Section of Indian diaspora divided over Hillary Clinton

RSTV Bureau

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Ahead of November 8 polling, a section of strong 3.4 million Indian-American community appeared divided over Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton. The bitter most criticism has come from the Republican Party affiliated organisation, Republican Hindu Coalition (RHC), which called her “sympathetic towards pakistan”.

On the other hand, prominent Indian-American hotelier Sant Singh Chatwal threw weight behind Clinton, calling her “best” presidential candidate to boost Indo-US ties.

In an advertisement endorsed by the Republican Hindu Coalition on Indian-American television channels, the outfit attacked her as well as her long-time aide for her Pakistani origin. “Hillary, sympathetic towards Pakistan…gave billions of dollars in aid and military equipment used against India,” it said.

The 29-second commercial, which begins with a photograph of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and has a map of Pakistan, goes on to say that Hillary was “instrumental in blocking PM Modi’s visa”. It also accused her of taking “contributions from countries and individuals known to support radical Islam”.

The advertisement also attacked former US president and Hillary’s husband Bill Clinton, and her long-time aide Huma Abedin.

“Her current aide Huma Abedin is of Pakistani origin and will become chief of staff if she wins. Her husband Bill Clinton wants to give Kashmir to Pakistan,” the commercial said as it called on the Americans to vote for the Republican Party.

But the commercial came in for steep criticism with her Indian-American supporters slamming RHC. “This advertisement is misleading, incorrect and false,” said Ajay Jain Bhutoria, a fund-raiser for Clinton campaign.

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Adding to Hillary’s praise he said, “Donald Trump has created conflict between Hindus and Muslims… India and Pakistanis in USA. We left these kind of religion-based politics back in our home country”.

Clinton also got a strong backing from other prominent Indian-Americans too.

Calling her the best presidential candidate to boost Indo-US ties as she understands India and its culture well, Indian-American hotelier Sant Singh Chatwal questioned Donald Trump’s ability “to run a country”.

“Trump does not know much about India. Talk is very cheap but you have got to deliver and Clinton can deliver,” he said citing how Clinton in her tenure as Secretary of State has stood with India and the Indian-American community on vital issues like immigration and supported the India-US nuclear deal.

Chatwal also underlined that Trump’s tenure as president will be catastrophic for the markets and will wipe out trillions of dollars from US economy.

“If Trump becomes President, the market will drop by 25 per cent, four-five trillion dollars will be lost. I’m very much worried about that,” he said.