DONALD Trump may have insulted Mexicans, Muslims and women but to woo Indian American voters he’s even dabbling in Hindi for Diwali.
The bombastic New York businessman is seen uttering “Ab Ki Baar Trump Sarkaar” – adapting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 2014 vote-winning catchphrase as his own – in a presidential campaign ad released yesterday (October 27).
“This time Trump government,” translates the ad on the screen.
Trump may speak in a thick US accent, but the 30-second ad is the Republican nominee’s latest attempt to win votes among Indian Americans ahead of Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights which falls on the weekend.
The video opens with the message “Happy Diwali” and borrows from footage of Trump speaking at a Hindu gathering in New Jersey this month, lighting an oil lamp and promising close US-Indian relations.
“The Indian and Hindu community will have a true friend in the White House,” he says in the ad. “We love the Hindus, we love India,” he adds, saying that he looks forward to working with Modi.
The candidate’s daughter-in-law Lara Trump visited a Hindu temple this week in Virginia, the home state of Democratic rival Hillary Clinton’s running mate Tim Kaine which is expected to vote blue on November 8.
Trump trails 5.4 points in the latest poll average compiled by tracker RealClearPolitics in a national race against Clinton and two outsiders – pointing to a likely electoral college victory for the Democrat.
There are an estimated four million Indian Americans living in the United States according to 2015 census figures. They are among the most educated ethnic groups and generally well off, according to the Pew Research Center.
Only about half are Hindu and 65 per cent are Democrat, or Democrat-leaning, the think tank found in a 2014 report.