Center for Political Awareness

Here’s How the Hindu Supremacist Movement Is Infiltrating US Politics

As the 100-year-old movement in India celebrates a key victory, a new report reveals its ties with the US far right. (Click image for article.)

Photo: Activists of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) conduct Hindu rituals to ensure a win for U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump in Allahabad, India, on May 18, 2016. RITESH SHUKLA / NURPHOTO VIA GETTY IMAGES


At 1:30 am on the bitterly cold night of January 22, around 50 people gathered at New York City’s Times Square. The crowd had assembled to watch a live telecast of the consecration of the Ram Mandir, a temple to the Hindu deity Rama in the northern Indian city of Ayodhya, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Built on the ruins of a 16th-century mosque destroyed by a Hindu supremacist mob in 1992, the new state-sponsored Ram temple has become a milestone in the 100-year march to power of the Hindu supremacist movement, also known as Hindutva.

On this winter night, members of the Indian diaspora had congregated in one of the country’s most visible public spaces to bear witness to what they saw as a historic achievement. The crowd glanced expectantly at the towering screens, and, when energy lagged, a few among them led the group in chants of “Jai Shri Ram” (hail Lord Ram) and waved triangular, saffron-colored flags — an unmistakable symbol of the Hindu supremacist movement. (The slogan Jai Shri Ram has been appropriated as a Hindu supremacist slogan over a course of a number of violent campaigns and has become a murder cry during lynchings and assassinations.) Yet, as time dragged on, it became clear that the awaited livestream was not forthcoming.

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