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 Attitu...

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. 

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Comment by Riaz Haq on February 12, 2021 at 9:31am

#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.

Comment by Riaz Haq on February 24, 2021 at 8:26pm

#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.”


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