North American Hindus call for a New Direction on Terrorism

Share Article

North American Hindus Call for a New Dialogue on Terrorism. Several Hindu organizations gathered together for a traditional Vedic Shanti Homam (Prayer Ceremony for Peace) in the world, at the DFW Hindu Temple, Irving, Texas. They came together to condemn the Islamic terrorist attack on the city of Mumbai, and express their anguish and support for the affected families. Members from the Jewish and Islamic community also participated.

Hindus and Jews have a lot in common. We both have suffered the travails of Partition and ongoing terrorism

The heinous terrorist attack on the City of Mumbai from 26 November, 2008 through 29 November, 2008 that claimed over 200 innocent victims and left over 300 injured is a stark reminder that Islamic Terrorism is one of the greatest dangers to the future of peaceful human existence in the world. This incident clearly exposes the fact that it was a cold blooded, well orchestrated attack, with months of planning and preparation behind it, and targeted at destabilizing the democratic and secular society of India in particular and the world at large.

Members of the Hindu community of North America came together to perform a Shanti Homam (ceremony of peace) to pray for peace for the affected families and also for the world. The Shanti Homam at the DFW Hindu Temple, Irving, Texas attracted members of over 30 Hindu organizations living in the DFW metro area. Members of the Jewish and Islamic faiths were also present at the ceremony where prayers for world peace and solace for the affected families were offered, in the Sanskrit language in a traditional Vedic ritual. Similar Homam ceremonies were also offered in many cities in United States of America, Canada, Australia and around the world. "We come together to look into the eyes of terror and say we stand together as one people of the world in support of humanity - Not in despair or hopelessness, but rather in love, strength, resolve, and peace for the present and the future" says Ranna Jani, President of the DFW Hindu Temple, Irving, Texas.

Nearly 3 million Hindus live in North America today. India is home to another 900+ Million Hindus. Pluralism or the ability to accept many different belief systems and pathways to God is not new to Hindus. Right from the early Rig Vedic era (5,000 BC), Hinduism aka Sanatana Dharma has upheld and valued the fundamental spiritual freedom and the right of the individual to believe and practice his or her faith. As a result numerous sects and sub-traditions within the family of traditions called Hinduism exist in harmony within India and across the world. Over the ages, Hinduism also welcomed many religions born in distant lands to come into her country to make a home, free from the fear of persecution. This has been the very core of the Hindu civilization for many millennia. In keeping with her ancient Hindu pluralistic ethos, India embraced a Secular Constitution after its independence in 1947 further affirming and accepting the co-existence of many diverse faiths in its land. As a non-proselytizing family of religious traditions, Ahimsa (non violence) being one of its core values, Hinduism poses no threat to any other faith community in the world.

However, this essential pluralistic tradition has made India vulnerable to threats that have come into its lands from afar and within. Since 2004 alone, nearly 7000 people lost their lives due to terrorist attacks. Behind every terrorist attack is the same ideology that sanctions violence against innocent people, in the name of a particular religion and its God. Among the guests who attended the Vedic Prayer at the DFW Hindu Temple, Rabbi Goeffrey W. Dennis of the Congregation Kol Ami said "Hindus and Jews have a lot in common. We both have suffered the travails of Partition and ongoing terrorism" while offering a Jewish prayer.

Hindus living in North America, are very concerned that the civilized world and India in specific, which are committed to democracy and pluralism, are increasingly under threat. "Hindus in North America speak in a united voice, when we say we are extremely disturbed by this horrible Islamic terrorist attack on Mumbai. Our hearts bleed for the departed souls and families who have lost their loved ones, and the injured. We need fresh thinking. We need an approach to resolving the problem of Islamic Terrorism that does not tip-toe around the hard issues, and keeps making practical compromises, leaving behind the infrastructure that graduates yet another batch of terrorists". says Kalyan Viswanathan president of Dallas-based Sanatana Dharma Foundation.

Signed by :
1.    Sanatana Dharma Foundation, Dallas, Texas
2.    DFW Hindu Temple, Irving, Texas
3.    Vaishno Devi Temple, Ontario, Canada
4.    North Texas Hindu Mandir, Dallas, Texas
5.    Foundation Against Continuing Terrorism, (FACT), Houston, Texas
6.    Kanchi Kamakoti Seva Foundation, New Jersey
7.    International Sanatana Dharma Society, Omaha, Nebraska
8.    Samskrita Bharati, San Jose, California
9.    United States Hindu Alliance, Atlanta, Georgia
10.    Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Vadtal Dham, Scarborough, Ontario
11.    Kanchi Kamakoti Seva Kendra, Toronto, Canada
12.    Global Hindu Heritage Foundation, Madison, Mississippi
13.    Hindu Mahasabha of America, Houston, Texas
14.    The Arise Arjuna Foundation, New Jersey
15.    Indic Studies Foundation, California
16.    Indian Intellectuals Forum, New York City, New York
17.    Third Eye Meditation Inc., Dallas, Texas
18.    Denton County India Cultural Association, Denton, Texas
19.    SEWA International, USA - Dallas Chapter
20.    National Federation of Indian American Association (NFIA), California
21.    International Kashmir Federation (IKF), San Francisco, California
22.    Global organization of the people of Indian Origin, San Francisco, California
23.    Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, Dallas Chapter
24.    Foundation for Hindu Religious Studies, Cleveland, Ohio
25.    Forum for Religious Freedom, New York City, New York
26.    Yoga Bharati, San Jose, California
27.    Sri Kripalu Kunj Mission, Houston, Texas
28.    Kashmiri Association of North Texas, Dallas, USA
29.    Jagadguru Kripalu Yog, USA
30.    Frisco Vishnu Sahasranama Group, Frisco, Texas
31.    Sanatana Dharma School, Irving, Texas
32.    DFW Hindu TRAC Group, Dallas, Texas
33.    Vedanta Today, Boston, Massachusetts
34.    American Telugu Association (ATA), Irving, Texas
35.    Indo-Caribbean Cultural Council, Trinidad and Tobago, Caribbean
36.    Subhodhayam Group, College Station, Texas
37.    Canadian Hindu Advocay, Toronto, Canada
38.    DFW Gayatri Parivar, Arlingon, Texas
39.    Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Sydney, Australia

# # #

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Kalyan Viswanathan
Visit website