The Thinking 
Housewife
 

Miss Multicultural America

September 16, 2013

 

Nina Davuluri, Miss America

Nina Davuluri, Miss America

NINA DAVULURI, the beautiful and talented daughter of Indian immigrants, was crowned Miss America yesterday. Some anonymous commenters on social media have criticized the choice of an Indian woman and have been branded racist. Most Americans, if asked, would probably agree that it is “racist” to object. They would not view Indians as “racist” if they refused to choose the white daughter of American immigrants as a national symbol. But cultural pride is for others. Cultural pride is for those who are not white.

Miss Davuluri says she has always seen herself as an American first. But this does not appear to be true, nor should it be true, given that most Indian immigrants naturally feel a strong connection to India. In the talent competition, Davuluri did a Bollywood fusion dance (I did not see the pageant) and her comments afterward suggest that she is proud that the pageant chose her as a symbol of “diversity.” In other words, she is proud that she is not a white American. “I’m so happy this organization has embraced diversity,” she said. “I’m thankful there are children watching at home who can finally relate to a new Miss America.”

But if there are children at home who relate to her purely because she is Indian and not white, then there also must be children at home, namely white children, who do not relate to her because she is Indian and not white. In other words, Davuluri admits that instead of being a universalist, she is for a particular culture. Multiculturalism, as is so often the case, is a cover for the erasure of a specific culture. Davuluri’s platform was “celebrating diversity through cultural competency,” an inherently contradictory statement and an admission of the truth, which is that human beings are incapable of “diversity.”

It is just the kind of political newspeak, however, that one would expect from a Miss America contestant. The increasingly tawdry pageant has always gone with the zeitgeist and with whatever sells in corporate AmericaToday the contestants brag about their planned careers and wear bikinis. Miss Kansas is an Army sergeant with tattoos. The pageant struggles to hold the public’s interest in an age when half-naked women are no longer a novelty. Unsurprisingly, Davuluri plans to be a doctor, joining the ranks of the many female Indian doctors in America, women for whom education and career are the highest goals in life and who are often ruthlessly pressured by their parents. They belong to a distinct American subculture. They are part of America, but at a deep level they are Indian.

 

— Comments —

Global Citizen writes:

You wrote that, ‘at a deep level, Miss America will be  always Indian.’ What’s wrong with that? Which part of traditional Indian values is considered inherently anti-American? One way to judge a culture would be to see what system prevails in its homeland. India is a democracy with rule of common law, separation of faith and state and thus secular in nature, promotes free markets, free speech, a conservative society and is one of the few countries in that part of the world that values the concept of human rights.In other words, it is hard to distinguish their traits from what you call American traditionalism. So what is the culture clash that you seem to imply here? I can at least understand the concerns you might have with Islamic way of life and hence their immigration.

Laura writes:

You’ve misread me. My point was that India is not America. If India was a superior culture, my point would be the same. Most Indians would intuitively understand that Mallory Hagan, the former Miss America, could never be Miss India.

nina-davuluri_0

Fred Owens writes:

I’m glad the tatooed lady didn’t win.

 Brian writes:

Diversity is about exclusion, not inclusion. Great point, deftly made. Can’t help but thinking, though, that this isn’t all bad. The idea that my daughters might not be shown a grown woman who has been waxed, plucked, buffed, poured into a swimsuit and made to participate in a competition that is, let’s face it, absurd and be told “this is the best you can be,” doesn’t feel like dispossession. It feels like liberation. God’s mercy is beyond my understanding, but as they say ‘grab the knife by the handle.’

Jane S. writes:

Excellent discussion.

I’ll quibble over one point, however.

Indian women have been winning big in beauty pageants for quite some time. I remember one Miss Universe pageant where three of the top ten finalists were racially Indian: Miss India, Miss Fiji and Miss Canada. It’s been headed our way for quite some time.

The thing is, Indian beauty queens don’t look Indian anymore. Looking at Ms. Davuluri’s photo, what is there about her appearance that would tip you off that she’s Indian? Nothing. She could be from anywhere.

