Unfortunately, most Americans do not know about the Hindutva movement and how it operates. As such, the 2019 “Howdy Modi!” event shocked many people who were confused as to why, as a minority group, so many Hindu Americans were supporting Trump. Many Americans, because of their lack of knowledge, are unaware of the divisive and even violent nature of the Hindutva movement. As such, many Americans minimize the importance of this growing alliance between Trump and Modi. This ignores the severity of the Hindutva movement and makes its activity in America appear to be a sporadic and unorganized phenomenon. In this thesis, I examine the relatively recent emergence of Hindu nationalist support for Trump by examining the historical conditions in both India and America that caused this alliance to form. I analyzes the ideologies of two organizations in particular that represent this alliance: the Republican Hindu Coalition (RHC) and Hindus for Trump (H4T). Research indicates that while this alliance is marginal in the Indian American community, it has the capacity to grow as Modi and Trump grow close. Most importantly, I argue that rather than being seen as a fringe movement, the intellectual merits of this movement should be taken seriously. As such, I argue that the growing influence of Hindu nationalism in American politics should be seen as a larger, global phenomenon of Hindu nationalists attempting to influence diaspora politics.
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