NH State Rep. Latha Mangipudi on Biden-Harris Ticket and the Concerns of US Citizens of Indian Origin

Latha Mangipudi

By Latha Mangipudi

NASHUA, NH—Here is a quick look at the position of Biden-Harris ticket on issues relevant to US citizens of Indian-origin.

Joe Biden

Joe Biden

Biden supported school bussing; hence, he is a Segregationist?

The “Segregation” issue mentioned in primaries is about the school bussing issue. Joe Biden supported bussing, which he has later said was a mistake. This was bussing children to separate schools (to make sure everyone got education) despite the racial divisions at that time. This was thought of as a good idea to help black children at that time.

Clearly, USA has progressed much farther since then. But, his success in South Carolina (which was the beginning of his successes in Primaries) was largely due to black vote. I believe respected Black leaders like Jim Clyburn would not have stood up for Biden, but for his years of support for Black and Minority communities.

Personally, I know of a young Indian man who worked in the communication team for Joe Biden when he was VP. He has nothing but praise for him.

When Joe Biden was a student, he went to a restaurant with his black friend along with others. When they said no service for the black man, he refused to move until he was served. This was well before the Civil rights law passed in 1965. BTW the Civil Rights law was passed by LBJ (who was a great reformer) who was considered an anti-black southerner! People (ALL of us) change with time with reflection and for right reasons. That is the hallmark of a Yogi. That is why we say he/she has equal regard for a piece of Gold or clay.

Without the Civil Rights Law, most of us (Immigrants from India) would not be here today.

Kashmir – Pakistan – India issue

Democrats side with Pakistan; Trump supports India on this issue?

This requires a lot of discussion. In brief: This issue must be settled by Indian Government. Looking for support from the USA or other countries is old (20th Century) thinking, since India is already a leading economic power (and not a Third World country any more). Also, with respect to Trump and his constant stream of lies, one could not take anything he said as reliable.

Besides that, the bigger threat for India geopolitically is China. With the current administration and its inability to contain China (directly and with respect to the USA itself) we see China making moves against her neighbors including borders in India. A US administration that engages and contains China may be better for India.

Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris

Tweet depicting her as Durgama?

This is not in good taste. Hope they will remove this and not spread it around. Maybe this is a creation to sow dissension? One bad action like this does not justify another. There are people doing Puja for Trump statue in India.

As Hindus we should condemn all such abuse of the worship process no matter who it is for: Adoring Kamala Harris as Durgama, Adoring Trump as an idol or any Indian leader, politician or religious leader for that matter.

We must always respect anyone we want to but our worship must be limited to a singular life giving force: Om, Consciousness, Brahman, God. — this is a much larger issue, beyond voting for one VP Candidate. It is a matter of true spiritual evolution for all of us as Hindus. This requires education and propagation of spiritual values for all.

The real issue here is the tolerance of Hindus when religious symbols and images are abused and then it gets perpetuated. How many ways do they use the image of Ganesha and OM in gift bags, curios, and napkins? They get images of Gods made in China (just because it is a few Rs. cheaper) without the religious faith and commitment required in making them? That is why one can feel offended when the idols in the temples are dressed up sometimes in excessive and exaggerated manner.

We are required to pray in silence and walk away. The feeling of being offended must reinforce our resolve not to encourage such deviance or be part of it, recognizing that each of us is only a drop of water in a large body of water (the large ocean of Hinduism) which is ever pure and unaffected.

Kamala Harris and her Indian heritage

Kamala Harris is born of a black father and a brown Indian mother. Her features identify her black origins. In any mixed racial birth the child is identified as black based on (a) race of the father and (b) features of the child.

Sure, she can emphasize more on her Indian origins.

Recently I read somewhere else saying that she exaggerates her Indian roots! One cannot win either side on matters like this! But, we are electing the leader for the USA and not India. We (those who can vote) are US Citizens and must exercise our right as US Citizens. Barack Obama was born to a Black father and a White mother. He is the acknowledged first Black President of the USA.

(Latha Mangipudi is New Hampshire State Representative.)


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