Indians in US, families back home rattled by shootings, racism

Many working in US say that racism has always been prevalent, gotten worse under Trump administration; some apprehensive about decisions on H-1B visa

Published: 11th March 2017 07:31 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th March 2017 07:31 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Advisories sent by Indian companies to their employees in the United States asking them to be ‘watchful and aware’ as racist incidents were even reported in ‘nicest communities’ have worried the Indian community there as well as their families in India.
Several Indian citizens working in the US argue that racism is prevalent and it has only gotten worse following Donald Trump’s election as President last year. On the other side of the planet, in Bengaluru, parents and relatives of those working in the US are anxious after the recent shootings.

‘Racism by Indians too’

Sumanth Jain (name changed) works on site for a reputed Indian software firm at Hartford, Connecticut. US is a country full of immigrants, he says, adding, “We have to just deal with it.” Racism in the northern states of US is less compared to southern states like Texas, he said.
What has shocked him even more is the racism shown by people of Indian origin or Indians who have lived in the US for a few years.
“Some who have been here for a couple of years act as if they are green card holders and tease us by calling us ‘Indians’,”he said.
For Bengalurean Krishna Naik, working in the mid-western state of Michigan, it doesn’t matter who is ruling the country. “Trump or Obama, it does not matter. I have seen Indians being targeted ever since I got here,” said Naik, who has been working there for the past five years.

Uncertainty prevails

For relatives of many Indian working in the US, the three months of Trump presidency has been quite tumultuous owing to uncertainties over the new President’s policy decisions.
Deendayal Shetty, whose two older brothers are in the US, said that the decision over regulating H1B visas had caused some concern. “My sister-in-law is doing her MBA there and she has an H1B visa. It was a difficult time for both us in Bengaluru and my brother Gunasheela’s family in the US as we were worried she would have to come back,” he said. Moreover, people who have just finished their education in the US will find it difficult to find jobs there, he said.

Veena V Ram, whose son and his family live in Texas, said that the hatred that is seen in the US is a phenomenon being witnessed around the globe. “All these days parents of children working in the US were proud parents in the eyes of society. Now, these parents are living in perpetual fear,” she said.
Krishna Prasad, whose younger brother Srinivas K and his family live in Texas, echoes similar sentiment. “I think everything was fine earlier. Ever since Trump was elected President, my brother and his family have been afraid. They have regulated their movements
outside the house due to a fear that has built up recently,” he said. “They are taking all precautions,” he added.
(With inputs from Oindrilla Sarkar)

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