Who Is Ashwin Ramaswami? The First Gen Z Indian-American In US Senate Race

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New Delhi: The most recent Indian American to enter US politics is a 24-year-old software engineer, who is the first Gen Z candidate of Indian descent to run for state senate in the nation.

Ashwin Ramaswami is a second-generation immigrant who has the distinction of being the first Indian American senator from Georgia and the only one with a law degree in addition to a computer science degree. If elected.

He is a Democratic candidate facing off against Republican Shawn Still, who was charged with the same crimes as former US President Donald Trump for the US Capitol uprising on January 6.

Ashwin Ramaswami: Who Is He?

Ramaswami is a tech startup entrepreneur who has worked in cybersecurity for the US government and currently runs a technology law and policy consulting firm.

His parents, both IT professionals, immigrated from Tamil Nadu to US in 1990 and Ramaswami graduated from Stanford University in 2021. “I was born and grew up in Georgia. I’m a second-generation immigrant, an Indian American, a twin brother, and an engineer,” his campaign website reads.

“I’m running for (Georgia) State Senate in order to give back to my community. I want to make sure that everyone has the same opportunities that I had growing up,” the 24-year-old told news agency PTI.

Ramaswami says he is keen to make sure the young people have who come from “unconventional backgrounds in politics” have “a new voice”.

“I’m a Hindu”

Even as a young techie, Ramaswami says he is grounded in Indian culture. “I’m a Hindu. I’ve been very interested in Indian culture philosophy my whole life,” he said.

The 24-year-old, who was raised on epics like the Ramayana, Mahabharata, and Bhagavad Gita, also taught Hindu philosophy and culture to schoolchildren at the Hindu spiritual movement’s Chinmaya Mission Balavihar.

“When I was in college, I learned Sanskrit and ended up reading a lot of ancient texts and got very interested in reading Upanishads, ..and my whole life I’ve been very involved in yoga and meditation and now also teaching Baal Vihara to younger students,” he told news agency PTI.

Apart from this, he founded the Dharmic Law Student Organization, a group that conducts programs for Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh, and Jain students.

Gen Z And Political Goals

As a civil servant involved in election security, Ramaswami claimed to have contributed to the security of the 2020 and 2022 elections. In response to scepticism regarding his youth in his State Senate campaign, the twenty-four-year-old claimed that his generation is “very aware politically.”

“We very much see the news, we see all these things happening, and we want to ensure a good future for ourselves. But I think one problem we face is we don’t have the resources or ability to go and make a difference in the sense that it’s really hard for people my age to get elected because the election process skews towards people who are wealthier and older,” he said.

With his eyes set on the state senate, Ramaswami says he aims to increase wages for state employees and introduce better technology to secure elections. He also plans to Introduce “common-sense gun laws” and antitrust laws to hold big tech companies accountable for online harms.

The young techie wants to create a sustainable tech hub in the south of US and make Georgia a leader in green energy investments.

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