HomeMain SliderAnother Hindu Caucus Launched – This Time A Republican One Backed By Shalli

Another Hindu Caucus Launched – This Time A Republican One Backed By Shalli

Another Hindu Caucus Launched – This Time A Republican One Backed By Shalli

Photo: Office of Shallabh Kumar, stefanik.house.gov  

WASHINGTON, DC (IANS) – Republican lawmakers have launched a Congressional Hindu Caucus that will be the second but largest yet for championing causes and issues related to Hindu Americans.

“Today I am so excited to announce the official launch of the Congressional Hindu Caucus in the US Congress,” Elise Stefanik, who is the fourth ranking member of the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives, said on November 15 at an event organized by Shalabh “Shalli” Kumar.

Kumar shot to fame in the India-US world when he launched a campaign in 2013 to lobby US authorities to grant a visa to Narendra Modi, then chief minister of Gujarat, reversing their decision to rescind it over the riots in the state.

Although Kumar fell out of favor with Modi very soon, he had moved on to find a new person and cause to support: Donald Trump.

“This caucus will support legislation and issues important to Hindu Americans,” Kumar said at the launch of the Congressional Hindu Caucus.

This is the second congressional caucus launched to represent Hindu Americans, who are largely India -descent Americans who are increasingly choosing to identify themselves by their religion rather than then their country of origin.

But it also touts itself as a representative of Sikh, Jain and Buddhist communities.

The first caucus, which is chaired by first-term Democratic Congressman Shri Thanedar, ran into controversy off the block as Sikh Americans, who run a well-funded lobbying effort of their own, challenged its claim to represent them. It hasn’t generated much support among lawmakers either.

Stefanik’s Hindu caucus is off to a good start in comparison. She read out a list of 10 or so fellow Republican lawmakers who, she said, had volunteered to join the caucus but were not all present.

One of them was Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis. She came to the event to personally convey her regrets at not being able to attend. “I have a growing Indian community in my district,” she said when asked by this reporter for her reason for joining the caucus.

“We have a Hindu temple which I go to annually to celebrate, whether it’s Diwali or some of the other holidays. And I really built a great relationship with the Hindu community and want to be able to help particularly now because of the very strategic time relationship between the US and India.”

Increasingly now, several community members have wanted to be identified as Hindu Americans, which grants them constituency claims over Hindus from the Caribbeans, Nepal, Bangladesh and American converts.

Their numbers are estimated to be, as claimed at the launch event, at around 6 million, which is at the least 1.5 million more than the number of Indian Americans, which is a widely accepted estimate.

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  • Bunch of morally bankrupt losers with no love for America.

    November 16, 2023
    • You may be wrong! If we have decided to live in his country then we must take part in the political process to make our presence felt.

      November 27, 2023
  • What’s wrong with these Desis, associating with someone like MAGAt Trump? They will sell their soul.

    November 16, 2023
  • As far as voting is concerned, we vote as a U.S. citizen and what religion we belong to is immaterial. Therefore, as far as I am concerned, Congressional Hindu Caucus is not even relevant, even though I am a staunch, practicing Hindu in my personal life. As a U.S. citizen, we just have to make sure that we elect candidates who would be good for the community, the State, the U.S., and the world. Hindus already have organizations like The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) to protect their religion, Hinduism. HAF is an educational and advocacy organization established in 2003. They focus on educating the public about Hindus and Hinduism and advocating for policies and practices that ensure the well-being of all people and the planet.

    Hindus are not a monolithic community. They all think, act, and vote differently, as they should. For example, I am always puzzled as to why so many Indians, including Hindus support a snake oil salesman like Trump, who is known for serial lying, corruption, nepotism, racism, sexual harassment, infidelity, misogyny, xenophobia, incompetence, and general disregard for legality, ethics, and morality. Is it because he, being a friend of India’s Prime Minister, Modi, is considered a friend of India? But we don’t live in India anymore. We have to elect politicians who will be good for the U.S. and the world, including India. Indians voting in elections of India vote for candidates who would be good for India, not the U.S., even though they may have relatives living in the U.S.

    November 17, 2023

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