‘It’s Important to Assimilate’

New Jersey State Sen. Vin Gopal being sworn in by Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney, Jan. 16, as his parents Indu and Kris Gopal, look on. (Photo courtesy of Vin Gopal via News India Times)

Soon after Vin Gopal was sworn in as state senator for the 11th legislative district in Monmouth County, New Jersey – the first member of Indian descent – he spoke to Ela Dutt of News India Times about how community members can become active in politics.

(…) His first recommendation to the community which has a running complaint about not having a seat at the table, is to “assimilate, assimilate, assimilate.”

“If I had any advice it would be – it’s important to assimilate. Keep what makes you proud of your culture, keep traditions, religious views, whatever, but get involved in — how a school is run, how the board functions, how a police chief is appointed,” and that’s apart from arts, sports, history and culture of the country you live in,” Gopal told this correspondent soon after he was sworn in on Jan. 16. “It’s what my parents always instilled in me.”

Dutt writes about Gopal’s upbringing in Monmouth County, “on a diet seeped in politics that his parents cultivated at home,” and his path from a small business owner to Monmouth County Democratic chair, and now state senator. Read the full story at News India Times.

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