Phalgun Shukla 11, Vik. Samvat 2071.Yugabda 5116: March 1, 2015

-1. FESTIVALS: Trinidad Hindus Observe Shivratri 2. PRADHAN MANTRI addressES first International Ramayana Mela
3. WE share same ancestors, culture, values: Mohan Bhagwat 4. Kailas Mansarovar yatra through new route
5.  WORLD SCIENCE OCEAN CONGRESS & EXPO-2015 6.   Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvati our creators also: Jamiat Ulema mufti
7.  Bharat successfully tests N-capable Prithvi-II missile 8. DRDO sets up world's highest research station in Ladakh
9.  Scriptures Mention Gravity 1500 Years Before Isaac Newton 10.  HAL hands over SU-30 fitted with BrahMos to IAF
11.  PROJECTS FOR 7 FRIGATES, 6 N-SUBMARINES OKAYED 12.  Sikh langars feed the homeless in Britain
13.  Bharatiya-American Wins Prestigious Chemistry Award 14.  BHARATIYA-American Appointed as US Special Envoy and Coordinator
15. Bharatiya-American named first US chief data scientist 16.  Mummified Monk Sits Inside Ancient Buddha Statue
17.  Sewa International Launches 2015 Yuva for Sewa Summer Internship 18. NRI COUPLE HELPS RURAL STUDENTS DECODE SCIENTIFIC CONCEPTS

Ancient corporates     

Hindus in US: They have come of age

1. FESTIVALS: Trinidad Hindus Observe Shivratri: Devout Hindus in Trinidad and Tobago, the oil-rich Caribbean republic visited temples and other public places to observe the annual Shivratri on February 17. Thousands of Hindu women dressed in saris and men in kurtas spent the night in over 400 temples across the land. Scores of temples hosted special Lord Shiva Yagnas. Ramesh Tiwari, spiritual leader of the Edinburgh Hindu temple in Chaguanas town said, "The observance of Shivratri gives mankind another chance to reconnect with Lord Shiva. The world continues to travel down the pathway of spiritual, oral and ethical decline."

The observance of Shivratri was brought by the indentured Bharatiya laborers who came from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar between 1845 and 1917. --goTop


2.   PRADHAN MANTRI addressES first International Ramayana Mela: Pradhan Mantri, Narendra Modi, on February 23 said that the time has come for us to realize the potential of soft power as an important strategy for external affairs and foreign relations. He was speaking after inaugurating the first International Ramayana Mela at New Delhi. He said that world affairs are no longer on one track. Soft power is becoming increasingly critical in world affairs across the world. Bharat should leverage its great traditions and culture in forging ties with countries around the world in a way that is deeper, more personal, and therefore, far more powerful. 
He said that all countries having  Gautam Buddha, Ram, and Ramayana as part of their own culture have a bond with Bharat that transcends the diplomatic ties. In the domain of soft power, Bharat has a lot to offer to the world. He spoke of the days when the TV serial Ramayana brought together people across ages and geographies.  --goTop       

3. WE share same ancestors, culture, values: Mohan Bhagwat: All Bharatiyas irrespective of their religion, caste, language and regions, share the same ancestors, culture and life values besides ideologies, asserted Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Sarasanghchalak Dr Mohan Bhagwat, addressing a 10,000 strong 'Rashtra Raksha Sangam' of swayamsevaks at Kanpur on February 15. Elaborating on his concept of ancestors, he said that 'ancestors' according to him were people who laid down their lives for the motherland. Bharat is one country, one people, one culture in spite of diversity in religions, castes, languages, lifestyles and regions. RSS is a way of life committed to inculcate the spirit of doing things in right manner.

