Newslocker on a TOI article, Manasvi counters “What’s wrong if Trump wants to give preference to his own people?”
It’s been oddly riveting to watch Donald Trump’s ride to the White House but even as the American businessman-turned-president was ridiculed, admired and mourned, another figure who managed to rattle frayed nerves on the sidelines was Shalabh Kumar, an Indian-American who emerged as one of Trump’s top donors for his presidential campaign. He also has been steering the self-styled Republican Hindu Coalition (RHC), a small faction of fired-up Trump supporters resulting in the biggest switch of votes for an ethnic community in a US election, they claim.
In Mumbai for a day and dressed much like his commander-in-chief, Kumar walked into the room in a boxy suit, red tie, and a stone studded ‘Om’ pinned to his lapel as he laid down the rules for the interview, mandated as an unveiling of Manasvi, his god-daughter or political offspring.
“I’m already over exposed so this time I’m going to let Manasvi remain in focus,” he said introducing Manasvi, a Bollywood starlet and model. “She’s one Indian citizen who has spent more time up-close with Mr Donald Trump than the combination of all Indians in the world,” he smiled before doing a quick calculation. “She’s spent ten hours with Trump while Mr. Modi had only four minutes!”
Kumar, clearly, had decided to let Manasvi take centrestage as he left his chair and retreated to a wall but remained cryptic when asked about creating his protégée. “We’re like Janak and Sita. It’s about a soul connection, not a biological one.”
In a satin pant suit, her hourglass figure cinched together with an ovi belt, the freshly minted Republican beamed about the time she first met Trump. “It was at a rally organised by Kumar in New Jersey last October. I’ve been a former Miss India and he owned Miss Universe, so we got along. I had a different image of Trump because of media but soon realised that he’s very honest. He stands for the principles that RHC values-free enterprise, discipline, family values and fight against terrorism,” she carried on until the conversation veered from a celebration of Trump to rockier issues at hand-Muslim ban, tougher immigration norms and growing insecurity among Indians in the US following a slew of hate crimes.
Manasvi shot a sharp glance but answered. “It’s all blown out of proportion,” she said, repeating some of Trump’s controversial rhetoric and pausing for quick approvals from her father. That is, if he wasn’t already correcting her facts.
“Racial attacks such as these have happened many times in American history and will happen. Three days after the incident, President Trump, started his address at the joint session of Congress speaking about the Kansas attack. He didn’t have to do that,” she said. “He took six days actually, not three,” remedied Kumar, rushing in from the wings.
“What’s wrong if Trump wants to give preference to his own people?” she deadpanned when asked how she felt about new wage structures to cut down jobs for Indian skilled workers in the US. “If I was president of anywhere, I’d also prioritise my own people. All these fears about immigration, job… sab faltu ke darr hain.”
In true Trump style, both father and daughter fielded questions with aplomb, defending and asserting that Indians in the US had no reason to worry. Holding forth on Manasvi once more, Kumar revealed his grooming tips for the “American Congress woman” in the making.
“She has to be logical, study, understand issues and not depend on Google- acharya for all her answers,” he smiled. “Yes, for the first time I’m using my brains,” Manasvi chuckled.