There are many things to say about the devastating coronavirus pandemic enveloping the globe. In America we are seeing the worst of humanity (the Kentucky Coronavirus party and thousands of hate crimes against Asian Americans) and also the best (fashion designers sewing masks, Chef Jose Andres feeding the hungry). Here in the United States, we have become the epicenter of the ordeal and the medical system is being strained and tested like never before in our lifetimes. We are in the midst of a bloody war for survival, and the tireless frontline soldiers this time are the doctors, scientists, nurses, and first responders, not machine gunners, grenade throwers, and top gun pilots.
Every one who has called in for duty to battle the virus is a hero. Depending on which source of statistics to believe, physicians of Indian origin make up about 5-10% of all of the active medical doctors in the United States. The meaning of this number is abundantly clear: Indian-Americans are being desperately called upon by their country like never before in our history from sea to sea, in communities large and small. All eyes are watching, and this is our time to shine brighter than ever before as Americans. One can hope that this dangerous, selfless heroism is what we will be remembered for in years to come.
This plays out in different ways. At the macro level we are seeing the ascendance of CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta, giving outstanding medical commentary, author Deepak Chopra expounding on mental health with whatever pseudo-spiritual comfort gibberish the guy comes up with, and Administrator of Medicare and Medicaid Seema Verma standing steel-faced by the president and Anthony Fauci in the federal coronavirus task force briefings- regardless of what you think of her, playing a critical role in the federal response.
At the local level we are seeing tons of media interviews with Indian-American ER doctors and hospital administrators, and categorically they come across as heroic and informative. During b-roll footage we see plenty of brown scientists around the country dripping mysterious liquids into test tubes or plugging away at some medical machine. No doubt some of them will be at the forefront of vaccines and other treatments to be implemented. Indian-Americans are all over the media explaining what coronavirus is, and how to stop its spread.
Despite many pockets of individual greatness, the Indian-American experience has never before had such an awesome collective responsibility or calling. Throughout America’s past wars, Indian-Americans made up minuscule percentages of overall troop strength. That is all changing now in the hard war against the invisible enemy, changing for good.
Godspeed and bravo to all of those on the front line, but forgive me for cheering particularly loudly for the tens of thousands of Indian origin, many whom were made fun of as nerds when they were younger. A large number come from the ranks of family and friends.
Mahanth S. Joishy is Editor of usindiamonitor
What was America during the Revolutionary War? It was a bunch of ragtag guerrillas who traded in their shovels for muskets, sick and starving, horns locked with the historically mighty Red Military Machine of the British Empire. What kept them going was strong leadership and the idea of what America could be when the dark times passed.
Yes, “America” was a just the seed of an idea for a new third world country back then, a backwater elevated by a small group of courageous intellectuals who led not only a movement, but a REVOLUTION that changed the world, causing democracy to go viral in the coming centuries on every continent. Sure, these white male founders were deeply flawed, but I’ll stack them up against any other leaders anywhere else in the authoritarian filled world of 1776.
And America is once again regressing into a third world country today for the first time since the 1840s, with a key difference. Instead of being on the way up, we are clearly in terminal decline, the current dive being potentially irreversible. And we are dragging the entire world down with us. #MAGA is a forever fever.
This is what happens you have a criminally corrupt ruling class led by a rapey, buffoonish and mentally unstable dictator supported by the most racist and idiotic neanderthals among the population. It’s an endless cycle of lies, incompetence, and theft from the top. Once COVID-19 happened and all of us could see that the Emperor had no clothes, what did we expect would happen? Thanks, #MAGAts !
During the 2016 campaign I predicted that if #PervertOrangutan won, that trillions of dollars in wealth would be erased and we would enter wars that we would not win. To boot, there would be no wall and the poor racists wouldn’t get what they wanted either as their hopes and dreams were cruelly dashed into the ground. I take less than zero pleasure from my prescience of 2016, and I certainly wasn’t alone. But today the scientists and intellectuals are not the leaders as they were in 1776; they are the marginalized, sidelined pieces of what little scraps are left of our failed democracy.
