It was my great pleasure to be invited to the September 29th, 2013 Hindu Unity Day organized by the tireless and dedicated Narain Kataria and Arish Sahani of the Indian American Intellectuals Forum. The event hosted many bright lights of the international Hindu community, including Dr. Subramanian Swamy and Baba Ramdev.
The entire event was dedicated to the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda as well as to the great Hindu hero and warrior Shivaji Raje who liberated much of India from Islamic rule. Though I had attended and organized some smaller protests to shed light on the situation of Hindus living in Bangladesh, Pakistan and even in India, this was my first time at what I can call a “Hindu Political Rally”.
As I entered the venue, The Sterling in Hicksville Long Island, the first thing I noticed were all the engraved idols and marble wall cuts of anonymous deities, a great reminder of the deep-seated yet often veiled unity of Hindu and Ancient Western culture. At the check-in counter there were several books laid out written by the guest speakers, a book on the Ram Setu by Dr. Swamy caught my eye and the hostess assured me I could have it for free. We have been working to have Ram Setu declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, so Dr Swamy’s book will be put to good use.
Before the event started we were all treated to some of the best vegetarian Indian food I have ever eaten in my life. We were able to meet and socialize with many other Hindu activists from the NYC area and even as from far away as India. Delegates were sent from the Hindu Students Association of Hunter College, HindiUSA, the Association of Indians in America, the Kashmir Hindu Foundation, ISKCON, the Divya Jyoti Jagrati Sansthan and many other temple and political related organization. Of course “Mission 2014” was in attendance and there was much excitement in the air about Narendra Modi’s run for Prime Minister.
Many of the guest speakers were professional doctors, dentists and engineers who dedicated their free time to the Hindu cause. They were self-taught and experienced experts on different regions and issues in South Asia where Hindus are not just suffering, but also reviving, organizing and fighting back. Though their words were serious and intellectual, they all spoke to a backdrop of blue and purple light, a new and welcome aesthetic to my eyes. Baba Ramdev spoke next to last, just before Dr. Swamy. Ramdev spoke in Hindi so I could not understand what he said, but his eyes shined with a deep and friendly light and he had the Hindi speaking audience laughing the whole time.
Dr. Swamy’s lecture was given in English and the topic was “India’s Renaissance: Dream or Reality?”. He gave us a great hope for the future of the Indian economy which according to his estimate is severely underperforming due to certain elements of mismanagement. Dr. Swamy and every Hindu on earth knows that Hinduism’s young, educated, ambitious and dharmic population will soon play a great and positive role on the world economic and social stage. He really gave us all a new energy to work and fight for our Hindu family in the same spirit as Vivekananda and Shivaji Raje.
The most important part of the whole event was seeing “Hindu Unity” in action; for the first time I did see and feel a sense of real “Hindu Unity”. We were different people from different places and different organization and members of different sects, yet the larger idea and love was for Hinduism. Every Hindu in their heart and soul knows that Hindu destiny is not one of darkness and misery but a bright future of noble, strong and kind light. The spirit of Hinduism’s great and united future permeated the whole event and every person in attendance. I personally left Hindu Unity Day with new friends who are active in the Hindu Renaissance and with the conviction to improve my personal Karma and Dharma so that I to may have a part in Hinduism’s great and United future.