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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Questions for Aruna Miller, running for US Congress from 6th District MD

Who is a good candidate?

Each person may have a different perspective, but I believe, anyone who subscribes to the  American values of fairness, justice, and equality, and supports everyone's right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is a good candidate. If you can wish for others, what you want others to wish for you will work.  

What happens when a politician does not measure up to those values? Then we have a responsiblity to find the candidates position and the context.

There are emails floating in the cyberspace about Aruna Miller. She seems to be defensive about it and 
I understand her anguish.  She apparently has made statements cheering and supporting India's Prime Minister Modi, a controversial figure like President Trump.

Mr. Modi, just like Mr. Trump believes that a few among us are more privileged than others. Neither of them has any qualms about sowing the seeds of discord and creating division and chaos within the society.  They really don't care about anyone other than the minimum number of supporters to remain in power. They latch onto the minimum and do everything to appease them at the cost of all others.

His party members do not believe that Indians should have the freedom to believe whatever they want or even eat what they want. Nearly 50 people have been lynched and killed in the open for eating beef. 

Mr. Modi's 'tacit approval' or 'chosen silence' is causing lynching of Muslims for the doubt of possessing beef in their refrigerators, and harassing of Christians goes on an unprecedented level since he came to power.  Beating up a Dalit groom for riding on a horse, or the Dalit woman gets raped as the upper-caste men are entitled to her is a regular occurrence. Sikhs were kicked out of their farms, and Atheists are being killed for criticizing the government. This is Modi's India. 

The Ambassador for religious freedom Hon. Sam Brownback, said something to this effect, “It the leaders can speak up against such ugliness instantly, most of the lynching, harassing and killing will stop.” Will Modi ever do that? Religious liberty is thrown under the bus under Modi's Raj.

The majority of white folks in America live their daily lives in peace and are oblivious to the apprehensions and tensions the minorities endure. It is very painful. It is the same case with Hindu majority in India, they mind their own business and live their lives in peace, and are simply horrified to learn what goes on in name of their religion right under their noses.  Thanks to many white folks in America, and many Hindus in India for speaking up and holding the nations together. 

No one has a problem if Aruna Miller supports Modi, he is head the of government, and nearly 25% of Indians pledge their allegiance to him, as is the case with Mr. Trump.  We all have dealt with such heads in the past including Kim Jong-un and we must continue to do that.  Mother Teresa had said once, "If you want to make peace with your enemies, go talk with them, talking with your friends won't change a thing." She was right. 

Defending the rights of those who were denied their rights is an American value.  Aruna Miller is a member of minority community herself in the US, and I hope she wishes for Indian minorities what she wants for herself.  That is freedom to eat, believe and live her life in the pursuit of her happiness with equal access to everything available to all others.

Can we count on Aruna Miller to defend the rights of minorities in India, if not assertively support them? Would she sign a petition for getting a visa to the Commissioners of United States Commission on the International Religious Freedom to investigate the truth about the Gujarat Massacre, Kashmir conflict, and the plight of Kashmiri Pandits,  Sikh Genocides, harassment of Dalits and Christians? Currently, the commissioners are denied the visa to India. We have to find the truth. If it is a clean chit, we can celebrate, if is not, we need to work on it. 

As Indian-Americans, we should fight for the rights of all Indians to have the same freedoms that we have. Everyone should have the freedom to eat, drink, wear and believe whatever the hell they want to believe.  Would Aruna Miller support this? 

Mike Ghouse is committed to building a cohesive America, where no American has to live in fear of the other. 

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