Harold and Kumar go from White Castle to the White House

Kal Penn

Washington DC, USA- Actor Kal Penn, best known as Kumar for his “Harold and Kumar” movies and a stint on the TV smash hit “House”, started his first day officially in the Obama administration as the Associate Director in the Office of Public Liaison, with a focus on connecting President Obama with the Asian American communities as well as arts and entertainment groups.

Penn had campaigned extensively for Obama throughout the country leading up to the elections and had become a huge hit on college campuses nationwide due mainly to his Hollywood celebrity status and his large cult following among the youth because of his “Harold and Kumar go to White Castle” and the sequel “Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo” movies depicting the misadventures of two New Jersey guys.  He also appeared in roles on the television hit shows “24”, “House”, and other notable movies such as “Van Wilder” and “The Namesake” among others, making him the most successful Indian American actor today.

Penn explained that he felt “incredibly honored to get the opportunity to go to work in the Obama White House” and that he got to know the President during the campaign and expressed his interest to in working for the administration in some capacity. Although his White House job pays a fraction of what he made yearly as an actor,  he stated that he had always been interested in politics and public service ever since he heard stories from his father about his grandfather marching with Gandhi back in India for freedom from the British.

Kal Penn’s main focus as Associate Director in the Office of Public Liaison will be to act as the point person for the affluent and rapidly growing community of South Asian Americans from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka, colloquially known amongst themselves as Desi or countrymen in Hindi and Urdu. He will also be Obama’s main contact to the entertainment and arts community and as an actor brings an array of contacts with the influential Hollywood community.

Penn’s appointment in the Obama White House is a great step in bringing to attention and putting a face on the often forgotten but very important segment of American society comprising of South Asians who are some of the most successful businessmen and women and also is the ethnic group with both the highest average educational qualifications and earnings of any national origin group of people in the United States. Although it is not believed he will be instrumental in any foreign policy endeavors relating to India and Pakistan’s conflict, it will nonetheless help the community at large in the US knowing that they have a specific person in the White House charged with South Asian Americans issues and concerns from an American perspective. We at Pakistanis for Peace have always enjoyed Kal Penn’s movies and roles, and look forward to his contributions in the Obama administration as a liaison for the Desi community in the United States.


Manzer Munir reporting for www.PakistanisforPeace.com

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