Election Day also distinguishes Pradip Kothari from the man he was when he first arrived in America. But for Pradip, Election Day signifies much more as well. It means an end to the phone calls from candidates seeking his support, his money, and his access to one of the wealthiest communities in America. After today, at least for a few months, they might remain silent.
“They call me when they need me,” he laments. “Jai Hind, Namaste. They know a few words, but they're exploiting those words. There's no interest in appointing Indians.” Only in getting their votes and money, Pradip says.
By the election of 2000, no New Jersey politician can afford to ignore the constituency Indians have become, and Pradip has been appointed, by himself and others, their spokesman. This season, as he has for the last few years of his ascent in the Indian community, Pradip attends their fund-raisers and meet-and-greets. Census figures are not out yet, but the survey taken in 1990 shows