Donald Trump Jr is being criticised for his “tone-deaf remark” about India’s poorest residents during a visit there this week to promote Trump-branded luxury apartments.
The US president’s eldest son told India’s CNBC affiliate that “the spirit of the Indian people” was unique to “other parts of the emerging world”, because “you can see the poorest of the poor and there is still a smile on a face”.
“I know some of the most successful businessmen in the world, and some of them are the most miserable people in the world,” Trump Jr added.
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Although the businessman may have thought he was paying a compliment, some found the comments jarring, the National Public Radio (NPR) website reports.
Luis Dias, a pediatrician and founder of children’s charity Child’s Play India, told NPR that Trump Jr’s remarks were “condescending” and “a sweeping statement about a demographic he has never really seen or spent time with, either in India or the rest of the world”.
Trump Jr has also been accused of cashing in on the presidency by offering the opportunity to have dinner with him as a reward to buyers of the luxury apartments, being developed in four cities across the country.
His comments about India’s smiling poor also caught the attention of some on social media.
According to a 2016 World Bank report, India has the highest number of people living in poverty in the world, with one in three existing below the $1.90-a-day (£1.36) poverty line, based on data from 2013.
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