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Lokvani Talks To Sanjay Kaul And Abhaya Asthana

Ranjani Saigal

Mr. Kaul is a Professional Civil Engineer, presently working for the Department of Transportation. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts with his wife Bela and two sons.

Mr. Kaul is a life member of World Hindu Council Of America (VHPA) and is currently serving as VP, Sampark-Networking. He is currently coordinating outreach and mobilization effort for the World Hindu Congress (WHC) 2018.
Mr. Kaul is also a life member of Kashmiri Overseas Association (a US based non-profit organization) and has served as its president for two terms. Mr. Kaul was an organizing partner of the Third International Conference on Kashmir held at New Delhi. 
As a representative from USA, Mr. Kaul has attended Global Human Rights Defense (GHRD) Annual Congress at its headquarters -The Hague, Netherlands.
Mr. Kaul was a special invitee from the USA at the World Hindu Conference at Prayag, Allahabad.
Mr. Kaul has made presentations to Indian leaders, Government of India (GOI) representatives, and international leaders, representing the views and aspirations of Kashmiri Hindus.

Dr. Abhaya Asthana is a Fellow at Nokia Bell Labs-CTO leading research in cognitive, self reliable networks of the future. Outside of science and technology, his passion is to learn about Hindu Dharma and history, practice it and pass it on to the children. His mission is to help Hindus living in America remain Hindus, and through their lives contribute to the richness of their adopted land. He is the President of World Hindu Council of America (VHPA) and the Convener for the upcoming World Hindu Congress 2018 in Chicago.

Could you tell us a little about the World Hindu Congress? 

Hindu community today is experiencing a major resurgence around the world. Today we are making major contributions in sciences, technology, economics, we are running world class corporations, and are building a strong footprint in the political arena around the globe. Thus far, most of these have been individual successes stories. The next big step is to build these individual successes into a collective force that can make its presence felt on the world stage. 

To that end I am excited to tell you about a major event that will take place in Chicago in September 2018. This event is called the World Hindu Congress. It will bring more than 2000 movers and shakers of the Hindu community from all over the world under one roof. They will discuss, debate and strategize for 3 days to develop roadmap for boosting the profile of the Hindu community on the world stage.

When people are able to come together on a shared platform for a shared purpose, inspired by shared values, only good things happen. But such opportunities for Hindus, specifically, have been few and far between. The World Hindu Congress seeks to change that.

In the past, Hindus have held a number of forums and conferences intermittently. But the outcomes of resulting resolutions and implementation of action plans have been sporadic at best. Many of these events never covered dimensions critically important to Hindus such as education, media, politics, and economy with regularity. Moreover, not many of these events were cross-dimensional in nature. 

Hindus have both spiritual and secular needs. Unfortunately, many of the secular needs and challenges have been left for others to handle. The WHC seeks to fill in this very important gap. It works as a platform to bring out and address secular challenges and opportunities facing Hindus in different parts of the world. 

Its purposefulness and comprehensiveness enables Hindus from around the globe to come together regularly and consistently on a shared platform for a shared purpose, inspired by shared values. 

The World Hindu Congress is an informal organization organized by World Hindu Foundation. But it is dependent on the efforts of volunteers representing Hindu organizations from around the world. Each Congress will be held in a different part of the world. All Hindu organizations, associations, and institutions are encouraged to participate and invited to become partners in World Hindu Congress. Yato Dharmas Tato Jayah - Where there is dharma, there is victory.  

The first World Hindu Congress was held on November 21-23, 2014 in New Delhi, Bharat. Its resounding success laid the foundation from which World Hindu Congress 2018 (WHC 2018) will continue in building a consistent global platform for Hindus to come together on a shared platform for a shared purpose, inspired by shared values. 

Guided by the Hindu principle, Sumantrite Suvikrante WHC 2018 is a movement not to be missed. 

 What motivated you to coordinate something like this? 

We are committed to the idea to move the Hindu society into the twenty-first century and beyond by providing a global platform to deliberate and devise workable and tangible solutions to the challenges being faced by Hindus throughout the world. 

This year marks the 125th anniversary of Swami Vivekananda’s historic address to the Parliament of World Religions, it was motivating enough for us to organize WHC-2018 in the USA and that too in Chicago. Hindus from around the world and from all backgrounds are invited to actively participate from September 7-9, 2018.

