by Tahil Sharma, Sadhana LA Area Coordinator
I am deeply hurt and enraged as I hear that a 7 year old girl has lost her life in detention by Border Patrol. The same forces that I stood in front of at the San Diego border protesting their mistreatment and injustice of undocumented and asylum-seeking communities. The young girl from Guatemala who died in the New Mexico desert is just one of many victims who we raise up in prayer and mercy to the Divine as her death speaks volumes about the carelessness and the mistreatment of individuals seeking opportunity in the United States.
As a progressive Hindu who stood at the front lines of a mass demonstration, people wondered why it took hundreds of clergy the time and energy it did to kneel and pray and sing songs in front of rows of over-militarized and emotionally exhausted federal law enforcement officers. For me, it is because I speak as a Hindu and a Sikh, two communities who share long and obstacle-ridden histories in making this country their home. My privileges of being born here drive me to show solidarity and help the marginalized of any community so that they may be able to experience the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness that they deserve as human being. And as siblings in destiny, we must look to another another for guidance and support during times of chaos and division to see that in the center of that person's soul exists a piece of us.
“Strive constantly for the welfare and interconnectedness of the world. By devotion to selfless work one attains the supreme goal of life. Do your work with the welfare of others always in mind.”
- Bhagavad Gita 3:19-20
This is why our Sanatan Dharma is built on the foundations of service and pluralism... Because it is meant to serve one and all. And has the human vessels that are capable of being the lived expression of dharma and karma, we must stop at nothing to strive for the compassion justice of every living create that sets foot on this earth. So when a 7 year old dies of exhaustion and dehydration due to an apathetic agency, our उत्तरदायित्व (uttardayitva) or responsibility becomes clear: To abhor and condemn the actions of government representing us as these tragedies unfold and being the Sadhakas that stand on the front lines to call for accountability. We further prescribe to our faith by unleashing the highest level of daan and daya to be a part of every solution that absolves any individual from marginalization and oppression.
For this reason, as a further response, I have started a fundraiser on GoFundMe to support folks in the caravan. Please donate and share are you are able and make a difference. https://www.gofundme.com/i-marched-now-i-will-do-more