OVERSEAS INDIANS CAN BE RIGHTFULLY PROUD OF THEIR LEADERSHIP ACHIEVEMENTS CAN THEY MAKE AN IMPACT ON INDIA?

Winners all . Top Row: Raghib Allie-Brennan, Niraj Antani, Harry Arora, Jay Chaudhuri, Jeremy Cooney, Nima Kulkarni, Padma Kuppa; Bottom Row: Latha Mangipudi, Ranjeev Puri, Jenifer Jaikumar, Kesha Ram, Dr. Nikil Saval, Dr. Amish Shah and Vandana Slatter

THERE IS NO REASON WHY INDIA CANNOT MODERNIZE AND CATCH UP WITH CHINA.  AS THE LARGEST DEMOCRACY NOW CLOSEST TO THE OLDEST DEMOCRACY, USA, INDIA CAN MODERNIZE AND DEVELOP ITS ECONOMY WITH THE COOPERATION OF THE OVERSEAS INDIANS AND THE COUNTRIES THEY LIVE IN.

By Ven Parameswaran

I came to the USA in 1954 on Vijayalakshmi Pandit scholarship awarded by Fairleigh Dickinson U in N.J. for 4-year undergraduate study.  After that, I graduated from Columbia U Graduate School of Business.    In 1954, that is 66 years ago, in the tristate area we had only 250 Indians.  This included 150 students and 100 employees of the Indian Consulate, Indian Mission to the U.N., and the U.N.   In the USA we had 3000 Indian students.    The Indian American population was 4 million according to the 2010 census.  I estimate it could be 6 million according to 2020 census.

In 1976, the Indian American population had grown to 250,000.  I recall publishing an article in India Abroad predicting the future of Indian Americans.  In that article, I highlighted how the Jewish community had grown and become most influential in politics, technology, and communications.  The Jewish came to the USA without education.  They went thru hell but they attached importance to religion and education.  In a few generations they were able to establish themselves as the highest educated.  They were the top intellectuals in education, communications, and politics and Wall Street.  They were the advisers to the occupants in the White House.    In that article I asked where will be the Indian Americans  50 years from then?  Will they emulate the Jewish Americans?

THE ELECTION OF KAMALA HARRIS, THE FIRST WOMAN VICE PRESIDENT HAS MADE HISTORY FOR INDIA, 30 MILLION OVERSEAS INDIANS, AND INDIAN AMERICANS

Indians everywhere are really proud that the oldest Democracy has elected an Indian American woman as its Vice President.   Kamala’s mother Shyamala Gopalan, a Brahmin was born in Chennai, Tamilnadu.

Indian Americans have been building political clout, slowly but steadily.  As the population of Indian Americans have grown so also their political clout.  Of course their quality of representation is quite disproportionate to its small population. The Americans have elected one Vice President, two Governors, one U.S.Senator, 10 Congressmen, approximately 20 members to State Legislatures, several State Attorney Generals, several Mayors of cities and towns, several Councilmen to large cities, several Federal and District Judges, 2 Appellate Court Judges.  Two hundred Indian Americans contested in 2020 elections beginning with the Primary.  Out of this, a net of 30 competed finally and approximately 20 were elected.   This a very impressive performance by a very young community within such a short time.  They have come from second and third generation Indians.

In the November 2020 elections, a number of India Americans have won in State legislatures. Here is a partial  list.

Connecticut State Rep. Raghib Allie-Brennan (D), CT 2nd District

Ohio State Rep. Niraj Antani (R) Ohio Senate District 6

Connecticut State Rep. Harry Arora, (R) CT 151st District

North Carolina State Senator Jay Chaudhuri (D), NC State Senate District 15

Jeremy Cooney (D), Rochester, New York, NY State Senate District 56

California State Rep. Ash Kalra (D), CA 27th District

Kentucky State Rep. Nima Kulkarni (D), KY 40th District

Tennessee State Rep. Dr. Sabi Kumar (R), TN 66th District

Michigan State Rep. Padma Kuppa (D),  MI 41st District

Zohran Mamdani (D), NY State Assembly 36th District

New Hampshire State Rep. Latha Mangipudi (D), NH 35th District

NC State Senator Mujtaba A. Mohammed (D), NC State Senate District 38

Ranjeev Puri (D),  Winner of MI House of Representatives 21st District

Jenifer Rajkumar (D),  Winner of NY State Assembly 38th District

Kesha Ram (D), Burlington, Vermont, VT State Senate Chittenden District

Dr. Nikil Saval (D),  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Winner of PA State Senate 1st District

Arizona State Rep. Dr. Amish Shah (D),  AZ 24th District

Washington State Rep. Vandana Slatter (D),  WA 48th District

Shri Thanedar (D),  MI State House of Representatives 3rd District

Senator Kevin Thomas (D),  NY State Senate District 56

Indian Americans have demonstrated that their character, values, education, religion, and work ethics will contribute to keep on building political clout at local, state, and national levels.

