Hindu Resurgence Around the World

via Ravikumar published on January 29, 2010
Hinduism Arrives on the Global Stage



Hinduism has captured the imagination of the world.

Hindus have reasons to feel proud when its ancient tradition of starting an event with chanting of Vedic hymns in Sanskrit was adopted at the kick-start of Commonwealth Games 2010 on 30 October 2009, in presence of Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain and President Pratibha Patil of India at London in a spectacular ceremony. Chanting of Vedic hymns by British children in chorus for several minutes in fluent Sanskrit that too without reading any script was indeed worth-appreciating.

Chanting of Vedic hymns in state-assemblies of United States of America and countries is also becoming a regular trend. In October 2009 an Indian priest Narayanachar Digalakote chanted Vedic hymns seeking world peace while US President lit Diwali-lamp at White House. When Western countries are realising the importance of Vedic hymns in Sanskrit, it is time that Indian government may set up a separate ministry for development and research of Sanskrit to explore the hidden treasure of literature and medical science in the ancient language. (Taken from Madhu Agarwal’s article in the internet).

http://www.merinews.com/article/commonwealth-baton-relay-starts-with-rigveda/15787156.shtml
 
In October 2009, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown lit the traditional diya and started the Diwali celebrations in British Parliament. Ram Nawami too was celebrated in No. 10 Downing Street. Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, added colour to the Diwali celebrations in Britain by visiting Shri Swaminarayan temple and participating in a symbolic ‘Laxmi Puja’ ceremony. Diwali was similarly celebrated in the parliaments of Australia , ( Canberra , Sydney and Melbourne ), New Zealand ( Wellington and Auckland ) and Canada .
Hindu priest Rajan Zed opened the US Senate on July 12, 2007 with a Hindu prayer arranged by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat. Baptist church is worried about the rise of Hinduism in USA . Hindu priests offered prayers at the legislative sessions in the Maryland , Iowa, New Jesey, Nevada and California House and Senates in USA . Sri Sri Ravishankar addressed the European Parliament of 11 nations at Brussels .

Several world leaders like Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, South African President Thabo Mbeki, Greek President Karolos Papoulias quote from the Vedas to explain their point of view.

Britain backed by $19.5 million (Rs 100 Crores) in aid has started a State Funded Hindu school. Krishna-Avanti primary school has a space for 240 children. Pupils study the national curriculum but there is a strong emphasis on Hindu ethos and worship. USA takes up Hindi studies in its universities. India ’s rapidly growing industry and business is attracting large Americans to Bharat.  

In January 2009, Barack Hussain Obama in his presidential address mentioned that USA was a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus and non-believers. He carries a key chain with an idol of 4 armed Hanuman. He appointed Sonal R. Shah an active member of Ekal Vidyalay and Sewa International to serve as the Director of the new Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation in the White House. When USA faced severe trillion dollar financial crisis, President George Bush in Oct 2008 appointed Neel Kashkari, a Kashmiri Pandit as the head of the new office of Financial Stability. Obama team in 2009 asked Kashkari to remain at Treasury for some more period and assist in the transition.  Several Hindus are now walking the corridors of power in Washington DC . When Obama and Dr Manmohan Singh met one-on-one in Washington recently in Nov 2009, Singh’s principal assistant and note-taker was his private secretary Jaideep Sarkar, a young gun of the Indian Foreign Service. No surprise there. And aiding Obama? Anish Goel, a senior staffer of the National Security Council and a rising star of the US foreign service. Similarly, when the US side engaged New Delhi on Af-Pak issues, the Indians found, much to their surprise, that the Senior Defense Advisor to Richard Holbrooke, the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan was Vikram Singh. China and Pakistan are worried that 26 Indians are serving Obama administration including at least a dozen in senior positions.
 
Hindus Around the World

There are about 7 crore Hindus in about 120 countries of the world. Of these Hindus are in good numbers in about 40 countries like UK, USA, Holland, Germany, Kenya, Middle East, West Indies, South Africa, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji,  Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan etc.
 
