Ref: Independence day at OSU sign now

Dear Friends,

On 15th august 2010, we tried to celebrate independence day at The Ohio State University. The speaker's speech and his remarks about India were ighly offensive. ISA had asked you to speak about Independence, all were expecting talk about what India's independence means to the speaker.

Unfortunately the talk the speaker gave seemed like a talk about what independence from India feels like. He spoke about typical sterotypes of Indians in USA. To a certain extent the points made about stereotypes were correct. Agree or not, those tiny stereotypical qualities define us. The way we eat, the way we dress the way we work all of it describes us as a nationality. These attributes on one hand lead to stereotypes and on other are our strengths. Deeply ingrained qualities of honesty, self-righteousness and family values are what set Indians apart from others. Speaker's remarks about abandoning those to better fit into American society is asking us to abandon our Indian values. Which was a preposterous remark to make.

About the remark of doing charity in USA alone and not in India was wrong, irresponsible and out of place. Several AID, Sankalpa and ISA volunteers work tirelessly to make a difference back home. The speech invalidated all that each one has worked for. The speech was more appropriate for 4th of July or for a bunch of people who are frustrated with India, and want to abscond to USA.

The audiance was neither of those. Some may to return back to India after working for 3-4 years in USA. Furthermore, speaker stating that he proudly calls himself an American citizen on India's independence day after hoisting India's flag is insulting India, her citizen, her pride and her flag.

People come to Independence day celebrations to feel at home. To celebrate India's pride. Not to see her get humiliated. It is even more shocking to learn that the speaker is the faculty advisor of ISA. A person who was so unprepared for India's independence and acted so irresponsibly does not deserve to hold this position.

Its a great honor and responsibility to have the opportunity to hoist the national flag and give a speech on our independence day. The speaker failed to live up to it.

P.S - This letter is not written to offend the speaker. People certainly were hurt by what he said. This is an unfortunate incident. Please sign this petition and feel free to leave comments. This petition along with the comments will be delivered to the speaker wednesday next week.

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Tommie MckenzieBy:
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