Ro Khanna must stop working against India and Indian Americans

Ritesh Tandon-

Ritesh Tandon (above photo) is a candidate for the U.S. Congressional election in November from California District 17, currently represented by Congressman Ro Khanna. These views are his own.

I strongly support India’s decision to take a neutral stand on the Russia-Ukraine war. It is sad that the military aggression by Russia has devastated millions of people in Ukraine and my heart goes out to them. We need to make all-out efforts to end the war and press Russia to come to the negotiation table quickly.

Nelson Mandela once famously said, “that one of the mistakes which some political analysts make is to think their enemies should be our enemies”. India has traditionally been a non-aligned country. It is a superpower and must make its own decisions for its safety and security.

The inexperienced ‘four’ Indian-origin Congressmen seem not to know India’s history and economic and security issues. They also need to be aware that 34 other countries, many of them democracies, abstained [in the U.N. votes on the war]. India has said the Ukraine tragedy should stop and provided relief/support to Ukraine, despite the fact that Ukraine sold weapons to Pakistan in the past and voted against India in the U.N. India presents a balanced view of the world. They want the war to end now.

India has had close ties with Russia over the past 70 years. They are tied economically and through security agreements, including large arms purchases. Russia has a history of support for India, including during the Dec 1971 war waged by Pakistan, when the U.S. sided with the Pakistani generals against the democratically elected East Pakistan party.

Nixon ordered the Seventh Fleet into the Bay of Bengal in support of Gen Yahya Khan. Both the U.K. and U.S. naval forces moved toward the Indian coasts to do a pincer attack. That is when Russia helped India out with its navy and nuclear submarines to force the U.S. to retreat.

Today, about 80 percent of the weapons for the Indian Army come from Russia. If India goes against Russia, the Indian military capability can be seriously jeopardized. U.S. defense department officials explained this to Ro Khanna, but he continues to harp on the wrong tune. This may actually dent the recently developed Quad agreement of the U.S., Japan, Australia and India.

Russia is falling into the Chinese orbit and the creation of a China-Russia-Pakistan axis against India will create serious security threats for India. Naïve politicians like Ro Khanna need to comprehend complex foreign relations situations before making statements.

On complying with the U.S. sanctions and oil import issues, S Jaishankar from India’s ministry of external affairs mentioned that India buys as much oil from Russia in a month as Europe buys in an afternoon. Additionally, U.S. import of Russian oil went up after February. The Biden administration only recently imposed a ban. Europe is still thinking. So, why blame India?

There will be NO winners in the Ukraine conflict. Peace talks are the only solution. Dr Sudhanshu Trivedi, a member of India’s Parliament, said India is the only country that can influence both Ukraine and Russia. The U.S. should work with India’s prime minister to end this war.

Instead of bashing India naively, and blindly following a Democratic Party line, these four Indian-origin Congresspeople should focus on the following to create better relations with India:

  1. Neither the U.S. nor the E.U. supports India against Pakistan’s behavior, a country that has made terrorism a part of its state policy directed against India. Additionally, there was no support from the U.S. and the E.U. for India during the Chinese aggression in Doklam. And, of course, there was not a word of condemnation for China from the four so-called progressive Indian-American politicians. Why?
  2. Here is another example of the “something is wrong!” syndrome with these four pseudo-Indian-origin American Congresspersons. Unscrupulous groups like Sarbat Khalsa in the U.S. are working against India in Connecticut and other states. They managed to get a resolution in the Connecticut state assembly to declare April 29 ‘Sikh independence day’. The Indian government and consulates condemned such actions by state-level actors in the U.S. These Khalistani groups should be strongly condemned by the four Congresspersons as, firstly, the states don’t have any right to interfere in foreign affairs. Secondly, these groups intend to spread hatred among communities and are working closely with Pakistan to do that. Pakistani Caucus member Khanna said not a word to condemn this declaration by Connecticut. Are these four Indian-origin Congresspersons encouraging division amongst Indian communities?
  3. In Pakistan, minorities (Hindu/Christian/Sikh/others) are raped/converted/killed. Their population since Independence has reduced from 9% to just 2%. Do you see any statement from the four Indo-American Congresspersons? Nope!
  4. Recently in Bangladesh, a Hindu priest and other people were brutally killed and their temple destroyed. Did you see any statements from these four Congresspersons? Nope!

Ro Khanna and the other three also made public statements against Article 370 and CAA. The statements were quite similar to those by Pakistani politicians. The truth is that removal of the special status Article 370 in the Indian Constitution will solve the age-old Kashmir problem and hopefully all communities can live peacefully together in the future in Kashmir.

The CAA was an attempt to help persecuted minorities in countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. It is to be applauded, not criticized. By criticizing it, Khanna and the others appear to be appeasing Pakistani politicians and people like Ilhan Omar, who recently visited Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. What is her interest in PoK? To help Pakistan sponsor more terror in Kashmir?

Proposition 16 type bills, which Khanna endorsed in the last election, target Asian Americans (especially Chinese and Indian children) in college admissions, jobs and contracts. We, along with many Chinese associations, worked hard to defeat it, but only by a small margin. The danger exists that similar proposals will come back. They are well funded and have been trying for decades to create a race-based allocation of education, jobs, and business opportunities. etc. They call it “equity”. I call it discrimination! They will destroy the American dream of hard work and rewards if we accept their socialist solutions.

This is a call to all Indians/Asians to unite against people like Ro Khanna, who are working to just get votes and hurt their own communities. The future of your children is at stake. Their hard work will mean nothing if college admissions and jobs are distributed according to your skin color, not hard work. If you vote for Ro Khanna, you will be supporting a politician who is working against you and your children. Ro Khanna advocated “defund the police” policies, and the hate crimes against Asians have gone up. Now, even our safety is at stake!

I ask us all to wake up and take a firm stand for what is just. Do you not want the American dream of hard work and appropriate rewards to live forever? Career politicians like Ro Khanna cannot deliver you that or fairness and justice. He wants socialism. Don’t let his ambition extinguish your better living standards, your children’s future, and basic freedoms.