In an interesting twist, Hindu Sena, a right-wing group in India, announced their support for Donald Trump, the GOP's last man standing, on Wednesday. It's not because their members really want the United States to build a wall with Mexico or think China has "raped" the U.S. economy. Rather, they believe Trump alone "can save humanity."
According to the Associated Press, a dozen or so members of the nationalist organization Hindu Sena assembled in a New Delhi park on Wednesday to light a ritual fire and chant Sanskrit mantras, surrounded by statues of their traditional gods as well as images of their more modern savior. The reasoning behind this endorsement appears to be single-issue: Islamic terrorism. The group believes Trump is the only candidate who will save India, and the world at large, from the threat. "The whole world is screaming against Islamic terrorism, and even India is not safe from it," Vishnu Gupta, founder of the Hindu Sena nationalist group, said, according to the article. "Only Donald Trump can save humanity."
This ritual fire-cum-endorsement in New Delhi comes on the heels of a week in which Trump has turned the GOP nominating process into something of its own ritual fire — visually supplemented by fun/sad tweets of long-time Republicans burning their party registration cards in the wake of Trump's new soon-to-be-the-nominee-this-is-really-happening status. As Alexandra Petri wrote in her biting, hysterical column for The Washington Post, Republican leaders are desperately trying to assure that "Nothing is on fire. This is fine."
This endorsement from Hindu Sena is nothing new in the sense that it's coming from yet another right-wing nationalist group, but it's also very new in the sense that those groups tend to be white. In light of that, let's recall that just last month Trump, this group's savior and Chosen One, decided it would be very presidential of him to impersonate an Indian call-center worker.
It's also worth mentioning that in the tradition of Christopher Columbus himself, Trump also constantly uses the term "Indians," when he in fact means to say "Native Americans." Look, here he is in March, referring to Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who claims to be of Native American descent, as "the Indian" — twice, actually, for good measure. Here he is again in 1993, telling a congressional subcommittee investigating Native American casinos "They don't look like Indians to me" and later adding "They don't look like Indians to Indians." And here he is earlier this month, criticizing Hillary Clinton for using the phrase "off the reservation" to describe his behavior (which, it must be said, was not okay), by responding to it in an even less acceptable way: Trump told CNN "The Indians have gone wild" over it.
However, if people believe, as these members of Hindu Sena reportedly do, that Trump is "hope for humanity against Islamic terror," then I doubt that even the most cringe-inducing, racist impressions from the Donald could swing them to Team Hillary.
Image: Bustle/Caroline Wurtzel