Republican Hindu group scaling back campaign for Donald Trump

News Network
October 17, 2020

trump.JPG

Washington, Oct 17: During the 2016 election campaign around this time, then-candidate Donald Trump addressed a large, glamorous rally of thousands of cheering Hindus – the first time a US presidential candidate reached out to the followers of the faith

But this time there won't be such an event.

The Republican Hindu Coalition (RHC), which organised the event on October 15, 2016, in New Jersey, is scaling back its campaign for Trump and will not hold events for him unless he gives an assurance on immigration reform, according to its founder Shalabh Kumar.

Kumar said media persons that he and the group's members would continue to support Trump and urge Hindus to vote for him, but will not hold any campaign events like the one in 2016 which was attended by over 8,000 people.

In the US, electioneering based on religious appeal is legal and common at all levels.

"We are asking all our members to support Trump in their individual capacity to vote for Trump and for Republicans in general," Kumar said.

"But in terms of major campaign events like what we did in New Jersey and what we did with 'Apki Baar Trump Sarkar' commercial which we aired every day, we are waiting for a meeting with the President to clarify his position particularly on the Green Card backlog," he said.

He asserted that the RHC had about 50,000 members and because the Hindus came from all over the world, their number in the US exceeded that of immigrants coming directly from India and their children.

While the Democratic Party candidate Joe Biden is not carrying out large campaign rallies because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Trump has been holding them and it should be possible to organise a Hindu event for him.

The Trump campaign, meanwhile, has launched an outreach under its own umbrella called the 'Hindu Voices for Trump', as part of a multi-pronged drive that also separately targets Sikhs, Muslims and Indian-Americans in general.

But it has been acting low key, not organising any big campaign events for Hindus and it emphasises religious freedom and economic opportunities.

For the first time, Democrats have also reached out to members of the religion with a "Hindus for Biden" initiative spearheaded by Raja Krishnamoorthi, a member of the House of Representatives.

In the past, the Democrats' explicit outreach had been to religions like Islam and Judaism and excluded Hinduism.

Noting the change in the Democratic Party, Kumar quipped: "We have at least made the Hindu word popular."

He said that as a "very issue-oriented, policy-oriented organisation", the RHC requires a commitment from Trump on immigration reform and clearing the Green Card backlog, which it considers is important to the community and would ramp up its campaign for him once it is received.

While Trump speaks of merit-based immigration there are about a million people caught up in the Green Card backlog and "they are in great pain", he said.

The RHC wants a commitment from Trump that he would introduce a system of an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) that would allow people waiting for five or more years for their Green Cards to indefinitely work and live in the US till their numbers come up for it, he said.

According to Republican Senator Mike Lee's estimate, the backlog is so bad that for some Indians the wait could take 195 years for a Green Card, which gives permanent immigrant status and puts the recipients in the pipeline to full citizenship.

The EAD would be a bridge to Green Card pending immigration reforms to clear the backlog, Kumar said.

Trump would also have to come out more clearly on the Citizenship Amendment Act that gives expedited Indian citizenship to Christian, Hindu and Buddhist refugees fleeing persecution in Islamic nations in South Asia, and on the Indian government withdrawing the special constitutional status of Kashmir.

In 2016, Kumar said "we had an agreement from Trump" on four issues that the RHC raised "before we endorsed his and went out all the way for him".

The issues were holding Pakistan accountable for terrorism, the sale of advanced weapons systems to India, the supply of liquid natural gas to India and advancing US-India relations, he said.

Candidate Trump agreed to the conditions and as president he has delivered on them, Kumar said.

That is a reason for the uptick in support among Indian-Americans for Trump, he said.

Regarding the immigration issue, he said: "There is bipartisan support and we want to make sure that that issue gets taken care of, whether Trump gets re-elected, which, of course, we want -- I am a hard-core conservative – (and) at the same time looking at the reality on the ground, if Vice President Biden become the president, we want that issue to be taken care of."

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.
News Network
October 13,2020

mayor.jpg

Bengaluru, Oct 13: The Central Crime Branch, probing the violence here over an inflammatory Facebook post, has named former Mayor and sitting Congress corporator R Sampath Raj as one of the accused in the case, police said on Tuesday.

"He (Sampath Raj) has been named as one of the accused in the DJ halli and KG halli violence," a top police officer investigating the case said. According to the official, he was amongst those who had information about the violence and did not share it with the police.

Police had twice questioned him for several hours along with Pulakeshinagar Congress corporator Abdul Rakeeb Zakir, but have not arrested them yet. It is not known whether Zakir is also an accused in the case. Sampath Raj's personal assistant Arun Kumar was arrested earlier for allegedly remaining in touch with the ring leaders of the Bengaluru violence.

