1st letter photo

Raja Krishnamoorthi, Indian American congressman from Illinois. (Krishnamoorthi.house.gov photo)

Among the current Indian American congressmen, senators and other officials in the U.S., there is a tendency on the part of these office holders to show to their fellow elected office holders and the American people their loyalty to this country, and that when the time comes, they would not hesitate to criticize or condemn their ancestral country.

So, when Prime Minister Modi’s government abrogated Article 370 last year, some of them jumped on the bandwagon and joined other U.S. congressmen and senators to condemn and criticize the Modi government for taking this step.

Chief among them were Pramila Jayapal (Democrat, WA), Ami Bera (Democrat, CA), and Ro Khanna (Democrat, CA). Jayapal even went further by introducing a resolution in the House (H. Res. 745) criticizing India and urging it to end the restrictions on communications and mass detentions in Jammu and Kashmir as swiftly as possible and preserve religious freedom for all residents. Being from India, Jayapal should know better that India is one of the most tolerant countries in the world as per religious freedom as well as political freedom. 

Even Ro Khanna and Ami Bera unwisely joined the bandwagon condemning India and the Modi government for the abrogation of Article 370. They probably did this to show and please their colleagues in the U.S. Congress for their loyalty to America and its “values.” 

To his credit, only Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois kept quiet and made no derogatory comments on India. Also, the co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans, George Holding, submitted a statement supporting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Parliament for their actions on Kashmir, saying, “Article 370 was temporary and it might have worked well for those with political connections, but denied economic opportunities for the people.” He futher said, “Several groups based in Pakistan were able to conduct cross-border terrorism that wreaked havoc on individuals and families, and led to a morbid economy. Finally, he said that these steps taken by Modi and the Indian Parliament need to be “applauded.” 

Additionally, when Narendra Modi came to Houston for the “Howdy Modi” event with Donald Trump, only Raja Krishnamoorthi showed the courtesy of attending that event. Jayapal, Khanna and Bera were conspicuous by their absence. Even Tulsi Gabbard, who had collected a large amount of donations from the Indian American community for her presidential bid, failed to attend the event giving the excuse of a prior fund-raising engagement. 

So, what should the Indian American community do? I suggest they please think twice before supporting Khanna, Bera, Jayapal or Gabbard with their donations for the coming election or later. I urge Indian Americans to please write to them that their anti-India stand has lost their support. At the same time, when Krishnamoorthi needs our support, please keep in mind that he truly is India’s best friend in the U.S. Congress today. 

Chaitanya Davé

Rancho Palos Verdes, California 

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