Hindus in Atlanta got together for an eventful protest against CNN‘s Hinduphobia, outside their HQ. We were happy with the turn-out. This also sets a good precedent for Hindus to be cohesively united against attacks on our community, and we will only keep getting better at it.
Nicely encapsulated by Suresh Krishnamoorthy ji below, are the views we held and communicated to the News Network, Tv-asia Channel, that covered the event for us
“1. We do not distance ourselves from Aghoris. We consider them as much a part of dharmic traditions as other so-called mainstream groups
2. Sanatana Dharma is a big tent. We accept that people are different in temperament, ability and desires and so they seek to live their lives ethically within a dharmic framework in their own way.
3. There is no room in Sanatana Dharma for conversions – either in or out. The big tent approach also accepts that Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs, agnostics, Mennonites, atheists are all entitled to live their lives based upon their beliefs. We do not seek to convert them to dharmic traditions and ask they don’t seek to convert vulnerable Hindus either.
4. While we do not distance ourselves from the Aghoris, we also do not prescribe that lifestyle for all followers of Dharma. (see 2)
5. The entire construct of caste is a western construct visited upon the people of India – the word caste is not found in any native indian language and comes from the portuguese word ‘casta’. No canonical indian work ever refers to caste
6. There is no word for untouchable in Sanskrit. The west often applies that word indiscriminately and completely out of context. Chandala, Brashta,
7. The Bhakti traditions in Sanatana Dharma are full of poets and saints who were from the Shudra varna. Valmiki, the revered author of the Ramayana was a shudra as was Nandanar, a tamil poet, as was TulsiDas
8. After the British divided India based on caste, there is certainly social tensions among various groups in India but none of it is sanctioned by the religion itself.
9. No one practices untouchability as a socially accepted behavior in India. If you don’t believe us, try getting on a commuter train in Mumbai and not touch someone, let alone figure out if they are ‘untouchable’