GMU Asian Pacific American Coalition
Last post of #ROOTS week In collaboration with the GMU Indian Student Association (ISA) 🇮🇳
✨ Dalip Singh Saund - First Asian American elected to Congress ✨
Dalip Singh Saund was a member of the US House of Representatives who served the 29th District of California from January 3, 1957 to January 3, 1963. He was the first Asian American, the first Indian American and the first Sikh-American to be elected to Congress.
In 1930, Saund wrote a book called “My Mother India" which pleaded for an end to the British Empire's occupation of the Indian subcontinent. Saund wrote that his book was intended to “answer various questions that commonly arise in the minds of the American people regarding the cultural and political problems of India.” His book addressed India's caste system as one of those questions and "pleaded for the civil rights of the downtrodden in India as he compared caste in India to racism in America and elsewhere."
Later, he campaigned to allow people of South Asian descent to become naturalized citizens. After the Luce-Celler Act was passed in 1946, he applied for naturalization and became an American citizen in 1949. He ran for a local election in 1950 and won. However, his election was thrown out as he had been a citizen for less than a year. He later ran again for the same post and won before becoming a trailblazing Asian American politician in Congress.
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