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Hindu American Foundation

Activist Academics Unleash Hinduphobia in California

Suhag A. Shukla, Esq. | Posted 05.19.2016 | Religion
Suhag A. Shukla, Esq.

The SAFG, and submissions endorsing their edits, are motivated by ideology and ignorance in insisting on erasing India and linking Hindu scripture with caste-based discrimination. And as the social media posts above show, rather than increasing understanding, they normalize Hinduphobia.

Classroom Subjected: Speaking to and for the Experiences of a Religious Other

Murali Balaji | Posted 05.12.2016 | Education
Murali Balaji

When I was in elementary school, one of my teachers - with the best of intentions - inserted a VHS (or Beta MAX) tape of Indiana Jones and the Temple ...

Progressive Hinduism: A Contradiction in Terms?

Murali Balaji | Posted 05.09.2016 | Religion
Murali Balaji

The following is a speech I gave May 7 at the Princeton University Hindu student commencement. I am especially grateful to the Hindu students at Princ...

The Propaganda War Against Hindus in Academia: A Response to Inside Higher Education

Vamsee Juluri | Posted 04.22.2016 | Education
Vamsee Juluri

Highly respected professors face intimidation, threats and smear campaigns for deviating from the views of the Hindu right. A cultural and religious war is raging in which Western academics are the enemy.

For Parents of Autistic Children, Education and Empowerment Key to Erasing Stigmas

Murali Balaji | Posted 03.31.2016 | Parents
Murali Balaji

As we begin Autism Awareness Month, it's important to appreciate how far we've come in understanding autism and helping autistic children lead productive lives. Yet challenges in combatting stigmas remain, particularly in communities of color.

A Hindu Call to Action in Fighting Climate Change

Murali Balaji | Posted 11.23.2015 | Green
Murali Balaji

For the first time, Hindu teachings will take a prominent role in this effort, as a growing coalition of Hindu organizations, leaders, and interfaith allies are ramping up efforts to protect Matru Bhumi through the Bhumi Devi ki Jai! A Hindu Declaration on Climate Change.

Lord Hanuman and the Ten Commandments on State Grounds - What's a State to Do?

Suhag A. Shukla, Esq. | Posted 09.01.2015 | Religion
Suhag A. Shukla, Esq.

Is that what our Founding Fathers, as influenced as they may have been by the 10Cs, intended when they prophetically drafted the First Amendment as a foundation for our secular democracy? I'm fairly confident most freedom-loving Americans would say no.

Hindu and Indian Advocacy Aren't the Same

Murali Balaji | Posted 07.02.2016 | Religion
Murali Balaji

Why is this important to emphasize? Simply put, many Hindus -- regardless of their background -- are put in positions of trying to explain India, even if they have minimal connection to or interest in the country. They are also wrongly assumed to be the spokespeople for India, particularly its social and economic issues.

Yoga Might Achieve What Communism Didn't: A Response to a Communist Critic of Yoga

Vamsee Juluri | Posted 06.20.2016 | Religion
Vamsee Juluri

Even if it seems commercialized and narcissistic at times, the yoga culture one sees today has not only an individual health and beauty element but a far more promising social-spiritual one.

Why the Case of Police Brutality Against Sureshbhai Patel Is Not a Question of Brown vs. Black

Suhag A. Shukla, Esq. | Posted 04.18.2015 | Religion
Suhag A. Shukla, Esq.

The point should not be whether neighbors conflated Sureshbhai with a black man, a Middle Eastern man, or a foreigner to evoke a perverse suspicion, but that in Patel's plight, South Asians saw how easily and brutally their turn could come.

Finding a New Way to Teach About Hinduism in America's Schools

Murali Balaji | Posted 03.11.2015 | Religion
Murali Balaji

The central issue is that Hinduism is uncomfortably and awkwardly fit into a model that focuses on historical chronology, when most Hindus don't view their faith as something that can be pegged into specific eras.

More Police Accountability Just One Piece of the Puzzle

Murali Balaji | Posted 02.10.2015 | Black Voices
Murali Balaji

One of the most encouraging signs in the wake of nationwide protests urging an end to police brutality has been a concrete, substantive discussion on how to move forward.

