Achievements of Overseas Hindus
The Unrecognised NRI scientists
Yallapragada Subbarao: A poor Andhra boy Subba Rao came to the US in the 1920s. He is credited with the synthesis of Folic acid, Aureomycin, the first of the tetracycline antibiotics that have saved millions of lives since its introduction in 1948, and Methotrexate, which is used to alleviate several types of cancer, including childhood leukemia. The discovery of Folic acid helped a medical company to discover Vitamin B12. The medicines found by Subbarao helped the doctors to control Filariasis, a killer disease. Subbarao was instrumental in establishing a cancer research unit.
In fact, it is said that Aureomycin, presented to the medical world in 1948, should have won him the Nobel Prize. Subbarao did not like advertising of himself. He was not known to many Indians. His work was selfless. He worked in USA at the time when eminent scholars and doctors didn’t allow Indian to do research in medicine. Of him it was said, because he lived, you may live longer.
Dr Rangaswamy Srinivasan, the little known pioneer of Lasik eye surgery, who is the only Indian to feature in the US National Inventors Hall of Fame in the company of greats such as Edison, Ford, Disney, Nobel and the Wright Brothers. After he engineered the technique to correct shortsightedness that has enabled millions to get rid of eyeglasses, Srinivasan wrote out the patent to IBM, the corporation he worked for. His reward: A measly $10,000.
In a recent interview Dr Praveen Chaudhari, the Director of Brookhaven National Laboratory, who was also Dr Srinivasan’s colleague at IBM, when asked how it felt to have such achievements go unrecognised by the media and unrewarded financially in an age when people were patenting age old inventions and milking millions. “The joy lies in the discovery, not in the reward,” he said.
Dr Praveen Chaudhari should know better. He engineered the rewritable compact disc (CD), and like Dr Srinivasan, wrote out the patent for IBM for a fraction of the billions Big Blue, Sony, Phillips and other corporations got from the invention.
But neither Dr Rangaswamy nor Dr Chaudhari display the slightest sign of rancor at IBM’s profits or envy at the fame and fortune of today’s NRIs.
“Between a billion dollars and the pleasure of giving perfect eyesight, what do you think I will
choose?” asks Dr Srinivasan.
These men never send out press releases or talk to the media. They are not rich or famous. They are sacred and profound. They are the true representatives of Vedic way of living for the welfare of mankind.
1.3 Economic Power- Bharat vanshis march shoulder to shoulder with Bharat vasis
Many overseas Indians have established their financial superiority. Laxminivas Mittal of Mittal Steels is the richest person in United Kingdom. He is followed closely by Swaraj Paul, Hindujas Jatania Brothers, Tom Singh, Bhikkubhai Patel and a few others. On per capita income basis ethnic Indians are the richest or among the richest communities in USA, Canada, UK, France, Germany and other European countries, Hong Kong, Thailand, Japan, Taiwan, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zambia, Fiji, Australia and New Zealand. In USA an average Indian earns 25% more than the national average.
Laxmi Niwas Mittal today is the world’s largest steel producer and the third richest man in the world (net worth: $32 billion, or Rs 1, 44, 000 crores). Arcelor Mittal is the world’s number one steel company, with 320,000 employees in more than 60 countries. Arcelor Mittal Pro-forma revenue in 2005 showed combined revenues of 62.2bn euro (77.5bn$) and approximate production capacity of 113 million tonnes, which represents about 10% of the world’s crude steel output. He produces more steel than what is produced by most countries in the world. Senior politicians from France and Luxembourg had initially rallied against the takeover of Arcelor by Mittal, a 26.9 billion-euro ($34.4 billion) merger.
“If the shareholders and if the regulators in charge are going to accept what was concluded today, then I think this will be a truly extraordinary situation for Luxembourg, to have by far the biggest steel maker here and to have its headquarters and decision-making center here,” said Luxembourg’s economy minister, Jeannot Krecké. “It’s a great victory.”
Mittal owns the world’s most expensive private residence (which he bought for $128 million or Rs 576 crores).
Aditya Birla company in Thailand produces maximum carbon black in the world. Shri Manilal Chandaria of Kenya has his business empire spread over 45 countries. The Gujarati Hindu Khimjis of Oman are so rich that Sultanate passed a law banning them from purchasing any more land. They were already occupying one third of the country. In one of their lands their ancestors built a temple for Lord Shiva one hundred and fifty years ago and on a Shivratri day the queue of Hindu devotees winds to miles and miles in this Gulf kingdom. Petronas Tower in Kuala Lumpur, the tallest twin towers in the world belongs to Ananta Krishnan.
From Not Required Indians NRIs or Non Resident Indians have become “Noble Resurgent Indians” and “Needy Required Indians”. Bharat-Vasis and Bharat Vamshis together have made Bharat the third largest economy in the world next only to USA and China on Peoples Purchase Parity counts.
1.6: From Village View To Global View
From a slave colony we are progressing towards a super power status. To be a super power one more factor is in our favor. With over 6 crore Indian Hindus living in over 100 countries, we are the largest and most widely spread community in the world.
