It took President Donald Trump three tries before he recognized Hindus in a White House celebration of Diwali on Tuesday.
Earlier in the day, Trump tweeted: “Today, we gathered for Diwali, a holiday observed by Buddhists, Sikhs, and Jains throughout the United States & around the world.” As people online pointed out that he glaringly omitted Hindus — a billion people throughout the world for whom Diwali is a major holiday — the tweet was deleted, only to be replaced by a second one that again left out Hindus.
Today, we gathered for Diwali, a holiday observed by Buddhists, Sikhs, and Jains throughout the United States & around the world. Hundreds of millions of people have gathered with family & friends to light the Diya and to mark the beginning of a New Year. https://t.co/epHogpTY1A pic.twitter.com/9LUwnhngWJ— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 13, 2018
While Buddhists, Sikhs and Jains do observe Diwali, Hindus are among the largest religious group to celebrate the holiday. More than 2 million people in the U.S. identify as Hindu, according to Pew, which projects there will be about 2.5 million Hindus by 2020.
In a followup tweet, Trump said it was “my great honor to host a celebration of Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights.”
It was my great honor to host a celebration of Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights, in the Roosevelt Room at the @WhiteHouse this afternoon. Very, very special people! https://t.co/kQk7IvpSFo pic.twitter.com/tYlBABg4JF— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 13, 2018
Trump initial omission of Hindus sparked some concern online.
So after initially not including Hindus in his first Diwali tweet, Trump deletes that tweet and reposts another message. And still leaves out Hindus... https://t.co/4Rw5VLkVUe— Manu Raju (@mkraju) November 13, 2018
Aye you forgot the billion+ Hindus lol https://t.co/w74skZ5oDA— Aman Sharma (@thesharma21) November 13, 2018
Uhh... What about Hindus? Also, you're almost a week late ???? https://t.co/ZgQP3WN8gV— Isha Modi (@IMishamodi) November 13, 2018