Indian children born abroad -- some (more) clarifications

Robert Zydenbos zydenbos at BLR.VSNL.NET.IN
Sat Dec 19 20:42:44 UTC 1998

Partha Banerjee wrote:

> I have been keeping close touch with VHP activities in USA and Europe.
> American and European children of Indian origin DO NOT know the connection
> of RSS, BJP, VHP, and HSC.

> And they are fed with a very distorted kind of Hinduism.

On the VHP in the USA (and how it cultivates an image that in some ways
is quite different from that in India) see Arvind Rajagopal, "Expatriate
Nationalism: Disjunctive Discourses", pp. 109-139 in Rajeshwari Ghose
(ed.), _In Quest of a Secular Symbol - Ayodhya and After_. Perth
(Australia): Indian Ocean Centre & South Asian Research Unit, Curtin
University of Technology, 1996 (South Asian Issues Monograph no.2).

> If the children feel alienated, it's because of the reason that capitalist
> systems make people alienated -- adults and children alike. "American"
> children are alienated too.[...]

Since this is the _Indology_ List, we naturally discuss matters relating
to India and Indians, and from time to time also to expatriate Indians;
but Partha Banerjee has a point: this is _not_ merely a problem for NRIs
in the US (and so it is not really an Indological matter, though some
details may be of Indological interest). Basically similar, though
perhaps less poignant examples of frantic identity searches and
assertions can be given from European immigrant groups in North America
(see, for example, the support for the IRA among ethnically Irish groups
in the US).

> The panacea however is not Hindutva. If there is any panacea, it's a
> progressive thought process. Just like the Christian Coalition with its
> separatist and isolationist right-wing Christian agenda can't solve the
> problems of white America, the Sangh Parivar can't do it for
> Indian-American kids or Indian-European kids.


Dr. Robert J. Zydenbos
Mysore (India)
e-mail zydenbos at

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