Saga of Trials & Triumph

In countries like Mauritius , South Africa , Fiji , Myanmar , Malaysia , Singapore and Caribbean countries of Trinidad , Guyana and Surinam , Indians were taken by the British rulers some 120 years back as contract laborers. These Indian were then sold to British Farm owners like sheep, cows or buffalos. Initial years were a sad saga of tears & fears, disease & death, torture, humiliations & hard labor. But it is also a tale of their struggle, determination, strong resolve and final Triumph. Most of these Indians hail from Eastern UP (Bhojpuri dialect) and from Tamil Nadu. Ramcharit Manas and Thevaram (ancient Tamil Hymns in praise of Lord Shiva) kept their faith and hopes alive. The literate among them would read and others listened with unmatched shraddha. Ramcharit Manas & Thevaram saved them from the aggressive conversion efforts of Christian missionaries and Indian Muslims.
 
Festivals unit Hindus

Celebration of Hindu festivals in large congregations strengthened their faith. Deepavali is the most popular festival and is both a religious and a social event. Hindus invite all their Hindu and non-Hindu friends. Deepavali is a national holiday in Malaysia and in Singapore when all government offices are closed. Nearly 5 lac Hindus gather at Lord Subramaniam Temple in Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur , Malaysia on the occasion of Thai Pusam; 5 lac Hindus gather at the Ganga Talav in Mauritius on the occasion of Shiv Ratri. Lacs of Hindu and Sri Lankan devotees make a pilgrimage on bare foot to Kadirgamam temple in South Sri Lanka to pay their obeisance to Lord Karthikeya. Thousands gather annually at the (Maha Mariamman) Devi Parvati Temple in Suva , Fiji .
 
Heads of State in many countries

Hindus came to these distant lands 100 years ago and underwent trials and tribulations like Lord Ram during his Vanavas. Today the Hindus are better off. Like Ram they too are celebrating Deepavali having won the battle of survival.  Their proud sons, Sir Shivsagar Ramgulam & Aniruddha Jagannath, Dr Navin Ramgoolam (Mauritius),  Mahendra Chowdhary (Fiji), Basdeo Pandey (Trinidad), Bharat Jagdev (Guyana), Devan Nair &, S.R.Nathan (Singapore) have risen to become the Prime Ministers and Presidents. V.S.Naipaul the proud son of Trinidad is a Noble Laureate.


Conquering Developed Nations like America , England

Professional Indians like doctors, engineers, IIT graduates, Managers, economists, Computer specialists, Information Technologists are in great demand in developed countries like USA , Canada , UK , Europe, Australia , New Zealand , Japan , Korea , Singapore etc.  Here too after some initial struggle, Hindu community has established itself as the most educated, influential and above all most law abiding community amongst various other races. By the dint of their hard and committed work, they have now become the richest community on the basis of per capita income. Even American politicians have started wooing the Indian community. 17 year old Murali Ambatti of New York University became the youngest doctor in US, 4 year old Rohit Puri of Bangkok, Thailand becomes the youngest Microsoft executive, several teenage boys and girls in US, UK, Australia and New Zealand win national awards in English, general knowledge and science talent competitions. Very recently C.K.Prahalad of University of Michigan is ranked third in “Thinkers 50” based on a survey of business people, consultants, academics and MBAs. He stands tall next only to strategy guru Michael Porter and Microsoft founder Bill Gates. Business advisor Ram Charan, Prof. V.Govindarajan and Prof. Rakesh Khurana also find a place among the “Thinkers 50” where Peter Drucker was ranked first before his demise.
 
Noble Laureates, Values & Wealth Creators

Dr Hargobind Khorana, Dr Chandrasekhar, Dr Amartya Sen and Dr Venkat Ramakrishnan have made Indians proud by bagging Noble Prizes in technical subjects. In USA many Indians like Indira Nooyi, Vinod Khosla, Vinod Dahm, Sabeer Bhatia, Arun Netravalli, Rajeev Gupta, Sanjay Tejwrika, Rajat Gupta, Rana Talwar (only to mention a few) occupy topmost posts in well known Multinational companies like Pepsi-Cola, Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, Stanchart, Mckensey, Sun Microsystem, Intel etc. Dr Ajay Kumar who hails from Meerut is the Director of Aerodynamics in NASA credited with the successful testing of MACH-7 Scramjet engines that can make flight travel from Mumbai to Delhi a matter of few minutes. He is now heading the MACH-10 project. Ms Arti Prabhakar, Director National Institute of Standards, Ms. Preeta Bansal, councellor in White House, Astronaut Kalpana Chawla have proven that Hindu women can accept any challenge in the western world. In UK based Shri Laxmi Narayan Mittal CEO of M/S Arcelor-Mittal Group of industries is the largest steel producer in the world. Hindujas, Swaraj Paul, Jatania Brothers, Tom Singh, Bhikku & Vijay Patel, Jasminder Singh, Bharat & Ketan Mehta and Dinesh Dhamija have made UK financially strong.

