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Sandip Roy
Sandip Roy is the Culture Editor for He is on leave as editor with New America Media and host of its radio show New America Now on KALW 91.7 FM in San Francisco. He is also a commentator for Morning Edition on NPR. He is a contributor to various anthologies including Mobile Cultures, A Part Yet Apart - South Asians in Asian America, Storywallah!, Q&A, Contours of the Heart etc. An India-born immigrant, he now lives in San Francisco and writes regularly for mainstream and ethnic media outlets in the U.S. and in India. He is a co-host of the call-in show Your Call and has appeared occasionally on This Week in Northern California on KQED public television. You can read this and other blog postings by him at

Entries by Sandip Roy

#JeSuisCharlie? No, I'm Not Charlie Hebdo: Here's Why

(1) Comments | Posted January 9, 2015 | 10:47 PM

Je suis Charlie?

Well, not quite. I really am not Charlie Hebdo.

Nothing -- no cartoon, no book, no song -- justifies the kind of shooting rampage that happened in Paris. As Hassen Chalghoumi, the imam of Drancy mosque in Paris says, "These are criminals, barbarians. They have sold their...

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The Unbearable Burden of Being Sophie Hunter

(0) Comments | Posted November 9, 2014 | 12:54 PM

By Indian aunty standards, the engagement of a 38-year-old "never married" man should be greeted by nothing other than sheer relief. God be praised, finally, before all our teeth fell out.

However when that 38-year-old is Benedict Cumberbatch, the reaction is one long howl of disbelief heard around the world...

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Tim Cook's 'Coming Out' Matters Because It Does Not Matter

(0) Comments | Posted November 1, 2014 | 1:04 AM

The best thing about Tim Cook's coming out was what it was not. It did not come as the result of some sex scandal perhaps involving an employee. It was not an embarrassing disclosure after being caught in some public restroom or a park. It was not a grudging coming...

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Status Insanity: Why the iPhone Is the Perfect Status Symbol

(0) Comments | Posted September 11, 2014 | 9:04 AM

In India the iPhone makes your life complicated before it makes it simpler.

A friend got an iPhone because she could not call Uber cabs on her Blackberry. That solved a pressing problem -- how to call a cab if she's out for drinks and it's rather late. Unfortunately now...

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When Did Al Qaeda Become Burger King?

(1) Comments | Posted September 5, 2014 | 8:13 AM

Once upon a time every journalist's favourite word when talking about Al Qaeda was "shadowy." It was a "shadowy" world whose size was a "shadowy figure" and whose wings were even more "shadowy."

But if Ayman al Zawahiri's new video proves anything, it is...

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An Unlikely Sliver of Hope from Ferguson

(36) Comments | Posted August 27, 2014 | 8:43 AM

Sometimes we should be thankful for things that did not happen.

Soon after Michael Brown was gunned down by police in Ferguson, Missouri, news filtered out that the security cam video from a convenience store had allegedly caught him trying to shoplift cigarillos. A desi-looking store clerk had apparently tried...

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RIP Archie Andrews: Even India Could Not Save You

(3) Comments | Posted July 16, 2014 | 2:52 PM

Archie Andrews dies today on the pages of a comic book. But in reality he died a long time ago for most of us.

The declining sales of Archie comics, which plunged 40 percent between 2007 and 2009, pushed the comic book to revamp, rejig and reinvent itself. But the...

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Two Girls in a Tree: Why the Indian Rape Photos Are Inexcusable

(0) Comments | Posted June 4, 2014 | 1:56 PM

Sometimes a picture is not worth a thousand words.

Last week India was shocked by a picture that looked ripped out of the American south from decades ago. Two young women, raped and strangled, and then left dangling from a mango tree in a village in the Badaun district of...

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When Maya Angelou Becomes a (Facebook) Status Symbol

(2) Comments | Posted May 30, 2014 | 9:09 AM

I have never read Maya Angelou.

However, I must confess when Maya Angelou died I immediately felt I needed to Google "inspirational quotes Maya Angelou." I knew my social media timeline would be flooded with them and I didn't want to be caught empty-handed with my cultural pants down as...

