About Padma Kuppa

Padma Kuppa is a Hindu American and community activist working for social justice and understanding. She is a co-founder of both the Troy-area Interfaith Group and the Bharatiya Temple of Metropolitan Detroit's Outreach Committee, and an Advisory Board Member of WISDOM, a metro-Detroit women’s interfaith organization. Padma focuses on inter-religious cooperation as a Board member of the Hindu American Foundation. Views expressed here are those of Padma Kuppa and do not necessarily represent those of any organization of which she is a part.

Farce or Dialogue: Who should be discussing Proselytism & Pluralism?

I  recently received an email about an event at Georgetown University’s Berkeley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs, where Rick Warren and Ruth Messinger will be the keynote speakers on Sharing the Message? Proselytism and Development in Pluralistic Societies: A Public Dialogue. On perusing the site, it appears that no one from the Indian or Hindu community will be on a panel during the day-long dialogue. India is home to one of the most pluralistic societies I know, and in need of de … [Read more...]

A Hindu Eulogy for Leonard Nimoy: I am not Spock, I am Spock.

Star Trek: The Next Generation became religious worship in my uncle’s home around when their oldest started high school and was unwilling to go to church. I had just moved back to the United States to go to graduate school in Long Island. Monthly, often fortnightly trips, to their house in Connecticut became my respite from the rigors of graduate school and relief from homesickness for family in India. It fit in with my needs – cuddled up next to two elementary-age girls who saw me as a big sis … [Read more...]

Race, Religion & Human RIghts

Editors' Note: This article is part of the Public Square 2014 Summer Series: Conversations on Religious Trends. Read other perspectives from the Patheos community here. This summer has been one of ups and downs, showcasing the critical relationship between race, religion and the struggle for human rights. My summer began with a workshop in June: along with about 150 others, ranging from representatives of various religious groups to public policy makers, I had an opportunity to listen to expe … [Read more...]

Hindu Activism in America: Moving beyond bias, with India’s election of the BJP and PM Modi

Indian Election Issues

Editors' Note: This article is part of the Public Square 2014 Summer Series: Conversations on Religious Trends. Read other perspectives from the Hindu community here.For the last decade, I have been focused on developing interreligious understanding, after being excluded from the city-sponsored National Day of Prayer event in my family’s hometown of Troy, MI - all because the organizers didn’t want Hindus and others who didn’t exclusively believe in the Nicene Creed involved in their annual e … [Read more...]

Preserving Human Rights Through Article 26 of the UN Declaration

As a Board member of the Hindu American Foundation, I have had the opportunity to share what advocacy is with some stellar college students who join HAF's Congressional Internship program each summer. Current intern Tej Desai recently shared his experience after a month in DC where HAF's main offices are, but it is former intern Suneeta Israni's thoughts on the importance of the Hindu American Foundation's annual Human Rights Report and its relevance to Article 26 in the UN Declaration of Human R … [Read more...]

Working for Human Rights, against Human Trafficking: Locally and Globally

Almost a decade ago, I discovered a kindred spirit when I served on the city’s ethnic issues board – formed because we are the city with the second highest ethnic diversity in MI. This friend and I had much in common: mothers with children around the same ages, families who were happy to support our activism, taking on leadership roles in our respective houses of worship (the Hindu temple and a United Methodist church), enthusiasm to embrace and engage the diversity of our community, and a sha … [Read more...]


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