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How non-Christian religious groups should be politically recognized within Western multicultural societies has proved to be a pressing contemporary issue. This article examines some ways in which American policies regarding religion and multiculturalism have shaped Hindu Indian American organizations, forms of public expression and activism. Specifically, I look at three examples of the impact of such policies on Hindu Indian Americans representing strategic arenas in the socio-political recognition of ethnic groups, and also crucial moments in the institutionalization of an American Hinduism. I also show how the activism of Hindu Americans is reshaping the contours of religion, society and politics in the United States.