BY: M. TOMOSKI
A dozen members of the Hindu-nationalist group Hindu Sena gathered last week to pray for Trump’s victory and officially endorse the presidential candidate as the next president.
“The whole world is screaming against Islamic terrorism, and even India is not safe from it,” the group’s founder, Vishnu Gupta, told the Associated Press. “Only Donald Trump can save humanity.”
Grass, seeds, and ghee were thrown into a ceremonial fire as offerings while Trump’s picture hung on a banner with the words, “We love Trump,” and “hope for humanity against Islamic terror.”
Next to photos of Trump was an image of the Hindu monkey-deity of strength and selfless service, Lord Hanuman, a god called upon to help Trump make it through the next six months to election day on November 8th.
“Donald Trump will break the back of Islamic terror,” Gupta told the local news site Scroll. “Bombs are falling everywhere, in Iran, Iraq. Even India is suffering from Islamic terror.”
He also told reporters that the group supports Trump’s proposed ban on Muslims and that they would like to see their Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, do the same. Modi is the leader of the Hindu-nationalist Indian People’s Party and was once banned from the US for anti-Muslim policies.
Gupta himself was once arrested for slapping Abdul Karim Tunda, an alleged terrorist and bomb-maker, outside of a courthouse in New Delhi.
Tensions between Hindus and Muslims in India have affected its citizens since before the country declared its independence from the British Empire, and conflict has often found its way into people’s homes and villages. In September 2015 a mob of Hindus beat a man to death for allegedly killing and eating a cow, an animal sacred to Hindus.
India’s Muslim population (14%) severely declined after independence, when the two religious groups divided the British colony into India and Pakistan, causing what is known as the largest mass migration in history. Since then, thousands have been killed on both sides, particularly over the contested northern region of Kashmir.