Indian-American physician Ami Bera and the first Hindu US lawmaker, Tulsi
Gabbard today scripted history after being sworn in as newly-elected members of
the US House of Representatives.
Bera, 47, is only the third Indian American -- after Dalip Singh Saundh in 1950
and Bobby Jindal in 2005 -- to have ever been elected to the House of
Gabbard, 31, is the first Hindu ever to win the Congressional election. She also
became the first to take oath of office on the sacred Bhagavad Gita, instead of
They sworn in as a Member of United States House of Representatives by Speaker
Noting that being sworn in as a member of the US House of Representatives is a
"culmination of American dream" for his father who migrated from Gujarat in
1950, Bera said that besides working on his priority areas of health care and
education, he wants to help strengthen the economic relations between India and
"My father migrated in 1950s from Gujarat and this is a culmination of American
dream for him. He worked hard to see his son to be sworn in today in the House
of Representatives. It's really the culmination of everything," Bera told PTI in
his first media interview at his new Congressional office at the Capitol Hill.
Democratic lawmaker from California's 3rd congressional district, Bera has been
made a member of the powerful House Foreign Committee, where he is likely to
play an important role in shaping the foreign policy of his country and work
towards achieving his goal of strengthening relationship between India and the
Explaining the reasons for taking the oath of office on Gita, Gabbard said, "I
chose to take the oath of office with my personal copy of the Bhagavad-Gita
because its teachings have inspired me to strive to be a servant-leader,
dedicating my life in the service of others and to my country."
"My Gita has been a tremendous source of inner peace and strength through many
tough challenges in life, including being in the midst of death and turmoil
while serving our country in the Middle East," Gabbard said.
At 21, she became the youngest person elected to the Hawaii Legislature.
Elated at the swearing in of Bera and Gabbard as US lawmakers, members of the
Indian-American community today termed it as a "historic day" hoping that their
success story would inspire the younger generation.
Bera and Gabbard are the part of America's 113th Congress which also has 43
African American members.
A large number of members of the Indian-American community, in particular the
Hindus, have supported Gabbard's campaign from the very beginning.
"Representative Gabbard and Dr Bera serve as an inspiration to Hindu students
across the nation. These historic elections have hopefully opened the flood
gates to having more members of the next generation with Hindu backgrounds find
their voices in America's political system," said Sohini Sircar, general
secretary of Hindu Students Council.