Indians in the US and in India were shocked by the events at a Kansas City bar on Wednesday night, where local citizen Adam Purinton shot dead one individual and injured two others. Purinton had been overheard shouting racial slurs for much of the evening and was later described as yelling 'get out of my country' after supposedly mistaking the individuals as Middle Eastern.

Aviation Engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla, an employee at the technology company Garmin, sadly died at the scene and fellow countryman Alok Madasani was wounded. A third victim, 24-year old Ian Grillot, was also shot and wounded in the incident, as he attempted to defend the Indians being mistreated.

Thoughts in India

Purinton was swiftly apprehended and charged with murder alongside two counts of attempted murder. However, the incident has also caused significant reputational damage between India and the US, two closely allied nations. The father of the wounded Indian, Jaganmohan Madasani, announced that the US was no longer a safe place following the election of Donald Trump and described how he had encouraged his son to leave his job and return home. Furthermore, he appealed to other Indian parents considering sending their children to the US to reconsider such decisions, given the current situation in the country.

Worrying trend

Whilst it is difficult to link the killing directly to President Trump and his administration's policies since taking control of the White House in January, there has been a worrying trend in the number of hate crimes reported since the election.

The Southern Poverty Law Centre, a leading hate crime monitor in the US, reported an upsurge of hate crime incidents in the first 10 days of the Trump presidency. Hate crime figures, usually in the single digits range in terms of daily reporting, surged to over 200 on the day after the election, followed by over 850 incidents reported in Trump's first nine days in power.

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The majority of attackers in these incidents were also described as having cited President Trump's name when carrying out their atrocities.

In New York itself, the police department reported that hate crimes were up 115% since Trump was elected. This is a worrying trend for a nation filled with tensions, both racial and political.

With the US so divided, losing the support of once friendly nations would be damaging to the perception of the US as a nation open to all.

As we have seen since President Trump's election, public opinion of America has significantly weakened in the UK and Europe, alongside other long-time friendly nations such as Canada and Australia. This is in part due to President Trump's 'diplomacy' but has also been fuelled by the anti-immigrant policies introduced by the White House in the first month of the presidency. It remains to be seen whether future decisions will improve the standing of the US in the eyes of the world.