Kamala Harris: The Indian connection syndrome - By Prof Mathew C Ninan


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


By Prof Mathew C Ninan

Aug 29: We are legitimately proud of Indians making a name in the world outside. The moment a person of Indian origin comes into the limelight anywhere in the world, we are quick to acknowledge it and feel proud of it. The latest in the pantheon of Indian heroes is Kamala Harris. Most Indians would like to see her elected the Vice President of USA, the first woman to hold the office in American history. That’s the level of our total identification with one of our ilk who lives abroad. This special favour, of course, is limited to those living in other countries.

Kamala had made a name as Attorney General of California before becoming the running mate of Joe Biden. She is certainly not the first Indian to hog the limelight in the political arena of other countries. In the US itself we have veterans like Bobby Jindal and Nikki Haley who became Governors of States. They too are potential nominees to the high offices of President or Vice President. Sam Arora, Joy Cherian, and Rohit Khanna are a few prominent names among many others.


Kamala Harris

The UK also has a respectable Indian presence with Rishi Sunak as Chancellor of Exchequer, and Priti Patel as an MP. Swaraj Paul and Keith Vaz were MPs for long, to name a few. Then there are scores of politicians in key positions in Britain.

There are 18 Sikhs in the Canadian Parliament, 5 more than in India. The Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, known for his witty repartees, told an American audience that he has more Sikhs in his cabinet than his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi. It must be recalled that Sikhs form only around 2% in both the countries.

We have many distinguished politicians all over the world with an Indian connection, some distant and some quite close. The fact of the matter is that we do not worry if the connection is near or far, as long as there is at least a tenuous link. Then we can claim credit for it. That is the kind of ‘nationalist affinity’ we have towards our fellow-Indians especially when they become famous in an alien land.

Barring the Middle-east monarchies, with no chance for any foreigner to be in government, many countries of the world have some Indian presence or the other in their political system. This is more pronounced in countries having democratic systems of governance.

Talented Indians have such acceptance abroad obviously because of a certain cosmopolitan outlook in those countries. Such an inclusive culture is the way of the new world. What is our position in this regard?

We hear about a new nationalism that is emerging now, whose contours are ambiguous. It appears to be different from patriotism. Patriotism is love of one’s country, plain and simple. If nationalism means love of one’s own country (read one’s own kind of people) with a corresponding hatred towards others, it is something we could do without. What is clear is that narrow nationalism is against the spirit of cosmopolitanism. It will be the every negation of a common humanity. It will militate against the spirit of globalization which is the avowed objective of all forward-looking nations of the world, including India. Narrow boundaries are anathema to the modern citizen of the world. A borderless world is their ultimate dream.

When the world at large has an inclusive culture, where do we stand? How many people with an alien descent are in our parliament? This is something we need to ponder over. What’s our position with regard to people of foreign descent becoming Indian citizens and occupying positions in the government?

We have had a huge debate on the Citizenship Amendment Bill which is waiting for Rajya Sabha approval to make it a full-fledged Act. It just means that we are inhospitable, if not entirely hostile to the immigration of people from outside our borders. USA, Canada, Australia and many of the European countries do have a large population of immigrants. Indians form a sizable proportion of immigrants in all these countries. We have no qualms about applauding successful people of Indian origin in these countries but we ourselves will not tolerate anybody with the remotest of foreign connection in our scheme of things. Here lies the dichotomy of our thinking, bordering on hypocrisy.

Many of the countries cited above not only have a more liberal immigration policy, but also allow immigrants to participate in their democratic process and occupy positions of power. They believe that talent should be welcomed from all corners of the world, and that’s how a country prospers. Exclusivity constricts and limits, while inclusivity widens growth and prosperity.

The time has come to think of the amazing possibilities of universal brotherhood and global citizenship to realize the dream of a world that Tagore visualised.

‘Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls.’

 

 

Prof Mathew C Ninan is Director, Little Rock Institute for Educational Leadership, Udupi.

 

 

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Comment on this article

  • M. DSouza, Mangaluru/USA

    Sat, Sep 5 2020

    Kamala Harris has not visited India for more than 10 years. She identifies herself as AfroAmerican . She was with her mother ( after her parents separated). Her political motivations/advancement in education/government position could be the reason why she chose Afroamerican identity. Suddenly presenting Indian mothers influence, will not help her to get votes from Desi Americans.
    She keeps blaming America for not providing opportunities for immigrants and non whites. How did she succeed? Her income is more than one million per year.
    Nikki Haley(Namrata Nikki Randhawa) born to Indian Immigrants has proved herself as successful Governor of South Carolina and UN ambassador.
    In 2024 Ms Haley will be Republican Candidate. If God willing She will be the first Woman president of USA and first president born to Indian heritage parents.

