The Fellowship

Friday, August 19, 2005


I don't know if there is any truth to this forwarded email... but then... .what the heck !

Madhu Trehan writes regularly for Outlook magazine. One of her readers responded to her mail and she is replying to that letter. Both the letters are shown below. excellent reply , I would say . . .

Hi Madhu,

I have read your articles ever since I was a kid and you were at India Today. You have often come across as a balanced person not prone to Gandhi nonsense, until now. I live in a White Nation (the US) and have never felt like a second class citizen. Only a blind and a deaf person can compare thepride of a US citizen with the indignity of being an India. A US citizen trusts his government, knows his/her death will never go unpunished, while an Indian solider is there to die. Elite is a bad word in India because 95% of our country lives in abject poverty. Next time ask the waiter in Taj who served you the Rs 400 drink, how much he takes in a month. The Durban who opens the door for you, ask him how much he makes? I bet his monthly salary will be around your dinner bill.

Shame on you and journalists like you who have failed India in the past with colored reporting and are doing so now. They should feel ashamed. Rather than calling bush names, maybe we should hang our heads in shame on PM'slike Vajpayee who is too old to walk, too much of a coward to protect his people.

Maybe, just maybe, the day people like us (the English educated hence smarter) start feeling ashamed enough we will start making changes in India rather than just exploiting our servants and labour class. It anguishes me to read this national character articles. A nation that cannot feed its people (a la Orrisa) has no character, a nation whose children move around *** (Mumbai) has no reason to feel proud, a nation whose elected reps call religious riots "opposite reaction" has no future. Once again, shame on you and all of India. I am ashamed to be an Indian and shame on you for suggesting anything else.

Chet (Chaitanya)


Her response was:

Hello Chet,

I will answer your letter point by point.

Your name. You can be Chet or Jet, stay away from the sun, fake an American accent, but you will never be able to run away from Chaitanya. He will always be there even though you hate him today.
Gandhi, whom you hold in such contempt, despite all his controversial behavior, is largely responsible for the fact that there is no white boot on a part of your anatomy today.

You live in a white nation but you are not white and never will be. You can fool yourself to believe that you are not treated as a second class citizen.

You choose to forget the Dot Busters, the Sikh who was killed because he looked foreign and rampant racism. How many times a week do you have to explain where you are from and spend your time EXPLAINING India to Americans? I cringe to think what you say to them about India. We do not need spokesman such as you. You will never be able to share a good desi joke with any of your new friends. If you can't laugh together; you cannot understand each other. You will always be an alien.

Yes, we are economically poor compared to US but we do not have to suffer the highest rate of teenage pregnancies, kids coming into schools and killing students and teachers, the highest rate of suicide among college students, alienated parents and children, lonely old people dumped into old age homes, drugs being offered to eight year olds (as my daughter was when she was in the UN school in New York), serial marriages and divorces.

The US had a president who was senile and deaf (Reagan), one who turned out to be a serial *** offender (Clinton), and now you have one who didn't know the heads of state of major countries and ignored warnings of a terrorist attack months before it took place. The US is responsible for massacres in Vietnam, Cambodia, Iraq, Chile and the list goes on. The rest of the world does not view America with the rose-coloured glasses you have been brainwashed by the US media to see thorough.

And, how much does a waiter in Jean Georges restaurant in Trump International Hotel in New York make compared to the price of the drink he is serving? The labour class in exploited all over the world.

You seem to very upset that I am pointing out we have a national character to be ashamed of and we should do something about it. Your insistence that we stay ashamed and do nothing about it is perhaps to make it easier for you to live in a country where the only religion is to hang out at malls and accumulate consumer items you don't really need but have been dictated by advertising to buy that, to keep the US economy going. It is not by accident that Americans are flocking to yoga and meditation classes to buy happiness.

You have done well to leave a country you are ashamed of. Call yourself an American but sooner or later your disguise and American Halloween costume will frighten you enough to get rid of it. I love America's energy and have good friends there. New York is a centre for an enormous outpouring of creativity and imaginative thinking. Every country has its own problems.

It is for the people who belong there to take responsibility for change. If you are so far removed from India, ask yourself why you are so anguished with my article. Chaitanya is raising his head,Chet is in trouble.

Madhu Trehan

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