First Hindu Mandir Executives Conference (HMEC)
Hindu Mandir (Temple) Executives representing 57 temples from more than 20 states of US, Canada and Caribbean Islands converged in Atlanta to attend the first ever Hindu Mandir Executive conference (HMEC), from June 23rd through June 25th. They traveled from as far as British Columbia in Canada, Hawaii, California, Florida, and the heartland of America, with a mission to nourish, protect and sustain Hindu Dharma in America.
The executives represented a wide cross-section of the Hindu community; from a young second generation Mandir president from Augusta, Georgia, to an elderly lady representing a Hindu Mandir in North Carolina. These attendees who numbered over 110, were physicians, scientists, businesspersons, homemakers, engineers, etc. besides being temple executives with deep commitment to fulfilling the spiritual and social needs of Hindu-American community. The group was diverse in terms of age, race, generation, national origin, as well.
In the Conference Mandir executives deliberated on the evolving social, religious, cultural and spiritual needs of 2.5 million strong diverse and vibrant Hindu-American community. In the concluding session of the Conference, the delegates passed the following resolutions unanimously for consideration of their temple’s boards.
On the Hindu Unity
We, the Hindu Mandirs of Americas, hereby declare that all Hindus stand as one regardless of the panthas (path), sampradaya (tradition), or country of origin. We are all members of one proud Hindu family, which is one billion strong. All Mandirs stand united as one, even though our specific traditions may not be identical, and our spiritual paths are diverse. We, hereby, resolve solemnly to dedicate ourselves to the common good of Hindu community worldwide.
On Hindu Seva Divas (Hindu Service Day)
By declaring this solidarity with the international Hindu family we resolve to dedicate ourselves to community Seva (service) that is fundamental to our Dharma. The Hindu Mandirs of Americas, hereby resolve, that all the Mandirs in Americas will celebrate annually a common day of volunteer service, called the Hindu Seva Divas whereby all Hindu Mandirs will take leadership role in organizing community service activities in their respective local areas. The Hindu Seva Divas shall be held on the first weekend in October every year.
On Education on Text Books
As Hindu Mandirs in Americas, we resolve to help meeting the educational needs of our children and youth so that they develop into confident Hindu-American citizens. In this regard, we the Hindu Mandirs in Americas, gravely note the serious deficiencies and gross distortions in school textbooks in the US about Hinduism, its culture and traditions resulting in embarrassment, discrimination and other social problems for our youth. We, hereby, resolve to take leadership role in our respective school districts in getting these distortions in textbooks about Hinduism corrected as soon as possible.
On Zero Tolerance for Desecration of Hindu Mandirs
Hindu Mandirs’ Executives of Americas strongly condemn targeted vandalism (hate crime), wanton destruction and desecration of Hindu Mandirs any where in the world. The Hindu Mandirs shall not remain quiet in view of increasing frequency of targeted attacks on Hindu Mandirs throughout the world. We shall oppose, by all lawful means, such dastardly malicious acts of vandalism and intolerance directed against any Hindu Mandir.
The conference was facilitated by Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America.