Indian Americans are not only the most inspiring diasporas in the United States but their unmatched activism has made sure their political influence has grown tremendously, a senior Obama administration has said.
Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Robert Blake said in his keynote address Dec. 14 at the Washington, D.C. annual gala of the American India Foundation that Indian Americans are seen at every public platform, be it politics, academics or business.
"There is no diaspora community that is more successful and inspiring than the Indian American community," he said.
Founded in 2001 at the initiative of then President, Bill Clinton, AIF is the leading developmental organization focused on helping Indians. Clinton serves as its honorary chair.
Indian Americans have among the highest if not the highest per capita incomes of all groups in the United States, Blake said.
"Indian Americans are increasingly seeing their influence grow, whether by election of political stars such as Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana or Governor Nikki Haley of South Carolina, you see people at every single level of government, at the highest level — business, academia and everywhere else," Blake said in his address at the event that honored eminent Indian American Ranvir Trehan with its philanthropy award.
"So their influence is extremely farfetched. More importantly now, if you look at the growth of India caucus, it is the most influential caucus on the Capitol Hill. The reason for that is the activism and the energy of the Indian American community," he said.
Blake also said the State Department is working with a non-profit group called Guide Star India to create an online searchable database of all Indian NGOs that have been vetted by an independent third party to make sure they are accountable and transparent and have clean and open books.
This online tool, he said, would facilitate tax deductible donations to organizations in India.
"And by matching a list of certified Indian NGOs with potential American donors, we aim to create an online philanthropy market place," Blake said.
The official added that the State Department is also supporting the Indo-Pakistani Young Professionals Network, a global network of Punjabi youth from India, Pakistan and the United States.
He hoped that this will give further impetus to encouraging progress in the India and Pakistan relationship, and would also educate Americans about the richness of Punjabi culture, society and history.