Response to “India Is the (Cow) Shit!”

in Response from Reader/# 9.2/Blog
from Nithin Mathew, graduate student

I follow S&W on and off and have contributed photographs to the magazine more than once. I was surprised to find this issue carrying a speech of contempt, titled:”India is the (Cow) Shit”. Being from India, a land of varied and sometimes contradicting culture, I would like to say that I found this article not in the apt spirit for a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic university environment.

I agree that the country is struggling to cope with its population and this manifests in many ways. I do agree that the lack of basic amenities is a problem in our country, and that poverty forces many to resort to violent methods to make a living. It’s a young, developing nation, and it needs its own time to evolve. At the same time, I would like to point out that my experiences in Troy had not been different.  The right attitude, I think, is to understand that these experiences are singular, and one should not generalize based on such experiences.

To quote the author: “This [lax] attitude seems to work for Indians.” I don’t think people like me would be invited here with opportunities for funded research if I was in the “laid-back” league. If the author has any doubts on the competency of the educational institutions in the country, please run a search for the Indian Institute of Technology, Indian Institute of Management or for that matter, J. J. School of Architecture. For individual accomplishments, one can start from the Nobel Prize for Chemistry this year, or with the popular Intel commercial (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqLPHrCQr2I).

I think one can come across such experiences in any part of the world, and I do feel that a student venturing into international study must be expecting them.

It is true that in today’s information deluge, one has the right to voice his/her opinion as loud as he/she wants regardless of his/her credibility. But I feel that it’s the responsibility of the editor to make sure that the opinions are indeed worth publishing and are not just immature “shouts.”