Modi's Popularity: 69% of Hindu Americans Support Hindu Nationalist Prime Minister

The 2020 Indian American Attitudes Survey (IAAS) results confirm the anecdotal evidence of India's Hindu Nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi's massive popularity among Hindu Americans. The findings of a survey sponsored by Washington-based think tank Carnegie Endowment For International Peace reveal that 69% of Hindu Americans approve of Mr. Modi's performance. 70% of Hindu Americans agree or strongly agree that white supremacy is a threat to minorities in the United States, compared to 79% of non-Hindu Indian American. Regarding Hindu majoritarianism in India, however, the data point to a much sharper divide: only 40% of Hindus agree that Hindu majoritarianism is a threat to minorities, compared to 67% of non-Hindus, according to the 2020 IAAS Survey. 

69% of Hindu Americans Support Modi. Source: Indian American Attitudes Survey 2020

The 7 in 10 approval rating of Mr. Modi by Hindu Indian Americans stands in sharp contrast to that of barely one in five Muslim Indian Americans. Indian American Christians are almost evenly divided: 35 percent disapprove, 34 percent approve, and 30 percent did not express an opinion. Twenty-three percent of respondents without a religious affiliation and 38 percent from other faiths approve of Modi’s performance, respectively. The share of “don’t knows” is the smallest for Hindus and Muslims compared to other religious categories, suggesting that views among respondents of these two faiths are the most consolidated.

The IASS survey sample includes 54 percent Hindus, 13 percent Muslims, 10 percent Christians, 8 percent belonging to other faiths, and 16 percent do not identify with any religion.

Indian Hindu Nationalists in America are well organized. Organizations like Hindu America Foundation (HAF), Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America (VHPA) and Overseas Friends of BJP (OFBJP) provide funding to congressional candidates who support their ideology and policies. Any Indian American who dares to challenge them faces their wrath, as Silicon Valley Congressman Ro Khanna learned in recent elections. 

Khanna had angered Modi's Hindu American supporters by joining US Congress's Pakistan Caucus and rejecting Hindutva. Democrats like Khanna from the Progressive Wing of the Democratic Party are finding it increasingly difficult to support Prime Minister Modi as he ferociously pushes his hateful Hindutva agenda to target minorities. However, vast majority of Hindu Americans, including those in Silicon Valley tech community, are solidly supporting Mr. Modi in spite of his extended lock-down and brutal actions in Kashmir. Khanna won by a wide margin in spite of Silicon Valley's Hindu Americans's fierce opposition. 


Syed S. said…
The venom Savarkar and Govalkar had spun in the Hindu mind were apparent to Jinnah long before 1947. That is why he had demanded for Pakistan as a safe haven for Indian Muslims. A K Azad and JUH were not reading the tea leaves which has now become apparent by the BJP taking over India
Riaz Haq said…
#Indian -#Americans Tend to Support Conservative Policies in #India , Liberal in #US . Indian-Americans hold broadly favourable views of prime minister #Modi, says a survey. #Hindu #BJP #Hibdutva

As many as 70% of Hindus agree or strongly agree that white supremacy is a threat to minorities in the United States, compared to 79% of non-Hindus.

Regarding Hindu majoritarianism in India, however, the data point to a much sharper divide: only 40% of Hindus agree that Hindu majoritarianism is a threat to minorities, compared to 67% of non-Hindus, it said.


Indian-Americans have relatively more conservative views of policies in India while on issues affecting the US, the diaspora has a more liberal take, according to a survey of the political attitudes of the influential community in this country.

Indian-Americans comprise slightly more than 1% of the total US population and less than 1% of all registered voters.

The survey – a collaboration between the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Johns Hopkins-SAIS, and the University of Pennsylvania – How Do Indian Americans View India? Results from the 2020 Indian American Attitudes Survey, draws on the Indian American Attitudes Survey (IAAS).

The IAAS is a nationally representative online survey of 1,200 Indian American adults conducted between September 1 and September 20, 2020, in partnership with YouGov. The survey has an overall margin of error of +/- 2.8%, a media release said on Tuesday.

Indian-Americans’ policy views are more liberal on issues affecting the United States and more conservative on issues affecting India, it said.

Regarding contentious issues such as the equal protection of religious minorities, immigration, and affirmative action, Indian-Americans hold relatively more conservative views of Indian policies than of US policies, according to the survey results.

Indian Americans, in other words, believe that white supremacy is a greater threat to minorities in the United States, a country where they are a minority, than Hindu majoritarianism is to minorities in India, a country where Hindus are in the majority, the report said.


Noting that Indian-Americans are divided about India’s current trajectory, the survey said that respondents are nearly evenly split as to whether India is currently on the right track or headed down the wrong track.

