Far Right Hindu groups are rapidly spreading across the US, but those opposing their ideology are also making their voices heard.  

By Agnideb Bandyopadhyay

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the US on his official state visit in 2023, there was an overwhelming support from Indians and Indian-Americans. Though support for Modi among the Indian diaspora in the US has been an important factor in powering his image as a global leader, his charisma extends beyond his personality. Pushing the Hindu nationalist agenda, the BJP government has found its base as the political guardian of the Hindu identity. Working behind the popular appeal of religious consolidation, the US has been home to numerous Far Right Hindu groups actively advocating the spread of Hindutva and finding an active and extended support base in the country. 

The stupendous rise of Hindutva prompted over 100 civil rights groups to issue a declaration on March 26 this year against the rise of Hindutva in the US. The declaration rejected all forms of hatred and supremacist politics, including Hindu supremacy, and expressed concern about ‘the ideology and global presence of the Hindu supremacist movement, and its intersections with the broader Far Right’ in America. The declaration has asked the US government to enter into conversations surrounding human rights and democracy with the Indian government, and to stand with activists and organisations working to promote a ‘diverse, inclusive, and liberatory vision of Indian American identity’. 

According to a 2022 report by the South Asia Citizen Web, called ‘A Report on the Infrastructure of Hindutva Influence Peddling, Mobilizing and Fund Raising in the US, 2014-2021’, between 2001 and 2019, according to available tax returns, seven Sangh-affiliated charitable groups spent at least $158.9 million on their programming, sending much of it to groups in India, of which 53 per cent ($85.4 million) was spent between 2014 and 2019, during the first tenure of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government.

This story was originally published in outlookindia.com. Read the full story here.