Walter Andersen, an expert on the Sangh Parivar, who unlike many others that have written on the subject, is well regarded by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leadership. He was in Delhi during the time that US Secretary of State John Kerry came calling to attend the Indo-US Strategic Dialogue. Those in the know believe Andersen’s presence in Delhi, just when Kerry was visiting, wasn’t a coincidence. Andersen is currently director, South Asian Studies Programme, School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, Washington. He has served in the US State Department’s South Asia Division. In the late 1980s, Andersen co-authored “The Brotherhood in Saffron: The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and Hindu Revivalism“. The RSS leadership recommends the book to all who wish to understand the Sangh. Andersen continues to have close ties with the Sangh leadership.
A source said Andersen is probably the only American academic who has an understanding of how the Sangh and BJP work, and could have been requested by the American establishment to put across its viewpoint with the Sangh leadership. According to sources, Andersen told a gathering in Delhi how he had divided loyalties since his wife is from India and his son spends much of his time in India. The understanding is that the Americans are totally at sea in trying to fathom both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and RSS, particularly as neither is in awe of the Americans or has had any extensive engagement in the past with them.