Influencing West through Vedic Universal Philosophy & Hindu Family Values
West is facing a cultural crisis. Increasing rates of broken families, single parents, unwed teenage mothers, drug addicts, alcoholism, homicides, suicides and above all sex abuse by missionary preachers is a great concern to the community which is now studying the Hindu family system with greater attention. Millions of the liberal westerners find solace in yoga, meditation and Bhagwad Gita. All these are growing in the midst of heavy attacks by Christian missionaries which label yoga as devil’s work and Bhagwad Gita as devil’s literature.
 
Ever since Bhagwad Gita was translated into English in 1785 by Charles Wilkins, it has caught Europe and America like a wild fire. Governor Warren Hastings, Arthur Schopenhauer, Annie Beseant, Margaret Noble (Sister Nivedita), Savitri Devi, Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Max Muller, Aldous Huxley,Rudyard Kipling, Mark Twain, Wilhelm von Humboldt, Will Durant, Jules Michelet, a French historian, Schlegel – History of Literature, Wheeler Wilcox,  “India, the land of the Vedas”, Joseph Campbell (Sanskrit) and hundreds of scholars have found a new meaning in their life mission.
 
In recent times Divine Mother of Pondicherry, Shivaya Subramanya of Shaiva Siddhanta Church, David Frawley (Vamadev Muni), Koenrad Elst, Stephen Knapp, Michel Danino, Alan Ford, Francis Gautier have been very vocal in their appreciation of Hinduism and leave no stones unturned to defend Hinduism against unjust criticisms.
 
Noble Laureates like Niel Bohr, Erwin Schrödinger (Quantum Physics), Einstein (Theory of Relativity), W.Heisenberg  (German Sub Atomic Physicist 1901-1976), other leading scientists like J.R.Oppenheimer  (1943-44 Father of Atomic Explosion), Carl Segal (Cosmology), social thinkers of the present era like Emmelin Plunret, A.L. Basham – Australian Indologist, Burke (A German Historian of Maths), Hankel, Hu Shih, former Chinese Ambassador to USA have been inspired by the universal Vedic philosophy, Vedic Sciences and Vedic civilization.
 
The untiring efforts of Swami Vivekanand, Swami Ramatirth, Paramahamsa Yogananda, Yogi Aurobindo (Auroville), Mata Amritanandamayi, Swami Prabhupad,  Swami Chinmayanand, Swami Tilak, Swami Muktanand, Acharya Rajnish, Swami Mahesh Yogi, Shri Shri Ravishankar Maharaj, Swami Dayanand Saraswati and the labors of organizations like Ramakrishna Ashram, Satya Sai Samaj, ISKCON, Saiva Siddhanta Church, Chinmaya Ashram, Divine Life Society, Raj Yoga Centre, Hindu Swayamsewak Sangh, Hindu Sevika Samiti and Vishwa Hindu Parishad have made Hinduism truly global. No wonder the Sultan of Bahrain, Royal family members of Buckingham palace, Benitto Craxi former prime minister of Italy , Mrs Anwar Sadat, Mrs Yeltsin, sisters of former Prime minister of Canada Max Mulrony also speak Hindu philosophy.
 
