While I tried to play fair, the Trump card will push Indian students, and especially the aspiring ones on an edge.
Every year, thousands of Indian students move to the United States in search for better education, skill development, and exposure. Considered to be a haven by most, the nation serves as an idol to the rest of the world in terms of imparting education and research facilities. With universities like Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Princeton, Caltech, UC Berkley to name a few, admission in the United States is a dream come true for most Indians. And for these students, it has even paid off. Sundar Pichai, Satya Nadella, Indra Nooyi, Ratan Tata, and even Ranbir Kapoor are only a few of the many examples of students who could excel in their respective fields thanks to their experiences with the US education system.
However, a few days back, a misogynist, racist, white purist businessman won the US presidential elections. Was it a good news for Indian students? Or was it just another day at the office?
For me, it was nothing short of a nightmare. As an Indian student, I see myself going to the United States for a post-graduation in Physics sometime in the future, but what I can’t see is myself working there after my study is complete. Even if I wish to, I would love to have a choice, but I see a huge problem in Trump’s fickle claims. Even though he has changed his stance on Indian students and immigrants multiple times, there was a consistent pattern visible throughout.
In his interview to Sujeet Rajan, a journalist with American Bazaar, he talked about how he wished to exploit H-1B visa holders, and detain those who did not comply. He further talked about these ‘workers’ doing trivial jobs, like building the wall along the Mexican border, before he forced Rajan’s phone off him, proceeding to photoshop his wife’s body for that of a cow. Subtle indeed.
However, he maintained a positive position for Indian students, saying that he believes Indian students should be allowed to stay for a job, and not be kicked out. He further added that these students have stayed here a long while, and can undergo professional training in the form of employment there.
But, his all-or-nothing stances is where the problem lies: for Trump, ‘can’ is a word that means ‘should’. It means, for him, Indian students should stay in the USA after imparting education from there. But he also wants to keep non-immigrant legal workers to build the Mexican wall. Thus, he would, if allowed by, well, the Republican senate, make Indian students sign an agreement forcing them to work there in exchange of education and a hefty fee.
Moreover, in the interview with Rajan, he furthered mentioned this:
So, basically it means $35.000 for an unnecessary training course, just so one of his failed ventures can profit from STEM students? He’s a true heartless human, for many of these students, especially the Indian ones, study in the US on scholarships. How are most of these students supposed to afford another 23,65,000 rupees to be able to study in the country?
Overall, while the education counselors maintain that USA cannot shut down its intake of Indian students, the problem lies deeper in this case. It’s not the admission that matters with Trump, it’s the risk involved, the financial aspect of the same. He is an advocate of white supremacy, and Indians living in the US have been subjected to racism already. The fact that Trump has trumped through the elections should speak volumes about the feasibility of studying in the US for Indian students, and the safety of Indians in general across the nation.
His exploitive stance on STEM students, his racial abuse and misogyny, his capitalistic attribute, his selfish personality, the fact that he became the President solely for monetary profits, all added to the Islamophobia prominent in the USA, we as Indian students have a heavy risk assessment to do before we decide to apply to Harvard or Yale or MIT.