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Where Indians and Indians in US diverge

Yashwant Raj / Hindustan Times Share:
US President Donald J. Trump, joined onstage by First Lady Melania Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, delivers remarks during the Namaste Trump Rally Monday, Feb. 24, 2020, at Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad, India. wikimedia/The White House/Andrea Hanks

If Indians could vote in the United States (US) presidential elections, they will probably go with the incumbent, if he (or she and they, someday) was on the ballot for a second term, no matter how poorly the candidate was polling at home.

Indians, not to be confused with Indian-Americans, appear to like American presidents once they get to know them, which can be after a visit or an agreement or just personal charm. That should explain, to an extent, President Donald Trump’s loud and insistent Indian supporters. I have got to know some of them from their angry mails or messages in response to something disagreeable I wrote about the US president.

As the number of those sceptical of him remained stable in the poll, he appeared to have made inroads into 67% of respondents who had either refused to answer or had said they did not know him enough in 2016. His Gallup ratings at home, by contrast, have languished in the 40s.

There are very good individually unique reasons of policies, pacts and personality behind the popularity of incumbents with Indians. But collectively, they appear to represent a pattern: you don’t have to try very hard to get the Indians on your side.

But Indians in the US, an estimated 1.8 million Indian-Americans who are eligible to vote, are a completely different story. Many of them, who do not share the enthusiasm of their Indian relatives and friends for the US president, often find themselves yelling at their WhatsApp groups on their smartphones, and tapping out angry rejoinders in all-caps, much like the US president, Covefefe and all. Hindustan Times

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