Being Indian In America

Identity politics is the game of the new age, everyone is either playing it or being played at. As an Indian woman, living on a dependent visa, the options that we are given are minimal. In India, we are forced to don on a plethora of identities, none that inherently define us; Woman, Hindu, Caste, Sub-Caste, South Indian, Madarasi, the list is endless. A move to a multicultural society meant that I could shred all those identities that I didn’t choose to adopt, it was time for me to create an identity for myself. That prospect elated me until I succumbed to the racial confusion that this country is going through right now. I’m constantly worried about what this means to my daughter born an American, what will she be identified as, a brown-American, Indian-American, Asian-American? Will the war between races prevail through generations? I shudder at the thought that the next generation will have a stronger identity crisis than we did. They will have to pick up the pieces we have scattered and frame something that we left in shreds.

Being Indian, I’m used to a pseudo-democracy, where democracy has failed miserably in execution. To see democracy fail in a nation that is said to lead the world gives very little hope for the rest of us who believe that there is a better tomorrow for our nations.

As a mother I can teach my child to see beyond race, teach her to be inclusive, accepting, and be empathetic towards people around her. But the thought that she may be judged or crucified for her race or ethnicity scares me. In all this, I have forgotten that I must uphold a personal identity. There is a bigger cause and identity that we must all embrace, the identity of being human.

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Deepa Aravinth

Deepa Aravinth

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