World Hindu Foundation SA cordially invites you to a Reflection Seminar on 20yrs of World Hindu Conference 1995. Looking forward to your active participation and support.
Date: Sunday 13 September 2015
Venue: REGA Cultural Centre, 209 Effingham Heights, Durban, KZN
Time: 9AM to 13H00
For further information contact Pravesh Hurdeen on 061 403 8954
Looking back at the World Hindu when the World Hindu Conference was organized and addressed by the President, Nelson Mandela himself. It was a first of its kind that attracted representatives from 30 countries.
The Prime Minister of India, P.V. Narasimha Rao sent a message of good wishes and greetings. There were havans, bhajans, saint meeting, detailed seminars on various aspects of Hinduism, the Hindu philosophy and modern education etc.
The first World Hindu Conference (WHC) in Africa, July 7-10 drew thousands of delegates. In addition, several Swamis from all over the world enlightened everyone with their discourses and top international artists provided world class entertainment. Representatives of the Hindu Students Council (HSC) National Coordination Council, Kanchan Banerjee, Pramod Sanghi, Siva Hota, and Srikanta Mookerjee attended the Conference on behalf of the
youth of the United States of America and Canada.
Havan and prayers were performed to start the conference on an auspicious note. This was at the Hindu temple in the University of Durban – Westville. Several hundred Hindus gathered, including many prominent religious leaders. The Havan was performed in a typical Hindu manner and concluded with aarti, prayer, and prasad. This energized and inspired everyone tremendously and instilled an added sense of pride in our Hindu heritage.
Pravesh Hurdeen, coordinator of the WHC Youth Programs, was the chairperson and Yashika Singh, another coordinator of the WHC Youth Programs was responsible for the resolutions. Several speakers presented their thoughts on the subject. Some talked about obstacles and problems encountered, while others on the need for proper education, growth, and pride. Kanchan Banerjee strongly emphasized “the need for Hindus to contribute in all fields – business, science, engineering, law, medicine, and philosophy.”
On Sunday, July 9, the biggest Hindu rally in Africa took place at Chatsworth Stadium. Over 30,000 people representing twenty countries and forty societies were present. After a short prayer, all the delegates and societies from all over the world took part in the rally.
The arrival of President Dr. Nelson Mandela. The President was warmly greeted by many enthusiastic Hindus. With Senai music in the background and tabla from Shyam Kane (Michigan, USA), a traditional garland was placed around Mandela’s neck to welcome him to this gala occasion.
The President spoke about Hinduism and its effect on South Africa. “Nurturing of Hinduism in South Africa has been revering. In the past, several Hindu leaders were a part of the struggle for democracy– such as M.K. Gandhi,” said the President. He also talked about the influence of these leaders : ” The writings of Gandhi and Nehru had a profound influence on South Africa and my thinking.” The President also stressed the importance of “tolerance and respect of values for other religions and people.” He stated, “South Africa is the country of many religions. All
religions should be represented in our proceedings. All religions play an equal part, there has to be equality of all religions.” Towards the end of his speech, he emphasized that “Hinduism has a special role to play in nation building. Let us dedicate ourselves to a challenge. The challenge we face is to work on common grounds. Create a better life for South Africans.”
Many prominent swamis, gurus, and community leaders spoke on various issues pertaining to Hindu heritage. Over twenty internationally renowned swamis gave discourses on Hindu Dharma. In addition, Dr. Mahesh Mehta envisioned the “next century to be a Hindu century.” Satish Komal, one of the youth speakers, called for Hindus to join hands and become united in South Africa. Kanchan Banerjee, another youth speaker, stressed that “the youth of today must give something to the world Sanatana Dharma. He raised the slogan “Sanatan Dharma Ki Jai” and it was echoed. The day concluded with aarti and a spectacular fireworks display that captivated everyone.
About: The World Hindu Foundation (WHF) is a global organization which engages in socio-economic activities amongst Hindus and needy communities world-wide. Its core purpose is to unite, organize, galvanise and strengthen Hindus and Hindu Organisations through networking and interaction thereby contributing to community upliftment. The approach of the WHF has successfully hosted a series of conferences world-wide during the past three years. The WHF Conference addressed topical social, economic and educational issues. The global activism and initiatives have culminated in the World Hindu Congress 2014, in Delhi which is themed “Sangachhadhawan Samvadadhwan – Step together Express together”.