The Indian Diaspora, like other immigrant communities, lives in two cultures simultaneously. Its well being is affected by the political and economic situation in the USA, while its heart stays connected to India. They address issues affecting India through various organizations and forums.
The Foundation for India and Indian Diaspora Studies (FIISDS) is one such organization. FIISDS is dedicated to Policy Studies, Analysis, Advocacy and Awareness Related to India and Indian Diaspora.
The Silicon Valley chapter of FIISDS organized an event on Feb 22, 2020 to discuss the current policies, incidents, and decisions affecting Indians in India and the United States. The event was attended by Silicon Valley eminent entrepreneurs, community leaders, politicians, social workers, doctors, and engineers.
The event started with the panel discussion on ‘Indo American Political Involvement’. It was moderated by Vijay Rajvaidya, Managing Director of India Currents Inc.
The panelists were Raj Salwan (Councilmember city of Fremont), Rishi Kumar (Councilmember city of Saratoga and running for US Congress District 18), Ritesh Tandon (Running for US Congress District 17) and, Nisha Sharma (running for US Congress District 11).
Raj Salwan emphasized the importance of Indian American to participate in local politics and get their issues highlighted through political involvement.
Rishi Kumar, who has been an activist, felt that Indian American can raise their issues and get them resolved by participating in community related programs.
Ritesh Tandon, who is running for US Congress from the US Congress district 17 stressed that Indian Americans need to unite and raise their voice as one community with America-first policy.
Nisha Sharma pointed out that there is a vacuum in women leadership at the top, and it is the right time for them to come forward.
The event was inaugurated by the well known physician and community leader Dr Romesh Japra. In his address, he expressed his desire to create a grand Hindu American coalition and get their issues raised at the highest level. Following Dr. Japra’s address, Dr. Jasubhai Patel, a patron of FIIDS, emphasized the need to work on strategic policy matters.
There were more speakers who held the attention of the audience.
Deepak Karanjkar very eloquently spoke about “Misinformation Campaigns & Need for Public Awareness” in the context of abrogation of Article 370 from the Indian Constitution and the Citizenship Amendment Act. He pointed out that the current government in India resolved the seventy years old Kashmir issue by abrogating Article 370, while previous governments were simply attempting to manage it.
Rabbi Serena Eisenberg shared her experiences as Jewish leader for implementing the SAFE (Safety Awareness Friendship Empowerment) program to uplift the Jewish community in America.
David Marshak felt that Pakistani organizations worldwide indulge in spreading misinformation about India and suggested that Indian diaspora should focus on countering the false negative.
The Keynote speaker of the evening Sree Iyer, a well-known political commentator, author, and founder of PGurus, discussed the vicious Campaign against CAA and the Role of Indians Americans. He mentioned that currently there are seven million Hindus living in the rural areas of Sindh and Punjab in Pakistan, a sizable Hindu population discriminated against and abused by the Pakistanis. They are facing humiliation on a daily basis by the majority community in Pakistan. Sree generously agreed to auction the copies of his popular book ‘WHO PAINTED MY MONEY WHITE’ at the event, with the proceedings donated to FIIDS.
FIIDS is a 501(C)(3) Tax Exempt Organization, and engages in Policy Studies, Analysis, and Awareness Related to India and Indian Diaspora. For further information, please visit www.fiids-us.org, or contact FIIDS at [email protected].