Not long ago, a group of Indian-Americans had formed a political action committee to campaign for Donald Trump, the Republican presidential front-runner and had assured that they would everything possible to help him win the party nomination and the elections in November this year.
They had formed a group called, ‘Indian-Americans for Trump 2016’, which was registered as a political action committee (PAC) on January 21st with the federal election commission, with the aim of garnering support of Indian-Americans to have Trump become the next US President. Dr. Sudhir Parikh, CEO of Pariskh Media, A.D. Amar, a business professor with Seton Hall University in New Jersey and a New York-based Attorney Anand Ahuja had initiated the group.
Anand Ahuja, Attorney and Counselor at Law and Vice President for Indian Americans for Trump 2016, had said that there is a “wrong media created perception that Trump is against Muslims and minorities. And as far as being against H1B visas – either you can increase H1B visas or you can say invest in India – you cannot have it both ways.”
However, Dr. Sudhir Parikh has released a short statement through news agencies, withdrawing his support for Trump and disassociate himself from the PAC: “I allowed myself to be identified with that group because some members of the group are friends of mine. I wish to clarify that I no longer belong to the group and I do not support the candidacy of Mr. Donald Trump.
“For over three decades I have supported both Democrat and Republican candidates based on their individual merits and their commitment to the interests of the Indian-American community and US-India relations. I remain committed to this course,” Parikh added.
The front runner in the Republican Primaries has been criticized, among others by leading Indian American political leaders. Former Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, had described Trump as a “madman”. Jindal had criticized his Republican Party colleague as a “non-serious, unstable, substance-free narcissist.” Other phrases Jindal had used to describe are: “egomaniac,” a “carnival act,” “shallow,” “insecure,” “weak” and of course, a “madman.” South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who is a rising star in the Republican Party had described Trump’s character and qualities as “everything a governor doesn’t want in a president.”
US President Barack Obama said that the real estate tycoon is exploiting people’s fear amid a stagnant and rapidly changing economy. “I think somebody like Mr Trump is taking advantage of that. That’s what he’s exploiting during the course of his campaign,” Obama told National Public Radio (NPR) in an interview. “When one combines the demographic change with all the economic stresses that people have been going through because of the financial crisis, because of technology, because of globalization, it means that there is going to be potential anger, frustration and fear,” said the president.
Traditionally Indian Americans have voted for the Democratic Party. In 2008, nearly 90 per cent of Indian Americans voted for President Barack Obama. According to Dr. Parikh, he feels that Indian Americans have far more in common with the Republicans than the Democrats as “Our family values are the same as what the Republican Party is talking about, against abortion and same sex relationships. We are the most affluent community in America, with higher per capita income than even the Jews… it makes sense to vote Republican.”
Winning Asian American votes is very critical to winning the presidency. Although, they are not as larger as the Hispanics or the Blacks, Asian/Indian Americans are an influential group in the national and statewide elections. No one can win the presidency with the White votes alone. In 1980, Ronald Reagan won 56 percent of white voters and won a landslide victory of 44 states. In 2012, Mitt Romney won 59 percent of whites and lost with 24 states. According to reports, in the 2012 presidential election, Barack Obama won 73 percent of the Asian American vote. The Democratic presidential vote share among Asian Americans has steadily increased from 36 percent in 1992, to 64 percent in the 2008 election to 73 percent in 2012.
Both the parties have been working hard to win the Asian American votes, except for that Trump has been critical of the Muslims, has spoken against H-1B Visa, which has helped mostly Asians to immigrate to this country. Trump said: “They are taking our jobs. China is taking our jobs. Japan is taking our jobs. India is taking our jobs. It is not going to happen anymore, folks!”