Think of all the hate
There is in Red China.
Then take a look around
to Selma, Alabama…”
-Eve of Destruction lyrics, Barry McGuire. 1966
On the eve of traveling to India with nine students from the University of Washington, I have been keeping my eye out for intriguing articles to share about India. This morning, on the front page of the New York Times, I found one. But I hesitate to pass it along.
“How to get away with Murder in India, with a town watching.” Superbly written by journalist, Ellen Barry, she lived for two years in a tiny rural Indian community, getting to know people, deeply. Then she suddenly learns about a brutal murder of a wife she knows, seen clearly by several others, and a cover-up by the police chief, and the local politician she had gotten to know well.
It’s a compelling story about the caste system, and family, and soul-killing poverty and how this all contributes to a strangling web that ultimately causes the mother of the murdered wife to decline to press charges. It’s the grinding poverty and despair India snapshot most of us have some awareness about. It’s a piece of the Truth, but just a glimpse. It’s not the one I want to reinforce.
This quandary fresh in my mind, I drink my second cup of tea and read the article next to it: “Trump’s Tumultuous Week? To supporters, It Went Well”. A critical look, not often seen in the New York Times, by Sabrina Tavernise, that explores why Trump can do no wrong in some supporters eyes.
Even when he sides with the Nazis.
A retired businessman from Minneapolis states that Trump is like a high school senior who could ”walk up to the table with the jocks and the cheerleaders and put them in their place”. That is something that the “nerds and the losers, whose dads are unemployed and the moms who are working in the cafeteria” could never do. Mr. Trump may be rich, he said, but actually belonged at the nerd table.
A central perspective is frozen in time, and this is the prism through which all things Trump are seen. I recognize there is some of that in me too.
I wonder if the students at the Central University of Tibetan Studies that we will be working with, are trying to prepare themselves for us, and are now sharing an article about events in Charlottesville, South Carolina?
As part of this three-week study abroad course on Philosophy, Religion and Social Action in India, students will learn how to document what they are seeing and produce short videos about some aspect of their experience while there. I think Perspective will be the core theme.
Greg Tuke, as a Fulbright-Nehru Fellow, will be teaching and working with faculty at several Indian universities, sharing strategies for implementing international collaborations within course work. This blog will chronicle key experiences and insights about international collaborative teaching and living in India. All opinions expressed are mine, and mine alone, and represent no other institutional affiliation.