Dilip Chaware in US
The US is presently witnessing a verbal spat over the place of immigrants in this country. While President Barack Obama, Democratic presumptive candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton and a slew of prominent people have endorsed the entry of immigrants, Republican presumptive candidate Donald Trump began his pitch by attacking the policies that welcomed the immigrants. Though he has toned down considerably, over the past two weeks, many feel that he would take some drastic decisions in this regard, if elected to the While House in November 2016.
In the light of this war of words, the message by the Carnegie Corporation needs to be viewed. At the time Carnegie lived, the issue of legal and illegal immigrants hardly existed. Therefore, it will be considered in the prevailing atmosphere.
The Legacy of Immigrants
Andrew Carnegie (November 25 1835–August 11, 1919) was a Scottish-born industrialist. He is credited with spearheading the expansion of American steel industry in the late 19th century. Carnegie created a model of a leadership role as a philanthropist for the US and the British Empire. During the last 18 years of his life, he gave away almost 350 million dollars to various charities, foundations, and universities. This was said to be almost 90 per cent of his fortune. He wrote an article in 1889 titled “The Gospel of Wealth.” It gave birth to the concept of trusteeship. Carnegie appealed to the rich to utilise their wealth to improve society. The article led to a wave of philanthropy.
Another major point of controversy is the use of the term ‘Islamic terrorism’ following the Orlando massacre last month. Trump attacked President Obama for not using it initially. The President hit back by saying that the use of a particular word or not using it would dilute America’s war against terrorism. But the spate of terrorist act in several parts of the world indicates that it could become a major election issue after the national conventions of the two parties are concluded in July.
The Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY) has published a 3-page special supplement in The New York Times on July 4, 2016 on the occasion of American Independence Day, titled — Great Immigrants, Pride of America. The message says, in part, “We at Carnegie Corporation salute his legacy, along with the contributions of the millions of other immigrants who have made, and continue to make, our nation strong and vibrant. We are committed to helping immigrants become integrated into the civic fabric of our nation because enlightened citizenship is the everlasting strength of our democracy. Our national motto – ‘E Pluribus Unum’ (Out of Many, One) continues to be an ideal we can all aspire to and a true guiding light for our nation.”
Five facts about Indian Americans
In 2012, the Pew Research Center released a pair of reports on Asian Americans — one focused on demographics and attitudes, the other on religion. The reports, which drew from 2010 census data and 2012 survey results, included much information about the country’s nearly 3.2 million Indian Americans; we’ve selected a sampling of facts from both reports:
The supplement has published the names of about 500 top most achievers, who migrated to the US and are (or were) active in the decade 2006-2016. They are called ‘Great Immigrants Honorees’. To elaborate on the theme, the message says, “As the Fourth of July approached in 2006, Carnegie Corporation of New York launched its Great Immigrants initiative, recognising an inspiring group of well known naturalised citizens from all walks of life whose contributions have helped advance the progress of our society. Each 4th July that followed, the project highlighted a new group of distinguished foreign-born Americans who have helped make us who we are as a nation. The accomplishments of these men and women – architects, musicians, athletes, scholars, judges, politicians, physicists, actors, diplomats, military officer, fashion designers, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, writers, and more – are as diverse as their life stories. We are honoured to list our Great Immigrants…………..truly, The Pride of America.”
The most important feature of this list is, it has 31 Bharatiyas who migrated to the US from Bharat and two are of Bharatiya origin, who were born outside Bharat. Expectedly, they feature great achievers like Satya Nadella, Sundar Pichai and Indra Nooyi but there are many more, who may not be so well known to the average Bharatiya reader. It may be noted that the list has been culled from the names which have been published over the decade, 2006-2016. For instance, Nobel laureate Har Gobind Khorana is no more but his name appears since he died during the decade. In some cases, the exact date of birth of the achiever has not been recorded while introducing her or him since it could not be verified satisfactorily.
Though the number of immigrants from certain other countries could be greater, the list features 31 Bharatiya achievers and two who were born outside Bharat. On the other hand, the list has 27 names from China and seven from Pakistan. It erroneously mentions Shirin R Tahir-Kheli as a Bharatiya.
Generally, IT professionals are considered as brand ambassadors of Bharat but the Bharatiya achievers belong to various spheres of activity though most are technocrats, financial wizards, business leaders and academicians. They take pride in their roots although there are a couple of exceptions and have maintained their bond with Bharat. However, now they belong to the US and have made every effort to contribute to the best of their ability.
This report is not an exception. In most of the American surveys Indians are regarded as the most tolerant, highly educated and most wealthy immigrant community.They are not considered as a political threat, though they play critical role in the campaign and political action committees of both the parties. Six Bharatiya-Americans are among a talented group of 106 scientists and engineers who were honoured by US President Barack Obama with a prestigious ‘Early Career Award’. Indian Americans who were selected for this year’s award, in the field of science and engineering are Milind Kulkarni (Purdue University), Kiran Musunuru (Harvard University), Sachin Patel (Vanderbilt University Medical Centre), Vikram Shyam (NASA), Rahul Mangharam (University of Pennsylvania) and Shwetak Patel (University of Washington). While applauding the role of an Indian American doctor Dr Sumita Khatri who has been in researching the health impact of air pollution, President Obama once said, “She has spent her career researching the health impacts of pollution at the Cleveland Clinic, and helping families whose lives are impacted every single day.” “Doctor, thank you,” Obama said as he hailed the contributions of Cleveland based asthama specialist. Though Carnegie Corporation list has a major significance in the light of current political turmoil going on in the country of immigrants, presence of substantial number of Bharatiyas in the list bring pride to Bharat as well.