WHO ARE THESE INDIAN AMERICANS?

Spelling B Contestants, high achieving students in high school, college, universities, faculty members of universities, Deans, high tech professionals, CEO’s of top corporations and others.

Indian Americans are the highest educated in the U.S.A.    They also earn the highest, with average income of a little over 100,000.    The median income for the Americans is $50,000.    The Jewish when they came were the underdogs.  But they beat the White Anglo-Saxon Protestants.  For a long time, nobody could beat the Jewish.

BUT INDIAN AMERICANS BEAT THE JEWISH AND HAVE BEEN LEADING CONSISTENTLY YEAR AFTER YEAR IN EDUCATION AND INCOME.   THIS IS A GREAT SUCCESS STORY NOT TOLD TO THE WORLD OR EVEN TO INDIANS IN INDIA.

Let me cite some examples of topnotch successful Indians:

There are only four trillion-dollar corporations.  Indians are CEO’s of two:   Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft.   Sunder Pichai of Google/Alphabet.  Indra Nooyi is a member of the Board of Directors of Amazon, another trillion-dollar corporation.

Rajat Gupta was the first Indian CEO of McKinsey Management Consulting firm.  Dutta was CEO of United Airlines.  Lounjewar was CEO of U.S.Air.   Indra Nooyi was CEO of PepsiCo.  Ajay Ganga  is the CEO of Mastercard.  Vikram Pandit was CEO of Citigroup.  Warren Buffet is grooming Ajit Jain to succeed him.  Laxmi Mittal is the steel king of the world. Zubin Mehta was conductor at the Philharmonic Opera of the NYC.  Malhotra played ice hockey as member of the National Hockey League.   Vivek Murthy was Surgeon General.  Nikki Haley was American Ambassador to the U.N.   Verma was ambassador to India.

Two thirds of all the hotels are owned by Indians.

40% of all high-tech startup firms in the Silicon Valley are by Indians.

Harvard School of Business elected an Indian American Dean more than a decade ago.  He has been succeeded by another Indian American.

There are 25000 Faculty members of Indian origin in colleges and universities.  Several are Chairman and Dean of Departments and Schools.

50% of all Ph.D.’s are earned by the Indian Americans.

FROM SPELLING B TO PH.D.  INDIANS LEAD IN EDUCATION.

BY ELECTING KAMALA HARRIS AS VICE PRESIDENT THE INDIAN AMERICANS HAVE BROKEN ALL GLASS CEILINGS BASED ON INTRINSIC ABILITIES AND POLITICAL SMART.

IF INDIANS ARE THE SMARTEST, PEOPLE ASK, WHY INDIA IS NOT MODERN LIKE CHINA, USA, JAPAN?     IF INDIANS CAN BE THE LEADERS IN USA WHY DON’T THEY LEAD INDIA? WHO CAN ANSWER THIS 64000 DOLLAR QUESTION?

30 Million Indians live overseas – Canada, USA, U.K., Germany, Western Europe, Middle East, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Fiji, Guyana, Trinidad,

Sri Lanka and others.   Ireland elected an Indian Prime Minister.   Portugal elected an Indian President.  The U.K. has several cabinet ministers of Indian origin.  Canada has several cabinet ministers.  New Zealand has a cabinet minister.   Singapore has elected Deputy Prime Minister and Prime Minister.

THERE IS NO REASON WHY INDIA CANNOT MODERNIZE AND CATCH UP WITH CHINA.  AS THE LARGEST DEMOCRACY NOW CLOSEST TO THE OLDEST DEMOCRACY, USA, INDIA CAN MODERNIZE AND DEVELOP ITS ECONOMY WITH THE COOPERATION OF THE OVERSEAS INDIANS AND THE COUNTRIES THEY LIVE IN.

(Ven Parameswaran, former President & CEO, First Asian Securities Corporation, NYC, is also Senior Adviser, Imagindia Institute, a think tank in New Delhi.  He lives in Scarsdale, NY. He can be reached at  [email protected])

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