Under Biden, the rise of Indian-Americans
With Joe Biden set to take over as the President of the United States (US) this week, a key feature of his appointments — Mr Biden has filled his key positions with capable individuals unlike Donald Trump — is that close to two dozen Indian-Americans find a place in the top echelons of the administration. According to a news report, Mr Biden has appointed at least 20 Indian-Americans, with 17 of them in White House positions — 13 of the 20 also happen to be women.
Leading the charge, is of, course Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris. But from finance and management to health, law to press relations, foreign policy to national security, those who trace their roots to India have found space. This is indeed a reflection of how well the Indian-Americans (who constitute about 1% of the population) has done in their new homeland. It is a reflection of their educational levels, political engagement, and the harmonious ties between India and the US that none of these appointments have raised any eyebrows.
But even as India takes justifiable pride in the achievements of these individuals, it is important to remember that all those who are in the new administration are American citizens. Their first loyalty is to the US Constitution and US national interests, as defined by the president who has appointed them. Yes, their presence will enhance an understanding of India in the administration and is symbolic of close ties. But these individuals have their own varied political and social influences and worldviews. India would do well to cultivate them, as it would cultivate any US official at high levels, but respect their identity beyond their Indian roots.