Thursday, Mar 22, 2018 | Last Update : 03:35 PM IST
Basking in the glory of Donald Trump’s victory, Shalabh Kumar — the chairman of the Republican Hindu Coalition (RHC) and a prominent Indian-origin face of the Republican Party — will almost certainly
Basking in the glory of Donald Trump’s victory, Shalabh Kumar — the chairman of the Republican Hindu Coalition (RHC) and a prominent Indian-origin face of the Republican Party — will almost certainly see his clout growing by leaps and bounds.
Mr Kumar expressed confidence to a TV channel on Wednesday in the US that the victorious Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi would meet soon. In fact, Mr Trump in the presence of Mr Kumar had earlier declared at a Diwali function his appreciation of Hindus and India and had said that the Hindus and Indian-Americans would have a true friend in him if he were elected to the White House.
Mr Trump had also said that no relationship would be more important to him than the one with India. This had enthused a section of the community to vote for Trump. The fury against Pakistan among a section of the Indian-American Hindu community following the Uri terror attack and Mr Trump’s perceived hostility against Muslims possibly acted as a glue for the two to make common cause. Mr Kumar had told this newspaper last month that a Republican administration under Mr Trump will be much more favourably disposed towards India than even at present.
When asked then whether his organisation has any links with the ruling BJP in India, Mr. Kumar had said, “Many BJP leaders are my friends”, adding that if Donald Trump were to be elected President, he would work in strong partnership with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Kumar was educated in Punjab in the 1960s, migrated to the US in 1969 and became a citizen there in 1981.
Meanwhile in New Delhi, a fringe right-wing outfit called the Hindu Sena celebrated the victory of Republican Donald Trump in the US polls, saying his Presidency would “further boost” Indo-US ties.
With Ms Hillary Clinton failing to break the glass ceiling and become the first woman President of the US, the Indian-American community, however, seems to have been divided in their support, with many voting for Ms Clinton but a section of the community led by Shalabh Kumar’s RHC pulled its weight behind Trump. As Mr Kumar himself had pointed out, Indian-Americans and Hindus there form one of the most successful and prosperous communities in the US.
Meanwhile, in New Delhi, fringe right-wing outfit Hindu Sena celebrated the victory of Trump in the US polls. “We are very happy on the election results and we have been cheering him (Trump) during the campaign period too. Today, we gathered in the streets and played drums and distributed sweets,” Vishnu Gupta, chief of the Hindu Sena group, was quoted as saying. Gupta said, his group was confident of the Republican’s win in the US polls. “The victory also means that now, India has one of the biggest friends in the White House. And, now, India and the US would together work for banishing terrorism,” he said. His right-wing outfit had in May reportedly conducted a special prayer meeting (‘havan’) for the victory of Trump and in June celebrated Trump’s birthday with cake, posters and balloons.