India has been ploughed under by the same steamroller of totalitarian monoculturalism as everywhere else, and the Indian standard of female beauty has gone with it.

Here’s Madhubala, adored Hindi screen siren of the 1950s:

 Madhubala4

madhubala_543

She is a much better representation of the Indian ideal of female beauty.

Here’s another thing: For the talent competition, Davuluri did a Bollywood fusion dance. Now, I’ll admit to a certain fondness for Bollywood movies. It’s a guilty pleasure, like junk food. They’re silly, they’re over-the-top and they’re way too long, but in their own way, they’re addictive. They’re still relatively chaste. You can watch them with the family.

But Bollywood does not reflect Indian culture, any more than Hollywood reflects American culture. Davuluri could have chosen to perform a kathak dance or some other superb Indian art form. She is part of a generation that has turned their backs on their heritage. I can hardly stand to look at that picture of her doing the dance number. Her bit on stage did nothing to celebrate India. Kathak dancers are refined, elegant, demur and graceful. They are a joy to watch.

Laura writes:

Interesting points. Traditional Indian dance is beautiful and highly refined.

Davuluri does look Indian to me in the photo at the top of this post though it is an Americanized look. It’s true that she could never have won if she had been more authentically Indian.

I agree with you that Indian culture is being “ploughed under” too, but Bollywood and Hollywood are distinctively Indian and American in some ways.

Jane S. writes:

Here is exquisite kathak dance from Satyajit Ray’s The Chess Players (1977).

And here’s Madhubala herself dancing in the great classic Mughal e Azam.

Now she is not much of a dancer, and this is not a good example of refined kathak dance, but she is so beautiful, it’s enchanting to watch.

Laura writes:

Very beautiful and feminine.

Jane adds:

Laura writes:

[B]ut Bollywood and Hollywood are distinctively Indian and American in some ways.

For the time being. They are in such a hurry to flush themselves down the same sewer as Hollywood, the differences are less all the time.

Jane continues:

Global Citizen writes:

Which part of traditional Indian values is considered inherently anti-American?

Traditionally, Hindus were not allowed to travel abroad or go anywhere they might pollute themselves by coming into contact with beefeaters and untouchables, including white people. Sounds pretty anti-American to me.

India is a democracy with rule of common law, separation of faith and state and thus secular in nature, promotes free markets, free speech, a conservative society and is one of the few countries in that part of the world that values the concept of human rights.

Yeah, but those are not part of traditional Indian values. Hinduism teaches that being born is a punishment. Your job is to accept your lot in life, however awful. Whatever suffering comes your way, you earned it because of your past life misdeeds. Next time around could be worse. There’s no guarantee you’ll even come back as a person.

If you tried to imagine the farthest thing from traditional American values, traditional Hinduism would do.

Brian writes:

Jane said,

“Whatever suffering comes your way, you earned it because of your past life misdeeds.”

Well, that does sound close to what we’re told we have to pay $30,000 a year for our children to learn in college.

Alex writes:

Global Citizen lists India’s values as democracy, rule of common law, separation of faith and state, secularism, free markets, free speech, and human rights.

These are indeed American values, and they are exactly what has made America a totalitarian hell. They are all post-Christian values. Their adoption destroys traditional Christian values, liberty, and the Good. Nor does it look as though the adoption of these values, utterly foreign to India, is benefiting that country. It can only destroy traditional Indian society, as it has destroyed traditional Christian society.

Anti-Globalist Expatriate writes:

India has nothing in common with the United States.

India is not a ‘democracy’ in the way that most (and mostly misinformed) Westerns think of the term – it is a hierarchical culture based upon the perpetuation of entrenched elites based largely upon vote-buying. It is segregated by caste and skin color, with white skin being seen as highly desirable, and unborn female children regularly aborted due to the preference for male children.

[It is important to note that countries in the East call themselves ‘democracies’ largely in order to gain trade concessions from and military alliances with Western nations, especially the United States. There is no such thing as a ‘democracy’ in the sense that most Westerners understand the term anywhere in Asia, and I include both Japan and South Korea in that assessment. ‘Democracy’ isn’t a desirable form of government, anyways, as our Founders clearly understood in their dialogues in the Federalist Papers, of course.]