Mahanth S. Joishy is Editor of… OH WHO CARES ANYMORE
Mahanth S. Joishy is the Editor
Like some of you, I am disappointed that there are no women left in the 2020 campaign for President. In a heretofore diverse field that once boasted a strong coterie of women, blacks, an (openly) gay candidate, a white Hindu, a half-Indian, and a Chinese-American, it now just comes down to 3 odd-looking and verbal diarrhea spewing white male septuagenarians: #PervertOrangutan, Joe Biden and Bernie.
Women are largely to blame, which is all the more upsetting. We’ll get to that shortly.
I am willing to expose to you my personal arc in this presidential race in order to establish my deep baseline thoughts about all of this.
As a member of the Mayor Michael Bloomberg administration for 12 great years for both New York City and my local government career, I consider him to be someone who would be an extraordinary president. I also knew on the other hand, he could have no potential path whatsoever to the White House. As I told friends less familiar with his background, Bloomberg is the dictionary-definition of uncharismatic. Stop & Frisk was a disgrace and he had no answer for his policy. Between you and I, I didn’t donate the campaign a dime. 😉 However, if he uses his substantial treasure to help sink the #GrabbingOurPussies party come fall he shall have done us all a huge favor, and I admire him for it. Speaking of treasure- Treasury Secretary might be a good place for Mike to land.
Andrew Yang was from beginning to end my heart in this race. Yang is the only presidential candidate I’ve ever seen in this lifetime who treated his audiences and supporters like adults, discarding the partisan tropes abused by both sides to instead tell voters the harsh truth with liberal use of data and facts, speaking intelligently about them. I love how he forced the Freedom Dividend onto the agenda singlehandedly. I donated to and was loosely part of the Yang Gang. However, I always knew he’d never get more than 5-10% of voters in a nation that is extremely racist and mistrustful of Asian Americans like Yang. I see him as the Commerce Secretary in 2021 (you read it here first).
At first I kicked the tires of the Kamala Harris campaign and wrote about it on these pages. I was on board the Kamala train for a bit, though not very enthusiastically. As her campaign rolled on it became apparent her management team was painfully incompetent.
I love Hawaii. I deeply appreciate every American combat war veteran. I love the ocean, and surfing. I am a Hindu. I visited a beautiful Hindu temple in Kauai, which Tulsi has attended. One would think that Tulsi Gabbard would resonate with me for these reasons. I truly wanted to like her campaign. However, I loathe this wolf in sheep’s clothing and her campaign. Drop out already, you Republican plant!
Joe Biden has become incapable of stringing a grammatically correct sentence together, which has shaken my confidence in him since his glory days as Obama’s sidekick. Bernie Sanders says things I agree with, but has no chance of getting any of it done. He couldn’t get free health care or college done in tiny, liberal, homogeneous Vermont, so we are supposed to believe he’ll turn all of America into Denmark?
I kicked a lot of tires on a lot of candidates, and spent a lot of time doing it. I’m a political junky to the core, but for most of 2019 one struggling to find a camp to join while the various tribes slaughtered each other gratuitously. So in early Fall 2019, I finally threw my weight behind Elizabeth Warren. She had it all, in my estimation. Highly intelligent, accomplished, relatable. A former special education teacher- which would help her deal with the #PervertOrangutan. She could take Bernie’s plans and actually execute some of those worthy goals. She is a lecture-prone professor, sure, but one you could also play beer pong with after class. People made fun of her for having exquisitely detailed plans. I ask in all seriousness, what is wrong with those people?
No matter. The Elizabeth Warren star rose and fell before 2020 for no discernible reason to me. Except that she is a woman, and the concurrent fears that a woman is unelectable in the general election. This is entirely unfair. And it’s largely the fault of women, because the data shows that far more women have voted in Democratic primaries than men. But they didn’t poll or vote for Klobuchar, Warren, Harris, Gabbard, or Gillibrand. They picked men, like so many female #PervertOrangutan voters often following the lead of their husbands and boyfriends straight into the Gates of Hell. As bad, the female candidates never tried to unite or back one another with, say, endorsements when they dropped out.
