Letters from Readers
Sad spectacle of infighting
Your editorial (“Why What Happens to IACA Matters to the Community at Large”) on the bickering within IACA (April issue) is a showcase of inherent Indian psyche that had cost India nearly a thousand years of subjugation from various Muslim invaders to British Raj.
The formation of India American Cultural Association basically started with the good intent of inducing back home culture to the foreign-born youngsters. However this virtuous mission was soon taken over by muscled community stalwarts who foresaw these organizations as a prospective platform—a platform to seek self-interest in the garb of community service.
The washing of dirty community linen through your column may spark a kindle of righteousness in some. But a revamping of our deep rooted interpersonal/ social ethics seems to be the only savior to avoid such embarrassing occurrences.
You have done a tremendous service to the Indian-American community of the Southeast by exposing the happenings at India American Cultural Association (IACA). It is responsible journalism. IACA, which is an organization over four decades old, runs at the whims of a handful of three or four individuals. They do not want millennials to get involved in it.
They bank on the fact that most of the people who were founders of IACA and have feelings for it are old and frail and do not have time and energy and patience to deal with the mess. So, these individuals think they can do anything they want as there is no one to stop them. Your editorial has raised enough awareness to break that trend, and I am hopeful that many new millennials will consider it as their civic duty or responsibility towards the rich Indian culture to be engaged in at IACA and bring it back to its olden glorious days.
Ms. Rina Gupta was a wonderful thing that happened to IACA, a golden goose who brought thousands of dollars in NEW sponsorships—and yet, the power hungry old guard could not digest it. They spent all the money on attorneys, instead of fixing that dilapidated structure at Cooper Lake. I urge the new generation who moved to Atlanta after 2005 to get involved in IACA and show some new energy, leadership, and direction.
Your editorial, “Why What Happens to IACA Matters to the Community at Large” (April 2018), is a shocking revelation. Members of the Atlanta and Augusta community had no idea about all the undermined power politics that is going on in the 40+-years-old India American Cultural Association.
It is disheartening to see that IACA is fighting legal battles for more than a year now and nothing has been resolved. Legal fights go on for years and years, and both sides get badly affected, and in the meantime the organization earns a bad name. It is an egoistic fight that leads nowhere.
Mr. Chand Akkineni is lingering in the legal fight without any progress towards resolving the problems. Demanding IACA membership extension by three weeks from IACA Board of Directors (BOD) and to prolong the legal battle for that reason is obviously not resolving the problem. I have talked to many community members and leaders, and unfortunately due to the current bad name earned by IACA, new membership is out of the question. IACA BOD members have not agreed and are ready to continue the legal battle. What I have gathered from different sources is that after the deposition from IACA BOD members, Mr. Akkineni, and Ms. Rina Gupta, the Georgia Residency clause now only requires a valid Georgia driver’s license. That was one of the main reasons of the legal battle.
The prolonged legal battle only gives an excuse to IACA stalwarts to go on for years without holding Annual Elections of new BOD and Executive Committee (EC). In IACA history, this is the first time elections have not been held for almost two years now. This only bars new enthusiasts from being part of IACA to bring new ideas to the table, and also prevents new blood to be part of the EC and BOD. It only recycles and keeps the same people in BOD and EC year after year. An organization like IACA needs to welcome new members, and longtime IACA members holding on to their positions should make way for other members.
This is only possible if elections are held as early as possible, and that is only possible if the legal battle comes to an end. Mr. Akkineni is a long-standing life member, but it is high time that a peace treaty be signed. It is Mr. Akkineni’s call now to end the legal fight amicably and pursue elections.
Mr. Parthiv Parekh's action to address this problem is exemplary. As a respected community member, a pillar of the society, his intervention to end this legal battle is commendable and admirable. As an esteemed journalist, he is addressing this issue without any personal interest. We, as members of the community, at the least can meet him half way and it is only fair to withdraw the case running for a very long time now and move on. Let IACA hold elections, move on, and regain the respect it had before in the community at large.
Geetanjali Talukdar, MA Philosophy, MA Education
Programmer Analyst (formerly @ Medical College of GA)
IACA - Vice President 2016-2017
A little girl in Kashmir
Lately, I have been questioning, more so, the essence and purpose of living as a human being. Crime and atrocities have been inseparable from society throughout our existence, and I have unfortunately come to terms with this reality. However, silence against the heinous and barbaric mutilation of the 8-year-old child in Kashmir, and the humiliation of her family, tribe, and my fellow Indians and citizens of the world, would be shameless, spineless, and a bigger, if not the biggest, crime. It is impossible to rationalize with perpetrators and supporters of such communal crimes, as reported recently—because, I think, they are predators from a different part of the universe, who are living a humanoid existence on earth. It is also not possible for me to come to terms with THIS level of heinousness. We must unite to demand eradication of this mentality of communal supremacy and set an expectation that each and every living being is worthy of dignity and respect. Anything less cannot be acceptable. Can we really live our lives indifferently? Perhaps we must implement long lasting corrective societal measures. I plead that we do so.
Sanjay R. Jain
Morehouse College of Medicine
Bollywood should look at using comic book superheroes
Khabar’s cover story “KA-BOOM: The Resurgence of Indian Comics” (November 2013) is very well written and extremely relevant in today's time. It is high time that the Indian comic scene be given some attention. Also it is extremely sad to see that Bollywood is choosing to create useless characters while the vast resource of our own Indian comic superheroes is gathering dust on the bookshelves—because we have some pretty good comic superheroes around whom Bollywood can make movies on and not only give a kickstart to the comic industry, but also finally start the comic book franchise in the industry. This recent piece, too, (in EdTimes.in, April 2018) takes a look at some superheroes whom Bollywood can use: “Indian Comic Book Superheroes That Bollywood Is Wasting And Should Be Making Movies On.”
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