CREDOS : Pluralism — V

S B Veylanswami

That includes unethical conversion efforts by other faiths, the youth not being interested in attending temples, a shortage of qualified teachers, and a lack of religious outreach to the elderly, ill, and needy.

To take one issue as an example, in every country with a significant Hindu population, there are serious concerns about conversion. And it is a certainly that this challenge is better faced when the Hindus within a country are united rather than divided. Malaysia provides a good model of a country in which Hindus are effectively united while maintaining their diversity.

They are united through an umbrella organisation called the Malaysia Hindu Sangam. The Sangam has held major rallies about the conversion problem, and as a follow-up to the rallies has instigated, through a number of temples and social service programs.

Their programmes have proved to be an effective way of preventing conversion among Hindus living in poverty or neglect, and they accomplished this by working in tandem with all sects within the country. In every country there are leaders and movements who encourage Hindus to not work together, but to divide by language, the deity they worship, or other differences and remain apart from other Hindu groups. The wise encourage Hindus of different affiliations and traditions to band together to stand united in their diversity, to face the challenges that confront the Hindus. —