‘Passing for Pakistani’ and the Two-Nation Theory

by Samir Chopra I often ‘pass for Pakistani.’ In my Brooklyn, New York City zip code 11218, once supposedly the most ethnically diverse in the US, assuming another subcontinental identity, and especially that of Pakistan’s, is not an insuperable task—for someone like me, of Indian origin. I speak highly colloquial ‘street-level’ Urdu and Hindustani fluently,…

Conservatives, Immigrants, and the Romantic Imagination

by Samir Chopra Once upon a time in America’s not-too-distant past, immigrants of the first and second generations were reckoned a safe vote for the Republican Party’s brand of conservatism. It was not just immigrants with log-sized chips on their shoulders from communist countries—Russia, Hungary, Poland, Cuba, for instance—who were willing and enthusiastic consumers of…