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'Bush recognises Indians in America'

New York., May 14, 2004

Ravi Singh, fund-raiser, Republican & Democrat National Committees, says President Bush recognises Indians in America and their contribution and "that's great for us."

You campaigned for George W Bush Jr in 2000. How was the experience?

Bush is sincere. He's a moral leader guided by the best interests of America. He recognises Indians in the US and their contribution, which is great for us.

How exactly do you help the Republican and Democrat National Committees in their campaigns?

We help them with e-yardsigns, which are like electronic greeting cards that allow one to vote and donate. These cards can also be sent to friends. We help these committees with technology that not only helps their publicity but also provides them with security against hackers and scamsters. While in India, I've helped a few MPs raise funds.

What kind of background precedes your tryst with US politics?

I passed out of Marmion Military Academy School and then qualified as a second lieutenant in the US army in 1990. In 1987, new legislation allowed me to wear a turban as a cadet. One of the high points at the military academy was a meeting with the then president Ronald Reagan. However, I gave up a career in the army to major in political science. I started working for the government in 1995. My job was to link various departments by e-mail.

As an America-born Indian, did you face any problems while working for the US government?

While in the government, I had to carry my ID all the time as numerous questions were asked. To safeguard me against awkward situations, my mother had taught me all about Indian and US history and their laws.

When did you decide to contest for public office?

After campaigning for Bob Dole in my capacity as a member of the Asian American National Committee, I decided to run for public office. My parents thought I was crazy! I was discouraged not to stand for the elections with my turban on, but I stood my ground. I even managed to raise $1,50,000 for my campaign. I lost the race though not the spirit




Ravi Singh