How will U.S. election outcome affect India?

The Asia Times recently weighed in on how the outcome of the U.S. Presidential Election might affect the politics in India. Who should India desire as the U.S. President?:

Indians in India generally see Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry as a thorn in India’s side. Many more in India’s money-spinning outsourcing industry see him as a business process outsourcing (BPO) party pooper. Even New Delhi – seat of the Indian government – sees greater advantage in a second term for George W Bush in terms of strategic partnership. But a huge number of Indians based in the US believe that Kerry may bode well for India. And remarkably, though Kerry’s strong anti-outsourcing stand has emerged as one of the biggest sources of discomfort for India, many Indian Americans support Kerry for that very reason.

This issue may get into the whole question of where loyalties lie. Many first generation Indian-Americans perceive outsourcing as an unequivocally good thing. Any money that goes back to help the economic situation of a society or even family members that they have recently left behind is a good thing. Second and third generations Indian-Americans however may perceive outsourcing as a bad thing. Many of them after all are the very tech workers whose jobs are being sent abroad. Now whether outsourcing is good or bad is not as relevant as the perception of whether it is good or bad.

“Outsourcing is a major issue that has to be dealt with,” says Selma D’Souza, president of the Indo-American Democratic Organization, a lobby for the Indian American community on social issues and hate crimes. “Most Americans, including Indians, don’t like outsourcing because many of them are concerned their children’s jobs are being outsourced, especially in the IT field. I don’t think this is an India-US issue, it’s an issue about employment in the US.”

There should be other issues to consider beyond just outsourcing argue some:

Some also hold that India’s concerns are narrow and partisan. “It seems to be foreign policy-focused and not people-focused,” says Tanzila Taz Ahmed, director of the South Asian American Voting Youth (SAAVY), another US-based lobby that’s trying to push South Asian American issues to the forefront of US politics. “Sure, Indians in India may want Bush because of his more liberal stand on outsourcing, but that view doesn’t take into consideration the persecution their fellow Indians have to suffer living with him.

That last sentence might be a tad bit dramatic, no? The South Asian American Leaders of Tomorrow (SAALT), a New York-based outfit have published a document titled “American Backlash: Terrorists Bring War Home in More Ways Than One.” This document alleges that since 9/11 there have been 645 hate crimes against Americans of South Asian and Middle Eastern descent and it has made “America less free.”

Indian American Democrats argue that there are other issues that Indians living in India have more in common with Kerry. They include: - Stance on how to combat AIDS - Stem cell research - Student Visas

But in the end I ask, who cares? Indians in India can’t vote for either candidate unless they are U.S. citizens. I hope they are not wasting time arguing for one candidate or the other to win when they have no control over such things anyways. There are many more important things in the world to worry about than the whim of American voters.

2 thoughts on “How will U.S. election outcome affect India?

  1. Kerry in one of the primary debates called for giving India the oversight over Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal. As he still hasnt retracted his statement, I presume a Kerry State Dept would push for this position. He has also been critical of Pervez Musharraf while Bush considers him one of his ‘strong allies’ in the war against ‘terrorists’.