Indian Heads of States
We had only a village view 100 years back. But today we have a global view. Our people went to Fiji, Burma, Malaysia, Singapore, Mauritius, South Africa, Trinidad, Guyana, Surinam, Jamaica and other countries 100 years ago. But majority of them served as slaves and as contract laborers and had only a limited village view. But today we are the rulers. A few years back, Shri Mahendra Chowdhry became the Prime Minister in Fiji. In Trinidad we had Basdev Pandey as the prime minister. Anerood Jugnauth is the president of Mauritius. In Singapore, S. R. Nathan and in Guyana Bharat Jagdev are the Presidents of their Republics. They decide the destinies of those countries. Similarly in the 1980’s Shri Devan Nair was the president of Singapore and late Sir Sewasagar Ramgoolam was the first Prime Minister of Mauritius and today his son Dr Navin Ramgoolam is the prime minister. Cheddi Bharat Jagan became the first popularly elected prime minister of Guyana in 1953. In Malaysia we have Minister Datto Sri Samivelu as a senior member in the cabinet. Smt. Kamala Prasad is the leader of opposition in Trinidad. Sri Lanka, South Africa and Canada also have Cabinet ministers of Indian origin. Indians grace the Upper House in England. Smt. Sukhinder Kaur was mayor of Dunedin in New Zealand for two terms. Sridath Ramphal rose to become the Secretary General of Commonwealth organizations. Now since Aug 2006, Justice Anand Satyanand, born and raised in New Zealand by Indian and Fiji Indian parents, is the Governor General of New Zealand, the first person of Asian descent appointed to that role. Swati Dandekar (D-Iowa), Nikki Randhawa-Haley (R-South Carolina) and Shinku Sharma (Calif.) are among the eight Indian American candidates who won the state elections in 2004.
Indians hold key positions in universities around the world
On the economic and education fronts too overseas Indians have conquered many frontiers. Over 8,000 Indian professors are enriching university campuses all across the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, UK, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and other advanced countries with many holding top positions in their respective fields and making their mark. Several Indian professors and professionals are being invited to Chinese universities these days.
In an era of the global economy some of the brightest minds shaping international economics include Amartya Sen of Harvard University and Jagdish Bhagwati of New York’s Columbia University. The impact of Indian academics is being felt all the way to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), where Raghuram G Rajan is economic counselor and director of research. Rajan is the first person of Indian origin - and the youngest ever - to be chief economist at IMF.
More important, Indian-born strategists also are helping transform corporations. Academics and consultants such as C. K. Prahalad, Ram Charan, and Vijay Govindrajan are among the world’s hottest business gurus. About 10% of the professors at places such as Harvard Business School, Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Business, and the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business are of Indian descent—a far higher percentage than other ethnic groups. “When senior executives come to Kellogg, Wharton, Harvard, or [Dartmouth’s] Tuck, they are exposed to Indian values that are reflected in the way we think and articulate,” says Dipak C. Jain, dean of the Kellogg School.
Business guru CK Prahalad, professor of business administration at the University of Michigan, has been named among the top 10 management thinkers of the world and is recognised as a specialist on corporate strategy, according to Little India, a South Asian magazine.
Indian academics are making their mark in every discipline. “You take any field and the top people are Indian,” said Bhagwati, who has authored several books and articles.
Dr Ved Nanda, Sanghachalak (President) of Hindu Swayamsewak Sangh (HSS) of America teaches Law in Colorado University. Three of his students are central cabinet ministers and they include Secretary of States Condoleezza Rice, one of the most powerful ladies today. Students of Dr. Ved Nanda have raised millions of dollars to install two chairs in the university in his name.
Laxmi Niwas Mittal has climbed the ladder to become the richest Indian in UK and the third richest in the world. Shrichand Hinduja and Swaraj Paul are some of the other richest ten men in UK. Indian community in Hong Kong, Thailand, USA, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and most European countries are among the richest on the basis of per capita income. Google Inc founder-director Kavitark Ram Shriram and Bose Corporation chairman Amar Gopal Bose have moved up the rankings in the Forbes list of 400 richest Americans. Mr. Bose and Mr. Shriram, who are now US citizens and worth $ 1.5 billion each, have beaten Robert William Galvin of Motorola, Robert Drayton McLane Jr of Wal-Mart and Roy Edward Disney of Walt Disney. Similarly Murli Kewalram Chanrai, Sudhir Gupta and Kartar Singh Thakral have made it to the Singapore’s richest 40 list compiled again by Forbes list. (Ref. Agencies [Saturday, September 23, 2006], published in Sandesh Bharati, Hong Kong, Vol. IX No.4, Oct / Nov / Dec 2006).
So from a small village view, we have progressed to a worldview. Malaysia, Singapore and Sri Lanka celebrate Deepawali festival with declared government holidays and illuminating main streets. Parliament Houses in Canberra (Australian capital), Sydney, London, Ottawa and the senates House in Washington are lit up and Indian cultural shows are staged on the occasion of Deepawali festival. So much for the clout overseas Indians enjoy in these countries.
2.1: Swayamsewak and other Hindu Extroverts Abroad
Swayamsewaks are active in many social fields overseas and have made the Hindu community active. This has also raised the image of overseas Indians in the eyes of the locals.
