Tulsi Gabbard, the first Hindu lawmaker in the US Congress, has been named as the chairperson of the World Hindu Congress to be held in Chicago next year, organisers of the mega event announced on Wednesday.
Held once every four years, World Hindu Congress (WHC) is a global platform for Hindus to connect, share ideas, inspire one another and impact the common good.
Organised by the World Hindu Foundation, the first Congress was held in New Delhi in 2014. The second WHC will take place in Illinois in Chicago from September 7 to 9 next year.
Hindus from across the world “would be able to come together, share ideas and inspire one another as we seek ways to positively impact the communities around us” and the world, Gabbard, 36, said.
The three-term Democratic Congresswoman from Hawaii, Gabbard is currently the co-chair of the House Congressional caucus.
“With all that’s happening in the world, the universal message of aloha — love, peace, respect and unity — is so needed. I am looking forward to working with you and seeing you soon,” Gabbard said in a video message to the organisers.
Abhaya Asthana, coordinator of WHC, said that the organising committee was looking for a recognised leader who is courageous, bold, principled, progressive, accomplished, articulate and above all a practising Hindu.
“Undoubtedly, she brings with her all these attributes and more,” Asthana said. “We are thrilled to have her on the team and look forward to working with her for a successful World Hindu Congress 2018,” Asthana said.
Gabbard is an Iraq war veteran and a member of the powerful House Foreign Relations Committee. The inaugural WHC held in November 2014 had seen participation of 1,800 delegates from 53 countries.