People in India’s Silicon Valley and America’s Silicon Valley Can’t Afford To Be Silly Any Longer

Bangalore GreenCover

“I feel silly but I don’t know anything about Bangalore or Flint, Michigan.” — one of the graduates of a local institution of higher education who the author interviewed yesterday

The water pollution in Bangalore, India poses a serious threat to residents’ health and creates a chronic shortage of clean water for people to use. All in all, experts predict a severe water crisis which will make Bangalore uninhabitable by 2025, with residents potentially having to be evacuated.

Are we talking about relocating ten million people or so from the realm of India’s Silicon Valley? Whatever the numbers involved, when one speaks of relocating communities in India — clearly — the challenges involved are beyond daunting.

And they must be thought about and talked about in the context of there being many communities worldwide which are so besieged at present… with no hope in sight.

In the U.S. many environmental abominations have been well-publicized when they are first exposed, but — then — coverage and interest and meaning get lost in the shuffle of other horrors, as has been the case with Flint, Michigan.

The fires in Bangalore are more unknown in the U.S. than the horrors of Kashmir, which Arundhati Roy touched upon briefly yesterday on an alternative media outlet here. But… domestic environmental and social “challenges” are equally buried, youngsters seeking degrees to carve out careers for themselves much too busy busying themselves with school work, their parents having placed blinders on long ago for the purpose of preparing their offspring for a glorious personal future, expecting that their kids will have no problem prospering in the midst of worldwide collapse on an unprecedented number of counts.

A glorious, giving soul from Bangalore wrote to me today, offering to take me up on the volunteer gestures I’ve directed to California municipalities, educational institutions, non-profits and individual citizens on these shores… to no avail over the last fourteen years or so. I’m embarrassed that I did such a poor job editing that article, but I’m happy that I got it posted, for there seems to be great potential for making a difference by working in solidarity with that Indian activist. A monumentally great need crying out, certainly.

The thing is, if I do leave my sweet loved ones to travel overseas and get down with the necessary civic engagement abroad, someone is going to have to deal with the students at the local two-year college I visited yesterday and (immediately) wrote about. For, obviously, our collective horrid momentum must be addressed in several realms simultaneously, or “advances” made in one quarter will come to nothing.

And to be real here, I’m obliged to underscore that I did reach out on April 24th of this year to folks in and around Stockton, California (where that two-year college is located), and it wasn’t the first time either; I — with great hope in my heart, and unbridled youthful enthusiasm — targeted virtually every influential citizen in the area who I could find… November, 2017.

Time is running out. Obviously… if you’re paying attention.

The thing is, students are paying tuition, but they’re NOT paying attention. And — obviously — they’re NOT the only ones out of touch with what’s happening and what they can and must do about our collective crises.

When the EDUCATED and INFLUENTIAL authorities within a given realm act irresponsibly (and even silly) vis-a-vis our collective crises, it’s time for responsible educators to do more than simply prepare youngsters for their success on individual career tracks. To do that job, but also embrace the responsibility for integrating personal ambitions with the Collective Good.

The people in and around India’s Silicon Valley and America’s Silicon Valley need to move in solidarity. But first they have to stop showing a lack of common sense and very poor judgment, cease the silliness that enables them to embrace absurd or foolish sins of commission and sins of omission, while they pursue… profit.

How many students and their teachers and their loved ones would turn down a career path which promised a million dollars to be part of pushing our present momentum? Which is what the ever-popular STEM programs (and the first cousins in education) are all about. Well, I can tell you have many of the hundred and eleven I interviewed said “Yes.” [Pause.] None. Zero.

That’s the definition of silly. Or should I be using the word stupid?

I plan to share this with everyone I can, and I’m praying that they will understand that I do NOT mean to insult anyone. That I do appreciate the value of a STEM program on several counts. It’s just that everything that’s in gear on and off of U.S. campuses begs to be discussed at length, leisurely. And fine folks with fine hearts and souls are being — at the very least — “silly” in refusing to engage in the issues I’m spotlighting here. And that’s been going on for quite some time.

Richard Martin Oxman is Director of Flannery O’Connor Academy, and can be reached at [email protected]. He would LOVE to teach Geopolitics and/or some related subject at a local institution of higher education so that mainstream students could at least be exposed more to the accurate goings on abroad. 



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