In 1984 India’s Prime Minister Smt Indira Gandhi was assassinated. The Indian Consulate General in Hong Kong Hon. Dodamani appealed to all Indian organizations to hold at least one public condolence meeting but none was coming forth for fear of repercussions. Hindu Swayamsewak Sangh immediately organized a public program inviting all the Hindus. Soon other Indian organizations took courage and followed suit.
India Club is a pride of the Hindus of Hong Kong. It has tennis courts, badminton courts, pool tables, conference halls, private rooms etc. For expansion of its facilities, India Club used to raise funds by organizing Fun-Fairs every year. The local Pakistani boys started coming to these events and harassed Hindu girls. When complaints started coming from parents, India Club stopped this function. Money was hard to come by and so many developments were stalled. HSS Hong Kong approached the India Club authorities and ensured full security protection. Young Swayamsewaks wore HSS badges and went around the place and when they found Pakis creating nuisance they were quick to apprehend them. Sensing trouble, the mischief-mongers took to their heels.
Nirmal Launganey who lives in Hong Kong since his childhood came in contact with Hindu Swayamsewak Sangh at the age of 11 years. Inspired by Sangh he learnt Hindi and Indian history on his own. He now teaches Hindi to other swayamsewaks in Hong Kong shakha. He is very pro-active whenever the local South Morning China Post and Hong Kong Standard publish any derogatory news about Bharat or Hinduism. His letters to the editor on Punjab and Kashmir issues have made Indians feel very proud.
In Malaysia, Hindus of Cameron Highlands had the highest suicide rates in South East Asia. Many attempts by Malaysian government and United Nations agents had not produced any positive result. Gunaseelan, Bala Murali, Ramachandran, Karuppan and a few Hindu youth thought seriously and started visiting Cameron Highlands regularly. They organized several youth camps, weekly yoga and bhajan classes and Hindu family camps. The Hindu awareness and self confidence thus generated resulted in the 60,000 vast Hindu populations overcoming the dangerous habit of suicides. Even UNO appreciated Malaysian government on this rare achievement.
Young Saravanan was one of the key soccer players in a factory which won the inter-factory football tournament. The factory management decided to celebrate this victory by sending all the players on a picnic to Thailand entirely at their cost. But Saravanan refused to go with others to Phuket and Pattaya beaches. He had committed to take leave for one month and help Hindu organizations run youth camps. When the management pressurized him to go to Thailand, he offered his resignation. Seeing his unswerving devotion and dedication, the management allowed him to pursue his Hindu activities.
When floods broke out in Gemas, Paranthaman led a team of Hindu youth volunteers to serve the victims. Ramalingam and Subramaniam of Taman Karuppiah in Padang Jawa created a miracle by bringing together Hindus belonging to two different castes to celebrate Diwali in the village temple. A fire broke out in a chemical factory near Kuala Lumpur badly injuring workers who were mostly Tamil Hindus. Appeals were made on TV channels to donate blood and the Government Hospital within few minutes was filled with hundreds of Hindu volunteers ready to donate blood.
Malaysia Hindu Sangam conducts Hindu Heritage competitions like Thevaram, Ramayan and Bhagwad Gita recitation contests and over 20,000 youth and children participate every year. All these years, the Christian missionaries were very active with their conversion activities. But with the advent of Hindu awareness in the last decade the conversion rate amongst Hindus has come down and now the Hindu volunteers of several Hindu organizations are busy reconverting Christians back to Hindu-fold.
Our swayamsewak brothers in New Zealand planned Raksha Bandhan utsav as Universal Brotherhood day. They wrote to one of the mayors of Auckland that they would like to meet him and tie rakhi as a sign of brotherhood. New Zealand believes in multi-culturalism and the government encourages ethnic immigrants to pursue their cultural traditions. Mayor highly appreciated the spirit of Universal brotherhood symbolized in the form of Rakhi or the thread. He spoke to the media officials and the whole function was shown on the national TV channel and colorful photos appeared on the news papers the next day. Soon HSS organizers received enquiries from other Mayors why they were left out of such a rare, colorful and distinctive function.
Over 20,000 Hindus assemble at Fairfields Grounds every year in Sydney, Australia to rejoice Diwali festival. Many organizers of this event are our swayamsewaks. Australian federal and provincial ministers, officials of the Indian High commission and other Australian elites grace this celebration.
Shri Guruji Janma Shatabdi Celebrations in 2007
In USA Hindu Swayamsewak Sangh organized Surya Namaskar Yagna from 13 to 28 January 2007. During the two weeks, through the country from the San Francisco Bay area to Boston to Houston, mainstream Americans joined with Hindu-Americans in learning about and performing the yoga postures of “Surya Namaskar”, or “Sun Salutations. The physical, mental and spiritual heath benefits of doing the Surya Namaskar were directly experienced by individuals from four to 70 years old at 106 centers from 30 states throughout the United States. Local print media and local affiliates of ABC and NBC covered this innovative national project. 4364 participants completed 477,169 Surya Namaskars during this period. Governor Brad Henry pronounced January 28, 2007 as “Yoga Awareness Day” for Oklahoma and Mayor Kathy Taylor did the same for her city, Tulsa.
