Merely months into the US Presidential elections, India’s faith in Donald Trump as a real friend in the United States of America is getting reinforced. It is being slowly understood that that the Democrats have fallen prey to the Islamist narrative. Democrat Presidential nominee and Vice President from the Obama administration, Joe Biden has made some remarks which are going to hurt the Indian-American community within the US. He wants New Delhi to “restore” the rights of all Kashmiris and has also expressed disappointment over the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens in Assam.
Joe Biden camp said, “These measures are inconsistent with the country’s long tradition of secularism and with sustaining a multi-ethnic and multi-religious democracy.” These remarks were actually posted on his campaign website as a part of the policy paper titled ‘Joe Biden’s agenda for Muslim American community’.
What Joe Biden doesn’t know is that his agenda for appeasing the Muslim American community is pushing the Hindu American community firmly towards President Trump. Agreed, Hindu-Americans constitute less than one per cent of the US population. They aren’t really a vote bank. But they are definitely influential.
Hindus are the most educated religious group in the United States and they are rich too. In fact, four Indian-Americans, all of them Hindus are among the 400 richest people in the world’s oldest democracy.
It is their allegiance and their donations which really matter. Traditionally, Hindu Americans are known to be sensible people. They remain ambivalent between the Democrats and the Republicans, and usually do not get swept away emotionally.
But the way Biden is going about his campaign, their donations are likely to go towards Trump just ahead of the Presidential polls.
Biden is crossing the dangerous red line by raking issues that are close to Hindus and Indian-Americans. He compared Kashmir and Assam with the human rights abuse of Uyghur Muslims in China’s far Western province- Xinjiang.
At the same time, the policy paper doesn’t even mention cross-border terrorism from Pakistan which is actually at the root of Kashmir’s woes. The policy paper read, “In Kashmir, the Indian government should take all necessary steps to restore rights of all the people of Kashmir. Restrictions on dissent, such as preventing peaceful protests or shutting or slowing down the Internet, weakens democracy.”
It added, “Joe Biden has been disappointed by the measures that the government of India has taken with the implementation and aftermath of the National Register of Citizens in Assam and the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Act into law.”
Biden is rubbing India the wrong way. Kashmir remains an emotional issue primarily because of the manner in which Kashmiri Pandits were killed and thrown out of Kashmir. Also, Ladakh wasn’t getting its due because Islamist elements were overwhelming the voices of Ladakhis.
After decades of resentment, administrative and Constitutional reforms are finally happening. Article 370 has been abrogated to fully integrate Kashmir with a democratic India, something that cannot be compared to what is happening in Xinjiang.
Ladakh has become a separate Union Territory and finally, the people of Ladakh are getting the political representation they deserve instead of being overshadowed by the demographics of Kashmir. Recent events have actually allowed the Indian armed forces to overpower Pakistani terrorists and Islamist radicals in the Valley.
Civilian casualties and the crime rate have plunged sharply, while terrorists are being slaughtered. Ultimately, Kashmiri Pandits will also be able to return to their original homes. Women, Dalits and 1947 refugees are all going to benefit due to these Constitutional reforms. Why should Joe Biden object?
On the issue of CAA and NRC, it is even more diabolical that Joe Biden should toe the same line that Islamist extremists are also pushing.
The CAA is not a human rights issue. It actually solves the issue of statelessness for persecuted minorities in India’s Islamist neighbourhood- Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.
The anti-CAA protests and riots in India had fanned communal flares which killed more than 50 people in the National Capital. It doesn’t befit a US Presidential candidate to push the same narrative all over again.
But then this is what the democrats have been doing all this while. Trump had stood strongly with India at the time of anti-CAA riots. But Bernie Sanders, then a Democrat nominee had tweeted, “Over 200 million Muslims call India home. Widespread anti-Muslim mob violence has killed at least 27 and injured many more. Trump responds by saying, “That’s up to India.” This is a failure of leadership on human rights.”
Over 200 million Muslims call India home. Widespread anti-Muslim mob violence has killed at least 27 and injured many more. Trump responds by saying, "That's up to India." This is a failure of leadership on human rights.https://t.co/tUX713Bz9Y
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) February 26, 2020
For all we know, pro-Jihad radicals like Ilhan Omar dominate the political discourse within the Democratic Party. On the other hand, Tulsi Gabbard who says, “Hinduphobia is very real,” gets undermined by her own party.
Now, Hindu Americans are bound to get polarised towards the Republican Party. The reason being that Trump has hammered Pakistan with aid cuts. India appreciates that finally, an American administration has realised that Pakistan funds terrorism by misusing American aid. Recently PM Imran Khan even referred to Osama Bin Laden as a martyr.
Trump has rebuked Pakistan for cross-border terrorism, and speaking on Indian soil, he has vowed to fight radical Islamic terrorism.
Biden is getting it all wrong. Today, Trump is again becoming India’s closest friend by criticizing China sharply and leading the global backlash against Beijing. The US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo has gone on to say that the US is redeploying its forces to meet the Chinese threat to Southeast Asia and India.
Trump is on the same page while India is locked in a stand-off with China. But what is Biden doing? He is softening his anti-China stance and trying to walk a fine line on Beijing.
Hindu Americans realise that Biden, if he becomes the US President, will re-establish what Trump had dismantled. This could mean aid programmes for Pakistan and engagement with China, both of which will go against India’s interests.
Thus, months before the US Presidential polls, the Democratic Party has lost the influential Hindu American Community to President Trump.