Indian culture is highly dismissive of women; women are second-class citizens in India, are raped, beaten, and mistreated with impunity. The recent high-profile rapes of white Western women have resulted in arrests, but they’re the exception, not the norm. The arrest and conviction of four Indian men for raping and murdering an Indian women on a public transit bus is also an exception.

India does not have the rule of law in the Western sense. As in all nations in that part of the world, the laws are selectively enforced in order to benefit the wealthy and the powerful. Hygiene outside of highly Westernized tourist enclaves is nil; even in government buildings, toilet facilities are completely unsanitary, reeking, and unusable by Western standards.

India is useful to the United States as a counterweight to China, and U.S. tech firms adore India because they can import huge numbers of IT workers via the H1B visa program in order to displace higher-paid Americans. The Indian workers for the most part have formal certifications (often obtained via cheating on exams), but Indian culture emphasizes rote learning over innovation and initiative, and most Indian programmers (not all) are regarded with contempt by American programmers in large Silicon Valley firms, as they exhibit a high degree of incompetence and lack creativity in problem-solving.

India isn’t a secular country, either; it’s routinely riven by inter-religous violence between Hindus, Mulsims, and Sikhs. There are religiously-inspired massacres in India every so often, with scores killed.

I know all this because I’ve spent a great deal of time in India; in fact, I’m going there on business again this week. I’ve been all over the world, and India is one of my two least-favorite countries to visit (China being the other one), for the above reasons, and more.

It is a filthy, awful place in which there aren’t even any decent sidewalks in the major cities, including the capital, Delhi – it’s so awful, that any Indian who can do so emigrates to the West. It bears no resemblance to the description set forth by your correspondent ‘Global Citizen.’

Bill Irons writes:

Alex writes that India’s values, like America’s, are: democracy, rule of common law, separation of faith and state, secularism, free markets, free speech, and human rights. While I don’t agree that such values have made America a totalitarian hell, I must comment on one aspect that seems to unite them: they are all functional in nature, serving some definite purpose, rather than pointing to or cherishing some yet higher good. Even if one (somewhat simplistically and incorrectly) summarizes them all as the values necessary to have near-perfect freedom, the question remains: freedom to do what?

In the time of the great, sprawling British Empire, the core British values could be summarized as “to the glory of God and the Queen.” Our nation’s new values, as stated above, are more-or-less “that I may be left the hell alone.” And “the hell” part of it is prophetic. It has often struck me that the primary problem with a philosophy such as libertarianism is this: once you have all this freedom, what are you going to do then? They presuppose the tyranny, the evil which men may do to one another, but seem to have no defined idea of the good which we should all reflect in our lives and ways. The Catholic Church catechism says (paraphrased) that the ultimate purpose of life is to know God and to love and serve Him forever. A civilization, a culture, if it is to last, must ultimately be formed around the deepest truths and highest actual good, rather than perseverate on secondary, though very necessary good things, such as freedom.

Paul writes:

Concerning my natural feelings over a fellow human being’s looks, I would not ask Miss A out unless she were also a particularly charming person such as one who is witty and clearly interesting. Even then, I would not take advantage because I believe it is evil to deceive a female sexually and I believe one should marry within one’s culture. Oh, I have many faults.

Alex writes:

Anti-Globalist Expatriate writes that India has nothing in common with the United States but then says:

“India […] is a hierarchical culture based upon the perpetuation of entrenched elites based largely upon vote-buying.”

And the United States is…?

“India does not have the rule of law […], the laws are selectively enforced in order to benefit the wealthy and the powerful.”

Again, how is the United States different?

Bill Irons put it very well, except that it was not I but Global Citizen who wrote that democracy and the rest of that garbage were Indian values. They are all false values. Democracy is rule by professional politicians pitting one half of the nation against the other.

Rule of law is impossible. Whatever laws there are, the reality is always rule by men.

