Roti, Roses & Rap: How Zohran Mamdani Wants to Change US Politics

“We need to do all the things that we’re told are impractical and impossible,” Mamdani told The Quint.

South Asians
2 min read

Video Editor: Kunal Mehra

Zohran Mamdani, Indian filmmaker Mira Nair's son and rapper, is all set to enter New York State Assembly as one of the first South Asians to secure a seat. He ran unopposed to represent New York's 36th Assembly District in Astoria (a neighbourhood in Queens).


"For Desis, the erasure of us from the civic and political fabric from this city and state is quite noticeable", Mamdani told The Quint, speaking of the ethnic political climate in New York.

"I’m going to be, along with another colleague of mine, the first South Asian ever elected to office in New York City at any level. And, you know, so, it speaks to we are fighting for this larger image, larger message, with a nod to the ways in which are community has been especially left behind,” he said, adding:

“We need to do all the things that we’re told are impractical.” 

Taking the classic political slogan 'Bread and Roses', and making it his own, Mamdani campaigned and won under the slogan '#RotiandRoses.'

"And the reason it's roti and roses is because we're both fighting for something universal and something specific, and the specificity is about being an Indian-American, a desi Muslim American running to represent our communities which have been shut out of the conversation for far too long," Mamdani stated in a media interview.

Mamdani also spoke to The Quint about the parallels between rap and politics, how he feels about the Biden-Harris win, and where he stands with reference to Indian politics. Watch to know more!

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

Read Latest News and Breaking News at The Quint, browse for more from south-asians

Topics:  New York   New York City   Mira Nair 

Speaking truth to power requires allies like you.
Become a Member
3 months
12 months
12 months
Check Member Benefits
Read More