Protest Coverage Of IDRF Issue:

(Letter to Editor, India West, March 7th, 2003, by Sunny Singh, Via Email.)

This is to express my strong protest against the biased coverage on the IDRF issue (I W, Nov. 29, Dec. 13). If India is truly secular, then funding whether internal or foreign to a predominantly Hindu organization should not be considered unfair or especially "hate mongering."

In any case, the funding received in India by Christian and evangelical organizations who choose to trade charity with conversions far supersedes any funding that can be organized for a Hindu organization. The same is true for many Islamic organizations, who receive a great deal of funding, much of it dedicated to fundamentalism, from countries in the Middle East.

However, it is only Hindu organizations that come in for criticism. Perhaps one needs to be reminded that the recent visibility and growing strength of India logically reflects the fact that 80 percent of the nation's population is Hindu. And for those who like to deal in figures, that is over 800 million people, nearly double the populations of the U.S. and Europe combined. Greater visibility in India and abroad for Hindus, then, is a logical result, and not some Hindu fascist conspiracy.

It is the Macauleyist elite within India who have perpetuated this image of the "modern Indian" as somehow "more Western." And therefore, left leaning, ashamed of his Indian origins, cultures and traditions. Well, after half a century of independence, the young India couldn't care less for Macauley's ideals of such an Indian who is Indian in color and appearance, but English in tastes, thoughts, and ideas.

The same goes for the leftists who worked very hard for nearly 50 years at limiting the benefits of economic growth for their own coterie; who preached equality from their comfortable, air conditioned rooms in Delhi and Mumbai; who gave us slogans but not running water, education or health care.

That is the real reason why voluntary organizations such as the IDRF receive the support of Indians in India and abroad. It might help if reporters left the plush waterholes in the urban centers of India to bother looking at the facts.