Diversity in Politics: Its Rise

Jasbina Ahluwalia asks Toby Chaudhuri, Co-Founder and CSO of SocialxDesign: I’m fascinated that you were in the Clinton White House. Do you have any interesting stories or anecdotes that you can share from your experiences with the Gore campaign or while in the Clinton White House?

Is there anything that comes to mind that really left an impression on you?



Toby Chaudhuri

Diversity in Politics: The Change

There are plenty of stories. It’s marking the change between what Washington has been like between the Clinton years and the Obama years.

This is an extraordinary political moment for so many different reasons. One of them is this major trend that’s happening around us, which has been the rise of diverse America.

We see that change every day here in Washington in the halls of power.


Diversity in Politics: Clinton Years

During the Clinton years, when you looked around, people looked a lot more homogenous than they do right now in those same halls of power. There’s a moment in 2004 that really captured this for me with respect to where Indian Americans are.


Diversity in Politics: Experience

I remember being in New Hampshire. It was during the presidential primaries. It was just a couple of days before the actual presidential primary election in New Hampshire.

I remember that an older woman, a family friend from the community, invited me over on the eve of the primaries. I figured that this was a terrific opportunity to go over, have some chai after a long week of retail politics in New Hampshire. This would be a respite of sorts.

I’ll never forget going to her home. She took me down to the basement and I found dozens, if not hundreds, of Indian Americans all gathered in her basement.

They weren’t there just to snack and chat about politics. They were actually there to decide who they were going to vote for as a block in the next day in the presidential elections.


Diversity in Politics: Chaudhuri’s Reflection

To have this many Indian Americans in the state of New Hampshire where the population was very low to begin with was quite significant. This was back in 2004.

It was a symbol of what we’re seeing across the board within the community, which is that there is this unprecedented amount of political activity happening within the community and outside the formal presidential campaigns.


Diversity in Politics: Take Part

You’re seeing activists who are building a movement to force changes that might otherwise never take place. They’re starting to see the fruits of their labor.

I think it’s quite exciting to see Indian Americans come together to solve our communities’ everyday problems and to change America.


Tell Us:

Have you seen an increase in diversity in the political world in the past decade? Who have you spotted? Tell us in the comments section below.


The above is an excerpt from Jasbina’s interview with Toby Chaudhuri.

The entire interview transcript is at: Toby Chaudhuri NetIP (Network of Indian Professionals) Interview – Current State of Politics in US and India

Listen to the entire interview on: Intersections Match Talk Radio – Jasbina’s Lifestyle Show

Listen to the entire interview on Blog Talk Radio: NetIP Spotlight