Unexpected character encountered while parsing value: <. Path '', line 0, position 0.
Money, Politics and Indian Agenda
Vasu Reddy from Chicago
Kerry, Edwards, Bush, Cheney, Obama and others who are running for this year’s elections and trying to get reelected are often recipients of our community’s largesse. Many of our community’s rich give the maximum allowed contributions to their campaigns and take active part in raising campaign donations from their families and friends. Much of our recent newspapers and TV programs have stories of the prospective politicians visiting the Indian community leaders and speaking to small groups, and raising large sums of money. I am in full support of our community’s active role in developing political affiliations and awareness. There is nothing wrong with being associated with leaders prospecting for highest offices in the nation. It should help pushing the Indian agenda with the nations highest officials when they get elected with the support our dollars.
In this year’s elections our folks are more visible in the money raising and the campaigning fronts, and also visible in the convention efforts. I certainly think that the Indian community’s wealth has the power to become a major factor to place some of our initiatives in the main stream. It is true when you hear these prospective leaders speaking to our groups they are full of admiration for what has been achieved by the Indians in USA and their reaching out to our pocketbooks. It is time for us to ask for the leaders to take concrete steps in putting India’s and Indian peoples agenda into the main stream.
The ethnic minorities of USA distinguish themselves with PAC and other organizations that are relentless in pushing the agendas of national origins they represent. India and Indians are making tremendous contributions to the USA and no less important to this wonderful nation. It is just that our community simply is not making use of its resources to push a common agenda as the other nationalities do. It is perhaps our regional and often diverse interests that involve fragmented communities. It is perhaps that our interests of accumulation of wealth and individual importance are still to be achieved. It is perhaps we just don’t care enough about our India enough to push a common agenda. It is perhaps we don’t remember the togetherness all of India displayed in achieving independence from the British, and it is also perhaps we are unaware of the strong political bases developed in the USA by other ethnic minorities. I am sure there are a multitude of reasons why we have not been active in pushing our motherland’s agenda. My objective is to raise the issue to equate the similarities of other ethnic minorities in the USA who contribute to the system while pushing the agendas that are important to them and their motherland.
Our people are individually charming and over achieving. Our folks at the same time represent themselves as Indians with a tag. When someone asks me I would simply say I am originally from India, as any one from Mexico would say they are from Mexico. But if a fellow Indian asks me, I would have to say which state I am from, what town, and on and on. Our identities are simply Indian, although the pride we take in our states and traditions and other affiliations. Sometimes we often even identify with faith, caste and cities. There is absolutely no reason to ignore that who we are, as we are who we are. I am quite proud of my country, city, town, people and my name. Never I would want to forget that nor ignore that. Just that when I live in the USA, a fragmented approach to pushing my motherlands interests is difficult. We certainly need to approach the US politicians as does Israel, Mexico, Japan or China does. Look at how much coverage these countries get, while India only gets skimpy coverage as it does with the programs and interests USA has. So, it may be best while we keep our proud identities in tact, we put a common front to the US politicians who enjoy our community’s generosity to drive a common agenda.
Can you imagine a local politician who would not want to listen to group of Indians? If all groups of Indians push one common agenda imagine the impact that will have on the actions that will be taken to improve the Indo-US relations.
There are a number of Indian organizations, sometimes many that represent the individual states, or people who have things in common. We have many temples, religious organizations, associations and what not. There are also organizations that represent the many organizations of Indians. I think it is time for these folks along with the donors to start a common cause moment for the better relationship with India. India just elected a new government that consists of many politicians from the early 1990s who were instrumental in driving the economic achievements that we have seen in the past 14 years. The Indian government can use some positive overtures from USA and the influence of the Indian community can be displayed with the upcoming elections and the Washington establishment.
I don’t seek that India need to be dependent on USA for every little thing. But India already supports the medical, business and IT industry of USA and it supports a lot of outsourcing needs of the USA. Why not pick on the areas where cooperation of both of our countries to become a commonplace, rather than once in a while or as on a need based relationship. I also notice however mush cooperation India provides to the USA; I don’t see the relationship becoming a close friendship. Whatever the reasons of the past and politics of the past we can’t change them. I agree that India typically expresses its displeasure with non-cooperation, where as USA with aggressive attitude. Both these attitudes are an opportunity for aggressive Indian community to bring together for greater cooperation amongst out nations, which is only possible by the Indian community establishing itself as not just a donor but also an active political community that drives the agenda of this country.
While we supply to the US demand for technology and medicine, why not ask for simple cooperation in planning and building India to meet its day-to-day challenges?
Why do people live in the USA? My simple answer is that people can make a living and have basic needs met without depending on others. Roads, schools, parks, clean environment (with exceptions) and basic needs are met in USA to most people. Why not we work towards making India a place that is also capable of meeting the basic needs of people. I am not implying that political agenda for Indians to be set to get this done by the USA. I am simply inferring to have our politicians make India an agenda item, and if our community simply seeking the recognition from the politicians can do this. As we donate generously to the politicians along other ethnic communities, and we can also get the necessary recognition as do the other communities to make India a regular USA agenda item.
Now is a good time for our community to examine the impact of our wealth and our contributions to the politicians. While the recognition of the pre election festivities and campaigns are wonderful, we need to find political and permanent solutions to help our country and our community.
I ask all people who donate to the campaigns make it a point to drive the Indian agenda. There is nothing wrong with thinking of Indian agenda to be included in Washington. Let our community be organized to utilize the legitimate opportunity to drive India’s agenda. As long as we want to be the biggest donors to political parties, let us also be the biggest supporters of Indian agenda.
Please Share this article with your friends.
Related & Matched:
More from:Vasu's Columns