    DisAgree Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Robin, Byndoor

    Sun, Aug 30 2020

    Is she give justice to India having Indian DNA with her ???? Her orations of recent past does not bring smiles on Indian diaspora. Is she going to prosecute or persecute India being Legal Prosecutor ?

    Just because of Indian origin or Just because of atrocities of Trump, are we ready to accept another major blow ? Sikhs occupied Canadian parliament. The same Sikhs trying their best to create Khalistan out of India by hatching plans there. Anybody has any reason to be happy about it ?

    Indians can wait to embrace Lotus Harris as Kamala Harish ( Ha.. Ha.. Ha...) only after elections and after her actions... We need some patience.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • DP, Balmatta

    Sun, Aug 30 2020

    I LOVE to see persons ( never set foot on US soil AND not even living here) commenting.

    Reminds me vividly when there is something going on all crowds gather due to inquisitiveness. The same feeling exists here, people gathering & commenting without any reality.

    All commentators, some even SOUNDING that they are living descendants here, without knowing the truth and reality.

    Do not get FOOLED by the pompous behaviour exhibited. It is all a "REALITY SHOW" to show the world of the good nature and people fall for it.

    Republicans were ALWAYS Pakistani sympathisers . Remember during the war of 1971, when R Nixon sent the seventh fleet against India. I vividly remember that time when we had black outs in Mangalore, praying not to be attacked.

    Nothing has changed even now. Remember that Trump's (divorced) first wife ( Ivana Trump), used to date Imran Khan yesteryears in London. That is why the friendliness with India NOW and nothing else.

    So please folks, sitting in a far away land stop commenting with authority. Please talk about putting your house in order , before commenting on other nations.
    The grass ALWAYS looks greener on the other side! I mean literally and not the note!

    DisAgree [5] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Mohan Prabhu,, Mangalore (Kankanady)/Ottawa, Canada

    Sat, Aug 29 2020

    Title : Kamala Harris: The Indian connection syndrome - By Prof Mathew C Ninan


    This is a good and well thought out eye opener. Congratulations professor Ninan. You have hit the nail right on the head. Indian law is schizophrenic and inward looking. While countries like USA, Canada, and Australia grant admission to Indians, based on merit and also quota system, there is nothing of that kind in Indian law; in fact, it discourages, not just foreign born but even the Indian born from citizenship – in fact forfeits Indian citizenship to them if they become citizens of another country. It is totally one way, and for the country’s long term progress it should change the law and not just have a liberal immigration policy – at least on a merit basis – but also grant dual citizenship to those Indians who have acquired foreign citizenship – not just grant them the status of Persons of Indian origin. Countries like Italy and Ukraine not only grant dual nationality but allow their foreign resident dual citizens the right to vote and even become prime ministers. Portugal is a good example. Portugal grants dual citizenship to Goans who were Portuguese citizens when they were born, and the current Prime Minister is of Indian origin, though born in Lisbon, his father was Goan by birth. By forfeiting citizenship India has much to lose as many Indians have made great progress in their adopted country which was denied to them by various myopic policies not just of the government but of indian industry and universities and halls of learning.
    Perhaps the worst part is even Indians are discriminated because they are “well-born” by the uplifting of the so-called downtrodden castes, through the perpetuated reservation system which has gone on for over seventy years, renewed every time the expiry period lapses – and still has not “uplifted” the SC/ST who take the plum positions in recruitment as well as in promotion to public service employment and even admission to higher learning

    DisAgree [2] Agree [15] Reply Report Abuse

  • Al Dsouza, Canada

    Sat, Aug 29 2020

    Many Christian's are not.given government and political positions in India evan though many Christians are transparent and corruption free in thier jobs. It is a democratic nation where bias is every corner of selecting people whereas western nations Indians prosper based on merits without religion involved. That is why call myself a proud Canadian with great pride. We pray Trump will win one more term.

    DisAgree [4] Agree [16] Reply Report Abuse

  • DP, Balmatta / Burlington MA

    Sun, Aug 30 2020

    To the Canadian up nort h: watch what your OWN president did when asked the question:

    Trudeau silent for 21 seconds after question about Trump s response to protesters.. watch it on youtube.

