Some of the most fascinating — and troubling — reporting on the tragic shooting of two Indian Americans in Olathe is coming from India.
The killing of Srinivas Kuchibhotla, the wounding of Alok Madasani — plus the wounding of a bystander — is being seen by some close relatives of the victims as a result of Donald Trump’s hatred of immigrants.
The shootings have spread fear in the three-million strong Indian community in the United States. And it has people wondering whether more incidents could be ahead, given Trump’s “America First” jingoism.
“A racist person said ‘get out of my country’ and targeted my brother and his friend. This was for the first time that someone hurled racial abuse at my brother. Trump is only the primary reason as of now,” said Kuchibhotla’s brother, Venu Madhav, India Today reported.
The jarring headline on the article: “Indian killed in Kansas bar shooting: Donald Trump behind murder, says Srinivas Kuchibhotla’s family.”
In addition, Madasani’s father, Jaganmohan Reddy, told the paper, “Thank God my son survived the firing. After the nightmarish incident, do we really need to go and work in (the) U.S.?”
The Hindustan Times reported that Madasani’s father said he had urged his son to quit his job and return home.
“The situation seems to be pretty bad after Trump took over as the U.S. president,” the father said. “I appeal to all the parents in India not to send their children to the U.S. in the present circumstances.”
A separate report in The Hindustan Times under the headline “Indian engineer’s killing in Kansas raises safety concerns for foreigners in US” contained this passage:
And while the alleged killer reportedly yelled “get out of my country” before opening fire, take a look at how hard Indian Americans have worked and how well they have done in the United States.
They are the richest ethnic group in the country, “earning a median income of $100,547 in 2013, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Compare that to $51,939, which was the median income for all Americans during the same period.”
Despite Trump’s hard-line stance on immigration, at least the U.S. embassy in New Delhi had the good sense to condemn the shooting.
“The United States is a nation of immigrants and welcomes people from across the world to visit, work, study, and live,” U.S. Charge d’Affaires MaryKay Carlson said in a statement.
Unfortunately, people in India — and around the world — increasingly are wondering whether that’s really true.
If they stop coming to America in great numbers, that would be their loss. But it also would be ours.