Date: May 10, 2018
Lokvani spoke with Dr. Abhay Asthana & Mr. Sanjay Kaul about the upcoming World Hindu Congress 2018 in Chicago from Sept 7-9, 2018.
Dr. Abhaya Asthana is the President of World Hindu Council of America (VHPA) and the Convener for the upcoming World Hindu Congress 2018 in Chicago. He is a Fellow at Nokia Bell Labs-CTO leading research in cognitive, self reliable networks of the future. Outside of science and technology, his passion is to learn about Hindu Dharma and history, practice it and pass it on to the children. His mission is to help Hindus living in America remain Hindus, and through their lives contribute to the richness of their adopted land.
Mr. Sanjay Kaul is currently coordinating outreach and mobilization effort for the World Hindu Congress (WHC) 2018. He is a professional Civil Engineer, presently working for the Department of Transportation. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts with his wife Bela and two sons.
Mr. Kaul is a life member of World Hindu Council Of America (VHPA) and is currently serving as VP, Sampark-Networking. He is also a life member of Kashmiri Overseas Association (a US based non-profit organization) and has served as its president for two terms. Mr. Kaul was an organizing partner of the Third International Conference on Kashmir held at New Delhi.
As a representative from USA, Mr. Kaul has attended Global Human Rights Defense (GHRD) Annual Congress at its headquarters -The Hague, Netherlands. Mr. Kaul was a special invitee from the USA at the World Hindu Conference at Prayag, Allahabad. He has made presentations to Indian leaders, Government of India (GOI) representatives, and international leaders, representing the views and aspirations of Kashmiri Hindus.
Could you tell us a little about the World Hindu Congress?
Hindu community today is experiencing a major resurgence around the world. Today we are making major contributions in sciences, technology, economics, we are running world class corporations, and are building a strong footprint in the political arena around the globe. Thus far, most of these have been individual successes stories. The next big step is to build these individual successes into a collective force that can make its presence felt on the world stage.
To that end I am excited to tell you about a major event that will take place in Chicago in September 2018. This event is called the World Hindu Congress. It will bring more than 2000 movers and shakers of the Hindu community from all over the world under one roof. They will discuss, debate and strategize for 3 days to develop roadmap for boosting the profile of the Hindu community on the world stage.
When people are able to come together on a shared platform for a shared purpose, inspired by shared values, only good things happen. But such opportunities for Hindus, specifically, have been few and far between. The World Hindu Congress seeks to change that.
In the past, Hindus have held a number of forums and conferences intermittently. But the outcomes of resulting resolutions and implementation of action plans have been sporadic at best. Many of these events never covered dimensions critically important to Hindus such as education, media, politics, and economy with regularity. Moreover, not many of these events were cross-dimensional in nature.
Hindus have both spiritual and secular needs. Unfortunately, many of the secular needs and challenges have been left for others to handle. The WHC seeks to fill in this very important gap. It works as a platform to bring out and address secular challenges and opportunities facing Hindus in different parts of the world.
Its purposefulness and comprehensiveness enables Hindus from around the globe to come together regularly and consistently on a shared platform for a shared purpose, inspired by shared values.
The World Hindu Congress is an informal organization organized by World Hindu Foundation. But it is dependent on the efforts of volunteers representing Hindu organizations from around the world. Each Congress will be held in a different part of the world. All Hindu organizations, associations, and institutions are encouraged to participate and invited to become partners in World Hindu Congress. Yato Dharmas Tato Jayah – Where there is dharma, there is victory.
The first World Hindu Congress was held on November 21-23, 2014 in New Delhi, Bharat. Its resounding success laid the foundation from which World Hindu Congress 2018 (WHC 2018) will continue in building a consistent global platform for Hindus to come together on a shared platform for a shared purpose, inspired by shared values.
Guided by the Hindu principle, Sumantrite Suvikrante WHC 2018 is a movement not to be missed.
What motivated you to coordinate something like this?
We are committed to the idea to move the Hindu society into the twenty-first century and beyond by providing a global platform to deliberate and devise workable and tangible solutions to the challenges being faced by Hindus throughout the world.
This year marks the 125th anniversary of Swami Vivekananda’s historic address to the Parliament of World Religions, it was motivating enough for us to organize WHC-2018 in the USA and that too in Chicago. Hindus from around the world and from all backgrounds are invited to actively participate from September 7-9, 2018.
