Indian-Americans on Saturday held the first-ever inaugural ball to celebrate President Obama’s second term in office, signalling the coming of age of the three million-plus influential community that voted overwhelmingly for him.
“Indian-Americans are tremendously important and we hope they would be increasingly visible not only in the government, but also in all parts of American life,” said Maya Kassandra Soetoro-Ng, maternal half-sister of Mr. Obama, adding that the President was very proud of the community. “It is certainly a reflection of how important India is and how important Indian-Americans are to the fabric of the nation. I would just like to celebrate all of the contribution artistic, political and so much more of the community,” said Ms. Maya at the first-ever Indian-American inaugural ball.
The event was organised by Indiaspora — a recently formed organisation which aims to be a catalyst to transform the success of Indian-Americans into meaningful impact in India and on the global stage.
“It is time we come to recognise fully the contribution of the Indian-American community here,” said Ms. Maya, reflecting the views of Mr. Obama who has the distinction of appointing the largest number of Indian-Americans in any presidential administration ever.
“It is very exciting to serve in an Administration that has so many great Indian-Americans serving,” said Raj Shah, Administrator of USIAD, the highest ranking Indian-American in the Obama Administration.
A whopping 84 per cent Indian-Americans voted for Mr. Obama in November’s elections.
“I think it is wonderful for the Indian-American community. It is coming of age, politically for them. This is not just a ball. This is a massive gala,” said Congressman Joe Crowley, Co-Chair of the Congressional India Caucus, referring to the hundreds of Indian—Americans who had gathered at the inaugural ball of the community.