Large Hindu conferences were held in six centers of USA in September 2006 to mark the centenary year of Shri Guruji Golwalkar. 40 Hindu organizations and temples in San Francisco, USA came together to organize one of the largest Hindu Sangams in North America. Sarkaryavah Mohanrao Bhagwat addressed a large gathering of 16,000 Hindus. He also addressed three more Hindu Sangam gatherings in USA (Los Angeles, Boston, New Jersey). His message was ‘Accept Unity in Diversity for Peace and Progress’. Ravi Kumar addressed Hindu Sangams at Atlanta and Tampa. 4,000 children participated in Ganesh Puja and 500 children in Ramayan skits. Bal Sangam, Youth Sangams, Matru Sangams and Cultural Exhibitions were part of the Hindu Sangam Celebrations.
HSS brings Hindu thoughts to American Universities
The students from various Midwestern and Southwestern universities felt rejuvenated after successfully organizing Speaker on Campus events at their campus in 2006 as part of Shri Guruji Janma Shatabdi Celebrations. While the words of speakers - Shri N.V. Raghuram, Shri Ravi Iyer, Dr. Yashwant Pathak and Shri Srinivas Tilak added to the knowledge of audience, their enthusiasm, tireless efforts and engaging schedules motivated the organizers. Shri Raghuram, co-founder and international coordinator of SVYASA University in Bangalore India (http://www.svyasa.org/), brought with him the vast knowledge of “Science of Yoga”. While Shri Ravi, a long time social worker and thinker, shared the principles of “Vedic Mathematics” and sciences in ancient India. Shri Tilak, an independent research scholar from Montreal, provided deep insight into understanding ‘karma’ and the pillars of Hinduism to southwestern universities. To sum up the quality of their lectures, it is worth quoting a doctoral student from University Of Minnesota referring to Raghuram ji’s event - “This is one lecture in which I did not even think of sleeping!”. Similarly, Ravi ji who shared platform with eminent mathematicians like Prof Greg Lupton of Cleveland State University, witnessed full house for his all lectures in Ohio Universities. The unique presentation style of Dr Tilak was hailed by students and academia alike. “It helped me better understand the Hindu Dharma”, was the remark after the lecture in University of Texas Austin by Girija, a student in UT who comes from Trinidad.
Parliaments Light up for Diwali
Since 2004 Parliaments of Australia, New Zealand, Canada and United Kingdom, and White House in USA have been lit to celebrate Diwali. Prime Ministers of Canada and New Zealand lit the Diwali lamp to inaugurate the celebrations. President George Bush of USA, Tony Blair and John Howard, Prime Ministers of UK and Australia sent their greetings and their messages were read out to the gatherings. Pope Paul-II while visiting India in 2001, cursed the Hindus on the eve of Diwali that they are living in darkness. He must be turning in his grave at this sudden turn of events.
Deepavali Observations Held In White House
WASHINGTON, D.C., November 11, 2004: US President George W Bush has sent his greetings to the Indian community on the occasion of Deepavali, the festival of lights, the first celebration to be held in the White House after his re-election. “I send greetings to all those celebrating Deepavali, the Festival of Light. Observed by millions round the world, Deepavali is a time for the Hindus to give thanks for their knowledge, happiness and other blessings received,” Bush said in his message. “Laura joins me in sending our best wishes. May the coming year be filled with goodwill and prosperity,” he said. Several Indian community leaders attended the White House festivities.
Diwali in Canadian Parliament and British Parliaments
Diwali marked yet another milestone for Indians in Canada when the Prime Minister joined the celebrations for the first time in Parliament on November 12th, 2004. Diwali was a full-fledged celebration in Parliament - a sort of mini-mela. Prime Minister Paul Martin walked in to join his ministerial colleagues, Opposition leader Stephen Harper, and MPs in wishing the Indo-Canadians a happy Diwali. Conservative Party MP Deepak Obhrai, was the brain behind the Diwali celebrations in Parliament. British parliament is lit on the occasion of Deepawali for the past few years.
Australia, NZ light up for Diwali 2004
The governments of Australia and New Zealand joined the resident Indian community in celebrating Diwali by illuminating their parliament houses in Canberra and Wellington.
The Australian Parliament House was illuminated for three nights. The Canberra illumination event was inaugurated by Senator Gary Humphries by lighting a traditional lamp. The Liberal senator was representing the Australian Prime Minister John Howard who is on an overseas trip. Senator Joe Ludwig represented the opposition leader Mark Latham. “The illumination of the Federal Parliament to celebrate Diwali represents acceptance of Hinduism as a major religious denomination in Australia,” Dr. Bala Subramaniam, head of the Hindu Council of Australia, said on Sunday. The Hindu Council has organised the illumination. The exterior of the oldest parliament building in the region, New South Wales (NSW) Parliament House, was also lit for Diwali.
Across the Tasman Sea in New Zealand, the historic Town Hall in Auckland and the Parliament House in Wellington had also organised events to mark Diwali. In Wellington, capital of New Zealand, it was Prime Minister Helen Clark lit the traditional lamp to inaugurate the Diwali function. Prime Minister Clark said: “The Indian community is of long standing in New Zealand and it is wonderful to see the celebration of Diwali becoming a significant event in New Zealand’s cultural calendar.”
