Washington, Jan 20 (IANS) President Barack Obama was not there, but his maternal half-sister Maya Soetoro-Ng came to cheer with Indian-Americans as they had a ball to celebrate the second-term inauguration of the man they voted overwhelmingly.
"Indian-Americans are tremendously important and we hope they would be increasingly visible not only in the government, but also in all parts of American life," said Maya at what was billed as "Indiaspora 2013 Inaugural Ball" Saturday night.
"It is certainly a reflection of how important India is and how important Indian-Americans are to the fabric of the nation," added Maya at what was termed the Indian-Americans' political "coming-of-age party" at Mandarin Oriental in the national capital.
More than a thousand guests turned up at the "black tie" or Indian formal attire affair marking the first time the three-million-strong Indian American community has come out on such a platform.
Joining the president's half-sister were a bevy of American politicians and Indian-American officials from the Obama administration.
Among them was Raj Shah, USAID administrator, the highest ranking Indian-American in the Obama Administration, which at over a score has more Indian-Americans than any presidential administration before.
"It is very exciting to serve in an administration that has so many great Indian-Americans serving," he said.
"I think it is wonderful for the Indian-American community. It is coming of age, politically for them," said Joe Crowley, Democrat co-chair of the Congressional India Caucus.
Counted as the most affluent and well-educated ethnic group in the US, Indian Americans had snapped up all the $300-$1500 tickets for the all sold-out event.
An overwhelming 84 percent of the Indian-Americans had voted for Obama, according to a recent survey of Asian-Americans.
(Arun Kumar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
--Indo-Asian News Service