Washington, DC: Recognizing October as Hindu heritage month, Indian-American Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi has said that Hindu Americans are guided by Swami Vivekananda’s call to service and respect for all religions and all people.
“Madam Speaker, I know all Americans of goodwill share these beliefs, and today I would like to celebrate the work of the Hindu faithful in building bridges of understanding between all Americans, for their important contributions to our economy and our cultural and civic life, and for the part they play in creating our wonderful and distinctively diverse American experience,” Krishnamoorthi, who represents the 8th Congressional District of Illinois, said on the floor of the House of Representatives.
Hindu in the United States include physicians, lawyers, scientists, economists, philosophers, artists, academics, business leaders, government officials and Members of Congress, he said.
Hindus in the United States are celebrating October as the Hindu Heritage month. So far more than half a dozen States have issued proclamations in this regard.
“Madam Speaker, today I rise to join the many Hindu faithful in the United States in recognizing the month of October as Hindu heritage month,” Krishnamoorthi said.
“The 8th Congressional District is home to many followers of this uniquely pluralistic religion, and I wish to celebrate the Hindu community’s valuable contributions to my district and to our state and country,” he said.
“I believe this acknowledgment is especially timely, given the disturbing rise of prejudice and racism in this country, including Hinduphobia as manifested in hateful speech and violent acts perpetrated against Indian-Americans and Hindu houses of worship,” Krishnamoorthi said.
He said the Hindu religion dates back millennia and has profoundly influenced both ancient and modern cultures.
“Its message of religious tolerance, non-violence, and the universality of the human experience was introduced to this country in 1893 by Swami Vivekananda in his landmark address at the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago, Illinois,” he said.
“Swami Vivekananda’s words of peace and his emphasis on self-perfection and service to others sparked interest in the Hindu faith and contributed to the growth of Hinduism in the United States. His spiritual understanding had a profound influence on one of the greatest leaders of the 20th century, Mahatma Gandhi, who in turn inspired the important work of one of our nation’s most revered leaders, Martin Luther King, Jr., to advance the cause of civil rights in the United States,” Krishnamoorthi said.