I was offended by the use of “chaotic” to refer to India & China.I also dislike the way the massive ethnic displacement of Nepali migrants in Bhutan is casually airbrushed. I called Drew out on that and it sparked a mini-thread on the column.
I do think the “third” world must enact a “mirroring” policy, which replicates visa processes on a reciprocal basis. Passport privilege is the last and most pervasive privilege as it is protected by law.India, China, Pakistan and other such countries should make sure that Western nationals have the same visa processes that they’re citizens have in going to the West.
I deeply dislike some of the casual and condescending comments I see Westerners make about the East (I should really write on the AlphaGo movie I saw at ICML but again that’s deep thinking that doesn’t suit my social mediaesque surface level observations – I leave deep thinking to my wife). Diasporas are in fact deeply unhealthy and I admit that I am a member of a diaspora.
If I had been resident of either Pakistan and/or Iran or even India; maybe my relative progressiveness would have helped my society. Of course the fact that there is a Western option means that a good chunk of the sub-elite (the layer above the middle classes but below the ruling classes) will evaporate to the West.The “sub-elite” is an important constituency because they aren’t as hide-bound as the middles but not nearly as powerful as the ruling castes of the third world.
When they disappear because of migration they take with them thoughts, ideas and sometimes irreplaceable skills. I must sound like a complete hypocritical since I’m a Briton of foreign extraction and I do benefit from the various privileges that accrue from it. I do think though that for a more equitable world that we must go “back home” and effect reform.I can’t participate in politics because of my faith (too partisanal and conflictual) but I always tell Vidhi that I can see her as Indira II. Didn’t Indira have a vaguely Muslimish-Pars type husband as well (why wasn’t Feroze called Pirouz as per the authentic orthography)..
As an aside my aspersions on Feroze Gandhi’s background has a very good basis. I had recently heard of an interfaith marriage between a Hindu and a Parsi. However since I basically belong to the Eastern Iranian orbit (Persi-AfPak-India) I could immediately tell that something was off with the name of the Parsi spouse to be. The name was derived from a modern Iranian city that Parsis would never use and just struck me as wrong (Parsis just aren’t connected to modern Iran; they are culturally Hindus with roots in ancient Persia, there is very little of modern Iran in them). It soon transpired that the father was Parsi and the mother Muslim but that they were saying Parsi to avoid the implications of a Hindu/Muslim match.