Doing good never saves a person who is good.
It never has.
Standing up to evil and hate does.
Indian PM Narendra Modi started a trend of large events with the Indian diaspora. At the forefront were the Hindu Americans.
While it brought many benefits to everyone involved, it also brought focus. To the Indians in general and Hindus in specific.
Along with the rising profile and clout in financial and business terms, Hindus were seen as a formidable community within the US populace.
That has brought its own risks.
It is imperative to understand those risks and what the ramifications can be.
Regardless, inaction is not an option anymore.
Modi, "The Boss": Diaspora events
On May 23rd, 2023, over 21,000 Indians thronged the Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney Olympic Park, Sydney in Australia. Chartered flights from Melbourne called "Modi Airways" and from Queensland called "Modi Express" brought hundreds to Sydney that day.
The Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese also joined the show and called Modi "The Boss", in a reference to the other "rockstar" who had lit up the place - Bruce Springsteen (the singer was nicknamed "The Boss")
Last year Modi was welcomed by the Indian diaspora at the Audi Dome in Munich. Thousands had come to see him in Munich as well (Source: Emergency a 'black spot' on India's vibrant democracy: PM Modi in Germany / The Business Standard)
Such large Indian diaspora meets have become a norm for Modi's itinerary abroad.
It all started with the great Madison Square Garden gathering in 2014. 18,500 to be precise!
Madison Square Garden was at full capacity Sunday, not for a Knicks game or a Jay-Z concert, but for the prime minister of India. A crowd of more than 18,500 cheered along with Narendra Modi on his first visit to New York City as prime minister. (Source: India’s Modi was once denied U.S. entry. Sunday, he was the star at Madison Square Garden / The Washington Post)
In 2015, he was in California and had an equally large gathering at San Jose's SAP Centre. Massive crowds gathered there as well. 45,000, with 18,500 in the stadium!
Altogether, 45,000 people are expected to attend the event, even though the stadium can seat only 18,000. For the rest, who will be outside the venue, massive television screens have been put up and other arrangements have been made. (Source: "At San Jose Stadium, Indian Diaspora Wait For PM Modi" / NDTV)
And a few weeks later in November, he was in London's Wembley Stadium. This time with a crowd of 60,000!
And finally, who can ever forget the Howdy Modi event in Houston with the then US President Donald Trump?
These events are rare, unique, and almost unheard of in the normal parlance of geopolitics.
The connection of the diaspora with its country of origin is not, however.
The diasporas are a strange type of people. They are a floating spirit if you will. They are in the new country of their work - trying to fit in - and also strongly connected with their roots in their country of origin.
The question one has asked is - Why did Modi use this manner of connection to draw out thousands of very enthusiastic, energetic, and committed community members who would spend thousands of dollars to gather in one place - just to see and listen to him?
Politicians cannot even get a decent crowd within India for their meetings! Ask Rahul Gandhi.
Diaspora and Modi - A win-win package
When Modi came for his first visit to the United States - and thereafter to the other Western capitals, he carried the baggage of being the politician who was denied a US visa due to machinations of the "Breaking India" forces.
It was a combination of the most unusual bedfellows - Islamists, Far-Right Christians, and Leftists - who came together to keep Modi out of the US.
Keith Ellison, Joe Pitts, Trent Franks and Frank Wolf are well known ideological and religious activists vis a vis India, and their history of engagement with Indian Americans speaks to motive. Trent Franks (Republican, Arizona) is a far-right evangelical Christian conservative that most recently made news in joining the redoubtable Congresswoman of Minnesota, Michelle Bachmann, and only two others in calling for a sweeping investigation of the Muslim Brotherhood's insidious infiltration among American Muslims. Working along with his long-time foreign policy advisor, Melody Divine, who serves on the board of the Dalit Freedom Network, a Colorado evangelical church based group, Franks routinely provides a Congressional forum to that group that ties caste-based discrimination directly to Hindu scriptures and promotes conversion to Christianity as the only solution. (Source: "Theatre of the absurd to deny Modi a US visa" / Rediff)
So when Modi came to the US, he needed to negotiate from a place of strength. That was garnered by having large events in the run-up to the meetings.
It is very rare for politicians to have such large gatherings in the West. So, when a foreign politician or leader comes and has such a large gathering at a prominent landmark stadium (like Madison Square Garden) - people sit up and watch.
They were created as extravaganza - to dazzle and make a splash. And, they did!
Here is an interesting analysis from The Washington Post of what signals are sent via such large gatherings.
So let us look at it again.
