NOVEMBER 4, 1955
NEW YORK—I have been talking a good deal lately in my own party about the need for having women run for office where they are qualified and can undertake the job. So I am happy to say that in our own county of Dutchess in New York State we have running for Commissioner of Public Welfare an efficient and experienced young woman, Edna K. Silber. No Democrat has much of a chance in Dutchess County, but I am glad to see that a woman had the courage to move in and run.
Now I want to tell you about something that is totally nonpartisan. I was visited on Sunday afternoon last by Dr. G.S. Krishnayya of India, who has spent a good deal of time in the United States. He is really fond of our country.
Dr. Krishnayya, who currently is engaged in the teaching profession in the southern part of India, feels that it is essential to provide the youth of India with a magazine that will be interesting and attractive. He showed me the type of publication that is now available to youth of his country and it is almost worse than the very worst of our comics. I can well see that there is a crying need for the type of magazine he wants to publish.
In fact, Dr. Krishnayya has put all his savings into getting out the first few copies of such a magazine, which he calls "Sunshine." In looking over a copy I feel, because of his understanding of the U.S., he has done a great deal to acquaint the young people of India with the real America and not with the fiction that so often is created by the movies.
I think anyone interested in the growth of understanding between our two countries, and in the promotion of education in India will want to help Dr. Krishnayya to continue his work and have his magazine widely distributed among the schoolchildren of India.
This brings me to a mention of the National Council on Asian Affairs, which is a group of Philadelphia citizens interested in Asia and in education. They have started a pilot project in the Philadelphia area to demonstrate the things which they think will be helpful if carried out on a national scale.
They feel that Americans are sadly lacking in knowledge and understanding of Asia and the Asian people, and they say, "No democracy can afford the luxury of having basic policy decisions made by the specialists without the approval and consent of the electorate. But the average voter today simply does not have the knowledge and understanding necessary for such decisions."
The two initial projects on their program are to obtain and prepare printed material "of basic factual data about Asia suitable for inclusion in existing school curricula," and to utilize Asian students in this country to teach in our primary and secondary schools.
This Philadelphia group feels that such action would lead our youngsters toward accepting people whom they now consider foreigners on the same basis as they would accept their own teachers. The council also feels that, as teachers, these students would take home a better understanding of American life than if they remain only as students on their university campus.
Everything that leads to better understanding between the Asian people and ourselves has value for the future and should command our interest.