US Republicans on Wednesday (November 15) launched a Congressional Hindu Caucus in order to advocate the concerns and issues of the Hindu-American community. This came after Democrat Shrinivas Thanedar launched a Congressional Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh and Jain American Caucus in the month of September.
The Policy Advisor of Congressional Hindu Caucus, Shalabh “Shalli” Kumar addressed the gathering at the grand inauguration event in Washington DC at Hyatt Regency on November 15. The event was attended by 18 members of US Congress along with Chairwoman Elise Stefanik.
Shalabh Kumar said, “Let me begin by thanking Chairwoman Elise Stefanik and Congressman Pete Sessions for forming the Congressional Hindu Caucus and all the members of Congress who are on the stage who have joined the caucus. I would also like to thank President Trump who as a candidate for President of the United States, for the first time recognized the relevance of Hindu community on October 15, 2016 by attending a Hindu American rally and speaking the now famous words “We love Hindus” and “We love India”. He also recorded a phrase in Hindi “Ab Ki Baar Trump Sarkar” that went viral with 1.2 billion views worldwide.”
By the way, President Trump is not done yet recording Hindi phrases. Last year in 2022 he said, “Bharat and America, Sabse Acche Dost”, that is India and the US are best of all friends. He also endorsed the idea of the Congressional Hindu Caucus at last year’s celebration of Diwali at Mar-a-Lago.
Know more about Congressional Hindu Caucus:
More than 150 members of the US House of Representatives have committed to becoming members of the Congressional Hindu Caucus, making it one of the largest caucuses in the US Congress that would be actively engaged in enacting legislation and passing resolutions important to the Hindu American community. So who is a Hindu? As a starter, Hinduism is not a religion. I will repeat it again, Hinduism is not a religion. Let me spend a few moments enlightening this distinguished gathering of more than 20 members of US Congress and also many of the 800 plus Hindus from across the United States as to who is a Hindu.
The origin of the word Hindu is Sindhu. Sindhu in Sanskrit means River. Arabs had a difficult time pronouncing Sindhu and called it Hindu, and Europeans later turned it into Indu and that is where Indus Valley and India came from. Sindhu is actually a river that starts at the Himalayan Glacier at Mount Kailash and flows through India and then into what is now Pakistan and into the Arabian Sea. There is another river Ganges that flows entirely through India. The civilization that grew and flourished around these two rivers, the Sindhu/Indus and the Ganges, is more than 10,000 year old and the humanity that lived around these rivers and then later spread to south of India were called Hindus.
So, Hindu is not a religion, it is simply a way of life, it is a culture with rich traditions. Hindus do not have one God or one holy book as Bible. You can be an atheist and still be a Hindu. Hindus are allowed to question, debate and even argue if there is a God or is it just a powerful force. I call it the Free Enterprise of Spirituality. This is one reason, Hindus are secular and extremely tolerant. Hindus believe in Sanatan Dharma, which provides a set of eternal and universal ethical and moral principles of virtuous and true living, principles that are common to Christianity and the Jewish faith.
Being a 10,000-year-old civilization with a penchant for constant learning, Hindus gave the world the numeral zero and decimal point. Imagine where science would be without the invention of zero and decimal point? Hindus were also great in Astrology and medical sciences and were the originators of surgery. So, nobody should be surprised that out of 6 million Hindu Americans in the United States, more than 75 per cent have a Bachelor’s degree, more than 55 per cent have a Master’s degree, one out of eight medical professionals are Hindus, one out of ten has some kind of a business enterprise, and there is not a field of human endeavour where Hindus are near or at the top.
And lately, more than 20 per cent of all high tech start-ups are owned by Hindu Americans and the list of Fortune 100 Hindu CEOs, CTOs, CFO’s is growing every day. The innovation and success of the recent landing by India on the south pole of moon at one tenth the normal cost speaks volumes about Hindus and Sanatan Dharma. Another important stat, Hindu American families have an average per-family income of $135,000 per year, the highest among all ethnicities in the country.
We have a monumental crisis on our southern border with 200,000 illegals crossing the border every month. Mixed with the illegals are terrorists and drug cartels inundating America with Fantanyl which according to CDC is responsible for 110,000 deaths in 2022. For each illegal, we, the tax-payers have to spend $50,000 per year per illegal.
In stark contrast to all this, Hindu Americans are the most law-abiding citizens of the United States and 99.9 per cent came here legally. In addition, we pay over $150 billion in federal, state and local income taxes carrying almost 8 per cent of the tax burden whereas the population of Hindus in America is just under 2 per cent.
We as Hindu Americans have four guiding principles we call the four F’s:
- Free enterprise not only for the material world but free enterprise of spirituality, with minimal governmental interference
- Fiscal discipline of living within our means
- Strong family values, policies that encourage strengthening the fundamental building blocks of our country, the families
- Firm foreign policy and fight against the forces of radical Islam and expansionist regimes who now have formed an axis of evil that is CCP, Chinese Communist Party-KGB- North Korea-Iran
In light of Hamas attack on Israel civilians on October 7, this year Diwali takes another level of importance. Diwali is a celebration of Good over Evil, and light over darkness. Purushotam Ram, the greatest among men, Prince of Ayodhya worshipped by 1.5 billion Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists all over the world as the incarnation of God, killed the Evil King Ravana. Ravana was a demon, who we call Rakshasha, who wanted to torture and kill all living beings that were good.
So, first there was Al Qaeda, then came ISIS who prided themselves for cutting of human heads, and now comes Hamas, who in their minds did better than ISIS, they chopped off the heads of Jewish babies, and raped their women and then killed them. 21st century Rakshasha! On this sacred function of Diwali, I want the Jewish community and the nation of Israel to know that 1.5 billion Hindus are with the Jewish people and Israel.
In the beginning of my remarks, I talked about enacting legislation and passing resolutions to support Hindu causes. Lately, some ultra- liberal city councils of some towns have adopted Hinduphobic resolutions. This must stop. We would more than welcome a resolution affirming the great contributions of Hindu Americans to the United States of America. We want change in text books in all public schools to educate all Americans on the achievements of the first human civilization on this planet, Hindus.
I would close my remarks by focusing on the most important issue in front of Hindus, America and Bharat, the official name for India. It is the CCP, the Chinese Communist Party. CCP is an existential threat to all freedom loving people. President Xi Jinping has openly declared that by 2049, China’s 100-year anniversary, it would be the sole superpower on Earth. Simple math corroborates this. With an average GDP growth rate of 8 per cent as compared to 2 per cent for US, Chinese economy will be twice the size of our economy, with at least twice the military budget. As China has become the factory of the world, they can shut down our economy within the blink of an eye. This manufacturing challenge which leads to 600 billion dollars of imports and 300 billion in my own industry that is electronics, has to be reversed. Chips act with zillion loop holes will not do it.
I am writing a book on this subject titled “Chinese Colonization of America and the only man who can stop it.” The book will have a forward from President Trump and Speaker Newt Gingrich. US Congress must pass legislation to put substantial and sustained tariffs on all Chinese imports. Congressional Hindu Caucus must push this legislation.