KOLKATA: The Bhattacharyas in Olney, Maryland, the Basus in Tampa, Florida, the Sens in Virginia, Chakraborty in Houston and many other Bengalis across the US spent a delirious Saturday, playing music and breaking into jigs in their homes even as thousands of Americans partied in the streets to celebrate the US elections being finally called in favour of Joe Biden and running mate Kamala Harris.
Like millions of Americans who voted for Democrats Biden and Harris, Nandini Bhattacharya was relieved the wait for the inevitable was finally over. “We are so glad the nightmare is finally over. Trump needed to be replaced for the US to move in the right direction to first control the pandemic and then improve its relations with the rest of the world. Trump had left the FDA scientists completely demoralized. The way he attacked Dr Antony Fauci, the head of the coronavirus task force, was atrocious and insulting,” said Bhattacharya who works in the FDA and didn’t lose sleep while America waited for the result to be declared because she was confident Biden and Harris would triumph.
Academician Ambar Basu, who every now and again joined his daughter Kohana to dance in their living room as they watched thousands dance in the streets across America on TV. Though Florida had voted for Trump, an overwhelming majority of Bengalis residing in the state had voted against him. “It was not about Democrat or Republican. It was about rejecting Turmp,” he said.
Sohini Sen of Virginia, who had campaigned in the community for Biden and Harris, is incredibly happy and relieved that America has elected a decent and experienced leader like Biden as President. “Having our first woman vice-president, Kamala Harris, is also a proud moment indeed. The cracks in the glass ceiling are getting bigger now. The fact that she is the first Indian-American vice-president is a matter of great pride and joy. There is a lot of work to be done to heal and bring our country together, and there couldn’t be a better team. We now have hope that Covid will start to be addressed from the leadership based upon data and science, so hopefully we can start bringing it under control next year. There are economic and racial issues too that need to be addressed,” she said.
Vasudha Mukherjee who has been residing in the US for over two decades but had voting for the first time as US citizen, popped a bottle of champagne to celebrate the defeat of loose cannon Trump who had some good ideas and policies but they were overshadowed by his terrible attitude. “it’s not so much about how much better Biden is as compared to how much Trump angered people,” she remarked.
Partha Sarathi Chatterjee, who lives in Houston, Texas, believes Trump had done some good work with his policies on the criminal justice system and immigration that struck a chord with rural America. But what acted against him was his lies. “In terms of policy, I don’t think the Indian diaspora had much against Trump. I am pretty sure many Modi supporters voted for Trump. Others voted for Biden, not because they liked him but because they disliked his opponent,” said Chatterjee, a technology executive with oil major Shell.