JAIPUR: Alarmed over attacks on Indians, the Rajasthani community in the US is planning to frame a standard operating procedure (SOP) for the community.
Known as the second-richest Indian ethnic community, which runs jewellery, hotel, medical and health businesses, Rajasthanis, based in various parts of the US along with their associations, will soon send a memorandum to US President Donald Trump and ask him to intervene in clearing misconceptions about Indians among some Americans.
On Monday, TOI spoke to various associations, including the Rajasthan Association of North America (RANA) and the US chapter of Rajasthan Forum, to find out more about the situation from non-resident Rajasthanis in the US.
K K Mehta, a hotelier based in Atlanta and the current president of Rajasthan Foundation, said, "It's a matter of great concern. We as Rajasthanis are also shattered by the recent attacks on Indians. People have to understand that the US has always been a melting pot of people from various cultures, religion, caste and creed. The government should maintain the reputation of this great country."
Asked about the strategy planned by the community, Mehta, who is also a former president and founder of RANA, said, "We will work towards clearing misconceptions among Americans. We will discuss the issue at our monthly meeting and the upcoming get-together on April 1 after the Holi festival. We will discuss and chalk out SOPs in this regard. We are also planning to write to Donald Trump to intervene in this regard."
Prem Bhandari, who was earlier associated with RANA and known as a social activist for taking up various issues affecting Indians and Rajasthanis, said over phone from New York, "It reminds me of the time when US witnessed violence by the Dotbuster gang, a hate group based in New Jersey in the late 1980s. They used to target South Asians, especially Indians, then. I think we as a community have earned a name, fame and glory by sheer hard work and commitment in the US in varied fields such as jewellery, medical, health, hotels and other businesses. This country has given us so much. However, I feel in this changed scenario, it's high time that the US President intervened to clear the misconception among some US citizens."
He added that the recent attacks have created fear in minds of Indians. "If we have a habit of saving $5,000 out of every $10,000 we make, it cannot be anybody's problem. It is in our culture to save money. We will hold regular monthly meetings to overcome this issue," he said.
"The US government should understand that Indians have largely contributed to the growth of America while performing well in various fields," he added.
Rishabh Singh, a software engineer based in West Chester, Pennsylvania, said, "The situation is not that bad. However, after the incidents in which three Indians, including a south Indian, a Gujarati and a Sikh, were attacked recently, it gives a sense of insecurity. I still believe that a few such rowdy groups cannot sully the image of US which is a very accommodative and constructive country for those who believe in hard work and contribute to its development."