Diwali Newsletter October 2014
Message from our President:
On behalf of the Hindu Forum of Europe, I wish all the readers, their families and loved ones a Happy Diwali! Says President Radj Bhondoe seen here posing with the policeman on duty outside the Peers Entrance to House of Lords in the UK.
During our recent visit to the UK our Board met with Lord Dholakia a leading Hindu politician and with the All Party Parliamentary Group for Hindus, as well as attending the Hindu Forum of Britain’s Diwali in Parliament.
Radj made the following observation about the Hindu Community in UK “Diwali reception of the English Parliament. As president of the Hindu Forum of Europe I was on 15 October 2014 invited to the annual Diwali reception of English Parliament.
Prior to the reception I together with my team were received by Bob Blackman, (conservative) member of Parliament and Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Hindus in the country. Earlier we meet with Lord Dholakia (an influential Hindu Lord, of the Liberal Democratic Party. From the conversations I got a good picture of the influence of the Hindus in the country.
A few facts:
1. Hindus form a minority of the UK population (Just under 2% of the population)
2. Hindus are an economically powerful ethnic group, with under 2% of the population they make a contribution of 7% of the GDP. Almost no party in the country can afford to ignore Hindu interests. 3. Hindu lobby groups have an APPG (All Party Parliamentary Group for Hindus). Hindu communities have regular contact and discuss their issues which the APPG then takes up in Parliament.
4. Separate Diwali receptions are organized annually in Parliament and in the 10 Downing Street (the Prime Minister’s Official residence).
At the Diwali reception in Parliament there were about 30 parliamentarians lined up to speak. -Bob Blackman MP spoke about a petition to declare Diwali as a national holiday. -Another English parliamentarian said at the end of his speech “Bolo jai Mata ki … “-Influential parliamentarians including
Ed Miliband (Labour Party leader), John Bercow (Speaker of the House of Commons), William Hague (former Minister of Foreign Affairs) and many others praised the contribution of Hindus to the development of the English economy and society-Representatives of the armed forces praised the contribution of Hindu soldiers who fought on the side of the allies during the 1st and 2nd World Wars.
Radj Said “-Hindus in England itself are not very impressed with their influence in politics, but compared to other parts of the world where they are such a small minority (as in Netherlands) I find that they do tremendously well. Compared to the English Hindus the Dutch Hindus are clearly lagging behind in the area of political influence and have a lot to do to catch up (but there is also so much of the English development to learn).”
More Photos at https://www.facebook.com/HinduForumOfEurope
Hindu Forum of Europe also hosted a dinner and presentation for Hindu leaders of the UK. This was held on the 15th of October in the evening. Some 18 influential Hindu Leaders shared a meal and saw our presentation, which was followed by a conversation on what could be achieved with such an influential body at European and World level.
Visit to a Temple
London is full of temples there are some 50 temples in the greater London area. On the morning of the 16th October our Board visited the BAPs Temple at Neasden North London. Photos on our facebook page.
European Council of Religious Leaders
On the afternoon of 16th October we took the opportunity to meet with Jehangir Sarosh OBE, the Co-moderator of the European Council of Religious Leaders as he leads the cluster which includes the Hindus. We had a full and frank discussion on how the ECRL, and Religions for Peace works as an organisation. You can hear Jehangir here http://www.zoroastrianstories.org/ten-stories/jehangir-sarosh
Our visit was very busy, but we have learned a lot from the different encounters, Political, NGOs, and Spiritual, all of them will help enrich our knowledge and influence the work of the Hindu Forum of Europe. We hope you will continue to support the Hindu Forum of Europe, remember to forward the newsletter to your databases, and remember us when you make your Diwali donation, a little of your money can help us go a long way. Our postal address is Avenue D’Auderghem 197, 1040 Etterbeek, Brussels, Belgium
You can also phone us as below.
We wish you well with your celebration
And to those who follow the Vikramik Calendar, Nutan Varsha Abhinandan. May 2071 be auspicious for you.
Yours in Prayer
Ms BHARTI TAILOR BA HON.
Ms Tailor is currently a Member of the European Council of Religious Leaders and serving as Executive Director to the Hindu Forum of Europe.
Source: WHN Media Network