125 yrs after Vivekananda’s speech, world unity a new

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 29 Aug 2018 08:49:22



A CENTURY-and-a-quarter after Swami Vivekananda’s rousing speech to the World Parliament of Religions here in 1893, the World Hindu Congress has declared its objective to re-connect the 1.1 billion Hindus worldwide with their common heritage and their spiritual link to people of all other denominations.

For three days, beginning September 7, about 2,300 delegates will converge at the Westin Hotel in Lombard, a Chicago suburb, to deliberate, introspect and draw out a plan of action in keeping with the World Hindu Congress conference motto derived from Chapter 37 of the Hindu epic Mahabharata -- Sumantrite Suvikrante (Think Collectively, Act Valiantly) and from the Rig Veda: Sam Gacchadhvam Sam Vadadhvam (Stay Together, Express Together).

The Westin Hotel is some 32 km from the Art Institute of Chicago, where Vivekananda’s bust commemorates the spot he spoke from.

Many religious leaders are scheduled to attend the Hindu Congress conference. A video message from the Dalai Lama, who had to drop out due to frail health, will be screened. Speakers in the various events include professor Ved Nanda of the University of Denver; Lord Jitesh Gadhia, the youngest Briton of Indian origin in the House of Lords; Swati Dandekar, a former legislator from Iowa; Congressman Raja Krishnmoorthi; Columbia professor Arvind Panagariya, a former economic advisor to the Indian Government; and the actor, Anupam Kher.

The overwhelming majority of the 2,300 delegates -- 1,300 -- are from North America, with other delegates coming from 60 countries. For Indian immigrants, much has changed in Chicago since 1893.