Trump's travel ban a blow to 'American dream': Padma Lakshmi

Trump's travel ban a blow to 'American dream': Padma Lakshmi

Indian-born American author-actress Padma Lakshmi dubbed American President Donald Trump's immigration ban as a direct blow to the "great American dream".

"The true tragedy of Muslim ban is that it has, with a stroke of pen, annihilated the American idea...the modern American dream, where you can come to America and make a living for yourself without any discrimination. This is what made America exemplary," Lakshmi said.

However, a great believer in the American democracy and its system of checks and balances, the celebrated television host says she is "ready to hit the ground running as soon she reaches back to the States".

"Let the President exercise his executive power, and I'll exercise my American passport. I believe in the instrument of Congress.

"I'll drop my suitcase, feed my daughter, take a bath and will do whatever is required, be it e-mailing the senators, or talking to them. I have to speak louder, and I will," she said.

Lakshmi, who was speaking at a session at the American Centre here, said a "renaissance" in the American culture similar to the Civil Rights Movement is round the corner, and that the present times are "scary".

"You are going to see a renaissance in American culture, which we have never seen since the Civil Rights Movement and it is exactly about civil rights. It is about women rights, the gay rights, marriage equality and what not," she said.

Questioning people's decision to vote for Trump in the 2016 polls, Lakshmi said the marginalised sections of the society might have voted for him with the hope that he will get them jobs, but "the fact is that Trump can't create manufacturing jobs as they are obsolete".

"There are dearth of manufacturing jobs because of the advances made in technology and also for the reason, that there is someone else ready to do the same job for less wages and less benefits.

"If you see, the rich voted for Hillary, while the blue-collared ones voted for Trump. They voted for him for jobs, but they just won't be getting the jobs," she said.

Lakshmi also talked about her latest book, "Love, Loss and What We Ate: A Memoir", in which writes about her fallout with former husband and Booker-prize winning author Salman Rushdie. However, Lakshmi insisted that the section on her marriage and the separation that followed was penned only because she wanted to educate people about "endometriosis" which she was suffering from, and not merely because Rushdie and she were "public figures".

"I wanted to talk about endometriosis. It comes and develops as part and parcel of your womanhood. Neither of us understood it then, but the disease was a major reason for the breakdown of our marriage.

"It is taxing physically and emotionally. With this, I want to aware the next generation, so they are not left undiagnosed," Lakshmi, who also runs an organisation supporting the cause, said.

She also shared about her experiences from her growing up years during which she straddled between Chennai and the USA, while expressing her longing for "India Gate's street food or Bengali market's gol-gappas". "I experience the world through my palette. I can tell you what I have eaten every single day of my life.

"Even now I have a laundry list of places I need to visit in Delhi to fulfil my urge for delicious papri chats and golgappas," she said.

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