Why an Indian Made an Anti Obama Video

Kal Penn, Indian American actor on Obama’s team

I am not surprised that the anti-Obama documentary film that’s gone viral in the U.S. (No.7 at the box office), is made by an Indian – Dinesh D’Souza?

D’Souza is a Republican, which is why he made this film with an obvious political agenda in time for the next U.S. elections.  Why am I not surprised? Because among the Indian communities in the U.S., it always appeared to me that a majority of immigrants from India, supported the Republican party.

This was true even for the my parents’ friends who lived there. They’d anxiously explain to me how the Democrats were trying to turn the U.S. into a depraved country, by apparently promoting gayness (like it’s a new religion?); by destroying culture and traditions (i.e. being open to inter-faith and inter-race unions); and the worst, the democrats take the money of the rich and use it to create welfare programs for the “lazy” poor!

The conservative approach of the Republicans appealed greatly to the older generation of Indian immigrants, most of who stuck to their cloistered communities and traditions, even as they focused on the one thing they were there in the U.S. to do – earn well, and live well. Hence, Indian Americans who enter politics continue to fight for the Republican platform. There is Bobby Jindal who is governor for Louisiana and Nikki Haley, governor for South Carolina, both of who incidentally also dropped their Indian religions and names, and replaced them with Christianity and anglicized names.

Interestingly, many of the other migrant, minority communities always looked upon the Democrats more favorably because they’ve saw them as being more tolerant of immigration, and more embracing of racial and cultural diversity. But this appeared not to factor in, into how Indian Americans made their political preferences. And the reason I think is in how Indian Americans have historically responded to racism. They’ve chosen to pretend it does not exist or else it’s not so bad that they can’t live with it!!

When in college in the U.S., I had visited one of my mother’s friend’s who had a 13-year-old girl. This girl was sent to a very expensive, exclusive, private school where she was the only colored child. She was a very shy and quiet girl, and an A+ student. But one of her teachers took an instinctive dislike to her. He would pick on her in class all the time, blame her for any kind of disruption, and periodically fling chalks or a duster at her, calling her names. The girl would come home crying, and her mother would scold her. “You must have done something wrong!” One time I tried suggesting the word: racism. I mean what other reason could there be? Her mother turned around and said, “I don’t put ideas like that into my daughter’s head. If you believe racism exists, you will see it everywhere.”

I found this attitude left the Indian Americans stranded like psychological refugees in a land, where they made money, bought big houses and cars, and realized the big American dream. And yet always felt like “aliens” on a planet they didn’t feel was HOME. They felt like they had to pander to the racism and bigotry that humiliated them, instead of confronting it. As a human, I personally feel entitled to participate fully – with all the rights and responsibilities, on any piece of land I inhabit. Otherwise I am not human! And I often thought – how can they live like this? How do they live out their entire lives in exile – like strangers?

But I am glad to hear that tide is turning. The younger, second generation Indians are largely supporting the Democratic party – apparently 85% of them support Obama!! They realize that even if they want to make money, get rich, and live the American dream, they still want a platform that will allow their differences and diversity an equal and valid footing in the American landscape.

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12 Comments

  1. Aroup Chatterjee

     /  September 8, 2012

    Is Dinesh D’Souza Indian? He may be of Indian origin, but he possibly classes himself as American.He is a huge fan of Regan. I remember he once said it was quite acceptable to cross the road if one met a black person. He represents the worst in Indian ‘culture’.he is also a husge fan of Mother Teresa’s – fits in with the rightwing putrid picture

    Reply
    • Rita Banerji

       /  September 13, 2012

      Not an Indian citizen, but of Indian origin. This post is about American citizens of Indian origin. I think D’Souza served on Reagan’s administration. And really all he’s doing is trying to curry favor with the right wing. Hey, we’re are like you. Another few trillion buckets of skin bleaching cream, and you won’t even think of us as brown! Funnily it reminds me of when Subhash Chandra Bose went to Hitler and tried to tell him that he needed to just edit out the unsavory bits about Indians in his Mein Kamph — and that would make him more favorable to the Indians. He told Hitler that the Allies were feeding all kinds of lies about him to the Indian public!!! In other words: we are white like you. We are not brown or of the detested races that you hate.