"People call Sanatan dharma by different names. Some call it Bharatiya sanskriti, some Hindu culture. It teaches to respect all diversity. It says that differentiating is not right. This is Sanatan Hindu dharma. Those who connect with these things are called Hindus," he added.  --goTop


4. Kailas Mansarovar yatra through new route: The Kailas Mansarovar yatra  will commence June 8, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on February, 19 while announcing that elderly pilgrims and those with mobility issues will now be able to visit Mount Kailash for the first time via a motorable route passing through China. "The yatra until 2014 was through only one way via the Lipulekh pass (in Uttarakhand), which was very difficult and only the youth or a very fit person could go on that route.

"There is now the Nathula pass, a motorable route and comfortable to use. The old and people with mobility issues can also go this time by car till Kailas and Mansarovar," said Sushma Swaraj.

The new motorable route via Nathula on the Bharat-China border from east Sikkim to Shigatse, the second biggest city in Tibet, was added after a memorandum of understanding was signed between the two countries during Pradhan Mantri Narendra Modi`s visit to Beijing in September 2014. Eighteen batches of 60 people each will pass through the old route whereas five batches of 50 people each will use the new route to reach Kailash Mansarovar in Tibet. --goTop


5.  WORLD SCIENCE OCEAN CONGRESS & EXPO--2015: The four-day World Ocean Science Congress & Expo--2015 (WOSC), jointly organized by Swadeshi Science Movement and Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (KUFOS) was held at Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium, Kochi from February 5 to 8. The Congress was inaugurated by Honourable Governor of Kerala Justice P Sathasivam. Secretary General of Vijnan Bharati A Jayakumar said, "The members of the WOSC consortium will sit together to evolve a comprehensive policy document based on the recommendations drawn over the concern of fishing community and will submit it to the Prime Minister."

The Congress witnessed the presence of various scientists, oceanographers and marine experts from across the world. About 450 technical papers were presented, in 13 sessions, by 86 Bharatiya and 14 foreign institutions.

Fishermen and fisherwomen meets were organised as part of the Congress. They turned platforms for the fishing community to raise their concerns before the scientific community.  --goTop


6.   Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvati our creators also: Jamiat Ulema mufti: Jamiat Ulema's Mufti Muhammad Ilyas has said that Lord Shiva was Muslims' first prophet adding that all Muslims were the followers of Sanatan Dharma. Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati are our creators also. He added that we are not opposed to declaring Bharat a Hindu country.   --goTop


7.  Bharat successfully tests N-capable Prithvi-II missile: Bharat on February 19, successfully test-fired its indigenously developed nuclear-capable surface-to-surface Prithvi II missile, with a range of 350 km, from a test range near Balasore. The missile is capable of carrying 500 kg to 1,000 kg of warheads. It was a perfect launch and all mission objectives were met. The missile was test-fired from a mobile launcher in salvo mode from launch complex-3 at Chandipur. "The missile trajectory was tracked by DRDO radars, electro-optical tracking systems and telemetry stations located along the coast of Odisha," defense sources said.

"The downrange teams onboard the ship deployed near the designated impact point in the Bay of Bengal monitored the terminal events and splashdown," they said.  --goTop


8. DRDO sets up world's highest research station in Ladakh: The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has established the world's highest research station in Ladakh. Situated at an altitude of 17,500 feet at Chang La, about 80 km east of Leh, the research station will be used to develop and validate cold weather technologies. The earlier record for being the highest research station was held by Pyramid Laboratory which is situated at an altitude of 16,500 feet at the base of the Everest in Nepal. The building of the research station at Chang La, where temperatures can fall as low as minus 40 degrees Celsius, is complete. It is expected to be formally inaugurated soon.

DRDO scientists said that the station would be used for extreme altitude bio-medical research, material research, agro-animal research and green house technology and conservation of endangered species of plants.  --goTop


9.  Scriptures Mention Gravity 1500 Years Before Isaac Newton:  G Madhavan Nair on February 21 said that some shlokas in the Vedas mention the presence of water on the moon, and that astronomy experts like Aryabhatta knew about gravitational force much before Issac Newton. The 71-year-old Padma Vibhushan awardee said the Bharatiya Vedas and ancient scriptures also had information on metallurgy, algebra, astronomy, maths, architecture and astrology way before the western world knew about them. Speaking at an international conference on Vedas, he however, added that the information in vedas was in a "condensed format", which he said made it difficult for modern science to accept it.

