Religious Authority & Abuse of Power - Parliamentary Debate

hoc abuse rr nchtAn extraordinary debate took place in the House of Commons on 18th November, on the subject of the abuse of Religious Power. In front of a full Committee Room 12, a panel of Religious leaders representing all traditions (except the Church of England) gathered to demand two things ....
The illustrious panel led by Baroness Cox were in complete agreement that Religious Rights MUST be subservient to Human rights and the second point, which found support from both panel members and also from members of the public and invited guests, was that Religious Establishments MUST be independently regulated.

The debate was extraordinary for many reasons but most noticeable was the complete absence of any representative of the Church of England. The Chair and co-ordinator of the debate, Natasha Phillips, as well as individual panel members had been working diligently to find anyone who would be willing to speak on behalf of the Church of England, all without success. Invitations and pleas had been sent to a large number of Anglican Clergy and they either politely declined or having agreed, withdrew as the date of the debate drew closer. Ranging from Peter Baldwin, who after having accepted, withdrew the day before the debate, to a a variety of Bishops and Archdeacons who initially expressed interest and availability, and then sadly were unable to participate.sks hmf abusedebate01  sml

The Panel which included our NCHTUK General Secretary, Shr Satish K Sharma presented reflective, compassionate and fully informed, passionate and positive speeches which covered individual cases of human rights abuses to global and historical abuse of Human Rights by Religious Institutions and Clergy.
The audience included many who were the targets of Clergy abuse as well as family members, religious and legal experts, students of Philosophy and lecturers and members of the InterFaith Community as well as members of the general public. Video recordings of the event are being processed and will be posted on this site as they become available but in the meantime here are a few pictures.. and audio recordings of the Panel speakers.



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  Chair Natasha Phillips, Barrister - "The Archbishop of Cantebury acknowledged the scale of the problem in October this year, noting that child abuse was rampant within the Church of England. Since 2001, the Catholic Church in England and Wales has defrocked 52 priests for sexual abuse, and in between 2003 and 2012, 465 sexual assault claims were made against clergy members, though the actual number of victims involved remains unknown."


bcc hmf abusedebate01  sml  Baroness Caroline Cox - "Finally, I hope we will all urge our political establishment to look beyond the powerful circle of self-appointed religious leaders and religious organisations, whose vocal lobbying has created a Britain with parallel quasi-legal systems, and segregated communities."




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  Danny Sullivan, Roman Catholic Church - " The way victimes and survivors were not listened to, not believed was a scandal.... I'm independent but I have no authority over any Bishop..."



The above two speakers then responded to Questions from the floor



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  David Greenwood, Switalskis - " The Catholic Church has refused to report abusing Priests to the Police and instead has moved them around within and between countries.  They have been strongly criticised on many fronts by the United Nations Committee for the Rights of the Child this year. The Church of England promised to apologise in July 2013, but no apology was actually issued.  The C of E has engaged with survivor groups and is listening, but has delayed and still refuses to accept survivors groups’ plans for improvement."




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  Sheikh Dr Muhammad Al Husseini - "

This culture of Bullying and unethical behaviour and sexual abuse starts with a culture of religiously motivated entitlement.. combined with a particular narrative of a psychopathic, charming charismatic highly persuasive manipulative religious demagogue type.."




The above two speakers then responded to Questions from the floor



 jb hmf abusedebate01  sml Bishop Jonathon Blake - "All religious organisations, however large or small, and all individual practitioners should have to be registered and pay a proportional contribution towards the regulatory body. You cannot rely on the fine sounding promises of religious organisations that are scrambling to adopt the right language and window dress their structures. The same predatory people, beliefs and practices remain in place."



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 Rabbi Jonathon Romain -"And in both cases – church cover-up or Haredi denial – lies a fear that if one particular person is exposed, then that will tarnish the rest of the group – whereas you and I know that colluding with a perpetrator – that’s what really tarnishes the group at large, while it also denies justice to the victim, which should have been the prime concern."



