Mumbai terror attack survivors, victims top ‘Coolest Desis’January 3rd, 2009 - 11:47 am ICT by IANS
Washington, Jan 3 (IANS) India’s security forces, survivors and victims of Mumbai terror attacks crown the list of “Top 50 Coolest Desis of 2008″ of DesiClub.com, a popular arts and culture site aimed at second-and third-generation South Asians in North America.Noting that it is almost impossible to name each and every hero and victim of “the horrible events” of Nov 26, the site particularly recognised “Hemant Karkare, Ashok Kamte, Vijay Salaskar, Karambir Singh Kang, the CST railway staff, Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, Gajender Singh, the Mumbai Fire brigade and countless more”.
“Here’s to the families of the loved ones who were lost and a salute to the security men and women of India who sacrificed all to save them,” it said. “Hopefully the world will not have to deal with such nightmares in 2009.”
Second on the DesiClub.com list is superstar Amitabh Bachchan who along with his family “participated in the huge North American ‘Unforgettable Tour’, which shocked and pleased tons of his fans who never thought they would see him on-stage performing again”.
Kamran Pasha, writer and producer for NBC’s highly anticipated new television series “Kings”, which is a modern day retelling of the Biblical tale of King David, takes the third place followed by Arundhati Roy, author and activist.
A.R. Rahman, “music director for the mega runaway hit ‘Slumdog Millionaire’”, takes the fifth place followed by Louisiana’s first Indian American governor Bobby Jindal under whose watch the US “witnessed one of the largest and smoothest evacuations for Hurricane Gustav”.
Author Salman Rushdie gets the seventh spot for “still penning some wonderful works and he’s a Sir!” with actors Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan taking the next two spots.
Actor Aamir Khan brings up the rear at the tenth place for his film “Ghajini” and his directorial debut “Taare Zameen Par” that was also submitted for the 2009 Oscars.
Other notable figures on the list include singer MIA (11), Interim US Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Financial Stability Neel Kashkari (12), author Amitav Ghosh (13), journalist Fareed Zakaria (14), and professional Golfer Vijay Singh (17).
Also on the list are director-producer Mira Nair (18), actor/political activist Kal Penn (19), actor Akshay Kumar (20), “Slumdog Millionaire” stars Anil Kapoor (21) and Dev Patel (23), actor John Abraham (25) and actor-model Padma Lakshmi (31).
Announcing the list, DesiClub.com said the South Asian world in 2008 also saw an unprecedented success in mainstream arts and entertainment.
“With the runaway hit ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ and more Desi faces on TV than ever before and with Bollywood becoming an even bigger global attraction, we broke even more barriers and moved way beyond the stereotypes of Hollywood,” it said.
“This phenomenon, which also exists in the financial, medical and technology industries will no doubt increase in 2009,” the site said.
“The saying that South Asians are recession proof was indeed put to the test as countless people lost their life’s investment while others no longer had employment.
“But all in all, South Asians as a whole, in the US anyway, have made out ok financially with little damage incurred, when compared to our cultural counterparts,” the website said.
Taking some credit for Barack Obama’s historic election victory - “as the entire election process of 2008 involved more South Asians than ever before” - DesiClub.com said: “It was a validating indicator of the now permanent presence of Desis in American life”.