Gone are the days where Bharat was perceived as a “country of beggars”. Thank you “National Geographic”! We have managed to overcome the ‘publicity’ you gave the naked children dancing on the streets of Kolkata. Unfortunately for you, some of those children are now CEOs of some of the world’s biggest and most well known companies. Citizens of the New Bharat are well educated, smart and are leaders that have technological knowledge with them! Case in point, Microsoft, Google, Pepsi and other companies have Indian masterminds as their chiefs. How much National Geographic must be missing their “pet project” can only be imagined.

Immigrants from Bharat, in the USA, have contributed in more ways than one to the American economy as well as the global economy. Companies, in addition to those mentioned above, like Infosys, WIPRO, TCS and the likes have given Bharat a glowing image! Yes, we have a faux pas here and there, but who doesn’t! What is important is how one recovers from this faux pas! How does this affect their public persona?

Some of how Bharat is perceived is defined by its “prominent” representatives within the two houses in Washington DC. Some of these representatives have, unfortunately, portrayed the New Bharat as un(der)developed and in bad light! Whether this was inadvertent, or deliberate, is up for conjecture!! What is damning is the political affiliations these (Mia)representatives, of Indian origin, have: they’re all Democrats! Don’t get me wrong, I’m a Democrat too but I wouldn’t put my politics above this wonderful country, the USA, that has given me a whole lot to be thankful for!! Again, I wouldn’t put my politics above my country of origin, Bharat. To openly court countries hostile to Bharat is, in my opinion, to disrespect Bharat! That’s what a few Representatives of Indian origin have done, by openly supporting Pakistan.

Where voices of dissent are not needed, Bharat seems to be getting it in bunches! We are now seeing a few overseas Indians getting into this act. Fortunately. We also have many more overseas Indians who still feel the tugging at the heart when voices of dissent are heard. One such voice is that of my friend, Ritesh Tandon, a Republican from District 17 in California. An engineer by profession, he is what the Indian community needs. A soft spoken gentleman from Lukhnow, in the northern state of UP, he is an antithesis of your run of the mill politician.

Ritesh came to this country more than 20 years ago and, yet, has maintained his Indian culture. He was active in a few charities, like Shankara Eye Foundation and has given a lot of time to the betterment of Bharat and people here in the USA! He’s not a politician, nor does he claim to be one! His main objective is to give Bharat and its people a voice in the US House of Representatives. What we need is an even minded representative that will speak for the minorities within the USA. That’s my friend, Ritesh.

Even if he does half of what he aims to do, he’s still ahead of his rival. That’s saying a lot while, at the same time not saying much about his rival. What the Indian diaspora needs is a voice in DC. Other minorities have representation there, who speak for their people. Let’s hope Ritesh is that voice of reason, as far as Indians and Bharat go.

Here’s wishing him well.

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