Monday, 17 November 2008

Why techies love Obama

Barack Hussein Obama may have created some unease among the Indian IT industry with his anti-outsourcing stance; however, most Indians still seem to be rooting for him. According to a recent poll by consulting and market research firm Tecnova, 82 per cent of the respondents in India expect Obama to win. In fact, most respondents in India feel that Obama is the right representative for political stability, world peace and financial strength.

In fact, Obama's not-so-enthusiastic stance on outsourcing has not deterred a group of techies in Bangalore from drumming up support for him in today’s US elections.

The Barack Obama Bangalore Fan Club has not only been calling up, SMSing and emailing friends and relatives in the US to vote for him, it has also raised Rs 200,000 (about $4,100) from fellow Bangaloreans as contribution to his election fund!

Wondering what made the Club members back Obama and campaign on his behalf though the two are over 9,000 km apart?

Obama is for change
"Obama is for change and so are we," Venkat replied.

"We believe in Obama and his policies. He is a dynamic and energetic leader and we are hopeful that his policies will have a positive impact in helping the world and India to tide over the current economic meltdown.

"The very idea of the campaign is to make the Bangaloreans realise that if Obama becomes the next president of the US, it will do good for the world. We want all denizens of the city to ask their friends and relatives out in the US to vote for Obama," added the software professional who works with a city-based IT company, Strategic Offshore Consulting Services Global.

Can better tackle meltdown
Another member of the Club said: "We believe Obama will bring world peace and control the current financial crisis.

"Obama is clear about all the contentious election topics, including outsourcing and globalisation. He has stated in his campaign that he would not put up walls around the US economy and follow a free trade policy."

Wants strategic partnership with India
In an interview to IANS last week, Obama said he would give "top priority" to build close strategic partnership with India under his presidency.

"His policies towards India are quite pragmatic and this will help in building close strategic partnership between the two nations. We are hopeful that if he gets elected, his tenure will give more rights to the Indian American community," said Venkat. It seems several Bangaloreans have taken the Club's appeal seriously and have tried to convince their US-based friends and relatives to vote for Obama.

The Indian American community will play a major role in the US elections. The US is home to a 2.7 million strong Indian diaspora and 80,000 Indian students.

Reverse Bush policies
"We have seen what the Republicans did to the world during the Bush rule. Not only we saw the US-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan but the economic condition of the world has witnessed a downward curve because of bad policies of Bush's regime," said D Jeevan Kumar, a professor of political science at Bangalore University.

"Thus it will be a smart decision for the Indian American community to vote for Obama," he said.