India Times, Nov. 5, 2008
Barack Obama’s historic win in the presidential election opens the gates for Indian American politicians like Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal to enter the White House in future, the Indian community in the United States said as they congratulated Obama.
Sending congratulatory messages to the president-elect, Indian American organisations and community leaders hoped that the Obama Administration in the White House would herald a new era of relationship between India and the US.
“The last few years under the Bush administration has seen the ties between US and India grow ever stronger and that culminated in reaching the historic Civil Nuclear Agreement between these two nations. Indian national Overseas Congress (INOC) expects to see the relationship further strengthened under an Obama administration to new heights,” said George Abraham, INOC general secretary.
Congratulatory messages came from the Indian American Republican leadership too. Ashok Mago from Texas, home State of the outgoing US President, George Bush, said Obama’s success will be an inspiration for everyone. “It will energise people and send a strong message to the nation. No more excuses, opportunities are waiting for you. Compete and be whatever you want to be because of your talent and not because of your race, ethnicity, religion or nationality,” he said.
“Obama’s victory provides tremendous encouragement to Indian Americans like Bobby Jindal and others who wish to be in his shoes someday. Indian Americans should be proud of their role not only in the presidential but other elections as well. We are coming of age,” Mago said.
Congratulating Obama on his victory, the Federation of Indian American Christian Organizations of North America (FIACONA) said his election represents a new hope Americans at home and respect for America abroad.
“FIACONA appreciates the special love and concern that Obama has for India and Indians. This will usher in new and improved relations with India,” said Bernard Malik, FIACONA president.
The Indian American community in California who had gathered at an election-night event organised by the Friends of the South Asian American Communities erupted into immediate cheer as the news was splashed on television screens by cable news networks projecting Obama as winner of the presidential elections.
“We never expected this to happen in our life time. This is a reality now,” Upendra Chivukula of the New Jersey assembly, said. Chivukula is the first Asian-American legislator in the assembly. The Indian American community leaders in New Jersey participated in a victory celebration in New Brunswick, which among others was attended by Governor Jon Corzine.
For someone like Nick Tekwani, a software professional running his own business in New York, this election has been a special one as he voted for the first time. He turned 25 Tuesday and voted for Obama. “This is a historic occasion indeed,” he said.