The Republican Hindu Coalition (RHC), a group founded in 2015 by the Chicago-based businessman Shalabh Kumar, is all out to support Donald Trump campaign to win the elections.
Indians are the second-largest immigrant group in the US and the country’s wealthiest ethnic group, according to US Census data. As of 2012, there were over 3 million Indian Americans living in the country, according to a study by the Pew Research Centre, with about half identifying as Hindus.
Earlier this year, a survey showed that nearly 60% of Indian Americans viewed the Republican party unfavourably and 62% had a similar negative opinion of Trump.
It is natural for Shalabh Kumar to turn to Bollywood to win some Indian hearts to Trump side. He has become one of Trump’s biggest backers (he and his wife have already donated nearly $900,000 to Trump’s campaign and they’re aiming for $1.1 million). Kumar is determined to get the rich but traditionally left-leaning Indian-American community on Trump’s side.
He has invited a host of Bollywood celebrities, including the actors Shahid Kapoor, Prabhu Deva, and Malaika Arora Khan, to a charity event to be held in New Jersey on Sept. 24. And the guest of honour is Trump himself.
In July, Kumar said he was planning a “mega Bollywood fund-raising event in the US for victims of terror in America and around the world” that would “serve as a forum to reach out to Indian American supporters and donors for Trump’s presidential bid.”
According to a flyer posted on Facebook, the event is for the benefit of “victims of terror particularly Kashmiri pundits and Hindu refugees from Bangladesh.”
The event is not listed as a fundraiser for Trump, but winning the hearts and minds (as well as the donations) of Indian-Americans should be a high priority for the candidate.
Trump faces an uphill battle in this community. In the 2008 elections, around 84% of Indian Americans voted for Barack Obama and data from the Pew Research Centre shows that even in 2012 a majority of the community aligned themselves with the Democrats.
There is no confirmation from the Bollywood whether the stars are attending the Trump bash. – CINEWS