Indian Americans must review their support for the Democratic Party
The US Presidential election in November 2020 is set for an interesting apotheosis in the immediate aftermath of the Chinese pandemic. Joe Biden defeated Bernie Sanders in the primaries and is expected to formally earn the Democratic nomination to take on President Donald Trump.
Bernie Sanders’ defeat has delighted Indian Americans in general and Hindu Americans in particular. Traditionally, Indian Americans have been ardent supporters of the Democratic party. However, Senator Sanders’ support for anti-India opinions, influenced by Hinduphobic staffers in his campaign, did not go well. Besides, his support base also included other rabid anti-India and anti-Hindu Democrats such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Pramila Jayapal, and Ro Khanna.
Recent developments over article 370 and CAA seek to strengthen India’s commitment to Democracy and Pluralism. Inclusiveness and mutual respect for other cultures are in the Hindu DNA.
I personally believe anti-India sentiments within the Democratic Party are not a recent phenomenon. The Democratic party has swiveled left in the last few years. These left-liberals, who work well with the ‘Jihadis,’ harbor anti-India, and anti-Hindu feelings and have influenced Democratic opinions for several decades.
Indian Americans must review their support for the Democratic Party and consider alternatives in the upcoming Presidential elections.
I make a case for this tectonic shift. I review the actions of both the Democrats and the Republicans over the last few decades to show that the Democrats have been anti-India in general and anti-Hindu in particular.
I’ll begin with the Clinton Administration.
Several stakeholders in the administration were flaunting a condescending attitude towards India:
- Firstly, the United States did not even have an Ambassador in India between Jan 1993 and Jun 1994. This betrays India’s position as inconsequential in the eyes of the administration while India was marching ahead with the first set of economic reforms.
- Secondly, a known India baiter, Robin Raphel was appointed as Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia. She was the ex-wife of the US Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan who died with Zia-Ul-Haq in the plane crash. She kept the Kashmir pot boiling in the South Asia desk in the State Department during Narasimha Rao years. An ardent supporter of Sikh separatism, she advocated for an independent Kashmir during her years. She curried favors for the Islamic Republic of Pakistan within the administration including the repeal of the Pressler Amendment. She caused great harm to the Indo-US relations during her tenure.
- Thirdly, President Clinton refused to designate the Islamic Republic of Pakistan as a state sponsor of terror despite Republican support.
- Fourthly, the sale of “Supercomputer” (initial agreement with the Reagan Administration in 1985) was blocked owing to concerns over proliferation notwithstanding India’s impeccable record on non-proliferation and its global standing on matters concerning world peace and security.
- Fifthly, the administration hawks continued to put pressure on India to sign the CTBT in 1996, but in vain.
- Lastly, President Clinton imposed sanctions on India soon after Pokhran blasts in 1998. India’s then External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh did a commendable job in resuscitating the relationship through his diplomatic efforts.
I now move on to the Obama Administration which was a disaster for Indian Americans.
- Robin Raphel rebounded from retirement, to serve as an advisor in the State Department in 2009. She was instrumental in Obama doling out aid to Pakistan, year after year, in the name of whatever. However, the US Government got wind of her activities on behalf of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and was subjected to FBI investigation. She was discredited by the US Government (recently in 2016) over suspicions of being a Pakistani asset (this is not fake news).
- Hilary‘s support for the Islamic Republic of Pakistan was seen as annoying. This, despite the Islamic Republic’s support for overt and covert terror attacks on Indian soil.
- The growing clout of Hinduphobic stakeholders within the Obama Administration led to antithetical positions on Kashmir.
- It was Joe Biden, who as a Senator way back in 1992 blackmailed Russia over its deal with India on the Cryogenic technology. He is known to have quoted: “This is no minor sale; this is dangerous.” Remember this, readers.
Obama administration pandered to the Islamic Republic despite Republican opposition and warning. Joe Biden’s administration, if elected, won’t be any different, I’d reckon.
Late in 2019, few members of the Democratic Party such as Ro Khanna and Pramila Jayapal raised unfounded concerns over the Indian Parliament’s action on Article 370 & Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
There are no justifiable answers from the Democrats for the following questions and many more:
- Why was it so difficult for the Democrats to understand the reason behind the Indian Parliament’s action?
- Have they not heard about the Kashmiri Pandit genocide in 1990?
- Do Hindu lives not matter at all for the Democratic establishment?
- If the person of the caliber of Democratic Senator Dick Durbin can succumb to Hinduphobia then what objectivity and credibility are left of the Democratic Party?
A large percentage of the Indian American community is deeply hurt by the anti-India actions of several members of the Democratic party. It’s just appalling that several members carry deep malice and ill will towards the community who have been their traditional supporters.
This is extremely disturbing.
The leadership of the Democratic party seems to have no control over some members who have become rabidly anti-Indian and anti-Hindu and hence have lost the respect of the Indian American community.
Contrast this with actions of the Republican Party and administration over the years. Republicans have certainly understood Indian feelings and Hindu sensibilities much better.
- It was a Reagan Administration that was willing to sell India a supercomputer back in the 1980s.
- Bush Administration was a refreshing breath of fresh air for Indo-US relations, following Clinton’s exit from office.
- Enron’s exit from India did not have any negative fallout. Bush Administration understood the ground realities of India extremely well.
- President Bush went out of the way to ensure that the Indo-US Nuclear deal is signed. Obama, who was Senator during the time opposed the deal! Let this be known to Indian American constituents.
- President Trump has been receptive to the needs of Indian Americans. Be it Article 370, or CAA, his administration has been cognizant of legacy matters.
- President Trump’s standing on radical Islam is seen as practical and one that recognizes and acknowledges Hindu sensibilities.
Recent developments over article 370 and CAA seek to strengthen India’s commitment to Democracy and Pluralism. Inclusiveness and mutual respect for other cultures are in the Hindu DNA. This goes back 5000+ years at the very least.
Republicans understand this much better. This is sadly missing in the discourse amongst the Democrats.
Democrats are hostage to radical Islamic dollars which is forcing them to show contempt for India and Hindus.
Hence, there’s a clear case for the Indian American community in general and Hindu Americans in particular to exercise a tectonic shift in political preference across the United States in the November 2020 elections.
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.
- US Elections 2020: The Democratic dissonance - June 28, 2020
- Book Review: How India Sees The World by Shyam Saran - June 6, 2019
- Book Review: Menstruation Across Cultures, a historical perspective by Nithin Sridhar - May 13, 2019