‘Indian community is now a force to reckon within America’

Kamala Harris
Kamala Harris; photo credit: Indian American Impact Fund

Election of Kamala Harris and others shows Indian Americans have come a long way.

With the election of dozens of Indian origin candidates led by Kamala Harris as the first woman vice president in 2020, Indian community has now emerged as a force to reckon with in American politics.

This was the consensus of elected officials, political and policy experts and community advocates at a post-election analysis virtual get together organized by Indiaspora, a leading community association, last week.

The four-hour virtual show was hosted by Indiaspora founder MR Rangaswami, and Executive Director, Sanjeev Joshipura.

Nisha Biswal, President of the US-India Business Council,  noted that  India-US relations were based on a sound footing and were likely to remain ‘pretty good’ if not become better.

RELATED: ‘This is our time,’ say Indian Americans in politics (October 15, 2020)

A change of regime from Republican Donald Trump to Democrat Joe Biden was unlikely to change anything. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, she noted met Biden several times when he was vice president.

Praising the Indian American community for bringing India and the US closer, former US Ambassador to India, Richard Verma, said relations between the two were at a peak today.

In a short time, the community has become a major force to reckon with, both economically and politically, he said.

Besides the four member ‘Samosa Caucus’ of Indian American lawmakers reelected to the US House of Representatives, over a dozen others, including five women have won state level elections scoring a few firsts for the community.

The doyen of Indian American lawmakers, Dr Ami Bera who won a record 5th term to the US House, said Indian Americans, who once shunned politics have come a long way.

He as also three other re-elected US House members — Pramila Jayapal, Ro Khanna and Raja Krishnamoorthi — stressed the urgent need to deal with the coronavirus pandemic and rebuild the economy.

Many Indian Americans were badly hurt due to the collapse of the hotel and motel industry, Krishnamoorthy pointed out.

The speakers noted that the Indian American community was given due importance for the first time in the 2020 presidential election.

Both the Democrat and  Republican campaigns wooed the 1.8 million strong community which emerged as  a critical voting bloc in the battleground states.

Elected State officials and candidates taking part in discussion included Ash Kalra (California), Jay Chaudhuri (North Carolina), Ronnie Chatterji (North Carolina), Niraj Antani (Ohio), Hiral Tipirneni (Arizona), Kesha Ram (Vermont), Ghazala Hashmi (Virginia) and Manka Dhingra (Washington).

READ MORE:

Indian American lawmakers’ Samosa Caucus set to get bigger (November 2, 2020)

Indian American community rockets its way to relevance (September 4, 2020)

Politically, 2016 is a ‘Miracle Year’ for Indian Americans (December 31, 2016)

Historic day for Indian Americans, as 5 from the community take oath as members of US Congress (January 4, 2017)

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