Trump’s India journey overlooked the New Delhi riots. However his silence isn’t the most damning.

Trump’s India journey overlooked the New Delhi riots. However his silence isn’t the most damning.

Throughout President Donald Trump’s very first main visit to India, the image opportunities were plentiful. Here, we have Trump and the very first girl at the Taj Mahal There, we have Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner smiling in the Agra heat

However there were other images coming out of India, too: Pictures and video of Indians being dragged along the ground by nationalists in New Delhi, pictures of gunshot wounds, bloodshed and fire. Numerous of Trump’s media event occurred simply miles from the violent protests, where supposedly more than 40 people have actually died and hundreds more have been injured

And in Gujarat, where Trump and Modi went to a huge rally together, a wall quickly constructed by the Indian government represented a dystopian albeit transparent effort to conceal run-down neighborhoods from America’s view

Several of Trump’s media event happened just miles from the violent demonstrations, where supposedly more than 40 individuals have actually died and hundreds more have actually been hurt.

As the violence raged on, we heard not a word from the president of the United States. But he is not the only one staying oddly silent regardless of the atrocities playing out literally prior to our eyes. Too many Indian American immigrants are likewise turning a blind eye to the domestic terrorism in India since they are uneasy with and ashamed of the truths of their nation.

The violence was spurred by various point of views: nationalists supporting the Citizenship Change Act (CAA), and anti-CAA protesters. The CAA was passed in December, granting a track to Indian citizenship for undocumented immigrants from Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Christian, Jain and Parsi backgrounds. The mentioned objective was to protect refugees originating from surrounding countries such as Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. That is, refugees who are not Muslim. Muslim identities were easily left out of the amendment, however these 3 nations are Muslim bulk countries. These very same Muslim identities are likewise a few of the most persecuted in the world, especially the Rohingya, who are fleeing to Bangladesh following ethnic cleaning in Myanmar

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has not helped matters very much, brashly throwing around anti-Muslim rhetoric. From potentially gaslighting countless residents, ensuring them of no spiritual predisposition, to revoking the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, another Muslim-majority state, Modi is plainly promoting a Hindu nationalist program. He, like Trump, is likewise the victor in an election campaign that has used fearmongering and anti-Muslim rhetoric to consolidate support.

Modi’s and Trump’s kinship makes good sense in this context. Throughout a Houston rally in the fall, Modi stated he supports Trump’s efforts to “Make America Great Again.” Trump and Modi pledged to support each other’s efforts to “secure innocent civilians from radical Islamic terrorism” From enacting a “Muslim restriction” throughout his first days in workplace to speech that far frequently denigrates minorities, Trump has actually encouraged the type of anti-Muslim sentiment that dovetails with the Islamophobic environment in India today– and indeed is progressively spreading around the world

The repercussions of this atmosphere can be seen in the language utilized by Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Celebration (BJP), which threatens to denaturalize Muslims throughout the country. As Ravi Kishan, a popular member of Parliament and supporter of the CAA, said just recently, “India has actually always been a Hindu country.”

As a first-generation, Indian American immigrant myself, I watch what is taking place both in my home and the homes of many of my family members with frustration– and yet the Indian diaspora stays mainly silent. Where is the outrage? I acknowledge the battle and the worry of appearing “too American” or “too Westernized.” And I recognize the desire to wish to get in touch with our homeland and its heritage. We, as immigrants, hold a double identity that we constantly fight to balance.

We dance around assimilation, being just Westernized enough, however not excessive. Not so Westernized that observers are led to think we have actually lost touch with our culture.

Many of us wish to think in the very best of our homeland and want to remain loyal to its worths and customs. Being ashamed of our country’s actions is not the exact same as being embarrassed of our culture or heritage. Openly knocking Trump’s and Modi’s actions do not correspond to having “whitewashed,” Americanized views. Rather, it relates to thinking in intersectional human rights. Modi is anti-Muslim. His actions, his words and his program this.

And one of the factors Modi has the ability to be so vibrant in his Islamophobia is since Trump– and all people– are enabling him through our silence. Frequently, post-colonial Eastern societies still position the West on a pedestal. This is apparent in the ” king’s welcome” that Trump got last week. Flags were hoisted, brand-new plants potted, bodies of water revitalized, and performances scripted. India pulled out all the stops possible to impress Trump, including making use of the largest cricket arena worldwide.

But those people residing in the West are fortunate. And with that advantage comes the obligation to speak up about the atrocities taking place in India.

However those people residing in the West are fortunate. And with that benefit comes the responsibility to speak up about the atrocities happening in India.

It is not right to support Modi just out of a sense of Indian uniformity. We need to stand in uniformity with those working for the betterment of India. We need to call out those who do not dare decry Modi’s actions, those who are so easily seduced by Trump’s saccharine tweets in Hindi; tweets which disregard the crippling afflictions in India. We can not let Trump’s misleading techniques fool us into believing he has our interests at heart, as he has apparently tricked both Indians and Indian American immigrants alike.

Indian American immigrants may rather avoid this untidy subject. However we can not settle for an authoritarian government– neither in America nor in India. We must face the pain on social networks and in WhatsApp chats. If we sit idly by, we are complicit.

The heart of India is burning. Mentioning the flaws is the only course towards a much better India– an India we can all take pride in.

Priyanka Bansal

Priyanka Bansal is a Rutgers College student and a self-employed journalist covering the South Asian neighborhood, psychological health, and regional New Jersey news.

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