On India’s top three challenges, government corruption (18%) ranked the highest followed by the economy (15%). Foreign policy issues exemplified by China and terrorism are found in either the middle or bottom tier of the rankings.

Among the Indian Americans, a majority either strongly or somewhat support an all-India National Register of Citizens 55% and the 2019 Citizenship Amendment Act (51%), the report highlighted.

However, they are more opposed than not to two other issues: the use of police force against peaceful protesters (65% oppose) and government crackdowns on the media (69% oppose).

On the other issue of caste-based affirmative action in higher education admissions, the community is divided with 47% supporting this measure and 53% opposing it, it said.

Indian Americans are the second-largest immigrant group in the United States. There are 4.2 million people of Indian origin residing in the United States, according to 2018 data.

Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is the most popular political party among Indian-Americans, the survey said.

One-third of respondents favour the ruling BJP while just 12% identify with the Congress party, it said.

However, two in five Indian Americans do not identify with an Indian political party, suggesting an arms-length relationship to everyday politics in India, it added.

Also read: Can Local Forms of Oppression Spread Their Wings Across the Globe?

Indian-Americans hold broadly favourable views of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the survey said. Nearly half of all Indian-Americans approve of Modi’s performance as prime minister.
Riaz Haq said…
#India’s “Humble” PM #Modi renames #Ahmadabad #cricket stadium after himself. #Hindutva #BJP

Narendra Modi has renamed the world’s largest cricket stadium after himself, stealing the limelight before the ground’s inaugural India-England match on Wednesday. The site on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, Modi’s political home town in the state of Gujarat, was recently rebuilt as the world’s largest cricket venue with capacity for 110,000 spectators. Modi has sought to use a slate of signature projects — such as building the world’s tallest statue and remaking India’s parliament — to project himself as the country’s most transformative and powerful prime minister in decades.

“It’s quite stunning,” said Ronojoy Sen, a senior research fellow at the National University of Singapore and author of a book on the history of sport in India. He argued that “the symbolism — the largest, the biggest, the best — being built in Ahmedabad” was central to Modi’s political brand.

“This is the first time in my memory at least that a living Indian [prime minister] has named a stadium after themselves,” he added.

The stadium was previously named after Sardar Patel, a leading figure in the independence movement and one of Modi’s political heroes.

Indian politicians have a long history of renaming cities, monuments and government programmes after dead leaders or historical figures, particularly to change names associated with the British Raj or Islamic empires.

The country is littered with buildings named after Jawaharlal Nehru, the first post-independence prime minister, as well as his daughter and grandson, former prime ministers who were both assassinated. However, it is rare for living leaders to champion projects designed to celebrate themselves.

“The general rule is you wait for people to be out of office before bestowing those kinds of honours,” said Gilles Verniers, assistant professor of political science at Ashoka University.

Mayawati, former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, was pilloried for spending public funds on expansive statue parks filled with likenesses of herself, her political mentor and elephants, her party’s symbol.

But Mayawati’s supporters defended the projects, saying the temple-like grounds were an inspiration for the party’s core constituents, drawn largely from the lower ranks of Hinduism’s caste system.

The renaming of the stadium drew praise from Modi’s followers and bemusement from his critics, who accuse the prime minister of concentrating all decision-making power in his tightly run office.

“World’s largest stadium dedicated to the world’s largest personality!” tweeted Preeti Gandhi, who is in charge of social media for the women’s wing of Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata party.

Gaurav Pandhi, who runs social media for the opposition Congress party, called it the “heights of narcissism . . . Megalomaniac!”

Modi served as chief minister of Gujarat before his ascent to the premiership in 2014.

The newly rebuilt stadium hosted Donald Trump when he visited India last year, but its debut as a cricket venue was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.

The name change was revealed only a couple of hours before the start of the third test match on England’s tour of India. The ground was at half capacity on Wednesday, hosting about 50,000 fans, thanks to a precipitous nationwide drop in Covid-19 infections.

Prateek Dixit, a 54-year-old engineer from Ahmedabad who attended, said the stadium was a triumph for Modi.

“It’s a proud moment for India,” Dixit said. “This is Modi’s dream. This is Modi’s vision. He dreamt that he would make a big stadium in Ahmedabad, and now it’s complete.”
Riaz Haq said…
#Indian #Americans Don’t Know What to Feel Right Now. Sheer govt negligence is compounding the feelings of déjà vu. Anger toward #Trump administration, which downplayed the threat of the #virus, has been replaced by rage over #Modi’s response. #COVID19

Although no Indian is spared from this virus, marginalized communities such as Dalits—the low-caste workers who are keeping the country’s crematoria and other essential services running day and night—are facing the brunt of the disaster in India. By contrast, many Indian Americans come from middle-to-upper-class and privileged upper-caste communities. Sruti Suryanarayanan, the communications and research associate at the nonprofit South Asian Americans Leading Together, hopes that the crisis will become an inflection point for Indian Americans to confront difficult questions about privilege, home, and belonging.


