Congratulations to the Indian community for installing the statue of Mahatma Gandhi on Oct. 17 at the Bellevue Library. The idea of the statue and its location couldn’t be more perfect, as the Indian community has grown immensely since Microsoft started hiring many software engineers from India. Installing it at a library is also appropriate because it symbolizes a high ground for information, ideas, and ideals.
On the day of unveiling the statue, two dignitaries added to the event.
The Ambassador of India Meera Shankar and Consulate General of India Susmuta Gonulee, both females, were present.
This is a tough act to follow for Asian counties. India elected its first female prime minister, Indira Gandhi, in 1966. In 2007, it elected its first female president Pratibha Patil.
At the Bellevue Westin Hotel’s reception, many local officials were delighted to meet them. When asked how Shankar overcame challenges in her career, she was closed-mouthed.
Shankar just responded that the foreign service exam was gender-blind, and she took that route for her career advancement. India’s law says women should not be discriminated against. It’s the social conservative force that still resists changes, she said.
The other point of celebration for the Indian community is that they will surely have a new consul office in Bellevue. As for when, we don’t know yet. The U.S. State Department is calling the shots on that one. ♦