By Hemant Shah
It has been more than 38 years since I first set my foot on American Soil. I remember it was my first flight in February 1981 when I arrived at JFK. As it was my first flight, the journey was long and I was carrying with me a bundle of mixed emotions. I still recall my Dad and Mom trying hard to hide their tears when they came to see me off at Mumbai Airport. As I am writing this, I am literally pulled back in retrospect, down the memory lane.
All I had with me was a few dollars and an “American Dream”. I wanted to be something and I was certain that one day, I would achieve my dream. Right outside JFK, I, witnessed a big sign by the then President Ronald Reagan which said “The future doesn’t belong to the fainthearted, it belongs to the brave”. These words were very energetic and inspirational. I knew that there was no further looking back but to move forward.
Struggles ensued and one by one I, along with my wife’s support, resolved them. The day our son graduated with a degree in Medicine, we thanked God and our country for making our dream come true. I am sure every legal immigrant who arrives on American Soil carries the American Dream.
In February 2011 the day I was awarded “Businessman of the Year Award” at the annual Lincoln Dinner, was another step, I consider to be a part of the American Dream. It was the stepping stone in my relationship with the Queens Village Republican Club and Phil Orenstein in particular. I realized that I was a Republican. All Republican values were inscribed in me such as being conservative, free market capitalism, deregulation, limited government, and traditional values.
As far as my understanding goes, mostly all legal immigrants arriving from the South Asian corridor, carry not only similar conservative values but have strong traditional values as well. It is imperative for each one of them to introspect, realize and recognize these values.
Let us all together and Republicans in particular resolve that we will not leave any stone unturned in supporting our great President Donald Trump, and making America great again. God Bless America.
Hemant Shah is past President of Jain Center of America, and has been a Realtor since 1986. He currently serves as 2nd Vice President of Queens Village Republican Club, Executive VP of Floral Park Bellerose Indian Merchants Association, and President of Jain Senior Group, Inc.