The death of an Indian American pushed to his death into an oncoming New York subway train has stunned the Indian American community. Prosecutors say the suspect told police she did it because she hated Hindus and Muslims. The victim Sunando Sen was Hindu.
“The success of the Indian American community can sometimes be a spark that leads to jealousy and hatred among ill-informed people,” says Sanjay Puri, chairman of the US India Political Action Committee. He told the Economic Times that racial stereotyping and attacks are something Indian Americans have lived with since 9/11. The tragic massacre at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin is just one high profile example.
“From more subtle forms of discrimination in the workplace and public places to overt and violent crimes, Indians have been targeted on the basis of their ethnic and religious identities. Indeed, post 9/11, many Hindus and Sikhs have been attacked and houses of worship or places of business vandalized because they were mistaken to be Muslims,” says Aseem Shukla, associate professor of urologic surgery and pediatrics at the University of Minnesota and co-founder and director, HAF.