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How Obama wooed Indian American voters
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November 05, 2008 19:58 IST

Barack Obama [Images], who scripted history by becoming the first black President of America, had projected himself as a 'powerful' spokesman for rights of minorities and a crusader against discrimination as he wooed the Indian-Americans in their vernacular languages, including Hindi.

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The Obama campaign had brought out Hindi and Malayalam versions of his five-point manifesto, which were widely distributed among Indian-Americans through community organisations across the 50 states.

The leaflet has highlighted affordable healthcare as one of the top priorities of his Administration, pointing out that 24 lakh Asian-Americans in the country were not covered by medical insurance, a costly affair in the US.

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"A common American family will be able to save at least $2,500 per annum according to Obama's plan," the one-page manifesto said.

It said that the 47-year-old Democrat started his career as a community organiser in Chicago and spent a considerable time working for wiping out all kinds of discrimination.

Obama, who began his political career as a member of the Illinois state Senate, was instrumental in adoption of a law against racial discrimination, it said.

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"He will use his experience to protect the rights of the minorities," said the pamphlet, posted in the Afro-American's presidential campaign website.

Obama also pledged to carry out extensive reforms in the immigration system of America, especially the H-1B visa scheme, which is very popular among high-skilled Indian professionals.

Bangalore, New Delhi cheer for Obama

The manifesto said Obama is a votary of strong immigration laws but holds a humanitarian view about illegal immigrants.
On the issue of education, Obama promised education for all children, expand English education and give financial assistance for college education.

Obama's views on all things Indian

The manifesto pointed out that Asian-Americans own over one lakh small businesses in the US and said Obama will work for ensuring that the interests of the minority communities are protected.

He seemed to have reaped returns of his efforts as the Indian-American community seems to have overwhelmingly backed him in his race for the White House.

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