Conciliatory tone marks Trump’s first address to Congress
Washington, DC: President Donald Trump struck a more hopeful tone while addressing his first joint session of the US Congress, Tuesday night, outlining his vision for America. In a broad ranging speech President Trump spoke on reforming the economy, immigration, law and order, education and health care. Indians at home and Indian Americans anxiously awaiting condemnation of last week’s hate fueled shooting incident, in Kansas, that claimed the life of an Indian Engineer, had to settle for a perfunctory statement lumping it with the rise of threats and vandalism of Jewish centers.
"Recent threats targeting Jewish community centers and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries, as well as last week's shooting in Kansas City, remind us that while we may be a nation divided on policies, we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all its forms," Trump said Tuesday night.
Srinivas Kuchibhotla, a 32-year-old Indian engineer working for Olathe-based Garmin Ltd, was killed and Alok Madasani, his colleague critically injured when Adam W. Purinton, a Navy veteran opened fire at them at a bar in Olathe, Kansas state, on Wednesday night. Purinton yelled “get out of my country” and “terrorist” before shooting them. A third person, Ian Grillot, who tried to intervene was also shot but survived. The shooting triggered outrage and soul searching, with voices questioning President Trump’s ‘America first’ policy that seems to have unleashed a wave of xenophobia and intolerance. The FBI is investigating whether the Kansas shooting was a hate crime.
Indians, enthused by President Trump’s closeness with Indian American groups, had welcomed his election victory. India is now cautiously monitoring Trump’s policies, namely, restrictions on H1B visas, which anchors India’s $ 150 billion IT industry that employs hundreds of thousands of skilled engineers like Kuchibhotla and Madasani.
Indian American lawmakers had expressed grief, with Illinois Congressman Krishnamoorthi saying, ‘This shooting was a brutal, racial attack on two men and on the fundamental values of our nation.’ Senator Kamala Harris from California tweeted, ‘We can’t let hatred win.”
Sanjay Puri, as a panelist on India’s TV NewsX’s emphasized, “USINPAC is extending help to the families of the victims and is working with the Department of Justice and the FBI in designating the Kansas shooting as a racially motivated hate crime.”
The US India Political Action Committee (USINPAC) is the voice of over 3.2 million Indian- Americans and works on issues that concern the community. It supports candidates for local, state and federal office and encourages political participation by the Indian- American community. Visit www.usinpac.com for more details.