Of course I’m going to #VoteBlueNoMatterWho, but now we have to sit back for the next few months and watch as Bernie and Biden claw at each other in a Grumpy Old Men Death match- which already promises to be a bloody civil war. The other side is licking its chops in the meanwhile. Thanks, ladies.
This is one of the best TED talks I have ever seen. It’s one of the BEST and most heartwarming videos I have ever seen, period about how two completely different human beings collided in the worst, and best possible ways in today’s complicated America. And it’s free to watch this short video on YouTube! As a bonus, it’s an Indian-American scholar giving the talk. Watch it now!
When I saw this video on my YouTube queue, I thought, here we go: another brutally racist and culturally ignorant diatribe against Indian people like millions of other comedy skits we have seen before when Westerners visit the Old Country. Was it going to be another minstrel show making fun of Indian people urinating on the streets?
I was actually pleasantly surprised. Gabriel Iglesias was not so bad in his thoughtful and at times intelligent observations about India. He did not intend to make fun of his India trip, but rather share what he learned. See for yourself!
India is changing fast. We are seeing many more foreign visitors, including celebrities, make it over. Indians and the Indian diaspora should show some interest in what these folks, even comedians, are saying about India.
Mahanth S. Joishy is Editor of usindiamonitor
This New Year’s Eve rages an inauspicious knife fight for the very soul of India. Amidst the fog of this complicated war lies a simple question: is India a secular democracy or a Hindu dictatorship?
On the secularist side is a clown car alliance led by the pathetic and corrupt opposition party, Congress. Meanwhile, the Hindu nationalist camp is led by a strongman and wannabe dictator, Narendra Modi of the BJP. And so those of us who care about India are left with a terrible choice to make: dysentery diarrhea democracy or cancerous constipation Caesar salad?
2019 saw India go full rogue against the founding fathers of India, the constitution, and the very concept of basic human decency with two dramatic acts. At Modi’s direction the Indian Army has illegally taken over most of Indian-held Kashmir using martial law tactics such as the wholesale torture of Kashmiri teenagers and a total, months-long blackout of the Internet, phones, and other media for millions of Kashmiris. Reporters are officially banned from entering and human rights have become a joke. The legs of commerce and education have been broken in an already-struggling region.
Terrorism was thrown out as the excuse for this power play, which has been condemned by civilized nations around the world. The blackout in particular is the largest ever committed by any country in history, and wholly unbecoming of a democracy. Let’s forget for a second the legality and human decency angles; does anyone honestly think this will make India’s prospects for peace in the future any better or will it predictably inflame a minority’s worst impulses for a generation to come?
In December the Indian government took the new brain-dead position that Muslim migrants would not be granted citizenship, but non-Muslims would. The country has erupted in protests, riots, and violence over this new policy, called the Citizenship Act. This act is laughably obvious as a violation of India’s constitution- just like Trump’s attempts at instituting Muslim bans in America violate the enshrined separation of church and state.
Modi to his credit recognized that the latter half of 2019 was the right time to strike. American democracy is on its knees, and strongmen the world over are rejoicing over their free rein to abuse citizens, especially Muslim ones. It’s now open season the world over on dissidents, who lie bleeding on dungeon floors in most of the world’s nations today including in “democratic” India. Modi is drawing unflattering comparisons to Adolf Hitler. Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi and the Congress Party are taking advantage of this opportunity to keep robbing people blind while the distractions go on on the streets.
We are witnessing the cancelation of the world’s largest democracy. Shame on you, India. As the birthplace of Karma, you know better than anyone that it can be a bitch.
Mahanth S. Joishy is Editor of usindiamonitor
When GM decided to enter the India market, which represents gigantic opportunity for the American automaker, I observed their moves with interest. With a huge and young population, every American company must have an India strategy and I applaud that they came by.
But India was always going to be a long shot for GM in my opinion, especially in the endeavors of stealing away any market share from Indian automakers and Indo-Japanese joint ventures, which have been highly successful there for decades.
