Indian Americans Expect President Obama at Jan.19 Indiaspora Ball

Will there be a repeat at the Indiaspora Inaugural Ball? President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama dance with children at the Diwali candle lighting and performance at Holy Name High School in Mumbai, India, Nov. 7, 2010

Must read

Washington, DC – President Barack Obama gears up for his second term with a formal inauguration on January 21 and Indian American circles are agog with expectation that he might attend a first of its kind ball the community is hosting in Washington, DC on January 19 to honor him for his second term win.

“The ball is the first ever event done by Indian Americans on the national stage. I felt we had to do it now – the timing was right. We want the entire community represented – CEOs, academics, politicians, policy makers, NGOs and artists,” said M. R. Rangawami, who founded Indiaspora under the auspices of the non-profit SHG Foundation last year.

The list of attendees reads like a who’s who of the Indian American community, along with a host of American senators and members of Congress, including newly-elected Democrats Ami Bera and Tulsi Gabbard, representing California and Hawaii, respectively.

The issue of President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama attending more than just two official galas arose after a journalist at the last press conference of Obama’s first term raised doubts about whether the president socializes enough.

Although the question was asked more in reference to Obama not socializing with Republican members of Congress, there was immediate fallout as journalists quipped that perhaps the president would take the hint and circulate in additional inaugural ball events.

Addressing White House correspondents on January 14 in the East Room, President Obama noted that he had more time for socializing, because daughters Malia and Sasha are getting older and “they don’t want to spend that much time with me anyway.”

“So I’ll be probably calling around, looking for somebody to play cards with me or something, because I’m getting kind of lonely in this big house,” said Obama.

White House sources could not confirm whether the President and First Lady will attend the Indiaspora Ball, but Democratic Party insiders pointed to the fact that election support for Obama among Indian Americans was statistically higher than any other Asian American subgroup.

With a job approval rating of 81 percent among Indian Americans leading up to the election and also Obama being an admirer of Hanuman, the superman of Hindu mythology, a monkey god he discovered as a child in Jakarta, Indonesia, there is strong optimism among Indian Americans that Obama may drop by to spend some time with the community at the maiden inaugural ball being hosted at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

Tickets begin at $300, with VIP tickets, which include “exclusive benefits and special guest access,” priced at $1100.

More articles

Latest article