NEW DELHI — The Indian American community’s political preferences seem to be shifting in favor of the Republican Party, particularly Donald Trump, its front runner for the White House.
According to social media trends, Indian Americans seem to overwhelmingly supporting Trump — a billionaire real estate businessman-turned-politician who has courted many controversies ever since he jumped into the fray.
Indians in the U.S. have traditionally been the vote bank for the Democrats. According to a study, as many as 65 percent of Indian Americans have leaned towards Democrats, but this time there has been a shift, arguably for the first time in the American electoral history.
Several groups of Indian Americans, a majority of them Hindus, have taken the social media route to voice their support for Trump. As the 2016 presidential election draws closer, various online communities and pages have come up in support of Trump.
One such page on Facebook is "Hindus For Trump.” With around 750 "likes,” the page in its description says: "American Hindus are model citizens, educated and industrious. We want a responsible nation where Americans are both safe and free."
The page portrays Trump as Hindu god Vishnu, making him seated on what looks like a lotus with "Om" written at its center.
There is also a Political Action Committee, formed by a group of Indian American businessmen, to pool in support and contributions for an effective Trump presidential campaign, called Indian-Americans for Trump. (See earlier India-West story here: http://bit.ly/1URNKN0.)
Although there has been support for Trump from the Hindu community, a fraction of people from the Muslim community also seems to be supporting him, undeterred by his controversial remarks against the community.
In related news, PTI adds from Washington: Trump has claimed that more than one-fourths of the Muslims are "very militant,” in latest controversial statements adding to his anti-Muslim rhetoric.
"It's (militant Muslims) 27 percent, could be 35 per cent, would go to war, the hatred is tremendous," Trump told Fox News Mar. 13 when asked that not more than 100,000 of the 1.6 billion Muslims are fighting jihadist causes.
"You're saying that out of 1.5 billion, 100,000, let me tell you, whoever did that survey was about as wrong as you can get," Trump said.
"Why don't you take a look at the Pew poll that came out very recently or fairly recently, where I think the number... it's something like 27 percent are really very militant about going after things.
"And you'll have to look at it. They did a very strong study. Let's see what it says. But it's a very significant number. It's not 100,000 people, I can tell you that. It's a ridiculous number," he claimed.
Trump’s latest remarks came days after he said he thinks "Islam hates us" and asserted that those having hatred against the U.S. cannot be allowed to enter the country.