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Mainstream, VOL LV No 13 New Delhi March 18, 2017

Young Indian Engineer Shot in Kansas City

Sunday 19 March 2017

by S. Sudhakar Reddy

Trumpism is at its height spewing racist venom! Already a newly married young Indian engineer had fallen victim while his colleague, also a personal friend, was hospitalised after having been gravely injured. The entire world—including Americans and his US colleagues who knew the victim—was shocked at the sudden turn of events and extended full support to the victim’s family. However, the White House, the seat of US power and headquarters of Trumpism, is yet to react and condemn the racist killing.

The racist murder at Kansas City of the United States of America, killing instantaneously a bright young engineer, Srinivas Kuchibhotla, and injuring his friend, Alok Madasani, has shocked all Indians. Killing of innocent children in schools, killing of people in hotels and at functions are a routine mad affair in the US. But this is something different and worse. The US military veteran, White racist Adam Purinton, shouted at the victims: ‘Get out of my country!’ That shocked Indians more.

The murderer and victim are not known to each other. They never met earlier. But why then did he kill him? It is the direct result of US President Donald Trump’s racist propaganda and his attempts to ban immigration from seven Muslim countries and employees from Asia including India on the slogan ‘America first’.

This may look as an isolated incident for now. But the families of millions of NRIs in India are in fear and worried about their kith and kin working in the United States. Lakhs of Indians, who are there for decades and have their children born, educated and employed there are also worrying.

White racist madness is not new in the US. Some groups, most notoriously known as Ku Klux Klan, etc., were attacking Blacks and non-Whites, killing them indiscriminately. There is a fear that non-Whites will become a majority or a formidable force in the US.

The United States itself is a country of immigrants mainly from Europe in the last few centuries. The vast virgin lands attracted people from impoverished Europe. As time passed, industrialisation took place, the United States prospered with the hard work of the immigrants from all over the world. It became the richest and strongest country.

The original immigrants killed millions of real Americans who were known as Red Indians. Now their number is small and negligible. Later in the beginning of the 20th century the Chinese were banned from immigration with a law adopted in the US Congress. The United States is a big country which needs many more people, skilled and unskilled, for its development. It can accommodate many times more than its 26 crore present population.

They need cheap labour; hence they allowed millions of Mexicans and people from Latin America. Even Donald Trump engaged a large number of Mexicans in his enterprises. Now he wants to build a wall on the 3000-plus km US-Mexico border and asks Mexico to share its expenses; Mexico has refused.

Brain Drain

US companies engaged many scientists, doctors, engineers from developing countries. They study in their respective countries, with their parents and government money, become qualified but cannot find proper employment, go to the US and work for lesser pay than the US citizens. The USA benefited from them, without investing on educating them. The immigrants send back some money to their families. Hence it is beneficial to their kith and kin and their parent country.

Donald Trump represents the most conservative, semi-racist sections of the US citizens. All those who voted for him cannot be blamed as racists. There are a large number of White young people who are unemployed and voted for him in the hope that they will get employment with Donald Trump’s ‘America first’. This is like the ‘sons-of-the-soil’ slogan to get job preference than outsiders, in some States of India. The Shiv Sena has become popular with that slogan.

We cannot demand that the US citizens should be deprived of their justified job opportunities, to help Indians or Asians. There can be laws which prefer locals before foreigners are allowed to take up such jobs. But the profit-oriented corporate and business houses will search for workers who will accept less pay so that they can get bigger margin of profit. It is the law of capitalism.

Instead of finding more civilised and better arrangements for more employment of natives, Donald Trump resorted to racist slogans and actions, which is easier to catch the imagination of disgruntled people. He was supported by the Hindutva groups in the USA and the BJP/RSS were also in that company, for the sole reason that he is anti-Muslim. They are forgetting that he is anti-Black, anti-Jew, anti-Asian also. He will be anti-Jew but supports Israel. He is anti-Muslim but supports Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Kingdoms because it suits their business deals.

As one gentlemen pointed out, if this type of murder takes place in India or Pakistan it will be termed as a terrorist act, but if it happens in the US it will be described as an isolated act of an insane man.

The White House was quick to dismiss as ‘absurd’ any link between the killing of the Indian in Kansas and the rhetoric on undocumented immigrants. But till today Donald Trump has refused to condemn the gruesome racist murder which is expected from a President.

Now the Hindutva groups are seeking their best to cover up. The US Hindutva group’s leader tried to cover up the murder saying that the killer mistook him as Arabic and hence killed him. So, all Hindus should wear ‘tilak’ on their forehead to assert their religious identity.

The murderer Purinton never said that he mistook him as an Arab, or as a Muslim. But the RSS gangs want us to believe that only Muslims are the target of US racism, without condemning racism. It is not only foolish but dangerous.

Racists killed Black people who are Christians, people who belong to their own religion. They attacked Mexicans, Puerto Ricans who are from the American continent. They killed native Americans to occupy their lands. Racism should be seen as racism.

Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu is appealing to the US Government and its President to take action against such incidents but very cleverly avoids mentioning the basic point of racism directly injected into the people’s minds by Donald Trump. It appears that the Hindutva groups are hell-bent upon supporting Donald Trump for his anti-Muslim hatred, even though his policies will throw out three lakh Indians thereby risking lakhs of Indian families in the United States.

Donald Trump and his Republican Party are against any control on arms supply to citizens of the USA as the arms manufacturers are in league with them. Barack Obama’s attempt to ban free supply of arms to people was resisted by the American Congress controlled by the Republican Party.

The demand of the widow of Srinivas Kuchibhotla, Sunayana Dumala, that Trump owes an explanation on the murder of her husband and the President should speak out are justified. If the President speaks out, condemns the killing it will be not only a solace to the family of the victim but give hope to millions of immigrants about their security.

All US citizens are not racist. Not even the majority of White Americans. This racism can be fought by the White Americans, Blacks, immigrant Americans from all continents and all those who are for human brotherhood. Let the martyrdom of Srinivas Kuchibhotla be a call of awakening for all secular and democratic Indians. Let us fight Trump in the US and his shadow in India.

The author is the General Secretary, CPI.