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Immigrants are the backbone of American society and a big contributor to the US economy, says Indian-American musician Siddhartha Khosla, who believes US President Donald Trump's immigration policies lack foresight and will take the country backward.
The singer-composer's parents came to the US as immigrants back in 1976. And he has carved a niche for himself as a musician, composing tunes for TV and films.
"I think Trump's policies, unfortunately, are a big step backward. This country and many countries around the world are successful because they are formed of immigrants. For example, the US was built by immigrants from Europe, India, Africa and everywhere else. They come to this country and play such a huge role in the economy of this country. I think it is important that we remember that," Khosla told IANS over phone from Los Angeles.
The second-generation Indian-American added: "I think some immigration policies that he has proposed are pretty short-sighted and, unfortunately, take a big step backward for our country."
In January, Trump's initial executive order barred people from seven predominantly Muslim countries -- Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen -- from entering the US for 90 days. However, a federal judge issued a stay on that executive order. But on March 6, Trump signed a second executive order, where Iraq was excluded from the list.
In view of the recent developments, there are concerns about hate crimes increasing in the US. But Khosla, who has also come out with an album "Aerogramme" featuring songs about the experiences of Indian immigrants in the US, feels there is nothing to be worried about.
"The country responded to it (the proposed plans) in a beautiful way.
When he proposed the ban on Muslim-majority nations, people went to the streets and protested and spoke up. It led to the President reversing the policy and coming up with something else.
"He (Trump) is just one person even if he is the President. His opinions are his opinions. The only way his policy will hold (any relevance) is if it is constitutional and so far he has not delivered anything constitutional regarding the foreign policies. I am not worried about it because the country knows what's best for the country."
Khosla was born in the US but spent his early childhood in New Delhi as his parents were not financially stable to raise him in the US immediately after they migrated.
He is the founder of American Indie band Goldspot, and has made his place as a composer after giving score for films as well as shows like "The Royals" and "Grandfathered". At present, his creation for "This Is Us" -- which airs in India on Star World Premiere HD -- is receiving rave reviews internationally, as well as in India.
Khosla last came to India in 2014 to perform at NH7 Weekender. He is very nostalgic about the time he spent with his family -- especially his "bade papa and badi mummy" in India.
He is an ardent fan of music by Kishore Kumar and Mohammed Rafi, and looks forward to collaborating with Indian artistes.
"It depends on what the song requires. If something is there that requires music collaboration from India... I will be more than happy to do it," said the musician, who has two more TV projects and movies in the pipeline.
(Sugandha Rawal can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)