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American Indians ready to go political

india Updated: Oct 07, 2007 15:48 IST
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Having excelled in almost every field, Indian-Americans are now preparing to flex their muscles in the US politics, the area where they continue to be under-represented.

This sentiment was echoed in Silicon Valley, where Indo-American community leaders joined technology experts, venture capitalists, elected officials, aspiring politicians, doctors, academicians and film personalities at the inaugural conference of the Indo-American Council (IAC) on Saturday.

Addressing the conference, Vinod Dham, often referred to as the father of the Intel Pentium, said it was important for the community to get more active in politics and become an important political force to and have a voice at the table.

Congressman Mike Honda, who is also the Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, said, "If we don't have a voice in the political arena, our community goes without notice."

With so many successful business leaders, the Indo-American community already had the skills that are important in politics, Honda told a large audience, which included leading Indian entrepreneurs such as Dham, Kanwal Rekhi, Kailash Joshi and Talat Hasan.

Underlining the need for Indo-Americans to get politically active, Steve Westley, the former State Controller of California and one of the founding executives of eBay said, "someone needs to decide whether we continue this tragic policy to limit H1-B visas when we desperately want more technology talent.

"Someone needs to decide whether we continue to allow people to use the Patriot Act to pick out people and decide whether they look American enough. We need more Indo-Americans at the table."