"Some sholkas in one of the Vedas say that there is water on the moon but no one believed it. Through our Chandrayaan mission, we could establish that and we were the first ones to find that out," Nair said.

"Even for Chandrayaan, the equation of Aryabhatta was used. Even the (knowledge of) gravitational field... Newton found it some 1500 years later... the knowledge existing (in our scriptures)," he added. Nair, who was ISRO chairman from 2003 to 2009, also claimed geometry was used to make calculations for building cities during the Harappan civilisation and that the Pythagorean theorem also existed since the Vedic period.  --goTop


10.  HAL hands over SU-30 fitted with BrahMos to IAF: Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has handed over fully integrated first Sukhoi SU-30 with BrahMos supersonic cruise missile to the Indian Air Force. T Suvarna Raju, Chairman, HAL, said, "Su-30 has become a very lethal weapon delivery platform with the successful integration of BrahMos supersonic cruise missile." Raju said that HAL has provided a cost effective indigenous solution to BAPL (BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited).

"This is a proud moment for HAL. The successful completion of the first Su-30 aircraft integrated with BrahMos missile shows the synergy between DRDO, HAL and IAF. We are hopeful of rolling out the second aircraft in a record time", he said at the ongoing Aero India 2015 at Yelahanka airbase.  --goTop


11.  PROJECTS FOR 7 FRIGATES, 6 N-SUBMARINES OKAYED: The Government has given the go-ahead for Rs1-lakh crore proposals to indigenously construct seven stealth frigates and six nuclear-powered submarines with the frigate project set to cost Rs50,000 crore. Four stealth frigates will be constructed by Mazagon Docks, Mumbai and Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE), Kolkata will build the remaining three. The two dockyards are public sector undertakings. The new frigates will have more potent weapon systems besides advanced stealth features to avoid detection by enemy radars. Similarly, seven nuclear-powered submarines (SSN) will be built by Ship Building Centre, Visakhapatnam.

Nuclear-powered submarines are the need of the day as they can remain underwater and undetected for months together unlike the diesel submarines which have to surface after some days to replenish supply of oxygen for charging the batteries.   --goTop


12.  Sikh langars feed the homeless in Britain: Sikh langars are popular across the world not just because the food is free, but because the meals served in langars are always delicious. In Britain, it is becoming more and more popular with the homeless, because they consider the food a 'luxury'. The BBC quotes John Davidson a 55-year-old homeless man as saying, "We come here because we get food... A hot meal. It's a luxury for me." Langars are a common in Britain because of the sizable Sikh population, who are duty bound to carry out Seva. And serving food in langars are a part of that.

While Sikh Welfare and Awareness Team (SWAT) serve meals to the poor and homeless in London's strand every Sunday, according to the report Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara in Southall, supposed to be biggest Sikh temple outside Bharat, says it serves 5,000 meals on weekdays and 10,000 meals on weekends. BBC quotes Surinder Singh Purewal of the temple management team as saying, "We don't mind it. As long as people show respect, are not intoxicated and cover their heads in line with our traditions, then everyone is welcome."  --goTop


13.  Bharatiya-American Wins Prestigious Chemistry Award: A Bharatiya-American, who developed an environment friendly field analyzer for checking toxic arsenic levels in water, has been awarded a prestigious award for his special contribution in the field of chemistry. Purnendu Dasgupta, a Jenkins Garrett professor of chemistry at The University of Texas at Arlington, has been awarded the 2015 American Chemical Society Division of Analytical Chemistry J. Calvin Giddings Award.

The national award recognizes a scientist, who has enhanced the professional development of analytical chemistry students, developed and published innovative experiments, designed and improved equipment or teaching labs and published influential textbooks or significant articles on teaching analytical chemistry.

As the recipient of the award, Dasgupta will receive a plaque and cash prize. He will also attend the ACS national conference in August in Boston, where he will address and participate in an awards symposium on education in analytical chemistry. Dasgupta's research area includes: methods for environment-friendly analysis of arsenic in drinking water; iodine nutrition in women and infants and the role of the chemical perchlorate; and the development of a NASA-funded ion chromatograph for testing extraterrestrial soil, such as on a trip to Mars.

He is the author of more than 400 scientific papers and book chapters and holds 25 US patents.  --goTop


14.  BHARATIYA-American Appointed as US Special Envoy and Coordinator: Bharatiya-American Rashad Hussain has been appointed as Special Envoy and Coordinator for Strategic Counter-terrorism Communications to expand global engagement and partnerships of the US to counter violent extremism. 37-year-old Mr Hussain is currently the Special Envoy of the US to Organization for Islamic Countries (OIC). He will also serve as Coordinator of the Center for Strategic Counter-terrorism Communications, established at the direction of President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2010 to coordinate, orient, and inform government-wide strategic communications focused on violent extremists and terrorist organizations.

Mr Hussain received his Juris Doctor from Yale Law School. He also earned his Master's degrees in Public Administration (Kennedy School of Government) and Arabic and Islamic Studies from Harvard University. His academic writings have focused on national security, constitutional law, and civil liberties. In January 2013, Mr Hussain received the Distinguished Honor Award which was given for exceptionally outstanding service to the agencies of the US Government resulting in achievements of marked national or international significance. Mr Hussain, son of Bharatiya immigrants from Bihar, is a Hafiz of the holy Quran. Hafiz is a term used for someone who has completely memorized the Quran.  --goTop


15. Bharatiya-American named first US chief data scientist: A 45 year old Bharatiya-American has been named the first chief data scientist to shape policies and practices that will help the US remain a leader in technology and innovation. Dhanurjay 'DJ' Patil joins the White House following "an incredible career as a data scientist, in the public and private sectors, and in academia", said Megan Smith, chief technology officer, the White House.  --goTop


16.  Mummified Monk Sits Inside Ancient Buddha Statue: Researchers at the Drents Museum in the Netherlands made a shocking discovery when they imaged an ancient Chinese statue and found a nearly 1,000-year-old mummy inside. Sitting in the lotus position, the mummy fits within the statue perfectly. "On the outside, it looks like a large statue of Buddha," the museum said in a release. "Scan research has shown that on the inside, it is the mummy of a Buddhist monk who lived around the year 1100." Glowing through the statue's golden cast, the human skeleton is believed to belong to Buddhist master Liu Quan, a member of the Chinese Meditation School. To further investigate the mummy, the researchers took the statue to the Meander Medical Center in Amersfoort and carried out an endoscopy and additional CT scans. They found out that Liu Quan's internal organs had been removed and replaced with scripts covered in Chinese writing. The museum speculates Liu Quan may have "self-mummified" in order to become a "living Buddha."

The Buddha statue is currently on display at the National Museum of Natural History in Budapest.   --goTop


17.  Sewa International Launches 2015 Yuva for Sewa Summer Internship: Sewa International has launched its annual Yuva for Sewa (YFS), 8 to 10-week volunteer summer internship opportunity for college students to travel to Bharat to contribute their time to serve humanity. Since its inception in 2006, 52 YFS youth interns have volunteered their time for healthcare, education, environment, women's empowerment, rural development, and microfinance. Interns work with community NGOs to serve and engage in an empowering self-transformative experience to make an impact in their chosen field.

To know more about the Yuva for Sewa program, log on to Interested candidates apply online at   --goTop


18. NRI COUPLE HELPS RURAL STUDENTS DECODE SCIENTIFIC CONCEPTS: Sandhya Gupta, who did her PhD on semi conductors from IOWA State University in the US, and her husband, Sarit Sharma, who is also a PhD in electrical engineering from the same university, now run a centre by the name of Avishkar near Palampur in Himachal Pradesh. At the centre, simple things such as plastic bottles and pipes are used to make children understand the concept of air pressure and mathematical fractions.

Every Sunday, students from across Kangra district gather at Avishkar and perform simple scientific experiments. They also learn about simple mathematical problems through images and visuals.  --goTop


19.  SWAYAMSEVAKS JOIN RESCUE OPERATION: Sethu Govindan, a RSS swayamsevak and a software engineer of Bengaluru, was on his way to meet his relatives at Pandalam in Kerala. He was travelling by Ernakulam-bound Bengaluru City-Ernakulam Intercity Express on February 13 morning. Unfortunately, the train got derailed near Anekal, the outskirts of Bengaluru. Ten passengers died and hundreds were injured. Several passengers Including Sethu Govindan rushed for rescue. Sethu also informed the local swayamsevaks, they arrived immediately and joined the rescue operation. More than 50 swayamsevaks also donated blood for the injured passengers. The swayamsevaks also helped the local Police.  --goTop


20. Separatism restricted to 5 distRICTS of JAMMU AND KASHMIR that comprise "Kashmiri-speaking Sunni Muslims" - a category that includes former CM Omar Abdullah and PDP's Mehbooba Mufti among others. "Two of the three regions are not Muslim majority areas. 85,000 square kilometres are not...When you talk of separatism, there haven't been any protests against Bharat in this 85 per cent area till date", Akhil Bharatiya Sah Sampark Pramukh of RSS Arun Kumar said. He was speaking at a seminar on 'Parliament's Unanimous Resolution on Jammu & Kashmir 22 February, 1994'.

There's an area in J & K comprising five districts where there is a section of community, Kashmiri-speaking Sunni Muslims. All of them are from there", Kumar said. "Poonch has 90 per cent Muslims, Kargil has 90 per cent Muslims, Kargil city has more than 99 per cent Muslims...there was not a single protest. Our perception about J&K is that a battle between nationalism and separatism is going on for past 68 years. Nationalism has neither lost nor it will because in most areas of the state, majority of the people are nationalists", he added.  --goTop


21.  6 BHARATIYAS  FIGURE IN FORBES' 50 ASIAN POWER WOMEN LIST: Six Bharatiyas, including State Bank of India chairman Arundhati Bhattacharyya and Biocon founder Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, figure in the Forbes's 2015 list of Asia's 50 Power Businesswomen showcasing a year of accomplishments by the region's female entrepreneurs and executives.

Apart from Bhattacharya and Shaw, other Bharatiyas in the list are: Akhila Srinivasan, MD -  Shriram Life Insurance/Shriram Capital; Chanda Kochhar, MD and CEO of ICICI Bank; Shika Sharma, MD and CEO of Axis Bank; and Usha Sangwan, MD of LIC of India.

For the first time, women from emerging economies Mongolia and Myanmar made it to the list. While Garamjav Tseden is the founder and chairman of Mongolian mining company Monpolymet, Myanmar's Win Win Tint "took the family grocery store and created a retail giant that spans supermarkets, convenience stores, pharmacies, book stores and more". The list also includes women achievers from Taiwan, Singapore, Indonesia and Australia.  --goTop


22.  SHRI VISHWA NIKETAN: Pravas: Shri Saumitra Gokhale samyojak Vishwa Vibhag will return to Bharat after pravas to Malaysia and Singapore. Dr.Ram Vaidya sahsamyojak will return to Bharat after pravas to Nigeria and Ghana. Visitors: Sai Patil, USA, P Pandey - Mauritius 


THOUGHT OF THE DAY: Come together, speak together, together let your minds arrive at a common understanding, just as the ancient Divinities in a common Knowing honour the same Good. - Rig Veda X.191.2  --goTop



Ancient corporates

Madhukar SJB Rana

What are the features of a modern corporation? Briefly, they comprise a legal personality separate from owners; exist in perpetuity unless liquidated; with a centralised management that is appointed managerial rights; limited liability; shares are liquid; policy and execution is separate; and boards are elected through majorities, not consensus.

The preconditions for development of corporations on the demand side are trade expansion and huge capital needs to finance it, along with funds for research and development and innovation in new technologies and opportunities for economies of scale. On the supply side, creditors are able to know and monitor corporate assets and minimise risks. On the market side, people with surplus funds can monitor and gauge the profit and loss of the enterprise due to transparency, permuting rapid growth.

Vedic corporates

Professor Alfred Chandler of Harvard University conceives corporations as one of the greatest legacies of the US to human civilisation, as a source of globalisation and prosperity through a 'visible hand' and not Adam Smith's 'invisible hand'. Recently, University of Michigan Professor Vikramaditya Khanna argued that such corporations had existed since the Vedic Age (1000 BC-800 BC) as ancient Vedic corporates or srenis. Khanna also underscores that the first modern corporation was, really, the British East India Company, founded in 1600.

Corporations were born in the city states Mohenjo Daro, Ganweriwalla, and Harappa of the Indus Valley and developed rapidly, as proof of their adaptive resilience in the centralised empire of the Mauryan dynasty (250 BC) and later, the decentralised empire of the Gupta Era (400 AD). Their modernisation and development was retarded by the onslaught of Islam and Christianity when Hindu Bharat as a super power lost its place and glory, so brilliantly established in world history by the likes of Emperor Chandragupta Maurya and Ashoka the Great.

Clearly, srenis were harbingers of empires through trade, currency, standardisation of weights and measures, common laws, and investment in infrastructure.

Managing srenis

Chanakya's Arthasastra was an ancient masterpiece written on how to govern, rule, and expand the empire. Chanakya, who was instrumental in pushing out the Greeks who came to  Bharat with Alexander the Great, recognised the role of srenis in the body politic as engines of growth. However, he sought to regulate them so that they did not become a threat to the central authority as they were well organised, financially strong, and totally devolved.

Thus, elaborate rules and regulations were designed to govern their conduct through quality, pricing, levies, and taxes. The rules of conduct governed fraud, liabilities, negligence, and loss. Partition of assets was based on agreement, equality, or measured on contributions based on skill, labour, and capital invested.

Each distinct trade had a sreni with people from all castes and creeds, as in medieval European guilds. Eighteen to 150 srenis have been identified and studied, which consisted of money lenders, barbers, jewellers, weavers, bamboo workers, carpenters, traders, and ivory workers. Disputes were settled through arbitration. Interestingly, such an economic organisation was also to be found in municipal and political activities.

Srenis could have a general assembly with as many as 1,000 members. Some were headed in dynastic fashion while others through elections. Moral and ethical codes of Hinduism were paramount - duty, loyalty, and honesty. Obviously, men of wealth, status, experience, and knowledge of the Vedas with close access to the royal court could only head the enterprise. They were thus drawn from the aristocracy. But the general assembly could remove the Headman, who was supported by four to five elected executives to work with and under him.

Modern srenis

In the Gupta era, Chandragupta the Great kept active trading contact with other nations in Asia and Europe. And the Bharatiya economy flourished with much greater trade and advancement in iron technology as well as resurgence in science, art, and mathematics. Safe trading routes were provided with much more flexibility and given to srenis to organise and govern themselves. This was a strategic move to prevent srenis defecting to other kingdoms which were once part and parcel of the grander Mauryan Empire but now under the Guptas, established as confederations of kingdoms, which once owed total allegiance to the Mauryas.

