Global Hindu Heritage Foundation: Restoring the Heart of Sanatan Dharma

24 Mar 2024 95 Views

From Temple Liberation to Cultural Empowerment, GHHF is leading the charge in defense of Hindu civilization.

  • Hindu civilization faced sustained assault from invaders and colonizers for over 1200 years, threatening the foundations of its social order. 
  • Global Hindu Heritage Foundation (GHHF) champions the defense and revitalization of Hindu culture through legal challenges, awareness campaigns, and community engagement.
  • GHHF also spearheads efforts to empower Hindus against conversion pressures and promote cultural pride through educational initiatives.
  • GHHF continues its mission to reclaim Hindu heritage, fight against conversions, protect temples, and preserve cultural identity for future generations.

Sanatan Dharma is the oldest and most significant source of traditions, spirituality, culture, and philosophy. Unfortunately, over the last 1200 years, this great civilization has faced sustained Abrahamic assault, targeting its beliefs and way of life.

Because of its complex structure, it is important to understand Dharma’s basic principles and structure to appreciate its beauty. At the core of Sanatan Dharma are temples, which act as central places for devotion, tradition, culture, and philosophy. The social gatherings and rituals at these temples have historically contributed to the development of the Hindu community in various aspects like education, healthcare, food, and trade. However, during the Arab-Turkic invasions and later British colonization, the dharmic framework of this great social order was slowly weakened by those who sought to impose their beliefs and exert political power.

After centuries of struggle and oppression, there was hope for a revival when India gained independence in 1947. Unfortunately, quite the reverse happened, where our civilizational identity’s very Foundation was questioned. The successive governments dominated by the Western-educated Hindus-by-accident dynasts harbored an innate bias against Hindus and their traditions. For nearly seven decades, they had a free run at embedding their biases in the public consciousness through discriminatory policies and public postures. Sadly, the Hindu soul, suppressed by centuries of colonial rule, failed to see the slow but steady erosion of their values, traditions, and socio-economic interests.

However, a ray of hope began to emerge in recent times. Several Hindu organizations, both in India and around the world, became aware of the games being played against their civilizational identity and started working to restore the lost glory of Hindu Dharma. While groups like RSS and VHP were already doing good work, as were organizations like ISKCON and the Akshay Patra Foundation, it was clear that ordinary people needed to be engaged in the recovery process to protect, support, and nurture the institutions that were the Foundation of our dharmic traditions.

It is here the Global Hindu Heritage Foundation (GHHF) entered the scene with the vision “to protect, preserve, promote, and maintain Hindu culture, Hindu temples, mutts, peethams, endowments, Trusts, and other institutions globally.”

Global Hindu Heritage Foundation

However, their task has not been without challenges, the biggest one being the various state governments. Several state governments have seized control of Hindu temples and are siphoning off their earnings under the pretext of “administration.” However, they have shown little to no interest in their upkeep. GHHF’s “Save Temples” mission has taken a leading role in freeing temple management from state control. In 2006, the Foundation created the Hindu Devalaya Parirakshana Samiti to legally challenge the Endowments Act  that is used by the state government to control the temples. The same year, the Foundation also organized a groundbreaking film festival to raise awareness of the issue. The festival was very effective in shedding light on the struggles of Hindu temples and raising public awareness.

In 2014, GHHF organized another film festival as part of its public engagement strategy. This event featured some 40 short films and documentaries covering topics like protecting Hindu temples and their assets, the ancient Hindu religion, the Vedas and their importance, protection of cows, providing food for the needy (Annadanam), promoting Hindu devotion, and exploring Hindu epics, Puranas, and other sacred texts. Three films were recognized with cash prizes, several organizations engaged in dharmic causes were honored, and the web portal https://swasthiktv.com was recognized as the Best Devotional Web TV.

The persistent efforts finally gained significant traction around 2015 when the Foundation organized a seminar focused on repealing the Endowments Act. This event marked a turning point, drawing attention to the cause after nearly a decade of struggle. Notable figures, including BJP leader Subramaniam Swamy, supported the Foundation’s demand, predicting that the days of the Endowments Act were numbered.