As family members in India face the catastrophe, relatives who have lived through waves of the devastating pandemic in America are trying to offer emotional and psychological support for what lies ahead. Shindé, who was based in New York last spring, has been remembering the weeks when the city became the world’s epicenter. Days before her aunt Vijaya’s death, Shindé texted her: “You’re going to get better and dance at our wedding party 💃🏾💃🏾💃🏾!!” On the same day, she texted her mom in India that Vijaya might not pull through. “We saw this in NYC,” she wrote. “There were signs of improvement, and they just slipped.”


In some instances, sheer government negligence is compounding the feelings of déjà vu. Shindé’s anger toward the Trump administration, which downplayed the threat of the virus, has been replaced by rage over Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s response, which she calls “a mirror image of what we went through last year.” In February, India’s ruling party claimed that the country had defeated the virus before Modi plowed forward with massive preelection rallies.

Out of the guilt and confusion of this moment, many in the diaspora are searching for ways to help. Indian Americans make up the wealthiest immigrant community in the country, and have been using their clout in tech and politics to push the U.S. government to act. The Biden administration, which was initially slow to respond to the growing crisis in India, this week promised to immediately begin delivering AstraZeneca vaccine doses, ventilators, coronavirus tests, personal protective equipment, and other materials to India. The outcry from the Indian American community has had “an enormous” impact on the government’s response, says Ashish Jha, the dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, who has been among those pressuring the Biden administration.


Like everyone I interviewed for this story, I too am oscillating between waves of emotions—anger, helplessness, and guilt—as reports come in from my family in India. In recent weeks, at least two relatives have tested positive for the virus. Although I can look forward to picnics in the park this summer, India’s parks are becoming grave sites. All the justified optimism around me now feels unjust and even irresponsible. For many of us with friends and family around the world, the trauma feels like a never-ending loop: When your immediate situation improves, another loved one enters a crisis.

Shindé is mourning the loss of her relatives, but she is also mourning her homeland. As an immigrant, “you’re always living half in nostalgia,” she said. “In a state of having lost your home, you carry a sadness with you. And I think there’s these moments that just heighten that in a way that is powerless. Everything that has shaped you as a child is there. You feel just lost; your family is lost.”
Riaz Haq said…
As “champions of militant Hindu supremacism” (Hindutva) are trying to re-invent themselves after former President Donald Trump’s defeat, Human Rights Coalitions on Wednesday warned that Sonal Shah and people of her ilk have become active under garb of champions of Asian Americans in the US.

After Hinduvta champions were exposed by civil society groups, the Coalitions said efforts were made to hide their real identity or to show their disassociation of the Hindtuva groups. It also advised noted Indian-origin TV journalist Fareed Zakaria and others not to be fell into trap of the newly formed The Asian American Foundation (TAAF) which is a new front for Hindutva groups.

In a statement, the Coalitions underlined that ever since several human rights groups, South Asian progressive activists and protestors against the Donald Trump administration in the US and the Narendra Modi regime in India, including the Alliance to Save and Protect America from Infiltration by Religious Extremists (ASPAIRE), Coalition of Americans for Pluralism in India (CAPI) and Coalition to Stop Genocide in India, have stepped up their efforts to expose several prominent and politically ambitious Indians in the US and their links with the far right Hindu extremists groups in India, efforts are on by those exposed to cover up their association with these groups.

The statement pointed out that Hindutva leaders, however, do so without formally denouncing these hate groups and publicly renouncing their affiliations with them. Many youth leaders of Hinduva supremacy fronts (not to be confused with Hinduism) which started spreading their wings in the US, a couple of decades ago have been infiltrating the Democratic and the Republican Parties. They have become more aggressive after Narendra Modi, who is also a product of these extremist groups, became the Prime Minister of India in 2014.

One of those exposed was Sonal Shah, who has now surfaced as the founding President of The Asian American Foundation (TAAF), launched on May 3. TAAF describes her as a “foremost global leader on social impact and innovation”. Efforts seem to be on by her to connect with the larger and therefore influential Asian American community, leaving behind the narrower Hindutva identity.

She shot to the limelight in November 2008, when the newly elected President Barack Obama nominated her for the post of energy secretary. She had to however settle as director of the White House office of social innovation and civic participation, a department created by her, after she was called off for her Hindutva links.

Recently, when Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress, withdrew her nomination to lead the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) amid bipartisan opposition in the senate, as President Joe Biden was announcing his team, Shah’s name too surfaced for the post.

However Shah was again called out for her links with the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), a strident Hindu extremist group in India, and VHP-A (America) it’s sister organization in the US. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), had in its World Factbook of 2018, labeled VHP as a militant group. This group was instrumental in the 2002 Gujarat pogrom, in which more than 2000 people were brutally killed and about 200,000 people were rendered homeless, triggering national and international outrage.

