and the money spent on making these movies. Many of these stories depict the realistic lives of ordinary Indians. Also, it is so common to see a Bollywood girl co-star with a South Indian boy in these modern movies.
Whenever writing about Indian movies in Khabar, please make sure to include a few lines on the cinematic diversity of the subcontinent. Otherwise, the story is incomplete. In fact, I suggest that you have a monthly column on regional cinema in your magazine. Before we discuss diversity with others, it is important to know how diverse India is.
Living and whining in America
I read every issue of Khabar and am amazed at the articles and letters that whine and complain about life in America. For all of you who miss life in India, I have to ask: Why are you here? No one is forcing you to live in the U.S. With regard to the complaints about work stress and debt, no one was twisting your arm when you bought that big house with 4-5 bedrooms in the posh subdivision. No one forced you to buy luxury cars. Many of you bought all these things so that you could impress or compete with your fellow Indians. Whose fault is that? I will use my mom’s analogy. If everyone else jumps off the bridge, will you also jump? My husband and I bought a 1759 square foot home (3 bedrooms, 2 baths). We bought two used cars. Our home and cars are paid off—that's right, we are debt-free. My husband came from India to America 11 years ago with only his clothing.Sure we had friends who bought big homes and new cars, but we made choices for our peace of mind and our family. All of you who are stressed about your debt and miss your social network in India should think hard about your choices and take responsibility for your life. You made the choice to buy these homes and cars. Maybe your social network will broaden if you open your lives and minds to befriending others outside your Indian community. I have read so many articles regarding many not feeling like they fit in. Be honest. Who is making you feel this way? Maybe it's your own thoughts about yourself that are affecting your views. Making assumptions that people are thinking about you in a negative way is such a waste of time. Not everyone will live like everyone else—that's a fact of life. All in all, life is peaceful for all the groups living here. Indians who live in the U.S. are some of the top money earners and hold many positions of importance. No one is treating you as an inferior or paying you less because you are Indian. There is enough room here for everyone.You all came from India knowing that America is a place of all races and nationalities. Embrace and appreciate your opportunity to live in this multicultural land. Stop trying to recreate India by surrounding yourself with only Indians. The loneliness and feeling of social exclusion will improve, I guarantee. We all have more in common than we have differences. I have wanted to write this letter for so long. Thank you for the opportunity to do so. My intention was not to offend but to evoke some thought about personal responsibility. Life is what you make of it.
J.Dolani by email
Indian American Jews condemn Mumbai massacre
The massacre in Mumbai, resulting in almost 200 dead and 500 casualties at the hands of a handful of Islamic extremists, was another attempt to hurt India and its tremendous economic growth. Their immediate goal was to draw attention to India’s unpreparedness for such dastardly acts and so hurt the growth. Killing Americans, Britons and Israelis, including a rabbi and his wife, was to further emphasize hatred for the West and Jews.
Born and educated in Mumbai, I cherish my Indian roots. Jews, including me, have lived peacefully and in harmony with all the other faiths in India, which has been home to Jews for more than 2000 years. We have had more than 29 synagogues, the first of which was built in 1144. Though now there are less than 5000 Jews in India, with synagogues in predominantly Muslim areas, acts of terrorism were unknown. These terrorist attacks, meant to disrupt India’s peaceful acceptance of all faiths, stem from cowardice and jealousy.
Whether connected to any government or not, terrorism needs to be rooted out with all the forces of the unified world. Otherwise, the absurd dreams of such madmen who dream of global Islamization will seduce impoverished children and young men and women, who can be easily brainwashed with money and arms.
Yesterday, it was America that was attacked; today, it is India; tomorrow, who knows? How long will this madness continue? Why can’t these energies be utilized for peace and understanding in the world to create a new global community, where people help each other rather than destroy their lives. These terrorists and their masters will be answerable to a Higher Authority, the Almighty, who is the greatest Judge.
President, Indian Jewish Congregation of USA
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