In my conversations with Denise McAllister, she asked me the question... Why do Indian Americans vote Democrat?
It is a complex question indeed, and I decided to answer it here.
I found an article related to the topic here by Palash Ghosh. According to Ghosh, 81% of Indian Americans supported Obama.
Gosh argues for the following:
- Obama's support for India's candidacy for a permanent seat on the security council
- They think Republicans are opposed to immigration
This despite that two Governors of Indian origin, Nikki Haley Bobby Jindal, are Republicans.
I tend to think that it is deeper than that. Shikha Dalmia, in her article on Reason makes better points in my opinion.
Having grown up in British India, Indians are very sensitive to racial and social discrimination. And it seems that all the Republican "stars" are Hindus that converted to Christianity, or were Christians to begin with.
While most Indians are tolerant towards everyone's religion, this plays into the idea that in order to succeed in Republican Party, you have to be a Christian.
During the Raj, Muslims and Jews were given preference over Hindus - since they were the people "of the book." Whether it's true or perceived, my Hindu Indian American brethren see the Democrats as the party of tolerance.
Yet, even in this small nook of Conservative Utopia, Christianity is always front and center in most conversations. To many Hindu Indians, while they will never want to insult those involved in the conversations, they probably would just bow out and find other avenues of discussions. This is not necessarily a welcome place.
Having posted here before, I know there will be a lot of hand wringing and "but we didn't...". I am just telling you what the perception is.
Republicans are clearly misunderstood. I do my share to disseminate this misunderstanding. But Republicans have to play a part too.
Barack Obama calls himself a honorary "Desi". While Republicans fire Derek Khanna. It's not like there are a lot of Indians in the Tech community that might notice.