UNITED STATES, January 2, 2013 (Huffington Post, by Anju Bhargava): Having worked closely with President Obama's administration from its early days, as a community builder, now I pause and reflect on the Obama impact to the Dharmic community. When I first got appointed, my community wondered about what government supported faith-based activities meant. We learn in America that faith and politics are inseparable, and the Hindu and Dharmic communities' national infrastructures are under developed. We created HASC (Hindu American Seva Communities) and worked hard to bring our voice, through seva (community social responsibility) to the forefront and positively "Impact Change in America and Abroad." Much has been done. Now a foundational path of engaging with the government is laid, but so much more needs to be done to build capacity for community development.
In this changing American landscape, we have seen a paradigm shift of inclusion occurring. Starting with the president's first inaugural speech, the inclusion of Dharmic Americans to significant posts in the administration, inclusion in the Faith Based Advisory Council, increased outreach by the White House Office of Public Engagement, and now with Tulsi Gabbard and Mazie Hirono's election to the Congress and Senate respectively, the faith glass ceiling has shattered in America and is resounding around the globe. The doors for the people of eastern traditions, not only the Hindus but the entire Dharmic Americans -- Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists -- have opened! Collectively we have demonstrated how we strengthen this country we love and call home.
During the last four years the White House has recognized the contributions and traditions of our pluralistic Indian-American communities. It understood our philosophy of nonviolence, self-reliance and self-governance. Our Dharma values, largely propagated by the Bhagavad Gita and Dharma scriptures, have found an expression in addressing issues important to us, Dharmic Americans.
Together we are promoting the values and benefits of yoga, nutrition, meditation and Ayurveda. We are greening our temples and bringing increased national focus on environment.
Much more at source.