The theme envisioned for the second World Hindu Congress is the Hindu principle of Sumantrite Suvikrante – think collectively, act valiantly. With this guiding principle as our inspiration, there will be seven parallel conferences held during the Congress: Economic, Education, Hindu Organizations & Temples Associations (HOTA), Media, Political, Women, and Youth. Graced by the presence of over 2000 delegates and top-notch Hindu dignitaries from India, North America and around the world, the congress will witness academicians, industrialists, businessmen, parliamentarian, legislators, activists and media personalities representing more than 80 countries.
Who are the lead speakers who are expected to attend the event?
The following dignitaries and speakers from various regions of the world and various vocations have been invited; many have accepted, many are still tentative subject to schedule and circumstances. His Holiness Dalai Lama, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and many others are expected to attend. The complete list of speakers is given at the end of this article.
What can attendees hope to gain from it?
Let me emphasize that WHC is NOT a religious conference. It is a gathering of highly successful Hindus with an opportunity to showcase their success stories, network with like-minded people from the global community, and to discuss issues of importance to the community with tangible outcomes. For Hindus in North America it is a unique and possibly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be part of this exciting event. The next Congress will be held in 2022 in Bangkok.
Direct gain for any attendee can be on following four levels
* Professionally: Get the opportunity to network with global thought leaders in your area of interest, which may lead to new learnings, synergies and new opportunities
* Community: Learn about how Hindus are contributing to the global growth; feel the pride of being part of a resurgent global force/network that is emerging.
* Personally: You get to tell your grandkids someday that you were part of a pivotal event in the history of global Hindu community. You get to inspire others around the world with you success story and insights. (Example: People who were at Woodstock take great pride in talking about it to their kids, grandkids)
* Support: You get a life time opportunity to lend your support to a global movement aimed at organizing and strengthening the Hindu community – materially and morally.
What are your Metrics for success for the event?
The WHC in Chicago is not an event. It is one milestone, one landmark, in a movement to organize the Hindus worldwide and make their presence visible in a very tangible way in all the spheres that form the elements of the Congress. Of course, it is clearly an important objective to make the event in Chicago historic and memorable.
But we have identified several ways of measuring the progress and success of this movement. One measure of success is simply to establish a sustainable global platform for learning, sharing and creating an environment of care for each other. There is more to the WHC: Pre-conference organizational and mobilization efforts that lead up to the conference in Chicago, and Post conference tangible, sustainable, measurable outcomes and follow-up that lead to the next WHC in 2022. Each of these three phases are significant in themselves and contribute to the totality of the WHC movement of organizing the global Hindu community. Metrics for success will include:
Pre Conference: Key contacts in each region of the globe
Covering Key issues faced by Hindus
Quality of speakers and presenters to inspire, share and learning
Develop a roadmap: Key resolutions in all areas (7 conferences).
Develop concrete institutions that will lead to societal change.
How can people get involved in the organization of the event?
