Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, the first Hindu on Capitol Hill, was named last week (Nov. 9) as chairperson of the World Hindu Congress. The WHC is held every four years and this will be the second one. Gabbard is the first Hindu elected to Congress, and the first legislator to take her oath of office on the Bhagavad Gita in 2013.
A Vaishnava Hindu, Gabbard follows the teachings of karma yoga (selfless service) and the path of bhakti yoga (loving devotion to God), according to a press release from her office. Despite India’s economic boom, Gabbard’s press release says, “Hinduphobia and antiquated stereotypes still continue to pervade western culture, which the congresswoman has decried throughout her career as a prominent female leader in the Vaishnava Hindu community.”
In a video message shared with the media, Gabbard thanked the organizers for choosing her, adding that the Chicago congress would be a “global platform where Hindus will be able to come together and share ideas and inspiration, and seek ways to positively impact the communities around us and around the world.”
“With all that’s happening in the world, the universal message of aloha – love, peace, respect, and unity – is so needed. I am looking forward to working with you and seeing you soon,” Rep. Gabbard said in a video message to the WHC organizers, ending with “Jai Shri Krishna. Namaste.”