It is sad, very sad indeed, that a few among us, who have been living in the United States for a long time have not Americanized yet. What is being an American? It is minding our own business and living our own lives and questioning our own prejudices.
There are a few among us who are too quick to judge - Oh, your name is Mike, what is your real name? Ah, you took that name to save your tail from Anti-Muslim rhetoric, or you called yourselves Mike to find in tune with the white people..... how ridiculous are these men and women! They simply don't have the brains to question, they should not call themselves Indians, Indians are brainy people and not idiots to jump to conclusions without inquiring. If you care to read, here is my story of how I got my name. My name is Mike Ghouse.
You see the other commentator below is John Laxmi, and the writer of the article is Andy Ghiradelli. None of us chose the names to appease any one, we chose because we liked it and have other reasons for it, and all the three of us are Indians. There is no such thing as a Muslim Name, Christian Name, Hindu Name or a Jewish Name, name is an identity and our great grand children will be fully American, meaning they will reject some of the prejudices a few of the Indians poison their kids with towards other people's religions, traditions or races.
I was a humanist and chose to become a Muslim when things got bad for Muslims. I raised my children to be pluralists - that is, I took them to nearly every place of worship - from different Churches, Mosques, Gurdwaras, Temples and Synagogues. I even took my daughter to an LGBT Church. I did not want to raise my kids as bigots who are prejudiced towards people, people of other faiths, races and traditions. If I have done one thing right in my life, it is them, prejudice free children. If they want to choose a religion, any religion for that matter, my happiness would be the same. Religion is a beautiful things to have, it helps one with finding answers and peace within, and all the beautiful religions do that.
Disagree with a person for his views, but don't be biased or hateful towards the other.
Comments from John Laxmi;
Meanwhile, it is worth noting that the change of religion and / or name is not unique to these two politicians. It is also worth noting that the change in name and/or religion is neither necessary nor sufficient to succeed in politics (or any other field). One needs substantive credentials to be successful. To suggest otherwise is condescending both to the politician and to the electorate.
- Did Barack Obama rise to power and fame primarily because he adopted Christianity instead of following his father's faith? Several well-respected media reports indicated that Obama was likely registered as a Muslim in school records in Indonesia. http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2007/dec/20/chain-email/obama-attended-an-indonesian-public-school/
- Did Obama not have sufficient credentials to be elected POTUS? He would probably have been elected even if he had acknowledged openly to having been born Muslim but followed Christian faith as his own choice.
- Mr. Ameresh Babulal Bera (a DEMOCRAT) converted to the Unitarian faith late in life. Bera also started using the name "Ami." The converted Ami Bera was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2013. Did Bera not have credentials of his own (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ami_Bera ) to win office? Did he win only because he converted to a different religion or changed his name? Is all this part of his nefarious plans to run for governor or POTUS? Is Ami Bera being given a pass because he happens to be a Democrat?
- Rohit Khanna (a Democrat) ran as "Ro" against fellow Democrat Mike Honda for Congress and lost in California. Both of them got more votes than the Republican candidate, Vanila Singh (who is of Indian origin). Mike Honda won. Did he win because he changed his Japanese name "Makoto" to "Mike"?
- On the other hand, Niraj Antani, a 24-year-old Republican, was elected to the Ohio State House of Representatives without changing his name or religion in 2014. Almost 60+ years ago, Dilip Singh Saund, a Democrat, ran for Congress in 1957 from California and won -- without changing his name or religion.
By the way, Governor Haley has not sought to hide or deny her origins. Gov. Haley had a Sikh wedding, in addition to a Methodist ceremony. Haley's cousin can be seen holding up a picture from the Sikh wedding, where her husband has a beard and turban. (Scroll right to third picture: http://www.demotix.com/news/500075/relatives-nikki-haley-amritsar#media-500071 )
- Would Dilip Singh Saund and Niraj Antani have become governor or POTUS if only they had changed name and religion? Or, Did Antani get votes because his last name sounds Italian?