On Tuesday, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal conducted a Twitter forum, where he answered user-submitted questions about his presidential bid. A quick scan of the hash-tag #AskBobby yields a bevy of tweets that mention his birth name, Piyush, in an unambiguously derogatory way. One user even posted an image of Jindal’s certificate of live birth, which he released four years ago, and asked, “Why does it say Piyush on your birth certificate?”
As a Louisianan, I’m not unfamiliar with this particular obsession of Jindal’s critics. For years, Democrats in the Pelican State have sneeringly referred to him by his birth name, practically nullifying any legitimate criticisms they might have about his politics or his policies.
They've long claimed that Jindal’s name change was meant to “whitewash” his Indian heritage to achieve political success in a conservative state like Louisiana (never mind, of course, that the Pelican State has an extensive history of ethnic and religious diversity among its people and, consequently, its elected officials). As badly as the Left wishes this were true, it simply isn’t. Jindal’s name change occurred long before he embarked upon his inarguably meteoric political career (as did his conversion to Catholicism, another facet of his life that the Left erroneously contends was politically-motivated).
Inspired by the popular 1970s television show “The Brady Bunch,” Piyush Jindal changed his name to “Bobby,” after the youngest Brady boy, when he was just 4 years old. This is not unusual for an immigrant or even the child of immigrants. For centuries, many of those who have come to this country have taken more typical Western names – by default, like at Ellis Island, or by choice, in efforts to assume the culture of a new home.
Today, it’s more of the latter than the former (thanks to better record keeping), and it should be up to the individual to determine the name he is called. Good manners necessitates that we honor whatever he chooses.
Jindal is not afforded such dignity by his detractors or the media. They analyze just how Indian he really is, whine that he’s using his race to become powerful (or is it that he hides from it?) and call him Piyush when they complain about his views that they find contemptible.
A child who was born four months after his parents immigrated to America deciding for himself that he’d like to be called something else – makes Jindal a sellout.READ MORE