NEW DELHI, India – The Supreme Court of India has ruled that Bobby Jindal is not and may not be referred to as a Person of Indian Origin (PIO). Mr. Jindal, a former Indian-American, filed a lawsuit in response.
The origins of the case lie in a political controversy that erupted in 2015. A portrait of Mr. Jindal with fair colored skin was shared on the social network Twitter. This resulted in both internet memes and a vehement discussion on race & identity. The painting is not Mr. Jindal’s official portrait. It was painted by local artist Tommy Yow, Jr. It was then bought by Henry Shane, a local businessman, who loaned it to Jindal’s offices in 2008.
— Lamar White, Jr. (@LamarWhiteJr) February 3, 2015
T.S. Thakur, Chief Justice of India, had this to say: “I was having my chai & mithai and staring at my phone, which is my morning ritual. And on this Twitter I see something about Bobby Jindal. I have known about him for a few years as he has had political success in America. I thought well of him. Not as well as Aziz Ansari or Kumar from the Harold & Kumar movies, but well enough. And then I see this painting of him as a white man.”
Mr. Thakur learned that the painting was not an official portrait, but the damage was done. “This painting is the first thing visitors see when they go to his office. All 18 people who do not have a tv or internet thinks he’s a white man. What kind of a self-respecting Person of Color does that? It is a complete rejection of who he was.”
Mr. Thakur called a special session of the court, deliberated for 2 minutes, and reached a verdict. “Mr. Jindal is not and may no longer be referred to as a Person of Indian Origin. While his parents were born here and that legally qualified him for PIO status, the court has ruled otherwise. And we are drafting a constitutional amendment to enforce this decision in perpetuity.”
“This decision was not taken lightly,” said a clerk at the Supreme Court anonymously. “Mr. Jindal has an exemplary recording of being an over-achieving academic success. He could have easily won the National Spelling Bee if he had put his mind to it. But rejecting your Indian-ness is a cardinal sin.”
In response, Mr. Jindal filed a lawsuit against the government of India, Mr. Thakur and all Patel Brothers grocery stores. A statement was released by his lawyer, Marc Bonaventure: “Bobby Jindal is a free man, born and raised in the greatest country the world has ever seen. Neither the government of India, nor Mr. Thakur, nor anyone else besides the NRA has a right to decide who he is and what he can, can’t or should do.”
The Supreme Court of India has thrown out the lawsuit, noting that a real Indian would not have left the state of Louisiana with a massive fiscal crisis that threatens education and vital services. Said Mr. Thakur,”The Jindals, until Bobby, were a very smart family. They were merchants, bankers, engineers, physicists. If he were truly Indian, he would have seen that refusing to raise taxes and spending more money than you make was a recipe for disaster. We Indians may not be perfect but we know our maths extremely well. Plus, there is a hashtag on Twitter called #JindalSoWhite for all the times he has tried to brush aside his heritage. We are only legally protecting Indians everywhere from being associated with him.”
Mr. Jindal’s publicist responded to the ruling in a statement: “Bobby Jindal believes that people should not be divided by race, -isms or hyphens. The court’s decision actually vindicates him.” However an anonymous source in Jindal’s camp notes, “He’s glad his parents can no longer guilt-trip him into wearing kurta pajamas because he is officially not Indian anymore.”
A spokesman for Mr. Jindal’s parents declined comment.