My name is Surendran Nair and I am the current President of KHNA. It is with great pleasure that we welcome each and every one of you visitors on behalf of Kerala Hindus of North America (KHNA) to our website.
KHNA is a non-profit organization that stands for Hindus originating from the state of Kerala, India residing in North America. The members of this organization have joined together to conduct, coordinate and promote activities directed towards the preservation, upkeep and resurgence of the values that constitute the underlying fabric of Hindu culture and Sanatana Dharma. The group also seeks to serve as a platform for collective Hindu voice, working for the representation and protection of the Sanatana Dharma within North America.
As the world increasingly becomes a single globally integrated space, as national fences continue to blur, as people, ideas and resources begin to move back and forth seamlessly across religions and cultures, and as humanity develops a collective conscience, the Hindus and Hinduism are beginning to face new challenges in defining and projecting their identity with clarity and self respect rooted in their collective historical consciousness. This challenge is particularly poignant and urgent in the case of Hindus settled here and their children born, brought up, and/or growing up in the United States
Hindus are stereotyped as passive, liberal, tolerant, otherworldly, fractious and spiritual. Spirituality is claimed to be the soul of Hinduism. Vedanta, Yoga and Ayurveda, the three selling points of Hinduism in the west, along with the practice of vegetarianism and non-violence, are considered to constitute the face of modern Hinduism. It is said that Hindus respect all religious claims regardless of whether they are ancient or recent, personality-oriented or principle-oriented, as long as they do not engage in violence through thought or deed in their practice and preaching. Religious pluralism is often portrayed as being built into the Hindu DNA.
Hinduism is different from consumerist capitalism, secular democracy and post modernist relativism. Hindus are fighting not only against modernist imperialism, but also against Chinese communist imperialism and Islamic theocratic imperialism. In today’s sociopolitical environment, it even seems that Hindus have to resist against the moles, plants, agents and sympathizers within the Hindu community itself. Hence, there is a global need for defining Hinduism clearly and definitively.
Hindus and their children in America face a special challenge in this context. They live in this cultural melting pot of cults, special interests, unique identities, lobbying, self-promotion, money-based power, and material-cum-moral relativism. There is no overarching moral authority in the American culture to take care of the weak and the voiceless. If you have no clearly defined identity and community, you have no voice and no place at the table. Over the past 15 years of KHNA’s history, there have been numerous milestones and accomplishments. While the current century provides large opportunities for India and Indians across all fields and disciplines, it is our responsibility to prime our children to build within them a sense of pride for their country of origin, there by helping them reap the benefits of India’s growth on a truly global scale. As the valuable well-wishers of KHNA, I request each and every one of you to personally reach out to me and let me know your feedback and opinions regarding the direction, mission and vision of the organization and the upcoming Global Hindu Convention 2017 in July to be held at Metro Detroit, Michigan.