Entrepreneur-turned-politician and Democrat Shri Thanedar has become the fifth Indian-American to be elected to the United States House of Representatives, and the first from the state of Michigan, beating Republican candidate Martell Bivings. Thanedar, 67 , currently represents the Third House District of Michigan. It won 84,096 votes, while Bivings received over 27,366 votes. He defeated a crowded field of Democrats vying for the open seat, including state Rep. Adam Hollier, Portia Roberson, John Conyers III and Sherry Gay-Dagnogo. He thus becomes the fifth Indian-American to be elected to the United States House of Representatives. The other four being Dr Ami Bera, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Ro Khanna and Pramila Jayapal, all of whom are expected to be re-elected for the next Congress. In 2018, he made an unsuccessful bid for governor of Michigan. Thanedar’s victory is inspiring, as it represents a quintessential rags-to-riches story, having arrived in the United States in the 70s with just $20. After losing his father, Thanedar worked as a janitor to support his studies and his family, before working as a scientist at the Bhabha Atomic Research Center in Mumbai, India. A proud Maharashtrian, Thanedar grew up in Belgaum in Karnataka. He came to the United States hoping to become a successful businessman and now wants to serve the community he lives with. “I achieved the American dream. But what I have noticed is that the American dream is not accessible to many people, especially in urban areas, in black and brown communities. So my motivation was to enter the civil service. I feel I have been blessed, I have done well for my family and it is time for me to give back,” he told PTI in an interview. that I can’t keep accumulating wealth. It’s time for me to quit my business and enter public service so I can give back,” he added. Responding to a question on India-US relations, Thanedar said America must have strong relations with other democratic countries. “We have to protect our democracy across the world, be it India or Israel,” he said. Israel is also an ally of the United States and this democracy is surrounded by many opposing countries.
“We have to protect democratic Israel, we have to protect democratic India and we have to make sure that human rights are respected all over the world. And that will be my goal in terms of foreign relations,” he added. Thanedar has not been to India since the Covid-19 outbreak. He also wrote a book in Marathi, which was a bestseller.