Hindu Vivek Kendra
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Gov. Bobby Jindal sparks heated debate on identity

Publication: Khabar Magazine
Date: March 2015
(Note: the article to which this is a response, is available at:
In the editorial, your statement “But then, for Jindal to suggest that one must also go on to disown their native roots, heritage, and culture is a slap on the face for both Indian and American sensibilities” is right on the money. “Bobby” Piyush Jindal, a fundamentalist Christian convert, has now become the extremist of the Republican Party and is planning to run for the 2016 Presidential nomination. What the Nobel laureate V. S. Naipaul said about religious converts applies to Bobby Jindal: “To be converted you have to destroy your past, destroy your history. You have to stamp on it, you have to say ‘my ancestral culture does not exist, it doesn’t matter’.”
Bobby Jindal is associated with and taking cue from Bryan Fischer and David Lane of the hate group American Family Association (AFA). These people and AFA were the primary sponsors of Jindal’s event “Response” in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on January 30, 2015.
On his radio program, Bryan Fischer recommended that the United States adopt an immigration policy based upon the Bible, meaning that all immigrants must convert to Christianity and completely leave behind their native practices, beliefs, culture, and language. David Lane is a Christian-nation absolutist who believes America was founded by and for Christians and demands that politicians make the Bible a primary textbook in public schools. The American Family Association’s chief spokesperson believes the First Amendment’s religious freedom protections do not apply to non-Christians.
At the rally in Baton Rouge, Jindal declared “Our God wins.” In the February 27, 2009 interview with Morley Safer on the CBS News 60 Minutes program, both Bobby and his wife, Supriya, protested against Safer calling them Indian-Americans. Bobby was so insistent that he is American now and not Indian-American that Safer voiced over in the interview that “this oyster- and crawfish-eating Louisianan tends to downplay his ethnic background.”
Shashi Tharoor, the Congress MP, recently wrote that “at his Indian-American fundraising events, Bobby is careful to downplay his extreme positions and play up his heritage, a heritage that plays little part in his appeal to the Louisiana electorate. Indian-Americans, by and large, accept this as the price of political success in white America. But Bobby has never supported a single Indian issue; he refused to join the India Caucus when he was a Congressman at Capitol Hill, and is conspicuously absent from any event with a visiting Indian leader. It is as if he wants to forget he is Indian, and would like voters to forget it, too.”
Bobby Jindal was invited to attend Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Madison Square Garden event in New York last September. He sent his regrets and did not attend. Even South Carolina Republican Governor Nikki Haley, who is very careful not to expose her Indian heritage, attended this event and followed it up with a visit to India with a South Carolina business delegation. Bobby Jindal missed a great chance to establish business relations between India and the State of Louisiana.
The comments and behavior of Jindal reflect his state of mind and his inferiority complex. I believe Bobby Jindal is a poor role model for Indian-Americans to follow. They should stay away from him and not support any of his political endeavors.
Gautam Shah

Simpsonville, South Carolina
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