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Letters from Readers

December 2012
Letters from Readers Why hasn’t the agreement been kept on missing U.S. airmen?

Re: Interview with Indian Ambassador Nirupama Rao in Khabar (April 2012). Madam Ambassador Nirupama Rao has failed to address the grievances of families such as my own. We are the families of American Army Air Force aviators whose planes disappeared by the dozens in the Indian Himalayas during World War II. Since 2008, the Indian Government has failed to live up to two US-Indian agreements permitting the recovery of these airmen’s remains from a score of crash sites, documented by independent American investigator Clayton Kuhles, in northeast India, in particular, the border region known as Arunachal Pradesh. Repeatedly, the Indian Government has made one excuse after another for not observing the terms of these agreements: fear of antagonizing the Chinese Government, local ethnic tensions, environmental impacts of recovery operations, needed negotiations on logistical arrangements, etc. In the meantime, several of the siblings and other relatives of these men have passed away, never achieving the closure of having the remains of their loved ones returned to them.

Gary Zaetz
(Nephew of USAAF 1st Lt. Irwin Zaetz, 425th Bombardment Squadron, 308th Bombardment Group, 14th Air Force, missing in action in Arunachal Pradesh, India since January 25, 1944)
Cary, North Carolina


Value of science is not in prestigious jobs

As an Indian-American growing up in this country, I often heard my parents praise Mahatma Gandhi. I, along with most of my peers, listened to the stories of his achievements, but accepted that I could not truly appreciate them in the way my parents and grandparents had. However, the purpose of his legacy was not lost on me. I grew up firmly believing in the philosophy of nonviolence as an effective path towards peace amongst people. I was fortunate to have been exposed to an incredibly diverse group of people. As a Hindu, I have gained brothers and sisters in the Islamic and Christian faiths (along with many others). I spent time in college connecting to others through classes, sports, learning the languages of my friends, and, of course, conversations.

These beliefs combined with my love for sciences have convinced me to fight for the idea of science as peace. As a college graduate, I am delaying my entry into the work force to pursue higher degrees. Like many in the Indian community, my family believes that a good education is a solid stepping stone to success. The problem here is that people are too focused on getting a good job to see the value in exploring the sciences further than they need to for prestigious jobs.

Many in our community pursue the sciences to become doctors, engineers, and scientists. We need to help increase the chances to tap into these talents and really start something big. The golden eras of this country were driven by great technological booms with foundations built through government investment. The economy thrived on the innovations that came out of NASA’s efforts to explore outer space and land men on the moon. Decades later our country was able to create millions of jobs with the introduction of the World Wide Web, developed partially through government funding. I believe, and hope you agree, that the congressional budget is warped. For years, Congress has appropriated less than five percent of the yearly budget for non-defense research and development. We must have our elected officials buy into the creativity of our country’s brightest to develop new technologies that will create jobs and drive our economy.

Public funding is essential because, often, private investors will not fund research that cannot guarantee immediate returns. Public investments do not expect a result right away and much of our best work has come from research that does not have the pressure to reach a specific deadline or goal. As a community that values math and science education, the people inventing the future will be amongst the Indian-American community.

Debashis Ghose
by email



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: letters@khabar.com • Fax: (770) 234-6115.

Mail: Khabar, Inc. 3790 Holcomb Bridge Rd. Suite 101, Norcross, GA 30092.

Note: Views expressed in the Letters section do not necessarily represent those of the publication.


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