Subramuniyaswami, Sivaya H.H. While in Monroeville, Pennsylvania, attending a beautiful Sahastra Shivalinga Abhishek, we were fortunate to have an informative and certainly progressive meeting with several eminent Hindu elders. During a luncheon gathering with about a dozen people present, Hinduism Today formed the main topic of conversation.
In seeking these gentlemen's advice and counsel as to how the newspaper may better serve our readership. Dr. Mahesh Mehta, General Secretary of the influential Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America, confided the concern of his organization that bad news in Hinduism is overshadowing the good. A good point, often expressed. Look at the latest news on India to be covered in the U.S. print and electronic news media: the massacre of 75 Hindus by Sikh terrorists.
True to the nature of humans and their interests, it is often the case that tragedy and scandal dominate the news - any news, not simply Hinduism's. Countering Dr. Mehta's view, Seshagiri Rao, Ph.D., author and Professor of Religion at the University of Virginia, observed that the Christians, Muslims - all the world religions - air their bad news. They face up to it and make corrections in an open forum. As a corollary idea to his observation, Professor Rao proposed, "We should establish a formal Hinduism Today think tank like those in our universities." Jagdish Dave, also a Ph.D., psychotherapist and Professor at Governers State University, quickly supported the newborn idea, as did Swami Chittananda Saraswati, Indra Pandit, Harilal Patel, Devayani Pandit, Som Sharma and the others present.
As the luncheon continued, we discussed many things: the plight of Hinduism in Fiji, under its fourth month of unelected leadership determined to curb Hindu interests; the future of Sri Lanka's Hindus now that the Tamil/Singhalese civil war is over; a rising rate of vandalism among the Hindu temples in North America; and the truly alarming prospect of our Hindu children continuing to be sent to private Christian schools for their education. Though each subject was only briefly explored, insightful comments were offered by everyone present. The think tank had begun.
Upon returning to our offices in Hawaii, your publisher passed on the "think tank" idea to the paper's editors (in picture, left to right; Rev. Swami Sivasiva Palani, Editor; and Rev. Swami Ananda Kumar, Managing Editor). They and the newspaper's staff, in our weekly staff meeting, all concurred the idea was darn good - too good to just let die of apathy. Too many new ideas in Hinduism are stillborn.
We want to see this idea thrive. The next time controversial breaking news of significant magnitude comes our way, Hinduism Today will sponsor a multi-connection tele-conference between the editors and leaders of whichever Hindu community the news effects.
You are our valued reader. This newspaper is for you. To help get this think tank rolling, we want your cooperation. If you are an officer of a Hindu society or represent an organization or community or are involved in any way in the progress of Hinduism today for a better tomorrow, we invite you to participate in the Hinduism Today think tank. Please write to "Publisher's Desk" with a brief bio-data including your present work for Hinduism and who you represent. One of the think tank coordinators will telephone you to get acquainted, get the communication going and present your views to the editors. When appropriate you will be involved in a tele-conference session.
We feel that with the astrological change of the planets bringing us into fellowship and brotherhood, this meeting in Monroeville with these outstanding elders marks the first of many; It initiates a new depth in our international network. Thank you Professor Rao for your excellent idea.
Article copyright Himalayan Academy.