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The Dawn of Narendra Modi Marks the End of Nehruvian India

(0) Comments | Posted May 26, 2014 | 4:05 PM

The ghost of Jawarharlal Nehru could well be an uninvited guest at the banquet marking the swearing-in of Narendra Modi. Tuesday, May 27 will mark Modi's first official day as the 15th prime minister of India. It will also mark the 50th death anniversary of Jawarharlal Nehru, India's first prime...

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What Truly Terrifies Us About the Missing Malaysian Airliner

(2) Comments | Posted March 10, 2014 | 2:01 PM

What has been most astonishing about the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 are the images that have come out of that tragedy. Or, rather, the images that have not come out of it.

In an age when mobile phones with cameras get to disaster zones even before television...

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Why the Woody Allen Affair Makes Us All Uneasy, and Rightly So

(32) Comments | Posted February 3, 2014 | 1:23 PM

It is impossible to read Dylan Farrow's account of what she says Woody Allen did to her as a child without feeling queasy.

What's your favorite Woody Allen movie? Before you answer, you should know: when I was seven years old, Woody Allen took me by the...
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Sorry, Indian Supreme Court, but Queers Are Here to Stay

(3) Comments | Posted December 11, 2013 | 6:17 PM

In the 1980s Aditya Advani left India for America. His sexuality was not the reason he left, but it was certainly part of the reason he stayed back in America, as it was for countless others like him. Aditya remembered the exhilarating freedom of the first gay pride parade he...

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Nelson Mandela's Death and the Anniversary of an Indian Massacre

(1) Comments | Posted December 6, 2013 | 12:21 PM

Waking up to a world without Nelson Mandela is not unimaginable. We have come perilously close to it over and over again. The idea of Nelson Mandela was strong. But the reality of Nelson Mandela had been on life support for a long time.

Now only the idea remains....

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NYT Discovers the Good Men of India. No Kidding

(1) Comments | Posted October 21, 2013 | 3:31 PM

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
And male strangers help women burp babies on planes
And go sari-shopping happily with their wives
Into that heaven of liberation, my Father, let my country awake.

(With apologies to Indian Nobel...

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Nina Davuluri's Story Is an American Story, Not an Indian One

(7) Comments | Posted September 17, 2013 | 1:27 PM

If there is one Indian who should really be upset about some of the racist garbage tossed at Miss America Nina Davuluri, it's her maternal grandmother, 89-year-old V Koteshwaramma of Vijaywada.

But she's chosen to focus on the positives. "I am very, very happy for the girl," she told...

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'I Have a Dream': An American Export Mightier Than McDonald's

(1) Comments | Posted August 29, 2013 | 10:44 AM

At my school in Kolkata, far far away from the American civil rights movement and the red hills of Georgia, "I Have a Dream" was an elocution favorite. Tutored by Belgian priests, Bengali students from resolutely middle class families belted out their renditions of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s famous speech....

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The Introvert Strikes Back? The Newfound Cool of Being Introverted

(25) Comments | Posted August 21, 2013 | 1:43 PM

When I was a little boy, I once lost my voice suddenly. Since I was a rather sickly child, my parents consulted all kinds of doctors until one told them, "He just talks too much for his age. His vocal chords can't handle it. Let him be quiet for a...

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Kal Penn and the Stop-and-Frisk Storm on Twitter

(31) Comments | Posted August 17, 2013 | 2:07 PM

Kal Penn once starred in a stoner comedy where he ends up in Guantanamo after a woman on his flight mistakes his bong for a bomb.

Now that same Kal Penn has been tweeting his support for New York's stop-and-frisk policy. That's the New York City practice where cops can...

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There's Something About Huma

(27) Comments | Posted July 28, 2013 | 12:04 PM

Somewhere along the way Huma Abedin just became the love child of Jackie Kennedy and Hillary Clinton.

The Indian/Pakistani American, a former top aide of Hillary Clinton, was already reputed to be so beloved of the Clintons that she was pretty much regarded as their "other daughter." And those connections...

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