Separation of faith and state frees the rulers of any notion of accountability to a higher authority. Secular government is about naked power and nothing else. Banishing religion to the private sphere is always the first step to stamping it out altogether. In the eyes of secular government, if something is so dangerous that it cannot be allowed in the holy realm of government and must be contained within the suspicious, creepy private sphere, it must be eventually eliminated.

While people must be able to exchange goods and sell their labor, as in every other element of life, total freedom in the markets is disastrous. Man is too imperfect to function well when given too much freedom, especially in the economic sphere.

Freedom for subversive speech undermines and eventually destroys society. It is by using freedom of speech that the subversives destroy traditional society.

Half of human rights are meaningless words invented by 18th-century revolutionaries, and the other, newer half are entitlements of the unproductive instituted to buy their votes with money forcibly taken from the productive.

The result of the adoption of these values we can see all around us.

Shefali, from India, writes:

Well, of course I found the comments in the wake of Nina’s win racist. As did a billion Indians. Because the patriots, ALL of them, called her an ARAB ! And alluded to 9/11.

You should know from Mr. Auster’s discussions with the reader “Indian Living in the West” how much we detest Muslims of non-Indian denomination. Yes. We do. Arabs! For the love of God. We foam at the mouth when we speak of Pakistani Muslims ! Never mind what Indian liberal media says, the tolerance here is as thick as a tortilla. We have had a dozen 9/11’s of our own, orchestrated by Muslims of Arab descent or training. So yes, those comments were way out of line. Criticize her skin color or her tacky dance all you want. But Arabs!

Also, with two parents who are medical professionals, law-abiding citizens and  tax payers who have raised a daughter also on her way to being one, sans any illegitimate children like say a Black or Latino girl, I would expect a little leeway. Don’t even get me started on Miss Kansas, the bad peroxide job, horrendous tattoos and feminist smirk, whom the conservatives say lost on account of her “values.” Getting a tattoo of the Lord’s Prayer a Christian makes?

Laura writes:

I assume you are referring to comments made on social media by those who thought Davuluri was Arab.

So are you disagreeing with what I said, that if a white daughter of American immigrants to India, let’s say they were perfectly upstanding and financially successful, were chosen to be Miss India you wouldn’t be bothered by that?

Shefali writes:

Personally, me and many, many Indians wouldn’t mind a white Miss India. If she was born, raised and educated here, I don’t see why not. The Secretary of the Indian college students council a few years ago was a Caucasian who moved here post High-school. For starters, one of the reigning Bollywood actresses is British, she claims to be half-Indian but really is white and cannot speak Hindi to save her life. We have had many Miss India contestants who have been half-white believe me, many top models are in fact half-white.

Now, black is a whole different matter, as you can see we are rather racist here :) Even Nina with her dark coloring wouldn’t be that much of a hit. Look at Aishwarya Rai, 100 percent Indian descent, yet she looks 100 percent Caucasian. I am attaching a pic of me, if you remember I had spoken in a previous thread about my family’s very light coloring. There is a reason why fairness creams and Caucasian/Khazar beauty is worshiped in the East. I would identify physically with a white or half-white woman rather than a dusky beauty like Nina. Oops!

Laura writes:

You are suggesting that it is all a question of skin coloring and that’s not exactly my point. I cannot imagine a white, blonde American as Miss India.

Jane S. writes:

It isn’t a question of whether she’s beautiful or smart or nice. She undoubtedly is all of those things.

It’s a question of whether or not she represents America, the way Miss America is supposed to represent America. And she doesn’t. Even she says she doesn’t. Her allegiance is to “diversity,” aka identity group politics, aka “fascism.”

She doesn’t represent India, either. Not really. Of course, she did a Bollywood dance number. Of course. That’s what people expect. If I were an Indian person, I would be offended by that. India has a gloriously rich cultural heritage thousands of years old. Do you think it’s fairly represented by Bollywood?

