It occurs to me that I have been writing this blog for some time now. I don’t know how many people actually read it, but our system administrators assure me the numbers are good. I have written on a broad range of subjects, sometimes personal, always devotional, but in the five years of writing the Young, American, Hindu blog, I don’t feel I’ve succinctly defined what my goals are, who my audience is, why I find this important enough to keep doing it, to keep wanting to do it and to inspire others to do similar works.
I’ve stated in other posts on Radha Madhav Dham’s website some of my strong feelings about Hindu youth in this country. To reiterate: the Indian children of the present age have incredible prospects ahead of them, given all the knowledge and culture present within their culture. They have parents who came from India seeking a better life, and with that better life, have placed a great deal of promise and power within their children’s hands. It’s important to nurture such promise in as many ways as possible, and I certainly see this blog as being one way of addressing that. As a child, I read seeking many things, among them knowledge, connection, power, escape, and a whole host of assorted adolescent feelings. But chief among my literary wishes was the search for identity, that puzzling question of who am I, what am I doing here, why am I doing it. If anything, this blog may not provide an answer to those questions, but it might lessen some of the stress of going through it alone. Because the promise, the power given to Hindu children by their parents, is worth protecting, worth finding a way to save.
At the same time, America is going through the rough upheavals of any young country coming into its own. Our growing pains are, bluntly put, racism, intolerance, self-righteousness and an enlarging sense of entitlement, among others. This country worries overmuch about being politically correct, all the while posting horrid diatribes online. Minorities, no longer supplicant to the wills of white America, find their options under assault from repressive forces long entrenched in society. Indians especially face a great deal of racism, benign or otherwise, and it is damaging to our youth even at its most innocuous, its most innocent. Many feel the need to hide under a bland image of assumed Americanness–an image they have been told is normal–not dressing in Indian clothes, not learning or speaking Hindi, avoiding ethnic food, music, or even people.
This is the true essence of what I want to address with the Indian youth of America. In this regard I am not unique in my methods, my inspiration, but perhaps in my goals I find my niche. Not to mold them, not to make them march to the tune I’m playing, but to nurture them, to provide them with archived encouragement. The mission is, years from now, Indian children who want to learn from my experiences, who want to hear my story as I can tell it, can always come back to the blog. If it gives them a sense of pride in being Hindu, in being a person of color or in just being different, I will have exceeded my own expectations. All my mission is, is to write and to be read, to speak and to be heard, to tell my story and have an audience make their own impressions.