Over 3,000 people went on a rampage on August 11 torching the residences of Congress MLA R Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy, his sister Jayanthi in the city over an inflammatory social media post by the relative of the legislator.

The irate mob then set the DJ Halli and KG Halli police stations on fire over suspicion that the relative was in the lockup there. The vandals damaged public and private properties and set many vehicles on fire.

To control the angry crowd, police had opened fire killing three people on the spot while the fourth allegedly involved in the violence died in a hospital. So far, 421 people have been arrested, including the Social Democratic Party of India leader Muzammil Pasha.

This apart, the National Investigation Agency is also investigating the matter and has nabbed the prime accused of the case. Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai had claimed that the internal strife in the Congress coupled with the upcoming BBMP (city corporation) elections had resulted in the violence in Pulakeshinagar.

Refuting Bommai's statement, the state Congress chief DK Shivakumar had charged the government with trying to 'cover up' its failure to prevent the riots by giving misleading statements.

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.
News Network
October 16,2020

theatre.JPG

Bengaluru, Oct 16: Despite the Union government giving its nod to screen movies in theatres, only a handful of hall owners have come forward to open theatres from Friday.

Speaking to news agency, a theatre owner on condition of anonymity said that many theatre owners are sceptical to screen movies on the first day.

“Most of us are adopting the wait and watch policy in Karnataka, as we want to read the pulse of the viewers before opening the theatres,” he explained.

Karnataka Theatre Owners’ Association president K.V. Chandrashekhar said that there are 650 single screen theatres in the state and of this, 140 are located in Bengaluru alone, while 260 screens operate in various multiplexes across the state.

“Until now, the association has not got a clear assurance from its members as to who are going to open their theatres from Friday. A clear picture will only emerge on Friday,” he said.

He added that the biggest fear among the theatre owners is how the viewers will react. “It is not easy to predict now, as it will take at least five or six weeks to assess the correct picture about the theatre business,” he explained.

However, another source said that only about 15 to 20 theatre owners have explicitly shown interest to open on the first day.

“Covid has created panic among the people and we are no different. It is very clear that when the markets are in red, one cannot expect great returns. Film watching is always the last option for a common man, as his priorities like food and shelter should be fulfilled first. Then only he or she can think of coming for entertainment,” a theatre owner said.

However, most of the theatre owners in Bengaluru were busy cleaning and dusting the theatres, which are gearing up to screen movies.

The manager of a famous theatre in the Majestic area said on condition of anonymity that the viewers’ interest in watching movies in theatres is on a downward trend for the last two decades, ever since colour TVs coupled with cable network came into dominance.

The Majestic area once housed more than two dozen prominent theatres, but now half all of them have been converted into shopping complexes, he said.

According to him, in the 70s viewers used to come to Nartaki, a famous theatre, just for the sake of enjoying the ambience of the theatre. But now it is no more an attraction to the young crowd.

“Even multiplexes do not enthuse the viewers anymore. As people are getting accustomed to small screen viewing, viewers are deserting the theatres,” he said.

“It may not be easy for us to generate enough revenue to pay our staff’s salaries. We have to see how the viewers respond to the movies,” he added.

Speaking to news agency, noted script writer Satymurthy Ananduru said that it is not easy to attract viewers back to the theatres as most of the viewers have moved to the OTT platforms for their daily dose of entertainment.

“If the movie theatres are going to release old movies or movies which have already been streamed online, it would be difficult to attract viewers back to the theatres,” Ananduru said.

He observed that Bengaluru has always been cosmopolitan in nature even before the IT boom happened, unlike the neighbouring states which are full of avid movie buffs.

“Only one movie star enjoyed such craze — late thespian Dr Raajkumar. Such being the case, it is difficult to attract viewers back to the theatres in Bengaluru,” he said.

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.
News Network
October 22,2020

bava.JPG

Mangaluru, Oct 22: Former MLA and Congress leader from Mangaluru, Mohiuddin Bava, on Wednesday claimed that he had received a threatening phone call after he visited the Gurupura Ambika Annapoorneshwari temple.

Bava alleged that he received a call from one Anil from Mumbai who threatened him for visiting a Hindu temple, saying, "It's not the Nehru period; it is the Modi period. A beef-eater and Muslim should not visit the temple and make the temple unholy."

The Congress leader filed a complaint with the Surathkal Police Station.

Bava had visited the temple on Sunday after he was invited by the temple priest for the "Kopparige" Pooja.

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.