By Prag Singh
BOSTON–In the world of psychology, there is a concept called “de-coupling”. Let me flip this a bit and call it “coupling” to make it easier to drive the conversation here. This phenomenon has played a major role in some historical contexts. At the core of it, it’s all about a “factor/environment” that influence the outcome of a certain activity and in the absence of that factor the activity can see a dramatic decline/increase in its occurrence.
A well-known example is the Kansas City experiment of police control. A successful outcome where the power given to police force in a “well defined area” reduced the crime dramatically (without understanding “coupling” scenario, expansion of power resulted into nationwide issue of increased police brutality). Another example that can be force fit into the similar category is suicidal rate in 60s England. Having CO coming freely in homes as town gas resulted in major suicide rate and once the overhaul of gas pipelines took place, the suicide rate came down crashing. Last and a majorly controversial topic that we can think of is easy gun availability in US or unavailability of easy access in Australia and results of gun related deaths in last few decades in these two countries.
In summary, using police force strategy in a certain suburb of KS, cutting the direct gas pipeline in England’s homes or creating the hurdle in getting the guns, all resulted in a certain outcome or in another words, if we don’t act in a certain manor within certain context, the outcomes are difficult to get. If you want to take this “coupling” concept to the next level, think of massive “alcohol culture” in US college campuses and resulted rape cases. You can now probably see a clear answer here if you want to make college campuses safe for girls. Topic for another day….
Now how is this “coupling” process connected to a topic for Indian American diaspora here? Think of all the helplessness that this diaspora goes through when one fine day a new law is enacted and it says that our talented women cannot work tomorrow onwards on H4 employment visa or reaction of this community to a congressional hearing on its beloved Kashmir and everyone sitting there seems like having anti India stand. Bring it home and you can see many towns in MA where Indian American population has reached in double digits but no political candidate is knocking on our door trying to lure these votes. Can you imagine the same if Latino Americans or African Americans hit those double digit numbers in a certain town?
IAGB’s Civic Leadership Mandate is here to help you get involved
We at IAGB have been giving it a lot of thoughts and do believe that there is a path to bring positive political changes for Indian Americans and make our voice heard across but to reach that higher ground, we need to change the fundamental at the grass root levels (“coupling”). And in that process, we are going out and putting efforts throughout the year to bring more awareness and more civic involvement of community at town levels. We had our first local governance session in 2019 in Burlington and this year we are going to start with Metro West (Hopkinton) in first week of March, followed by few more in 2020 across Greater Boston. We are also creating a dedicated page on IAGB web site where one day you can get information about every Indian American involved in your town in any official capacity. This will also be our medium to reach out to any Indian American thinking of running for a local office and need community support.
We strongly believe that “coupling “of local governance movement with the strong political environment in country will result in much more civic involvement in Indian American community.
Act – Join IAGB and be the change
We sincerely hope you decide not to sit on the sidelines and join this action. As Gandhi Ji famously said “Be the Change that you want to see in the world/IAGB”. Please reach out to us if you have any suggestion, question or you want your town to be on our map for creating this grass root movement.
To “Coupling” …. In hope of “getting to the stars with feet firmly on ground”.….
Please do join us in series of events we are conducting throughout this year. Our first Civic Engagement event of 2020 will be in Hopkinton on 7th March at 1030 AM EST.
Please RSVP https://forms.gle/Z1yR5oUGsUtAKgz27.
(Prag Singh is a board member of IAGB Board.)