Piscataway, NJ, July 29-31, 2011 – Hindu Students Council and its local chapter members attended the WAVeS (World Association for Vedic Studies) Conference to discuss controversial issues and misconceptions of India’s Caste System.
Various academicians, scholars, public intellectuals, and organizational heads attended this conference, meant to dig up different Hindu perspectives on caste and clarify the true intent behind the Hindu Varna System, commonly mistranslated as Caste. The conference was co-sponsored by All World Gayatri Pariwar and inaugurated by Dr. Pranav Pandya (Head, All World Gayatri Pariwar and Chancellor of Dev Sanskriti University). Prominent speakers at the conference included Swami Tattvavidananda (representing Arsha Vidya Gurukulam and the Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha), Dr. Subramanian Swamy, Dr. R. Vaidyanathan, Rajiv Malhotra, Dr. MG Prasad, Dr. Madan Lal Goel, Suresh Chauhanke (Chairman and Managing Director of Sudarshan TV), and Dr. Ved Nanda.
HSC participated in the youth forum and gave a keynote speech. HSC's presentations reflected unique Hindu-American perspectives on the topic of caste. Sashi Kejriwal, President of WAVES, said, “It was fantastic to see Hindu youth brainstorming the values of their tradition in such a constructive way". HSC expressed it's views that a person's worth is not determined by his or her birth, or occupation. Ravi Jaishankar, General Secretary of the HSC, passionately expressed the need for community support to all youth, and spoke on the current state of Hindu American Youth and future implications. During the Youth Forum, Sarika Persaud, Educational Resources Coordinator, and St. John's HSC Chapter member, presented on the psychological basis of the Caste System by analyzing superiority complexes. Medha Balai, Rutgers HSC Chapter member, presented on the Eugenics of the Caste System. Parija Sharedalal, Seva Coordinator and Stony Brook University Chapter member, presented on how the Caste System can be approached from the Seva perspective. Other HSC students included Vishnu Rajan from Stony Brook University, Payal Patel from Boston University, and Ravi Teja Velagaleti from Rutgers University.
Please see the WAVES press release here to read about conclusions reached at the conference.
HSC is an international forum providing opportunities for college students and young professionals to learn about Hindu heritage through various activities, events and projects. Hindu Students Council was formed in 1990 by three college students who saw a need for Hindu representation on campuses. With over 50 chapters in North America and several HSC-inspired student organizations around the world, HSC is the largest Hindu Youth organization outside of India.