- Modi: When Modi and his group of officials walk into a meeting with the officials of the host country, the "ice has been broken". He is already a "known" person by then from the top of the bureaucracy to the bottom. Any doubts anyone would have had about his political strength at home would have been quashed comprehensively by then. He negotiates from a position of strength. A super-popular leader who is like a rockstar.
- Host Leader: The host leaders cannot bring such huge crowds to any arena on their own. With Modi's appeal, they get the benefit. Political, as well as promotional. They are in the local news everywhere as well. Trump, for example, also got a boost, as did Albanese recently in the local media.
- Diaspora: Prior to Modi's events, no one even realized the political strength or the numbers of the Indian community. That they are aligned so strongly with a political spectrum in their origin country and have strong political minds was apparent. Suddenly, the political parties realized that Indians are a good political group to align with. One has seen the engagement of the political candidates with the Indian community in general and the Hindu community in particular increase post-Modi events.
This is the political and strategic impact of engagement with the diaspora that Modi has created.
How the Diasporas impact their Countries of Origin
Cultivating the diaspora should be an important agenda for any country. After all, the diaspora plays a key role in the economy of the country of origin via the remittances and investments in their original home cities and communities.
The business of remittances is huge! $430 billion huge!
In some countries, it represents a large percentage of the country's GDP.
Migrants from emerging and developing countries sent home $430 billion last year—three times more money than their home countries receive in financial assistance from other countries or international financial institutions and a substantial portion of their GDP. For example, as a percent of GDP, remittances represent 37 percent in Tajikistan, 30 percent in Nepal, around 25 percent in Tonga, Liberia, and Haiti, and 16 percent in Lebanon. These figures could be even higher if the high cost of sending remittances—ranging from 5 percent of the amount being sent in South Asia to 12 percent in Sub-Saharan Africa—were lowered. (Source: "Addition by Subtraction: How Diasporas Can Boost Home-Country Growth"/ IMF)
In fact, the studies show very clearly that the economy of the country of origin gets an average boost of 0.6 percentage points from the diaspora community!
The Indian diaspora has also been boosting the Indian economy substantially.
More importantly, the mix of the NRIs sending money home is changing rapidly and significantly. While the Indians living in high-income countries like the US, UK and East Asia working in high-income jobs are now contributing 36% (up from 26% in 2016) to the total remittances, the contributions from low-skilled NRIs from the Middle East have dropped from 54% to 28%!
That is a huge shift in the whole demographic and economic mix.
The shift reflects the broader prosperity of the Indians in countries abroad.
Per one count in 2021, Indians were the CEOs of 45 large corporations in the US.
The average Indian household income is twice the American national median.
Indian-Americans make up around 1.35 percent of the US population; they play dominant roles in a number of fields, from IT and medicine to leadership of many of the country’s biggest companies. The median annual income of Indian-American families, at around $124,000 is almost twice that of the American national median income. (Source: In the US, yet more evidence of growing Indian-American clout / WION)
Over half of all the Unicorns in the US were founded by immigrants. Of those, 66 of them - the highest - were founded by Indians!
Over half of America’s start-ups (319 out of 582 or 55 per cent) valued at $1 billion or more have been founded by immigrants. As the country of origin for immigrant founders in the US, Indians top the charts with 66 companies. Israelis followed suit with the second highest number of billion-dollar companies at 54. The UK, Canada, China, France, Germany, Russia, Ukraine, Iran, Australia, Romania, Nigeria, South Korea, New Zealand, Pakistan, Argentina and several other countries also contributed to US’ start-up ecosystem, according to a recent National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP) report. (Source: Business Today)
Here is the chart.
Even amongst the Indians, the predominance of Hindus in the top echelons of the US industry and income brackets is striking. Per a Pew Research study, 70% of Hindu households are in the income bracket of $50k and more while 36% are in the $100K+ bracket. Jews numbers come in at 68% in $50K and 44% in the $100K+ ranges.
The education levels also parallel this income-earning capacity very well. Hindus are significantly better educated than Non-Hindus in their host countries.
That is the feel-good part.
The rise of a community has its consequences. Those who are predisposed to hating a particular community and more importantly, peddle a certain agenda globally, find this rise disconcerting.
Diasporas have always been the instrument of the political and economic tussle between their origin country and the new host country. That is how the global geopolitical alignments suddenly show up at the city and local county level politics.
That is why one can see how and why a geopolitical agenda of Caste politics was played at the local city council level in Seattle.
On February 21, 2023, Seattle City Council passed a law to amend anti-discrimination protections in employment, public places, housing, and contracting to include caste as a protected class. Seattle's Mayor signed the law, making Seattle the first city in the United States to ban caste discrimination. (Source: Seattle City)
US is after all the theater for the most significant geopolitical games given its importance. It is but likely that diasporas in the US will end up extending the political games their home countries play.