The theme envisioned for the second World Hindu Congress is the Hindu principle of Sumantrite Suvikrante – think collectively, act valiantly.  With this guiding principle as our inspiration, there will be seven parallel conferences held during the Congress: Economic, Education, Hindu Organizations & Temples Associations (HOTA), Media, Political, Women, and Youth. Graced by the presence of over 2000 delegates and top-notch Hindu dignitaries from India, North America and around the world, the congress will witness academicians, industrialists, businessmen, parliamentarian, legislators, activists and media personalities representing more than 80 countries.

Who are the lead speakers who are expected to attend the event? 

The following dignitaries and speakers from various regions of the world and various vocations have been invited; many have accepted, many are still tentative subject to schedule and circumstances. His Holiness Dalai Lama, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and many others are expected to attend. The complete list of speakers is given at the end of this article. 

What can attendees hope to gain from it? 

Let me emphasize that WHC is NOT a religious conference. It is a gathering of highly successful Hindus with an opportunity to showcase their success stories, network with like-minded people from the global community, and to discuss issues of importance to the community with tangible outcomes. For Hindus in North America it is a unique and possibly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be part of this exciting event. The next Congress will be held in 2022 in Bangkok.    

Direct gain for any attendee can be on following four levels

* Professionally: Get the opportunity to network with global thought leaders in your area of interest, which may lead to new learnings, synergies and new opportunities

* Community: Learn about how Hindus are contributing to the global growth; feel the pride of being part of a resurgent global force/network that is emerging.   

* Personally: You get to tell your grandkids someday that you were part of a pivotal event in the history of global Hindu community. You get to inspire others around the world with you success story and insights. (Example: People who were at Woodstock take great pride in talking about it to their kids, grandkids) 

* Support: You get a life time opportunity to lend your support to a global movement aimed at organizing and strengthening the Hindu community – materially and morally.

What are your Metrics for success for the event? 

The WHC in Chicago is not an event. It is one milestone, one landmark, in a movement to organize the Hindus worldwide and make their presence visible in a very tangible way in all the spheres that form the elements of the Congress. Of course, it is clearly an important objective to make the event in Chicago historic and memorable.  

But we have identified several ways of measuring the progress and success of this movement. One measure of success is simply to establish a sustainable global platform for learning, sharing and creating an environment of care for each other. There is more to the WHC: Pre-conference organizational and mobilization efforts that lead up to the conference in Chicago, and Post conference tangible, sustainable, measurable outcomes and follow-up that lead to the next WHC in 2022. Each of these three phases are significant in themselves and contribute to the totality of the WHC movement of organizing the global Hindu community. Metrics for success will include:

Pre Conference: Key contacts in each region of the globe


Covering Key issues faced by Hindus
Quality of speakers and presenters to inspire, share and learning

Post Conference:

     Develop a roadmap: Key resolutions in all areas (7 conferences). 

    Develop concrete institutions that will lead to societal change.



How can people get involved in the organization of the event?

For Hindus in North America it is a unique and possibly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be part of this exciting event. We extend a warm invitation to all Hindu organizations and Hindu leaders across the world to help make the second World Hindu Congress (WHC 2018), a grand success. These may include thought leaders, activists, academicians, industrialists, businessmen, parliamentarians, economists, legislators, media personalities, etc. The Hindu community members and those who believe in Hindu value system are requested to participate as a delegate, as a volunteer, as a sponsor, as a co-host or as a promoter of WHC. The process is simple. You just need to register for the conference and the hotel at www.worldhinducongress.org

Plenary Sessions

His Holiness Dalai Lama, 14th Dalai Lama
Hon. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister Bharat 
Dr. Mohan Rao Bhagwat, PP Sarsanghchalak RSS
Sri Sri Ravishankar, Head – Art of Living
Sadhu Brahma Bihari Das, Head BAPS International Relation
Hon. Pravind Jugnauth, Prime Minister Republic of Mauritius
Paramasivum Pillai Vyapoory, Vice President Republic of Mauritius     Hon. Ashwin Adhin, Vice President Republic of Suriname

Raju Reddy, Vice Chair, CEO
Swami Swaroopananda, Head - Chinmaya Mission Worldwide

Dr. Pranav Pandya, Head all World Gayatri Pariwar
Prof. Manjul Bhargava, Prof. Princeton, NJ
Dr. Nagaswamy, Scholar Historian
Mahant Yogi Adityanath , Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh      