    WOW .. I love Canadians but feel sad to call YOU a proud neighbor!!

    DisAgree [5] Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • k b r, Mangala Uru

    Sat, Aug 29 2020

    The danger with Biden or Demo(n)cat nominee winning is that it will not be neutral government but a black friendly government... which is not good for any body... many times blacks tend to be "reverse racist" in their expectations..

    DisAgree [6] Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

  • Mohan Prabhu,, Mangalore (Kankanady)/Ottawa, Canada

    Sat, Aug 29 2020

    You are right Kabir, in a way, like the political parties who bat for SC/ST just to get their votes and forget all about them when it comes to atrocities against them.

    DisAgree [5] Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • k b r, Mangala Uru

    Sat, Aug 29 2020

    There is difference between blacks of US and SC/STs of India... Blacks are part of America for centuries.. when America prospered, they have shared the American pie... and Blacks cut across religion, Muslims and many sects of Christianity...

    SC/STs were segregated and treated as "Untouchables" for centuries... They were not part of Varna system, excluded, not considered as human beings... Manusmriti prescribes punitive and retrograde measures against SCs... they were punished if they touched upper castes / upper caste objects... they were not allowed into savarna houses, schools, community gatherings... they were not allowed into temples... there used to be permanent isolation camps (similar to covid hospitals) known as "ಹೊಲೆಯರ ಕೇರಿ"..

    American Blacks have done well in sports, music... Blacks were betterin physical capacity and huge even when compared to whites... so white police officers find it difficult to control without resorting to gun...

    SC/STs were undernourished and weak and easily dominated / attacked by Savarnaas.. SC/STs have undergone gory and inhuman crimes in the hands of savarnaas... doors of socio-economic, cultural development were closed for SCs for centuries...

    DisAgree [2] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

  • Alex, Mangalore

    Sat, Aug 29 2020

    Trump is the second President, who invoked and Hail Mary and Almighty God during the Final part of the Republic National Convention.
    The other was done by John F Kennedy.
    Joe Biden says he is Catholic, but even Hitler was Catholic. Catholics do not include who are against Catholic beliefs top to down.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse

  • DP, Balmatta / Burlington MA

    Sun, Aug 30 2020

    Trump is an ATHEIST. he does not follow any religion.

    Wow ..even you fell for the fake news 8000 miles away!

    DisAgree [9] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Al Dsouza, Canada

    Sun, Aug 30 2020

    DP if he is atheist what difference is going to makes? He makes America great again and illegals kick out of the country so that Americans gets a job who deserves to be employed in thier own land.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • Alex, Mangalore

    Mon, Aug 31 2020

    How do you know that he is atheist.
    He is presbyterian christian. His wife Melania is Roman Catholic.
    I know better of him than you there.
    Ofcourse your state of Massachusettes is controlled by Democrats so, you have demo(n)crat fever.
    We as a Roman Catholics, do never can advocate abortion, which is a mortal sin.
    That sin if any Roman Catholic votes for such a party, becomes an accessory to the murders everyday, which does not get forgiveness as it is being committed everyday.
    By the way the daily abortions in USA are 3500, that is a total of 60 million since 1972 when the Supreme Court ruled on Roe de Wade. With this the black babies are aborted more than white, accounting 25 million out of 60 million. Ofcourse only 13% of USA are blacks.
    You want some thing more???

    DisAgree [1] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • Al Dsouza, Canada

    Sun, Aug 30 2020

    Alex, I agree with your comment. Trump makes America great again with respecting value of Christian towards the society. West is becomes political correctness makes politics makes politicians to get nervous even to say merrry Christmas just because few loser say it is against their religion. Since trump won everyone proudly say Merry Christmas and many more kudos on the rise to go back to original life of America. Only god can give them wisdom to these enemies

    DisAgree Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • H. Almeida., Bendur/Andheri

    Sat, Aug 29 2020

    The hullabaloo created in the media n in the Indian diaspora, is certainly intriguing !! Kamala Harris has Indian ancestry..... She is an American, her loyalty will always be towards her nation !!! The first generation of immigrants have affinity towards India. Subsequent generations, gradually melts with the host nation.. Hence we should not get unduly excited about prospects about an Indian ruling United States of America..

