Tuesday, June 20, 2023

4.1 Million In US, 130 In Team Biden: Why Indian-Americans Matter

 The community's significance will only grow as a result of the Joe Biden administration recognising PM Narendra Modi with a State Visit, a privilege usually reserved for the closest of allies.

The Indian-American community has begun to acquire prominence in US politics after years of striving to increase its influence. The fact that the Joe Biden administration gave Prime Minister Narendra Modi a State Visit, which is only given to the closest friends, will only serve to highlight how significant the community is.

Indian-Americans are among the most politically engaged and fastest-growing demographics among Asian Americans.

According to data from the American Community Survey, there are at least 4.1 million Americans with Indian ancestry. These individuals make up 1.3% of the US population and are the country's second-largest immigrant group, behind Mexican Americans.

During Prime Minister Modi's prior trips to the US, there were sizable diaspora rallies in places like Houston and Madison Square. The Indian community members would only receive an hour with the Prime Minister this time due to schedule constraints.

Prime Minister Modi will speak to a group of 1,000 American Indians on the importance of diaspora to the development of India and the US on June 23, just after concluding his formal engagements during the State Visit and before traveling to Egypt.

The Prime Minister will only have an hour to deliver the message, according to Bharat Barai, the head of the Indian American Community Foundation, as he will shortly be departing for Egypt. "Prime Minister Modi squeezed us in despite his tight schedule since he has always been polite to meet with us. 

The event is planned to include participation from community leaders from Sikh organizations, the Dawoodi Bohra community, Maharashtra mandals, Gujarati samaj, doctors' organizations, hotel owners' organizations, Telugu and Tamil organizations, among many more.

The national song will likely be performed by renowned soprano Mary Miligen, and the US anthem by Ria Pawar.

In reality, Indian-American community organizations had previously reserved three stadiums in Chicago in order to host the Prime Minister. However, the Chicago plan had to be scrapped because the State tour was scheduled for two days, followed immediately by the tour to Egypt.

Many "battleground states," which are crucial in deciding the presidency, like Pennsylvania, Florida, and Ohio, have a sizable Indian-American population. There are around 1.8 million Indian Americans, whose votes are significant in swing states like Wisconsin and Arizona and could influence the outcome of the election.

Indian-Americans have always supported Democrats, although there have recently been vocal Republicans supporters as well.

Significant numbers of Indian-Americans have important positions in the current Biden administration. More than 130 Indian Americans have top positions across the administration, and several of them hold important posts in the White House that have never before been held by immigrants.

According to experts, Kamala Harris' swearing-in as vice-president was a turning point for the neighborhood. Ms. Harris is a Tamil Nadu native.

Ajay Banga, an Indian-American, just started serving as the President of the World Bank. He is the first American with Indian ancestry to serve as the institution's CEO.

Ashish Jha, a Brown University student who was born in Bihar, was appointed by President Biden as the White House's Covid-19 coordinator.

Rising political influence in the US

Nearly 40% of immigrants from India entered the country after 2010, and the group is only now beginning to exert political influence.

Since Bobby Jindal of Louisiana became the first Indian American to run for president, the representation of the Indian-American community in American politics has only grown.

With the election of Pramila Jayapal of Washington, Ro Khanna of California, and Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois, there are now four Indian Americans serving in the House of Representatives, up from one in 2012 (Ami Bera of California).

Nikki Haley, a former governor of South Carolina and ambassador to the UN, declared in February that she would run for president of the United States in 2024. She mentioned as the proud daughter of Indian immigrants during her campaign. "Not Black, not White, but different," she remarked.

Since 2010, the Indian-American community has held the title of largest diaspora group in the world, and it is a valuable resource for the Narendra Modi administration.

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