Media Bravery

Finding more and more South Asians in the mass media these days,  I find myself hoping this influences a sea change among young and intelligent Indians. Finally breaking out of the stereotypes typifiying my countrymen,  characters like Kelly on “The Office” and Sayeed from “Lost” provide a sign post others of similar backgrounds can look to.  They are innovative and flawed – they don’t have lilting accents or perfect SAT’s –  they are ditzy and they are excellent at the martial arts.  I’d like to think “Kumar”, from Harold and Kumar, might actually inspire a young 16 year old to do things his parents might disapprove of, while making it ok to pursue a field they do like.  South Asians can be chefs or artists,  doctors or newsjournalists (or both Dr. Gupta) – we are scientists, businessmen, aesthetes, soldiers and   dancers.  That the media are finally recognizing this variability is a good sign that this diversification has already begun. Perhaps, as one might dream, young South Asians will observe in pop culture artists like MIA and aspire to be pop stars or concert maestros.  One can only hope…

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