The above two speakers then responded to Questions from the floor




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  Pt Satish K Sharma - If I can paraphrase Goebbels "If you perpetrate abuse on a huge scale and keep repeating it, eventually people will come to accept it as NORMAL and no longer recognise it as ABUSE. Such abuse can only be maintained for such a time as the ABUSERS shield the people to the consequences of the abuse. It thus becomes vitally important for the BIG ABUSER to use all of its powers to repress dissent and enquiry, for dissent and enquiry are the mortal enemy of the BIG ABUSE.” Click here for the text of Satishji's speech.


  More information about the debate can be found by clicking here





Conversion and Reversion

maria wirth1

The Duplicity behind the Conversionary Agenda .... and not a Commandment in sight.

The topic of conversion has become centre stage in India – not because millions have been converted from their Hindu faith to Christianity and Islam in recent years, but because some 50 Muslim families came back to Hindu Dharma.

‘How dare Hindus do what only Christians and Muslims are entitled to?’ seems to be the motto. Strangely, not only representatives of the dogmatic religions and western mainstream media, including the New York Times, are outraged, but even Indians with Hindu names. Why would they bat for religions that require blind faith, and not for their own Dharma that is based on deep philosophy? The reason may be that many Indians are ignorant, when it comes to religion. They neither know their own tradition, as they have been to convent schools or grown up in westernized families, nor do they know the insidious effect of dogmatic religions as they never were insiders.

Since I grew up as a Christian, I may see clearer why the dogmatic religions depend on conversion and indoctrination to gain followers. The reason is simple: Suppose a community on some island is completely unconnected to the modern world. They will never become Christians or Muslims because they would need to be told a story about God sending his only son to earth 2000 years ago, etc. and then they would need to believe it blindly and get baptized. Yet if these islanders had wondered about the truth, they might have come to similar conclusions like Sanatana Dharma, as it doesn’t depend on some event in history. It only requires dedicated, deep enquiry into “That What Truly Is – Now And Always”.

Everyone, who learns about Christianity and Islam, will right away discover illogicality: both religions claim that they are the only true religion and all human beings have to follow it, and both also claim that the Creator of this universe has endorsed this claim. Now such claim would be of great consequence, if it were true. However, none of the contenders for the “only truth” provides any proof. To cover this up, they put forth an ingenious idea: “You will know that it is the truth when you are dead. After you die you will be rewarded with heaven for believing what we tell you.”
“And what if it is not true?” may someone have asked.
“What!! You doubt the word of God? You deserve to be put to death!” was the harsh answer given by both religious ideologies over many centuries.

So apart from dangling the carrot regarding the other world, they also used the stick in this world. The threat: “If you don’t believe what we tell you, you will be killed”, was not only the hissing of a snake. It was a deadly bite. Christianity stopped killing in the name of God only some 250 years ago and Islam is still at it, with ISIS or Boko Haram being examples of inhuman brutalities in the name of Allah.

Why would they do this? Do they really believe that it is God’s command? I don’t know. But I guess that ultimately it is about power and big money and not about “saving souls”, as claimed.

The strategy to claim divine approval for the demands of a small group had mind boggling results. After some 2000 years for Christianity and 1400 years for Islam, 2 billion human beings consider themselves as Christians and 1,5 billion as Muslims. Imagine, Christianity started with a small group in Palestine and later in Rome, and Islam started with a small group in Mecca and later in Medina. These huge numbers are no doubt extraordinary. However, it was paid for with a heavy price by countless individuals who felt not convinced by the dogmas and behavior of the clergy, but had to conform if they held their lives dear. Further, societies under the sway of Christianity and Islam were neither free, nor happy.

One’s own conscience needed to be suspended in favour of the religious doctrine. I learnt it in catechism class as a child: ”If there is conflict between one’s conscience and what the Church says, one has to follow the Church.”

This demand is serious and shows that not all is well with those religions. Is conscience, supported by sound reason, not our moral barometer? Is freedom of conscience not guaranteed in the Declaration of Human Rights? Is it not dangerous to demand suspension in favour of an ideology that may promote, apart from good, also unethical behavior? Should such ideologies that demand blind allegiance not be intensely scrutinized in the interest of humanity?