    DisAgree Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

  • R S Hegde, Mangalore

    Sat, Aug 29 2020

    The US Democrats are like the 'Vadra Congress' here in India. They follow the same norms of appeasing a certain faction for vote purposes. Wonder how Americans would buy their stuff.

    DisAgree [6] Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

  • M. DSouza, Mangaluru/USA

    Sat, Sep 5 2020

    Mr Hegde,
    You said it right. Democrats have similar agenda of Congress. PM Modiji and President Trump both are right leaning.
    I know many Indians (In USA), they support/like BJP/right wing parties but in US, they are supporting Democrats with radical left views. How can you support one right wing party and leftist party simultaneously?
    The explanation I have this most of the Indians live in states controlled by Democrats (New York, Boston, California and Chicago). They want to be politically correct, impress their friends/colleagues/neighbors and follow the local newspapers.
    From day 1 Trump had to deal with protests, Bogus Russia interference and later impeachment.
    Trump did very well. America will never be controlled by Socialists.

    DisAgree Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Wilfred J. Lewis, Matpady-Brahmavar/ New York, USA

    Sat, Aug 29 2020

    In my opinion if Joe Biden loose 2020 presidential election, that would be mainly because of Senator Kamala Harris. She calls herself as first Black Lady Vice Presidential Candidate of a major party. As it is known her mother is South Indian and her father is African origin from Jamaica.

    In every elections about 90 percent of American Black Americans vote Democratic party since 1960's. For President Obama huge number of Black American turn out on election day was a decisive helpful factor. If Senator Harris' appeal to black and minority voters to vote for Democrats is heeded by this constituents then Democrats may occupy the office.

    DisAgree Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • k b r, Mangala Uru

    Sat, Aug 29 2020

    It will be a long time before an Indian (born to both Indian parents and if married, married to Indian) will become a force in American politics... the idea of America is being an American first and last... for votes, Obama may be described as Black American or Kamala Harris as Coloured American... but the fact is none of the politically successful Americans perceive themselves as part American... they perceive themselves as 200% American...

    DisAgree Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • Al Dsouza, Canada

    Sat, Aug 29 2020

    Donald trump is a president for another term. Period. Be proud of what he has done for USA and true Patriots of USA

    DisAgree [3] Agree [27] Reply Report Abuse

  • Evans Alex, Falnir Mangalore

    Sat, Aug 29 2020

    S nice Article an eye opener to pseudo nationalists anf s feather in the cap gor those eeploring and want to ne successful out of oder ndia

    DisAgree [1] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • Manjunath, Brahmavar

    Sat, Aug 29 2020

    -CAA is necessary to safeguard our nation from the nationalist neighbors - Pakistan(where minorities are persecuted), Bangladesh(above 90% Muslim and they take job opportunities and settle in West Bengal), china(where religion/god is treated second to party)
    -Our situation is similar to Israel, surrounded by haters.
    -Being liberal has not worked out for our country in recent past eg- Mumbai attack, parliament attack, etc. That's why people have moved towards right wing attitude.
    -CAA is not hypocrisy it is just realistic.
    -Ironic that Saudi Arabia's ministers predict future terror wing taking place from Europe due to political correctness, inability to action by politicians. Why do you think that they recognised Israel after all this time.
    -India had shown to the world diversity doesn't always mean a good thing. Look at the condition of Sweden, Germany, Britain, France, USA. Most of the crimes don't get reported for fear of being racist.
    -Look at Poland and Hungary, they had enough of being the target of conquest by countries in the past. They are very nationalistic and don't accept immigrants easily and so they are peaceful.
    -We read about revolutions overthrowing monarchy in our textbooks, but the reality of it taking place in middle East is done by lot of bloodshed and it still continues.

    DisAgree [9] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • Sam Nivas, Mangalore/ MN

    Sat, Aug 29 2020

    Kamal Harris will not be appropriate for India. As it is she has announced that she would have Pakistani Origin individual in her cabinet. This would help Pak peddle their Kashmir agenda thru this guy.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [26] Reply Report Abuse

  • Alan Dmello, Mangalore

    Sat, Aug 29 2020

    K Harris istoo left leaning. She will side China not India in the border issue! That’s her political party ally with China! She will use her Indian heritage to win American Indian votes!

    DisAgree [1] Agree [30] Reply Report Abuse

  • Gabriel Lewis, Brahmavar

    Sat, Aug 29 2020

    Joe Biden would be a disaster for the USA🤭🤭😢😢 & he is not GOD'S Plan for America.

