Washington DC: Attacks on Indian expatriates in the United States have become a common sight these days. In the last just over a week’s time as many as three Indians have been attacked. Two people have been killed and two others are struggling for their lives.
It seems that the initial bout of Islamophobia is giving rise to nationalism that abhors everything not American or non-white. There are chances that the killing one Sikh immigrant from India may be due to his turban. Some Islamophobe might have mistaken him for a Muslim.
While attacks against Muslims have subsided after initial spurt in the wake of Donald Trump’s ascendance to power, the white supremacists’ hatred for anything non-white seems to have risen significantly.
There are also reasons to believe that as the economic condition for many Americans becomes tough, they start envying the thriving Indian American community. This is the best performing of all ethnic communities in the US.
A Pew research in the year 2014 concluded that “Indian Americans are among the most highly educated racial or ethnic groups in the U.S. 70% of Indian Americans aged 25 and older had college degrees in 2010, by far the highest rate among the six Asian-American groups studied and 2.5 times the rate among the overall U.S. population. More recent (2013) data from the American Community Survey provides more detail: 40.6% of Indian Americans 25 and older have graduate or professional degrees, and 32.3% have bachelor’s degrees; an additional 10.4% have some college education”.
The report further said, “Indian Americans generally are well-off. Median annual household income for Indian Americans in 2010 was $88,000, much higher than for all Asian Americans ($66,000) and all U.S. households ($49,800) — perhaps not surprising, given their high education levels”.
At least two Indian Americans were killed in the last ten days while one was seriously injured. In one of the recent cases, Harnish Patel, an Indian-American store owner was gunned down outside his home in Lancaster, South Carolina. Merely a day before the incident, Deep Rai, a Sikh man, was shot outside his home in Kent, Washington. Earlier, in the last week of February, a U.S. military veteran is accused of shooting and killing an Indian man, Srinivas Kuchibhotla, in a Kansas bar and wounding his friend.
The spate of attacks against prosperous Indian immigrants in the US has shaken the community beyond belief.
After keeping mum for sometimes, the Indian government came out of the shock and responded. Sushma Swaraj, India’s minister of External Affairs, wrote on Twitter, “I am pained to hear about the killing of Harnish Patel a US national of Indian origin in Lancaster, South Carolina.” She went on to add, “Our Consul has reached Lancaster and met the family of Harnish Patel. The investigation of the case is in progress. My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family.”
While taking note of the attack in the US capital, the Indian external affairs minister said, “I am sorry to know about the attack on Deep Rai a US national of Indian origin. I have spoken to Sardar Harpal Singh father of the victim. He told me that his son had a bullet injury on his arm. He is out of danger and is recovering in a private hospital.”