No American should have to compromise his or her religious beliefs in order to participate in public activities or make a livelihood, unless the compromise is truly necessary. Shamefully, Sikhs and many other Americans whose religious beliefs are not fully understood or respected, are forced to consider that compromise solely for failing to fit a particular image and look a certain way.
I have run very proud of my heritage and story. My grandfather, Amaranth Vidhyalankar, spent four years in jail in the Indian Independence movement in the 1940s. I often talk about his inspiration on the campaign trail. I also am very open in discussing my Hindu faith, and how that informs my concern for the environment, for equality of women's rights, and for equality in gay rights.
As intensified globalization has increased the spatial distance between Indians, they are thronging towards online platforms that offer a sense of kinship and community. To Indians, both within and outside India, the Internet is an alternative public sphere to hold discourses with those who share a similarity of interests. Social networking sites also offer them a platform to assert their identity, culture and political inclination.