I am pleased to post the following interview with a website associated with Hindu Religion – Sadhana. This New York based organization is working since 2011 in building a progressive Hindu moment. Sadhana is a mechanism and a platform for progressive Hindus to speak up and act for progressive social values and social justice.
Hindu Blog – Hinduism is a living religion. So what do you mean when you say you are attempting to build a progressive Hindu religion?
Sadhana – We feel that many Hindus may be doing work for social justice -- helping the poor, and those that are discriminated against, protecting the environment, etc -- but do so quietly. Many Hindus stand opposed to discrimination based on race, religion, caste, gender, sexual orientation, but don't speak up as Hindus. Sadhana is building a platform of progressive Hinduism so that others can join us. We think it is critical that those of us for whom our Hindu faith is centered in pluralism must speak up. Not doing so is tantamount to relinquishing Hinduism to those who are driven by bigotry and Hindu defensiveness.
Hindu Blog – How do you plan to reach out to the common Hindu – the believer. Especially on topics like social justice and social action.
Sadhana – We are reaching out daily to the common Hindu -- the believer.
We reach out to Hindus through temples, community organizations and on college campuses, and our message is always about the message of oneness at the heart of Hinduism, and also the fact that karma yoga -- the yoga of action -- is a very valid and hallowed way for Hindus to practice their religion. Some of us are involved in teaching a Bala Vihar -- Hinduism classes for young kids -- and the kids are involved in seva projects and have open discussions about social justice teachings in all the stories. Was Rama fair to Sita? Was Draupadi a feminist? Is the story of Ekalavya one of caste discrimination?
Hindu Blog – Socialists (communists) in India failed to recognize Hinduism. Had they accepted Hinduism as the soul of India, they would have been the ruling party in India. A first look at your website articles gives the idea that you are attempting to mix socialism and Hinduism. Which the Left in India did not do but are attempting now. How far this is true?
Sadhana – Sadhana is not a political organization. We are a group of Hindus that are working on a two-pronged mission: firstly, we are mobilizing Hindus to stand for and act for justice for all, including Mother Earth; and secondly, we make sure that the Hindu voice and presence is a part of the critical social justice movements of our time.
Hindu Blog – Islamophobia is there among a large section of Hindus. How do you plan to overcome it?
Sadhana – We keep returning to the teaching of ekatva -- we are one. If we are one, there is no room for prejudice towards another.
Hindu Blog – When you are publishing articles like ‘Sadhana Condemns Appointment of Adityanath as UP Chief Minister’ – you are getting political. How do you plan to influence the political thought of Hindus? The above article is sure to attract widespread criticism from Hindus who support the ruling party. How do you plan to overcome it?
Sadhana – We must speak up against hatred being articulated and perpetrated in the name of Hinduism.
When a Hindu yogi who is elected Chief Minister makes incendiary statements calling for violence to Muslims, we can't be quiet. It is our dharma to say loudly, "Not in Our Name."
Hindu Blog – What is your short term and long term goal?
Sadhana – We want to build a powerful Hindu force for justice in this world -- Hindus who stand for the rights of all.
We see ourselves as a Hindu reform movement.
Hindu Blog – If someone wishes to work with you or join in your campaigns how can they do it?Sadhana – We welcome people to contact us through our website – sadhana.org
In this section in hindu-blog.com - interview readers, people who write regularly to the blog, writers and editors associated with Hinduism, Hindu bloggers and editors, Saints, skeptics, Hindu websites and other religious people. If you have suggestions or want get published please do write to hindublog @ gmail.com