From Dalits to Divinity: A Hindu Solution

In his letter from the Birmingham jail, MLK exhorted his fellow Christian ministers to uphold the legacy of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and pointed out that "there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth." The HAF position, highlighting a gap between countless Hindu scriptures and teachings, which recognize and respect the divinity in all beings, and the practice of caste in the treatment of many fellow Hindus, has created tension. Sometimes intra-faith conversations are harder than the inter-faith ones.

Quoting HAF's Associate Director Jay Kansara, "just as Dr. King believed that Christian principles and this nation's founding ideals of democracy and freedom proved segregation and racism to be wrong, we believe by proper interpretation and adherence to Hindu scriptures and ideals, Hindu society can overcome this tragedy. I am confident that if Dr. King were alive today, he would have read the report and would give HAF his unequivocal endorsement of it."

Let us hope that the tension created by HAF's report helps Hindu Americans grow, and that we are able to help our Hindu brothers and sisters around the world, and promote justice and equality.

1/20/2011 5:00:00 AM
Padma Kuppa
About Padma Kuppa
Padma Kuppa is a writer, IT professional, community activist, wife, and mother working to build a more pluralistic society within a Hindu and interfaith framework. You can also read her blog A Balancing Act, at The views represented in this column are not a reflection of the views of any organization of which she is a part.