100 Years Later, American Hindu Leaders Are Making the Same Mistakes – By Nikhil Mandalaparthy
“Anti-Hindu.” “Hinduphobic.” “Fake Hindu.” “Islamist proxy.” “Christian convert.” These are just a few allegations that get thrown my way on a regular basis on Twitter, due to the fact that I work for one of the only Hindu organisations in the US that oppose the political ideology of Hindutva. An upcoming academic conference on Hindutva has sharpened the divide between American Hindus who believe in progressive politics and those that do not….
If we look back to history, we saw that Swami Trigunatita and Hopkinson were ultimately unsuccessful in thwarting Indian anti-colonial activism in the US. A year before Trigunatita’s death in 1914, Indian students and other activists in San Francisco founded the Ghadar Party, and by the 1920s the anti-colonial movement in India picked up momentum, culminating with the end of British rule in 1947.
Today, we see American Hindu organisations in a similar position. Will they continue to back the government in power and defend its Hindutva ideology? Or will they see the error of their ways, and join the majority of Indian Americans, who believe that Hindu supremacism poses a threat to India’s democracy? Over a century after Swami Trigunatita’s attempts to uphold British colonial rule over India, American Hindu leaders and organisations have an opportunity to show moral courage and stand on the right side of history. It isn’t too late.