Indian Americans in US Government
Jasbina Ahluwalia asks Aakash Patel, Founder and President of Elevate, Inc.: Okay. What are some of the issues that you find Indian Americans have brought up with respect to your experiences with the political process?
What were some of the dominant themes that were articulated?
Former Prime Minister Singh was visiting the White House. For that time period, it was his first visit to President Bush. This was in the summer of 2005.
Awareness of Indian Americans in US Government
Frankly, the original issue was awareness. At that time, we only had one Congressman Member, Bobby Jindal. Now we have Congressman Bera. We have two Governors, Governor Nikki Haley and Former Congressman, now Governor Jindal.
At that time, it was the beginning of Indian American awareness. That was an issue that we were able to champion.
People knew, “They’re not quite at the voting block yet, but they’re getting there. They’re a race on the rise.”
Indian Americans in US Government: Bollywood Influence
I see it every day. I read about it through the Indian newspapers. One of the coolest experiences that I had here was being able to help with the Bollywood Host Committee for the Bollywood Awards in Tampa.
Every time you meet someone who is Indian American in the process, they always say, “You can be the next Congressman Jindal. You can be the next Governor Haley.” That’s what I saw when I started in 2005.
Indian Americans in US Government: New Trend
It’s been almost a decade. Every day, you see someone running. All it takes is one person to break through the barrier. I think we finally did that. I’m proud to say that, in 2005, we were the beginning.
Have you noticed an increase of Indian Americans in US Government? Tell us which appointees you follow in the comments section below.
The above is an excerpt from Jasbina’s interview with Aakash Patel
The entire interview transcript is at: Aakash Patel NetIP (Network of Indian Professionals) Interview – Entrepreneurship: How He Did It, How You Can Do It, Too
Listen to the entire interview on: Intersections Match Talk Radio – Jasbina’s Lifestyle Show