‘No to Trump, yes to Hillary’: Indian diaspora in the US tells New Delhi

‘No to Trump, yes to Hillary’: Indian diaspora in the US tells New Delhi

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The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), given its recent anti-immigrants election campaign in Assam and the perception that the Republican administrations have been friendlier towards India, should have found an alter ego in Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. But the Indian diaspora in the United States, even its more prosperous sections, have conveyed to the BJP’s overseas arm that they were unlikely to support Trump in the US presidential elections due in November.

Overseas friends of BJP chief Vijay Chauthaiwale was in the US in the latter half of June. He travelled across the US to meet representatives of Indian diaspora associations. There are literally dozens of associations of each linguistic group. The Rockefeller Foundation — Aspen Institute Diaspora Programme (RAD) survey in July 2014 — had identified 224 important diaspora associations of Indian linguistic, regional and religious groups.

Chauthaiwale also had a meeting with Thomas Shannon, the Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs in the Barack Obama administration. Shannon was on a four day visit to India in end-June and early July and met Indian political leaders, diplomats and academics.

The feedback, from talking to American politicians and Indian diaspora, was unanimous. That Donald Trump, despite the upswing in India-US relations during the Republic administration of George W Bush from 2000 to 2008, cannot be supported because of his anti-immigration stance and xenophobic statements.

In contrast, Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton is familiar with India and has visited the country several times. Former US President Bill Clinton met Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the funeral of Singapore leader Lee Kuan Yew. The Clintons had a 45-minute meeting with the PM during his maiden US visit in September 2014. India-US relations had improved during the second term of Bill Clinton, with him visiting India during the tenure of Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 2000. Read More

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