Indian American scientist and entrepreneur Shiva Ayyadurai, the man who has claimed he invented email, is vying for a seat in the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts. Ayyadurai, 53, will challenge the incumbent Democrat, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, for the seat in 2018.
Despite never having run for public office, entrepreneur Shiva Ayyadurai said he’s not intimidated by the possibility of squaring off against Democrat Elizabeth Warren in one of the highest-profile U.S. Senate races of 2018.
Ayyadurai, who announced his Republican U.S. Senate bid in February, said that while he may not be the GOP establishment’s candidate, his track record of overcoming barriers and fighting big institutions makes him the best person to take on the high-powered incumbent.
“I know that Warren — in spite of (what) people think she is — is extremely weak,” he said in an interview. “She’s a formidable enemy, but weak in the sense that where she’s fundamentally coming from, her basis of where she’s coming from, has massive weakness and I know how to expose that weakness.”
Ayyadurai, a Republican, officially filed for his candidacy in the race March 17 and has been publicly supported by former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, who had intended to run for the same seat before backing away.
Ayyadurai, 53, moved to the U.S. from India as a child. He compared the Democratic senator and former Harvard University professor to those at the top of India’s caste system — a social structure in which he said his family held a low position.
“If you look at what we have today, we have a neo-caste system and at the top of that heap is people like Warren,” he said. “They are the academics, career politicians and lawyer/lobbyists. And that clan … is extremely spineless, they never expect to be challenged. And I’ve challenged them.”
Taking a jab at reports from the 2012 Senate campaign suggesting that Warren claimed Native American heritage in her academic career, Ayyadurai added that he’s “the real Indian who can beat this fake Indian.”
“India has a caste system, so the fact that my parents even made it here was pretty significant,” Ayyadurai, who was 7 in 1970 when he came to the U.S. with his parents, leaving their low-caste classification behind, told India-West. “I think that motivated and compelled my interest not only in the political system but also medicine.”
Ayyadurai, who has earned a bachelor’s, two master’s and a doctorate from MIT, is the chairman and chief executive of CytoSolve, a company that provides a revolutionary platform for modeling complex diseases as well as for discovering multi-combination therapeutics.
He echoed this argument in his new book, “All-American Indian: This Fight is Your Fight” — a play on the Massachusetts Democrat’s newly released publication titled “This Fight is Our Fight.”
Ayyadurai has emerged as a systems scientist, inventor and entrepreneur since coming to the U.S. nearly four decades ago. He also calls himself the “Real Innovator” and “All American Indian” on his campaign page. He believes that Washington, D.C., needs true problem solvers as opposed to politicians who “are just screaming at each other.” “I hope to inspire people,” he told the media. “In the first 100 days when I get in, we’re going to be proposing solutions through our bills and get people involved around that.”