For Hindus in North America it is a unique and possibly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be part of this exciting event. We extend a warm invitation to all Hindu organizations and Hindu leaders across the world to help make the second World Hindu Congress (WHC 2018), a grand success. These may include thought leaders, activists, academicians, industrialists, businessmen, parliamentarians, economists, legislators, media personalities, etc. The Hindu community members and those who believe in Hindu value system are requested to participate as a delegate, as a volunteer, as a sponsor, as a co-host or as a promoter of WHC. The process is simple. You just need to register for the conference and the hotel at www.worldhinducongress.org
- His Holiness Dalai Lama, 14th Dalai Lama
- Hon. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister Bharat
- Dr. Mohan Rao Bhagwat, PP Sarsanghchalak RSS
- Sri Sri Ravishankar, Head – Art of Living
- Sadhu Brahma Bihari Das, Head BAPS International Relation
- Hon. Pravind Jugnauth, Prime Minister Republic of Mauritius
- Paramasivum Pillai Vyapoory, Vice President Republic of Mauritius
- Hon. Ashwin Adhin, Vice President Republic of Suriname
- Raju Reddy, Vice Chair, CEO
- Swami Swaroopananda, Head – Chinmaya Mission Worldwide
- Dr. Pranav Pandya, Head all World Gayatri Pariwar
- Prof. Manjul Bhargava, Prof. Princeton, NJ
- Dr. Nagaswamy, Scholar Historian
- Mahant Yogi Adityanath , Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh
- Subramaniam Swamy, MP Rajya Sabha, BJP
- Sushma Swaraj, Home Minister, GOI
- Trivendra Singh Rawat, Chief Minister of Uttrakhand
- Vijay Rupani, Chief Minister of Gujrat
- Devendra Fadanwis, Chief Minister of Maharashtra
- Sambit Patra, BJP Spokesperson
- Ash Kalra (D-San Jose), California Assembly Member, USA
- Baroness Sandip Verma, Member of House of Lords, UK
- Biman Prasad, National Federation Party, Fiji
- C.V. Wigneswaran, Chief Minister of Northern Province, Sri Lanka
- Captain Abhimanyu Singh, BJP Cabinent Minister – Haryana, Bharat
- Lord Jitesh Ghadia, Member, House of Lords
- Rajesh Agrawal, Deputy Mayor of London
- Gautam Bhattacheya, Diplomat, Sweden
- I Made Mangku Pastika, Governor of Bali, Indonesia
- Jay Chaudhari, North Carolina Senator, USA
- Jay Nishaant, Nepal Democratic Forum
- Kasturi Patto, Member of Malaysia Parliament, Batu Kewan
- Lord Navneet Dholakia, Member of House of Lords, UK
- Priyanka Radhakrishnan, Member of Parliament, NZ
- Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), Congressman, USA
- Rana Dasgupta, BHBCUC, Bangladesh
- Ravi Dev, Social Activist, Guyana
- Ro Khanna (D-CA), Congressman, USA
- Sabrina Singh, DNC Deputy Communications Director
- Sanjay Puri , US-India PAC, USA
- Satyapal Singh, MoS HRD, Government of Bharat
- Ajay Piramal Chairman, Piramal Group, Mumbai, Bharat
- Anand Mahindra, Chairman, Mahindra
- Ajay Singh, Chairman and Managing Director of SpiceJet
- Arun Kumar, Chairman CEO, KPMG, India
- Ashish Gupta, Managing Partner, Helion Ventures
- Bertrand-Marc Allen, President, Boeing
- Bhavesh Patel, CEO, Lyondell Basell
- Deepak Singhal CEO of Tolaram group, Nigeria
- Dr Mukesh Aghi, President, US India Strategic Partnership Forum
- Edward L Monser, President, Emerson Electric
- Gunjan Bharadwaj, CEO, Germany
- Jim Umpleby, CEO, Caterpillar
- Mike Burke, CEO, AECOM
- Mukesh Ambani, Chairman, Reliance
- Neil Bhaskar, Founder, Chairman, Nova Group
- Nikhil Agarwal, Founder of India Global, Bharat
- Padmasree Warrior, CEO, NIO US
- Piyush Goyal, Cabinet Minister GOI, Railways
- Purna Saggurti, Chairman Global Corporate & Invet. Banking
- Rajiv Singh, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog
- Shantanu Narayana, CEO, Adobe
- Sumir Chadha, Managing Partner, WestBridge Capital
- T C Chatterjee, CEO, Griffith Food
- Amrish Dasa (Alfred Ford) , Board Memebr, Ford Motor Company
- Brahmachari Sharan , Hindu Chaplin, Georgetown
- Dr. Budhendra Doobay, Vishnu Mandir, Canada — Hindu federation
- Giani Iqbal Singh, Jathedar Takhata Sri Patna Sahib
- Shri Balabhadra Dasa, President Vedic Friends’ Association
