American BJP Wins Louisiana Governorship

That was just to draw your attention, which in journalism we call "sensationalism" or "a good headline" depending on your perspective :).  No, Bobby Jindal is not a Hindutva--and he's not Hindu.  I would guess he's more a technocrat than anything else.  Nonetheless, some interesting similarities to the BJP agenda for the conservative desi:

1. anti-corruption as a message.
2. inclusion of religious fundamentalism like teaching "intelligent design" as part of his agenda and populist appeal.

Secondarily, can we please conclusively reject this as not a victory for "Indian Americans" let alone South Asians as a whole like us, given that, according to The Times, he won by appealing to conservative districts that house the KKK and other White supremacists and not Black people, who largely rejected him.

Trackback URL for this post:

http://www.passtheroti.com/trackback/574

Comments

Well I'm glad that people

Well I'm glad that people have voted both ways :)

I vote for 'dodgy reportage.'

I vote for 'dodgy reportage.' The Times only says that he overcame race-based opposition in the provinces that supported a KKK leader David Duke in 1991 (when he lost). Thats not the same as saying that he won by appealing to provinces that still house the KKK (you dont have to be in the Klan to vote for a Klan candidate) and other White Supremacists. Did he not appeal to white voters in the rest of the state? Also, the Times says that Black Louisianans usually vote Democratic - right down the line? - which has different implications from saying that they rejected Jindal in particular.

I vote for "good headline."

I vote for "good headline." Of course, the deep question that remains is whether the Bobby Jindal Party is being controlled by the Republican Senators' Soundbites.

Yes, I think that the South

Yes, I think that the South Asian diaspora community tends to go to pretty extreme lengths to identify the success of individual people of desi descent as a victory for the [race? ethnicity? countries? continent?]. I can only assume that this is left over from the identity politics of the 1980s and 1990s, for which South Asia was a late entrant.

Jindal's credentials are impressive but only in a very American way: state magnet high school, Brown University, Rhodes Scholar, McKinsey and Co., US Congressman. The Times of India reports on celebrations in his home village, but aren't his connections to that place fictitious -- drawn by inference rather than experience?

The relationships between India and Indian Americans are always going to be complicated, but South Asian Americans with arguably no connection with the 'desh' (myself partly included) need to be recognised as foreigners, outsiders and certainly not standard-bearers for a rising India.

And being the Governor of Louisiana is a daunting, humbling job: this is a state almost mortally wounded by Katrina and its fallout that destroyed many lives and more livelihoods, reducing many to destitution while the government sat by. It's not exactly the time for unguarded celebration in victory, but for real work.

PTR: Fair & Balanced

PTR: Fair & Balanced

PTR: Fair & Balanced Hey

PTR: Fair & Balanced

Hey now--don't blame other writers for my work. "Dr. Anonymous: Fair & Balanced"

To engage the substance of your point, to some extent we were using different definitions of victory for "Indians" or "South Asians." But the basic point, even encompassing the lack of clarity in my own head, was that an electoral victory that has these dynamics does little to address racism broadly. Which in the end may come back to haunt South Asians in the U.S., many of whom seek to cling as closely as possible to the coattails of the White and newly multicultural establishment. Like Jindal.

Which was perhaps what I should have said :)

Taking a look at Jindal's CV,

Taking a look at Jindal's CV, there's no sense of a connection to the actual subcontinent -- as in the village, where they were celebrating their native (estranged grand)son being voted in as governor of a state that I bet most had not heard of. State magnet school, Brown, Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship, and then Mackenzie before state politics. Given that, as Dr. L mentioned, there are multicultural members of the American establishment, doesn't Jindal -- absent *any* evidence to the contrary -- fit that bill?

The one thing that makes me wonder is the job that particular governor has ahead of him: to heal and rebuild a state that was reduced to a state of extreme poverty and desperation after
a natural disaster compounded by government ineptitude, callousness and ignorance. What is Bobby Jindal, a favoured son of the American power elite, going to do about that?

I vote for <a

I vote for <a href=http://freezfile.com>"good headline."</a> Of course, the deep question that remains is whether the Bobby Jindal Party is being controlled by the Republican Senators' Soundbites.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.