No doubt her parents are upright, decent, law-abiding citizens. Indian immigrants almost always are. It’s the next generation, the Indian kids who have never lived in India, that’s where you’ll see the tattoos, the illegitimate children, the same-sex marriages. Their parents don’t see that coming. They never do.

As for people calling her “Arab,” that is pretty ignorant. An Iranian friend has expressed the same indignation when people refer to Persians as “Arab.” I’m descended from famine Irish on both sides. It doesn’t matter to me, but I am still somewhat astonished when people refer to me as “Anglo.” I think, good heavens, do you even know what you’re saying?

And to address your comment directly, Laura, several years ago, there was speculation that Sonia Gandhi, white Italian-born widow of Rajiv Gandhi, would become India’s prime minister. This was so vigorously opposed, people were threatening to commit suicide over it. I don’t think they’d be cool with a white Miss India, either.

Paul writes:

Jane S.’s post is consistent with my comment about keeping marriages within one’s culture.  Orwell clearly illustrated, through newspeak for example, that if we try to eliminate differences, we will reach dystopia not utopia.  Gosh I am so proud and grateful my Catholic high school made 1984 required reading when we were freshman.  And the super 1950s’ movie rendition with Edmond O’Brien, which is entrancing to say the least, remains unsurpassed and embedded in my generation’s memory.

I must admit the two encouraged my already incorrigible attitude towards strict lay authority.  Although I have been part of a bureaucracy, I was never a company man.  Just today I was discussing the emerging basis of anti-discrimination law: ugliness.  Most employment lawyers don’t know about it yet.  Following his revelation over my information, I told this prominent but friendly-to-me local black attorney in passing that it was unfortunate that airline stewardesses are no longer almost all pretty young women as they used to be when I first flew.  (See reruns of PanAm.)

He said, “I didn’t hear that.”  Of course I knew he is a liberal (i.e., PC).  I knew the risk, but I enjoy my friendly-but-pointed criticisms of lay authority.  I hope I get the time to be a presenter at an upcoming seminar in the months ahead.  The subject will be “Ugliness Discrimination” (catchy?).  I expect to rock a few worlds, and I don’t care if it gets back to my uber-PC employer because I am so close to full retirement.

Sept. 20, 2013

Global Citizen writes:

I was busy and only just read the responses in your article. They are quite diverse and interesting! You say it is not about skin color yet you don’t elaborate on what the problem is.A Globalist Expatriate’s rant on India is a combination of truth, generalistation and exaggeration. On the truthful bits, I will say that India faces the same problems that any poor country in the developing world does,  which get magnified when you have a huge population. It is insignificant to this discussion. Jane’s point out about Hindu women being oppressed is about as relevant today as saying slavery is an integral part of American Traditionalism. Such attitudes towards women if they exist are prevalent among the rural populations and largely stems from illiteracy and poverty. She also says Sonia Gandhi was opposed a while back as PM candidate.They were opposed to her not because she was white. There was a legitimate reason- she came to India in her late 20s as a spouse, she wasn’t born and raised in India unlike the Miss America example. So Jane doesn’t seem to have a clue and goes off on a tangent. I wouldn’t hire her as a cultural liaison officer!

Let me rephrase my original question – is there anything about the current Indian-American community you find objectionable  and causing problems to traditional America in the long run?

Also do you agree with Alex and Bill’s observations on democracy? What is your ideal system of governance ?

 Laura writes:

Race and ethnicity are not just a matters of skin color, but of psychology, culture and spirit. I do not long to see an America in which there are no Indians. Not at all. I personally like the Indian-Americans I know very much (and of course as in all these discussions of general group characteristics, these characteristics do not change the need to judge individuals we encounter as individuals). However, there has been too much immigration from India. The numbers are too high and America has been transformed culturally. As an example, if you drive through New England, many of the motels now are owned by Indians. These businessmen have an entirely different outlook and way of life from the surrounding area. I do not believe they will ever be a natural part of New England unless many other Indians join them, in which case the white American will be an outsider. I believe that their primary attachment to the area is economic. There’s nothing wrong with that. Europeans came to America for economic motives, but in order to flourish they had to displace the culture that was already here.