Diwali in other Countries
Deepavali is celebrated enthusiastically by Hindus all over the world. Governments in Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Mauritius, Trinidad, Guyana and Fiji celebrate this festival by declaring holidays. Singapore government lights up the entire Serangoon road on this occasion. Prime Minister and other cabinet ministers in Malaysia partake in Diwali celebrations by visiting the homes of their Hindu colleagues
2.2: From Cocoons to World Trend Setters
For centuries Hindus have been living as cocoons, unmindful of foreign invasions, attacks, foreign despotic and repressive rules, slavery, rape of Hindu women, and desecration of temples, beheading of their seers and untold miseries to innocent Hindus.
Emperors of Vijay Nagar Samrajya, Rana Pratap Singh, Shivaji Maharaj, Guru Gavind Singh, Maharaja Ranjeet Singh, Jhansi Rani, Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Arumuga Navalar, Swami Dayanand Saraswati, Swami Vivekananda, Lokamanya Tilak, Mahatma Gandhi and most of other freedom fighters fought against these barbaric oppressions and tyranny. Had they received much needed support from the Hindu masses, for whose honor they laid down their lives, history of our country would have been different! We would not have had a slave history of thousand years. The Hindu society by and large remained indifferent and apathetic.
Slowly, the society is coming out of its cocoon and changing for the better. Dr Har Gobind Khorana, Dr Subramaniam Chandrasekhar, Prof. Amartya Sen and V.S.Naipaul have been decorated with Noble Prizes. Dr Shiva Subramanya (Vice President Vishwa Hindu Parishad America), Dr Sudarshan and a few others in USA missed Noble Prizes for want of strong recommendations by other governments. ‘Lagaan’, ‘Shwaas’ and Ramayan cartoon were nominated for Oscar awards. Manoj Nelliattu Shyamalan born in Puducherry is the highest paid script-writer in Hollywood. Sashi Tharoor is secretary of United Nations and Bawa Jain successfully organized the UN world summit of Religious leaders.
Scientists and professional like Vinod Khosla (co founder of Sun Microsystem), Vinod Dham (Pentium Chip creator), Sabeer Bhatia (Hotmail creator), Arun Netravali (President of AT & T-Bell Labs), Rajiv Gupta (Gen Mgr Hewlett Packard), Sanjay Tejwrika (Director Microsoft Testing), Rajat Gupta and Rana Talwar (Mckensey and Stanchart), Raghuram Rajan (IMF Chief Economist) and so many others have brought exceptional laurels to our Hindu community. USA would not have been what it is without the active participation of Hindu intellectuals who moved out there as late as the sixties. 100 Indian owned companies in USA generate 2.2 billion dollars and employ 21,000 people. 25% of all Hotels and motels are owned by Patels. US government has allotted 12 million US$ for the teaching of Hindi language in US schools.
HSS USA Sanghachalaks Dr Bhishma Agnihotri and Prof. Ved Prakash Nanda are among the Americans “who is who” list. Three of Prof. Ved Nanda’s students are central cabinet ministers and that includes Secretary of States Condoleezza Rice, one of the most powerful ladies today. The University of Denver has honoured him by establishing the “Ved Nanda Center for International and Comparative Law” in Denver. Dr Bhishma Agnihotri received the International Peace Prize from Israel government in the presence of Presidents of Israel and USA. Dr. Usha Ramkisoon a sevika samiti active member was the Mauritius ambassador to USA and attended all government functions in White House and United Nations wearing the traditional Indian sari. Sri Arulananthan a philanthropist and a guide of HSS Sri Lanka received the Desh Ratna award from the Sri Lankan government. Shri Vinod Patel of VHP New Zealand owns the biggest hardware shop in New Zealand. Shri K.Sital, President VHP, Asia Pacific region, fought against heavy odds to obtain UK citizenship for 8,000 Indians who had become stateless after Hong Kong was handed over to mainland China on 1 July 1997.
Hindu Youth and Children Power
Child wizard Ajay Puri of Bangkok became the youngest Microsoft executive when he created his own Home Page on the website. He demonstrated his excellence in Microsoft Word, Excel, Power Point and emails at the strange age of four years. 14 year-old Murali Ambati of USA became the youngest doctor. Gaurav Raja, a 15 year-old Indian high school student in Virginia, USA has memorised 10,980 digits of pi, a mathematical term representing the ratio of a circle’s circumference to the diameter, to break a 27 Year-old North American record. One weekend he memorized the capitol of every country in the world, said his father. Gaurav’s next project is memorizing the names of all the winners of the Nobel Prize. 17 year Kavya Viswanathan became a famous writer and her novel has been purchased by a company to make a movie. President George Bush often reminds US children to complete their mathematics homework or else they would lose lucrative jobs to Hindu children. The academic excellence of Indian children both in Bharat and overseas is attributed again to Hindu family values. Experts say a Hindu child returns to a home where both his biological parents live together.