      Reply
  2. shatruajata

     /  September 26, 2012

    What are your reasons for writing this piece against D Souza, if I may know? Obama as a senator strongly opposed Indo-US nuclear deal, after he became the President the Indian Prime Minister was the only head of the state who was not on his list for courtesy or introductory call, he has been against outsourcing of jobs particularly to India, though, a good majority of them go to Philippines and other countries too. His policies have been anti-Indian since the start and even now. He is trying to bring down a democratically elected government in India just because it refuses to bring in FDI and give defence deal to him so that he can improve his job report card before the Americans. He is one hell of a President who should not be the President in the first place. Its under his call the Arab revolution happened and the result is there for all of us to see. He has introduced third world politics in the US turning the issue based politics in rhetoric based politics. I carry a picture of Hanuman in my pocket and now Bapu!

    Reply
    • See Shatruajata — I’m evaluating Obama in his capacity as President for the people of the U.S. and he’s making all the right decisions in their interest. Now see that’s what I’d like the leader of India to do for the Indian people. That’s if we can figure out who the leader is? In a democracy, a real democracy, they’d never allow this circus that Sonia Gandhi has set up. The leader of a democracy must be elected by the people of the country, and PM Singh was not voted leader. And Sonia Gandhi does not have the public position to be the decision maker for India, yet she’s pulling all the strings. Check out my other post on ‘How Gandhian are Obama’s Politics?’

      Reply
  3. shatruajaat

     /  October 3, 2012

    All the right decisions? Do I need to remind you what happened in Benghazi? Do I need to remind you the overthrow of the so called tyrants in Yemen, Egypt and Libya paving the way for take over by radical Muslims? Do I need to remind you Israel should go back to 64 borders, and US Missile Defence Shield in Europe be removed while he plays game of diplomacy with Israel on Iran nuke issue? Do I need to remind you the cutting down of US Defence budget and his administration’s attempts to arm the Arab regimes Missile Defence Systems? Do I need to remind you that when his own house is on fire, he calls on the UN to address the issues that plague the Islamic world? The Americans gave him the mandate to speak and act on their behalf not on the behalf of Muslim Brotherhood and Radical Muslims? How has his India policy helped America and Americans, anyway? His hatred for the current dispensation in India which was close to George Bush, the man who gave India Indo-US nuclear deal is no secret. If it was the BJP most vocal against this deal in India, in the US it was the senator Obama putting hurdles in the way of this deal, how can you overlook this fact? How can you overlook the fact that after becoming the President of the United States the same Obama didn’t find it worth to place a courtesy call to his Indian counterpart Prime Minister Manmohan Singh? When the harsh reality of being a President dawned upon him the same Obama goes to India begging on behalf of Lockheed Martin so that it can get 126 fighter aircraft jet deal??? When they failed to get this deal, (the Sonia circus you said?), Obama led CIA circus began with Annas and Arvinds hitting the streets with active support from Obama’s favourite party the BJP! Now the same man that the US refused visa becomes a Prime Ministerial candidate in India, yes I am talking about Narendra Modi. He first sends Hillary Clinton and then the US ambassador to convince Mamta Banerjee to withdraw support from the current government! How has his continuous hammering of India helped the Americans and American interest? If he had had slightest common sense he would not have antagonised the Indian government but then Obama was Obama and he wanted BJP in power. Now what happens the big deals go to Russia and France! Happy Birthday! I am surprised how could you support a man who openly talks against outsourcing American jobs to India? He has unleashed a war against the current Indian government and you tell me that your criticism of D Souza was based on Obama’s Presidency? The same Obama which half the American’s see as the worst ever President in the history of the United States? If he was working in the best interest of the American people, he would have shed his ego and deal with the current Indian government in a respectful manner, gotten defence orders and created some jobs in America! I apologise for considering you as someone like me-neutral. Sonia is an eyesore to you, you cannot and will not look at the whole situation dispassionately, honestly and sincerely. If this government was so bad how could it brought India to the status of 2nd fastest economy in the world, if this government was so bad how could it bring India to the verge of becoming a military power in this part of the region to begin with. When you point fingers at Sonia, please do recall the circus that took place when Delhi gave the mandate to the BJP to rule-Sushma Swaraj, Madan Lal Khurana and then Sahib Singh Varma-in the span of 5 years! Instead of standing with the government of India these power hungry traitors, who call themselves nationalists, are siding with the foreign agencies in order to destabilize the nation! Leaderless, which party has a leader in this country, which party? The BJP? Which one LK Advani. Narendra Modi, Sushma Swaraj or Arun Jaitely? You guys in any case would have condemned Sonia Gandhi even if the person appointed as the Prime Minister had won elections. If people had a problem with Manmohan Singh they would not have voted the Congress the second time, the fact that they did is proof enough that they wanted HIM as the Prime Minister because they had faith in his abilities. Problem is with you people who can’t rise above petty things like race, color, religion etc. That’s the problem, the problem is your ideology, what Pakistan could not do (dividing india on communal lines) in 60 years Advani did it (Babri Masjid demolition)over night and we are still paying for it! Its you people who call us pseudo secular but your leader goes to Pakistan and bows before Jinnah’s mazar and calls him secular! The problem is with you people whose leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee ignores the army’s desperate appeals to launch an air attack during the Kargil war, why, because he wanted a Nobel Peace Prize, he didn’t want to derail the Bus and Train yatras he started with the enemy nation. Your love and hate obsession with Pakistan has destroyed this nation, not Sonia Gandhi or the Congress. By the way I hate all politicians and political party for your kind information.