    DisAgree [4] Agree [24] Reply Report Abuse

  • John, Mangalore

    Sat, Aug 29 2020

    Globalization good if all follow good moral practices. Liberal polices lead to chaos and anarchy which communists take advantage to bring their total dictatorship as in China, Russia, North Korea and Venezuela to loose freedom. It is like aiding communism to spread also loose morals lead to slavery under dictatorship.

    US it is a total different picture now, than previous years, since they changed the name from Democratic party to Democrats and because of liberal policies, more socialists have joined them.

    Proud of her being Indian but as we wouldn't like foreigner ruling over us here same should hold good there also and Globalization of culture is an issue.

    Bringing foreign culture with something positive is good but morally bad such as killing the unborn, same - sex marriages which democrats support would lead to doom and destruction not only for them but also who follow them. Finally what one sows one would reap, accordingly choices need to be made

    Also Democrats are communists in disguise now. They are using race or religion to create chaos, anarchy to gain somehow power. Once US is under Democrats. Communist china would definitely start showing their power in Asia with incursions or invasion also in US itself. As such Canada, France, Spain, Italy left leaning Democrats are in ruling coalition including Europe. That's why most world leaders hate Trump as he a stumbling block to them for their agenda of communist godless one world government or communist control of the world.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [21] Reply Report Abuse

  • francis lobo, Mangalore

    Sat, Aug 29 2020

    We are happy that a person of Indian origin has become the candidate or president of another country. We have examples of Ireland, Trinidad, Mauritius, Fiji, etc. But we hate foreigners in India who have married an Indian or have children from Indian. The best example is Sonia Gandhi who had been ridiculed in every election as an Italian. But we are proud of an Indian-American who can change his religion to contest for a post of Vicepresident in America.

    I believe Indian-Americans in the US will not vote for Kamala Harris as she did not support or attend Howdy Modi and trump will get full support of the Indo-Americans even if his policies are worst towards the immigrants. Apart from this Trump is a china baiter for which he will get full score from the Indian Government even through the internet bots

    DisAgree [9] Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse

  • Arun, Mangalore

    Sat, Aug 29 2020

    Very well written article. The writer correctly shows us in our face, hypocrisy of our people. Congratulations Daijiworld team for this article.

    DisAgree [6] Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse

  • Vishal, Putur

    Sat, Aug 29 2020

    Totally agree with you, Sir. It is our hypocrisy which people have observed, though they are keeping mum!!

    DisAgree [4] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

  • David Pais, Mangalore

    Sat, Aug 29 2020

    when tulsi gubbard announced her candidature 2 contest presidential post of usa, a few daijiworld commentators were elated & when she lost primary elections for presidential post nobody reacted. remain kamala haris matter time 1nly will tell. i support republlicans.

    DisAgree [4] Agree [23] Reply Report Abuse

  • D V Mangalore, Mangalore

    Sat, Aug 29 2020

    Prof Ninans comment is one side and biased. Contrys like USA CANADA AUSTRALIA needs menpower as their birth rate is below 2,3 per couple but INDIA is over populated and in recent past a bill has psaaed to invite Indian from Afghanistan and other Nations I feel sorry for prof Ninan.

    DisAgree [6] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Benedict, Mumbai

    Sun, Aug 30 2020

    D V Mangalore, you did prove that Truth is bitter. Yes, in India, no one believes in truth but stupid rhetoric's from super corrupt ruling regime.

    Today, Trump is surely a far superior President than the past few Presidents they had. In my memory he is the only President who stood firm on China and did not hesitate to call the pandemic as Chinese Virus and that is true. Until India doesn't embrace true democracy, the only way for us is, going down the economic ladder, as it is happening since 2014. I am sure, this truth will also bite you hard Mr D V.

    DisAgree Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • D V Mangalore, Mangalore

    Sat, Aug 29 2020

    Prof Ninans comment is one side and biased. Contrys like USA CANADA AUSTRALIA needs menpower as their birth rate is below 2,3 per couple but INDIA is over populated and in recent past a bill has psaaed to invite Indian from Afghanistan and other Nations I feel sorry for prof Ninan.

    DisAgree [6] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • David Pais, Mangalore

    Sat, Aug 29 2020

    india's over population is not a problem for indian admin. dey r more interested in da animal's dan caring 4 humans.

    DisAgree [5] Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse


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Title : Kamala Harris: The Indian connection syndrome - By Prof Mathew C Ninan


 
 
 
 

 
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