When Nishrin Hussain moved to the United States in 1990, she left her parents behind in India. But her American life was tragically interrupted when her father, a Muslim, was burned alive by a Hindu mob during the 2002 riots that shook India’s Gujarat state. Since then, she has become a force in Indian politics – from her home in Delaware.
Like a growing number of other Indian-Americans, Ms. Hussain is using the considerable power of the pocketbook and other forms of political activism to influence events half a world away. And their efforts can have an impact: Last week the US State Department – largely because of the protests of Indian Americans – canceled an upcoming tour in the United States by Narendra Modi, Gujarat’s chief minister, for the role he played in the riots three years ago.
In one sense, the Indian American community reflects the growing clout of many expatriate groups in the US. From Mexican-Americans to immigrants from the Muslim world, they are becoming more aware of their influence back home and are trying to capitalize on it. Irish-Americans have influenced events in their homeland for decades. SEE ALSO: