HomeAmericasPoliticsCoHNA Hindu Advocacy Day In NJ Draws Bi-Partisan Support

CoHNA Hindu Advocacy Day In NJ Draws Bi-Partisan Support

CoHANA’s Hindu Advocacy Day In NJ Draws Bi-Partisan Support

CoHNA Hindu Advocacy Day In NJ Draws Bi-Partisan Support

India-West Staff Reporter

TRENTON, NJ – The Coalition of Hindus of North America (CoHNA) hosted the first Hindu Advocacy Day in New Jersey, attended by over 15 state senators and assembly members. New Jersey, home to one of the largest Hindu communities in the US, saw bipartisan support as lawmakers gathered to acknowledge the significant contributions of Hindus across all sectors in the state.

During the event, lawmakers pledged support for the Hindu Heritage Month resolution for New Jersey, which has passed the Assembly and is now headed to the Senate. This followed the introduction of resolution SCR 104, with a focus on addressing the growing issues of anti-Hindu hate and Hinduphobia.

Senator Vin Gopal, the primary sponsor of the bill, participated in the event amid a busy Senate schedule. He emphasized that hate in any form must not be tolerated, recalling his oath on the Bhagavad Gita during his swearing-in ceremony.

According to COHANA, recent FBI data and research from universities like Rutgers have documented a rise in hate crimes against Hindus in America. Incidents ranging from attacks on individuals to vandalism of Hindu temples from New York to California have deeply affected the community, hindering the free practice of their faith.

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle addressed the gathering, expressing gratitude to the Hindu community for their substantial contributions and also sharing their experiences of participating in vibrant Hindu celebrations such as Diwali and International Yoga Day.

Upendra Chivukula, the first Hindu Assemblymember elected in New Jersey, provided insights from his decades of experience, highlighting the importance of representation and advocacy. “If we don’t ask, others will ask for us. Whoever gets to the lawmakers first will get their attention first,” he said.

Several Hindu community leaders attended the event, emphasizing CoHNA’s role in representing and advocating for the community’s causes. Cherry Hill Councilwoman Sangeeta Doshi shared her inspiration from Hindu values learned through Bal Vihar camps in Massachusetts and New Jersey, which motivated her decision to run for office.

NJ Democratic Hindu Caucus Co-chairs, Falguni Pandya and Venu Menon, discussed the formation of the caucus and its advocacy efforts for the Hindu community.

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