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Last updated: 17 Apr, 2023  

Suhas.9.thmb.jpg US ready for Indian-American president: Democrat Suhas Subramanyam

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IANS | 17 Apr, 2023
With Indian-Americans Nikki Haley and Vivek Ramaswamy tossing their hats in the ring for the 2024 US Presidential elections, Democrat Suhas Subramanyam says the US is ready for a president of an Indian descent.

Hailing from Bengaluru, Subramanyam serves the 87th District of Virginia House of Delegates, and recently announced his bid for the state's newly-drawn 32nd Senate District.

"Yes", America is ready for an Indian-American president, Subramanyam told IANS in an interview, as two of the world's two biggest democracies, India and the US, gear up to elect their next governments.

The number of Indian-Americans getting appointed to distinguished positions has grown rapidly in recent years, with Ramaswamy being the latest entrant in the presidential race, and the third in the Republican Party after Haley and former Louisiana Governor Piyush Bobby Jindal's unsuccessful run in 2016.

A resident of Loudoun County, Subramanyam, a technology and regulatory attorney, became the first Indian-American and South Asian to ever be elected to the Virginia General Assembly in 2019.

His family's story in America began in 1979, when Suhas's mother immigrated to the US from Bengaluru.

His parents pursued the American dream and passed along values that Suhas holds today -- serve your community, succeed with hard work, and empower those without a voice, according to Subramanyam's website.

"I still have family in India and understand the value of passing on my Indian heritage and traditions to my kids," Subramanyam told IANS.

He served as a White House advisor to President Barack Obama in 2015, where he led a task force on technology policy that addressed job creation, IT modernisation, and regulating emerging technology.

Of over 7,50,000 Asian-Americans who live in Virginia, close to 10 per cent of the population, Indian-Americans make up the largest ethnic group.

The vast majority of South Asians live in Northern Virginia, in Loudoun, Prince William, and Fairfax counties.

According to a 2021 poll conducted by Indian-American Impact, South Asian voters leaned Democratic, with a vast majority of South Asian registered voters preferring the Democratic candidate.

"The Indian community in Virginia is one of the fastest growing voting groups in the Commonwealth. The issues Indian community members face are no different than other families in Northern Virginia: giving people a quality education, addressing rising costs like health costs, grocery bills, and utility bills, and keeping our community safe," Subramanyam told IANS.

As a Delegate of Virginia's 87th District, Subramanyam has addressed rising costs and worked towards giving children a quality education.

"I increased funding for our schools and made it easier for schools to get and retain great teachers, and I passed legislation that put money back in the pockets of all families, including Indian immigrant families," Subramanyam, who was named to the Loudoun Times-Mirror's '40 Under 40', said.

Virginia is also home to a sizable number of Sikhs and Hindus, who have come into the spotlight with the Khalistani separatists ramping up their activities under the radar of US authorities.

"I do not have a stance on this issue," Subramanyam told IANS. "More generally, my goal is to foster empathy and understanding between people of all backgrounds and religions, which is especially important given the diversity in our region," he added.

The Indian government has been nudging the US government to act against Khalistani separatists, especially after the emergence of Sikhs for Justice, which has been behind frequent protests outside Indian missions in the country.

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