Dr. Prasad Thotakura
Dallas, TX: We express our deepest condolences and sympathy to Mr. Srinivas Kuchibotla Family for this great loss in Kansas City Shooting recently. We wish a speedy recovery to Mr. Alok Reddy who was injured at same incident. Our heartfelt thanks and special appreciation goes to the Hero Mr. Ian Grillot, who saved Alok’s life. There is a lot of discussion going on about these frequent attacks on Indian Americans. On analyzing the recent criminal history of USA, unfortunately there are at least 15 mass shootings occurred in the last couple of years. For example, in June 2016, Pulse Night Club shooting in Orlando, Florida killed 50 people and injured 53. In December 2012, at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Connecticut incident took the lives of 20 children and 6 adults. Several Indian Americans lost their lives while working at Gas stations during night shifts across the USA. The main reason for all these massacre’s is abundant availability of weaponry in open markets, buying guns became so cheap and easy. On behalf of the Indian American Friendship Council, we wrote letters to the US Policymakers to review the current gun licensing policy and come up with a law that allows to access guns only after thorough background checks.
We also noticed several racial profiling incidents have been happening very frequently. Hence, we requested US politicians to discuss this issue in US Congress and Senate and create an “Anti-Racial Profiling Commission” as a separate entity. This commission’s job should be to review all racial profiling complaints and take necessary legal action immediately to deter others not to repeat the same. Even though there is some built in hatred, anger, frustration on Indian Americans by few ill-informed, prejudices, there is so much positiveness in American Society. The same American Society gave so much prominent to several Indian Americans including Satya Nadella (Microsoft), Sundar Pichai (Google), Indra Nooyi (PepsiCo) etc., in corporate sectors. The Prime example is Ian‘s courageous effort to save another Indian American life. In my opinion as Indian Americans, we need to follow certain guidelines to lead a peaceful life in this great oldest democratic country on this earth, America.
Do’s & Don’ts in America:
1. Know your neighbors:
At least their names, invite them to some Indian community events to show our rich cultural heritage.
Do not cause any inconvenience by playing loud music in and around your home.
Do not irritate them by mowing lawns too early in the morning.
Car Parking should not block your neighbor’s entrances. 2. Respect American Flag:
Never raise only Indian flag without having American Flag next to it.
Follow flag etiquette and be patriotic.
Always abide by the rules and regulations and follow the Constitution of the country.
Respect laws of the land.
3. Dress code: Follow appropriate dress code especially in public places.
4. Do not irritate others: There are several incidents where organizers were kicked out of the hotels, public places when too much noise and inconvenience was caused to other guests. Example: mass gatherings, shouting slogans, displaying banners, organizing rallies when receiving Indian politicians, movie celebrities in airports, movie theaters, on roads etc.,
5. Awareness of Cultural differences: Educate your visiting parents or guests from India about US culture and traditions in advance before they arrive.
Do not stare or finger point Americans especially when they are in swim suits and are engaged in private moments.
Do not converse in a different language in front of them.
Do not make fun or laugh at them.
Do not touch, hug, kiss or offer any food items to American kids.
Do not leave parents / guests from India alone till they become familiar with their surroundings.
6. ID Proof: Always keep copies of your legal status ID and cell phone handy even while walking in your own neighborhood. Always heed to police officers’ instructions.
Always respect the spaces/seats reserved for Disabled
Do not use their parking spots even for few minutes.
Always yield to pedestrians while driving cars
Follow school zone speed limits
Do not do Zebra crossing.
8. Social Behavior:
Always state facts
Be respectful and professional in dealing with US Authorities.
Never get into arguments even though you are absolutely right.
Never joke around in work places, public areas like US Airports, restaurants, bars, parks etc.,
Public drinking or loitering is unlawful. Use your religious/spiritual freedom wisely without bothering others.
Avoid being out in bars, restaurants and pubs on late nights.
9. Social Media:
Don’t spread rumors or poke fun through social network like - WhatsApp, Facebook, twitter, emails, messages etc.,
Do not chat in porn websites. There were several instances where people got caught and were deported immediately by undercover police officers.
10. Legal Rights:
Always go through legal system if you feel something is detrimental to your fundamental rights.
If you are in a situation where you cannot protect yourself, do not resist, argue or fight.
Always think your life is more precious than your material possession.
11. Unlawful Behavior:
Professionals from several fields like medical, financial, pharmaceutical, IT, legal are getting too greedy and involving in financial crimes and currently, there are several Indian Americans are in jails.
Don’t hire illegals as it is a major crime and you will be deported immediately.
12. Personal Safety:
Display of gold jewelry in public events is a serious threat to safety.
Several thousands of burglaries are transpiring all over the USA.
Always keep your valuables in safe deposit boxes at your banks.
13. Towards Children:
Never show your anger, frustration on your kids.
Do not slap or yell at children.
Do not leave your kids alone in homes or in cars while you are shopping.
The “Child Protective Services” department will get involved and take away your kids, and you will be punished to the maximum extent of the law.
14. Civic Responsibility:
As we decided to live, earn our bread and butter in this great country, we need to be integral part of the society.
Though we can keep your national and cultural identity intact, shouldn’t lead our lives as an isolated community.
We need to know our elected officials and be prepared to volunteer at schools, hospitals, parks, city government activities etc., ----
Dr. Prasad Thotakura President, Indian American Friendship Council (IAFC),
a National, Non-profit Organization Past President – TANA Residing in Dallas, Texas, USA for more than thirty years