- Lakhubhai Lohana, General Secretary, World Sindhi Congress, UK
- Pandit Ram Hardowar, Suryanarayan Mandir, NY
- Prakashananad Trinidad
- Pria Ji / Siva S, President SSVT Temple
- Prof Ved Nanda, Provost, Denver University, Denver
- Sadhu Madhu Pandit Dasa – Chairman, Akshayapatra Foundation
- Satya Dosapati, AIIF – New Jersey, USA
- Sharad Dhole, Convenor, Dharma Jagran, Bharat
- Shri Narayan Patel, Nigeria
- Shri Rajram Ji, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
- Shri Sradhanand Sital, Chairman, GHRD, Netherlands
- Smt Uma Mysorekar, General Secretary CHTNA, New York, USA
- Swami B A Paramadvaiti, Coord VHP South America
- Swami Paramatmananda ji, Acharya Sabha, Bharat
- Swami Paripurnananda, AVG
- Swami Satyananda, Hindu Monastery, Ghana
- Swamini Hansananda Giri,Unione Induista Italiana, Italy
- Velanyaswami Hawai, Hinduism Today
- Vineet Narayan, Chairman, Brij Foundation
- Anu Bhagwati, Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN)
- Anuradha Koirala – Founder-director, Maiti Nepal, Social activist
- Ranjani Saigal, Ekal, USA
- Chanda Kochar, MD and CEO ICICI Bank
- Chaya Nanjappa, Founder, Nectar Fresh
- Chhavi Rajawat – Sarpanch, Soda Village, Jaipur
- Dame Asha Khemka, Principal of Nottingham College, UK
- Dr. Anupama Hosckere, Founder, Dhaatu
- Dr. Seshu Sarma, Pediatrics specialist in Atlanta, GA
- Dr. Tejaswini Ananthkumar, Founder Adamya Chetna
- Dr. Uma Vaidya, VC, Kavikulguru Kalidas Sanskrit University
- Jyothi Reddy, CEO Key Software Solutions
- Kanjeng Raden Ayu Mahindrani Kooswidyanthi Paramas, Princess of Java
- Kiran Bedi, Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry, IPS, Social activist
- Kiran Majumdar Shaw, Chairperson and MD, Biocon Limited
- Kirron Kher, Actress/ Activist, Member of Parliament GOI
- Lalita Arya,Activist, Educator
- Madhu Kishwar, Prof. Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS)
- Meera Chadha Borwankar, Director General, Bureau of Police Research & Development
- Neela Satyanarayanan , First Woman State Election Commissioner (SEC) of Maharashtra
- Pavithra K. Mehta , Writer-filmmaker, Author of Infinite Vision
- Pramila Nesargi, Indian lawyer, Educationist, Women’s rights activist
- Pratibha Tripathi , News Anchor, TriPath Media Owner, US
- Prof. Shanta Sinha, Founder, Mamidipudi Venkatarangaiya Foundation
- Ranjani Nagaswami, Morning Star executive
- Roshni Nadar Malhotra , CEO and Executive Director, HCL Corporation
- Sadhvi Ritambara, Founder, Vatsalya Dham, Social Worker, Religious preacher
- Sadhvi Svatmavidyananda, Founder, Arsh Vijnan Gurukulam USA
- Sairee Chahal, Founder, CEO of Sheroes Saumya
- Arya Haas, Digital Outreach Coordinator at Agape Editions
- Shantakka Ji, Pramukh Sanchalika of Rashtra Sevika Samiti
- Shobana Bhartia, Chairperson and Editorial Director, Hindustan Times Group
- Smriti Irani, Textiles Minister, GOI
- Sonal Mansingh, Guru Bharatanatyam and Odissi dancing style
- Sudha Murthy, Chairperson, Infosys Foundation
- Swamini Pramananda, Vedanta teacher as well as a Sanskrit scholar
- Uppama Virdi, Lawyer, Businesswoman of the Year 2016, Australia
- Yogini Shambhavi Chopra, Founder, The Chopra Center
- Aditya Patwardhan, Director, Producer, Script Writer, USA
- Apurva Kumar Mishra, Editor in Chief, India Law Journal
- Chandramani Ramachandran, Bharat
- Dr. Sreevalsa Kolathayar, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham
- Drishti Mae, President, National Hindu Students Forum UK
- Gopal Patel, Director, Bhumi Project, UK
- Himanshu Gulati, State Secretary, Ministry of Justice, Norway
- Kadambari Vishwanathan, Bharat
- Mayuri Parmar, Director, Conservative Friends of India, UK
- Nidhi Bhargava, Eco Green Homes Limited, NZ
- Nihar Sashittal, National Youth Coordinator, HSS USA
- Nisa Holla, Bharat
- P.V. Sindhu, Badminton Champion
- Pranav Pai, Bharat
- Rahul Dravid, International Cricketer
- Rajat Sethi, Public Policy, Crafted Assam Nirman
- Anchelita Gowri, Global Human Rights Defense, Netherlands
