An Indian season in US polls

PTI | ByGurmukh Singh, Los Angeles
Nov 29, 2004 09:30 PM IST

With the historic victory of Bobby Jindal, the Indian political innings in the US has just begun, writes Gurmukh Singh from Los Angeles.

With the historic entry of Bobby Jindal to the US Congress — not to mention the victories of Nikki Randhawa Haley to the South Carolina Assembly and Swati Dandekar to the Iowa House and the presence of assemblyman Upendra Chikvula in New Jersey, state senator Satveer Choudhary in Minnesota, Assemblyman Kumar Bharve in Maryland — the two-million-strong Indian-American community has politically arrived. 

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After the three terms of Dalip Singh Saund to the US House from 1956 to 1962, Jindal is the second person of Indian origin to win election to Congress. After Saund, many Asian-Americans of Chinese and Japanese origin became Congressmen, but Indian-Americans had to wait for another 40 years till Bobby Jindal broke that drought yesterday. 

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In comparison, there are seven Indians, including Health Minister Dosanjh, in the Canadian Parliament and four in the British House of Commons and at least five in the House of Lords.

And now, in the first election of the 21st century in this self-described "greatest nation on Earth," Indians have registered their political presence with a vengeance.

Forget about the landslide wins of Bobby Jindal and Nikki Randhawa Haley. Forget about Swati Dandekar's encore in Iowa. Just look at the number of Indians who fought and won — and lost — elections at various levels this week.

As many as 28 Indians were in the fray — from the US Congress to mayorship to city councils to boards and commissions.

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