About Padma Kuppa

Padma Kuppa is a Hindu American and community activist promoting pluralism and peace. Padma focuses on inter-religious cooperation as a Board member of the Hindu American Foundation, a national advocacy organization addressing human rights, policy, education and community issues affecting Hindus in America and around the world. On the Board of the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion, and the Advisory Board of the women's interfaith organization WISDOM, her efforts are centered on social justice issues and developing understanding across the community. Padma is a co-founder of both the Troy-area Interfaith Group and the Bharatiya Temple of Metropolitan Detroit's Outreach Committee. Views expressed here are those of Padma Kuppa and do not necessarily represent those of any organization of which she is a part.

Pursuing Pluralism to Promote Science-Based Policy

On Saturday, after celebrating Earth Day at my local Hindu mandir in Troy, I stopped in Midland, MI to participate in the March for Science, en route to a another destination. My mother - the biologist - asked me why I took a detour to attend the Midland March. This set my thoughts on a journey to explain.... After all, I have resisted participating in any marches or movements since the Nov. 2016 election, not even the Women’s March, even though I know many people who have taken part or have ev … [Read more...]

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Religion and Science: Complementary Not Conflicting

During my childhood, my father referenced Albert Einstein often, with quotes like “Science without religion is lame and religion without science is blind.” Einstein was deeply interested in the relationship between religion and science. He gave considerable attention to the humanities and the pursuit of peace through his writing. His scholarship went beyond his particular fields of academic study, and addressed the apparent conflict between scientific inquiry and religious practice. He published … [Read more...]

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Peace and Justice: Seeking Shanti, Promoting Dharma

I sat in a Detroit church pew on Sunday, livestreaming the reading of a speech to commemorate one that was given by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King 50 years ago, looking at two banners that flanked the altar: Justice and Peace. Rev. Rich Peacock, a retired United Methodist minister, Co-chair of Peace Action of Michigan and a long-time mentor, echoed my thoughts in his reverberating voice: "There can be no peace without justice." Seeking shanti begins with promoting dharma, and that too through … [Read more...]

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Happy Ugadi – A Hindu New Year for a Telugu from Troy

While Diwali marks the beginning of the new year for some Hindus, here in my hometown of Troy, most Hindus will celebrate the start of the Vedic New Year on Ugadi. Troy, MI is unique for its diversity, with one in four people born in another country, and our most spoken foreign language being Telugu - which is also my mother tongue. Telugu is the language of people originating from the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and the newest Indian state of Telengana. Telugu people follow the chandramana o … [Read more...]

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Hindus in Hijabs or Showing Solidarity in Saris?

I recently watched a video of Hindu- and South Asian American activists showing their support for our Muslim American sisters by wearing hijabs and leading a protest against Islamophobia with strident voices. I was peeved and perhaps even perturbed: it’s an issue that has long sat on my mind, but the images pushed me to find my own voice, to think about attire, and specifically the parallels - or the lack there of - between a sari and a hijab. Donning a sari and the associated red bindi on one's … [Read more...]

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Embracing a Hindu Life: Finding My Way Home (Part 2)

In my last blog post, I shared the beginning of Fred Stella’s journey to becoming a Hindu. Here we continue to travel with him, as he moves across the state of Michigan, goes deeper into Self-Realization, and into the heart of the Hindu community as Pracharak or spokesperson for the Western Michigan Hindu Temple. (Note: This essay appeared earlier in MyInd.net.) This is second part of Fred's story to embracing Hinduism, finding his way home. In my previous contribution we left off with my 15 … [Read more...]

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