Conference of Hindu Organisation
- Author: Publication: Sangh Sandesh Date: Sept- Oct, 2002 78 delegates from various Hindu organisations from all over the UK attended this one day conference held on 22 September at Arya Samaj Vedic Mission, Birmingham.
- The delegates were office bearers and held position of responsibility in their respective organisations. Dr Girdhari Lal Bhan, National Chairman of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (UK), welcomed the delegates. He said that following the success of the first Dharma Sansad held in August 2001 at Leicester, it had been agreed that Hindu organisations should meet again, to discuss the issues that are important to Hindus and seek their resolution. Since then, it has been decided to name the Dharma Sansad as the Conference of Hindu Organisations (COHO). In reference to the term Hindu, he reminded the delegates of the landmark judgement of the Supreme Court of India, which clarified the terms Hindu and Hindutva. In that spirit, the COHO welcomes all Hindu, Sikh, Jain and Buddhist organisations. Swami Nirliptanandaji of Bharat Sewa Ashram Sangh urged the delegates to develop a strategy to counteract the effects of organised religious conversion. Shri Om Prakash Sharma of NCHT (UK reported on negative propaganda that has been unleashed recently against the Hindus. He alerted the conference about a campaign which has been started by some Muslims in the UK to malign the name of VHP. Dr Nawal K Prinja, the Religious Education Spokesman for the VHP (UK), referred to the recent landmark judgement by the Supreme Court of India of 12th Sept 2002 that allowed the implementation of the National Curriculum Framework for the Secondary Education (NCFSE). This judgement paves the way for scholarly research of the history of India that will lead to a history of India based on facts. Shrien Dewani of the National Hindu Students Forum (UK) summarised their activities and identified the issues faced by a Hindu student: Uncertainty about their identity: social, political, and religious; and difficulty posed by following the two (�eastern� and �western�) cultures and traditions. He concluded that there is a need to develop i) a Support Network, ii) a system whereby youth would be informed of their culture from early age, iii) efficient and effective Interorganisation communication, and iv) a representative body to deal with the media. Shri Narandas Parekh of Jain Samaj said, 'I am first and foremost a Hindu and Jain by faith and devotion.' Shri Kishor Ruparelia, G Sec of VHP (UK) gave a brief report on the VHP activities in the UK. He informed that the VHP publication 'Explaining Hindu Dharma' is now in its third print. The book is now being translated in Romanian language. Reporting on the Dialogues with other faith Communities, Dr Bhan said that meetings have been held with the representatives of the Jewish, Christian and Muslim faith groups. Shri Ramesh Kallidai proposed that there should be national, regional and local representatives to establish a network. He proposed a project to monitor MPs and their vote banks. Shri Hasmukh Shah, PRO of VHP (UK), stated that concerns persist that the media misrepresents the Hindus. With this objective, a national seminar for the journalists is being planned. Shrimati Saraswati Dave reported that within the Interfaith (UK) Network, in the aftermath of the Gujarat Riots this year, some Muslim representatives have made false and preposterous allegations against VHP (UK). These included false claims that VHP (UK) was sending money to India to harm Muslims. Their attempt to have the VHP (UK) removed from the Inter-faith network did not succeed. Shri Bimal Krsna Das � NCH (UK) emphasised that for the good of our own community, we should work with people who are going to be constructive and beneficial in the long-term. Shri Gauridas of ISKCON (Temple President of Bhaktivedanta Manor) quoted Chanakya, �Lead your life as if you are going to die tomorrow, but develop your community as if it's never going to die�. During the Mukta Chintan Dr Narayan Rao from Balaji Temple, Dudley gave a brief report on the Balaji Mandir. He made a plea for the establishment of a 'collective' which will provide help to all Hindu organisations. Jaymini Patel, Community and Publications Coordinator of Brahamkumaris informed the delegates about her organisation. She said, 'We should continue to meet and continue to climb this spiritual ladder. Whatever we do in the UK, will have impact on the rest of the world. ' Dr Milen Shah, speaking on behalf of the Hindu Youth Festival stressed the importance of educating the youth. He said that parents should impart religious consciousness to the child early - at 25 weeks not at 25 years when it is too late! On behalf of the Chinmaya Mission, Dr Milen Shah felt that to achieve true unity, we must resolve inner conflicts first. Prof Jitendra Saha made reference to the papers he has recently presented showing how Dharma can be used in education. Shri Upendra Dave spoke about the social and political problems facing the Hindu society. 'Today political power counts', he said and informed the delegates about the establishment of British Hindu Political Association (BHPA). Shri Vinoo Wadher narrated his experience of attending a meeting during the Indo-Pak Agra summit. Jayesh Jotangia informed the Conference about the forthcoming 'Dynamic Spirit' Conference being held from 6th to 8th Dec 2002 in London. The Conference will explain how Hindu philosophy can be used in the scientific and spiritual fields. Chadda ji from Wolverhampton offered full support to COHO from Shri Krishna Mandir, Wolverhampton. Shri Udani proposed that Hindu victims of terrorism should be remembered each year on Martyrs' Day. Acharya Sone Rao from Arya Samaj referred to the conflict going on between the good and the bad. He said, �Our Hindu scriptures state that in the case of conflicts, one has to take a side and we must support the cause that is righteous and fight the evil. Hindus by nature are law-abiding, peaceful and non-violent. But today there is no time for Hindus to stay neutral. We should learn from Shri Rama and Shri Krishna who both fought for righteousness. In this struggle we need to be united. We must get rid of our divisions based on caste and languages. Vedas are the fountainhead of true knowledge, and we should be guided by them.� In Conclusion, Dr Bhan reminded the delegates that this Conference does not belong to any one individual or organisation. �It had been organised by many, for the benefit of all. That is how it will be in future. We need to take action on the many views that we have heard today. Last year when we met in August at Leicester we made many decisions. We achieved some of those objectives but we also failed to achieve others. The purpose of such conferences is to identify problems that face us and allocate actions to remedy these. The foremost need is to develop a network to keep each other informed and to take collective action.