It's natural for Indian-Americans to be excited about Tulsi Gabbard's and Kamala Harris' runs for Democrat party's nomination for the president. However, identifying them as Hindu-American and Indian-American are misleading and unnecessary. This is the "identity politics" in the United States and the "voting block" strategy in India that educated and informed voters have shown to reject.

The United States, in the era of Trump, has much bigger problems and worries than ethnicity of the candidates. Voters should elect the president on qualifications and proposed policies. Hindu, Indian, or African heritage and backgrounds are no more advantageous than any other religious, racial, national, or gender preference identifications.

Tulsi Gabbard may be a good Hindu, and Kamala Harris may be proud of and influenced by her heritage, which is great in itself. But, only these facts don't lead to any conclusion about their capabilities and preferences.

America is a mature democracy, and playing divisive politics is a step in the wrong direction. Achievements of people of our heritage should make us happy, but we should study every candidate in her or his totality and then select one. There will be many candidates running for the nomination in the primaries, not just two most of us may identify with. Let's not create a dilemma where none should exist.

Jagdish Patel Las Vegas

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