Too bad GM didn’t hire me to advise them- especially when it came to the challenges of servicing in India. In the years since introducing Chevys and other offerings, the company has predictably fallen flat on its face in India, causing loss of profits and a loss of reputation. This CNBC video below helps lay it all out quite well:
The contrast between Republicans and Democrats in late 2019 may appear stark, but the two parties are locked, united, in a terminal tango during last call at the dance hall. The ball spiraling to its end is 245 years of democracy, and absent that little glitch of history, there is no longer need for political parties anyway. Dictatorships do not waste time with political parties except either the pretend variety, or dungeons littered with bleeding clumps of opposition dissidents.
Most Americans have forgotten, if they had ever known, that dictatorship is humanity’s natural state of affairs, and freedom is not. It comes in many forms and the overlords may fashion fancy titles for themselves: kings, chairmans, queens, sultans, pharaohs, emperors, chiefs, chieftains, princes, caesars, dukes, cardinals, archdukes, or maharajas. In any case the law is enforced through family birthright or palace intrigue from above on hapless subjects by whip and sword. Elections and voting are cruel jokes in these places that make up society’s default setting. The joke may soon be on America, which dared to buck the trend for a while.
The Republicans, that same party that in 2003 forced us to “nation build” and “spread democracy” in Iraq down the barrel of a gun, at the cost of thousands of American lives, hundreds of thousands of Arab lives, and trillions in US taxpayer treasure have unceremoniously abandoned any pretense that they care about either democracy or the rule of law not only over there but right here in America. They have accepted wholesale illegal cheating in the 2016 election, and appear only too eager to keep illegally cheating again in 2020. Victory at any cost, comrades! Vladimir Putin just keeps winning, and he no doubt grins to himself by the corner fireplace of an evening in Moscow palaces after satisfying bowel movements, sipping on ice cold vodka, surprised at how few rubles it took to buy off the once-mighty America thanks to the GOP falling over themselves to bend over, eagerly exposing themselves for some Red Dick.
The Democrats are no better. Unlike Republicans, who stay united through thick and thin for better or for worse, Democrats lack unity. Too many lefty cowards look at poll numbers and wring their hands, whine, and lament that they are accountable for making leadership decisions. A handful of Democrats don’t even have the courage to come out for or against the Articles of Impeachment, which boggles the mind at a time when Democrats are supposed to be the thin blue line keeping democracy alive. Some of them will almost certainly come out against impeachment, more interested in keeping their own seat warm than honoring their oath to the constitution. This so-called front line can hardly be expected to hold its position. Even those Democratic leaders who finally came out in support of removing the two-bit gangsters from office came too late. They do not seem to have much chance of winning an impeachment trial, which requires far more deft strategic maneuvering than Democrats seem capable of. It’s unclear if they even want to win.
And yet the reaper comes for us all. When democracy is murdered, it won’t matter which side was more to blame. The most important effects of a failed impeachment will be not domestic but global. For the rest of the world is guaranteed to be watching closely this American theater, and assessing their own plans for the future accordingly. Dictators are no doubt thrilled that American democracy is on its knees, as that allows these rogues to continue wilding out unfettered. Democracy will continue to be weakened where it exists. Other democracies will be tempted to throw in the towel and give in to a strongman, if the pioneer and leader of the modern democratic world can’t even hold the line.
Perhaps none of this matters anyway. It appears increasingly likely that climate change might just swoop in and save the day, wiping out humanity despite whatever forms of governance we monkeys choose to live by. At least Americans can revel in pride, for being the nation that led the charge in destroying our planet while we were still at least somewhat democratic.
No sooner did I sit down to write about the #HowdyModi event in Houston, where Trump and Modi expressed their flattery for one another last week in an embarrassing display by two wannabe strongmen in a sold-out NRG stadium of 50,000 writhing brown bodies, we were all distracted by the exploding prospects of impeachment.
usindiamonitor had previously witnessed up close Modi’s previous US addresses at Madison Square Garden and the US House of Representatives. In Congress I had enough insider access to even shake Modi’s hand briefly after his address as Speaker Paul Ryan escorted him- something I wouldn’t do again. And in Houston, we witnessed a full-on hand holding beyond the handshake.
This event was different, as Trump showed up to bask in some of Modi’s adulation by an Indian-American crowd that was visibly conflicted on the day. Most Indian-Americans are more…
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