Kumar’s perception of ISA’s formation and existence is misinformed, incorrect

To the Daily:

This is in response to Rishtee Kumar’s letter to the Daily in which the author presented wrong information about the Indian Students Association (Division among Indians, Indian Americans imply too much culture not ‘cool’, 12/02/02). The writer’s claim that the formation of ISA is the result of differences between Indian American students and Indian-born students is completely baseless. ISA was formed with the goal of helping students coming from India to get acclimatized to the new country and to the campus, to make them feel at home so far away from home and we are proud of our success so far. There has been no fissure of a unified organization as claimed by the author. Also Kumar’s claim of dichotomous division of Indian community into ISA and IASA is untrue. Apart from ISA and IASA, which are two big ones, there exist around 10 more India related student organizations on campus each focusing on different issues and hence catering to different tastes and motivations. To us, this truly represents the Indian culture which preaches “unity in diversity”.

That there are vast differences in behavior and mannerism of Indians and Indian Americans cannot be disputed. There is also no denial of the fact that both communities possess some serious prejudices against each other. Such prejudices are not uncommon for people from a country as diverse as India and are definitely not something that these organizations have created. We believe that the solution to this problem is an increased interaction among all the India related organizations rather than doubting the very existence of these organizations

The letter was written by the Indian Students Association Board

Daily’s use of statistics on hate crimes misleading

In regard to Dan Trudeau’s article yesterday in the Daily, Political climate blamed for hate crime increase:

I think it would be more helpful to the readers of the Daily if Trudeau included all relevant facts with regard to the increase in hate crimes observed. The increase in hate crimes was 1,600 percent over the previous year (28 to 481). This fact is, frankly, disturbing. Yet the Daily article fails to mention that “the 2001 hate crimes report was drawn from 11,987 law enforcement agencies around the country, up from 1,160 agencies in 2000.” That’s a jump of 933 percent. Now, there still a difference between 1,600 percent and 933 percent, but it is not nearly as great as the Daily reports.

David Puro


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