At the Crossroads of Aspirations: The Politico-Cultural Dilemma of Republican Indian-Americans

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Politico-Cultural, India, America


Indian-Americans have always been considered to be dependable voters of the Democratic Party. This perception started to change before the 2020 American Presidential Elections. While the Democrats continued to appeal to this key demographic in battleground states as an inclusive party sympathetic to minorities and immigrants, Indian-origin supporters of the Republican Party were enthusiastically supporting a second term for President Donald Trump. Trump, an unlikely hero for a group of immigrants, relied on his close ties with the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to secure votes from the conservative and entrepreneurial Indian-Americans. Large scale public events like the 2019 ‘Howdy, Modi!’, which showcased this relationship was a grand display of the Indian PM’s popularity among the diaspora as well as a transparent attempt at creating linkages between American Nationalism and Diaspora Nationalism of the Indian community. The quiet but successful functioning of the several Hindu Nationalist organizations in USA was conducive for proclaiming the ideological link between the brands of nationalism adhered by the two leaders. Despite these attempts, the election results proved, in accordance with the findings of a crucial pre-election survey, that Republicans have failed to win crucial states with sizable number of Indian-American voters. According to the said survey, most still supported the democrats. This paper is an attempt firstly, to describe and analyze the factors which aided the Republican foray among the Indian-American community. Secondly, it is an attempt to understand whether the Indian-American vote indeed swung in favor of the Republicans and if not, whether this indicates a disconnect between the political desires of the community at their adopted and cultural homelands.



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