In sports Vijay Singh of Fiji in 2004 has emerged as the world No. 1 in Golf relegating Tiger Woods to the second position. At the age of 41 he became the first player to earn more than $10 million in a single PGA tour season. The globetrotting Fijian belongs to a middle class Hindu family. Similarly Vikash Dhorasoo an Indian from Mauritius and now representing France demonstrated his skills in the 2006 World Cup Football championship in Germany. Mohini Bharadwaj won the Silver medal for USA for Women’s Artistic Gymnastics at the Athens Olympics in the year 2004. Sherpa Tensing from Nepal made every Hindu feel proud when he hoisted the flag on top Mount Everest.
Most cricket playing nations have one or more players of Indian origin. Of these Rohan Kanhai, Kalicharan, Shivnarain Chanderpal and Nasser Hussain rose to become the captains of West Indies and England teams. Kum. Sthalekar a student from Sydney University is the vice-captain of Australian women’s cricket test and one day teams. Muthiah Muralidharan the match winning spin bowler of Sri Lanka is the only bowler in the world to have taken over 1,000 wickets in International cricket matches (Test matches and one day Internationals together).
2.5: Welfare Activities Outside Bharat
Suicide among Hindu women was at its peak in Cameron Highlands in Malaysia. Since insecticides were available in plenty among the estate workers, they would end any family dispute by consuming these fatal chemicals. Even school- going girls would end their lives under flimsy pretexts. Young swayamsewaks Ramachandran, Bala Murali and Gunasekaran went from Kuala Lumpur to Cameron Highlands on weekends and started many shakhas and camps. Later young Karuppan from Kulala Lumpur came out as a pracharak and was posted in Cameron Highlands. Within a few years the curse of suicides was erased from Cameron Highlands, a fact recognized by the local government agencies.
In Gemas, Malaysia, there was a sudden outburst of rains and poor Hindus living in low lying areas were inundated. Young swayamsevak Paranthaman and his friends rushed there with rice and bread to help the affected Hindus and to move them to safer premises. The flood victims felt strange at this help. The floods were a regular feature of their lives at least once in 3-4 years. Generally the municipality workers would come after 3-4 days and the political party leaders with their volunteers, journalists and photographers would come after 5-6 days. But never before they had the experience of a helping hand coming from their own Tamil brothers saying ‘We are Hindus and you are Hindus and so we have come here to help you’.
Similarly when there was a major fire explosion in a factory near Kuala Lumpur many HSS volunteers were pleasantly surprised to see that many swayamsewak brothers from other shakhas had come to government hospital to donate blood. All these happened spontaneously without any word from adhikaris.
In Malaysia in Taman Karuppiah in Padang Jawa one Hindu temple was shared by Hindus belonging to two different casts on two different days in a week. Hindu festivals like Deepavali, Dussehra, Ganesh Chaturthi and Sri Ram Nawami would be celebrated on different days by the two communities. But ever since young Ramalingam and Subramaniam attended a camp of HSS, they started free tuition classes and yogasan classes in the temple for all the children and started visiting Hindu families from both casts. Slowly the two communities started coming together and now they all participate in the temple activities and festivals together.
Swayamsevaks all over the world have been writing new chapters in organizing the Hindu society and raising it to regain its past glory and self respect.
In Myanmar (Burma) our swayamsewaks were running an orphanage for Burmese children for many years before the government took control. They are running Sanskrit and Hindi classes for Buddhist monks and scholars who want to visit Bharat for higher studies. In Kenya Sangh workers run medical camps for the African tribals. Blood donation drives are carried out on the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi Jayanti in Hong Kong, Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok etc. Cleaning public parks and planting native trees by Sewa International are well appreciated programs in Australia and New Zealand. For Kargil war victims Sewa Intl in Sydney collected over 25,000 Au$. This is the largest collection by any Australian organisation for any cause in Bharat. In Sydney over 15,000 Hindus gather on the occasion of Deepavali every year. Both federal and state governments are represented by honorable ministers who are very appreciative of the Hindus. They openly acknowledge that the Hindus are among the best professionals contributing to the intellectual capital of the country.
Hindu society has once again woken up to their ancient concept that the hands that help are holier than the lips that pray. Many spiritual other religious organizations, Ramakrishna Mission, Chinmaya Mission, Divine Life Society to name only a few have shown the path of selfless service as a way for Moksha or self-emancipation. In Durban, South Africa, Sivananda Society is doing excellent work amongst the tribal Africans. Swamiji Sharadananda is running more than 40 schools for the African tribes. Government there has recognized his services by naming one of the airports in Natal province after Swami Sivananda. Thai Bharat Cultural Lodge, Bangkok has built several schools in remote tribal areas of Thailand. Satya Sai Foundation in Thailand runs residential school for Thai children. Hindu Samaj, Gita Ashram, Sindhi Samaj and Indo-Thai Chamber of Commerce in Bangkok give scholarships to deserving Thai students. They are also in the fore-front of service activities during floods, fire-accidents or other disasters in their country.
2.6: Embracing Indigenous Faiths
Dr Yashwant Pathak one of the International Joint Coordinators of Hindu Swayamsewak Sangh who is based in USA has added one more dimension to Sangh work by contacting the people of Indigenous faiths all over the world. He has successfully organized several joint conferences of such people and two large 7- day international workshops at Mumbai in 2002 and at Jaipur in 2006. It is accepted by the civilized society that people derive their individual identity and sense of dignity from their own cultures. But the intolerant, narrow-minded and well organized church has destroyed many ancient tolerant, broad minded but loose civilizations. The Semitic religions have caused irreparable damage to these native Indian cultures in North, Central and South Americas, Aborigines of Australia, Maori of New Zealand, African natives, tribal population in Bharat, European Pagans and indigenous people in Fiji, Papua New Guinea and other remote islands by annihilating many races and by forcible conversions. Most of these people live in degrading living conditions and in utter poverty. Many of them are on the brink of extinction.
