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.
According to Pew, Hinduism is now tied with Buddhism as the country's fourth-largest religion, with approximately 2.23 million adherents. What's fascinating is that, according to the survey, the population of Hindus in the U.S. jumped by over 1 million since the last time Pew collected the data, which led to the research center's acknowledging of a potential undercount last time.
If Oprah Winfrey can be seen as a faith leader, then it can be said that public figures who embrace their Hindu identity and lead in the civic realm can be looked at in the same light. In other words, to inspire others with your own faith doesn't necessarily require religious vocational training or connection to religious centers.