Obama cites Dalip Singh Saund to laud Asian contributionMay 9th, 2012 - 2:54 pm ICT by IANS
Washington, May 9 (IANS) Citing the example of Dalip Singh Saund, the first Indian American elected to the US Congress, President Barack Obama has lauded the contribution of the Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in building up America.
“They were trailblazers like Dalip Singh Saund - a young man from India who, in 1920, came to study agriculture, stayed to become a farmer, and took on the cause of citizenship for all people of South Asian descent,” he said at the 18th Annual Gala for the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies Tuesday in Washington.
“And once Dalip earned his own citizenship, he stepped up to serve the country he loved - and became the first Asian American elected to the Congress,” Obama added amid applause.
Born in Chhajulwadi, Punjab, Saund represented the 29th District of California from 1957 to 1963.
“When I think about Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, I think about my family - my sister, Maya; my brother-in-law, Konrad. My nieces Suhaila and Savita. I think about all the folks I grew up with in Honolulu,” Obama said striking a personal note.
“I think about the years I spent in Indonesia. So for me, coming here feels a little bit like home. This is a community that helped to make me who I am today. It’s a community that helped make America the country that it is today.”
The Asian Americans, he said, “came here looking for new opportunities not merely for themselves, but for their children, and for their children’s children, and for all generations to come”.
“Few of them had money. A lot of them didn’t have belongings. But what they did have was an unshakeable belief that this country - of all countries - is a place where anybody can make it if they try,” Obama said.
(Arun Kumar can be contacted at email@example.com)
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