ISIS terrorists are a case in point. Have those youngsters no conscience? Or has it been silenced by the Quranic injunction to wage Jihad for Allah? They brush away any human feeling and justify their worst, violent instincts. Do they really believe they will be rewarded with paradise for slaughtering other human beings in whom the same one life and love is throbbing?

There are other features of the dogmatic religions that don’t stand up to scrutiny:

For example the claim that the creator – God or Allah – is watching us from ‘somewhere’. He (alleged to be male) is not our essence according to the dogmatic religions. To claim, as Indian traditions do, that the cause/ creator is permeating the whole universe, and we are in our innermost being one with That, is considered heresy. Several Christian and Muslim mystics were killed for expressing their experience of being one with the Whole.

Another doubtful claim is that human beings have only one life, and on the basis of this one life, eternity will be decided – either heaven or hell. Simply by reasoning, this seems unlikely. Then there are many cases (over 3000 are documented in the archive of the University of Virginia, USA.) where persons remembered their past life and gave details about their previous life that nobody could know. Moreover, the law of karma makes much more sense when it is stretched over many lives.

Another point is the attitude towards animals and nature. Man is considered as the crown of creation and the rest is there for his service. It is clearly a harmful attitude and the west is in the process of changing it. Butchering animals on a daily basis by the millions can’t be the ‘right’ of man. It demeans him. Vegetarianism is, at least in theory, seen as a solution to many problems.

Extremely harmful is also another attitude: Arrogance towards those, who don’t belong to one’s religion, as they are damned by the Highest himself. “Don’t think about truth” is told to children and adults. “Man can never know the truth. God had to reveal it and he has revealed it only in the Bible”, claims Christianity or “only in Quran”, claims Islam. And they assure their flock: “You belong to the chosen ones. You are very lucky”.

Unfortunately, this claim caters to a weakness in human beings. Who doesn’t like to feel superior to others, and more so, when it is divinely ordained? Further, to belong to a big group of like-minded people gives a sense of strength. The only requirement is ‘blind faith’ in return. It may seem a small price, but it is huge. It undermines one’s integrity and humanness.

Christianity stopped killing those who dissent with the dogmas of the Church, but “conversion” of heathen is still considered the sacred duty of every good Christian. Muslims, too, have to bring the whole world to worship only Allah and obviously, the agenda is still unfinished. “Conversion” has necessarily an element of coercion – allurement, deception or threat – because believing unverifiable claims as absolute truth does not come naturally. Both religions didn’t grow to those huge numbers by convincing arguments, as there are no convincing arguments. They grew by conversion and by indoctrination of small children born to those who were converted. Every sane, liberal person should welcome a ban on conversions by coercion.

Westerners are gradually getting out from the grip of forced Christianity. Theirs was a joyless religion and many are tired of it. They don’t believe anymore that only one way leads to truth; they consider rebirth as possible and become vegetarians. They are influenced by Indian thought and those who visited India are almost envious of the joyful, sacred atmosphere of spiritual India. Just attending for example Ganga Arti or Ramayana Parayanam induces automatically a feeling of awe, wonder and joy.

“We are all Hindus now” was the title of an article in Newsweek a few years ago that summarized the preference among many Americans for Indian insights that are based on reason and intuition, instead of blindly believing in Christian dogmas. This does not mean that those Americans stop praying to Jesus or won’t sing Christmas carols, but they don’t swallow the whole belief system anymore. They use their conscience and intelligence, and refuse to believe incredible dogmas, like that heathen go to hell. This means, they are more like Hindus.

Westerners become more Hindu and persons with Hindu names shout on Indian TV that Indians that were converted must continue to wear their straightjacket and must not be allowed to come back to their eternal, joyful Dharma. Further, these same persons have no objection that Christians and Muslims continue their conversion agenda by dubious means and plenty of money. The strangest thing: these people claim to be liberal, secular and progressive. Can someone please make them see light?

