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A Subcontinental Feeling



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From time to time, I write about the rise of Indians in America. (I am speaking of Indians from the Subcontinent, not from Wounded Knee. The latter group is another and endlessly sad story.) For instance, I wrote a piece in 2004 about new political involvement on the part of Indian Americans. This group leans very much Republican. In fact, the group does more than lean: It is positively in the Republican camp.

(One big reason: the prevalence of doctors among Indian Americans, and their keen desire for tort reform. The plaintiffs’ bar is killing them.)

Anyway, in Impromptus today, I have a little note — about what seems the dizzying fall of Rajat Gupta, the corporate titan. Here is the final paragraph of an article in the Times of India:

While Gupta and at least two other managers of Indian origin are under the gun, it turns out that the investigation and prosecution of the case is also in the hands of Indian-Americans. The SEC probe is being handled, among others, by Sanjay Wadhwa, of the Commission’s Market Abuse Unit in New York. Rajratnam, meanwhile, is being prosecuted by Preet Bharara, who is the Justice Department’s Attorney for Manhattan.

I comment, “Indians, Indians, everywhere you look. Good.”

A reader now writes,

Mr. Nordlinger:

I was prompted . . . to write and share a story with you.

My oldest son is a senior at a college-preparatory high school about a mile from the university campus. He’s a computer and engineering nerd, and thanks to one of his science teachers he and another boy from his class landed an after-school internship in one of the computer-science labs at the university. There are 15 people working in the lab besides the two interns: the supervising professor and a bunch of master’s and Ph.D. candidates.

My son (like his father) is a standard-issue Northeast Ohio white guy. His high-school classmate is also a standard-issue Northeast Ohio white guy. One of the doctoral candidates is from Cleveland. One of the master’s candidates is from Kenya, I think. Everyone else in the lab (including the prof) was born in India. My son has not only learned embedded-systems programming this year, he’s also picked up a smidgen of conversational Hindi for programmers! 

I find that amusing, and thought you would, too.

I do. The advent of Indians in America is a wonderful thing. Forget the engineering, think of the food, the girls . . .

But, of course, one of the great stories of modern times is that, at last, an Indian can actually remain in India if he wants to make something of himself. He is not forced to leave his homeland. If he does so, it may well be by choice. (I am generalizing here — generalizing shamelessly — but I suppose that’s okay in a little ol’ blog.) (Actually, the Corner is a big ol’ blog.)



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