- Shubhrastha Shikha, India Foundation, Political Strategist
- Siddharth Pai, Bharat
- Sohail Prasad, CEO and Founder, Equidate, USA
- Sushyant Subramanian, Hindu Youth Australia, Australia
- Karolina Goswami, Founder and Editor, India in Details
- Zankrut Oza, Digital Media Consultant – Ministry of Railways
- Akshay Kumar, Film actor and producer
- Anupam Kher, Actor
- Amish Tripathi, Indian author
- Arnab Goswami, Founder Republic TV, News Anchor
- Ashay Javdekar, Rising star – Produced movies for Amazon
- Ashok Kaul, Director
- Ashok Pandit, Director and Member Censor Board
- Ashwin Rajan, Film producer
- C B Patel, Publisher of Asian Voice, UK
- Chandra Prakash Dwivedi, Film director, Script Writer, Actor (Chanakya)
- David Cohen, Columnist
- Dev Patel, Actor
- Divya Jhingaran, Author – As Others See Us, Do All Roads Lead to Jerusalem
- Francios Gautier, French political writer and journalist based in Bharat
- K. J. Yesudas, Musician and film playback singer, Padma Vibhushan
- Kasinadhuni Viswanath, Filmmaker, Actor, Dada Saheb Phalke Award winner
- Koduri Viswa Vijayendra Prasad, Film screen writer and director (Script – Bahubali)
- Kuldeep Shekhawat, Director of MA TV, UK
- Kunal Nayyar, Actor (The Big Bang Theory)
- Madhur Bhandarkar, Film director, script writer, and producer
- Manoj Ladwa, Lawyer, Media, UK
- Mohanlal Viswanathan, Actor, Producer
- Nana Patekar, Actor, writer, philanthropist and filmmaker
- Parag Tope, Scholar, Author – Operation Red Lotus
- Paramacharya Sadasivanathaswami, Editor in Chief Hinduism Today
- Prabhakaran Saran, Producer, Actor, Director, Costa Rica based
- Radha Bharadwaj, Hollywood Director
- Raghavan Jagannathan, Journalist, Editorial director of Swarajya
- Raj Shah, Principal Deputy White House Press Secretary
- Reshma Shetty, British-American TV, Film actress and Singer
- Richard Gere, American actor and humanitarian activist
- S. S. Rajamouli, Writer, Director, Producer
- Sendhil Amithab Ramamurthy, Actor (TV)
- Sunanda Vashishth , MyInd.net CEO and past reporter for DNA India
- Venkat Dhulipala, History Professor, Author of Creating a New Medina
- Rohit Sardana, TV Anchor
- Vamsee Juluri, Professor, Media
- Dr. Chinmay Pandya, Pro Vice Chancellor, Dev Sanskriti Vishwavidyalaya
- Dr. K. P. Gopalkrishna (Chairman)
- Dr. Bindu Hari (Director),
- Mr. Hari Krishnan (CEO), NPS Group of Institutions, Bangalore
- Dr. Kumble R. Subbaswamy, Chancellor, Umass Amherst
- Dr. P. Venkat Rangan, Vice Chancellor, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham
- Dr. Renu Khator, Chancellor of the University of Houston System
- Dr. Satish Tripathi, President, University at Buffalo
- Dr. Swati Majumdar, Principal Director, Symbiosis
- Dr. Vamdeva Shastri, Director, American Institute of Vedic Studies, Vedacharya
- George Cordona, American linguist, Indologist, Sanskritist, and scholar of P??ini.
- Govind Sharma ,Vidya Bharati
- Govindasamy Viswanathan, Founder Chancellor, Vellore Institute of Technology
- Koenrad Elst, Historian
- Mohan Elisetty or Anil Asthana, WAHA
- Oscar Pugol, Grammarian, Director of Instituto Cervantes in Rio de Janeiro
- Philip Lutgendorf , Professor, Hindi & Modern Indian Studies at the University of Iowa
- Prof. Anant Agarwal, Prof. MIT, CEO of edX
- Prof. Jagadish Bhagwati, University Prof of economics and law, Columbia University
- Prof. S. N. Balagangadhara, Prof. Ghent University in Belgium, Director of the India Platform
- Punam Suri, President, DAV
- Rahul Karad, Vice President & Trustee, MIT Group of Institutions
- Rajiv Malhotra, Founder, Infinity Foundation
- Ram Subramanian, Prof. IIT Mumbai, Indian Knowledge Systems
- Sat Maharaj, Secretary-General of the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha
- Subra Suresh, Dean, CMU
- Swami Amtapriyananda, Vice Chancellor, Ramakrishna Vivekananda University
- Swami Mitrananda Acharya, Chinmaya University
- Swami Ramdev, Patanjali Yogpeeth
- Vilayanur S. Ramachandran, Prof. & Director, Center for Brain and Cognition, UCSD, USA