By Maria Wirth

Link to my article on Research on Rebirth http://mariawirthblog.wordpress.com/2013/09/03/born-again-in-another-form/





Swami Dayanand Saraswati Mahasamadhi


conversion violenceOn November 6, 1999 Pope John Paul II in his sermon at the Sacred Heart Cathedral of New Delhi, openly stated, "Just as in the first millennium the Cross was planted on the soil of Europe, and in the second on that of the Americas and Africa, we can pray that in the third Christian millennium, a great harvest of faith will be reaped in this vast and vital continent [Asia]"

Christians have always portrayed non-Christian civilizations as backwards, underdeveloped, superstitious, and barbaric. What really underlies all of their criticism is that these cultures do not accept Jesus, the Bible and their western way of life. This is what, in the Christians’ opinion, deems these cultures as needing their help, when in fact the their fervor to destroy any theistic conception other than Christianity or any temple other than a church shows that they are really the ones who are showing the qualities of barbarians.

Today, many are uninformed and believe that mission excesses only took place in prior times and today's preaching works are a 'good thing.' But as long as the basic premises and theology that underly all the abuses that took place in the past are not corrected, the result of mission activities will remain the same: Genocide and destruction of all that lies in its way, replacing it with the 'superior religion and culture' that most missionaries believe they are delivering.

In retrospect, these various ethnic cultures were far better off before the introduction of Christianity, as it had nothing better to offer them. In reality, these cultures were decimated, their histories were erased, their cultural traditions eradicated, their former religions destroyed and they were left more unhappy than before the arrival of Christianity.

There have been many revisions in the teachings of Jesus Christ since it first took hold some 2,000 years ago. But until the xenophobic and iconoclastic teachings of the Bible are corrected, mission activity will yield the same catastrophic results. As taught in the Bible, 'we can know a tree by its fruit,' these evangelists need to adopt a more pluralistic theology, recognizing the divinity in other religions and the contributions of other cultures and further recognize that theirs is not the only path to salvation. Suffice it to say, until these things have been corrected, that to label such endeavors for Christ as good works or pious activityis wrong.

Otherwise, in this modern age, those deemed with good intelligence, who are advanced in philosophy and science, have no other choice than to condemn these preaching activities worldwide, which seek to destroy ethnic cultures. Mission activities need to be monitored and the conversion agenda needs to be reconsidered. The Pope Must Preach Real Harmony, Not Religious Intolerance.

"Religous conversion is violence and it breeds violence, In converting you are also converting the nonviolent to violent" ~ Swami Dayananda Saraswathi






NCHTUK Gen Secretary on Abuse of Religious Power-Parliamentary Debate

Shri Satish K Sharma- The Concept of the "Big Religious Abuse"


hoc abuse rr nchtI would like to contribute three ideas into the debate.

You may have heard the following fairly well known quotation

“ The great masses of the people… will more easily fall victim to a big lie than to a small one.”  That was Adolf Hitler who, in Mein Kampf, created the propaganda concept which is now referred to as “the Big Lie”

I would like our gathering to consider today that the same principle concerning lies, may be applicable to abuse and I would like to introduce the idea of “THE BIG ABUSE”. Goebbels elaborated upon the idea of the BIG LIE and If you will permit me to apply what he said, to the principle of BIG ABUSE, it would run something like this.

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“If you perpetrate abuse on a huge scale and keep repeating it, eventually people will come to accept it as NORMAL and no longer recognise it as ABUSE. Such abuse can only be maintained for such a time as the ABUSERS shield the people to the consequences of the abuse. It thus becomes vitally important for the BIG ABUSER to use all of its powers to repress dissent and enquiry, for dissent and enquiry are the mortal enemy of the BIG ABUSE.”