Political Conference

Subramaniam Swamy, MP Rajya Sabha, BJP
Sushma Swaraj, Home Minister, GOI
Trivendra Singh Rawat, Chief Minister of Uttrakhand     
Vijay Rupani, Chief Minister of Gujrat     
Devendra Fadanwis, Chief Minister of Maharashtra   
Sambit Patra, BJP Spokesperson
Ash Kalra (D-San Jose), California Assembly Member, USA
Baroness Sandip Verma, Member of House of Lords, UK
Biman Prasad, National Federation Party, Fiji
C.V. Wigneswaran, Chief Minister of Northern Province, Sri Lanka
Captain Abhimanyu Singh, BJP Cabinent Minister - Haryana, Bharat
Lord Jitesh Ghadia, Member, House of Lords
Rajesh Agrawal, Deputy Mayor of London
Gautam Bhattacheya, Diplomat, Sweden
I Made Mangku Pastika, Governor of Bali, Indonesia
Jay Chaudhari, North Carolina Senator, USA
Jay Nishaant, Nepal Democratic Forum
Kasturi Patto, Member of Malaysia Parliament, Batu Kewan
Lord Navneet Dholakia, Member of House of Lords, UK
Priyanka Radhakrishnan, Member of Parliament, NZ
Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), Congressman, USA
Rana Dasgupta, BHBCUC, Bangladesh
Ravi Dev, Social Activist, Guyana
Ro Khanna (D-CA), Congressman, USA
Sabrina Singh, DNC Deputy Communications Director
Sanjay Puri , US-India PAC, USA
Satyapal Singh, MoS HRD, Government of Bharat     

Economic Conference

Ajay Piramal Chairman, Piramal Group, Mumbai, Bharat
Anand Mahindra, Chairman, Mahindra
Ajay Singh Chairman and Managing Director of SpiceJet
Arun Kumar, Chairman CEO, KPMG, India
Ashish Gupta, Managing Partner, Helion Ventures
Bertrand-Marc Allen, President, Boeing
Bhavesh Patel, CEO, Lyondell Basell
Deepak Singhal CEO of Tolaram group,  Ngeria
Dr Mukesh Aghi, President, US India Strategic Partnership Forum
Edward L Monser, President, Emerson Electric
Gunjan Bharadwaj, CEO, Germany
Jim Umpleby, CEO, Caterpillar
Mike Burke, CEO, AECOM
Mukesh Ambani, Chairman, Reliance
Neil Bhaskar, Founder, Chairman, Nova Group
Nikhil Agarwal, Founder of India Global, Bharat
Padmasree Warrior, CEO, NIO US
Piyush Goyal, Cabinet Minister GOI, Railways
Purna Saggurti, Chairman Global Corporate & Invet. Banking
Rajiv Singh, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog
Shantanu Narayana, CEO, Adobe
Sumir Chadha, Managing Partner, WestBridge Capital
T C Chatterjee, CEO, Griffith Food

Organizational Conference

Amrish Dasa (Alfred Ford) , Board Memebr, Ford Motor Company
Brahmachari Sharan , Hindu Chaplin, Georgetown
Dr. Budhendra Doobay, Vishnu Mandir, Canada -- Hindu federation
Giani Iqbal Singh, Jathedar Takhata Sri Patna Sahib
Shri Balabhadra Dasa, President Vedic Friends' Association
Lakhubhai Lohana, General Secretary, World Sindhi Congress, UK
Pandit Ram Hardowar, Suryanarayan Mandir NY
Prakashananad Trinidad
Pria Ji / Siva S, President SSVT Temple
Prof Ved Nanda, Provost, Denver University, Denver
Sadhu Madhu Pandit Dasa< Chairman, Akshayapatra Foundation
Satya Dosapati , AIIF - New Jersey, USA
Sharad Dhole, Convenor, Dharma Jagran, Bharat
Shri Narayan Patel, Nigeria
Shri Rajram Ji, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
Shri Sradhanand Sital, Chairman, GHRD, Netherlands
Smt Uma Mysorekar, General Secretary CHTNA, New York, USA
Swami  B A Paramadvaiti, Coord VHP South America
Swami Paramatmananda ji, Acharya Sabha, Bharat
Swami Paripurnananda, AVG
Swami Satyananda, Hindu Monastery, Ghana
Swamini Hansananda Giri,Unione Induista Italiana, Italy
Velanyaswami Hawai, Hinduism Today
Vineet Narayan, Chairman, Brij Foundation

