The Accent Should be on Diversity
Donald Trump needs to bone up on the minutiae of Indian accents as he appears to have fallen prey to popular stereotyping perpetuated by American television, from The Simpsons to The Big Bang Theory. Any resident Indian would vouch that these bear but a passing resemblance to genuine desi cadences. Even the template call centre accent recently mimicked by the voluble Republican presidential hopeful had more of an American twang than an authentic Indian tadka, and does disservice to the sheer diversity of accents that the south Asian subcontinent can rightfully lay claim to. Indians should be the first to take umbrage at this high-level attempt to homogenise Indian-accented English as even a cursory examination of the utterances of just Indian leaders would reveal an astonishing range of intonations spanning not only domestic variations but global ones too.
To be fair, the so-called American accent also gets short shrift in India, probably due to clichéd portrayals in cinema and television. There is no attempt to distinguish between the distinctive inflections of the east and west coasts of the US, not to mention the Midwest and even particular cities like New York. Of course, the fact both the Republican and Democratic front runners nominally hail from the same state — New York — but have different accents can be confusing.