Indian American Republican Candidate Pioneers DEI Platform in VA-10 Primary Race

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In the pursuit of victory in Virginia’s highly sought-after 10th Congressional District, an Indian Hindu American Republican candidate has emerged, poised to disrupt the established norms with a courageous agenda that questions traditional perspectives. Meet Manga, a contender in the GOP primary race who is making waves with her unapologetic stance on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) issues.

Manga, a staunch advocate for conservative values and a vocal supporter of Governor Glenn Youngkin’s policies, is positioning herself as a fresh voice within the Republican Party. Embracing elements of Youngkin’s agenda, particularly his emphasis on economic growth and educational reform, Manga seeks to carve out her niche by championing DEI as the centerpiece of her campaign.

Central to her platform is protecting parental rights, ensuring parents have a say in their children’s upbringing and education. Manga’s campaign says she will prioritize economic growth by championing policies that support businesses, foster job creation, and maintain low taxes, fostering an environment conducive to prosperity. Manga vows to crack down on human trafficking, a grave violation of human rights and remains committed to defending the Constitution against all threats. Additionally, she calls herself a steadfast defender of women’s rights, advocating for gender equality and empowerment.

In stark contrast to other Indian Americans in the race, Manga argues that an overemphasis on DEI initiatives can be detrimental to minority communities, including her own. Drawing from her own experiences as an Indian Hindu American, she contends that excessive focus on identity politics can inadvertently perpetuate divisions and hinder true equality and meritocracy.

Despite raising eyebrows and facing resistance from some within her own community, Manga remains steadfast in her commitment to combating Hinduphobia and advocating for the rights of minority groups. However, her efforts have yet to resonate widely as she struggles to garner support from her fellow Republicans.

Manga says, “As an Indian Hindu American, I am proud of my heritage and deeply committed to promoting diversity and inclusion. However, I believe that we must strike a balance and ensure that DEI initiatives do not inadvertently disadvantage minority communities. My platform is rooted in the principles of merit, fairness, opportunity, and unity.”

Manga has achieved notable milestones in her short career as a politician, including being the first Indian American woman from Virginia to run for the US Congress. Additionally, she holds the distinction of being the only Indian American on the core team that successfully challenged Affirmative Action in the US Supreme Court. Moreover, Manga made history as the first individual to publicly call out USCIRF for silencing the majority viewpoint. Her unwavering commitment to human rights advocacy was further exemplified when she confronted the Pakistan Ambassador regarding the violation of human rights of minority women.

Manga draws attention to the escalating rivalry between Republicans and Democrats for the support of one of the most influential demographics in VA-10: Indian Americans. Within her district, this community constitutes a sizable voting bloc. Since 2016, contenders have been observed frequenting local temples, a ritual now indicative of the mounting influence wielded by immigrant voters.

“GOP views us as valuable voters; I want them to recognize Indian American Hindus as invaluable leaders to represent our values that align with the US Constitution on the right side of the aisle in the Congress,” added Manga.

There are four Indian Americans in VA-10 that are running in this cycle, all competing for the same set of donors and votes. Compounding her challenges is a recent setback – a broken leg that has left her physically limited in her ability to campaign. In a race where every signature counts, she faces the daunting task of securing 1000 signatures to qualify for the ballot. Despite this obstacle, she remains undeterred, rallying her supporters and leveraging digital outreach strategies to mobilize grassroots support.

In a district where Democrats have held the seat for two terms, she is pinning her campaign on the anti-incumbency against Democrats in the general election. With her unwavering commitment to conservative principles, innovative approach to DEI issues, and resilience in the face of adversity, Manga told us that she needs the right support for her message to resonate with the primary voters. Manga is calling on the community to help her obtain the required signatures to be on the GOP ballot. Her critics point out that she has a long-shot path to victory in the GOP primary. Her supporters argue that she represents a fresh and compelling choice for voters in Virginia’s 10th Congressional District.

As the primary race heats up, all eyes are on Indian Americans, including her, as she seeks to make history and usher in a new era of conservative leadership in Virginia. Will her bold vision and unwavering determination be enough to propel her to victory? Only time will tell.

Rohit Sharma
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Rohit Sharma is a Senior Journalist who has lived in Washington DC since 2007. He currently is a contributor to Dainik Bhaskar, the world's third largest newspaper by readership. His opinion pieces feature on News 9 and The Quint. He has been invited as guest on the BBC, NDTV, India Today, AajTak, Times Now, Republic, Zee news and others. His work has featured in six Indian Languages.

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