Women's Conference

Anu Bhagwati , Service Women's Action Network (SWAN)
Anuradha Koirala<Founder-director, Maiti Nepal, Social activist
Ranjani Saigal,Ekal, USA
Chanda Kochar, MD and CEO ICICI Bank
Chaya Nanjappa, Founder, Nectar Fresh
Chhavi Rajawat< Sarpanch,  Soda Village, Jaipur
Dame Asha Khemka, Principal of Nottingham College, UK
Dr. Anupama Hosckere, Founder, Dhaatu
Dr. Seshu Sarma, Pediatrics specialist in Atlanta, GA
Dr. Tejaswini Ananthkumar, Founder Adamya Chetna
Dr. Uma Vaidya, VC, Kavikulguru Kalidas Sanskrit University
Jyothi Reddy, CEO Key Software Solutions
Kanjeng Raden Ayu Mahindrani Kooswidyanthi Paramas, Princess of Java
Kiran Bedi ,Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry, IPS, Social activist
Kiran Majumdar Shaw, Chairperson and MD, Biocon Limited
Kirron Kher Actress/ Activist, Member of Parliament GOI
Lalita Arya,Activist, Educator
Madhu Kishwar, Prof. Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS)
Meera Chadha Borwankar< Director General, Bureau of Police Research & Development
Neela Satyanarayanan , First Woman State Election Commissioner (SEC) of Maharashtra
Pavithra K. Mehta , Writer-filmmaker, Author of Infinite Vision
Pramila Nesargi, Indian lawyer, Educationist, Women's rights activist
Pratibha Tripathi  , News Anchor, TriPath Media Owner, US
Prof. Shanta Sinha, Founder, Mamidipudi Venkatarangaiya Foundation
Ranjani Nagaswami,Morning Star executive
Roshni Nadar Malhotra , CEO and Executive Director HCL Corporation
Sadhvi Ritambara , Founder, Vatsalya Dham, Social Worker, Religious preacher
Sadhvi Svatmavidyananda ,Founder, Arsh Vijnan Gurukulam USA
Sairee Chahal,Founder, CEO of Sheroes
Saumya Arya Haas,Digital Outreach Coordinator at Agape Editions
Shantakka Ji,Pramukh Sanchalika of Rashtra Sevika Samiti
Shobana Bhartia,Chairperson and Editorial Director, Hindustan Times Group
Smriti Irani,Information and Broadcasting and Textiles Minister, GOI
Sonal Mansingh,Guru Bharatanatyam and Odissi dancing style
Sudha Murthy,Chairperson, Infosys Foundation
Swamini Pramananda,Vedanta teacher as well as a Sanskrit scholar
Uppama Virdi ,Lawyer, Businesswoman of the Year 2016, Australia
Yogini Shambhavi Chopra , Founder, The Chopra Center

Youth Conference

Aditya Patwardhan,Director, Producer, Script Writer, USA
Apurva Kumar Mishra, Editor in Chief, India Law Journal
Chandramani Ramachandran, Bharat
Dr. Sreevalsa Kolathayar,Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham
Drishti Mae ,President, National Hindu Students Forum UK
Gopal Patel , Director, Bhumi Project, UK
Himanshu Gulati ,State Secretary, Ministry of Justice, Norway
Kadambari Vishwanathan,Bharat
Mayuri Parmar,Director, Conservative Friends of India, UK
Nidhi Bhargava,Eco Green Homes Limited, NZ
Nihar Sashittal, National Youth Coordinator, HSS USA
Nisa Holla,Bharat
P.V. Sindhu,Youth
Pranav Pai,Bharat
Rahul Dravid, Youth
Rajat Sethi, Public Policy, Crafted Assam Nirman
Anchelita Gowri , Global Human Rights Defense, Netherlands
Shubhrastha Shikha ,India Foundation, Political Strategist
Siddharth Pai, Bharat
Sohail Prasad, CEO and Founder, Equidate, USA
Sushyant Subramanian, Hindu Youth Australia, Australia
Karolina Goswami, Founder and Editor, India in Details
Zankrut Oza, Digital Media Consultant - Ministry of Railways