More recently in 1994 the civil war in Rwanda resulted in an estimated death toll of between 500,000 and 1 million Rwandans, mostly members of the Tutsi ethnic group. On December 15, 1999, an independent panel commissioned by United Nations (UN) secretary general Kofi Annan submitted a report on the UN’s response to the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. The report concluded that the UN and its member states could have stepped in and stopped the killing, but failed to do so. Many church members including nuns played an active role in the genocide. Bill Clinton while inaugurating the Genocide museum has shed tears for doing very little while the butchery was in progress.
Dr. Yashwant Pathak who was earlier a pracharak in Assam has a first hand knowledge of such tribes and their problems. By organizing such workshops and conferences he has brought a sense of dignity and self-respect to them. The indigenous people have many things in common with Hindus. They worship various elements in nature like Sun, River, Mother Earth, Fire etc. They want Hindus to extend a more helpful hand in their quest for knowledge about their own cultural moorings. Hindus can do this because they believe that Hinduism alone is peaceful, non-violent, non-aggressive and non-converting religion.
Achievements of Overseas Hindu women
In USA Space astronaut Kalpana Chawla has become a legend of our times. In 2006 November Sunita Pandya Williams became the second Indian origin woman to fly into outer-space. She carried with her an idol of Lord Ganesh, Bhagwad Gita book and a letter in Hindi from her father Dr Deepak Pandya. She now holds the longest space walk for a woman in her name (22 hours 27 minutes).
Fortune magazine has recognized Indira Nooyi, International President of Pepsi-cola as the third most powerful women in the world next only to Angela Merkel of Germany and Condoleezza Rice of USA.
Preeta Bansal is the advisor to White House. Arti Prabhakar is Director National Institute of Standards there. Teenage author spectacle Kaavya Viswanathan got a book-deal worth half a million dollars from an American publisher. In February 2006, Dream Works bought the movie rights to her first novel. In 2006 young writer Kiran Desai became the youngest woman in the world to receive the Booker prize. Chitra Bharucha has risen to second position in BBC management.
Born in Kenya and came to UK with her parents in 1961, Gurinder Chadha began her career as a BBC news reporter. She went on to direct award-winning documentaries for the British Film Institute, BBC and Channel 4. Her movie, “Bend it like Beckham” was released in the UK in April 2002, and earned over 11 million pounds at the UK box-office, the most ever for a British financed, British distributed film. The film topped the box-office charts in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, won audience favorite film awards at the Locarno, Sydney and Toronto film festivals, and received a European Film Academy Nomination for Best Film in the 2002 European Film Awards.
A young Indian girl Kum. Sthalekar is the vice-captain of Australian test and One Day cricket teams and Mohini Bharadwaj won the Silver medal for USA for Women’s Artistic Gymnastics at the Athens Olympics in the year 2004.
Hindu women in politics and administrations
Swati Dandekar (D-Iowa), Nikki Randhawa-Haley (R-South Carolina) and Shinku Sharma (Calif.) are among the eight Indian American candidates who won the state elections in 2004. Smt. Kamala Prasad is the leader of opposition in Trinidad. Smt. Sukhwinder Kaur was mayor of Christchurch in New Zealand for two terms. In UK Conservative party has chosen Priti Patel as the candidate for MP seat. She is expected to become Britain’s first Asian woman MP. The list goes on…….
Sirimao Bhandaranaike of Sri Lanka (1960) and Smt. Indira Gandhi of Bharat (1966) became the first women prime ministers. They inspired Golda Meir of Israel (1969), Margaret Thatcher of United Kingdom (1979), Maria Liberia-Peters, Netherlands (1984), Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan (1988), Begum Khaleeda Zia (1991) and Sheikh Hasina (1996) of Bangla Desh, Jenny Shipley of New Zealand (1997), Angela Merkel of Germany (2005) to rise as heads of states. The wealthiest and most powerful nation USA is yet to have a lady President or Vice-President. It may also be noted that most European nations including France and Italy gave women the right to vote only around 1945 after the Second World War. USA gave universal franchise or equal status to women in politics in 1920 and UK in 1928. The condition of women in African countries and Arab world are too pathetic to describe.
In the one thousand five hundred year long history of Christian Popes, there was only one woman Pope. Pope Joan the woman Pope, female pontiff who reigned for slightly more than 25 months, from 855 to 858 AD, between the pontificates of Pope Leo IV (847–855) and Pope Benedict III (855–858).