Shah was the national co-ordinator for VHP-A to raise funds for the 2001 Gujarat earthquake victims, which was accused of helping only Hindu victims and not the Muslim victims. She has also been associated with Ekal Vidyalayas, a movement founded by the VHP with the major objective of countering Christianity among Adivasis (forest people) in India who follow their own religion but struggling to get their identity back.
Amit S. said…
An Open Letter to #Modi #Bhakts in #America: Your God has Feet of Clay and Blood on His Hands.Your God does not feel the pain of others or acknowledge his role in inflicting the worst on them. #COVID19India #India #BJP #coronavirus #pandemic

Vineetha Mokkil
MAY 5, 2021

Stop leaving offerings on his bloodied altar. Stop funding his campaigns of hate. Stop enabling the annihilation of secular India’s soul.

It’s time to face facts. Your God does not have a 56-inch chest. Your God is all bluster, no action. All swagger, no substance. Your God has failed the people of India on every count as the worst crisis in modern times ravages the country. Your God has no interest in protecting the citizenry he is expected to serve. While India gasps for breath, while patients die in hospital after hospital for lack of oxygen, while the sick collapse on the streets and beg for medicines and beds at overcrowded hospital gates, your God is lavishing ₹22,000 crore on building himself a glitzy new palace in the heart of Delhi. Consumed by his vanity project, he forgot to instruct his government to procure adequate vaccines supplies — the one thing that could save countless Indian lives as the second wave explodes in the country.

Your God is deaf to the cries of millions of Indians in distress. He is blind to the living, the sick and the dying. His hearing is faulty — neither the dying nor the living can get through to him. He only hears the sound of his own voice.

Wake up, dear Bhakts! All those odes to India’s ancient glory, the shiny promises of turning India into a Vishwa Guru who dazzles the world, all the bombastic words he uses to cast a spell on you at his Madison Square Garden rallies are a means to an end. Your god mouths the words to make sure you donate your dollars to his political campaigns and rallies. Keep the dollars coming, and he’ll keep telling you what you want to hear.

Instead of glory, he has heaped misery on Bharat Mata’s head. Under his stewardship, India has been dragged into the dirt. His demonitization drive broke the backbone of small businesses across the country. Much like the hare-brained Mughal emperor, Tughlak, your God’s ill-conceived move sowed chaos and hardship in the life of the common man.

As we speak, India is desperately seeking foreign aid to tackle a health emergency that your God’s lack of foresight caused. After a gap of 17 years, ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ has had to solicit foreign aid to bail itself out of a crisis.

Under your God’s watch, India had been brought to her knees. It is a pariah nation now. The Covid hotspot every nation dreads. The country every person across the world is watching in horror. Indian travellers are banned from flying out to almost every spot on the planet. Your God has no ‘masterstroke’ at this moment to flaunt.

Please understand. Your God is no God. He is a conman, a scamster, a talking head who trades exclusively in hate and vitriol. Inside his Photoshopped 56-inch chest there is no beating heart. He has not consoled the families of the dead or met with them. No condolences. No hospital visits. No regrets. Your God does not feel the pain of others or acknowledge his role in inflicting the worst on them.

He has not consoled the families of the dead or met with them. No condolences. No hospital visits. No regrets. Your God does not feel the pain of others or acknowledge his role in inflicting the worst on them.
Think about it. What kind of God stays unmoved as Indians continue to die of lack of oxygen, hospital beds, and access to medical care? What God retreats into silence as 120 Indians die — every hour, every day — from a second wave that could have been averted if he had acted on time? Who holds road shows and campaign rallies and chases after votes with zero regard for human life as death stalks the land?
Riaz Haq said…
#Hindu Sect Is Accused of Using Forced Labor (mainly #Dalit) to Build #NewJersey Temple. #US federal agents raided the massive temple in Robbinsville, N.J., as a lawsuit charged that low-caste men had been lured from #India to work for about $1 an hour.

Federal law enforcement agents descended on a massive temple in New Jersey on Tuesday after workers accused a prominent Hindu sect of luring them from India, confining them to the temple grounds and paying them the equivalent of about $1 an hour to perform grueling labor in near servitude.

Lawyers for the workers said in a lawsuit filed Tuesday that Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha, a Hindu sect known as BAPS that has close ties to India’s ruling party and has built temples around the world, had exploited possibly hundreds of low-caste men in the yearslong construction project.

The workers, who lived in trailers hidden from view, had been promised jobs helping to build the temple in rural Robbinsville, N.J., with standard work hours and ample time off, according to the lawsuit, a wage claim filed in U.S. District Court in New Jersey. The majority are Dalit, the lowest rung in India’s caste system.