Building Coalitions for Racial Justice Is More Complicated Than Solidarity Rallies

Murali Balaji | Posted 02.04.2015 | Black Voices
Murali Balaji

I'm worried that our predictable response to the issue -- as well as the aftermath in Ferguson after a grand jury's decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown -- will keep us in the same place: reacting to singular events without addressing the roots of the problem.

Politics Shouldn't Stand in the Way of Accurate and Inclusive Social Studies

Murali Balaji | Posted 01.20.2015 | Education
Murali Balaji

With ideological groups turning up the heat on elected officials to change social studies curriculum, particularly in American and world history, social studies specialists are often the last line of defense in preserving a neutral and balanced approach to content.

Jaweed Kaleem

How Hindu-Americans Are Using Diwali To Teach About The Faith

HuffingtonPost.com | Jaweed Kaleem | Posted 10.23.2014 | Religion

The last time Manav Lalwani celebrated the holiday Diwali in his parents' home city of Mumbai, he was 6 years old. He remembers "lots, lots of firewor...

Civilizational Partners and Equals: What Narendra Modi Means for American Hindus

Vamsee Juluri | Posted 10.11.2014 | Religion
Vamsee Juluri

For Hindus in America, Modi's leadership will mark a promising opportunity to bring faith, culture, nation, and world together. There is a great deal of hope riding on what he does, not only for India, but also for symbolizing a Hinduism that is modern, strong, and still true to its universalism.

Can There Ever Be an Apolitical Conversation About Hinduism?

Murali Balaji | Posted 09.23.2014 | Religion
Murali Balaji

Based on my conversations with folks at IAMCR and even back in the United States, progress is being made to help "de-politicize" Hinduism. It will eventually mean Hindus - no matter how they self-define or self-identify - can start to more boldly be part of the public sphere without politicized or attacked for doing so.

Tanenbaum's Seven Principles Can Be a Driving Force for Pluralism

Murali Balaji | Posted 08.31.2014 | Education
Murali Balaji

In the year since I left academia to become the Director of Education and Curriculum Reform for the Hindu American Foundation (one of the best decisio...

Common Core's Implementation Is Tricky for Social Studies

Murali Balaji | Posted 08.26.2014 | Education
Murali Balaji

With Common Core's focus on math and reading, social studies is still on the back burner in many states. Many social studies teachers and administrators I work with have told me that a challenge to eventually applying Common Core frameworks to social studies is the dearth of up-to-date content.

Uganda's Anti-Gay Law and America's Right Hand

Suhag A. Shukla, Esq. | Posted 08.20.2014 | Religion
Suhag A. Shukla, Esq.

While every American has a right to free exercise, I believe two initiatives of the U.S. government, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom and the G.W. Bush administration's expansion of the Faith-Based Initiative, have perpetuated a very asymmetrical view of religious freedom.

Human Rights for Hindus Remains Elusive in Some Parts of the World

Murali Balaji | Posted 08.02.2014 | Religion
Murali Balaji

The quest for religious freedom and equal rights is ongoing, but for years, Hindus have largely been left out of the conversation as victims of religious discrimination and violence.

Resolution on Dalits Commendable But Outdated

Murali Balaji | Posted 07.08.2014 | Black Voices
Murali Balaji

For many years, the complex social practice of caste in the Indian subcontinent (and to a lesser degree, the South Asian Diaspora) has been the subject of activism and reform efforts.

Academic Integrity: It's What's Missing at the AAR

Suhag A. Shukla, Esq. | Posted 05.14.2014 | Religion
Suhag A. Shukla, Esq.

If a few bad apples aren't reason enough for the AAR to adopt its own Code of Ethics, perhaps the reminder that a scholar is not just a researcher, but a mentor to future generations will be.

Yoga in America: Where Bowing to God Is Not Religious

Jill Lawson | Posted 01.23.2014 | Healthy Living
Jill Lawson

The concept of God is a shaky subject. Add to it the yoga-inspired faith in the God within us all, and you have a huge mess on your hands. Calling yoga non-religious isn't just about altering yoga to make a buck. It is to avoid starting a war.

Attention Fellow Progressive Activists and Intellectuals -- It's OK to Be Hindu!

Murali Balaji | Posted 09.23.2013 | Religion
Murali Balaji

Among many intellectuals and activists, Hinduism is seen as a backwards and even reactionary religion, and not applicable to our experience as second- and third-generation Americans. I could not disagree more with that sentiment.