From the time Dalip Singh Saund got elected to the House in 1956 as the first Asian-American, the incremental transition of the community has transformed into a distinct identity as Indian-Americans. The Tribune looks at US poll results from Indian point of view
There will be something unusual when the 115th US Congress comes into session early January. The world knows that Donald Trump will take oath of office on the Capitol Hill on January 20, as the 45th President of the United States, but there is more for India to look forward to.
From the time early immigrants from the sub-continent reached the shores across Atlantic and Pacific Oceans in the late 1800s onwards, the Indian community has indeed arrived to make a distinct mark on the politics in the land they preferred to live.
For the 3.4 million strong Indian-Americans, who constitute barely one per cent of the US population, the citizens of land of immigrants have elected five people from the community as members of Congress: Kamala Harris to the Senate and Ami Bera, Raja Krishnamoorthy, Rohit ‘Ro’Khanna and Pramila Jayapal to the House of Representatives. A fifth contestant Peter Jacob failed to win his election.
From the time Dalip Singh Saund got elected to the House in 1956 as the first Asian-American, the incremental transition of the community transformed into a distinct identity as Indian-Americans, which in itself narrates the success story.
Having achieved economic success and social mobility, the Indian-Americans’ average annual household income is in the range of $ 88,000, nearly double of an average American take-home. Besides they have earned a unique place in the US as a community of highly talented, educated and skilled personnel who straddle across fields as academia, computers, entrepreneurs, space, oceans, medical and research and excel.
The entry of this bunch of highly energetic individuals as members of the US Congress stamps the completion of a long voyage as each of them made it to the top of political heap in this land of opportunities by sheer grit, hard work, focus and determination.
Each of them lived the American dream and a set of ideals of democracy, rights, liberty, opportunity and equality wherein freedom includes pursuit of happiness and social mobility for the family and children through hard work.
While India and Indians can take pride that children of immigrants have made a mark on the political map of the US, it will be unfair to expect that their focus will be more on the home country, they or their parents/grandparents came from.
Read what Pramila Jayapal, 51-year, rights activists told her supporters after the triumph: “We fought for and won higher wages for all of Washington’s hard working families. We fought for and won protections against senseless gun violence. I am proud to be the new voice and fighter for the people of Washington State’s 7th Congressional District. I have never backed down before, and I will not back down now.”
Ro Khanna, 39, ran his campaign promising to move beyond the gridlock in Washington with concrete solutions to strengthen public schools in his area, create good paying jobs, and to move America’s economy into the 21st century. Raja Krishnamoorthy, 43, entered the race because he felt working people deserved a voice in Congress. “I believe that a fair minimum wage, paid maternity leave, and equal pay for equal work are not extreme partisan ideas — they are concrete policies to help lift up working people in this country and rebuild a shrinking middle class.” All politics, as they say is local. And Indian-Americans have got it under their skin to get a fine grasp of issues that matter to the people. And all the five Indian-Americans were elected on a Democratic ticket.
At the same time, Indians are also working with the Republicans and one of the prominent faces is Harmeet Kaur Dhillon, who was former vice chairman of the California Republican Party. On Trump’s victory, she told the US-India Political Affairs Committee that his victory heralds a new era of opportunity and promise for all Americans, which will naturally benefit Indian Americans
“Indian Americans can expect the new President to focus on lowering regulatory burdens, reducing taxes on individuals and corporations, focusing on jobs and growth for America... I fully expect to see many prominent Indian Americans in the new administration,” Kaur said. Congratulating President-elect Donald Trump on behalf of the community and pledging to work with the new administration, Sanjay Puri, the force behind USINPAC said the new President must work on kick-starting the economy, tackling ISIS and terrorism in Asia.”
Trump has already arrived in Mumbai!
Donald Trump, president-elect of the United States, is popular in India as well going by the number of developers queuing up to construct iconic buildings bearing his name. Premium high-rises bearing the Trump Towers insignia are coming up in Mumbai, Pune and Gurgaon with developers from other cities like Kolkata showing interest as well. According to information available from Tribeca Developers, there are five ongoing projects bearing the Trump moniker which should be completed in the next couple of years.
There are no cash investments from either Donald Trump or his companies in these projects. Developers pay for the use of the Trump name and logo in addition to fees for consultancy services, according to sources.
Two projects in Maharashtra alone are: the Trump Tower in Mumbai being constructed by the Lodha group, and another is in Pune being constructed by Panchshil Realty. Sources in the real estate business said both buildings are premium projects and aim to attract the rich and famous in the two cities.
“We have already sold most of the flats in the 75-storey tower which will be completed by the end of 2018,” a spokesperson for the Lodha group said.
Just how much will be spent on licensing the Trump name is unclear with the company representative citing business confidentiality.
The total value of the Trump realty projects in the country is valued at over US $ 1.5 billion. Promoters of Panchshil realty are already negotiating with the Trump Organization for more projects in Pune.
Source- The Tribune Trust