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Record Number of Indian-Americans Seeking Office


Posted on 1999/11/29 3:00:00 ( 1499 reads )

Source: www.google.com

UNITED STATES, June 19, 2020: Meet the new wave of Indian-American politicians. At least eight children of Indian immigrants are running for Congress or statewide office, the most ever. The star of this trend is Nikki Haley, born Nimrata Nikki Randhawa, who is favored to win the election for governor of South Carolina.

Indian heritage is where Haley's similarity with the other candidates seems to end. She is the only Republican, the only one who has been widely mistaken for a white woman, the only one who has been accused of abandoning her heritage for converting from the Sikh faith to Christianity.

Bobby Jindal was elected the nation's first Indian governor in 2007, at age 36. Named Piyush at birth, he told his Hindu parents when he was 4 that he wanted to be called Bobby. He converted to Catholicism as a teenager.

Speaking about their faith is rarely in the agenda for those who have not converted to Christianity like Jindal. J. Ashwin Madia, a Minnesota Democrat who lost a congressional election in 2008 and is a follower of the Jain religion, says their faith is irrelevant. "They can choose to be called what they want to be called, they can worship what they want to worship," said Madia. "I don't think being Indian-American is this thing they need to strive for or meet some sort of purity test. They are finding the right balance for themselves."

Barack Hussein Obama, known as Barry in his younger days, proved that an unusual name was not an insurmountable political barrier. Some Indian politicians seem to be following his blueprint as they embrace their Indian names while describing their faith in voters' lack of bias. "This campaign is all about vision and values and policies," said Raj Goyle, who is battling for the Democratic congressional nomination in his hometown of Wichita, Kan. "I don't spend time thinking about differences, I think about ways that Kansans can come together." In 2006, he became the first Indian-American elected to the Kansas Legislature and the first Democrat to hold his statehouse district.

Indians began immigrating to the United States in large numbers about 50 years ago, but just two have been elected to Congress: Dalip Singh Saund in 1956 and Jindal, who entered Congress in 2004 and became governor midway through his second term. In 2008, Madia says he was the only major Indian-American candidate for Congress. Today there are six, including Goyle and Trivedi. Ami Bera in California, Ravi Sangisetty in Louisiana and Reshma Saujani in New York face upcoming primaries, and Surya Yalamanchili won a primary in Ohio.



Can Sikhs, Hindus Get Elected Without Converting?


Posted on 1999/11/29 3:00:00 ( 1607 reads )

Source: Religion News Service

WASHINGTON, DC, USA, July 5, 2010: (RNS) What does it mean when the two best-known Indian-American politicians in American politics are converts to Christianity?

In South Carolina, Nikki Haley won the Republican nomination for governor despite a whisper campaign that criticized her name and religion. Many questioned the validity of Haley's Christian faith. Some, including Republican state Sen. Jake Knotts, called her Christian conversion into question.

But in a country that has demonstrated that religion matters when it comes to politics, the issue remains: does it remain difficult for Hindus, Jains and Sikhs to be voted into high office? Both Haley and Louisiana Gov. Piyush "Bobby" Jindal, who became the nation's first Indian-American governor in 2007, are Republicans and converts to Christianity. Both also have faced questions about their religion. Haley has a special section of her campaign website devoted to dispelling rumors and to setting "the record straight." On the site, Haley affirms her Christianity, saying "being a Christian is not about words, but about living for Christ every day."

The extra attention carries both positive and negative implications for members of minority faiths, said Suhag Shukla, managing director and legal counsel for the Hindu American Foundation. "I think it sends a mixed sense of hope to young people in the Indian-American community that while we may have, as a society, gotten somewhat over the race barrier, the religion barrier is still there," she said. At least seven other Indian-Americans are running for Congress or statewide office this year, many of whom openly embrace Sikhism, Hinduism or other Indian religions. Democrat Reshma Saujani, candidate for Congress from New York's Manhattan-based 14th district, identifies herself "first and foremost" as a "daughter of political refugees" of Indian descent. She is a practicing Hindu who says her faith has not caused friction in her campaign. "I think that there might be more pressure ... where there might not be as much diversity in religious faith," she said. "But in New York, there definitely is (religious diversity)."

