January 2015 \ Diaspora News \ Indians In USA
Making News

Notching successes in fields as diverse as poetry ...

By Arun Kumar, US

Notching successes in fields as diverse as poetry and politics, some three million- strong Indian American community packed more power and influence far beyond their numbers in the year gone by.

A record 30 Indian Americans jumped into November’s electoral battle with Republican Nikki Haley and Democrat Kamala Harris handily winning back their jobs as South Carolina governor and California’s attorney general respectively.

But Republican Neel Tushar Kashkari lost an uphill battle against California’s popular governor Jerry Brown, while Rohit ‘Ro’ Khanna nearly upset seven-term incumbent Mike Honda in a Democrat versus Democrat House contest in Silicon Valley.

Amiresh ‘Ami’ Bera, the lone Indian American in the US House of Representatives, repeated history by winning a tight California House race two weeks after the elections as he had four years ago.

Eight Indian Americans scored victories in the states with 23-year- old law student Niraj Antani, a Republican, creating history by winning a House seat in Ohio to become one of America’s youngest lawmakers.

President Barack Obama, whose administration has more Indian Americans than any other before, added many more, including former key Hillary Clinton aide Richard Rahul Verma as the first envoy from the community to New Delhi.

With Nisha Desai Biswal heading the State Department’s South Asia bureau, Indian Americans would be watching US interests in both Washington and New Delhi when Verma takes up his post.

Puneet Talwar took over as assistant secretary for political-military affairs to serve as a bridge between the State and Defence departments, while Arun Madhavan Kumar became assistant secretary of commerce and director general of the US and Foreign Commercial Service.