They were brought to the United States on religious visas, or R-1 visas — temporary visas used for clergy and lay religious workers such as missionaries — and presented to the U.S. government as volunteers, according to the claim. They were asked to sign several documents, often in English, and instructed to tell U.S. embassy staffers that they were skilled carvers or decorative painters, the complaint said.

Lawyers for the men, however, said they did manual labor on the site, working nearly 13 hours a day lifting large stones, operating cranes and other heavy machinery, building roads and storm sewers, digging ditches and shoveling snow, all for the equivalent of about $450 per month. They were paid $50 in cash, with the rest deposited in accounts in India, the complaint said.

“I respectfully disagree with the wage claim,” Kanu Patel, the chief executive of BAPS, told The New York Times, while noting he was not in charge of day-to-day operations at the site.

Lenin Joshi, a spokesman for BAPS, also disputed the accusations, saying the men did complicated work connecting stones that had been hand-carved in India. “They have to be fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. In that process, we need specialized artisans,” Mr. Joshi said, saying this work qualified the men for the visas.

“We are naturally shaken by this turn of events and are sure that once the full facts come out, we will be able to provide answers and show that these accusations and allegations are without merit,” Mr. Joshi said.
Riaz Haq said…
#Modi's approval fall amid #India's #COVID19 crisis. Those saying “very satisfied” fall sharply to 40% from 64% last year. Those “not at all satisfied” is up to 32%, up from 15% last year. Modi still gets a 60% rating as preferred Prime Minister candidate.

Indian Prime Minister Modi's diehard fan following is legendary. But the tsunami of COVID cases that has slammed India in recent weeks, filling hospitals and overwhelming crematoriums, is testing Modi’s popularity like no other crisis has.

India recorded 2.6 million new COVID cases and 23,800 related deaths in the past week. On Monday alone, India recorded 368,147 new infections and 3,417 deaths. People are dying from lack of medical supplies and equipment, just weeks after India dispatched vaccines and medicines to the rest of the world, confident the virus threat had receded at home.

The wave of infections has incited criticism of Modi. Opponents say he was too quick to declare victory over the virus and prioritized politics over public health by holding huge rallies for state elections as the second wave gathered steam. The outcome of those elections suggest that Modi’s party remains resilient, even in the face of catastrophe, but opinion polling proves that the COVID crisis is tarnishing the Prime Minister’s once-unassailable approval rating.


opinions are more divided over COVID-19; some perceive it as a man-made virus unleashed by China, and others blame it on a failure of management by Indian authorities. There was some anger over the lockdown Modi imposed with little warning during India’s first COVID wave in March 2020, but the general public thought that he was trying to protect them. Anger over the second wave is directed at the state governments of the worst-affected regions, the federal government, and the public’s own lax adherence to protocols like wearing masks and social distancing.

The second wave of the COVID crisis also threatens to choke the recovery of India's economy. Dipti Deshpande, principal economist at CRISIL Ratings, said that her firm is maintaining its GDP growth forecast of 11% for fiscal year 2022. But she acknowledged the firm may need to reconsider that estimate if the rate of new COVID cases, now running three times levels during the peak of last year’s wave, forces more lockdowns through May.


Given the current crisis, however, even leading industry officials are urging Modi to tame the virus, no matter the economic cost. Uday Kotak, president of Confederation of Indian Industry, said in a statement on Sunday that his organization urged “the strongest national steps including curtailing economic activity to reduce suffering.”
Riaz Haq said…
Sewa International has raised millions of dollars in donations for #COVID relief. It supports pro-#Modi #Islamophobic #Hindu nationalist organizations and projects in #India, without proper disclosure of how the funds were being used. #Hindutva via @slate

COVID Relief Donations Are Supporting a Project to “Hinduize” India

Why are Twitter, Microsoft, and Google promoting a charity with ties to right-wing nationalism?

As the world has become more aware of India’s still-grim COVID crisis, concerned and well-meaning citizens of the world have shared links through which to donate money and supplies to India’s beleaguered populace and overcrowded health and funeral services. One of the most popular of these has been a group called Sewa International.

According to the organization’s press releases, Sewa’s “Help India Defeat COVID-19” media campaign has raised millions of dollars from more than 100,000 donors since late April, with this money going toward purchasing and sending oxygen concentrators, oximeters, and other essential equipment to India, which is grappling with a dire shortage of these technologies. The organization has also raised money and sent equipment for COVID relief in Nepal and Trinidad and Tobago.

