Report: Indians prepare for Jindal victory

Residents of Malerkotla, Punjab, are buying fireworks and preparing sweets,
getting ready to celebrate Jindal
Rep. Bobby Jindal’s likely victory in the Louisiana
gubernatorial primary on Oct. 20.

“We will dance and party all night
long,” said Kumar Jindal, first cousin of the Indian-American Congressman, whose
parents hail from Malerkotla. “We have not been this excited since we got
cable TV.”

The sole Republican candidate in Louisiana’s unique
all-candidate primary, Jindal needs more than 50 percent to win the governorship
and become the first Indian-American to head a state. He has such a large lead in the
polls that analysts believe he will win the election even if President Bush
comes to Louisiana to campaign for him.

“Louisiana doesn’t need any more
disasters,” said one Democratic analyst, “but I have a feeling this is going to
be a landslide.”

Added another analyst: “Thirteen people are challenging
him in the election, but their chances of beating him are equal to Lou Dobbs’
chances of being appointed the ambassador to Mexico."

Jindal’s opponents
are trailing so badly, some are getting desperate, trying their best to smear
him, without being racist. “You went to LSU, he went to Brown University,” one
campaign ad said. “Think about it: Do you really want to vote for a Brown

Another ad was more direct: “If you vote for Jindal, you’re voting
against the environment. There’ll be more fumes in the air, partly from the pot
of curry at the Governor’s mansion.”

The vast majority of
Indian-Americans are Democrats, but many are supporting Jindal. “So what if he’s
a Republican?” one man said. “Everyone has faults.”

That’s the kind of
attitude that Jindal’s relatives in Punjab appreciate. “Whether he’s Democrat or
Republican, we don’t care,” Kumar Jindal said, “as long as he has many spare
bedrooms in the Governor’s mansion.”

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through and You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.

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