Where a candidate is running can determine how much scrutiny a candidate's faith will attract, Shukla said. A Hindu running for office in New York is one thing; a Sikh-turned-Methodist in the Bible Belt is another. "We still see this type of discrimination in other places, and it plays out in some elections," she said. "Again, I think it would have to depend on geography," she added. Indeed, some candidates are reluctant to reveal specifics about their faith. Ravi Sangisetty, running as a Democrat for Louisiana's 3rd Congressional District south of New Orleans, details his Catholic school education and membership in the Catholic Church on his campaign website. But when asked whether Sangisetty had converted, a campaign spokeswoman responded, "Like I said, he's Catholic."

While religion and ethnicity pique interest in the national media, with some viewing Indian ethnicity as a potential handicap, Manan Trivedi, Democratic congressional candidate from Pennsylvania, believes "the American electorate is smarter than that." An Indian-American himself, Trivedi hasn't faced questions about his Hindu faith. A spokesman for Trivedi's campaign said "people care much more about jobs and what their candidates are going to do." "Issues are much more important," he said.



Daily Inspiration


Posted on 1999/11/29 3:00:00 ( 1705 reads )

Source: www.hinduismtoday.com



Will Rising Prices Affect Ganesha Chaturthi?


Posted on 1999/11/29 3:00:00 ( 1516 reads )

Source: sify.com

INDIA, August 1, 2010: Every year the Ganesha festival is commemorated with deep fervor in Maharashtra. However, this year the surge in the petrol and diesel-price is likely to affect the ardent devotees.

The murthi makers lament that the price of commodities. Rising prices of petrol and diesel in the last five years, and increased transport charges have affected the price of plaster of paris and coloring, which are required to make a murthi. Higher labor charges have also contributed to the increase prices of Lord Ganesha murthis in the last five years.

The Ganesh Chaturthi festival, which falls on September 11 this year, is also quite popular in the southern states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Goa and Karnataka, as well as in Gujarat and Maharashtra in the west. Millions of ardent devotees worship the Lord Ganesha murthis and immerse them into water bodies on the final day.



Spirituality In The Corporate Work Arena


Posted on 1999/11/29 3:00:00 ( 1496 reads )

Source: www.businessweek.com

UNITED STATES, July 2010: Across the country, major-league executives are meeting for prayer breakfasts and spiritual conferences.

If America's chief executives had tried any of this 10 years ago, they probably would have inspired ridicule and maybe even ostracism. But today, a spiritual revival is sweeping across Corporate America as executives of all stripes are mixing mysticism into their management, importing into office corridors the lessons usually doled out in churches, temples, and mosques. Gone is the old taboo against talking about God at work. In its place is a new spirituality, evident in the prayer groups at Deloitte & Touche and the Talmud studies at New York law firms such as Kaye, Scholer, Fierman, Hays & Haroller.

In Minneapolis, 150 business chiefs lunch monthly at a private, ivy-draped club to hear chief executives such as Medtronic Inc.'s William George and Carlson Co.'s Marilyn Carlson Nelson draw business solutions from the Bible. In Silicon Valley, a group of high-powered, high-tech Hindus--including Suhas Patil, founder of Cirrus Logic (CRUS), Desh Deshpande, founder of Cascade Communications, and Krishan Kalra, founder of BioGenex--are part of a movement to connect technology to spirituality. In Boston, heavy hitters such as retired Raytheon Chairman and CEO Thomas L. Phillips meet at an invitation-only prayer breakfast called First Tuesday, an ecumenical affair long shrouded in secrecy. More publicly, Aetna International (AET) Chairman Michael A. Stephen has extolled the benefits of meditation and talked with Aetna employees about using spirituality in their careers.

