Sadhana has joined Rev. Dr. William James Barber and hundreds of faith leaders from across the United States in support of the Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, to renew Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s struggle for social justice for this generation.
- More information on the National Poor People's Campaign here.
- More information on the New York Poor People's Campaign here.
- Background on Sadhana and Poor People's Campaign here.
- Resources on Hinduism and Poverty here.
- Sadhana Poor People's Campaign Committee here.
Sadhana Poor People's Campaign Activities:
- NYC Mass Meeting of the New Poor People's Campaign on March 25, 2018 here.
- Poor People's Campaign Mass Rallies in Albany, May 14th and June 4th, 2018 here.
- First Poor People's Campaign Event in a Hindu Temple, Bhavaanee Maa Mandir, Brooklyn, June 19th, 2018 here.
- Poor People's Campaign Mass Rally and March in DC, June 24th, 2018 here.
Background on Sadhana and Poor People's Campaign
We reject the authority of the militant Hindu right, and disavow any idea of Hindutva that seeks to pit us against our brothers and sisters of other faiths, castes, ethnicities, or sexual orientations. Regardless of one’s respective markers of identity, we are committed to honoring the dignity of every human-being, and commit ourselves to challenging the voices of intolerance from both within and outside our religious tradition.
We also reject the idea that we must abandon our faith in order to champion the cause of justice for all. On the contrary, our commitment to social justice is firmly grounded in an intimate and nuanced understanding of our faith, and Sadhana is a mechanism and a platform for Hindus to speak up and act on behalf of the values embedded in our spiritual and ethical traditions.
Our allegiance to the spirit of compassion and justice, rooted in our Hindu faith, is what obliges us to join the New Poor People’s Campaign. We call on like-minded Hindus from across the country, indeed from across the world, to join us in this struggle - in devotion to our shared Sadhana (Faith in Action).
Resources on Hinduism and Poverty
- Reflection on Hinduism and Poverty, by Shailly Barnes, 2010
- Hindus and the Poor People’s Campaign: A Religious and Moral Obligation, by Dr. Anantanand Rambachan, 2018
- The Shakti – life force – of the poor today, by Shailly Barnes, 2018
Sadhana's Poor People's Campaign Committee
Udit Thakur is a board member of Sadhana, and our representative to the Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. Udit has joined faith leaders from across New York City and State at several meetings to plan for upcoming state-level campaigns against injustice. In Udit's words, "This fight is just getting started, but Sadhana is in it for the long haul. Forward together...not one step back!" Udit leads the committee which oversees Sadhana's engagement in the Poor People's Campaign, consisting of:
- Shailly Barnes, Esq, Sadhana member and Program Manager at Kairos: The Center for Religions, Rights and Social Justice
- Sunita Viswanath, Sadhana co-founder and board member
- Davanie Singhroy, Sadhana board member
- Indy Mohanlal, Sadhana member
- Pratima Doobay, Sadhana member
- Karen Sonilal, Sadhana member
- Dr. Anantanand Rambachan, Sadhana advisory board member and Professor of Religion, St. Olaf College, Minnesota, MN.
NYC Mass Meeting of the New Poor People's Campaign
At the NYC Mass Meeting of the New Poor People's Campaign on March 25, 2018, Udit shared this meditation on the importance of compassion and duty to our shared Hindu faith; a poem by the famous Tulsidas (among Gandhi-ji’s favorites):
"Daya Dharam ka mool hai,
Pap mool abhiman,
Tulsi daya na chhodiye jab lag ghat main pran
Compassion is the root of duty,
As egotism is of sin,
Tulsi says you should not be rid of compassion for as long as you live.
Poor People's Campaign Mass Rallies in Albany
Sadhana participated in the PPC 40-Days of Moral Direct Action Campaign, beginning on May 14th (Mother’s Day) 2018, directed at our leaders in State and Federal Office. On Sunday May 14th, and again on June 4th, Sadhana cofounder Sunita Viswanath was among among the speakers at the Poor People’s Campaign rally at West Capitol Park, Albany, NY.
First Poor People's Campaign Event in a Hindu Temple, Bhavaanee Maa Mandir, Brooklyn, June 19th, 2018
We are so proud of and grateful to Bhavaanee Maa Mandir, Brooklyn, for hosting the first ever Poor People's Campaign event to take place in a Hindu temple.
As stated in our press release for this event: "We inaugurate our support for the Poor People's Campaign, a nationwide movement to continue Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s fight against poverty, racism, climate change, and violence. Dr. King, in turn was inspired in part by Mahatma Gandhi, and the Poor People’s Campaign embraces the method of non-violent resistance, which was the hallmark of both Gandhi and King. The Poor People’s Campaign strikes a chord with groups that Sadhana regularly engages, including New York City’s Hindu community.
New York City’s Hindu community is comprised predominantly of South Asians hailing from Guyana, Trinidad, India, Bangladesh, and Suriname. While South Asians, which include Indo-Caribbeans, are often viewed as a “model minority,” a significant percentage of South Asians live at or below the poverty line, according to the latest available U.S. Census data. South Asians in America are not just medical professionals and information technology employees as stereotypes often portray them. They also assume lower-wage jobs such as taxi cab drivers, restaurant workers, construction workers, and retail sales workers. Many South Asians struggle to pay for college, housing, healthcare, etc. and have limited English proficiency. With the majority of South Asians in the U.S. being foreign born, many are also undocumented and living in the shadows of fear.
The majority of Hindus in New York City are located in Queens, where dozens of temples exist. Indo-Caribbean Hindus are an ever-growing population, with Guyanese being the second largest immigrant population in Queens according to the New York City Department of City Planning."
Kajal Magazine wrote a beautiful article about Sadhana and this event.
Sadhana cofounder Aminta Kilawan Narine wrote this piece about this event in The West Indian.
Poor People's Campaign Mass Rally and March in DC, June 24th, 2018
Sadhana board member and PPC Representative Udit Thakur and Sadhana member Priya Shah represented us at the massive PPC rally and march in DC on June 24th.