The event is organized by the Republican Hindu Coalition, founded by Indian American businessman Shalabh ‘Shalli’ Kumar, and chaired by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Kumar told India-West that Trump’s speech – titled “Humanity United Against Terror” – is part of a larger fundraising event, featuring “top-shelf” Bollywood celebrities to raise funds for “victims of terror around the world.”
Proceeds will primarily be donated to Kashmiri pandits, who face persecution from radical Islamists in the region, and Hindus being tortured in Bangladesh by extremists in that country, said Kumar.
Kumar met Trump on July 9 in a 90-minute one-on-one meeting, and arranged for the candidate to speak at the upcoming event. “He wanted to reach out to the Hindu American community,” said Kumar.
The Chicago, Ill., area industrialist and chairman of AVG Advanced Technologies, has emerged as one of Trump’s largest campaign donors. On July 16, Kumar wired $449,400 to Trump’s campaign, the maximum amount an individual can donate to the fund in one election cycle. His wife then made an equal donation of $449,400.
Kumar shrugged off poll numbers that show his candidate trailing Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton by at least seven percentage points. He noted that Trump has considerably recovered in the past week, and predicted that by Labor Day, the two candidates would be even, as foreseen by Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus.
Trump has softened his tone on deporting undocumented immigrants, the bedrock of his primary campaign. He told Fox News’ Sean Hannity Aug. 24 that he would not offer amnesty to the 11 million immigrants in the U.S. without requisite immigration papers, but was willing to “work with them.” He said it would be difficult to deport people who have lived in the U.S. for 15 to 20 years and have families here.
Kumar told India-West that Trump’s immigration platform included a faster turn-around time for H-1B temporary employment visa holders to gain permanent residency. “That’s family integration,” he said.
The businessman also noted that Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi could further the Indo-U.S. bilateral relationship, as they share similar values of minimum government/maximum governance, supporting free enterprise, and fiscal discipline.
Both men also support the combatting of global terrorism. “We are in the midst of World War III, with Islamic extremist terrorists ruling the world,” stated Kumar. “I don’t condemn Muslims. I have a lot of Muslim friends who say their religion has been hijacked.”
Kumar said he expects 25,000 people to attend the event. The RHC is offering tickets from its Web site to anyone who donates $101 or more.