Home > Magazine > Readers Write > Letters from Readers


Letters from Readers

November 2012
Letters from Readers More homework in India, but school is not easy in the U.S. either

This is in response to the article titled “The Great Education Debate” in the October issue, where the author writes about the absurdity of having elementary school children work on model exam papers in India. My daughter who is in first grade here in Alpharetta, Georgia, got a test prep math worksheet with 20 questions. I want to point out that even here, they give model papers without teaching much, and parents find themselves having to sit and teach. The local first grade curriculum includes shapes like parallelograms and trapezoids. I do agree that Indian school children cope with a lot more homework, and schooling is more study-centric there. But Indian parents here expect their children to work equally hard, and are as tense when the CRCTs come around, as parents in India.

Sudha Vasudev
online comment


Republican propaganda is tiresome and hypocritical

In their response to your September editorial titled “Why today’s Republican Party is stacked against Indian-American interests,” readers Narender Reddy (“Tell us how Democrats are friends of Indian-Americans”) and Umah Papachan (“Anti-GOP editorial was biased and unfair”) have missed their mark. They have done nothing but spout the tired and well-worn talking points and propaganda of the Republican Party. Their criticism does not address the central point of your editorial: how the philosophy and the policies of the Republican Party harken back to the days of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century white European-centric American culture.

Umah Papachan has apparently not heard of racial profiling when she writes about the enforcement of immigration laws. Moreover, these letters display a clear want of knowledge of the history of the political parties in this country. As recently as the early 1960s most establishments in the South, including the company that I worked for, had separate restrooms for colored people. The Republican Party has successfully replaced the Conservative Democratic Party in the South by adopting an anti-minority racist philosophy; the only difference is that instead of using openly racist language, the party uses code words to communicate this philosophy.

Republicans are the biggest hypocrites when it comes to family values. Just look at their leaders like Newt Gingrich, David Vitter, Mark Sanford, Larry Craig, Dan Burton—the list is very long. Yes, there are many Democrats who have done similar things, but they have never politicized the issue of family values. The Tea Party is driven purely by politics, while the Occupy Wall Street protesters are galvanized by the single issue of economic fairness. By equating the two entirely different motivations of the aforementioned groups, Ms. Papachan reveals her weak understanding of the domestic issues of this country. The readers would be well advised to read the BBC article “Why do Indian-Americans flock to the Democratic Party?” at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-19473368. The article reinforces the arguments made in your editorial.

Also, there is an incredible contrast between your October editorial and Mr. Sadanand Dhume’s opinion piece. Mr. Dhume has relied on generalities and meaningless verbiage in advocating the election of Gov. Mitt Romney. You have presented many sound and logical economic arguments supported by statistics to promote the re-election of President Obama.

Gautam P. Shah
Simpsonville, South Carolina


You expect us to vote for Republicans, really?

Mr. Sadanand Dhume uses two full pages of your magazine to list various reasons in support of the Republican Party and asks Indian-Americans to vote for Mitt Romney in the presidential elections. As much as I respect his opinions and views, I would like to pose a few questions to Mr. Dhume and to those in our community who hold similar views. Are Indian-Americans supposed to support a party whose leadership consults and takes advice from a dangerous racist and bigot like Rush Limbaugh? Are we all supposed to appreciate a party whose supporters directly wished the president to fail from the day he took the oath of presidency an have continued to bad-mouth him for the last four years? Is it not a fact that most Republicans just could not digest the fact that a non-Caucasian became the president of the U.S.? Is it not true that Republican business owners stopped hiring and holding back their monies, so that they can blame the present unemployment situation and bad economy on the first African-American president? These are just a few questions that I would like to have answers for from Mr. Dhume and from those who implored us to vote for Mr. Mitt Romney.

Sam Raj
Marietta, Georgia


Ah, those immortal songs and the stories behind them

In a recent interview, the nightingale of the Hindi film industry, Lata Mangeshkar, casually said that she had received a written apology from the late Mohammad Rafi, with whom she had a feud over the issue of royalties in the early 1960s that caused her to refuse to sing duets with him for several years. Lata’s statement has caused a big uproar, and Rafi’s son Shahid has threatened to sue her for spreading false information.

I don’t understand why people are so sensitive about a minor issue that happened some 40 years ago between the two great singers. Even if it did happen, it was between them and we have no business to blow it out of proportion. Just as we overlook the flaws of deities like Rama, Krishna and Shiva, we should overlook the faults of great singers like Rafi and Lata.

In the 1950s and 1960s the music industry was not as advanced as it is today. Most rehearsals and recordings were performed live with full orchestra that sometimes lasted all night and day, because if some one made a slight mistake they had to start all over again. I remember Usha Mangeshkar said in an interview that when Lata was recording “Bachpan ki mohabbat ko” for the film Baiju Bawra, they practiced all night and in the early morning recorded the final version. Lata was still not satisfied and begged Naushad to record it one more time. The late Raj Kapoor also had similar stories to tell about the songs of his films. Such perfectionists are hard to come by in today’s musical world because the orchestra and the singers are recorded on different tracks at different times and the final version is created in the studio lab. Sometimes even the singers themselves are not sure if their voice will be replaced by someone else’s in the final version. The late Gulshan Kumar was known to have re-recorded many songs in Anuradha Paudwal’s voice even though someone else had been selected in the original version.

In the olden days male and female singers interacted with each other and the music directors and lyricists. They all practiced and rehearsed together and bonded with each other. It is well known fact that Lata and the late Mukesh treated each other like brother and sister. Similarly, Lata also had a good rapport with the late Madan Mohan and used to tie a rakhi to him every year just as a sister does to her brother.

It is also known that though Lata and Asha are sisters, they did not speak to each other for 12 years, even though they sang 35 duets (many of them under Shankar-Jaikishan’s direction) together.

Such anecdotes are hard to come by in today’s world. We will miss all the rivalries and feuds among Lata, Asha, Rafi, Kishore, Suman Kalyanpur and other great singers and composers. Those added spice to the immortal songs they created.

Manju Ghosh

Macon, Georgia


 to all our readers, advertisers, & well-wishers!


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.


Enjoyed reading Khabar magazine? Subscribe to Khabar and get a full digital copy of this Indian-American community magazine.

  • Add to Twitter
  • Add to Facebook
  • Add to Technorati
  • Add to Slashdot
  • Add to Stumbleupon
  • Add to Furl
  • Add to Blinklist
  • Add to Delicious
  • Add to Newsvine
  • Add to Reddit
  • Add to Digg
  • Add to Fark
blog comments powered by Disqus

Back to articles






Sign up for our weekly newsletter

Click here    

Peachtree Orthopedics web ad.jpg

Mirus EB-5 Banner AD2.png


Krishnan Co WebBanner.jpg 




SDK small banner 7-16.jpg