India

We support policies that strengthen India’s legacy of pluralism and religious freedom, and a strong US-India relationship for the promotion of democracy and security and stability in the region.  

We advocate for Hindus here in America and around the world because we believe that where the well-being of Hindus is secure, the well-being of all people and the planet is secure. While the Hindu diaspora has reached every continent, India remains very special and significant. India is a sacred geography and spiritual homeland for Hindus, including those living in India, those of Indian origin and generations removed, and those who have come to discover and embrace Hindu traditions, teachings, and practices as a result of their own spiritual quest. 

Caste Discrimination

We condemn all forms of caste-based discrimination and support holistic, community based solutions which incorporate education, upliftment, and empowerment.

Caste-based discrimination is a serious social problem across every religious community in India and throughout South Asia. It is outlawed in India and other countries in South Asia. Caste based discrimination is in direct violation of the most profound and fundamental Hindu teachings about Divinity being manifest equally in every being. 

We acknowledge the efforts of countless Hindu spiritual leaders, community based organizations, and individuals who have worked and continue to work tirelessly towards eliminating these dehumanizing attitudes and behaviors, and empowering those who have been adversely impacted.

Environment

We support policies which promote the ethical treatment of animals, ecological conservation, and stopping climate change.

Hindu teachings repeatedly assert that all of manifest existence, all of the world around us, is Divine and deserving of our respect, worship, and protection. This outlook is a holistic, interconnected view of the relationship between humanity and all of nature.

A broad application of the Hindu ethical principles espoused in the yamas (how one should interact with others and the world) and niyamas (how one should interact with oneself through spiritual disciplines and restraints) provides a strong dictate and basis for ecological conservation and protection of all species. 

Hate Crimes

We condemn hatred, violence, and discrimination against all communities.

Anti-Hindu hatred or Hinduphobia is the irrational fear of, hostility to, discrimination against, or hatred towards Hindus and Hinduism. Both have a tragically long history which continues to this day across the globe. Hindu Americans are not exempt from attacks based on their religion and culture.

We request your help in tracking incidents of identity-based and bias-motivated intimidation, harassment, and violence in our communities by requesting you to fill out the Anti-Hindu Hate and Hinduphobia Incident Form, if you or someone you know has experienced or witnessed an incident.

Immigration

The United States is a nation of immigrants. That is as true today as it has been throughout this nation’s history. 

We support a fair and transparent immigration system, without country cap quotas, that ensures immigrant workers have a fair chance at securing a green card needed for career mobility or to establish a business in the United States, and that respects the value of family unification and provides a path to citizenship for young undocumented immigrants and immigrants with temporary status.

International Religious Freedom

Pluralistic freedom of thought and worship must be the foundation of any modern society and nation.

Hindu teachings acknowledge and accept that there are multiple paths to, perspectives on, and ways to worship. In the famous passage from the Rig Veda, the tradition’s oldest sacred text, it states, (in paraphrase) “The Truth is one, the wise call It by many names.” Such religious or spiritual freedom must be based, however, on mutual respect. 

Based on this fundamental Hindu teaching regarding religious freedom and pluralism, We support international religious freedom in terms of what the Universal Declaration of Human Rights includes as “the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance;” and as what it has failed to include, as the right to retain one’s tradition and be free from religious intrusion, harassment, intimidation, and exploitative and predatory proselytization.

LGBT Rights

We hold that fundamental Hindu teachings may allow Hindus to more openly embrace LGBT rights and marriage equality, and that the government should not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or identity.

The equal religio-spiritual potential of all individuals is key to understanding a Hindu basis for dignity for LGBT persons. Hindu teachings hold that every being is an eternal soul enveloped in form or a body. This soul is distinct from one’s physical body and personality (ego), as well as outer attributes such as race, caste, gender, and sexual orientation. Every being may strive towards and attain moksha by transcending selfishness, and material desires and impulses, including sexual ones. 

Religious Liberty

We hold that religion and state are healthiest at a distance, acknowledging one another’s positive roles in society and in the daily lives of people, but independent of one another. As such, HAF supports the separation of church and state at all levels, and the right of every individual and community to religious belief and expression.

Religious liberty is guaranteed by the US Constitution and provides a two-fold promise: the right to religious belief and expression, and the guarantee that the state will not prefer religion over non-religion nor favor particular religions above others. Nonetheless, under the guise of religious liberty, some have sought to use the state apparatus to curry favor or privilege their religion over others. This erodes the foundation of freedom and democracy. 

Women's Rights

We believe that we have a responsibility to ensure the dignity and equality of all women and men, and support culturally grounded means for freedom, empowerment, and opportunity regardless of background.

Hindus understand the Divine to be both masculine and feminine, as well as neither. Divine energy is worshiped as the Goddess(es) and is seen to be complementary and not in competition with divine masculine powers which manifest as God(s). That there has been and remains a disconnect between teachings of equality and respect for women and Goddess worship, and examples of discriminatory treatment of women in societies across the globe is unfortunate and must be countered.