The idea of Religious BIG ABUSE is the first of the 3 ideas idea that I would like to place before you in today’s debate, and as an example to demonstrate the principle I’ll call on experiences from my own tradition and life. The oldest scripture in existence, in which the idea of a Divine Creative intelligence is mentioned is the Rig Veda, written well over 5,000 years ago, over 3,000 years BC and it was in India, the place of my birth, that it was written.  So it would be reasonable to say that the earliest known believers in God, the articulators of the oldest religious praises, were the people of the Indus Valley.  This being the case, the act of portraying the Indus valley civilisation and their descendants as Unbelievers is a BIG ABUSE. To then proliferate this misrepresentation globally and to sustain that lie for over 1,500 years, by calling them and their descendents pagan, heathens etc, is a BIG ABUSE.  This BIG ABUSE is sustained and re-inforced even today –  there are gangs of deeply disturbed, largely unstable individuals, presenting themselves as members of both the “religion of love” and the “religion of peace”, who at this very moment label me, my family,  my community and the nation of my ancestors as, pagans, heathens, unbelievers, infidels, kafir and kuffar, “half-devil, half child” in Kiplings words, for whom the only cure is conversion, or death by beheading.

The fact that since birth, I have often been labelled as such,  is an example of the prevalence of Religious BIG ABUSE … I would ask you to today ask yourselves what exactly is it that prevents the leaders of these two groups from simply stating that they have been wrong in perpetuating this RELIGIOUS BIG ABUSE? For us its actually very strange and quite incomprehensible, that the self same peddlers of this RELIGIOUS BIG ABUSE, in the next breath, happily accuse Hindus of having 33 million Gods, which to the reasonable observer SEEMS MORE semper fideles rather than infidels. We shall see that blindly ignoring paradoxes is a prominent feature of the mindset of the Religious BIG


That  was an example of how RELIGIOUS BIG ABUSE is being inflicted on those who are intended and targeted to be treated as the OTHER, but let me bring the idea to an individual and universal level with a few less obvious, but equally destructive, examples of Religious BIG ABUSE, relating to children.

  • to tell any child that his or her grandparents are burning in hell and to do it on an international scale is Religious BIG ABUSE,
  • to undermine a child’s innate divine sense of justice, by telling the child that it is born guilty, is Religious BIG ABUSE,
  • to teach children that their innate divine sense of reasoning is flawed, and to replace it by blind belief, I would submit, is Religious BIG ABUSE.

I am sure that all of us are able to mull over over this idea of Religious BIG ABUSE, and apply it to all of its forms whether national, cultural, psychological or indeed physical and personal, so I will leave this here for the moment but before I move on to my second idea, I would like to emphasise one more aspect of the BIG ABUSE mindset and BIG ABUSE ideology – the corruption of natural human instincts, in the pursuit of the exercise of power.

Religious Oversight and Self-Regulation

The second idea I would like to raise for consideration is the idea of Religious Oversight and Self-Regulation. I was an auditor in a past incarnation and I remember the words of one of the senior partners in the firm where I trained, when he described the role of the independent auditor.

He said  “Directors cannot be trusted with shareholders funds and that’s why we exist.”  He said “After Lust, greed is one of the strongest human vices and when we get together to build corporations, we humans can’t be trusted to self regulate our vices.”

In front of us is the ever growing mountain of evidence, evidence which can no longer be ignored, that religious corporations fall foul of the same affliction, despite all of their protestations to the contrary. Now, If we can see that independent financial oversight is necessary to prevent abuse of financial trust, what impedes us in seeing that Religious corporations need independent oversight to prevent the abuse of physical, psychological and spiritual trust?

We are in such a terrible situation that, ridiculous though it may sound, we are required to consider, even a religious ombudsman, as being preferable to the status quo which is clearly no longer acceptable.  In no other scenario do we permit the perpetrators of repeated abuse to dictate the terms of their own evaluation, and to define what is acceptable penance. Do we permit a person guilty of rape to define “rape” and the degree of harm and culpability, and the sentence? It makes a mockery of justice to allow the abuser to define and parameterise the manner in which the abuser, organisation or individual, should be judged. One law for these institutions and religious traditions and another for everyone else has been seen repeatedly, to provide inadequate protection and obviously does not safeguard the human rights of those “not in the club”.

Psychological Abuse and "Emotional Handcuffing"

The third and final element, I would like to introduce to our debate today, is about the BIG ABUSERs ability to render its prey psychologically impotent.

