Indians (dot, not feather) have a high opinion of their compatriots' importance in American society, like we couldn't possibly get along without them. Some imagine Silicon Valley as an Indian creation that somehow drifted over to San Jose. Indophiles are upbeat about India's prospects, in particular that this will be "Indian Century" despite the nation's massive problems, including a growing AIDS crisis, a level of superstition not appropriate to a first-world culture and crushing gender discrimination.
Given the degree of misogyny present in Indian society, it's curious indeed that residents of the subcontinent are so excited about the new astronaut (shown), whom they regard as one of theirs. The only genuine girl Indo-astronaut, Kalpana Chawla, came to a tragic end in the Discovery break-up. Apparently Indians appreciate independent women more when they live thousands of miles away, like the United States. Anyway, the new astronaut-girl was born and raised in America, but that detail seems to matter little [Indo-US astronaut follows Kalpana's footsteps, 12/11/06] .
Sunita Lyn Williams, flight engineer for Nasa's 14th expedition, is one of seven crew members for the mission.
Sunita's parents were there to witness the first flight of their daughter into space from Cape Canavarel in Florida.
And countless Indians were among those who watched her first flight with excitement and hope.
Ms Williams is a second generation Indian-American and has been with Nasa for the past eight years.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - Discovery's seven astronauts are among the most culturally diverse of any space shuttle crew. There are two African-Americans, an astronaut of Indian descent, the soon-to-be first Swede in space, a British-born mission specialist, an Alaskan and a Jersey Boy.
Considering the anti-female diversity still rampant in her ancestral home, Sunita Williams should be very grateful that her father left girl-murdering India to come to America [Feticide means 7,000 fewer girls a day in India, Washington Post, 12/12/06].
The problem of female feticide has significantly worsened since 1991, UNICEF said at the India launch of its "State of the World's Children 2007" report.
Out of 71,000 children born every day in India, just 31,000 are girls — giving a sex ratio of 882 girls to 1,000 boys.
But the global sex ratio — which is 954 girls to 1,000 boys — suggests that 38,000 girls should be born in India every day.
Yes, and India fancies itself a "spiritual" civilization, even as it uses ultrasound imaging, a technology developed to improve the health of mother and fetus, in order to get rid of unwanted females.