Sewa’s initiative has become well-known within and beyond the Indian diaspora: Stories of distraught Indian Americans encouraging Sewa donations have proliferated in the news, and outlets like ABC News have highlighted Sewa’s work. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey earmarked $2.5 million for Sewa as part of a $15 million donation for Indian COVID relief. Internal communications provided to me by a source showed that Microsoft and Google encouraged their employees to donate to Sewa and offered matching funds, in Microsoft’s case through the donation-management platform Benevity. New Jersey’s Monroe Township partnered with Sewa to provide India aid, while the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, the largest organization representing Indian American doctors, also held a fundraiser for India with Sewa. The group also has partnered with the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency to ramp up domestic vaccination efforts in both Philadelphia and Texas, where Sewa’s U.S. branch is based.
Riaz Haq said…
Social Realities of Indian Americans: Results From the 2020 Indian American Attitudes Survey

According to IAAS data, 54 percent of respondents report belonging to the Hindu faith (see figure 6). The next most common response—those claiming no religious affiliation (a category that includes agnostics and atheists)—accounts for 16 percent of the sample. Thirteen percent of respondents are Muslim, 11 percent are Christian, and another 7 percent belong to a variety of other faiths including Buddhism and Sikhism. In certain cases, these larger groupings consist of smaller denominations that have been aggregated upward.

This study is the third in a series on the social, political, and foreign policy attitudes of Indian Americans. The major findings are briefly summarized below.

Indian Americans exhibit very high rates of marriage within their community. While eight out of ten respondents have a spouse or partner of Indian origin, U.S.-born Indian Americans are four times more likely to have a spouse or partner who is of Indian origin but was born in the United States.
Religion plays a central role in the lives of Indian Americans but religious practice varies. While nearly three-quarters of Indian Americans state that religion plays an important role in their lives, religious practice is less pronounced. Forty percent of respondents pray at least once a day and 27 percent attend religious services at least once a week.
Roughly half of all Hindu Indian Americans identify with a caste group. Foreign-born respondents are significantly more likely than U.S.-born respondents to espouse a caste identity. The overwhelming majority of Hindus with a caste identity—more than eight in ten—self-identify as belonging to the category of General or upper caste.
“Indian American” itself is a contested identity. While Indian American is a commonly used shorthand to describe people of Indian origin, it is not universally embraced. Only four in ten respondents believe that “Indian American” is the term that best captures their background.
Civic and political engagement varies considerably by one’s citizenship status. Across nearly all metrics of civic and political participation, U.S.-born citizens report the highest levels of engagement, followed by foreign-born U.S. citizens, with non-citizens trailing behind.
Indian Americans’ social communities are heavily populated by other people of Indian origin. Indian Americans—especially members of the first generation—tend to socialize with other Indian Americans. Internally, the social networks of Indian Americans are more homogenous in terms of religion than either Indian region (state) of origin or caste.
Polarization among Indian Americans reflects broader trends in American society. While religious polarization is less pronounced at an individual level, partisan polarization—linked to political preferences both in India and the United States—is rife. However, this polarization is asymmetric: Democrats are much less comfortable having close friends who are Republicans than the converse. The same is true of Congress Party supporters vis-à-vis supporters of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Indian Americans regularly encounter discrimination. One in two Indian Americans reports being discriminated against in the past one year, with discrimination based on skin color identified as the most common form of bias. Somewhat surprisingly, Indian Americans born in the United States are much more likely to report being victims of discrimination than their foreign-born counterparts.
To some extent, divisions in India are being reproduced within the Indian American community. While only a minority of respondents are concerned about the importation of political divisions from India to the United States, those who are identify religion, political leadership, and political parties in India as the most common factors.
Riaz Haq said…
Social Realities of Indian Americans: Results From the 2020 Indian American Attitudes Survey

Religious affiliation too correlates with one’s feelings toward their Indian identity. Eighty-eight percent of Hindus say being Indian is very or somewhat important to them, compared to 79 percent of Christians and 66 percent of Muslims. This is possibly a reflection of India’s current political climate. The February 2021 IAAS paper found that almost seven in ten Hindus approve of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s performance, while just one in five Muslims feel the same.34 However, without longitudinal data, it is unclear to what extent the religious divide reflects the specificities of the current context—in which Muslims in India feel especially marginalized and discriminated against—or is instead a product of longer-term trends.


Self-identification also varies by religion. While 86 percent of Hindus report identifying with some kind of “Indian” identity, 71 percent of Christians and 52 percent of Muslims do the same. Relative to Muslims, Christians and Hindus are equally likely to self-identify as “Indian American” (47 percent each versus 32 percent for Muslims), and Hindus are substantially more likely to self-identify as “Indian” (32 percent versus 17 percent for Christians and 12 percent for Muslims). On the other hand, Muslims are much more likely to self-identify as “South Asian” (27 percent compared to 7 percent of Christians and 5 percent of Hindus). Finally, Christians are more likely to self-identify as “American” without any hyphenation (9 percent versus 6 percent for Muslim and 4 percent for Hindus).


