By Samir Shukla
The lovely summer is chugging along, now passing through sultry August. Heatwaves are crisscrossing the planet. Weather patterns are clearly amplified. Humanity continues its path for total planetary domination. Life goes on, while our little blue marble slaps us back into reality now and then.
Right now, I’m sitting on my deck, about an hour before midnight, a soothing warm breeze is passing through the area. The night noises are keeping me company as I write this. A few thoughts cross my mind and help pass the time.
The political winds in this country are shifting backwards and sideways rather than forward. This wind is also lurching rightward and leftward as it passes through different parts of the country. These directional changes are unhinging the commonalities, yes there are many, of citizens, while the merging of the nation’s dreams is relegated to the backseat. The political fringe tries to inhale all the oxygen while making a lot of racket. The real work gets done in the thick middle, not the slippery, thin edges. The sober middle must engage more, politically and neighborly. That’s how we can build bridges and fix or build the roads leading into tomorrow. American ingenuity is still the best on the planet.
India celebrates its 75th year of independence this August. The wounds of partition still sting and burn, left unthreaded by the hasty exit made by a crumbling empire. Now 75 years later, the country and its neighbors are constantly grappling with ways to progress further into the 21st Century. Changing climates and continuing boom in populations will greatly affect the region.
Migrations within the country and around the region will increase as families seek fertile lands and opportunity. This ancient civilization has survived myriad invasions and kept its traditions and culture in place while absorbing foreign influences into its own. The native and the new have mingled into this country so diverse that it boggles the mind. In India, just like here in the States, the fringe elements are also trying to unravel the progress of others.
The Indian Diaspora in the States continue to make their mark and help move the country forward along with myriad other recent and established immigrants. There is increasing political and social involvement by Indian Americans. In a way it’s the best of both worlds, the old country and its traditions and the new country and all its ambitions, blended by Indian Americans making their homes across this land. This is what immigrants do in the United States. They bring energy and a mindset to expand opportunities, create a better country.
The energy of immigrants in this land of migrants keeps redefining the idea of America. It is a continuing story. Just as in a sense the migrants and travelers who have settled in India over the centuries continue to define the idea of India, its deep traditions, cultures and the tomorrow-gazing dreams of its youth.
The August winds swirl around the world. This night, as midnight approaches, a cooler breeze is now passing through the neighborhood. The night noises have quieted a bit. The work of the sober middle, the quiet majority, of both India and United States, can lead to a quieter night and a better tomorrow.