Hindus of Greater Houston: On to Wider Agenda and Broader Leadership

HGH in

From left, top: Richa Dixit, Vinod Mantri, Partha Krishnaswamy,  Swapan Dhairyawan, Sanjay Jain, Atul Kothari,    Anshuman Desai.
From left, front: Vijay Pallod, Girish Naik, Venugopal Menon, Dev Mahajan, Tupil Narasimhan, and Sharad Amin.
Photo: Bhagwan Bhutada.

By Dr. Venugopal Menon

HOUSTON: With well over a hundred thousand and steadily growing population, Hindus are distinctly the third largest religious community in the Greater Houston area.  The last four decades witnessed the creation of several temples and organizations catering to the spiritual, social and philosophic needs of the faith, engaging various sections of the community.  Since Hindu faith has not been formulated on any regimented guidelines and had functioned serving selective groups with discrete interests, most of these organizations have remained independent yet open to all.

About twenty five years ago some of the wise and visionary stalwarts in the community made an attempt to bring all the Hindus under one umbrella, celebrating Janmashtami, the birth of God Krishna, the universal Hindu deity, revered by all sections of the faith.  The brilliant concept got established and got expanded, creating a feeling of unity and camaraderie between the several factions of Hindus in Houston.

Over 2 years ago, Hindus of Greater Houston committee formed  an  Advisory Board, consisting of primarily, heads of temples/ organizations with the objectives of functioning as a link to the several units, incorporating the interests of every group, enhancing their efficiency and minimizing possible duplication.

The need and urgency of such unity was felt essential for several reasons: to create harmony among all the Hindus to approach and handle situations of common interests in a collective fashion, to raise the younger generation as belonging to one faith beyond the barriers of language, states, customs and factions and to establish an awareness in the mainstream about Hindu religion on equal footing as a major, recognizable, global religion with about a billion followers and flourishing since antiquity. Hindus of Greater Houston  adopted the following renewed mission statement:
– to uphold the lofty ideals of ‘Sanatan Dharma’ (Eternal Consciousness),
– to respect the divinity in all humans,
– to promote Hindu solidarity,
– to inspire Hindus of the splendor of our convictions,
– to propagate understanding and dispel misinformation about our faith,
– to provide guidance and to function as an umbrella organization protecting the needs of all the Hindus in the greater Houston area and beyond, and
– to coexist with camaraderie and compassion with factions of other faiths.

In order to fulfill the mission and goals noted above, HGH committee  decided to expand to include five new members with established, impeccable credentials of commitment in the community, thus complementing the present, already proven, competent group of leaders.  The following are the members of HGH Board: Sharad Amin, Vijay Pallod, Partha Krishnaswamy, Thara Narasimhan, Richa Dixit, Vinod Mantri, Dharminder Dargan, Sanjay Jajoo, Radha Dixit, Bhagwan Bhutada, Girish Naik, Swapan Dhairyawan, Sanjay Jain, Atul Kothari, Tupil Narasimhan, and  Anshuman Desai  .