Those 'modern' srenis can be compared thus with US corporates. Both were separate legal entities and had centralised management. Both had managements elected by owners. Both could have managements removed and had transferability of interest. Both allowed the agent to bind the entity legally. However, it was probably not a limited liability enterprise.

Rana is a former Finance Minister of Nepal and current professor at the South Asian Institute of Management Kathmandu, - The Kantipur, February 17, 2015.  --goTop


Hindus in US: They have come of age

 Anirudh Bhattacharyya

Last December, Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri was addressing an audience in Wisconsin and she related one of her formative experiences growing up. In third grade, she said, a schoolmate castigated her: "If you don't believe in Jesus, you're going to hell."

That was in a small town in Oklahoma, part of the belt where more Bibles are thumped per capita than there are supporters of American President Barack Obama.

As she was being crowned Miss America, Davuluri uttered the words, "Thank you, Swami!", a statement, that, alongside her duskiness, prompted a barrage of racist and religious bias.

This month, Bharatiya Americans complained after the Hindu Temple Cultural Center near Seattle bore the graffiti, "Get out", coupled with a swastika. Given that Americans are fairly ignorant about Hinduism, that was possibly more Neo-Nazi than anti-Hindu. And in condemning a policeman's assault on Sureshbhai Patel in Alabama, the Hindu American Foundation referred to Patel as a "Hindu Indian''.

That's part of recent trend that of crying Hinduphobia, amid claims of a rise in attacks as the FBI starts tracking specific anti-Hindu crimes this year.

The complaints, ironically, are partly due to growing confidence. With Hare Krishnas chanting at Times Square and gurus preaching to the gullible with their transcendental mendacity, Hinduism in America used to enjoy cult status, though not in a nice way. But second and third generation Bharatiyas growing up Hindu in America, along with IT-enabled immigrants not reticent about their faith, are creating a more assertive Hindu community in the US. Anyone on social media knows how vocal they can be.

In the past decade, their faith has received a fillip, with an invocation to commence a session of the US Senate, the annual White House Diwali ceremony, and the arrival of a clutch of role models. If Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi takes her beliefs seriously, there's a federal judge and a surgeon-general taking their oaths of office on the Bhagwad Gita.

There's also the first Hindu member of the House of Representatives, Tulsi Gabbard, the anti-Bobby Jindal. That Hinduism has entered the cultural mainstream adds another layer of confidence. When this year's Super Bowl-winning quarterback Tom Brady keeps a bronze statuette of Ganesha to, obviously, remove obstacles, Julia Roberts renames her children Laxmi, Ganesh and Krishna Balram, and the President, famously, owns a Hanuman amulet, Hindu kids don't necessarily grow up thinking they're engaging in idle worship. Several factors play into this newfound sense of identity: Once actually excluded from the US, there's now acceptance of Indian immigrants seeking their slice of the American pie.

In many metropolitan areas, all roads appear to lead to Om, with yoga studios as numerous as corner Starbucks brewing lattes. Major retailers have Diwali specials, complete with discounts on that most essential of foods - Maggi noodles. Columns like US Views on God and Life are Turning Hindu in Newsweek and How movies embraced Hinduism feed into that confidence. Hindu student groups are now a presence on major campuses.

As the youth mature, community groups are also coming of age, entering that most American of activities, lobbying on Capitol Hill.

Though some can still seem juvenile, throwing tantrums at every manifestation of cultural crossings. Curiously enough, this saffron strand of the America fabric is pretty much also part of the Democratic Party blue; standing firm on a liberal bias though, at times, aggravated when the President uses an evangelical platform to harangue against apparent intolerance in India.

All that, of course, means Hindus are joining the thriving grievance industry in America, and perceived slights, however slight they may be, will have them doing the human rights hullabaloo.

But they're unapologetic about it. Davuluri, for instance, was speaking at a fundraising event organised by the American Hindu Association.

Anirudh Bhattacharyya is a Toronto-based commentator on American affairs. -- February 20, 2015, The Hindutan Times.  --goTop