March 1, 2017


India frets that American welcome is over after Kansas bar killing : Shooting of two Indian engineers shakes New Delhi's view of Trump administration (Amy Kazmin, 2/27/17, Financial Times)

[T]he link does not seem at all absurd in India, which sends several hundred thousand of its citizens to the US every year to study and work, as well as 1m tourists. In an emotional press conference at Garmin's headquarters, Sunayana Dumala, the widow of Kuchibhotla, spoke for an anguished nation, when she declared, "I need an answer from the government. I need an answer for everyone out there: what is it that they are going to do to stop this hate crime?"

The Indian media has echoed her call. "President Donald Trump and his political allies, who fanned the red-hot coals of white nationalist tendencies through the course of their election campaign, must answer questions raised by this murder," the Indian Express newspaper wrote in an editorial on Monday.

An editorial in the The Hindu newspaper noted Mr Trump, a compulsive tweeter, has been silent on Kuchibhotla's killing, though few doubt he would be so restrained if an immigrant had killed a white American. "The selective social media outrage of Mr Trump on violent acts across America is disturbing," it said. "This intensifying trend of racist xenophobia may make the US a far more dangerous emigration destination than it has been so far."

Underlying the furore is a deeper angst over the India-US relationship, which could be headed for a rough patch -- despite the bonhomie of Mr Trump's initial phone calls with Narendra Modi, India's prime minister.

Over the past 15 years or so, Washington's approach to New Delhi was driven by the belief that facilitating India's economic rise -- and military modernisation -- would yield long-term benefits to the US, even without immediate pay-offs.

But Mr Trump has made clear he wants America to get "better deals" in its relations with allies and other friendly countries, and bring American jobs back from overseas, which could hit the strategic ties with India.

For many Indians, especially young engineers, the most emotive question is whether they will still be welcomed, wanted and safe in the US.

Posted by at March 1, 2017 10:36 AM