Trump, ‘Howdy, Modi!’ and the Diaspora: Do Indian Americans Support a Hindutva Agenda?

Updated: Jul 31, 2020

Events such as "Howdy, Modi!" need to be put in perspective—they are highly mediatised, scripted spectacles financed and designed by teams of dedicated Modi supporters, many of whom are major players in the American branches of the Hindutva movement. Through this article, we explain why the Howdy, Modi! spectacle was neither a turning point in Indian-American politics nor even an accurate reading of where Indian Americans stand with regard to politics and democracy.

As the din over the “Howdy, Modi!” event in Houston settles, many questions have been raised about the Indian prime minister’s clumsy “Ab ki baar Trump sarkar” slogan. There were loud cheers from some in the crowd, but many in attendance may have been less than impressed. Has there been a shift in the Indian American political consciousness, so as to suggest the diaspora’s embrace of one of the most racist and xenophobic American presidents in recent memory?