Indian American Leaders Express Shock at Attack on US Capitol

By Ajay Ghosh

Washington DC: The Indian American community has expressed shock and is dismayed at the events that unfurled on Wednesday, January 6th on Capitol Hill.  Supporters of President Donald Trump breached one of the most iconic American buildings, US Capitol, engulfing the nation’s capital in chaos after Trump urged the mob of rioters and domestic terrorists to fight against the ceremonial counting of the electoral votes that would confirm President-elect Joe Biden’s win.

The rioters first breached exterior security barriers, and video footage showed protesters gathering and some clashing with police near the Capitol building. Soon, after breaching through barricades and security checkpoints, the protesters were inside the building — forcing lawmakers to go into lockdown.

The chaos on Capitol Hill, in which a police officer and four others died, has been widely condemned by both Democrats and Republicans. “Our democracy is under unprecedented assault, unlike anything we have seen in modern times,” President-elect Joe Biden said. He described it as “an assault on the citadel of liberty, the Capitol itself.”

Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican leader, was right when he finally stood up to Trump and warned the Senate that legislative moves to overrule voters by excluding some states in the Electoral College count “would damage our republic forever.”

Dr. Sampat Shivangi, president of the Indian American Forum for Political Education and a delegate for Trump, and a veteran leader of AAPI, called the events as “shameful, shocking and unprecedented in the history of once upon a beacon of democracy on the planet. Even though I am a strong Republican and longtime serving US Republican Party delegate for the last four Republican Party conventions, I would not support a bit in any fashion. Now with all that carnage, President Trump has promised for smooth transfer of power on January 20th and with that in mind it is time for healing and I feel President elect Biden and VP elect Ms. Harris should be magnanimous to accept that offer and initiate the first few steps in that process that will bring sanity and respect that US has lost in the world community,” Dr. Shivangi added.

Dr. Navin C. Shah, Founder and former President of AAPI, said, “The unlawful entry and banalization of the Capitol Hill, the temple of the US democracy is totally unacceptable. These culprits be immediately caught and brought to justice. The authorities of the Capitol Hill complex should  take  urgent actions to inhibit such a mob violence.” Dr. Shah calls for “cool minds of leaders and law makers prevail to have a peaceful transfer of power and address the serious issues, like Corvid 19, unemployment  and poor economy, challenging millions of our citizens. For over 200 years the US has survived with the rule of law and constitution and it will go on successfully for many centuries to come.”

Dr. Hetal Gor, a Board Certified OB GYN in the state of New Jersey described the events as “Unconstitutional, Unbelievable, Unimaginable, and Unpatriotic.”  Pointing that in the midst of pandemic, a rally was called on the day of electoral vote certification “with the sole purpose of stopping the count,” dr. Gor said, “Years of brainwashing, spreading misinformation, without any evidence calling election rigged when most judges have confirmed no irregularities, instigating the crowd to march to Capitol was home grown terrorism. Months back telling white supremacy groups to stand by, putting pressure on Vice President Pence to act unlawfully & unconstitutionally: all this for a selfish man’s injured pride. One man has caused so much damage to this country, bringing it shame, despair, dividing people, abusing power, disgracing the office. He is not only fit to be a president but an American .He should be impeached, the least we can do. In spite of all the obstacles , democracy prevailed,” added Dr. Gor.

Dr. Thomas Abraham, Chairman of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin, condemned the behavior of the rioters as “deplorable that the President of the United States of America who lost the election incited his supporters to use violence and riots inside the Capital Building, the cradle of democratic institution, so as to keep his power and continue as the President. President Trump should have gracefully accepted the election results and hand over the power in a smooth transition.”

Khanderao Kand, Director of Foundation for India and Indian Diaspora Studies (FIIDS) USA, Founder of Global Technology Professionals Association (GITPRO), said, “I am shocked and saddened to see the unruly and violent protest in Washington DC. This is one of the worst un-democratic moment in the history of the world’s longest democracy.”

Mr. Anil Bansal, President of FIA (NY, NJ & CT) said, “As a non-white American, what I saw on my 65th birthday was no gift. Watching the dramatic visuals of thousands of Trump supporters, storming the US Capitol, my first reaction was to compare the stark difference between how the Black Lives Matter activists were treated versus the trump supporters. For the first time, I understood the word, “White Privilege.”