Every year for the last few years, we have been naming one Indian American as the India Abroad Person of the Year and honoring that person at a grand event in New York. Some years, we have given out another award -- a Publisher's Special Award -- to one other person.
But, every year, this exercise has left us all at India Abroad a little dissatisfied.
In a community brimming with talent, how do we single just one person out? The names we leave out every year, appear to us, as striking and worthy as the ones we chooses as winners. In addition, being an annual award, we have had to impose on ourselves another rule: restrict the award only to people who have contributed in the immediate past year.
But then, how about Indian Americans who have been making great contributions for many years? How do we shut our eyes to the past and focus merely on the immediate year? It is as an outcome of all this soul-searching that this issue was born.
Once we put this together, we sat back, looked at the names and read the citations. It drew a collective gasp. What breadth of talent the Indian-American community has. What level of achievement! In varied fields, and achieved against such odds! Leaders of Fortune 100 companies, writers that millions follow, filmmakers, teachers. Each at the cutting edge of American life.
The achievements of those comprising this list, and others like them, is the reason people of Indian origin are held in such high esteem by other Americans. It is also their achievements that have convinced Indians in India that America is a fair country, one that allows talented and hard working people from anywhere in the world to come, strike roots and achieve the best of their potential.
I, for one, can't wait for next year's list to see the treasure house of talent it will bring. Till then, let us all savor this one.