Immigration enthusiasts often give pride of place to the achievements of the community imported from India. Without them, we are given to understand, America would have been unable to develop a high-tech industry. And indeed, this able group has been extremely quick to learn the ropes of the US political system, financing an increasingly powerful India Caucus in Congress, exerting influence at the State level and becoming significantly involved in the Presidential Election. Anyone who has not yet grasped this crass reality should contemplate Bill Clinton's election-style tour of India last month. We somehow doubt that Mr. Clinton is sincerely interested in the stated reason for his visit, earthquake relief.
Generally, political activity by Indians here is focused on securing easier immigration for Indians and preventing immigration restrictions, followed by the mundane concerns of the industries in which they are active. Most seem to be inclining Democratic, although some are to be found undermining the fabric of America from the Republican side, as seen in Ramesh Ponnuru's recent effort in National Review to filet opposition to immigration. (I will be commenting on Ponnuru in loving detail shortly.)
Things are different in India, however. There the rising political force is the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) a nationalist Hindu movement currently leading a coalition government. (Hinduism is the religion of the vast majority of Indians, sort of like, well, Christianity in the U.S.) The BJP is seeking to reverse several decades of socialism in India, in which it has the support of much of the business community, and many Indians in the US. Some of its supporters do get a bit exuberant sometimes, murdering Christian missionaries, destroying mosques and churches, and even objecting to Valentine's Day. But nevertheless, on the whole, the party might be regarded a second possible case of the "Hispanics = cultural conservatives = should be Republican" argument.
Indeed, VDARE friends might wish the Republicans were more like the BJP. Thus, West Bengal is a state (read: California). The local government is controlled by BJP opponents. The state borders on the ludicrously overpopulated country of Bangla Desh (read: Mexico) where the population is Muslim. There is an illegal immigration problem. The state BJP (hello California Republicans?) proposes to deal with it. This report comes from The Statesman, Calcutta.
KOLKATA, April 9. – The BJP's election manifesto will assert that large-scale illegal immigration across the Bangladesh border, aided by the CPI-M and the Congress in the interest of vote-bank politics, is taking West Bengal towards a Kashmir-like situation [i.e. Hindu-Muslim civil war], the party general secretary in the state, Mr. Debabrata Chowdhury, said today.
Mr. Chowdhury said the manifest claims that only the BJP has the ability to stop this influx. The document would be released in a day or two, he said.
It will explain that the party's slogan of "Ram, Roti aur Insaaf" (Ram, bread and justice) means uniting the whole of India on the basis of culture as well as economic security. It will reiterate the party's stand against the "appeasement" of any particular section of society. In this context, it will question the [governing] Left Front's decision to build housing complexes for Muslims…
Separation of Cult and State footnote: (Lord) Ram is roughly the equivalent of Jesus Christ.
May 07, 2001