SHASHIKIRAN MULLUR writes: On the last page of last week’s Outlook magazine, Nandini Mehta commends India for the comfort with which Indians chose a Catholic-born woman as leader. She is bemused that Americans cannot easily take a woman and a minority candidate as president, and says: “I suppose that’s the difference between a 5,000-year-old civilization and a 200-year-old one.”
I don’t understand—I am only an engineer, not a sociologist, nor an anthropologist.
I know Americans are immigrant people from all over the world: Fine Indians, Egyptians, Iranians, Jews, Greeks, South-Americans, everybody from everywhere, and Europeans, of course. Civilizations comprise cities, monuments, books, and arts and music humans created. And the thought that they contributed, plus laws and government and religion.
But if the dynamic for civilization lives in our minds, and if America has drawn the most illustrious of them from the descended nations of all civilizations, why, America is as great as the greatest civilizations, as old as the oldest.