How China weaponizes its Diaspora
The Chinese government has used its diaspora to further its own interests globally. The US officials are already seeing the impact.
As U.S. officials continue to grapple with Russian interference in domestic politics, growing attention has turned to Chinese influence operations. Although much attention has focused on Beijing’s efforts to fund pro-China propaganda, the incident in Kuala Lumpur highlights that some of the more troubling activities the government has undertaken have been those targeting the Chinese diaspora. (Source: Beijing's Influence Operations Target Chinese Diaspora / War on the Rocks)
In fact, the Chinese government is extremely audacious in how it extends its tentacles abroad.
For example, their "Overseas Police Service Stations".
You can download the study from here.
The FBI has cracked down on the operations though but the network is huge and has been operating with impunity!
But these police stations were not the only ways that the Chinese establishments keeps a tab on the Chinese diaspora in other countries. They have launched many avatars of such programs and hit the Chinese communities.
The scale of the Chinese spying in the US is phenomenal!
The Chinese have infiltrated the US companies in order to steal technologies and secrets.
As FBI Director Christopher Wray said last year, the scale and level of Chinese espionage in the US "blew me away".
Espionage like the one that China's CCP indulges in does not happen in a vacuum. The use of diaspora is a key element as the unearthing of the "Overseas Police Stations" showed.
But China is not the only country that uses its diaspora for spying and infiltrating into the US establishment.
How Pakistan Infiltrates US Establishment for its Terror Agenda
Pakistan, for example, has used its diaspora to infiltrate the US government agencies for their own ends.
In 2022, two Pakistanis infiltrated the security circle of the First Lady of the country.
Haider Ali, one of the guys had ties with the Pakistani spy agency ISI.
One of the two imposters, who were impersonating the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agents and were in touch with the agents of First Lady Jill Biden security, on Friday claimed ties with the Pakistan intelligence agency ISI. Arian Taherzadeh, 40, and Haider Ali, 35, were arrested by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on Thursday for impersonating DHS agents for more than two years. Haider told at least one witness in a federal court that he has ties with Pakistan's ISI. While the claim is being probed, the federal court said that it must be taken "literally and seriously". He was caught with a Pakistani National Identity Card in Washington while impersonating a federal agent. Several incriminating documents were seized from him by the FBI. (Source: "'Fake' US federal agent claims ties with Pakistan's ISI")
But this is not the first time.
In 2011, it was Ghulam Nabi Fai. He was arrested on July 19th, 2011 "for acting as an unregistered foreign agent."
Fai was not the only one. Zaheer Ahmed was also arrested and one Nazir Ahmad Shawl from London was named as well.
FBI special agent Sarah Webb Linden, in an affidavit unsealed , named the one in London as the Justice Foundation/Kashmir Centre run by Nazir Ahmad Shawl. The FBI arrested the executive director of the Kashmiri American Council, Ghulam-Nabi Fai, aged 62, at his home in Fairfax, Virginia, later. The other, Zaheer Ahmad, 63, is believed to be in Pakistan. Both are US citizens and face a prison sentence of five years if convicted. (Source: "US-Pakistan relations worsen with arrest of two alleged spies" / The Guardian)
Interestingly, Fai was let go in just 16 months even though his sentence was for two years.
He served only 16 months of a two-year sentence for conspiracy and violations of various tax laws pertaining to a nonprofit. Srinagar-born Fai, 64, was released from the Federal Correctional Institution in Cumberland, Maryland, after Assistant United States Attorney Gordon Kromberg moved a motion November 15 calling for his prison sentence to be reduced. Kromberg said Fai had provided information leading to the indictment of three individuals who had been funneling money from Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence into the US to propagate Pakistan’s causes through the Kashmiri American Council, the non-profit that Fai headed. (Source: US court releases Kashmiri separatist Ghulam Nabi Fai / Rediff News)
This is the ISI's agenda that Fai ran for the ISI against India in the US where he would get folks from India to create and promote the Pakistani narrative on Kashmir and Khalistan.
Folks like ex-Indian High Commissioner Kuldip Nayyar, ex-Justice Rajinder Sachar (of Sachar Committee on Muslims), Angana Chatterjee, Rita Manchanda and Gautam Navlakha (of Bhima Koregaon infamy) were part of Ghulam Nabi Fai's junkets
But the ISI has not just targeted India in the US.
It's hand was exposed even in the 9/11 attacks.
Incredible isn't it?
What is even more spectacular is the manner in which the US media and the establishment have buried this information without any action!
But this is how the US has always handled things. Read this for example on how the US State Department helped Pakistan get the Nuclear plant for its nefarious games.