Media Conference

Akshay Kumar, Film actor and producer
Anupam Kher, Actor, Amish Tripathi
Indian author, Arnab Goswami
Founder Republic TV, News Anchor, Ashay Javdekar
Rising star - Produced movies for Amazon
Ashok Kaul, Director
Ashok Pandit , Director and Member Censor Board
Ashwin Rajan ,Film producer
C B Patel, Publisher of Asian Voice, UK
Chandra Prakash Dwivedi, Film director, script writer, actor (Chanakya)
David Cohen, Pro-India, Pro-Hindu columnist
Dev Patel, Actor
Divya Jhingaran,Author - As Others See Us, Do All Roads Lead to Jerusalem
Francios Gautier, French political writer and journalist based in India
K. J. Yesudas,Musician and film playback singer,  Padma Vibhushan
Kasinadhuni Viswanath, Filmmaker, Actor, Dada Saheb Phalkae Award
Koduri Viswa Vijayendra Prasad, Film screen writer and director (Script - Bahubali)
Kuldeep Shekhawat, Director of MA TV, UK
Kunal Nayyar, Actor (The Big Bang Theory)
Madhur Bhandarkar, Film director, script writer, and producer
Manoj Ladwa, Lawyer, Media, UK
Mohanlal Viswanathan, Actor, Producer
Nana Patekar, Actor, writer, philanthropist and filmmaker
Parag Tope, Scholar, Author - Operation Red Lotus
Paramacharya Sadasivanathaswami, Editor in Chief Hinduism Today
Prabhakaran Saran, Producer, Actor, Director, Costa Rica based
Radha Bharadwaj, Hollywood Director
Raghavan Jagannathan, Journalist, Editorial director of Swarajya
Raj Shah, Principal Deputy White House Press Secretary
Reshma Shetty, British-American TV, Film actress and Singer
Richard Gere, American actor and humanitarian activist
S. S. Rajamouli, Writer, Director, Producer
Sendhil Amithab Ramamurthy, Actor (TV)
Sunanda Vashishth , MyInd.net CEO and past reporter for DNA India
Venkat Dhulipala, History Professor, Author of Creating a New Medina
Rohit Sardana, TV Anchor
Vamsee Juluri, Professor, Media

Education Conference

Dr. Chinmay Pandya, Pro Vice Chancellor, Dev Sanskriti Vishwavidyalaya
Dr. K. P. Gopalkrishna (Chairman)
Dr. Bindu Hari (Director),
Mr. Hari Krishnan (CEO), NPS Group of Institutions, Bangalore
Dr. Kumble R. Subbaswamy, Chancellor, Umass Amherst
Dr. P. Venkat Rangan, Vice Chancellor, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham
Dr. Renu Khator, Chancellor of the University of Houston System
Dr. Satish Tripathi, President, University at Buffalo
Dr. Swati Majumdar, Principal Director, Symbiosis
Dr. Vamdeva Shastri, Director, American Institute of Vedic Studies, Vedacharya
George Cordona, American linguist, Indologist, Sanskritist, and scholar of P??ini.
Govind Sharma ,Vidya Bharati
Govindasamy Viswanathan, Founder Chancellor, Vellore Institute of Technology
Koenrad Elst, Historian
Mohan  Elisetty or Anil Asthana, WAHA
Oscar Pugol, Grammarian, Director of Instituto Cervantes in Rio de Janeiro
Philip Lutgendorf , Professor, Hindi & Modern Indian Studies at the University of Iowa
Prof. Anant Agarwal, Prof. MIT, CEO of edX
Prof. Jagadish Bhagwati, University Prof of economics and law, Columbia University
Prof. S. N. Balagangadhara, Prof. Ghent University in Belgium, Director of the India Platform
Punam Suri, President, DAV
Rahul Karad, Vice President & Trustee, MIT Group of Institutions
Rajiv Malhotra, Founder, Infinity Foundation
Ram Subramanian, Prof. IIT Mumbai, Indian Knowledge Systems
Sat Maharaj, Secretary-General of the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha
Subra Suresh, Dean, CMU
Rajiv Malhotra, Indian-American Author, Founder, The Infinity Foundation
Swami Amtapriyananda, Vice Chancellor, Ramakrishna Vivekananda University
Swami Mitrananda Acharya, Chinmaya University
Swami Ramdev, Patanjali Yogpeeth
Vilayanur S. Ramachandran
Prof. & Director, Center for Brain and Cognition, UCSD, USA

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