Spiritual events and seminares are happening at executive enclaves. For the past six years, 300 Xerox Corp. (XRX) employees--from senior managers to clerks--have participated in "vision quests" as part of the struggling copier company's $400 million project to revolutionize product development. Alone for 24 hours with nothing more than sleeping bags and water jugs in New Mexico's desert or New York's Catskill Mountains, the workers have communed with nature, seeking inspiration and guidance about building Xerox' first digital copier-fax-printer.

For Kris Kalra, chief executive of BioGenex, it's the Bhagavad Gita, the Hindu holy text, that offers the best lessons for steering a business out of trouble. He dropped out of corporate life for three months, studying the Bhagavad Gita for eight hours a day. After he returned to work, he started listening to other people's ideas and slowly let go of his micromanaging ways.



Tamilnadu Temples Seek ISO Approval


Posted on 1999/11/29 3:00:00 ( 421 reads )

Source: www.siliconindia.com

CHENNAI, INDIA, July 26, 2010: A number of temples and religious bodies in Tamilnadu are applying for the International Standard Organization's (ISO) certification. This step has been initiated by the state government's Hindu religious and charitable endowments (HR&CE) department.

Three popular temples -- the Kapaleeshwarar Temple in Mylapore, Parthasarathy Temple in Triplicane and Dhandayudhapani Temple in Vadapalani -- have sought and received the ISO 9001:2008 certification. The ISO officials checked for the fixed assets of the temples, their accounts and strict adherence to rituals.

Other temples will also join the queue of ISO's stamp of approval. Most likely among them are Meenakshi Amman temple in Madurai and Sri Ranganathaswamy temple in Srirangam.



India's Caste System and American Society: Similarities


Posted on 1999/11/29 3:00:00 ( 1534 reads )

Source: www.uwf.edu

[HPI note: Dr. M. Lal Goel, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at The University of West Florida, wrote about the similarities between India's caste system and American society. You can read the full article at the source link, above. Here is a summary provided by the author.]

UNITED STATES, July 30, 2010: A recent article in Newsweek by Lisa Miller indicated that Americans "are slowly becoming more like Hindus and less like traditional Christians in the ways we think about God, our selves, each other, and eternity." The author cites the following poll data: 67 percent of Americans believe that many religions, not only Christianity can lead to eternal life, reflecting pluralistic Hindu ethos rather than monotheistic Christian view; 30 percent of Americans call themselves "spiritual, not religious;" 24 percent say they believe in reincarnation; and more than a third choose cremation rather than burial.

To this list may be added the growing caste-like pluralism and multiculturalism of the American populace. This essay describes features of India's caste system, its origin, the negative impact of Muslim and British imperial rule, and concludes with a description of the American social landscape.




Daily Inspiration


Posted on 1999/11/29 3:00:00 ( 1651 reads )

Source: www.hinduismtoday.com

The greatest source of strength for any society is its faith in God. The day it renounces such faith will be the day that society begins to die.
   Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902)



Will Rising Prices Affect Ganesha Chaturthi?


Posted on 1999/11/29 3:00:00 ( 1618 reads )

Source: sify.com

INDIA, August 1, 2010: Every year the Ganesha festival is commemorated with deep fervor in Maharashtra. However, this year the surge in the petrol and diesel-price is likely to affect the ardent devotees.

The murthi makers lament that the price of commodities. Rising prices of petrol and diesel in the last five years, and increased transport charges have affected the price of plaster of paris and coloring, which are required to make a murthi. Higher labor charges have also contributed to the increase prices of Lord Ganesha murthis in the last five years.

The Ganesh Chaturthi festival, which falls on September 11 this year, is also quite popular in the southern states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Goa and Karnataka, as well as in Gujarat and Maharashtra in the west. Millions of ardent devotees worship the Lord Ganesha murthis and immerse them into water bodies on the final day.



