The US Presidential polls, which are scheduled for early November this year are now beginning to charge up the political atmosphere of the United States, with both parties, viz., the Republicans and the Democrats taking to excessively cater to the Indian-American community. The Indian-American community, this time around, is slated to play an all-important role in swaying the results in favour of either party. All Indian-Americans are ardent supporters of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and with the incumbent US President Donald Trump sharing an extremely personal friendship with PM Modi, it takes no genius to guess where the Indian-American votes are headed.
While the Democratic camp, whose nominee is Joe Biden has pulled quite a stunt by declaring Kamala Harris on the Vice-Presidential ticket, their show of strength is bound to be short-lived. And while the Democratic Party and Biden’s camp are suddenly projecting Kamala Harris as a multi-racial VP candidate who encapsulates Indian and Black roots both, the Republican camp is not shying away from projecting Prime Minister Modi as a direct endorser for Donald Trump.
“America enjoys a great relationship with India and our campaign enjoys great support from Indian Americans!” Kimberly Guilfoyle, national chair of the Trump Victory Finance Committee, wrote in a tweet with the short video, which is headlined “4 More Years”. The 107-second video shows a panoramic view of the two grand events, Howdy Modi held in Houston and Namaste Trump held in Ahmedabad respectively to cater to the Indian-American community in the US. It begins with PM Modi introducing President Trump at the Howdy Modi event, where he says, “Mr President, you had introduced me to your family in 2017…and today, I have the honour to introduce you to my family.”
The video then jumps to the “Namaste Trump” event in Ahmedabad, where he says, “America loves India…America respects India, and America will always be a faithful and loyal friend to the Indian people.” The entire video is a fiesta which shows the never-seen-before friendship between a US President and the Indian Prime Minister. A Prime Minister of Narendra Modi’s stature no less, who has an unprecedented liking among the Indian-American community in the USA. The Republicans are therefore consolidating the support of Indians by showing how PM Modi is, in fact, himself supportive of Trump winning a second term.
The democrats have found a pseudo-Indian in Kamala Harris who has realised her having Indian roots only after seeing the prospect of entering the White House by playing the said card. Before realizing that the Democrats were willing to project her as a VP candidate, Kamala Harris identified herself solely as a Black-American who faced discrimination throughout her life for being a woman of colour.
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris both took to wishing India via video messages on its Independence Day just gone by. While the Biden camp is pledging to stand by India and also tame Chinese aggression and cross-border terrorism, the stand of Kamala Harris on Kashmir is bound to hurt their prospects among the Indian community in a big way. Harris had last year said, “We have to remind the Kashmiris that they are not alone in the world. We are keeping a track on the situation.”
Donald Trump, on the other hand, has no such past baggage which can pull him down. He has vociferously been pro-India, and that will do wonders for him in the November polls. While Joe Biden has Kamala Harris to attempt a win-over among the Indian-Americans, President Trump has no less than the backing of PM Modi himself. How President Trump made a pitch for himself at the Howdy Modi event and called out “radical Islamic terrorism” as the audience erupted in applause and enthusiasm itself shows the support which the incumbent President has among the Modi-supportive Indian-Americans. The Trump campaign has also created separate coalitions for the Indian-Americans and Sikhs. For the first time, a presidential campaign has created a coalition group for the Hindus too.
An estimated 2.5 million Indians-Americans are eligible to vote in the November polls, out of which 1.3 million of them belong to the battleground states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Florida. In such states, the victory margins for either party will be needle-thin, and as such, the Indian community will act as a kingmaker. It is, therefore, in the 2020 Presidential elections, crucial for both the parties to try and win over Indian-Americans to secure their seats in the White House. In a battle between Narendra Modi and Kamala Harris, we all know who will end up sweeping the slate clean with an unprecedented victory.