The three-million strong Indian Diaspora in the US, where presidential elections are due this November, is gravitating towards the Republican Party nominee Donald Trump because of his policies on terrorism and the pro-Pakistan image of his competitor Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party nominee.
This has been stated by Amrish Tyagi, who is a professional psephologist and was recently in the US to help Trump secure the trust of the Indian Diaspora. According to Tyagi, who is the son of senior JDU leader K.C. Tyagi, Trump’s way of not mincing words, especially when it comes to terrorism, has pulled the Indian Diaspora towards him. The Indian Diaspora is the third largest, behind the Chinese and Filipino.
Tyagi was approached by the London based firm Cambridge Analytica, which targets voters upon their unconscious bias and has been hired by Trump for his campaigning. The firm is notable for its success in conveying the “Brexit” message to millions of people who said “goodbye” to the European Union.
“We have been working together since 2012 and this year they approached me seeking my inputs with reference to South Asian voters. I had to find out their aspirations, their feeling, their perception regarding the Republican Party. I suggested some changes, which were accepted by Donald Trump. These suggestions were made to clear the misconception that Trump was anti-Indian,” 39-year-old Amrish, who has also worked with Prashant Kishor Pandey, said.
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“We told him that there was a misconception that he was against Indians coming to US and taking over jobs and soon, acting on our inputs, he cleared that misconception. He is going to do a specific ‘India rally’ on 15 October in New Jersey. The Indian Diaspora is now getting more vocal appreciation from Trump in the last few days,” Tyagi claimed.
According to him, the Indians in US initially had some issues with Trump despite ideologically being close to him, courtesy his views on terrorism and his statement against Pakistan.
“But there was also some concern on Trump’s views regarding stopping people from coming to US and other issues related to jobs. However, last week during the debate with Hillary Clinton, he made it clear that China and Mexico were his targets and not Indians. We have been in touch with people on the ground and Indian groups, and as of now, Indians are becoming more and more comfortable with Donald Trump,” Tyagi further asserted.
According to him, Hillary Clinton is perceived to be pro-Pakistan, something that was pointed out by the then President nominee Barack Obama during the 2008 election. “At the time, Obama had stated that she was getting support from the Middle Eastern countries. This has not been missed by the Indian Diaspora and they feel that the US will have a more favourable outlook for Pakistan if Clinton is voted in,” he said.
Tyagi stated that the comparison being made between Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi was natural. “Their way of putting forward things is loud, their policies are also similar, especially when it comes to terrorism. Trump is very frank despite being into politics; you cannot tutor him. He will say things as he feels. Recently, he took the name of Pakistan while naming irresponsible nuclear power countries. He is not worried about vote banks. If he feels that certain things are wrong, then he will say that even if it hurts his electoral chances,” he stated.