Was H-1B visa issue the reason for India's muted response on Kansas killing?
India's response to the Kansas killing was a rather muted one. A selective leak about issuing a demarche and a quick denial by Tuesday evening was how events followed in the aftermath of the killing of Srinivasa Kuchibhotla, the engineer from Hyderabad who was killed at a Kansas bar.
The killing shocked the entire world and there were many who blamed Donald Trump's rhetoric for the same. There was pressure on the White House to issue a condemnation and finally on Wednesday it came from the man himself, Donald Trump.
India normally reacts very strongly to such incidents. However this time around India decided to work silently on the issue and not go on a rhetoric. India was assured that the investigations and prosecution would take place. No stone will be left unturned, India's foreign S Jaishankar currently in the US was told. An official in New Delhi tells OneIndia that the priority was to ensure that the killer was brought to trial. When such an assurance is made, what is the point of going to town on a rhetoric.
However there are other reasons too behind the muted response. The curbs by the US on H-1B visas is a big concern for India. After Trump said that he would bring back all software jobs from India, there have been several requests to reconsider that stand.
Indian firms receive at least 60 per cent of the H-1B visas. It is a 150 billion dollar industry which is at stake, Indian officials had pointed out.
India even sent Jaishankar to the US to hold talks on this issue. India is driving the point that skilled workers from India give a competitive advantage to American companies.
India would want to tread carefully with the US as Donald Trump has been driving a nationalist agenda. India does not feel that the H-1B issue is only a rhetoric by Trump. He is serious about it and the negotiations with the US would have to be on a guarded and careful note. India in fact heaved a sigh of relief when Trump mentioned the Kansas shooting incident in his first address to the Congress on Wednesday.