22 October, 2020

Republican Relationships

Even under Bush, the Indian-American lobby's clout might not wane

Republican Relationships
With Republican George W. Bush on the threshold of the White House, there's speculation that the Indian diaspora's clout over US policy-makers could be waning. Indeed, Washington's changing perception about Delhi, and the warmth Clinton displayed for PM Vajpayee in September, was credited to the expat lobby's hard work at Capitol Hill. The thinking is that the Indian diaspora contributes heavily to the Democrat kitty as it's more favourably disposed towards minorities and is less hawkish on many immigrants' issues.

Intellectuals here, however, feel that more successful Indians tend to gravitate towards the Republicans. Says Anupam Srivastava, director, South Asia Program, Georgia University, "Traditionally, Indian-Americans, like most immigrant communities, have supported Democrats, but as they become successful, there's a growing stake in the system, maintaining the status quo, providing tax breaks to the rich, etc. Thus, over time, many turn Republican."

Says Kanti Bajpai, Visiting Fellow, Brookings Institution, "The general wisdom here is that Indians give...


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