Date: June 27, 2018
-By MANU SHAH
When MIT invited Dr. Sriprakash Kothari to be part of its faculty and start an accounting Department 20 years ago, he readily agreed “to join an institution that wasn’t bashful about thinking big.”
Chair of the World Hindu Congress 2018 (WHC), Sriprakash or SP as he is better known, will bring these same “thinking big” skills to work for the congress to be held in Chicago from 7-9, September, 2018.
The conference which will draw a cross section of 2000 community leaders and 250 thought influencers from across the globe will deliberate the establishment of a strong Hindu presence in areas such as education, economy, media, politics, women and youth participation.
Confirmed Keynote Speakers include HH the Dalai Lama, Spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, head of Chinmaya Worldwide Swami Swaroopananda, Sadhu Brahmavihari Das, Head International Relation of BAPS, Punit Renjen Global Chairman Deloitte, Ajay Singh Chairman Spice Jet, Arun Kumar Chairman KPMG, Dilip Sundaram President Mahindra Group, Ed Monser President Emerson Electric and Mohan Das Pai Chairman Manipal Group.
WHC, explains SP, has three primary goals: enlighten the world of the spirituality, tolerance, and inclusiveness of Hindu tradition; intensify the movement toward reforming the Hindu society from within; and advance economic development to be able to play a key role in the global configuration.
Society, he emphasizes, needs to take ownership for its actions, recognize its drawbacks and look within. It is vital to make the playing field more level between the rich and poor, men and women, utilize the talents women have in abundance and encourage the youth to aim higher. This, he believes, can be done only by “traversing through education,” ensuring access to quality learning and hammering its importance till we are 100% literate.
The goal of WHC, SP elaborates, is to make the world understand the Hindu way and view of life not just at the spiritual and social level but also at the economic and educational level. This, for Hindus, is one of the “most potent ways of influencing the world.”
SP’s journey as an educationist at one of the best technology institutions in the world began in the small town of Gulbarga in Karnataka. He was a topper and says he found studies to “be a breeze until he went to BITS, Pilani and IIM, Ahmedabad.” He more than held his own at these premier educational institutions but they also opened up a whole new world that was both “inspirational and humbling.”
The urge to explore the West bought him to the University of Iowa where he completed his Doctorate in Business Administration.
A prestigious academic position at the University of Rochester “refined his economic concepts” and when MIT came knocking, SP accepted immediately.
SP’s past experience will come in handy in his key role as Chair of the 2nd WHC. The Professor of Accounting and Finance is also the Faculty Director for the MIT- India program, on the Board of the Bombay Stock Exchange and has just completed a 6 year stint as Deputy Dean at the MIT Sloan School of Management. He also served as global head of equity research at Barclays Global Investors for a brief period where he led a team of 50 PhD’s and a portfolio of a couple hundred billion dollars.
Conferences such as these, he stresses, will invigorate the Hindu community, it will “produce 1000 messengers” who will bring about social and economic reform, offer a platform for the exchange of ideas and refine thinking to further the agenda of reform.
It will also allow for networking with likeminded people who can collectively scale up the effort that individually will be difficult.
Be a part of this historic event, he urges, and change the future of Hindus around the world.
To learn about or participate in the 2018 World Hindu Congress, visit http://whc.2018worldhinducongress.org.