How would such brazen espionage work and deep infiltration, even coopting of the US establishment by the dictatorial Chinese Communist Party and Terror funding regimes of China and Pakistan impact other diasporas?
Specifically the Indian (and Hindu, even more specifically) diaspora?
Targeting of Hindus - A Battle of Diasporas and Geopolitical Adversaries
We briefly touched the "Caste Bill" in Seattle. We will come to it again.
But first let us see how prosperity and rise of the Hindu-Americans has brought in more hate for the community. The Hindus are being targeted with a vengeance.
In 2019, Public Radio NPR's India correspondent, for example, had this to say.
(Furkan Khan, New Delhi NPR producer, and author of several reports and articles on NPR about India.)
And how did NPR respond?
NPR's response - at least overtly on Furkan's tweet - was that the NPR producer had apologized and "resigned from NPR".
But was that the complete truth? The World, NPR's longest-running global news program was getting stories done by Furkan Khan as late as August 2022.
Not just that. Pulitzer Center - which provides grants to journalists globally and prides itself as the "largest single source of money for global enterprise reporting" has been unusually granting this Hindu-hating bigot for stories on India and Kashmir.
And it is not just the mainstream media that targets Hindus shamelessly. So do some business leaders that are aligned to the Democratic party. Without any repercussions.
For example Melinda Byerley of the FiddleHead showed her bigotry openly.
Who is she? She is the CEO of a Silicon Valley company with deep links in the Democratic Party.
And that is why it is imperative to look at how anti-Hindu hatred is being spread so widely. Specifically in connivance with the Democratic Party.
The Caste Bill which was passed in Seattle City Council has now snowballed into a major effort by the Democrats to target the Hindus. Here is the statement of CoHNA - Coalition of Hindus of North America.
SB 403 as it is called, was passed by the California State Senate by a 34-1 vote in May 2023. It will go to the State Assembly which is Democratic-controlled and if it passes then it will go to Governor Gavin Newsom.
The Bill and the whole push for making caste a category to be "protected" (a euphemism to litigate upon) has been championed by an organization called Equality Labs.
Why is this important?
Because Equality Labs has very clear and unambiguous links to Pakistan's ISI.
As per a detailed report by the Disinfo Lab, Huma Dar has been a long-standing Kashmir-Khalistan desk (K2) of the ISI. Her daughter, Natasha Dar, was the co-author of Equality Labs 2018 Annual caste report.
Not just Pakistan's ISI, but also Soros-linked organizations have been working behind the scenes with the Equality Labs.
To fully understand the nexus, one needs to see how deeply Soros has been intertwined with the Democratic establishment.
George Soros made inroads into the United States' establishment during the time of Bill Clinton. He aligned himself with the political elite and started running his own "State Department" in Washington DC.
“He’s now become a player does As I frequently say about George, he’s the only man in the U.S. who has his own foreign policy—and can implement it. We try to synchronize our approach to the former Communist countries with Germany, France, Great Britain—and with George Soros,The New Yorker
For more information, please read our earlier newsletter.
What does all this mean?
Indian, and Hindu Americans paying a price for success
The twisted and repressive regimes in many countries use American democracy to run their agenda in the US. They bring their geopolitical machinations to the US and target the diaspora from countries they consider as enemies.
All, in order to establish their supremacy.
That is exactly what Pakistanis and the Chinese have done.
Along with the compliant and/or ideologically aligned politicians and political non-state actors within the US, these establishments target Indians in general and Hindus in particular.
What Modi's large events unleashed was the revival of Indians in the US national politics. But it also brought the Hindu Americans into focus.
Those who want unbridled access within the US are afraid and concerned at the rising clout - monetary and political - of Hindu Americans.
There is no other way to pin them down. So Caste has become one weapon. They have weaponized Caste.
And the other hand, they have started to twist Hindutva to use that too as a weapon in order to paint Hindus as evil.
It is a narrative of course because Hindus are not just the most law-compliant, and least likely to be in jail but also the most educated and highest-earning community in the US.
Whether Hindus like it or not, they have been thrust into a political arena as a diaspora. And the political establishment is in on it as well.
The only way to protect the future of our coming generations in the US is to use the opportunity that Modi events started off us with and take it to the next level.
.. have a voice!
Politically most importantly!
One way could be to be part of the Hindu Political organizations and donate for more representation of the Hindu voice.
Here are a couple of PACs that can be useful.
It is now time to stand up.
Video Corner: Empty Belt in the US
Why is such a large tract of land almost empty?
Factors include how the wars with the Native Americans were fought and the weather. A fascinating watch!