WASHINGTON (Diya TV) – The Coalition of Hindus of North America (CoHNA) hosted its third National Hindu Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill, emphasizing the urgent need for the formal recognition of Hinduphobia. The event, attended by nearly 25 lawmakers from both the Republican and Democratic parties, focused on the various forms of discrimination faced by Hindus in the United States, ranging from verbal abuse and stereotyping to vandalism of temples.

Over 100 delegates, including many young Hindus, gathered from over 15 states to advocate for H.Res.1131, a resolution condemning Hinduphobia and celebrating the contributions of Hindu Americans. During the event, CoHNA volunteers visited more than 115 congressional offices to garner support for the resolution.

“From students to retired community members of diverse backgrounds, CoHNA’s Advocacy Day has grown steadily to become an important mechanism through which our community engages with lawmakers on the Hill,” remarked CoHNA President Nikunj Trivedi. “We are also glad to see other organizations as well as non-Hindu allies join us in support of the causes that matter to our community and especially our youth.”

A significant portion of the day was dedicated to the testimonies of Hindu students from Stanford, UC Berkeley, and the University of Georgia. These students shared their personal experiences of facing hostility and discrimination on campus. Rutvij Holay recounted being mocked for his religious practices, while Aryan Sawant spoke of the isolation he felt as a proud Hindu. Anvita Yerramsetty highlighted how her awareness of anti-Hindu sentiments influenced her college application choices.

Surya Naga, Youth Director for Hindu on Campus, presented data on the psychological impact of such discrimination, including instances of students being asked to remove religious symbols and facing ridicule for their beliefs.

Congressman Max Miller (R-OH) opened the event, expressing his support for H.Res 1131 and emphasizing the importance of religious freedom. 

Congressman Shri Thanedar (D-MI), the driving force behind the resolution, vowed to continue fighting against Hinduphobia. “We are here and we are fighting, ” he said, drawing attention to “the voice you all have, the voice the Hindu community has in Congress.” 

Other lawmakers, including Congressmen Rich McCormick (R-GA) and Glen Grothman (R-WI), also voiced their support and congratulated CoHNA for its advocacy efforts.