Hate crime against Indians in the United States seems to be on the rise, especially in the last few months. It only came to the forefront after the shooting incident in Kansas. Srinivas Kuchibotla became the victim of a hate crime. His colleague Alok Madasani was also injured in the shooting spree.
Both of them worked for Garmin, a technology-based firm. What made matters worse is the fact that the murderer was not a thug or a gangster but a veteran navy officer named Adam W. Purinton. He taunted these men before shooting indiscriminately at them. He shouted “Get out of my country” before opening fire.
This statement indicates the burning hatred across scores of Americans against the immigrants. Not all Americans have jingoistic feelings towards particular religion or ethnicity. However, with people getting influenced by inflammatory speeches, the society seems to divide fast and give way for lone wolves like Purinton to commit such crimes.
The undercurrent of chauvinism and jingoism was visible during the election campaigning when Trump proposed ideas such as creating up a wall between U.S.A and Mexico and suggested anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant policies. Now that he is in power he is giving effect to all these campaigning planks. The major issues which concern the Indians are the H-1B visa reforms which Trump has suggested.
The US government provides about 65,000 visas every year. Many tech companies including Infosys, Wipro and Tata Consultancy Services hire people based on this Visa criterion. If alterations are made to this VISA criteria it is doomed to affect Indians and thus having an effect on the remittance which India gets through these jobs. According to 2015 data, USA is the second largest source of remittance after Saudi Arabia. Trump in his book “Time to Get Tough” have stated a 15 percent tax on the companies which will outsource jobs.
In fact, USA’s current president won the election by stirring people against immigration. Does this suggest that Indians are insecure in the world’s largest democracy? Trump made a brief statement about the crime, a week after the attack took place. Trump stated, “we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all its forms”. White House spokesperson, Sean Spicer, said that the incident is tragic, however, it should not be linked to Donald Trump. Former secretary of State Hillary Clinton lashed out at Trump for not speaking at length about this issue.
Before Trump assumed power, there were less than ten cases of hate crime daily, however, 10 days after he assumed power more than 800 cases of hate crime was reported. Though Trump has called for a stop on such attacks there is an unspoken legitimacy given to hate crimes. Madasani’s father is telling the youth in India that the USA is not anymore a safe place to visit at all.
All is not lost as there are some people like Ian Grillot who jumped forward and took two bullets for the injured Indian. Grillot made a heart touching statement “I was just doing what anyone should have done for another human being”. Purinton is booked by the federal agency and if he is proven guilty, he would face an imprisonment for 50 years without parole.
The USA has to ensure that strict actions are taken in order to improve its situation both with India and within its borders. The entire world waits for the actions by the country.
Image Source: CNN