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Monday, September 29, 2014

The Real Reason Indian-Americans Were Celebrating at Modi’s Speech in Madison Square Garden 09-28



The Real Reason Indian-Americans Were Celebrating at Modi’s Speech in Madison Square Garden







The Wall Street Journal
The more than 18,000 people, mostly Indian-Americans, who converged on New York’s Madison Square Garden Sunday, were not only there just to hear Prime Minister Narendra Modi, they were also there to celebrate their own success in the United States.
As a group, Indian-Americans are among the best paid and best educated migrant groups in the United States. On average they earn close to $90,000 a year each—far above the U.S. average income of around  $50,000—and they are much more likely to have a college degrees than even any other group of Asian immigrants, according to a survey by the Washington D.C.-based Pew Research Center.
In Narendra Modi, many Indian-Americans say they have at last found an Indian leader who reflects their own success, optimism and discipline.
Indians have shown how successful they can be in the United States. First and second generation Indian-Americans thrive as professors, doctors, journalists, politicians, actors, spelling bee champions and even as Miss America.
“India was seen as a country of snake charmers,” Prime Minister Modi told the crowd Sunday. “You have changed that.”
Forget Mr. Modi’s humble background and education or the fact that many Indian-Americans could not follow his rousing speech in Hindi, a growing number of Indians who have settled in the United States see him as someone who could fulfil their dream of India becoming a country they would have stayed in.
Some are even threatening to return.
Whether India’s new prime minister has skills beyond rhetoric to help give the diverse democracy the level of success its expatriates enjoy remains to be seen. For now, many Indians abroad see him as one of their own.
Vivek Ranadive migrated from Mumbai to become one of India’s many success stories in America. The owner of the Sacramento Kings and chief executive of Tibco Software attended the event to see his daughter sing the national anthem and Mr. Modi speak.
“I’m a boy from Bombay. I see the prime minister as the first prime minister of the 21st century,” Mr. Ranadive said.  “Indians have been so successful in the U.S. Why can’t Indians in India do that?”
–Sital Patel contributed to this post