"I grew up admiring J.F.K. His pictures used to be plastered all over town as the most handsome president of the United States ever," Kumar says at the event. He says he began to move toward the right after a chance meeting with Ronald Reagan in 1979. "He convinced me that my values were conservative, and I became perhaps the first Republican Indian American in the country," Kumar says.

Meghna Verma, who arrived in New York six months ago, wonders about the recent sexual assault allegations against Trump. "It's very bad, very sad and all," she says. But everything about America and its political system is bewildering and amusing to her. "The thing is, I don't know about anything right now. Because I just came from India," she says. Her husband, Naveen Bachan, voted Democrat for the past two elections but tonight, his agenda is clear. "We are here to see the show," he says. "Plus, we will see, Trump is coming."

Shalli Kumar, Chairman of the Republican Hindu Coalition addresses attendees before Donald Trump appears as the guest speaker. Photo by: Sara Hylton

By the time Trump arrives on stage, the audience has already been treated to Prabhu Deva, the south Indian dancing star who is often called the Subcontinent's answer to Michael Jackson, and a sermon from the Hindu spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, who talked about how the American constitution aligned with the Hindu belief system. Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker of the House and presidential candidate, detailed his friendship with Shalli in a pre-recorded video address.

Gary Weightman, a retired bar owner from New Jersey, was sitting up front wearing a T-shirt that declared Clinton a liar whose pants were on fire. "I love Donald Trump. And I'm sorry I'm taking a seat away from an Indian. But it is the third biggest event in my life," he says. Marriage and a trip to Israel were the first two, he says. After watching Trump on TV and on YouTube, he's been waiting for a chance to finally see him in person. "There's no greater joy I've ever had than to come and watch this man." He's pleased that Indian businessmen, whom he describes as "shrewd," understand the value of having a strong businessman lead the country.

Weightman identifies with Trump, he says, because he is a strong father figure. His own father died in a car accident when he was young. "I had to take charge," he says. "That's what I see in this man. I see my father in Donald Trump. I see Archie Bunker," he says. Bunker, a 1970s American TV fixture who came to be associated with reactionary conservatism, is often described as the "lovable bigot" of that era.