The highly influential New York Times has seen plenty of similarities between Trump’s favourite promise of “ Make America Great Again” and Narendra Modi’s run up to the elections in 2014, saying that it is not a coincidence that the Indian- Americans who strongly support Donald Trump as future President are at the same time strong supporters of PM Modi.
“There’s a lot of parallels there,” said Shalabh Kumar, founding chairman of the Republican Hindu Coalition. “Mr. Trump is all about development; prosperity; tremendous job growth. And at the same time, he recognises the need to control the borders.”
As one of Mr. Trump’s biggest Hindu financial backers, Mr. Kumar, who runs an electronics manufacturing company in Illinois has helped organise a speech by the Republican nominee in Edison, New Jersey, at a concert on Saturday.
The anti- Muslim sentiments that Modi encouraged and stoked before being elected as Chief Minister of Gujarat and later Prime Minister of India in 2014 are also similar to Trump’s anti- Muslim stand. All the problems of America are linked to the presence of Muslims.
Manu Bhagavan, who teaches South Asian history at Hunter College, said the Hindutva movement in India and its devotees in the U.S. shared a belief that what was once pure and virtuous about Indian life has been tainted by the entry of outsiders.“They locate this in a grand Hindu past,” he said. “If you go before Muslims entered India, before all these foreigners came in and messed things up, Hindus could do this, Hindus could do that.” The Hindus in America have even come out with a poster where Trump is seen sitting on a lotus with the “Om” symbol—an uncanny resemblance to Hindu God Brahma.
It’s estimated that there are almost 2.5 million Hindus living in the United States. The main attraction for these Hindus is Trump’s anti- Muslim stand.
Mr Trump has advocated “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on”. The comment drew worldwide criticism, but the Hindu nationalists in America were impressed.
Nothing unites people as strongly as common hatreds.