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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Tulsi Gabbard, congratulations - Hindu Congresswoman from Hawii

Congratulations to Tulsi Gabbard, the first Hindu Congressperson in the United States.
URL- http://mikeghouseforindia.blogspot.com/2012/11/tulsi-gabbard-congratulations-hindu.html
Buddhist Hindu Congress

Two Governors of Indian Origin and one Congresswoman! This is America,  land of the free and  land of the brave. Every one can make it here, and I am proud of America, where an African American becomes the president and is reconfirmed and re-elected as president, it gives hopes to the people around the world.

Two politicians who have become my favorites are Barack Obama and Tulsi Gabbard, listen to her pluralistic speech - I relate with it, and that is my work as well


 America is setting the new standards in culture, innovation, social cohesion, science, technology, religion.... America is God's own country represented by everything out there in the universe. There is nothing like it.

Whether you are a white minority in South Africa, a native American in Mexico, a Hindu in Pakistan, a Sikh in Malaysia or any minority anywhere, do desire to serve  and contribute to the overall success of the nation. Obama has opened the doors for all such aspirants in the world, It will take a long time to see such a society all over the globe, but we have to begin the process somewhere.

America will always produced the first, however, my motherland has set the new standards in the world; A Sikh head of the state, Muslim Presidents, Christian Defense Ministers, Parsee Supreme Court Judges... you can fill all the blanks of India's diversity and pluralistic heritage. The success of a nation depends on its ability to bring every one together, all the segments must be working together for every one to benefit.

While Indian Doctors and Engineers are enriching our nation, some of us are contributing in the social arena, bringing the gift of pluralistic heritage to America. I am committed to Pluralism in America through speaking, writing,seminars, conferences, events, TV and Radio appearances and making things happen. I do invite you to join me in taking this further. 

There is a lot of work done by Indians in social area and I am doing my share of the work.  Here is my CV and my Pluralism Profile and there is more at www.MikeGhouse.net. My goal is to build a cohesive America, where no American has to feel alienated, uncomfortable, apprehensive or fearful of the other. We are a land of the free.

Please check out the trailer of the movie, Americans Together - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMXsTo4VYh8&feature=youtu.be&noredirect=1

Mike Ghouse

Buddhist, Hindu Make History With Elections 


Posted: Updated: 11/07/2012 9:45 pm EST
Tuesday's elections brought two historic firsts for religion in American politics: A Buddhist senator and a Hindu representative -- both from Hawaii -- will join Congress.

Democrat Mazie Hirono beat former Gov. Linda Lingle (R), making Hirono the first Buddhist in the Senate. In Hawaii's 2nd Congressional District, Democrat Tulsi Gabbard defeated Republican opponent Kawika Crowley, making Gabbard the first Hindu in Congress.

Both elections were cheered by Hindu and Buddhist Americans, members of two faiths that share a common history that traces back to ancient India. 

"These are all signs of dharmic communities being accepted in the country," said Anju Bhargava, founder of Hindu American Seva Charities. "It's all about inclusion and acceptance. The feeling that my faith and my people are accepted. Ultimately, politics comes down to 'how does it impact me?' or 'how am I included?' It will mean so much for the upcoming generations of Hindus and Buddhists."

Hirono, who was born in Japan, practices the Jodo Shinshu tradition of Buddhism. She was first elected to Congress in 2007 to represent Hawaii's 2nd District, the seat that Gabbard won Tuesday. Prior to that, Hirono served 14 years in the Hawaii state legislature and was the state’s lieutenant governor for eight years. She is also the first Asian-American woman senator and the first senator born in Japan.

“I certainly believe in the precepts of Buddhism and that of tolerance of other religions and integrity and honesty," she said when she first joined Congress.

Buddhism, which includes a widely diverse set of spiritual practices, is one of the largest religions in the U.S., but statistics vary on how many Buddhists live in the nation. Surveys have estimated the population between 1.5 and 3 million. 

Gabbard, 31, was born in American Samoa, and raised by a Catholic father and a Hindu mother. She moved to Hawaii when she was 2 and in 2002, joined the Hawaii state legislature at age 21. She served in the Hawaii National Guard the next year and, in 2004, went to Baghdad to be a medical operations specialist. In 2008, she was deployed to Kuwait to work with the nation's counterterrorism trainees.

Gabbard chose to embrace the faith after her mother started practicing it when Gabbard was a teen. The congresswoman-elect, whose first name refers to a tree that's sacred to Hindus, follows the Vaishnava branch of Hinduism, which focuses on the Supreme Lord Vishnu and his 10 main incarnations. She relies upon the Bhagavad Gita as her main source of scripture.

In an interview with Religion News Service prior to her election, Gabbard said she hopes to be a bridge between cultures and nations. “Hopefully the presence in Congress of an American who happens to be Hindu will increase America's understanding of India as well as India's understanding of America," she said.

Like Buddhists, estimates of the Hindu-American community in the U.S. also vary. Largely made up of Indian-Americans, the Hindu population is between 600,000 to 2.3 million. Unlike most Hindus, Gabbard is not of Indian heritage. Her father is Samoan and her mother is a convert to Hinduism. 

The two best-known Indian-Americans to be elected to office are Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who was raised Hindu but converted to Catholicism, and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who was raised Sikh but converted to Methodism. Haley had both Christian and Sikh wedding ceremonies, and has said she attends Sikh services on occasion out of respect to her family's culture. 

Hirono and Gabbard will join an increasingly diverse Congress. The first Muslim to join the House or Senate, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), was first elected in 2006 and reelected for a fourth term on Tuesday. In 2008, Rep. Andre Carson (D-Ind.) was the second Muslim elected to Congress. In 2008, Rep. Hark Johnson (D-Ga.), another Buddhist, also joined Congress, making history with him and Hirono the first Buddhists to be elected to Congress. 

More than a century prior, smaller religious groups also made headway into congressional seats for the first time. Lewis Charles Levin of the American Party was the first Jew elected to Congress in 1845, and represented Pennsylvania in the House. The first Mormon was John Milton Bernhisel, who joined Congress in 1851 to represent Utah. The only Sikh congressman, California Democrat Dalip Singh Saund, was elected for three terms beginning in 1957.

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