Courtesy, New York Times
But Tuesday’s election suggests they shouldn’t switch to politics.
Of six Indian-Americans, all doctors and engineers except one, who ran for the U.S. Congress, five fared poorly in the elections on Tuesday, with only one contender likely to win a seat.
Dr. Ami Bera, a Democrat and physician, looks poised to defeat the incumbent in the Seventh Congressional District of California, and become the third Indian-American to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. The race is still too close to call although Dr. Bera leads by 184 votes as of Wednesday morning.
“I am running for Congress because I know it must be a place for service, not personal gain,” Dr. Bera said on his Web site. “I know things can be different. Together, we can create a more compassionate, sensible and sustainable America.”
One of the election promises of Dr. Bera, a first-generation American citizen whose parents hail from Gujarat in India, was to “save Medicare.” He was endorsed by former President Bill Clinton and the Sacramento Bee, the local newspaper.
Other Indian-American candidates were less successful.
Four Indian-Americans Democrats — Manan Trivedi, Jack Uppal, Syed Taj and Upendra Chivukula — lost their bid to join Congress. A fifth candidate, Ricky Gill, a small business owner and a Republican, also lost.
There was, however, a small win for Indians looking for a victory.
A young Democrat, Tulsi Gabbard, became the first Hindu-American on Tuesday to be elected to the House. The other two Indian Americans who have been elected in the past have not been Hindu. Dalip Singh Saund was a Sikh and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal converted to Christianity.
Ms. Gabbard, an Iraq war-veteran, is not of Indian origin but has a mother who is a Hindu.
The two highest-profile Indian-American politicians are both Republicans and converts to Christianity: Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal was raised a Hindu, while South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley was raised a Sikh. There are estimated to be 600,000 to 2.3 million Hindus in the United States, most of them Indian-Americans.