Now I was born in a village in rural India, in a stable in fact, and snakes were common, and I recall being fascinated by the snakes’ ability to mesmerise and render a mouse frozen, psychologically impotent, prior to striking. When I heard of the inability of the authorities in Rotherham, and in other towns here in the UK, to act in defence of the most vulnerable and innocent members of our community, the image of the mesmerised mouse came to my mind. From this perspective, I’d like to share the following observation ….  as I see it there are not one, but two groups who have been on the receiving end of sustained abuse in our country, details of those who have been obviously physically abused have made headlines but a more insidious abuse has also been perpetrated and that has the hallmark of a BIG ABUSE.

Decent humans beings can be identified by their concern and respect for the welfare and rights of others, this is their innate, innocent goodness but the predator, the BIG ABUSER knows how to turn this aspect of divinity, into a vulnerability, a weakness and I would ask the question “Is that what has been done to the police, local authority and political leaders in places such as Rotherham, Oxford, Derby and Rochdale? If so, we must understand how this was achieved.  Was it by deliberating creating an atmosphere in which our personal connection to simple natural human rights, becomes confused? Is this perhaps achieved by the repeated iterations of religious and wholly spurious offence taking?

How was an environment created where the most basic human instincts for self preservation, and the protection of the most vulnerable, were psychologically separated, from the natural ability to act, in their defence? Perhaps the answer lies in reflecting further upon the nature of RELIGIOUS BIG ABUSE.

A critical question, today especially, is how far has this psychological impotence reached and specifically, has it spread its tentacles into even Parliament and rendered our lawmakers psychologically hand cuffed?

If so, I would send a message to remind our lawmakers that this is the House of Commons, the very institution which was established to enable the common citizen, a person without money or power, to seek justice and protection from the abuses of the nobility and the clergy, those withmoney, position and ultimately power.

I would also respectfully remind our lawmakers that the House of Commons stands on a tradition of evidence and reasoning, of debate and wisdom and therefore it is vital that they follow this tradition and see through the “mind manipulating” gowns and robes, that they see past the funny hats and colourful sashes.

On behalf of the British Hindu religious community, I would authorise and encourage our lawmakers to see past pseudo-religious mumbo jumbo, and to see through false claims justifying the right of divine bigotry and divine self regulation.  I would propose that respect for universal human rights must be the bedrock upon which religiously minded individuals build their religious establishments. And those institutions which have been built on the sandy foundations of centuries of religious BIG ABUSE must be brought to account. If these religious institutions are unable to accept the reason behind this, any connection with Divinity has clearly long fled their institutions. BIG ABUSE is simply about power and has nothing to with God, in fact such institutions and traditions give even God, a bad name.

Just over a week ago, on the 9th November I had the privilege to represent the British Hindu community at the Cenotaph, and to commemorate the courage and sacrifice of millions of service men and women, over 160,000 of them of Indian origin and I would close my remarks with an observation to do with courage.

Each and every one of those souls whom we remember on Remembrance Sunday, they valued the protection of innocent and vulnerable people and their own way of life, so highly that when faced with an army of delusional criminals driven by an exclusivist ideology, they chose to risk and sacrifice their lives.

Today we are discussing the actions of abusers, BIG ABUSERS who despite robes, gowns and hats, are also exclusivist delusional criminals and we too need to find the courage to act in protection of the most innocent and most vulnerable members of our communities and also the British way of life.

I submit that Religious rights must be subservient to Human rights and the rule of reason must prevail over abusive criminality, no matter how delusional.

Thank you.

NCHTUK - Shubh Diwali!

Shubh Diwali from the NCHTUK!


On the 20th October 2014, Prime Minister David Cameron warmly welcomed British Hindu community leaders and sevaks to his residence at 10 Downing Street, with the blessing "Shubh Diwali" followed by deeply spiritual Sanskrit words of the ancient Hindu Rishis, Kama (sensory passions), Artha (material prosperity), Dharma (Harmonious Purpose) and Mohksha (diminution of attachments).

mdhus1At the annual Downing Street Diwali celebration, he spoke of the valuable contribution of the British Hindu community to British life, in terms of the above four purusharthas (human purposes) and he spoke of the vital contribution that the Hindu philosophy of reverence for Light, encapsulated in the Diwali celebrations, had for all people of all faiths and he wished the British Hindu community prosperity and happiness.

