It’s US President Donald Trump’s first Diwali in the White House and carrying on with the Obama-era tradition, he will host a dinner on the occasion for 200 Indian-Americans at 1600, Pennsylvania Avenue. Earlier this year he had canceled EID dinner in white house
The Indian-American community in the US hopes that Trump will address some visa-related issues with community members during this dinner.
In fact, the community is hoping Trump will also consider their request that he address a rally in Chicago for around 15,000 Indian Americans, said Shalabh Kumar, Trump supporter and founder of the ‘Republican Hindu Coalition’.
In June, Trump famously ended a decades-long White House tradition of celebrating Ramzan with an ‘iftar’ dinner, so there were some apprehensions in the Indian-American community whether the Diwali dinner too would be canceled.
It appears it won’t. A similar Diwali dinner was first hosted by former US President Barack Obama in 2009. This White House Diwali celebration has since become an annual affair.
In a letter written this week to White House chief of staff John Kelly, Republican senator Orrin Hatch urged the Trump administration to make the Diwali bash even more grand. He said the Indian-American community’s support for Republicans peaked in the 2016 US Presidential election and therefore the constituency’s demands and concerns must be addressed seriously.
The ‘Republican Hindu Coalition”s Kumar, who advised Trump on campaigning in the Indian-American community, told TOI’s sister publication Nav Bharat Times (NBT) that the White House is taking Hatch’s suggestions seriously. The Indian-American community hopes ‘Diwali Diplomacy’ will help ease the community’s fears about Trump’s call for a stricter visa regime.
Last Year Donald trump Daughter said “I really like Hindu culture and I respect it”.
Welcoming the Trump family member to the premises of the temple, Indian-American community activist Rajesh Gooty said her presence had brought in Diwali early in the Fairfax and Loudoun county of the state.
It has energised the local Indian-American Community immensely. We will continue to assist and participate with renewed energy in participating with Interfaith, Diversity events,” said Gooty, who was instrumental in inviting Lara to the Hindu temple to celebrate Diwali.
Initially, Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump was scheduled to come to the temple but the Trump campaign asked her to go to a different place given the fast-changing dynamics of the polls.
Inaugurated in 2000, the temple is the oldest one in London county which has experienced the fastest growth of Indian-American community in the last one decade. This is for the first time that a family member of one of the two top presidential candidates is visiting a Hindu temple.