First, Hindus are more likely to report that most or all of their Indian friends are also Hindus, underscoring a greater degree of religious homogeneity in their social networks. Fifty-eight percent of Hindus respond in this way, while 48 and 46 percent of Muslims and Christians, respectively, report that their networks are comprised of those of the same religion. Second, around one-third of Christians and Hindus and two-fifths of Muslims are situated in the middle, reporting that some of their Indian American networks are made up of friends of the same religion. Third, Christians are much more likely to report that hardly any or none of their Indian friends share their religion. Nearly one in five (19 percent) identify this way, compared to 10 percent of Muslims and only 6 percent of Hindus.
Riaz Haq said…
#India's #Rape Scandal: PBS FRONTLINE correspondent Ramita Navai investigates a wave of shocking rape cases in India — some of them drawing in politicians from the country’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party #BJP #Modi #crime #Hindutva via @frontlinepbs
Riaz Haq said…
Top #Indian newspaper raided by #tax authorities after months of critical coverage.Under #Modi, several critical media outlets have found themselves in tax investigators’ crosshairs, raising fears about the health of the independent press in #India. #BJP

“The raid is the outcome of our aggressive reporting, especially during the second wave of the pandemic in April,” Gaur said by telephone. “Unlike some other media, we reported how people were dying for lack of oxygen and hospital beds.”


Indian tax authorities on Thursday raided one of the country's most prominent newspapers in what journalists and the political opposition denounced as retaliation for the outlet's hard-nosed coverage of the government's pandemic response.

The Dainik Bhaskar Group, whose Hindi-language broadsheet boasts a combined circulation of more than 4 million, was raided simultaneously in at least four locations, including at its headquarters in Madhya Pradesh state.

Surabhi Ahluwalia, a spokeswoman for the tax authority, said searches were underway at multiple locations across the country linked to the group, but she declined to share details about the case. She said the department usually conducts searches in matters of tax evasion.

But the justification of tax evasion was panned by government critics, who pointed out that Dainik Bhaskar has been persistently needling India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with its coverage, including as recently as this week.

India used spyware to hack journalists and others

The Press Club of India said in a statement that it “deplores such acts of intimidation by the government through enforcement agencies to deter the independent media.”

Under the administration of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who rose to power in 2014, several critical media outlets have found themselves in tax investigators’ crosshairs, raising fears about the health of the independent press in the world’s largest democracy. Reporters Without Borders, an advocacy group for journalists, recently placed India at 142nd place in its press freedom rankings, roughly on par with Myanmar and Mexico.

Om Gaur, Dainik Bhaskar’s national editor, said his staff’s mobile devices were seized during the raids as a “tactic to harass journalists.”

“The raid is the outcome of our aggressive reporting, especially during the second wave of the pandemic in April,” Gaur said by telephone. “Unlike some other media, we reported how people were dying for lack of oxygen and hospital beds.”

The tax investigation “is not going to change anything for us,” he added. “We will keep doing good journalism.”

As covid-19 roiled India this spring, Dainik Bhaskar splashed photos of funeral pyres on its front pages, reported on corpses floating in the Ganges River and repeatedly challenged the government’s narrative about the disaster and its official death statistics. Gaur, the editor, contributed an op-ed in the New York Times that made waves in his home country.

The paper has sometimes taken a less-than-orthodox approach to holding government accountable: As citizens in the state of Gujarat struggled to procure covid-19 medication in April, the paper published the phone number of the BJP’s state president in a massive front-page headline.
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistanis have never elected #Fascist leaders like #Modi and #YogiAdityanath. Religious parties in #Pakistan get very few votes and even fewer seats in federal and provincial #legislatures.
Riaz Haq said…
It Is No Longer ‘Incredible India’ But ‘Intolerant India’.
#Modi's #Hindutva activists are seeking to enforce rigid codes of normative #Hindu culture and #Islamophobia by forcing the withdrawal of progressive advertisements. #India @Diplomat_APAC

The BJP’s troll army soon took to Twitter, with #BanFabIndia trending and some even demanding that models in advertisements should have “Hindu appropriate dressing” with women sporting a bindi, a traditional dot on the forehead of Indian women. A right-wing influencer lashed out at the “secularization” of Hindu festivals, tweeting #NoBindiNoBusiness and calling for a boycott of brands that did not comply with the sentiments of Hindu culture. Consequently, Fab India not only withdrew its promo advertisement but tried to mollify the right-wing by stating that its soon-to-be launched Diwali campaign was titled an innocuous “Jhilmil Si Diwali” (Sparkling Diwali).

While the targeting of the skin bleach advertisement is an attempt to enforce rigid codes of normative Hindu culture with a homophobic worldview, the Fab India advertisement controversy is an attempt to entrench Islamophobia in the masses. The saffron brigade and its votaries, namely the BJP politicians, assign themselves the role of custodians of Indian culture. In their myopic view, recognition of the LGBTQ community and its rights is anathema and they are highly intolerant of introduction of any progressive ideas into Hindu festivals and traditions. Highlighting India’s cultural and religious diversity, especially Hindu-Muslim brotherhood, angers the right wing.

