Another Rite of Passage: Celebrating a Decade of Interfaith Activism

A week ago the Troy-area Interfaith Group celebrated its 11th annual National Day of Prayer event. I helped start this community organization over a controversy - the contentious history is here, and also taught as a case study in pluralism by Harvard University's Pluralism Project - but it was a very peaceful, harmonious group that gathered to celebrate unity in diversity, with prayers from many people, from many traditions. I was honored that I was invited to share the reflection below on the … [Read more...]

The Good of Hinduism: A Solid Foundation of Pluralism

Editors' Note: This post is part of a Patheos symposium —What Good Is Religion? Read more here.In trying to understand or discuss the “good of Hinduism” - how faith has, in big and small ways, theoretical and very concrete, served humanity and the world for good – one can simply state the obvious. A Hindu can do good by serving others, as indicated in the oft repeated “Manav seva, Madhav seva.”  A loose translation – Service to humanity is service to God  - doesn’t capture the selfless nature … [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...]

Five Years of Patheos and the Best of my Blog: A Hindu Path to Peace and Pluralism

As Patheos celebrates its 5th anniversary, I went down memory lane to pick a few to highlight. I started with my first piece for the site written in early 2010, and probably my briefest ever, about God in 100 words, followed by one in June where I was invited to write on the future of Hinduism. I was placed alongside my friend Suhag Shukla, Executive Director of the Hindu American Foundation, and academics and scholars I revere, such as Gavin Flood and David Frawley and some whom I am now … [Read more...]

Freedom Of Faith Act – Something for All Faiths

We have a common understanding that every American should be able to freely practice his or her faith - we are free to choose to have any faith or none at all. As an activist in my local community, nearly ten years ago, I helped start an interfaith group to make sure we honor that commitment to and inclusion of religious diversity at the grassroots level. This year, as the Troy-area Interfaith Group celebrates its tenth annual National Day of Prayer event at the St. Anastasia Roman Catholic … [Read more...]

Accepting an Inclusive Identity: On Being an Indian-American Hindu

I am a product of two republics: born in India, raised in America, I typically celebrate my American national identity through holidays such as the Fourth of July because I am a naturalized US citizen. So I didn’t think to get involved when a celebration of India’s Republic Day here in Michigan included Miss America - even though I share her cultural and linguistic identity as a Telugu-speaking Indian-American. But I wondered what my friends of Indian origin do, and did a quick survey. About a th … [Read more...]


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