    Reply
    • I hope you don’t think I am pro BJP from this post!!! I see BJP and the Congress and all politics in India to be fundamentally the same. Which is they are all bigoted. Some announce it — like the BJP and go out and mass kill people of a minority religion. Others like the Congress are secretly bigoted. Congress did to the Sikhs what BJP did to the Muslims. Even under Sonia Gandhi’s leadership there has been no justice for the Sikhs!

      Reply
      • shatruajaat

         /  November 1, 2012

        No, what happened in 1984 cannot be compared with what happened in Gujarat. The 1984 massacre of Sikhs was a result of assassination of Indira Gandhi, a woman who a huge number of Indians loved. What happened in Gujarat was a result of hatred, it was communal violence while Sikhs was more of a political nature, it had nothing to do with Sikhism.The massacre that followed was a result of people’s anger towards the Sikhs for killing their leader, the same kind hatred was visible against Tamilians when Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated and had Tamilians been in good numbers in northern belt of India they would probably have faced the similar kind of violence. You cannot ignore the rumors that were running back and forth, those were the days when only way of knowing whats happening was by the word of mouth, televisions were a luxury and didn’t run 24/7 as they do today. Sonia Gandhi has done enough for the Sikh community, Congress has made genuine attempts and its the result of those attempts that we have Home Ministry, Finance Ministry, Foreign Affairs Ministry and a host of other Ministry’ filled with Sikhs. As for the likes of Sajjan Kumar and Jagdish Tytlers, court cases are going on against them, Congress has sidelines them almost. I hope too what you say is true, but unfortunately, you seem more tilted towards the BJP than the Congress, you don’t sound to be neutral.

      • No, that’s the same reasoning the BJP and RSS gave for the lynching of Muslims in Gujrat, that it was because of Godhra. For that matter, Hitler had the same reasoning that the Jews were driving the Germans to poverty!! There is never a legal or moral justification for what happened to the Sikhs in Delhi, or the Muslims in Gujrat or the Jews in Europe. It’s all the same thing exactly — a government and legal and social system targeting and mass killing a select group. They are all international human rights crimes.

  4. shatruajaat

     /  November 2, 2012

    There is never a legal or moral justification for what happened to the Sikhs in Delhi, or the Muslims in Gujrat or the Jews in Europe.
    I agree. And I visited your website and was really liked your views about status of women in India and worldwide.
    Sincere Regards

    Reply
  5. shatruajaat

     /  November 4, 2012

    Unless we have enough number of women at regional and international politics it would never be an agenda. Worst still, a war against women has already begun between those hell bent upon dragging women back to medieval era using religion and morality as their weapon and those fighting for more rights for women. Some call it clash of civilizations while some say its religious extremism but in the core of it all lies women’ freedom, their liberty, right to education, freedom of movement and right to equality. Started first by Muslim radicals in recent times this gender war is now fast spreading to other religious denominations including Christianity and Hinduism. Its going to be a bloodiest gender war ever recorded in the history of mankind, the worst ever female genocide on worldwide level. The saddest part is nobody cares-neither the women who are the target of this gender war nor those men and women who support equal rights for women, while there are some women who are more than willing to spend their lives as slaves to such men due to various personal reasons including fear of violence and social and financial security.
    By the way, this was an eye opener and I really liked it.
    “I don’t know what planet the anti-feminist people live on, but more than 98% of the land and resources of the planet that I inhabit—called EARTH—by the U.N.’s 2012 estimate is owned and controlled by men! Women own less then 2%. For me, that is already a mind-blowing, unacceptable, and fundamental inequality. It’s the equivalent of slavery!”

    Reply

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