US-based Indians who swore by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government and gave him rock star welcomes during his visits here are now being forced to re-evaluate his performance. They are finally asking themselves the hard-hitting questions. What is India becoming under Modi? Why are these ministers talking like this? Why doesn't Modi ever condemn their remarks? Does he agree with them?
Sonia Chopra was born and raised in Calcutta, India. She earned a BA in Eng Lit from St. Xavier's College, Calcutta and then an MA in Communication Arts from the New York Institute of Technology. Chopra is a freelance journalist based in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she is a regular contributor to the editorial page of The Enquirer. She has also been a regular correspondent for WCPO.com, a local television channel for the past three years. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, New York Newsday, The New York Post, The Orlando Sentinel, Redbook magazine, Salon.com, Rediff.com, India Abroad, India Today, Indian Express, Firstpost.com and The Quint, among others. Throughout, her career Chopra has covered breaking news but she has also told stories of immigrants, of different cultures and of issues that matter.She stands for women's rights, children rights and human rights. She is currently working on her first novel, a love story about Indian immigrants. You can follow her on Twitter @soniachopra28
I feel sad for a country that does not demand more from her Prime Minister. Has India's public not gotten the message that the leaders are supposed to be answerable to the people? That they are supposed to reassure the people that the country is safe? At the same time, I'm sickened at the "selective vision" of a section of Modi's followers. This section of people is not only holding India back but are pushing the country into a backward, regressive path.
04/11/2015 8:18 AM IST
The Sikh Coalition, an organisation that was formed after the September 2001 attacks, is all too familiar with the bullying of Sikh kids. They have spent years documenting attacks against Sikhs and have observed an ugly pattern of aggression that is based on the fact that people associate their beards and turbans with Muslim terrorists. Earlier this October, the Sikh Coalition triumphantly played a leadership role in launching a national anti-bullying campaign in a landmark partnership with the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI).
01/11/2015 8:22 AM IST
Today, we are fighting for equality and we are holding high positions in every field. We are working 70-hour weeks and doing ground breaking work, we are travelling, we are in meetings and making presentations. It's unrealistic to starve. Are the men doing that for you?
30/10/2015 8:17 AM IST
The writers who returned their awards to make a powerful statement have had their integrity questioned, their gesture mocked and their motives questioned. In the cacophony of discordant voices, has everyone missed the irony of the fact that these writers were protesting against the intolerance that now shrouds India? Are they not right? Have we respected their decision? Have we allowed them the right to express themselves in the way in which they wanted to?
24/10/2015 12:18 AM IST
I add my voice to the many journalists, activists and concerned citizens in condemning the conviction of <em>Washington Post</em> reporter Jason Rezaian in Iran on charges that include espionage. Taken to Iran's infamously brutal prison, Evin, Rezaian was sent to solitary confinement for months. Law enforcement has never explained to either Rezaian's employer or family why they did what they did.
19/10/2015 8:06 AM IST
I strongly believe that a few words from you would be a game-changer in this ugly, sordid mess. I wish you would speak now. I think you should tell the people all over the world that your government does not endorse the killing of Mohammed Akhlaq. And that your party is not responsible for encouraging this intolerance and mob violence. Most of all, you should tell the world that you, personally, do not condone this savagery.
09/10/2015 8:16 AM IST
One of the most heart-warming stories that came out of the inter-faith prayer meeting at Ground Zero in New York was a tale of three generations -- a Sikh father, his daughter and her unborn child -- touched by the Pope.
01/10/2015 8:13 AM IST
Rini Sampath is the kind of kid every parent would be proud of. Recently, the international relations major won the election to be the president of the undergraduate student body at the University of Southern California. She ignored everyone who told her she would not win because she was not White. She also disregarded the advice that she should pick a White running mate for vice president and instead chose another minority student. I wish things had ended there, on a happy note.
24/09/2015 8:19 AM IST
Americans love to be entertained by anti-establishment candidates but, ultimately, they choose not to vote for them. Trump will not succeed either. While I concede that he is a game-changer and his presence in the arena will affect the final outcome, I predict his fall and I stick my neck out by declaring that he will be a footnote in the history of this presidential election.
19/09/2015 8:25 AM IST
I am proud of my Hindu roots. I am enriched and enlightened by my culture. But now, watching from abroad, I am distressed, dismayed and disappointed in all these bans that are forced by your BJP on the people. To be respectful of Hinduism and to be ambitious in the pursuit of preserving and cherishing is one thing but to fanatically and obsessively enforce bans on food, especially meat, is stepping into dangerous territory.
17/09/2015 8:07 AM IST
People accused of murder sometimes get second chances and walk away to some semblance of normal lives. But when it's a mother, all bets are off. In the United States, this was the lesson I learnt from the case of Casey Anthony, who was known as the "most hated woman in America". It's been several years since Casey has been acquitted and freed but in a sense, she is still incarcerated.
10/09/2015 8:25 AM IST
Memo to the fans of the 11-year-old child prodigy Tanishq Abraham who just graduated from college with three degrees: you're right, he is amazing. But here's what you may have missed in the news bulletins: he has a 9-year-old sister Tiara, who is equally impressive.
07/08/2015 8:08 AM IST
I was energetically lifting up weights when I saw a group of these amazing women -- sponsored athletes and competitive body builders -- look at me. I was rather pleased until one of the pros walked up to me and told me, "You are lifting the weights up wrong. You might pull a muscle and hurt yourself badly." My face fell and she must have noticed because she quickly said, "I can show you." I must have been a quick study because she invited me to join her group.
15/07/2015 8:08 AM IST
The news that the United States has finally decided to amend its regulations to allow the dependent spouses of the specialised H-1B visa holders to work was hailed with jubilation by Indian Americans. Technology companies have lobbied hard for this change, which they say will retain and attract more foreign talent and their educated spouses.
07/07/2015 8:26 AM IST
Parties I go to, I get tired of the intense questioning I'm subjected to. Where you live? What kind of car do you drive? How much do you make annually? These questions are employed to find out enough so that you can be placed in the category of rich (winner) or poor (loser). It's not a subtle investigation. Basically, they want to want to know <em>"Tumhare paas kya hain?"</em>
24/05/2015 8:32 AM IST
It has been a bad week. Depressing news from my old parents in India, health problems, car trouble and money woes. You name it and I have it. To top it all, yet another agent has rejected my synopsis for my first novel. I feel sad. I feel tired. I feel overwhelmed. I want to cry. So I shut off my computer and get the tissues out.
23/05/2015 8:29 AM IST
One day, my aunt came to visit. As she waited for the maid to serve her tea, she glanced at the newspaper. On the front page was Sonia Gandhi, dressed in a long skirt and boots, her hair falling over her shoulders. Inspired, she suggested my parents call me "Sonia", and they agreed.
28/04/2015 8:10 AM IST
Some of her comments may be malicious but she's witty as she attacks the "dramabaazi" and other shenanigans. She gets a little incoherent and she's abusive towards public figures but newspapers need that kind of shock value to sell. I get that. But I have to admit that sometimes De can be shockingly negative, vicious and strident.
16/04/2015 8:11 AM IST
I just figured it out. This is a conspiracy by Bollywood. Frustrated filmmakers fed up of their films being banned, censored and cut decided to fight back. So they had this meeting and came with this idea: How do we remove the shock value from our films? What if we had our scriptwriters prepare dialogues for our leaders to say? This will force the censor board to clear all our films.
08/04/2015 8:08 AM IST
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