Indian-Americans Ami Bera and Tulsi Gabbard would be sworn in as members of the US House of Representatives later this week, much to the delight of the small but powerful community in the country.
Born of immigrants from Punjab, California-based physician Bera is only the third Indian-American to be a member of the US House of Representatives, while Iraq war veteran Tulsi Gabbard is the first Hindu ever to win Congressional election.
“The 113th Congress will commence on January 3, 2013 with the swearing-in ceremony for newly elected Members of Congress,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said.
The new Congress in session till January 3, 2015 will have 43 African-American members (all but one in the House of Representatives), a record high number of 100 female, seven LGBT members, and one member of the Kennedy family returning to elective federal office after a brief pause from public service from the family.
Bera, 47, from seventh Congressional District from California and Gabbard, 31, from Hawaii's second Congressional District, are reflective of the diversity of the new Congress. Both are from the Democratic Party of President Barack Obama.
Hindus represent less than one per cent of the current US population. Gabbard is expected to take oath on the Gita, another first for the US Congress.