Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Bobby Jindal and India

In Saturday's election, Bobby Jindal became the first non-White and the youngest Governor of the US state of Louisiana. He polled more than 50 per cent of votes in a state that has a history of racial tension.

Children of immigrants making it to high of offices in the US is no news -- Bill Clinton has a Irish background just as Arnold Schwarzenegger has a Austrian background, quite a controversial at that. Evidently, they have won the approval of their fellow citizens because of the commitment to the nation, not just in words but in deeds too. And, people have overlooked the foreign tag in favour of the work they have done.

Indian media played up the news not just because of Jindal's distant Indian connection; but also in Jindal's victory there lies a message for Indians. Would we have accepted a similar immigrant? We are often very suspect to the extent of being xenophobic.

Sonia Gandhi's example is the most debated one. In her case it's not the debate that's objectionable (that's fine), but our lack of willingness to accept that Sonia can be trustworthy, our obsession with her country of birth. We are paranoid that she can betray our country, when many of our very own Indian citizens are doing it in their own ways on a daily basis.

There are a number of other examples. Why non-Indian, within our country look at the disputes many states have with each other, and the crude jokes in one state about people of other states. Forget Sonia becoming the Prime Minister, will we ever have a similar immigrant as a corporator or municipal councillor or mayor or as head of social, cultural, business, educational or organisations?

1 comment:

  1. Does the Governor of Louisiana have the legal power to remove local officials? If so, I hope he removed N.O. Mayor Ray Nagin, Police Chief Warren Riley and D.A. Eddie Jordan for gross misconduct, incompetence, & neglect.