The World Hindu Congress 2014, also known as WHC is a large conference that covers a large variety of social and economic industries. The WHC occurs every 4 years and this year is taking place in India’s capital city in late November. The core purpose behind the World Hindu Congress in 2014 is to provide a international platform for Hindu society to formulate and share ways Hindus can impact, influence and help global issues taking place worldwide that are also workable, tangible and can be implemented. More than 200 speakers are set to address 45 sessions over 3 days. Approximately 1500 delegates are joining from over 30 countries, especially nations where there is a large Hindu diaspora.
The theme of 2014′s WHC is Sangachchhadhwam Samvadadhwam, which means ”Step together, Express together” and is run by Swami Vigyananand, an academic turned spiritual guru. Swami Vigyananand is not the average Swami, with a strong history of academia, having a Bachelors in Technology from IIT (Kharagpur), a post-graduate in Panini Sanskrit Grammar and a post-doctorate (Phd) in Eastern Philosophy. Swami Vigyananand stated that the WHC aims to develop an institutional framework where Dharmic professionals, activists and leaders can come and debate issues of common importance, not only religious.
Although the WHC is not a new initiative; only in recent years has it bloomed into a forum able to attract top speakers and influence professional leaders in economic and social areas. The first WHC was organised in 1966 at Prayag (also referred to as Allahabad) during the Hindu festival known as Kumbh Mela, but didn’t touch on Economic issues and instead focused more on Hindu social issues.
This year’s World Hindu Congress will be using a new wide format, where 7 sub-conferences will be happening simultaneously in New Delhi to attract leaders across all walks of life and help facilitate cross-networking. The 7 sub-conferences cover topics including Economics, Women’s Rights, Education and Media. A full list and description of each sub-conference can be found below:
Hindu Women Conference: Women comprise approximately fifty percent of Hindu society, and are playing an increasingly important role around the globe in many important fields. In this changing world, the conference aims to come up with strategies of how Hindu women can be at the forefront of the Hindu renaissance and resurgence.
Hindu Economic Conference: The primary goal of this global economic conference is to provide a platform to Hindu businessmen & women, professionals, and aspiring entrepreneurs to play an important role in the world economy as well as play a decisive role in Hindu society and its welfare.
Hindu Political Conference: With politics playing a decisive role in modern societal discourse, the goal is to provide a platform to Hindu Parliamentarians, Legislators, Ministers, Governors, Diplomats and Aspiring Politicians from all over the world, so that Hindu politicians can develop strategies to act as a voice for Hindu society in their respective countries, especially in nations where Hindu communities face discrimination and violence.
Hindu Educational Conference: The world is rapidly moving towards becoming a knowledge based society and economy and it is imperative that Hindu society develop quality and reputable educational institutions. Along with building an educational frame work to provide the necessary skills and tools for the next generation of Hindu children and youth, so that they are able to overcome the trials and tribulations that face Hindu civilization and correct false representation of Hinduism where present.
Hindu Organizational Conference: The primary goal is to provide a platform for the Hindu organizations, associations and institutions that are nobly working to serve Hindu society in their individual capacities. This conference’s objective is to bring them together through effective networking and empowerment so that they can serve Hindu community in an improved manner, and to realize that there is a Hindu identity that transcends the sectional identities.
Hindu Youth Conference: The intent of the Hindu Youth Conference is to provide a platform to Hindu students & young professionals from all over the world to discuss problems confronting Hindus and formulate solutions to those challenges. Additionally this conference will allow Hindu leaders of tomorrow to meet and network with each other so that Hindus can pool their resources across the globe.
Hindu Media Conference: One of the core objectives of the Media conference is building a robust media in every medium to effectively convey the Hindu point-of-view on crucial issues as well as provide a forum to report Hindu events accurately.
Followers of Hinduism make up a population of approximately 1 billion people and is India’s largest religious demographic. When including followers of other Dharma-based faiths (such as Jainism and Buddhism) of which many attendees are followers of, the number is much greater.