New York: Celebrities from the Indian-American community are going all out to pitch for their favourite. Booker Prize winners Salman Rushdie and Kiran Desai, award-winning authors Jhumpa Lahiri and Manil Suri; and best-selling non-fiction writers Suketu Mehta and Fareed Zakaria and Oscar-nominated director Mira Nair and actor Kal Penn.
All of them are Indians in America and have endorsed Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee for President of the United States.
“I've had a great opportunity to actually have a lot of conversations with Senator Obama and the things that he has achieved, the things he wants to achieve; I've never heard anyone else talk about. So, I'm excited to be here,” says actor Kal Penn.
“I like the Obama campaign and I like him. I've never met him. I like what I hear and I think there's no question that he is the change candidate,” says author Salman Rushdie.
Six of these authors were together at a closed-door fund-raiser in New York recently which was emceed by Mira Nair. And they raised over $56,000 for the Obama campaign. Among them was Suketu Mehta.
“It's not just that we're choosing a Democrat because we've had eight years of a terrible administration. We are positively voting for Obama. He would be a tremendous candidate in any year. He's a uniquely gifted man,” says Author, Maximum City, Suketu Mehta.
Beyond the fund-raisers, Indian-American celebrities have also hit the campaign trail for Obama. Most visible among them has been actor Kal Penn, who had been stumping for the Illinois Senator even before the Iowa caucuses in January.
The Indian American creative community has always been liberal by nature. What is particularly noticeable in 2008 is how strongly they have come out to drum up support for Democrat Barack Obama.