A series of rituals have been organised across India for both the US Presidential candidates

As the US goes to polls Trump and Clinton supporters in India turn to prayerPTI
news US Presidential Elections Tuesday, November 08, 2016 - 19:01

Across India, political leaders and their cadres often seek divine intervention, at the time of elections. But as the United States goes to polls on Tuesday, prayers are being offered in India for both the Presidential candidates – Hillary Clinton and Donald J Trump.

In Varanasi, supporters of Clinton, the Democratic Party nominee have organized a series of rituals in the hope that with her win, a new chapter of the Indo-US relations will unfold. Calling Clinton’s win a victory of “Nari Shakti” (power of women in Hindi) that will counter terrorism, the priest Pandit Rakesh Mishra was quoted by a TOI report saying that such rituals were important for her win. A “Dugdhabhishek” (milk offering) of the deity at Siddheswarnath Temple followed by “Ekadash Rudri Paath” (recital of mantras for 11 days) and “Purnahuti” (completion of rituals) were performed. 

Meanwhile, Jabrouli, another village in Uttar Pradesh that was adopted by the Clinton Foundation, organised a havan, holding up pictures of Hillary along with husband and former US President Bill Clinton. 

In Karnataka, senior Congress leader, B Janardhana Poojary organised a puja at the Gokarnatheeswara Temple at Kardoli near Mangalore. After the puja, Janardhana was quoted saying, “Seeing the way Mr Trump has conducted during the year-long campaign, there seems to be danger not only to India but the whole world if he gets elected as US President. There will not be much danger for India and other nations, if Hillary Clinton gets elected”.

Donald Trump’s followers are not far behind. The Republican Party nominee is known for his strong anti-Muslim rhetoric, which according to the Akhila Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha is the reason for them lending support to Trump. This organisation too organised a havan at their Meerut office, praying for Trump’s victory. Pandit Ashok Sharma, national vice-president of the outfit, said, "The thinking and political policies of Donald Trump bear a striking resemblance with that of Nathuram Godse. With the outlook Trump has against radical Islam terrorism, world peace will prevail only if he comes to power."

Havans seem to be the favourite form of prayer as a video showed that Saidham Temple in Mumbai too organised one. In a video to ANI, Ramesh Joshi, the Chief Priest of the temple, said many NRI devotees frequenting the temple had asked that a puja be conducted for Trump’s win. He added, “The devotees believed that if Trump wins, terrorism will be eliminated from the world”.

Indians living abroad also performed religious ceremonies with gusto. Indian-American Hotelier Sant Chatwal held a traditional Sikh prayer service in New York. According to reports, Chatwal said the prayer service aimed to garner blessings for Clinton, who will be the deserving leader of America and is a special friend of the Indian-American community. 

With prayers pouring in for each candidate, it remains to be seen who will emerge victorious in the run for the White House. 


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