Welcome to 2015!
The dawn of the New Year inspires us to look ahead to the opportunities of the next 12 months. But before moving forward, let’s take a look at the strides taken by our diaspora during 2014.
Indian Americans continue to cement their positions in national leadership. We cheered the appointment of Richard Verma as the first person of Indian descent to become U.S. Ambassador to India. Our community also worked diligently to promote the confirmation of Vivek Murthy as U.S. Surgeon General.
In fact, more than thirty Indian Americans ran for major public office. Ami Bera won re-election in Congress and now chairs the India caucus. Neel Kashkari and Ro Khanna did not win their California political races, but waged hard-fought battles for governor and congress, respectively.
Thomas Kailath received the National Medal of Science for his achievements in the field of engineering. Five presidents of America’s top educational institutions are now of Indian descent. In the business world, five Indian Americans were represented in the Forbes 400 and also featured prominently in the Forbes “30 Under 30” lists of influential younger executives.
The defining moment of 2014 was Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the U.S. Combined with a rock-star reception from 18,000 Indian Americans at Madison Square Garden, Modi’s meetings with President Obama and other captains of industry warmed relations between the countries to a point not felt in years.
Looking ahead to 2015, U.S.-India relations are poised to improve further. President Obama will visit New Delhi later this month and will be the first U.S. president to be honored as the chief guest at the Republic Day parade.
Indiaspora is working closely to play a supporting role during Obama’s India visit. We will host a private dialogue between 15 prominent Indian Americans and their Indian counterparts. The mission of this meeting will be to push for vibrant and robust new avenues of cooperation over the next 24 months.
At home, the Indiaspora community’s work has resulted in the introduction of House Resolution 32 that calls for a U.S. Postal Service stamp celebrating Diwali. A big shout out to Representatives Carolyn Maloney, Ami Bera, Tulsi Gabbard, Mike Honda and Grace Meng for their support! Since the re-launch of the stamp campaign, our community has sent more than 10,000 letters and postcards to the U.S.P.S. asking for this long overdue recognition. A special thanks to our key volunteers Meera Prahlad, Sangeetha Lakshminarayanan, Geeta Kulkarni, Monika Patel and to the entire Indian American community for this grassroots effort.
In 2015, we hope to see the fifteen-year-undertaking come to fruition!
We hope you will join Indiaspora – in person or in spirit – as we work towards another year of great strides. As you ponder the possibilities of 2015, please send us your ideas.
Happy New Year!