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Young Indo-Americans and our political future

By Neeta Sane
Missouri City, TX

As we celebrate India's 60th Independence day in the United States of America, I am so thrilled to see that Indo-Americans are not only focusing on India, but are starting to move ahead to gain a foothold in the political future of this country; the land that has provided us with opportunities to establish ourselves as the economically strongest community.

Over the past four decades, Indian immigrants and their children have become very successful in diverse fields including medicine, engineering and business. We undoubtedly have reached the highest level of excellence with our intelligence, hard work and perseverance to make sure our children prosper and succeed as well. We, Indo-Americans, have become one of the wealthiest and best-educated ethnic groups in the United States! However, this prosperity has not yet led to high levels of participation in the American electoral process as the Indian immigrants focused on gaining economic stability.

Now, isn't it time to motivate our young Indo-Americans even more to participate in the political processes of this country which now has become our adopted home? Do we not want our children to influence the political actions which ultimately determine the stability and prosperity of our new home, the United States of America?

As I build my campaign for Fort Bend County Treasurer for my election in November 2006, I am blessed to have some of our Indo-American children who are helping me with the campaign as they gain a valuable perspective about the current political clout. As an Indo-American political candidate, it is satisfying to be able to encourage the young Indo-Americans in my vicinity to run for public offices to serve and influence the political outcomes not only at the national level but also at the local level. Our children excel in Social and political Sciences in schools and colleges but then it makes me wonder why such young talent does not strive to undertake the leadership roles as political leaders in this country.

I am excited to see that my son, who is a freshman in UT-Austin studying Chemical Engineering, now acknowledges the value of participating in our political systems more than ever as I continue to campaign as the Democratic candidate to bring integrity, efficiency and transparency to the office of Fort Bend County Treasurer.

We have started making our presence felt in the political arena by becoming American citizens and giving political contributions. However, as Indian American Leadership Initiative President Varun Nikore said, "Indian Americans´ substantial campaign contributions did not translate to increased political clout. We can give money until we are blue in the face, but in the end, all that matters is having one of your own at the table. If we really want to be part of the political process, we need to get more people elected."

As an Indo-American political candidate, I am looking forward to leaving a legacy for our children to expand their horizons and explore the American political territories to make a history that embraces Indian heritage and American values with new Indo-American vision for our future generations!

In my opinion, we need to start by having a stronger voice in the local government where the local issues that dominate our daily lives can be taken care of. I am glad that the Indo-American Political Action committee of Greater Houston is taking a lead with the mission to create opportunities for Indo-Americans to work as political interns and get elected to local, state and federal public offices.


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