Gulf Countries

Many Indian engineers, accountants, managers and lacs of skilled and semi skilled workers are working in Gulf countries since the oil explorations in the sixties. They made the hot windy deserts of Saudi Arabia , Kuwait , Bahrain , United Arab Emirates , Sultanate of Oman and Qatar rich and prosperous by their hard work under highly adverse conditions. Even before oil was found, Sindhi and Gujarati merchants made life bearable. Arabs including Sultans will eagerly await the arrival of ships from India which brought necessary and lifesaving objects like drinking waters, food items, medicines and garments from India . Some of them are so influential that the Royal family members depended on them for financial help. The devote Khimjis had built a Shiva temple in Muscat , Sulatanate of Oman, one hundred fifty years ago. They were so dominant and aggressive in acquiring real estates that Oman parliament had to pass a resolution prohibiting them from purchasing any further land. In the bygone days they financed Oman crown prince’s travel and education in Bharat. Hence when Indian president
Dr Shankar Dayal Sharma visited Oman , the sultan made him sit on the royal throne and him-self sat below along with others. He personally drove the car while bringing Dr Shankar Dayal ji from the airport. After all Dr Shankar Dayal Sharma ji was in teaching profession before starting his political career; so much for adhering to Hindu Guru Sishya tradition. Recently Prime Minister of Iraq requested Sri Sri Ravishankar Maharaj to teach Sudarshan Kriya to jailmates in Iraq . The Arab royal families depend heavily on Indian professionals like doctors, engineers, administrators, managers, clerks and workers not only for running the affairs of their sultanates but also for the administration and maintenance of the royal palaces. Over 30 lac Indians are working in Gulf countries.
 
 
Shining as the Best Tax Paying Business Community

Indians with business acumen came to in Hong Kong , Thailand , Singapore , Kenya , Uganda , Tanzania , Dubai etc. Starting as small traders they have become the most successful community in the midst of world wide competitions. Unfortunately the Hindu especially Gujarati businessmen from Uganda , Tanzania , Kenya and Nigeria had to flee from these countries and seek asylum in UK in the sixties and seventies and from Zimbabwe in recent years after local military regimes replaced the European colonial powers. They have enriched UK and are well respected business community there.
 
Problems of the Overseas Hindus & the Role of Hindu Swayamsewak Sangh

Hindus living in some 120 countries have varied problems. But some common problems need to be addressed in an organized way. In most countries except Bharat, Nepal and Mauritius Hindus are in minority. Preserving Indian languages, Hindu customs, traditions, culture, festivals is a big challenge especially among the youth and children. The influence of western music, dress, language, slang cannot be under estimated. It is here that Hindu Swayamsewak Sangh plays a leading role.
 
Shakhas and Training Camps

In most countries Hindus form a microscopically small minority in the midst of people belonging to other cultures. The parents therefore struggle to educate the children on Hindu values. The aggressive wester
culture has ruined the western society and is a threat to Hindu youth. The Indian parents are legitimately worried about the future of their children growing in such a volatile environment. In such places Hindu Swayamsewak Sangh, Hindu Sevika Samiti and Vishwa Hindu Parishad running shakhas, training camps on basic Hinduism, and celebrating festivals and conferences has made a significant change in their attitude. Hindu children now feel proud to practice our ancient ethos and traditions. Hindu Swayamsewak Sangh is active in 40 countries. It runs 750 shakhas in 33 countries. Of these 140 are daily shakhas and the rest are weekly ones. 70 of these are run under Hindu Sevika Samiti for Hindu girls by our trained sisters. The eastern most country in the world is Fiji and the westernmost country is USA . We have shakhas in both these places. The northernmost country is Canada and the southernmost country is New Zealand . Shakhas are functioning here too. In the 1940s shakhas started in Mauritius, South Africa and Kenya. Adarneeya Jagdish Shastry ji held a shakha on the deck of a ship while sailing from Mumbai to Kenya in 1947. Now shakhas have encompassed the globe and united the Hindus.
 
Swargeeya Laxmanrao Bhide laid the foundation of this worldwide movement by his tireless travels to some 60 countries in a long span of 40 years. He was ably assisted in this arduous task by Swargeeya Chamalanlal ji. Now this mantle has fallen on the shoulders of Dr Shankar Tatwawadi ji who in spite of his age goes around the world tirelessly.
 
