No surge of white nationalism: Dhillon

  • World, Published on: Thursday 17th November 16 - 8:39pm

The interpretation of Donald Trump’s victory as a resurgence of white Christian nationalism in the U.S. is a false narrative created by the media, said Harmeet K. Dhillon, the highest-ranking Indian-American in the Republican Party.

Ms. Dhillon is a member of the Republican National Committee (RNC) and had recited Ardas, a Sikh prayer, at the party national convention in July. “I am a practising Sikh. I am a Republican and I have been active in the campaign.

“And I feel I belong there,” she said, adding that the media that wrongly predicted the outcome of the election is indulging in fearmongering in self-justification.

Diverse administration

Ms. Dhillon said the administration Mr. Trump is setting up would be one of the most diverse ever in terms of “race, gender, sexual orientation and national origin”. “Mr. Trump has hired people of many religion, race and sexual orientation in his companies. To assume that his administration will be any different is preposterous,” the San Francisco-based lawyer said. “He will choose the best and brightest in the administration and there will be many Indian Americans and some Democrats too there.”

Acknowledging the spike in racial violence and bullying ever since Mr. Trump’s victory, she said actions of extremist elements cannot be blamed on the President-elect. “Like it is unfair to blame RSS for the actions of some extremist Hindu elements, it’s unfair to blame Mr. Trump for these incidents. The fact is that Mr. Trump has got more votes of Latinos and African Americans than Mitt Romney and John McCain (Republican candidates in the last two presidential elections),” she said.

Ms. Dhillon said Indian Americans should be careful “not to be influenced by the media hysteria” and to not fall prey to fear. “I can tell you that Mr. Trump will treat all Americans equally.”

She added India could be affected “one way or other” when the incoming President seeks to rework and enforce trade agreements to facilitate American businesses. Mr. Trump’s policy on H-1B visas could also involve measures to prevent undercutting of salaries in America, she said. “This might affect some Indian companies. But a stronger America will be better for India.”

India visit

Raju Chinthala, Indian American leader of the Republican Party in Indiana, said Vice President-elect Mike Pence, who is currently Governor of the State, was planning a visit to India next year.

“Now that he has become the Vice President, he may not be able travel to India next year. But I am sure in 2018 the President or the VP will travel to India,” he said.