Letters from Readers
Congratulations to IACA from AAAA
Apropos of India American Cultural Association (IACA) 50th Anniversary celebrations, we would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all those who have been involved in carrying the organization this far. This is, indeed, a great feat. Along with my colleagues at Aligarh Alumni Association of Atlanta (AAAA), which was established in 1984, I have had the opportunity to collaborate with IACA and participate in several events. The late Tom Alter’s stage play on Maulana Azad was jointly organized by AAAA and IACA. This 2013 sold-out event was held at the IACA auditorium during the presidency of Kaushal Tripathi. We regularly take part in IACA’s Independence Day and Republic Day events. Our members have also hosted Eid Milan parties at IACA. On behalf of AAAA, we would like to acknowledge some of the leaders we have interacted closely with in these years: Kaushal Tripathi, Rina Gupta, Subhash Razdan, Paddy Sharma, Chaitnaya Bhatt, and Ani Agnihotri among others.
Great story on truckers, despite a small error
Your cover story in the December issue (“Punjabi Truckers on American Highways”) was an excellent read and covered an unreported demographic shift that is occurring in a vital American Industry: trucking. My son and I were discussing the details in your report, especially the part about the percentage of Punjabi truckers relative to the total. Your report said that 30,000 Punjabi truck drivers represent almost one-fifth (20 percent) of the total number of truckers in America. This number seemed too high, and we did some quick Google research and found that there are about three million+ truckers in America. So, 30,000 Punjabi truck drivers represent about one percent of the total, and not 20 percent. Notwithstanding this omission, the report was very enjoyable and my family, which loves road trips, is looking forward to eating at one the roadside dhabas that you cover in your story.
Manjunath (MG) Gokare, Esq.
Editor’s note: Thanks for catching the error!
Story brought back memories of trucking days
When I arrived at Blacksburg, VA, in 1983, to pursue graduate studies in Environmental Design and Planning, I needed supplementary income for support and found a trucking company eager to accommodate a foreign student. Armed initially with a Class B CDL License, I started working weekends. But soon I was frustrated at not only getting lost without GPS, but also at returning to start each fresh week feeling tired and sleepy. However, I still persevered to graduate to Tanker, HazMat, and Trailer endorsements and owe the successful completion of my doctoral education to the trucking industry. Thanks to my nationwide travels, I have witnessed the most amazing sunsets and sunrises, and have enjoyed 40+ years of wreck- free driving, adding school bus and passenger endorsements to my portfolio as well. Sikhs dominate the trucking industry in India and dhabas are their unique answer to food on the road. Just like the iconic Italian cheese industry, the Sikhs that you featured
are sure to bring much-needed recognition to their community in this country for their unique and unblemished identity.
Enjoyed reading article on the Bhagavad Gita
Reading the illuminating, insightful, and engaging article (“Bhagavad Gita: A Cosmic Compendium”) by Dr. Bhagirath Majmudar in the January 2021 issue made my day. It stirred some old memories. On December 27, 1955, when I left Sydenham College in Mumbai, one of my closest college mates gave me the priceless gift of the Bhagavad Gita by Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, the Indian philosopher, scholar, and former president of India. I was hooked on to the book as soon as I read Mahatma Gandhi’s words in Young India of 1925, “I find a solace in the Bhagavad Gita that I miss even in the Sermon on the Mount. When disappointment stares me in the face and all alone I see not one ray of light, I go back to the Bhagavad Gita. I find a verse here and a verse there and I immediately begin to smile in the midst of over-whelming tragedies—and my life has been full of external tragedies—and if they have left no visible or indelible scar on me, I owe it all to the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita.” Needless to say, I lost no time in reading this erudite “celestial song”—a synthesis of various yogas, and what Mahatma Gandhi referred to as his “spiritual dictionary.” I regret not knowing Sanskrit and consequently missing the full flavor of the 700 shlokas in the Bhagavad Gita. But that has not deterred me from reading it many times for inspiration.
In Memoriam spoke highly of all but one
I have been a reader of Khabar for a very long time, and generally enjoy all your articles. My grandfather used to instill a simple discipline in me when I was growing up: that you never speak ill of the dead. I was very surprised, therefore, to see something in the December issue that compelled me to write to you. In the list of twenty people that you recognized (In Memoriam 2020), you wrote some good words about all except one: Ravi Zacharias.
I realize there is an allegation of sexual misconduct, but who knows if it’s true or not. Regardless, I feel that once someone dies, and you choose to include him or her in the list, you have to take the high road and just talk about the work and positive things one did. Many others of the nineteen may have had negative news associated with them but your summary was neutral and uplifting for all of them. Just to clarify, I didn’t follow Ravi Zacharias or go to his meetings. I have only heard him occasionally on the radio. I am trying to find out why you would single out a person for a negative review for year 2020.
Editor’s note: Thank you for your comments. We’re glad that you like to read Khabar. Our intention was to present relevant quotes from credible sources. In this case, given the seriousness of the charges and the stature of Ravi Zacharias as a religious figure, we felt that mentioning the news was appropriate. It was timely. Though unfortunate, the allegations have proven to be true, according to a report from his own organization. These are grave charges, and choosing to remain silent just because he died is unfair to his victims. Also, we didn’t single him out. There was a negative comment about Rajendra Pachauri as well. As our Guardian quote pointed out, “he resigned in 2015 after an employee at his research firm accused him of sexual harassment.”
What’s on YOUR mind?
We welcome original, unpublished letters from our readers. You could either respond to a specific article in Khabar or write about issues relevant to our community. Letters may be edited for length and other considerations. Longer submissions by readers may be considered for the “My Turn” column.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org • Fax: (770) 234-6115.
Mail: Khabar, Inc. 3635 Savannah Place Dr, Suite 400, Duluth, GA 30096.
Note: Views expressed in the Letters section do not necessarily represent those of the publication.
Enjoyed reading Khabar magazine? Subscribe to Khabar and get a full digital copy of this Indian-American community magazine.
blog comments powered by Disqus