There is nothing wrong with Jindal wanting to give up his "Indian roots". He wasn't even born in India! It's profoundly racist to insist that just because he has a particular DNA and because his parents were born somewhere else, he has to attach a certain name tag to himself. Our identities are something we create for ourselves - they are not imposed on us.

Jindal Discards His Indian Roots – So What?

I think Bobby Jindal is a joker. His remarks about gay marriage itself are enough to mark him out as a silly guy catering only to his deeply conservative GOP base – whether or not he actually believes in what he says is anyone’s guess. I have no admiration for him.

I do however, support him when he says that he doesn’t want to be an “Indian-American” – just “American”. I see absolutely nothing wrong with him wanting to distance himself from what others are calling his “roots”. Apparently people have taken offense at him wanting to cut himself free from his Indian heritage, taking to Twitter with tags like #BobbyJindalIsSoWhite etc. This is nothing but racism. People who are criticizing Jindal look at race first. Instead of looking at his Passport, his nationality, and where he grew up, they are looking at his skin color and DNA. That is blatant, pure, racism.

Seriously, what is wrong with wanting to purge yourself of a particular culture? To start with, he wasn’t even born in India. His parents immigrated over. So right off the bat, his link with India is broken. Do you think just because he has a certain DNA by accident he is bound to identify himself with it? What is Indian about Jindal? Nothing!

The place of one’s birth is an accident, nothing more. I was born in India. I could have been born anywhere in the world. It’s random chance that placed me on this particular corner of earth. Am I supposed to bear an identity that is based on nothing more than pure random chance? Sorry, but I do not. My identity is something that I determine for myself. If a person wants to break free of their circumstances, then I applaud them instead of trying to drag them into the mud.

I think it’s pathetic when Indians seize upon the achievements of someone of Indian origin and claim it as a win for India. “Oh, an Indian origin person won the Nobel prize!” Yeah so? Was it because they had Indian DNA that they won it? Or did they get it through their hard work and effort, and through the infrastructure provided by another country? Yeah, I thought so.

Jindal was never Indian in the first place. But even if he was, that doesn’t mean he can’t reforge himself whenever he wants to. People talk a a lot about “roots”. But that’s bullshit. We are not trees! We are not stuck to one place and we sure as hell don’t take its identity onto ourselves by force. When an Indian (or anyone else) moves permanently to another country and they want to forget all about where they came from, we should applaud their courage and their resolve to take their destiny in their own hands.

Instead, we get all offended and take umbrage. Get over yourselves. There is nothing special about being Indian. It’s all an accident of birth. And if Jindal wants to take the “Indian” out of him, then that’s his prerogative and he has my full support. Those who can’t look at a person without their race blinding them are racists.

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flickr photo by Fatty Tuna shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-ND) license

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creative commons licensed (BY) flickr photo by quapan:

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