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Indian-Americans switching support to Obama, thanks to Hanuman
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June 29, 2008 19:03 IST
Last Updated: June 29, 2008 19:04 IST

The support of the Indian Americans to presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama [Images] is steadily rising , thanks to his lucky charm Lord Hanuman [Images], suggests a leading American daily.

The backing for Obama has shot up among Indian Americans, who were earlier backing Hillary Clinton [Images], since a photo published earlier this month revealed that the 46-year-old Illinois senator carries a tiny brass idol of Hanuman among his handful of good-luck charms.

'When it comes to American politicians, Bill Clinton [Images] has been the darling of India," said an article in the Washington Post. "That love extended to Hillary Clinton during the Democratic primaries -- especially with respect to fundraising among Indian Americans, who grew to become a significant base of support for her White House bid,' the article titled 'Indian Americans Take note of Obama, thanks to Hanuman' said.

 But now people are supporting Obama, it said. "It's a big deal," said Bhavna Pandit, 28, a political fundraising consultant based in Washington who thinks the revelations about Obama's lucky charm will lead to new interest in him among Indian American donors. Pandit said news of the Obama trinket has swept across Indian American living rooms and through Indian newspapers and TV networks.

Pandit said the people she knows as "aunties and uncles" -- women and men from her parents' generation -- are suddenly taking note of Obama in a way they had not done before. "They think it's kind of neat. They rarely see our religion played out in the mainstream media in America," Pandit was quoted as saying by the paper. "In India, they're like, 'Wow! The person who can be the president has a connection to us that's very personal.'"

Obama, who defeated his rival Clinton in an epic 17-month long electoral battle for the Democratic party nomination, is already running ahead of his Republican rival John McCain [Images] in the popularity polls. A recent photo posted on Time's White House Photo of the Day collection shows the first ever Black-American nominee of a major US party for the presidential elections carries with him a bracelet belonging to an American soldier deployed in Iraq, a gambler's lucky chit, a tiny monkey god and tiny Madonna [Images] and child.

Obama, whose father was a Kenyan and mother a white woman from Kansas, spent the initial days of his life in Indonesia where Hinduism is a popular religion. A group of Obama supporters in New Delhi had decided to send him a symbol of his lucky charm, Lord Hanuman, to help him emerge victorious.

Last week, Obama's representative Carolyn Sauvage-Mar received a gold-plated two-feet-high idol which she will pass on to Obama.

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