An Indian Adoptee Reclaims His Voice in the Desi Diaspora
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Seeking Balance When Writing about India

February 27, 2014

I began this blog more than four years ago, to write mainly about my experience and thoughts regarding international adoption. As time progressed, I became more passionate about my roots, and that means writing and thinking increasingly about India, and her issues.

Add to this fact that I married an Indian national and that my consumption of news and analysis about the homeland exponentially increased.

However, an issue has arisen: I need to strike a balance when writing about India. On the one hand, stand Indian subjects that are glossed over and remain outside of the ‘India Shining’ narrative the government and media sometimes portray. I found I must balance these with positive stories about my homeland — those that inspire, bring joy, and cause my readers thought.

Sharing the stories of India’s marginalized is one of my passions, along with educating others, by writing and highlighting India’s many development and growth issues. Nonetheless, I realize that this blog’s content may easily become too negative.

India, never a headline stranger, prominently remained in the news for a number of horrific stories during 2013. The abhorrent Delhi rape, and continuing rapes and women problem; its massive corruption; the heart-breaking story about children who died from poison food…the list goes on.

Her population is 1.2 billion and growing, so there is, of course, the issue of scale. Do not read that wrong. I am not minimizing injustices, or their horrific nature, but it is fair to keep her mass of humanity in perspective when throwing around numbers.

I believe it is important to discuss and examine the underlying causes of many Indian social ills, but my conundrum arises: do I focus on that stuff too much? How can I do it less? I seek a serious and legitimate balance.

I am proud to be an Indian. Yet I am sickened, saddened and disgusted by her myriad problems.

The way I write about India is very similar to the way I write about adoption.

I want people to see nuanced stories of India — not merely what mainstream media reports, which is usually negative, or what you read in Time or the Economist, which relays tales of her high flying economy and burgeoning middle class etc. I hope to combine both. As I frequently say about adoption, the feel good story is only one part of the adoption narrative; the pain, the hurt, the anger and loss are also parts of it for some of us, and all facets remain valid.

As I write about India, I wish to keep that same perspective.

Do you have any suggestions or sites that you use to find ‘positive’ Indian news?

1 Comment
UttaraPhalguni
April 12, 2014 at 1:05 am

How about the ongoing Indian election? Narendra Modi’s projected to win I believe. How do you see the BJP future of India for the next few years?

I'd love to hear your thoughts!