Spirituality In The Corporate Work Arena


Posted on 1999/11/29 3:00:00 ( 1577 reads )

Source: www.businessweek.com

UNITED STATES, July 2010: Across the country, major-league executives are meeting for prayer breakfasts and spiritual conferences.

If America's chief executives had tried any of this 10 years ago, they probably would have inspired ridicule and maybe even ostracism. But today, a spiritual revival is sweeping across Corporate America as executives of all stripes are mixing mysticism into their management, importing into office corridors the lessons usually doled out in churches, temples, and mosques. Gone is the old taboo against talking about God at work. In its place is a new spirituality, evident in the prayer groups at Deloitte & Touche and the Talmud studies at New York law firms such as Kaye, Scholer, Fierman, Hays & Haroller.

In Minneapolis, 150 business chiefs lunch monthly at a private, ivy-draped club to hear chief executives such as Medtronic Inc.'s William George and Carlson Co.'s Marilyn Carlson Nelson draw business solutions from the Bible. In Silicon Valley, a group of high-powered, high-tech Hindus--including Suhas Patil, founder of Cirrus Logic (CRUS), Desh Deshpande, founder of Cascade Communications, and Krishan Kalra, founder of BioGenex--are part of a movement to connect technology to spirituality. In Boston, heavy hitters such as retired Raytheon Chairman and CEO Thomas L. Phillips meet at an invitation-only prayer breakfast called First Tuesday, an ecumenical affair long shrouded in secrecy. More publicly, Aetna International (AET) Chairman Michael A. Stephen has extolled the benefits of meditation and talked with Aetna employees about using spirituality in their careers.

Spiritual events and seminares are happening at executive enclaves. For the past six years, 300 Xerox Corp. (XRX) employees--from senior managers to clerks--have participated in "vision quests" as part of the struggling copier company's $400 million project to revolutionize product development. Alone for 24 hours with nothing more than sleeping bags and water jugs in New Mexico's desert or New York's Catskill Mountains, the workers have communed with nature, seeking inspiration and guidance about building Xerox' first digital copier-fax-printer.

For Kris Kalra, chief executive of BioGenex, it's the Bhagavad Gita, the Hindu holy text, that offers the best lessons for steering a business out of trouble. He dropped out of corporate life for three months, studying the Bhagavad Gita for eight hours a day. After he returned to work, he started listening to other people's ideas and slowly let go of his micromanaging ways.



Tamilnadu Temples Seek ISO Approval


Posted on 1999/11/29 3:00:00 ( 549 reads )

Source: www.siliconindia.com

CHENNAI, INDIA, July 26, 2010: A number of temples and religious bodies in Tamilnadu are applying for the International Standard Organization's (ISO) certification. This step has been initiated by the state government's Hindu religious and charitable endowments (HR&CE) department.

Three popular temples -- the Kapaleeshwarar Temple in Mylapore, Parthasarathy Temple in Triplicane and Dhandayudhapani Temple in Vadapalani -- have sought and received the ISO 9001:2008 certification. The ISO officials checked for the fixed assets of the temples, their accounts and strict adherence to rituals.

Other temples will also join the queue of ISO's stamp of approval. Most likely among them are Meenakshi Amman temple in Madurai and Sri Ranganathaswamy temple in Srirangam.



India's Caste System and American Society: Similarities


Posted on 1999/11/29 3:00:00 ( 1705 reads )

Source: www.uwf.edu

[HPI note: Dr. M. Lal Goel, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at The University of West Florida, wrote about the similarities between India's caste system and American society. You can read the full article at the source link, above. Here is a summary provided by the author.]

UNITED STATES, July 30, 2010: A recent article in Newsweek by Lisa Miller indicated that Americans "are slowly becoming more like Hindus and less like traditional Christians in the ways we think about God, our selves, each other, and eternity." The author cites the following poll data: 67 percent of Americans believe that many religions, not only Christianity can lead to eternal life, reflecting pluralistic Hindu ethos rather than monotheistic Christian view; 30 percent of Americans call themselves "spiritual, not religious;" 24 percent say they believe in reincarnation; and more than a third choose cremation rather than burial.

