Palin’s visit to India a tactic to win Indian-American voters’ hearts: Analysts

March 7th, 2011 - 3:29 pm ICT by ANI  

Sarah Palin Washington, Mar 7 (ANI): Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin’s visit to India this month is viewed by many analysts as a tactic to win the hearts of Indian-American voters in the US.

Following the Arizona shootings in January, one of the main television channels in New Delhi ran a piece on Palin’s use of the phrase “blood libel”, and also covered her daughter Bristol’s engagement to Levi Johnston.

Politico quoted Harsh Bhasin, a former Indian consul general in New York who’s now a professor at SUNY Stony Brook, as saying that “the U.S. figures in the Indian imagination and psyche in a very different manner to every other foreign country, and that’s why there’s a fascination with American politicians.”

The interest comes because millions of Indians who have emigrated to the United States over the past four decades tend to be high-achieving doctors, lawyers, businesspeople, and now politicians - creating successful careers in the states and leaving behind millions of middle-class relatives in India who now have a personal connection to America, the report said.

And now, American politicians of both parties are starting to repay some of that interest here, it added.

Some analysts believe that Palin’s visit to India, a friendly ally, would not only allow her to build her foreign policy, but also gain attention on Indian-origin voters in the US.

“Basically, the growing clout of Indian-Americans in relation to their numbers here is a subject of growing interest in India, and that clout is more pronounced, he said, because most Indians who come here or are in the U.S., first generation or second generation, they are the top of the top, the elites,” Chidanand Rajghatta, the Washington correspondent for The Times of India, said.

“Primarily they are there from this same sort of elite layer - they’re just a common pool. Indians in India who follow a lot of these, it’s their contemporaries, their peers. So it’s the same demographic profile, and they’re very interested,” Rajghatta added.

Palin would visit India on March 19 to attend a yearly conclave that would also be reportedly attended by “government ministers, political leaders, top bureaucrats, diplomats, intellectuals, scientists, academicians and thought leaders, corporate heads and senior business executives.”

“It will be covered for sure - she’s enough of a curiosity and people want to be not caught flat-footed if she becomes significant for some reason,” Kalyani Chadha, a journalism professor at the University of Maryland, said. (ANI)

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