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Dear Mr. Trump, Mocking The Indian Accent Won't Get You Very Far

27/04/2016 8:19 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST
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U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event in Buffalo, New York, U.S., April 18, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Dear Mr. Trump,

Hope you are doing great. This is a response to your recent mimicry of an Indian accent at a rally in Delaware. But let me first sum up the opinion I have of America and Americans in general, having lived here for more than a decade.

When I first landed in the US (to pursue an advanced degree in engineering), I remember struggling to unhook a piece of baggage from the carousel at the airport. An elderly American gentleman reached over and pulled it for me, saying, "Here, let me help you son." I was immediately bowled over by America and its welcoming stance towards people of all colours, races and creeds.

Indo-American relations will stand the test of time, built as they are on a bedrock of strong friendships at the people-to-people level.

As I settled and moved on with my degree and my career, I have been constantly overwhelmed by the love and affection this great country shows towards immigrants in general. There may be a few stray negative experiences but the overall good easily overshadows these.

As for the Indian accent, yes, some people find it funny just as we Indians are amused by aspects of different cultures. But in the end, it is just an accent, and it would be most appropriate if I quote the father of English literature William Shakespeare whose quadricentennial was recently observed, "What's in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet." And I am sure the same could be said of the several hundreds of accents heard across the world.

But the point here is not about accents or making fun of them. The bigger issue is that it is election season and in politics these days (whether it is in the US or in India), some leaders do take a stand in support of natives who are at a disadvantage due to the ever-changing and complex nature of the global economy. But let's not take it to the extent that we are pitting people against one other, whether directly or indirectly.

Regardless of what you say, there will be no "Terms & Conditions Apply" added to the plaque at the Statue of Liberty.

And the Indians in the US, I am sure you agree, are one of most successful immigrant communities, having enriched the American way of life at several levels--the Indian community has given the US governors, CEOs of top companies and people who are accomplished in a variety of fields. Just search on Google (once again, a company led by an Indian immigrant).

You may be trying to capitalize on our accent in your race for political power, but I don't think this can shake the fundamentals--elections will come and go but Indo-American relations will stand the test of time, built as they are on a bedrock of strong friendships at the people-to-people level. And regardless of what you say, there will be no "Terms & Conditions Apply" added to the plaque at the Statue of Liberty.

Thanks,

An Indian American.

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