I remember talking to one Indian motel owner who said how much his children hated growing up in the small New Hampshire town where they owned a motel. I’m not surprised they did. They must have found it utterly foreign. I’m sure they wouldn’t have found it so unpleasant if there were more Indians in that town. Indians will naturally want to expand their own community, culture and religion wherever there are, although there will always be rootless cosmopolitan urbanites who can fit in anywhere. There’s nothing wrong with that innate desire to be a part of a community. But it is very difficult to meld large, distinct communities into a politically coherent whole without enormous tension and conflict. We see that today as historic white America has weakened political power and cannot protect its cultural ways. Indians naturally identify with India or with each other — and typically not with white American culture. In the last presidential election, Asians voted overwhelmingly for Obama. I asked a very intelligent Indian friend of mine, a woman who is one of my very best friends and has many relatives in this country and Canada, whether she thought all her relatives had voted for Obama because he was not white. She thought about it and said, yes.

As for your second question, there is no perfect political system. All are inherently defective. Democracy works best if there are countervailing forces that preserve hierarchy and authority. It can never work when people believe in democracy as a sort of religion, as they do in America, which gravitated quickly to universal suffrage, which is a disaster.

Jane S. writes:

I went back over all of my posts and I do not, in any of them, say one single thing about Hindu women being repressed. Nor did I compare the repression of Hindu women to slavery in America. If you want to make it look like you have a clue, you will have to find another way to do it besides calling other people clueless. You will also have to learn how to read.

My first point is, and I’ll say this again: Ms. Davuluri does not represent America the way Miss America is supposed to represent America, and even she says so. She is the “new” Miss America. Her allegiance is to diversity. Are you deliberately trying to not get that?

My second point is, she doesn’t represent India or Indian culture, either, not really. She had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to wow a global audience and she chose a Bollywood dance number, because that’s what people expect, the same way people think McDonald’s is typical American food. Are you claiming that Bollywood is a fair representation of Hindu culture?

But, since you think repression of Hindu women belongs in this discussion, let’s go there. According to you, repressive attitudes towards Hindu women if they exist (your words) are peripheral and take place only among poor ignorant villagers. Thank heaven for poor ignorant villagers. Without them who would we have to blame things on?

I would never hire you as a cultural liaison officer—whatever that is—because your grasp of the idea of culture is superficial, to say the least. You have the typical Leftist materialist view—people behave the way they do because of economic circumstances. It has nothing to do with their beliefs.

The attitude towards women in Hindu, as in American society, is rooted in religion. For starters, a Hindu woman is expected to worship her husband as a god. And don’t tell me the young, educated, Bollywood-loving Indian urbanites think different. They don’t if they are genuine believers in Hinduism.

Christians, on the other hand, have the 10 Commandments, the first of which expressly states “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” You love God more than anyone, more than your spouse, more than yourself.

Major, major differences between Hinduism and Christianity and anyone who doesn’t understand that, doesn’t understand culture, either. Leftists don’t understand that. For them, people are just interchangeable blocks of wood, the differences are all on the surface and can be erased with a little bit of schooling.

In answer to your original question, assuming you were posing it to me.

I’ve already said that, in my experience, Indian-American immigrants are decent, upright people. I believe I’ve made clear my enthusiasm for Indian culture, unless you think lots of Americans watch Hindi film classics. Dude—Indian people don’t even do that anymore. They’d rather watch cheesy knock-offs of American game shows. Is Kaun Banega Crorepati still the number one hit TV show in India? If not, what has taken it’s place? Something much better?

Indian-American immigrants are not causing a problem for traditional America. Traditional America is being destroyed because Americans no longer believe in it, care about it or think it is worth defending. They are too busy prostrating themselves at the altar of “diversity,” aka fascism. Americans are 100% responsible for the survival of traditional America. It’s entirely up to them.

Once traditional America has been wiped out for good, the whole world will be poorer for it, but hardly anyone realizes that.

As for Sonja Gandhi, Indians would have objected to her no matter what color she was, even if she had been born to Italian parents in India and raised there. Not even being married to an Indian man would make her Indian enough. If you look at the lineup of Indian politicians going back to Independence, you can see just how much they prize “diversity” in high office.

As for democracy, I agree with Winston Churchill who said it is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried. The United States is not a democracy. It is a republic. There is a difference.

Shefali writes:

I humbly request Jane S. to specify and if possible provide the URL of whichever ” Hindu” scripture, book, verse, prayer etc supports her claim – that a Hindu woman must worship  her husband as God.

Does being clean also make a Christian godly?  That’s ALL that is needed right? Hindus have another one, “Guests are to be treated like God.” Bazinga !

It’s really downright unbecoming to quote randomly the translated words of another culture without trying to understand or provide the context. Husbands and guests are both to be worshiped – meaning served. Similarly, a Christian wife looks upon her hearth as the kingdom she has been given to serve.

And no, repressive attitudes are not restricted to villages. I mean good heavens, my own brother prefers a homely, domestic girl to a career glamazon. If you mean sexual attitudes, I refuse to let anyone attribute sexual crimes to a single culture. The highest Rape statistics come from First World nations.

 And the protests against Sonia came from the fact that she had been a homemaker and mother, never a political worker or even employed in any kind of industry, it was impossible to appoint her Prime Minister because that was the FIRST time she had contested any kind of election and won.

Can you allow a white, American to assume the President’s chair without ever holding office as a Governor or Representative in any state ?

I agree 100 percent that Nina does not represent a white American. Problem is, white girls themselves don’t know who they are anymore, besieged as they are by beauty standards and role models who look like they be from anywhere.

Jane S. writes:

Shefali writes:

“I humbly request Jane S. to specify and if possible provide the URL of whichever ” Hindu” scripture, book, verse, prayer etc supports her claim – that a Hindu woman must worship  her husband as God.”

I don’t know that it is written anywhere. Should it be? I know devout Hindus who cannot read. I believe illiteracy is pretty common in Hindu history. They must have got their ideas from somewhere other than reading. I don’t believe it’s written anywhere that widows should self-immolate on their husband’s funeral pyres, either. Nevertheless, they did do it, a lot, for a long time. I’m sure it’s impolite to bring that up, too.

Oh I know the majority of Hindus can read nowadays. I don’t notice them reading sacred texts at leisure, however. I would be surprised if they did.

My knowledge of Hindu culture, which is next to nothing, is based on my associations with Hindu people over a 20-year time period spanning 3 continents. Maybe they have given me a lot of wrong ideas. Probably they did. But it begs the question how so many people who don’t know each other can keep telling the same stories over and over again.

Last Thanksgiving, I visited a young newlywed Hindu couple I know. Post-graduate-educated, flashy jobs, with all the latest high-tech gadgets. Of course they consider themselves modern in every way. During the evening, he reminded his wife that he is her god. This is not by any means the first time I have heard this, and I doubt it will be the last. I didn’t ask what book they got it from.

Few people I have met are more generous with their hospitality than Hindus. They will invite you to dinner and serve you all these fantastic dishes. They converse with you while you eat. They don’t eat with you because you are unclean. Doesn’t matter whether you just took a shower and changed your clothes. They keep the daughters-in-law out of your sight, too. I’ve never asked what book they got this from. Next time I will. But I don’t think it would be far-fetched to say the Hindu idea of cleanliness is radically different than the Christian one.

I googled “Sonja Gandhi” and “prime minister” and pulled up this item, posted just 5 days ago, by a BJP party leader, one who had threatened to shave her head if Sonia Gandhi became prime minister, who says she is still opposes the idea. This woman is quoted as saying, “The Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha noted that the country was under foreign rule for over 150 years and many had sacrificed their lives for its freedom. If after 60 years of independence, if we coronate another foreigner for the top job then it would have meant that 100 crore people were incapable… It would be hurting the sensibility of the people.”

