Reported By- Barry Nirmal
On February 21, 2015, Hindu Mahasabha of America (HMSA) organized a public meeting in Houston, Texas to commemorate Hindu Heritage Day. This meeting was a great success with enthusiastic participation of many speakers, and attendees. The Consulate General of India, Mr Harish was the Chief Guest. This year, HMSA chose five Hindu heroes to highlight their lives. These heroes are as follows:
(1) Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, who founded the Maratha empire and valiantly fought against the barbaric Mughal rulers, including the hated Aurangjeb;
(2) Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose who founded the INA (Indian National Army) and believed in mobilizing the Indian populace to wage armed struggle to defeat the British colonialist rulers;
(3) Madam Mohan Malviya who founded the BHU (Banares Hindu University) and was an initial leader of the Hindu Mahasbha. He was also a devout Brahmin;
(4) Veer Savarkar, who founded the Hindu Mahasabha, advocated reconversion of the converted into Hinduism, and believed in founding a democratic and secular India but with a Hindu character;
(5) South Indian heroine Kittur Rani Chennamma who was the Queen of Kittur. She led an armed rebellion against the British East India Company in 1824.
The following photo aptly depicts the scene where Indian Consul General Mr. Harish is speaking.
A video of the meeting containing many speeches can be viewed on YouTube at the channel of Barry Nirmal (www.youtube.com/barrynirmal) at the following address:
The meeting started promptly with a short speech by HMSA President, Dr. Talukdar, about the mission of Hindu Mahasabha of America (HMSA). He pointed out that the mission of HMSA is to create public awareness about issues affecting Hindus everywhere, with special emphasis on Hindus living in India and the United States. Towards this end, HMSA organizes Hindu Memorial Day every year to pay homage to the countless Hindus who have perished in the past at the hands of our oppressors, especially during the barbaric Mughal empire and the brutal British colonialist rule over India.
The next speaker was Anurupa Cinar who is the author of a book about Savarkar, “Burning for Freedom”. Using Powerpoint slides, she spoke about the glorious life of this great Hindu revolutionary who fought against the British government. He advocated dismantling the caste system of Hindu culture, and reconversion of the converted Hindus back to Hindu religion. Savarkar created the term Hindutva, and emphasized its distinctiveness from Hinduism which he associated with social and political communalism. The stated aim of Savarkar’s Hindutva was to create an inclusive collective identity. Gandhi and Nehru who preached pacifism and defeatism to the Hindus opposed Veer Savarkar.
She talked about how while being transported on a ship to Britain to face charges, when the ship S.S. Morea reached the port of Marseille, Savarkar in 1910 escaped from his cell through a pothole and dived into water, and swam to the shore. Savarkar was rearrested in France but his daring escape makes every Hindu proud of this great fighter.
Next Mr. Anand Chatterjee spoke about the life of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. He stated that Netaji was inspired by the Hindu nationalist writings of Swami Vivekananda. He also said that Swami Vivekananda taught Hindus to be fearless and have boundless faith in oneself, because the Upanishad on page after page talks about fearlessness. Fearlessness is the message of the Upanishad and also of the teachings of Swami Vivekananda who inspired Netaji S. C. Bose.
The next speaker was Mr. Bashista Sharma who leads a law firm in Houston. He comes from the West Indies and is a proud Hindu. He talked about the life of Madan Mohan Malviya.
The next speaker was a young Hindu girl who talked about the life of Kittur Rani Chennamma.
The next speaker was Mr. Rahul Nirmal who talked about the life of Chhatrapati Shivaji. He said that Shivaji carved out an enclave from the declining sultanate of Bijapur that formed the nucleus of the Maratha Empire. This Martaha empire was of great importance for the Hindus because it fought the barbaric Mughal rulers like the hated Aurangjeb. In 1674, Shivaji was formally crowned as the Chhatrapati ( Monarch) of his kindgom.
Shivaji established a competent and progressive civil rule with the help of a disciplined military and well-structured administrative organizations. He innovated military tactics, pioneering the guerrilla warfare methods which leveraged strategic factors like geography, speed, and surprise and focused pinpoint attacks to defeat his larger and more powerful enemies. From a small contingent of 2,000 soldiers inherited from his father, Shivaji created a force of 100,000 soldiers; he built and restored strategically located forts both inland and coastal to safeguard his territory. He revived ancient Hindu political traditions and court conventions and promoted the usage of Marathi and Sanskrit, rather than Persian in court and administration.
This was followed by the speech by the Chief Guest, Mr. Harish, Consul General of India.
The meeting concluded with a short speech by HMSA President, Dr. Talukdar, who thanked all the speakers for taking their valuable time to prepare speeches and attend this meeting.
At the end we also had a coffee break where the attendees socialized over hot tea and warm samosas. Many people paid dues to join Hindu Mahasabha.
** The End **
Source: WHN Media Network
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