IAGB Community Chatter - An Indian American Perspective on General Election
“An Indian American Perspective on US General Election”
So how do you tackle the challenge of asking two extreme sides to find a common ground on policies or see issues only through the prism of your own community? By virtue of first letting them come to a forum with the mindset that while it’s not easier to have a conversation when you make a case for your own cause and beliefs vs make a case against someone else’s cause and beliefs, but also know that they need to raise the bar and be the example that community can look forward to.
It also helps big time when panelists have this maturity to know that their responsibility is not only towards their own beliefs but towards the larger interest of their motherland (Matru Bhumi) and Adopted land (karma Bhoomi). After all, we all come from the land of Adi Shankaracharya, who famously brought back the old Indian tradition of “Poorva Paksha” to the modern world. The only difference here was the twist that in today’s world, where we want to know and talk about our enemies more than our friends, IAGB threw the challenge of making a case for your own candidate before finding faults in other's candidate.
The result was a very well received first session in the new series started by IAGB civic engagement team on US General Elections. It’s never easy to take an issue that almost split the communities, cities and countries right through the seam these days but it’s not fair either to let the situation be like that. At the very least, we can all agree to disagree. And with this belief of doing good for the community, IAGB took the challenge of addressing the current political landscape through the lenses of Indian American community.
The principal focus was on issues that directly impacted the Indian American community primarily. The discussion opened with the most important topic in Indian American minds today about the strained relations with China and Pakistan and the role of US foreign policy in this regard. The other important topics addressed were economy and legal immigration. This resulted in leaving out some of the other significant issues such as race relations, police reform, health care and education funding etc. which were kept at bay to be addressed at a later date. Some initial friendly banters were also mixed with some heated exchange later but all in the true spirit of India’s old tradition of debates. But these exchanges gave the larger community, which was actively following and reacting in the comment section, more insight into the key issues that directly impacts Indian American’s status locally and globally. A strong realization that we as a community must come together to make our voices heard in the political landscape. We all can achieve a lot as a group with civilized and thought provoking conversations inside the community.
Our wonderful panelists included Mr Shiva Sheel, Mr Pravin Munkur , Mr Beej Das and Mr Paresh Motiwala. A recording of this 90 minutes session can be found at IAGB page.