The Global Hindu Heritage Foundation (GHHF) has continued to monitor Hindu temples and actively participate in social and political efforts to free them from government control. In one instance, GHHF exposed the Andhra State government’s subversive efforts to appoint non-Hindus to manage temples to undermine the temples’ integrity
GHHF was at the forefront in raising a voice against such efforts. This prompted the aforementioned state government to remove such individuals from temple management. Unfortunately, this decision was later reversed by that state’s high court. Nevertheless, the Foundation has persisted in its interactions with the state government while simultaneously lodging a formal appeal against the high court’s decision

In addition to working on short-term objectives, the GHHF is committed to securing the well-being of future generations as well. In pursuit of this objective, the Foundation launched Bala Samskar Kendras, which aimed to foster the holistic development of children. These centers offer instruction on yoga for physical development, narrate tales of historical figures for inspiration, acquaint them with Hindu saints for spiritual enrichment, and much more.

Campaign against Conversions

For decades, there has been a continuous activity of religious conversions to Christianity through allurement and enticement. In response, the Global Hindu Heritage Foundation has taken a bold and impactful step by organizing Ghar Wapsi programs. These endeavors are designed to reintegrate recent converts by providing counseling sessions about the rich heritage of Sanatan Dharma and the loss of spiritual fulfillment they risk by embracing other faiths. GHHF is actively working in various regions of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, where conversions are prevalent. 

Additionally, the Foundation has produced educational material that compares the teachings from the Bible and the Bhagavad Gita. These pamphlets empower individuals considering voluntary conversion, equipping them with a valuable resource for making informed decisions. Through the presentation of teachings from both religious texts, the Foundation endeavors to foster a thoughtful and knowledgeable approach to matters of faith and conversion.

Other projects

While conversion activity is one of the biggest challenges in Bharat, the violent persecution of Hindus is the most alarming issue in neighboring countries such as Bangladesh and Pakistan. Men within the community are regularly coerced and threatened to convert to Islam, while women endure the horrifying ordeal of forced abduction and marriage to older men after being forcibly converted to Islam. Recognizing the urgency of this situation, GHHF, alongside other organizations, has urged for the swift implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) to provide citizenship to Hindus fleeing persecution in Pakistan and Bangladesh.

GHHF has also actively campaigned against the illegal slaughter of cows in the country and, in several instances, worked to rescue cows from the clutches of butchers. In February 2024, GHHF was responsible for successfully rescuing 350 cows from the imminent threat of slaughter.

Uniting the Hindu community has long been a challenging task, but the Global Hindu Heritage Foundation has adopted a unique strategy. In February 2024, the Foundation organized events commemorating Shivaji Jayanti, not in Maharashtra but in the distant Northeast, especially Assam. This initiative significantly heightened awareness among the Hindu populace in the region regarding the great king Shivaji and his vision for Swaraj. A substantial volunteer force comprising 7000 individuals was mobilized on the ground, with the ambitious goal of establishing a 50,000-strong volunteer organization in the region. Simultaneously, there has been a renewed effort to protect girls within the community from the predatory influences of people from Abrahamic faiths.

Above and beyond its various initiatives, the Global Hindu Heritage Foundation’s most crucial endeavor is to foster a sense of pride in Dharma among the Hindu community. A particularly innovative initiative by the Foundation involved crafting stencils featuring text carvings of “Jai Shri Ram” and “Om Namah Shivay,” which were distributed to over 300 locations across Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, and West Bengal, as well as in the United States and Bangladesh. This initiative sought to instill a strong sense of cultural and spiritual pride within the Hindu community.

The Man Behind the Institution – Dr. VV Prakashrao

The Global Hindu Heritage Foundation, led by Dr. VV Prakash Rao, works hard to protect and promote Sanatan Dharma, much like the legendary warrior Abhimanyu confronting multiple adversaries in the great war for Dharma.

Dr. Rao earned his MA in Rural Development and Economics from Andhra University in 1963. After a brief stint at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies in New Delhi, he came to the US in 1965 and earned his second MA degree at Michigan State University and PhD in Sociology at Mississippi State University in 1971. He then joined the Jackson University faculty, becoming its Chairperson of the Department of Sociology and Criminology until his retirement in 2006.

Aside from academics, Dr. Rao was a social activist and founding member of the Hindu Temple Society of Mississippi. For thirty years, he served the Hindu community in Mississippi, engaging in interfaith debates and educating students and youth about Hindu dharma and its intricacies. Dr. Rao has been outspoken about the challenges posed by Christianity in his native state of Andhra Pradesh, highlighting how converts were actively undermining the ethos of Hindu religion.

The Global Hindu Heritage Foundation can be contacted at ghhfusaorg@gmail.com.

https://youtu.be/3SYznHiek-Q

 

https://hindudvesha.org/global-hindu-heritage-foundation-restoring-the-heart-of-sanatan-dharma/

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