Significantly, the increasing attacks on advertisements have coincided with the mainstreaming of hate politics championed by the BJP under Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Islamophobia in India has escalated to ridiculous heights. Linguists point out that the language Urdu is not the sole preserve of Muslims in the country, but Urdu words are widely used in everyday speech and literary texts of Hindustani language.

Incidentally, these were not the only advertisements that were targeted by the Hindutva brigade this festive season. CEAT Tyres was viciously trolled and faced an onslaught of online abuse after its Diwali advertisement featured Bollywood actor Aamir Khan advising children not to burst firecrackers on the streets but within the apartment complex.

BJP Member of Parliament Ananth Kumar Hegde, who habitually spews communal venom, wrote to the CEO of CEAT Tyres accusing the company of “creating unrest among Hindus.” In his letter which he made public on Facebook, Hegde also attacked the actor Khan, who is a Muslim. “Nowadays, a group of anti-Hindu actors always hurt the Hindu sentiments whereas they never try to expose the wrong doings of their community.”

In a long rant, Hegde lashed out at Muslims in general for offering namaaz (prayers) on the roads, which he said was public property. He described the Azaan, the muezzin’s call to prayer, as noise pollution. He issued a dire warning to the CEAT Tyres company to “not hurt Hindu sentiments” in future.

Hindutva leaders are now turning Hindu festivals into a weapon against Muslims, says Apoorvanand, a professor at Delhi University. The backlash against these recent advertisements is certainly an indicator of this trend.

Riaz Haq said…
‘Modi’s India: Hindu Nationalism and the Rise of Ethnic Democracy’ review: The collapse of democracy

Christophe Jaffrelot, who has caught every wave in India, says the country has changed, perhaps irreversibly, from a liberal secular polity a decade ago to a majoritarian ‘ethnic democracy’ today

Jaffrelot tracks the continually expanding catalogue of body blows that have assailed the founding ideals of the Indian republic from the time Modi announced his candidature in the fall of 2013. Those of us who have lived through the lynching of Muslims and Dalits, the assassination of rationalist intellectuals, the trolling of scholars, the detention of activists, the harassment of movie stars, the evisceration of the media, universities and courts, the decimation of the opposition, the destruction of the economy, the persecution of the minorities, the erosion of fundamental rights, the gutting of the public sector, the targeting of NGOs, the silencing of civil society, the distortion of history, the usurpation of social media by hate speech, fake news and propaganda, the defiance and denigration of Parliamentary procedure by the ruling party, the demonisation of dissent, the encouragement of vigilantism, the garrisoning of the Kashmir Valley, the battering of the Constitution, and the forsaking of truth — having borne witness, we understand why compiling this gruesome list requires nearly 700 pages.

But the book is not just an act of meticulous, unsparing documentation, though it is that too. It will prove an invaluable record of our time when future generations struggle to explain the swift collapse of Indian democracy. Once the world’s largest, liveliest and most interesting experiment in equal citizenship, universal adult franchise, regular elections, representative government, minority protection, a free press, and popular self-rule, India always had problematic enclaves of exception like Kashmir and the Northeast. But before Modi, its basic commitment to diversity and pluralism seemed genuine.

Jaffrelot doesn’t just remind us of what has been happening to unravel the liberal consensus in the past 7-8 years. He also brings to bear on these data an enormous scholarly literature and theoretical toolkit about ethnic democracy, populist strongmen, rightwing nationalism, charismatic leadership, the deinstitutionalisation of the state, creeping authoritarianism that appears electorally mandated, the relentless reduction of minorities to second-class citizenship, and the mobilisation of identities in new patterns of conflict, domination and exclusion, jettisoning tolerance, equality and inclusion.

He examines how Yogi Adityanath communalises governance, runs a militia State, and makes Islamophobia an item of official policy. Campaigns of “gauraksha”, “love jihad” and “gharwapsi” make for a deadly cocktail of privileged caste orthopraxy and social conservatism, reinforce patriarchy, and continually bully, shame and terrorise Muslims and Christians. The cow belt and Hindi heartland, including Rajasthan, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh along with Uttar Pradesh, spilling south into Karnataka and east into Assam, are now thoroughly saffronised.
Riaz Haq said…
Zafarul-Islam Khan
Punjab&Haryana HC suspends sentence, grants bail to J&K Police sub-inspector Anand Dutta convicted for destroying evidence in 2018 Kathua rape case in which 8-year-old Asifa Bano was kidnapped, mass-raped in temple, killed & thrown in jungle. Where is our collective conscience?

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