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WATCH THIS NOW: Anand Giridharadas: A Tale of Two Americas

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!

Fluffy Goes to India: AND it’s Actually Not So Bad

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.

Meet the Biggest Indian-American Traitor in US History


Indian-Americans tend to be loyal to the United States.  They generally work or study, raise their families, and peacefully go about their business as doctors or cab drivers or hotel owners.  Some sign up to be in government (like me) or the military.  They tend to be liberal, but they do float across the political spectrum.  They win almost every spelling bee.

Rarely will you find an Indian-American shooting up a school, joining a gang, starting a supremacist militia, or getting recruited by ISIS or Al-Qaeda.  While these things might occur, they happen at far lower rates than with other diasporas.  Most people credit education and family structure for these things, like with other successful communities.

Therefore, when someone from our diaspora commits active treason against the United States, it becomes sort of a big deal because such cases are so few and far between.  Dig and scrape through the archives back to 1776, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find what’s right in front of our faces today.  I present to you Exhibit A, the deplorable White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary, Raj Shah, a traitor not just to Indian-Americans like Bobby Jindal is, but to the United States itself.

Unsurprisingly for a Trump appointee, Raj is reckless.  His DWI conviction for a booze-soaked BMW ride in New Mexico got him fired from a political job in 2010.  Want to bet that the time he got caught was the only time Raj went a-boozin’ and a-drivin’? Perfect fit in this administration full of boozers, wife-beaters, racists, traitors, misogynists, money launderers, gangsters, and perverts, right?

Now we don’t use the word *traitor* lightly, and not all of those cursed souls in the White House deserve that label.  Only the ones outright lying to cover up crimes against the United States, like Shah’s disgusting boss, Sarah Huckaberry Colonel Sanders whom the guy must have learned so much from.   He has been fortunate to learn from the very worst.  On February 8th, Shah gave her the day off and fumbled through a press conference about the administration’s extremely poor handling of wife-beater Rob Porter’s employment, and worse, personally defended Porter himself repeatedly.  Shah embarrassed all Indians around the world that day.  On top of it all, he was an overmatched, unprepared blathering idiot on the podium: he was not even good at being a bad human being.

But the treason against the United States has taken place in relation to Russia.  Shah is knee deep in the #TrumpRussia scandal, defending his boss’s illegal activities time and again, hyping up the obstructive Devin Nunes memo, casting aspersions on the Steele dossier, and repeating wing nut nonsense about FISA warrants, all of which smells very much like obstruction of justice.

Congratulations, Raj.  You are the biggest Indian-American traitor in US history.  I hope you go down hard along with your false idols Colonel Huckaberry and Captain Bonespur.

Mahanth S. Joishy is Editor of usindiamonitor

PS: Nikki Haley today saved herself from joining the Indian-American treason this week by squarely blaming Russia for the chemical terrorism in the UK.  Raj, it’s not too late to get on the right side of history.

MUSIC: The BEST Indo-American Fusion Pop Songs EVER

American pop culture is near ubiquitous in middle class and wealthy India.  For several decades India’s youth have been watching Hollywood movies and TV and listening to Western pop songs, all the while sporting blue jeans and gulping down pizzas and chasing them with Pepsi.  These trends are more pronounced in urban areas and college towns, but the phenomenon is creeping across the countryside thanks to the dramatic rise in Internet penetration and available programming.

Meanwhile, Indian musical styles have made minor headway Westward too.  For a change, instead of Indians plagiarizing Hollywood and American records, we saw a Bollywood song playing in a major Hollywood film during the opening credits of the 2006 film, Inside Man starring Denzel Washington, Jodie Foster, Willem Defoe, and Clive Owen.   1990s megahit song, Chaiyya Chaiyya from the Bollywood movie Dil Se made its way across the oceans to be one of the few Indian songs to ever join the soundtracks of both a Bollywood hit and a Hollywood one.  Indian culture has also popped up in things ranging from the interesting (Heineken’s 2011 “the date” TV ad featuring a golden oldie Hindi song, Jaan Pehechaan Ho) to the controversial (bindis for Madonna or Selena Gomez) to the bizarre (the Carmensita music video in 2007 featuring Natalie Portman in Indian garb essentially denigrating Hinduism).

Even rarer, and in my opinion more impressive is when a major and successful American artist decides to enmesh Indian music into a Western style pop song.  The Beatles revolutionized rock and roll in many ways, and one of them was to incorporate the Indian instruments, tabla and sitar into their songs during the flower-power 60’s.  Ravi Shankar was of course an instrumental partner in this.  More recently it was heavy metal bands such as Metallica (sitar) who would mix these unique instruments with the usual guitar, bass, and drum set.  It could be a pop artist like Selena Gomez sampling an Indian singer with Come and Get it in 2013, or hip hop artists sampling Bollywood vocals and instrumentals.  I would coin all of these as Indo-American fusion pop songs, and I like the stuff.  It draws some of the entrancing qualities of Eastern music together with the raw power, creativity, and global appeal of Western.

With that, here is my highly subjective list of the top 5 Indo-American fusion pop songs ever, with links.  I’m saving the best for last! 😉 Read the rest of this entry

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