As the world anxiously waits to find out who the next US president will be, Indians are calling for divine intervention.
Indian groups supporting the US President Donald Trump and Democratic vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris held separate prayers to wish for the victory of their favourite candidate.
On Nov. 3, a Hindu fringe group, Hindu Sena, offered special prayers for Trump in a 30-minute long ceremony in New Delhi. This is not the first time the group has shown its support for the US president.
Hindu Sena had conducted a similar religious ritual during the 2016 elections to pray for Trump’s victory. The group also celebrated Trump’s birthday with pomp and show in India’s capital city in 2017.
“His winning will not only be a victory for the world but also for India as the US has been a good ally for us against China and Pakistan,” Vishnu Gupta, president of Hindu Sena, told Reuters.
Here are some scenes from the Nov. 3 prayers:
Meanwhile, thousands of kilometres away from Delhi, in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu special prayers were held to ensure the victory of Harris. The prayers were offered in Harris’s ancestral village, Thulasenthirapuram-Painganaadu. Harris’ maternal grandfather PV Gopalan Iyer hailed from this village and the vice-presidential candidate has on several occasions talked about his influence on her.
The support for Harris, who invoked her Indian roots at several occasions during the campaign, wasn’t restricted to religious offerings. Residents of the village are also planning to donate food to seek “blessings” for her.
“She is from here and we are proud of her,” RR Jayakumar Vandayar, whose brother is planning to offer food to more than 150 people to seek their blessings for Harris, told Reuters.
Harris’ Indian roots have also worked their charm on the members of Hindu Sena. However, her candidacy for the vice-president has failed to impress them. “We wish Harris well because of her Indian ancestry, but vice presidents are not as powerful,” Gupta of Hindu Sena said.