The Prime Minister touched upon the four purusharthas and in doing so, yet again demonstrated his courage and willingness to step out from the boundaries dictated by dogmatic adherence to religious traditions. In invoking the words of the enlightened Hindu Seers, he demonstrated by personal example, an enlightened willingness to explore, to recognise and embrace the ideas and observations of a “foreign” tradition, one which has its roots in a distant antediluvian past, in a land and culture distant from the land of his birth, by many thousands of miles. “Enlightened willingness” to challenge ones own fears, limits and beliefs is at the very heart of the Diwali message and the Prime Ministers courageous example will have a lasting effect on those who have understood its significance.

The enlightening rituals of Diwali, like all of the Hindu celebration, function on many levels. Some are obvious, like those relating to personal and cultural relationships for example, whilst others are more esoteric and adhyatmic (personally spiritual) and there is one aspect which often gets occluded by the smoke of fireworks and the deluge of feasting and celebration and which Prime Minister Cameron demonstrated and that is the aspect of Dharma (Harmonious purpose) and that is what we at the NCHT UK would like to thank him for and to celebrate and applaud this year.

Darkness takes many forms and the darkness of avidya (unharmonious knowledge) is a particularly dangerous darkness, one which is again inflicting untold suffering in many parts of the world. This darkness clouds the radiance of an innocent mind, poisoning it with fear and hatred and false beliefs about other human beings, and as history so clearly shows – leads to atrocities on a scale which makes one shudder in horror.mdhus3

This darkness, which arises out of a refusal to genuinely and with integrity, explore the life and ideas of the “other”, a refusal to consider the simple humanity of the “other”, a refusal to courageously celebrate and take delight in the differences of the “other”, plunges humanity repeatedly into the depths of hatred and unlimited pain.

Lesser leaders and especially religious leaders, too often lack the courage to take these steps, preferring not to risk the discovery of shared humanity, preferring not to risk the discovery of love and warmth to be found in friendship of “others”, preferring not to risk losing dearly treasured beliefs even if they are avidya (unharmonious knowledge) and the cause of their own suffering and the suffering of others.

Prime Minister Cameron in publicly embracing the common purposes of humanity, so eloquently articulated by ancient Hindu sages, has demonstrated this most essential principle of Diwali, the principle of enlightened courage to face ones own “dark unknowingness”, to explore the ideas of the “other” , to challenge and overcome Raavana, the demon of inner fear, and to then emerge a fuller member of the global human family. In a nation steeped in the history of colonial baggage, with some ossified religious relics of a medieval past yet to be “refreshed”, Prime Minister Cameron is to be warmly applauded for his courage, leadership and perception.

We, the Executive Committee members of the National Council of Hindu Temples, on behalf of the Hindu Temples of the United Kingdom, and on behalf of the British Hindu congregations of our Temples, thank him for his hospitality and Diwali celebrations and wish him and his family, a year full of prosperity, happiness and success and we look forward to the Light of Diwali blessing all of his endeavours with success.


Satish K Sharma,

General Secretary

National Council of Hindu Temples (UK)



"Dharma Rising" Conference Videos & Photos

The full set of videos of the talks and speeches are being prepared but already there are a flurry of pictures and videos on FB.  For our dear friends who missed the events heres Dr Swamy's Keynote speech and also Kapil Dudakias "The Political Hindu" presentation, just to whet your appetite!.



Whilst you are waiting for the official releases, here are some photographs and some feedback from delegates. Thank you for supporting the Conference and we look forward to next years "Dharma Rakshak" Awards event being better and bigger!


Harrow Glimpses



Wednesbury Glimpses

"A day full of "intellectual feasting - we want MORE!" - Harrow Delegate on Facebook








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