Nevertheless, according to you, Indian people had no objections to SG’s foreign birth, none whatsoever, it was only a question of her lack of political experience. Amazing. Next I suppose you’ll tell me Indian people begged the British to stay, too.

I don’t know what makes you think I attribute rape to a single culture, because I said nothing of the sort, but people have been putting words in my mouth since this discussion began. Nevertheless, if you are claiming that rape statistics are higher in the U.S. than they are in India, I am going to ask a friend in Chennai who is a women’s rights attorney and see what she says. While I’m at it, I will repeat GC’s remark that repression of women, if it exists in India, happens only in rural villages. We’ll see what she says about that, too. It’s bound to be colorful.

As for American presidents, they are supposed to have had executive experience before they get to the White House. After all the President is the Chief Executive. However, that is not the case with Obama, who has never had experience running anything.

As for beauty pageants, they would be worth watching if they showcased all the ways girls from different places can be beautiful. But they do not. They enforce a globalized standard of beauty where you can’t tell where anyone is from.

Global Citizen writes:

Here is my response to Jane.

I went back over all of my posts and I do not, in any of them, say one single thing about Hindu women being repressed. Nor did I compare the repression of Hindu women to slavery in America. If you want to make it look like you have a clue, you will have to find another way to do it besides calling other people clueless. You will also have to learn how to read.

My apologies ! I wrongly assumed a gender given that this was about a hindu women. But my point still stands – there was barbaric behavior that was  part of American traditional in its founding days and same can said about Indian tradition. Attitudes change over time as people come in contact and mingle with people of other races. By the way India has many religions so stop assuming Hinduism is the root belief from which all Indian attitudes are to be judged on.

My first point is, and I’ll say this again: Ms. Davuluri does not represent America the way Miss America is supposed to represent America, and even she says so. She is the “new” Miss America. Her allegiance is to diversity. Are you deliberately trying to not get that?

No, her diversity comment was a reference to a person of different ethinicity being chosen as Miss America. She does not mean American values have changed.

My second point is, she doesn’t represent India or Indian culture, either, not really. She had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to wow a global audience and she chose a Bollywood dance number, because that’s what people expect, the same way people think McDonald’s is typical American food. Are you claiming that Bollywood is a fair representation of Hindu culture?

She did a different dance routine. Big deal. It still doesn’t pose a challenge to traditional American values in any way. Bollywood is as representative of Indian culture as Hollywood is of American culture but  what is the point here –  what do you expect a young woman to do apart mimicking  pop culture? Would you have felt better if Miss America had performed something from American pop culture like a twerk dance instead of something Indian ?

Major, major differences between Hinduism and Christianity and anyone who doesn’t understand that, doesn’t understand culture, either. Leftists don’t understand that. For them, people are just interchangeable blocks of wood, the differences are all on the surface and can be erased with a little bit of schooling.

Again stop assuming every Indian’s attitude stems from some neanderthalic interpretation of Hinduism.Most Hindus I know are quite agnostic about their own religion.I used to think like you did yet what I observe is that they  live out traditional Christian values better than the Western christian or even a Bible Belt Christian in terms of fidelity, hard work and family values.

Indian-American immigrants are not causing a problem for traditional America.

Good , so you diagree with the good housewife.

Traditional America is being destroyed because Americans no longer believe in it, care about it or think it is worth defending. They are too busy prostrating themselves at the altar of “diversity,” aka fascism. Americans are 100% responsible for the survival of traditional America. It’s entirely up to them.

Yes, but that is a different problem. Don’t immigrants who bring conservative values act as a counterweight to the liberal  hedo-nihisltic socialist outlook that say European immigrants bring to the table ? The latter has rejected Christianity and therefore pose a bigger problem to traditionalism. Unless you think them being white makes up for it somehow.

As for Sonja Gandhi, Indians would have objected to her no matter what color she was, even if she had been born to Italian parents in India and raised there.

That is a speculative or rather an ignorant statement with no data to back it up.Maybe you should live in India for sometime like I have.

 Laura writes:

Perhaps Global Citizen could explain why so many Indians voted for Obama, given that they embrace family values.

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