It may be noted that sale of daughters was practiced in England for seven hundred years. “The Church treats the Mother of Christ with reverence but He Himself showed little of this attitude. ‘Women, what have I to do with thee’ (John ii 4) is His way of speaking to her.” So said Nobel Laureate Bertrand Russell in his book ‘Why I am not a Christian’ . He further added, “The clergy objected to giving pain killers to women during child birth, lest she escape pain ordered on Eve”. The doctrine of the Virgin Birth brands every natural mother as impure. It is fortunate for Christians that Hindus have forgotten Portuguese atrocities on Hindu men, women and children in Goa and Gujarat.
Malleus Maleficarun – or The Witches’ Hammer
Torturing and executing free thinking women in the name of witch hunting got impetus by the papal bull Summis Desiderantes issued by Pope Innocent VIII in 1484. It was included as a preface in the book Malleus Maleficarum (The Hammer of Witches), published by two Dominican inquisitors in 1486. It indoctrinated the world to the dangers of free thinking women and instructed the clergy how to locate torture and destroy them. The book was translated into many languages and went through many editions in both Catholic and Protestant countries, outselling all other books except the Bible. (Microsoft Encarta). Those deemed witches by the church included all female scholars, priestesses, gypsies, mystics, nature lovers and herb gatherers. They all were killed in masses.
Midwives also were killed for their heretical practice of using medical knowledge to ease the pain at child birth – a suffering the church claimed, that was God’s rightful punishment for Eve’s partaking of the Apple of Knowledge, thus giving birth to the Original Sin. During three hundred years of witch hunts, the church burnt at the stake an astounding five million women.
International Hindu Conferences
International Hindu conferences and Vishwa Dharma Prasar Yatras organized by Vishwa Hindu Parishad in Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Jakarta, Bali, Sydney, Auckland, Fiji, Mauritius, Trinidad, Guyana, Durban, London, Toronto, and several cities of USA were attended by thousands of Hindus. Prominent world leaders like Nelson Mandela, Heads of states of Trinidad, Singapore, Thailand, Fiji, New Zealand, Hindu sages and saints participated and addressed these conferences. Large scale Buddha Exhibitions organized by HSS workers in Thailand and in over 70 places in Burma has brought the local Buddhists in closer contacts with the Hindu community.
At the Copenhagen Europe zone Hindu conference in 1986, some of the Danes recollected how their civilization was influenced by ancient Hindu visiting scholars and sages, who taught them about seven days in a week and twelve months in a year. After a while those ancient Hindus left Denmark for good. Danes emphasized that the present generation Hindus should continue their stay in Denmark and enrich their culture.
Attracting Western And Non-Indian Audiences
His Holiness Dalai Lama is a phenomenon by himself. He draws lakhs of ardent followers in most of the Western countries. More recently during 17-19 February 2006, Sri Sri Ravishankar of Art of Living had convened at the Jakkur airport ground, Bangalore, a mammoth gathering of 1 million devotees from some 140 countries including heads of states of many countries. Several luminaries of Bharat Including President Abdul Kalam and former Deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishna Advani graced the occasion. There was a galaxy of over 4,000 famous artists belonging to both Carnatic and Hindustani streams of music on the stage to entertain the devotees with bhajans, classical music and devotional songs.
Similarly Ramakrishna Ashram, Sivananda Ashram, Saiva Siddhanta Church (based in Hawaii), International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), Satya Sai Samaj, Chinmaya Mission, Rajyoga Centre, BKS Iyengar Yoga Center, Sahaja Yoga Foundation, Swami Muktananda Ashram, Mata Amritanandamayi Foundation, Thai-Bharat Cultural Lodge and the like are branching out all around. The universal and useful Hindu principles are attracting large non-Indians towards different aspects of Hinduism. “Hinduism Today” brought out by Saiva Siddhanta Church of Hawaii is one of the best International magazines reporting Hinduism and current events among the world-wide Hindu community.
An interesting development of recent origin is the fact that while in India there may be a handful of temples for Lord Brahma, over hundred temples and shrines can be seen in Bangkok. The Brahma temple of Wat Erawan in Bangkok is not only the most sought after temple but also the richest one. Several welfare projects like schools and hospitals for poor are run based on the temple income. The popularity of the four faced Brahma is growing and shrines and temples for the Lord of creation are coming up in Macau, Singapore, Taiwan, and Las Vegas. Recently in 2006 a Muslim fundamentalist attacked the shrine and broke the idol. Immediately the government made a new idol and the then Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra participated in the consecration ceremony.
Gita in Management
Swami Parthasarathy, one of India’s best-selling authors on Vedanta, an ancient school of Hindu philosophy scribbled the secrets to business success (“concentration, consistency, and cooperation”) on an easel pad. The executives – heads of midsized outfits sat rapt. “You can’t succeed in business unless you develop the intellect, which controls the mind and body,” the swami said in his mellow baritone.
At the Wharton School a few days earlier, Parthasarathy talked about managing stress. During the same trip, he counseled hedge fund managers and venture capitalists in Rye, N.Y., about balancing the compulsion to amass wealth with the desire for inner happiness. And during an auditorium lecture at Lehman Brothers Inc.’s (LEH ) Lower Manhattan headquarters, a young investment banker sought advice on dealing with nasty colleagues. Banish them from your mind, advised Parthasarathy. “You are the architect of your misfortune,” he said. “You are the architect of your fortune.”
Bhagwad Gita and Karma Capitalism are the key words these days in many leading schools of Management.