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The U.S. Congress had no members of Indian origin in 1956. But Dalip Singh Saund, who was born in Chhajulwadi, Punjab, was about to usher in a change. Author of My Mother India, the mathematician, farmer and local elected official was running for a U.S. House of Representatives seat in California’s District 29.

 

When he won, Saund became the first Indian-American man to serve in the U.S. Congress.  


Fast forward to 2016. Sixty years have transformed America’s political landscape, and Indian-Americans are flexing their muscle throughout the country, from individual states to Washington, D.C. Many analysts believe Indian-Americans – who at some 3.5 million constitute a growing political force within the U.S. population – are well-positioned to increase their influence.

 

As an example, Congress Blog points to the expanding reach of the United States India Political Action Committee (USINPAC). A signature achievement of the organization, says Congress Blog, “was successfully convincing a bipartisan majority in Congress, including famous ‘non-proliferation diehards’ such as former Republican Senator Richard Lugar and Democratic Representative Nancy Pelosi, to vote for the landmark India-United States Civil Nuclear Agreement.” This occurred despite India’s refusal to sign the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. USINPAC used newspaper advertisements, hosted receptions on Capitol Hill and sent supporters to Washington to meet directly with congressional staffers, and urge representatives and senators to consider their views. “The fervor with which the community mobilized around the cause was unprecedented,” says Congress Blog, and “signaled a new phase in Indian-American political involvement in Washington.”

 

Source- The New Indian Express

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