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Rishi Kumar, true American patriot

Rishi is a dedicated American patriot ready to represent the Silicon Valley in Congress. Rishi is in no way affiliated with the BJP party of Prime Minister Modi of India, and any insinuation that his allegiance lies with anywhere other than the United States is discriminatory and xenophobic.

Rishi has faced discrimination throughout his life. When he bought his first home in Michigan, a neighbor told him “we don’t want such people around here.” When he won an Executive Board and Delegate position with the Democratic Party, establishment insiders refused to accept his victory, deeming him an “outsider” that “will just fade away.” Running for the city council and Congress has been no different - people tell him “You should go back to your country.” And yet, Rishi’s resolve to fight for the under-represented - his fellow “outsiders” - has never been stronger. These experiences power Rishi’s commitment to public service—and are the foundation of his steadfast belief in equality for all.

These rumors about Rishi are an orchestrated attack on his patriotism. To paint Rishi, who will be the first Indian-American Congressman from California’s 16th (formerly 18th) District as anything but a dedicated American public servant is bigotry. Rishi knows he wouldn’t have been consistently reelected if his constituents believed anything different.

The baseless accusations on Rishi are a sad reminder of the zealotry of the Organization for Minorities of India (OFMI), an organization with a long history of making absurd and false allegations about elected leaders. They have accused myriads of politicians — from President Barack Obama to current Indian American congressional members and congressional candidates — of holding anti-Muslim agendas. OFMI has not even spared Mahatma Gandhi and wants to tarnish his image of a non-violent and peaceful leader. They want Mahatma Gandhi, who was an inspiration for Dr. Martin Luther King, to be remembered as a hateful and prejudiced leader. Now, they’ve decided to deliberately target Rishi and his historic campaign for Congress.

Make no mistake: Rishi has denounced discrimination his entire life. That’s why supporting ALL Americans—no matter the God they pray to or the person they love—has been at the forefront of his philosophy on public service. To suggest that Rishi would endorse ANY policy or political party that discriminates against Muslims is offensive and untrue, and his track record built on equality and inclusion speaks for itself.

OFMI has levied two specific accusations against Rishi, both of which are fundamentally misguided:

  1. In 2015, Rishi was invited as an elected leader of Silicon Valley to meet with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Rishi accepted the invitation for the same reason as most individuals would - to not miss the opportunity to meet with the leader of their home country. And as he wrote on LinkedIn, part of what motivated his attendance was that “people from diverse backgrounds, religions that included Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists… gathered to… put together a warm welcome for the leader of the largest Democratic country of the world.” Rishi’s LinkedIn post was intended to capture the energy and spirit of the event for those who could not attend. It was not an endorsement of the BJP or even Modi himself. He would not have attended if he felt the event was promoting a discriminatory platform.
  2. In 2019, Rishi attended an “Overseas Friends of BJP” event in Milpitas. He was invited by close friends and viewed the event as an opportunity to share his platform of inclusivity and progress with the Bay Area community. Not once did he share a pro-BJP sentiment, and not once did he endorse the party or any of its policies. Rishi’s agenda is squarely focused on the United States and the challenges it faces today.

When Rishi visits India to visit family, politics is the last thing on his mind. Other than his aforementioned encounter with Prime Minister Modi, he has NEVER met with any BJP official in his entire life. In fact, Rishi immigrated to the United States before the BJP even became a prominent political party in India in 1991.