POLITICS

Indian And Pak Communities In The US Band Together Against Donald Trump: Report

"In that crowd, we have Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis, we have Sikhs, Hindus, Muslims."

26/10/2016 5:19 PM IST | Updated 26/10/2016 5:47 PM IST
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Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

While tensions between India and Pakistan have been on the boil for weeks now, Pakistani and Indian Americans in the United States have found a reason to band together. They have come together to beat Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

The Hindu reported today that Trump's anti-Muslim, anti-immigration campaign for the 2016 U.S. presidential election has given both communities much to be concerned about.

Rabab Quamar, a Pakistani-American, who helps runs the campaign for Anil Kumar, the Democratic congressional candidate from Michigan, explained that communities in the U.S. are aware of the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, but they have more pressing concerns.

"I have been to various fundraisers where they have spoken about specific political actions for South Asians. In that crowd, we have Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis, we have Sikhs, Hindus, Muslims. All together..," she told the newspaper.

Pakistanis are supporting Indian-American candidates from the Democratic Party in Michigan and in New Jersey for the U.S. Congress, The Hindu reported.

Trump has also received support from a group of Indian-Americans, who believe his rhetoric of exclusion is in sync with the nationalist fervour prevailing in India, as well as the anti-Muslim and anti-Pakistan sentiments being fanned by Hindutva groups.

"I am a big fan of Hindu," Trump said at an event called "Humanity Against Terror" organised by the Republican Hindu Coalition, earlier this month. His daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, celebrated Diwali at a Hindu temple in the swing state of Virginia on Thursday.

Salon reported that there are more than four million South Asian Americans currently living in the United States, out of which 2.7 million are U.S. citizens. An estimated 88 percent of Asian-Americans voted in the 2012 presidential election.

Sangay Mishra, author of Desis Divided, a book on the political lives of South Asian-Americans, told The Hindu that the right-wingers are on the fringes of the Indian-American community. "It does not surprise me that despite escalating tensions between India and Pakistan, the two communities are finding common grounds in this election," he said.

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