Wednesday, November 21, 2007

New Hampshire Primary Set for January 8th

Some of our NH insiders and now the CNN has confirmed that the First in the Nation Primary in New Hampshire will be set for January 8th.

We are looking for volunteers to work there on the day before and build up to the primary so if you are interested email:


Islamaphobia in the Indian American Community Part II

This post is in response to the long post on Sepia Mutiny blogger Abhi. The post pretty much looks to talk about the various misguided points made in the article we had discussed in the past post on Sunday.

I think it is shameful that Abhi would even reference this as a viable source, it seems as if it is a hatchet job as referenced by many of the comments to this post.

"I do not feel that USINPAC represents my interests whatsoever and I wish the press would stop assuming they speak for all Indian Americans."

Abhi although you are free to believe that the organization doesn't represent your beliefs the truth is the organization does work to promote values important to ALL Indian Americans. Our legislative accomplishments, our work and support for Indian American candidates, and our work with various initiatives such as this Presidential Portal, which is a strong example of this.

"Unless our generation (through orgs like IALI, IACPA, SAALT) find more issues that we agree about and are willing to work hard to lobby Washington for, our “community” will increasingly be hijacked and represented in Washington by “long-distance Nationalists.”"

I want to say and always have said I have great admiration for the work done by IALI and SAALT, if these organizations have problems and issues with USINPAC as described in the article I hope they are bringing them to our attention because working together as a unified voice is important for all of our organizations. Working directly with the organization I can assure Abhi that your claim is baseless, all of our supporters are hard working US Citizens and without really knowing the truth I think you should be careful with your words. I think the work being done at Sepia Mutiny has been great, I have spoken to Anna about this before but making harsh accusations against others never seemed to be anything I have seen before.

It is important that Indian Americans understand what USINPAC truly stands for and in no way have our views been anti-Muslim. Other accusations that went on in many comments to this Sepia Mutiny post accuse "H-1B Warriors" to be strong supporters of the agenda. For anyone that knows anything about election laws, foreign nationals are prohibited by FEC regulations from donating to a political candidate, party or organization such as USINPAC. Many people have also accused USINPAC of being a voice of "old hands". I can assure you that although I may have a few gray hairs, my hands still are very young. The membership and leadership base of USINPAC reflects people of all ages, at all walks of life and is not really dominated by any one "type" of Indian.

As discussed before, the Indian American community is very diverse. Most ethnic communities have religion, food or language to tie them together but our community proves to be different. It is difficult to distinctly represent all groups but I assure you USINPAC support is from various people and in no way would support be turned away due to religion or any other qualifying factors.

I encourage people to ask questions about the organization if they exist but to try and restrict themselves from making baseless or falseless accusations. I am a volunteer and have never recieved a penny from the organization and can tell you that Indian Americans need to come together as a unifying force to tell politicians what is important to us to move our community forward.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Islamaphobia in the Indian American Community

The Web Newspaper, IndoLink just posted a story reporting a recent "study" published in the South Asian Multidisciplinary Academic Journal entitled "Islamophobia in Indian
American Lobbies". From the looks of this paper it seems more like an editorial columnist than an actual academic study that you would find in most respectable foreign journals. Essentially bottom line is that this study and furthermore the article in IndoLink both looked to accuse Indian-American Lobbying efforts as anti-Islam.
The study was posted by Ingrid Therwath as a part of a project to talk about South Asian Issues and pretty much underlined her the point that any view any anti-Pakistan sentiment is essentially anti-Muslim. The story continued to look to tie USINPAC as an organization that promotes an anti-Muslim agenda. Working with USINPAC for almost four years I can tell you first hand that this is far from the truth. Being born and raised in the United States, a product of the public school system in Rochester, NY and now an Engineering Student at Boston University I can tell you that USINPAC works hard for the Indian American community.

The basic fact is that USINPAC works tirelessly to represent the concerns and values of the Indian American community. This portal is a clear example of this looking to connect the Indian American community with the upcoming Presidential Election. This portal is as grass roots as it comes with strictly volunteers working on this for one common cause, having a vibrant voice in the political world for our community. Our community continues to prove its diversity and complexity and this is something we all should celebrate and be proud of.

USINPAC too celebrates this diversity and is evident with the bipartisan approach. We look to support all Indian American candidates running for office and area always reaching out to the community for their thoughts, insight and ideology. Once again this portal is proof with an opportunity to ask Presidential Candidates questions of their choosing, an opportunity to talk and blog about the issues important to YOU and US.

The truth is in today's day and age all Americans are concerned with the instability of Pakistan and all Americans are concerned with the dangers of terrorism. Does this make every American anti-Muslim? The Indian American community reflects these American ideals and values.
We also bring to the discussion a unique appreciation for how America is perceived globally and how great democracies can work together in partnership and cooperation. We as a community or as an organization should not be singled out for beliefs that are pretty consistent all around.