World Hindu Conference in Chicago This Week

Swami Vigyananand, head of the World Hindu Foundation.

By Dr Vishnu Bisram

The second world Hindu conference will be held in Chicago from Sep 7 thru 9. The first one was held in Delhi in November 2014. The World Hindu Congress is the organizer.

The WHC is an informal organization organized by World Hindu Foundation, headed by Swami Vigyananand. 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.

The world Hindu conference is a forum for Hindus across the world to connect, share ideas, introspect towards improvement and seek solutions to challenges facing the community. The Chicago conference coincides with the 125th anniversary of Swami Vivekananda’s iconic address in Chicago’s Parliament of Religions in 1893 – a speech that prompted many Americans to explore Hindu spirituality.

The theme of the World Hindu Congress 2018 is “Sumantrite Suvikrante” — think collectively, achieve valiantly. The goal is to increase the Hindu sphere of influence and have a positive impact on society.

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 a press release, organizers say the conference will discuss 7 key issues: economics, education, media, politics, youth involvement, women participation and collaboration of Hindu organizations.

The WHC’s seven parallel conferences showcase how the values, creativity, and entrepreneurial spirit of the global Hindu community find expression in a variety of spheres. WHC also serves as a platform to address critical issues impacting Hindus worldwide, including human rights, discrimination, and cultural assaults.

Some 2000 delegates from 80 countries are expected to attend. Delegates represent the best and brightest from a wide array of fields — the arts; academia; business; community, social, and humanitarian organizations; government; industry; media; medicine; science; and technology.

Several well known international figures will attend the conference including Dr. Mohan Bhagwat (head of the RSS), the Dalai Lama, Spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Chinmaya Mission Worldwide Head Swami Swaroopananda. Several politicians from America, including Tulsi Gabbard, India and around the world will also attend. Ravi Dev and Dr. Vishnu Bisram and several other representatives from Guyana, Trinidad, Suriname and New York will attend to make presentations.

The organizers say this conference is very important. They are of the view that that “Hindus must encourage wealth creation and quality education, promote a robust Hindu presence in mass media, cultivate future Hindu leaders, tap the unique strengths of Hindu women and encourage all Hindu organizations to work together”.

The organizers add: “We are unlike any other immigrant community. We are highly educated, professionally and financially successful, but we don’t highlight our achievements enough”.

The organizers feel Hindus need to become more than a “dandiya, garba and bhangra society”. They say, “We need to create awareness about our sizeable contributions to society, be visible and exercise our influence at the global level”.

One Coordinator of the WHC, HSS Swapan Dhairyawan stated: “It is important for every proud Hindu to attend the WHC 2018. The conference will reinforce the importance of maintaining our Hindu identity in North America while assimilating in mainstream America.”

This conference gives Hindus an opportunity to meet Hindu leaders from all over the world in different fields with relevance to Hindu Dharma. Such a congregation with exemplary Hindu leaders and speakers from worldwide is an occasion not to be missed.

To learn more about or participate in the 2018 World Hindu Congress, visit