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Archive for November, 2010

Why Don’t Indians Lean Republican?

Posted by kostub on November 3, 2010

If I were to take a poll of the political inclination of the fellow Indian Americans that I know, they would heavily lean towards the Democrats. While I have never actually conducted such a poll , the slant seems quite apparent to me. Politically the Indian American community overwhelmingly votes Democrat. This result is actually quite surprising when you look at it in the light of the India-US relationship. The following contradictions start to emerge. The Bush-era has been the high-point of the India-US relationship. Secondly, two trends important to Indians – the growth of a vibrant Indian tech community in the US and the economic boom that India enjoyed in the last 10 years have been a direct result of Republican policy. So if the Republican party benefits India more, then why do Indians sit so squarely in the Democratic camp?

Before we explore possible answers to this question, let us first understand the assertion I made about the Republican party being more beneficial for India. India has dramatically changed in the last 25 years. Long gone are the days when you had to wait in line for multiple years just to get a landline or when a refrigerator was considered a luxury item. Today your street peddler, fish monger and your maid servant all carry cell phones. India has enjoyed a huge economic boom in the last decade. The seeds of economic prosperity were planted by the Rajiv Gandhi government in the late 80s. These economic liberalization policies were cemented in place in 1991 by the then Finance Minister Manmohan Singh, who did away with the License Raj, deregulated businesses and allowed foreign investment and encouraged private enterprise. In short, India moved from being a socialist economy to a capitalist one. Since then subsequent governments have continued on the path set by these reforms despite opposition from the Left. This has transformed the Indian economy from being virtually stagnant to the second fastest growing major economy in the world, next only to China.

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