To this list may be added the growing caste-like pluralism and multiculturalism of the American populace. This essay describes features of India's caste system, its origin, the negative impact of Muslim and British imperial rule, and concludes with a description of the American social landscape.




Daily Inspiration


Posted on 1999/11/29 3:00:00 ( 1890 reads )

Source: www.hinduismtoday.com

The greatest source of strength for any society is its faith in God. The day it renounces such faith will be the day that society begins to die.
   Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902)



Will Rising Prices Affect Ganesha Chaturthi?


Posted on 1999/11/29 3:00:00 ( 1680 reads )

Source: sify.com

INDIA, August 1, 2010: Every year the Ganesha festival is commemorated with deep fervor in Maharashtra. However, this year the surge in the petrol and diesel-price is likely to affect the ardent devotees.

The murthi makers lament that the price of commodities. Rising prices of petrol and diesel in the last five years, and increased transport charges have affected the price of plaster of paris and coloring, which are required to make a murthi. Higher labor charges have also contributed to the increase prices of Lord Ganesha murthis in the last five years.

The Ganesh Chaturthi festival, which falls on September 11 this year, is also quite popular in the southern states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Goa and Karnataka, as well as in Gujarat and Maharashtra in the west. Millions of ardent devotees worship the Lord Ganesha murthis and immerse them into water bodies on the final day.



Spirituality In The Corporate Work Arena


Posted on 1999/11/29 3:00:00 ( 1779 reads )

Source: www.businessweek.com

UNITED STATES, July 2010: Across the country, major-league executives are meeting for prayer breakfasts and spiritual conferences.

If America's chief executives had tried any of this 10 years ago, they probably would have inspired ridicule and maybe even ostracism. But today, a spiritual revival is sweeping across Corporate America as executives of all stripes are mixing mysticism into their management, importing into office corridors the lessons usually doled out in churches, temples, and mosques. Gone is the old taboo against talking about God at work. In its place is a new spirituality, evident in the prayer groups at Deloitte & Touche and the Talmud studies at New York law firms such as Kaye, Scholer, Fierman, Hays & Haroller.

In Minneapolis, 150 business chiefs lunch monthly at a private, ivy-draped club to hear chief executives such as Medtronic Inc.'s William George and Carlson Co.'s Marilyn Carlson Nelson draw business solutions from the Bible. In Silicon Valley, a group of high-powered, high-tech Hindus--including Suhas Patil, founder of Cirrus Logic (CRUS), Desh Deshpande, founder of Cascade Communications, and Krishan Kalra, founder of BioGenex--are part of a movement to connect technology to spirituality. In Boston, heavy hitters such as retired Raytheon Chairman and CEO Thomas L. Phillips meet at an invitation-only prayer breakfast called First Tuesday, an ecumenical affair long shrouded in secrecy. More publicly, Aetna International (AET) Chairman Michael A. Stephen has extolled the benefits of meditation and talked with Aetna employees about using spirituality in their careers.

Spiritual events and seminares are happening at executive enclaves. For the past six years, 300 Xerox Corp. (XRX) employees--from senior managers to clerks--have participated in "vision quests" as part of the struggling copier company's $400 million project to revolutionize product development. Alone for 24 hours with nothing more than sleeping bags and water jugs in New Mexico's desert or New York's Catskill Mountains, the workers have communed with nature, seeking inspiration and guidance about building Xerox' first digital copier-fax-printer.

For Kris Kalra, chief executive of BioGenex, it's the Bhagavad Gita, the Hindu holy text, that offers the best lessons for steering a business out of trouble. He dropped out of corporate life for three months, studying the Bhagavad Gita for eight hours a day. After he returned to work, he started listening to other people's ideas and slowly let go of his micromanaging ways.

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