HSS shakhas are similar to those in Bharat in some respects and differ in a few details. For example the Bhagwa Dhwaj is same everywhere. The Sanskrit commands, shaririks, khel, utsavs, gatapadhati, Sangh Siksha vargas, shibirs etc are same. The differences are the name Hindu Swayamsewak Sangh, Sangh Prarthana, the way we do dhwaj pranam, and the prarthana ends with the slogan Vishwa Dharma ki jai. Many a places the baudhiks are delivered in English to make it easy for the youth and children to comprehend. In spite of the differences the karyakarta nirmiti in these shakhas is as strong as in Bharat. Many committed karyakartas are from 2nd and 3rd generation Hindus who have never seen Bharat before coming here for sangh siksha vargas. Ten of them are now serving the Hindu cause as pracharaks (Full time celibate social workers). Once in Malaysia there was ghastly fire accident in a chemical factory late at night and most of the victims were of Indian origin. When some karyakartas rushed to Medical Hospital to donate blood, they were pleasantly surprised to see so many other swayamsewaks from other shakhas who had arrived there with the same concern. In most countries whenever there are floods, accidents or other natural calamities, swayamsewaks have readily risen to the occasion. Educationists in UK have observed that hooliganism, vandalism and drug abuse among UK children is seen less in those schools that have a good number sangh swayamsewak children. S/sewaks are seen excelling in academic studies and winning several awards and recognitions.
 

World Hindu Conferences

Vishwa Hindu Parishad in cooperation with hundreds of other Hindu organizations, has organized large world Hindu conferences in UK , Germany , Denmark , South Africa , Singapore , USA and Trinidad to forge a sense of unity amongst Hindus living in 120 countries. These conferences have been addressed by Heads of States of the host countries like Nelson Mandela, Mrs Margaret Thatcher, David Russel Lange, Jomo Kenyatta, Basedeo Pandey and Devan Nair. Dharma conference held last July in New Jesrey was the largest International gathering of Hindu youth. They assembled to discuss their problems and ways to solve them.
 
Over 15,000 Hindus gather at the Deepavali celebrations every year in Sydney . Senior federal and state ministers have been attending this festival regularly. Diwali last year was celebrated in London , Washington and Sydney parliaments by lighting the central halls. Hindu renaissance is bound to trigger many such events in future. Hindu resurgence is finding its echo all over the world.
 
Vishwa Sangh Shibirs

      Sangh karyakartas with their family members assemble in Bharat once in five years to discuss their problems, growth and future course of action. The first shibir was held in Bangalore in 1990. The second, third and fourth were held at Vadodara, Mumbai and Karnavati in 1995, 2000 and 2005. The themes of the shibirs were Pradeepyem Jagat Sarvam at Bangalore , Sangha Shakti Vijetreeyam at Vadodara Vishwa Mangala Hetave at Mumbai and Vishwa Dharma Prakashena Vishwa Shanti Pravartake –world peace through universal values of Hinduismat Karnavati. The sankhyas in these shibirs were 250, 350, 450 and 550 respectively.
 
The fifth Vishwa Sangh Shibir will be held in Pune in December 2010. 600 shibirarthis from some 40 countries are expected to participate. The serene and holy atmosphere of Pune will witness many bustling activities of Hindu resurgence during this period. For many of the shibirarthis this will be their first visit to Bharat in several generations. For them every inch of Bharat is a pilgrim place. They will be spending a fortune as air tickets to reach the shibir. They will come with their own nostalgic ideas about Bharat.

PP Sarasanghachalak, Ma. Madandas ji, Ma. Suresh Soni, Dattatreya and mnay Sangh adhikaris will be present in the shibir.
 
Hindu Influence on the West

Ever since cholesterol, obesity, heart-attacks, blood pressures have become fatal diseases in the West, they are now turning in lacs and crores to vegetarianism, yogasanas, meditations and pranayams. At least 10% in USA , UK and Europe are now practicing Hinduism in their daily life in one way or the other. The spread of AIDS, pre-marital sex, unmarried mothers, homicides and suicides has emphasized the need for self-control and Hindu family values. Bhagwad Gita is the fastest selling religious book in the world. ISKCON, Saiva Sidhanta Church , Chinmaya Mission, Divine Life Mission, Ramakrishna Ashram, HH Dalai Lama, Sri Sri Ravishankar, Mata Amritanandmayi and scores of other Hindu missionaries and organizations are attracting large non-Indian devotees. Hindu Swayamsewak Sangh is a unique organization in the sense it unites Hindus of all language groups, sects, creeds and other denominations.
 
The educational and economic success of overseas Hindus, their rising political, social and spiritual influence across the globe and their practice of Hindu Family values is now catching the world by storm. The new century augurs well for Hindutva.
 


(Author is senior Pracharak of Sangh Pariwar)

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