Tag: Indian immigrants

AsianImmigration NewsIndianNew YorkPoliticsQueensRadio

New York Has No South Asian Elected Officials. Why?

New York’s diverse South Asian immigrant communities experienced rapid, expansive growth over the last decade. But political representation has lagged behind. Fi2W blog editor Sarah Kate Kramer discussed the issue on WNYC’s The Takeaway.

CommentaryIndianNew YorkQueens

Violence at Queens Sikh Temple Evokes Memories of India’s Troubled Past

A violent confrontation at a Sikh place of worship in Richmond Hills, Queens brings back painful memories for Indian Express editor Sujeet Rajan. Here, for the first time, he writes about witnessing anti-Sikh violence in his native country.

CommentaryImmigration NewsIndianNews

Best Picture? Slumdog Millionaire Sparks Heated Debate Among Indians About Their Country’s Image: News Analysis From FI2W

By Aswini Anburajan, Feet in Two Worlds reporter

It was easier with Gandhi. Now that’s a movie a country and its people can love, wrap their arms around, and shout praise to. Love, peace, and Satyagraha (nonviolent resistance) — they roll off the tongue with an easy lilt that represents the best of what India has to offer.

Not the case with Slumdog Millionaire. There’s the ambiguity. What does it mean? There’s the connotation. The only other compound word that begins with “slum” and easily comes to mind is slumlord. It doesn’t quite inspire you to go out and change the world.

A scene from Slumdog Millionaire

On the surface it appears that India is celebrating the success of Slumdog Millionaire, the unlikely independent, low-budget film that swept the Oscars. Thousands crowded the airport in Mumbai to greet the cast upon their return from the Academy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles. The evening news in the U.S. beamed back images of the film’s youngest stars riding the shoulders of the crowd, their small hands clutching golden statuettes to shouts of “Jai Ho,” the title of A.R. Rahman’s Oscar-winning song from the movie.

But the post-Oscar celebrations and the Western embrace of Slumdog Millionaire mask a heated debate over the movie among Indians around the world.

Listserves for Indian American groups, such as the South Asian Women’s Collective in New York and South Asian Sisters in San Francisco, are brimming with comments about the film and links to blogs written by amateur and professional writers who either praise or condemn the film’s depictions of corruption and poverty. The South Asian Journalist Association (SAJA) has held four webcasts to date to discuss the implications of the movie and the heated controversy it has generated. Rediff.com, the largest Indian news website, has an entire page dedicated to international coverage of Slumdog.

The arguments range from the right to tell the story – India seen at its worst through British eyes doesn’t help the film’s cause – to charges that the film’s producers and British director Danny Boyle exploited the young children in the movie, plucked them from the slums, paid them little and failed to provide additional compensation when the film shot to global prominence. (more…)

Immigration NewsIndianRadio

Globetrotting Indian Workers: FI2W’s Aswini Anburajan on public radio’s Marketplace

Air India - Photo: phinalanji/Flickr

In her first nationally broadcast radio story, FI2W’s Aswini Anburajan explores how H1-B visas issued by the government are being used in surprising new ways by high-tech companies and their Indian employees in the U.S.

Instead of keeping to the traditional purpose of these visas —as the first step to getting a green card, which allows permanent residence in the U.S.— these workers are now using them to move around the world in search of adventure, corporate advancement and higher pay.

Aswini’s story aired on July 30, 2007. You can listen to it on the Marketplace website.