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HFB Plays and Active Part in Interfaith

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In Hinduism we believe that the Oneness of existence is the Supreme Truth. Yet in our daily life we experience division and separation of existence, where there are apparent differences in the society of individuals, differences within the various groups in the communities and even within families.

With the apparent differences comes the challenge of living cohesively within our own immediate environment and the wider community in our neighbourhood. Here we may find individuals with different backgrounds, faiths and beliefs living side by side, sharing the experience of living close together in the area.

When we talk about living in close contact with individuals from different faiths or no faith, we need to have a think about how we can develop a sense of togetherness in dealing with areas of common interest and concerns. There may be some neighbourhood disturbances caused by a certain section of the community or there may be businesses which are going to be affected by change in local council policy. This sense of working together for a common purpose with people from different backgrounds is important to develop in order for us to become creative and contributing members of the British society. This is where an Interfaith Vision can help us to develop competency in citizenship.

Hindu Forum of Britain has an active committee for Interfaith relations and has been working with many different organisations and institutions including local and governmental, that puts forward the Hindu perspective on matters of vital social and cultural importance. As such not only is the Hindu voice heard in many areas of dialogue and action but also we can make a positive contribution at many levels, and increase the understanding and appreciation of the Hindu Dharma and its wide and comprehensive vision of humanity.

here are several objectives we can work towards:

  • To promote and facilitate inter faith dialogue which builds an understanding of the common and shared beliefs and values.
  • To enhance and increase collaborative social action in working together with other faiths to bring about constructive and tangible change within their local communities.
  • To sustain and promote greater relations between faith communities and between faith communities and wider society.
  • To focus on and facilitate the involvement of young people and women in participating in inter faith dialogue and social action.

At the regional and local level there are many things we can do to fulfil these objectives: getting involved in local faith networks/groups, representing Hindus in various organisations including bilateral and multifaith ones, getting involved in grass roots action groups for issues that concern the community locally etc. There is a nationwide Interfaith Week which you can participate in. Check for details on http://interfaithweek.org/.

How can this be done? You may already have experience in this area or you may be keen to get involved and have a good working knowledge of dialogue, or you may want to contribute your skills and energies to local issues. You are the right person to get in touch with the HFB Vice Presidents and introduce yourself and get started in the true Hindu Dharma Spirit of Sacrifice (Yagna) to serve your community.

Read 1238 times Last modified on Monday, 01 May 2017 12:58

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HFB meets New Labour Leader

 

The HFB wrote to Sir Keir Starmer, the new leader of the Labour Party, on 8th April in which we shared some serious concerns the Indian/Hindu community had with the Labour Party.  The Labour leader wrote back on 27th April and whilst this is welcome, the issues raised by the HFB had not been addressed properly.  On 30th April 2020 a teleconference took place between the representatives of the HFB led by Ms Trupti Patel and Sir Keir Starmer and his team.  The HFB considers this as the first step in what we hope will be a continued positive dialogue for the Labour Party to learn, and to understand, the issues arising from within the community.

Those in attendance at this teleconference were:

Hindu Forum Britain (HFB): Mrs Trupti Patel (President), Mrs  Harsha Shukla MBE (VP North) and Dr Ramesh Pattni OBE (VP South).

Labour Party:    Sir Keir Starmer MP, RT Hon Angela Raynor MP, Rt Hon Janet Daby MP, Baroness D Lawrence and Navendu Mishra MP.

The discussion was cordial and Sir Keir Starmer confirmed that he was aware of the concerns, that as the new leader he wanted to reset relations with the Indian community.  He went on to say, he wanted proper engagement and that the Labour Party needed to hear and to be held accountable.  He further added that if the changes are not seen then he wanted the HFB to tell him so without any reservation. He accepted that an apology was due to the community.  His team echoed his thinking to move forward and build good relations with the Hindu community. 

The President of the HFB, Ms Trupti Patel thanked Sir Keir Starmer for taking the step in this important dialogue.  She pointed out that the reservations and concerns raised in her letter to him are serious and require the Labour Party to address those urgently.  She reminded him of the exclusion of Hindus in CV 19 steering group and most importantly Hate filled incident unfolding on the 15th of August 2019 on India’s Independence Day when some  4000 strong group of anti-Indian protestors threw missiles at the gathering of 200 people  celebrating Independence day and created a very tense situation.  She also pointed that it was alarming that some Labour politicians took an active part and voiced their views on Kashmir that were a detriment to community cohesion in the UK.

Sir Keir Starmer suggested that after the call it was essential to make sure that we don't let things fall by and to set up systems for communications that allow for continuous and direct communication with the senior leadership of the Labour Party.  

Dr Pattni pointed out that unless there are channels and systems of dialogue between the Labour leadership and the Hindu community, there will remain such tensions due to biased thinking in the Party.  Mrs Shukla pointed out that there  should be trust and respect which should reflect in transparent communication and be inclusive of all faiths in any policy forming process. There needs to be a practical  action plan as a way forward in dialogue which was echoed by Trupti Patel as doing the walk beyond just the talk.

The meeting concluded on the note that the HFB will be writing to Sir Keir Starmer with their observations on his letter as well as the teleconference call.  In so doing to give a series of actions points that the party can work on immediately. 

The Hindu Forum Britain have now written to Sir Keir Starmer with their observations as detailed in the letter below. 

Mrs Trupti Patel 

President 

HFB 

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Corona Virus Health Advice

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Hindu Reflection by Mrs Trupti Patel - 16th May 2020

Hindu Reflection by Mrs Trupti Patel (16 -05-2020)

PLEASE CLICK ON THE ABOVE LINK TO HEAR HINDU REFLECTIONS ON THE CURRENT PANDEMIC SITUATION ON BBC SOUNDS.

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The Hindu Forum of Britain (HFB) is the largest umbrella body for British Hindus with more then 320 member organisations from around the country. HFB is the first port of call from the central government and the most reported Hindu organisation in the British media.

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