‘Challenges: Hinduism in the 21st millennium’
The 1st World Hindu Summit, organized by the World Hindu Federation in collaboration with Hindu organizations in Mauritius, will he held at the Indira Gandhi Centre for Indian Culture this weekend, 19th & 20th May 2018. The opening ceremony will be performed by the Guest of Honour, the Acting President of the Republic Paramasivum Pillay at 9.30 am in the presence of the Indian High Commissioner Shri Abhay Thakur and other distinguished personalities.
The theme of the summit is ‘Challenges: Hinduism in the 21st millennium’.
The World Hindu Federation (WHF) is an NGO registered in New Delhi, India as a non-profit organization to promote the interests and well-being of Hindus at the global level. In the past 20 years it has organised several meetings in UK, Europe, Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Malaysia, the objective being sensitizing of Hindus to the issues and challenges presented to them in the modern world and to facilitate their integration into the wider community in the diaspora countries.
WHF is bringing together, for the first time, country organizations on a common platform namely the WHF Summit, to reflect together on the common issues affecting them, share experiences and learn from others, and identify strategies and tools that will enable ‘self-empowerment’ and progress in peace with the rest of humanity. Local participants will be joined by delegates coming from several countries.
The challenges include, for example:
- How to transmit Hindu cultural and spiritual values in the modern world first to the Hindus themselves especially the young, and then share this wealth with non-Hindus, especially in multicultural societies such as Mauritius, using electronic tools.
- Most of our religious leaders – Swamis, Acharyas, Pundits and Iyers – are not familiar with the immense possibilities of vulgarization of the Hindu ethos and values through IT. We have to raise awareness, convince them to modernize their mode of communication, and train them in this area so that their teachings reach the greatest number. Further, there is a need for initiation on how to engage in ‘Interfaith dialogue’.
- In the same line comes how to use the social media such as Facebook, Whatsapp, etc., how to identify the ‘fake news’ (false propaganda) made against Hindus and Hinduism and answer them to correct these erroneous perceptions.
- Provision of support to vulnerable groups. Develop a methodology to identify them and their problems, consider the options available to supervise them and train them for ‘self-empowerment’, and help their integration into national programmes of poverty alleviation.
- Addressing problems pertaining to the family and society, such as the generation gap, breakdown of traditional family structures and institutions, social ills such as drugs addiction and so on.
- Advocacy with bodies such as the United Nations, the European Union, human rights groups about the human rights violations of Hindus, especially in countries where they are in a minority e.g. Bangladesh, Pakistan so that they intervene as it is done for the other communities (for example: Rohingyas in Myanmar).
- Connecting the Hindu diaspora around the world (‘Networking’) to share experiences and benefit from each other.
As this is the first global gathering, it is expected that resolutions will be passed and that they will be followed by concrete actions at ground level, to be reported upon at follow-up meetings and conferences.
* Published in print edition on 18 May 2018