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HSC: YUVA '94 Press Release

Press Release
YUVA '94 Conference
Thursday May 27 - Sunday May 29
sponsored by Hindu Students Council

Northeastern University (NU) in Boston, Massachusetts was the venue of YUVA '94, Spring Conference, held from May 27 to May 29, 1994.  The conference, organized 
by Hindu Students Council (HSC), was attended by 410 students, youth, and 
community members from across the USA and Canada.  Students represented
universities from sixteen states.  The conference theme was "Empowerment for the 21st Century."  Students heard various speakers and discussed many issues 
relating to their future as Hindus and residents of North America.

The conference began with an inaugural address by  Dr. Karen Rigg, Vice-President for Student Affairs at NU. Dr. Mahesh Mehta, President of Vishwa 
Hindu Parishad of America inaugurated the conference by lighting a ceremonial 
lamp. "Shattering the Glass Ceiling: Entrepreneurship and its Opportunities for 
Indian-Americans" was the topic of discussion for the first session.  Mr. Raj 
Vattikutti, Pres. and founder of Complete Business Solutions Inc. in Michigan, 
explained what process one needs to follow in order to build up a business in corporate America. He encouraged Hindu students to take up the challenge to be 
the best and thereby overcome the so-called "Glass Ceiling."

Dr. David Frawley, prolific writer and Director of the American Institute for 
Vedic Studies in New Mexico, gave an insightful speech on Vedic history.  He 
presented the most recent archeological findings which disprove the long-held 
Aryan invasion theory.  Interestingly, he explained that most historians now 
believe that the Aryan invasion was "a myth promoted by the British and leftist 
historians," and that the ancient Vedic culture is actually native to Bharat 
(India).  For example, he said, "the references to the battles between light and dark in the Vedas have been misrepresented as fights between light-skinned and 
dark-skinned people."

In the session on Ethnic Experiences, Dr. Norman Adler, a Jewish community
leader and Vice-Provost at NU, related the experiences of Jews in America to
what Hindus should do to remain a vibrant and successful community.  In 
providing guidance to the Hindu community, he said "Intra-community fighting 
will bring the community down."  He ended by stating "There are a lot of 
similarities between the Hindu and Jewish communities in America, and there is 
lot of scope for cooperation at the local and global levels."

Ms. Vani Singhal, a member of the Oklahoma State Democratic Party Executive 
Committee and youngest Indian-American on the Democratic National Committee, was the featured speaker on the topic: Political Participation and Impacting the 
American Agenda. She explained that Hindu culture stresses duty and that "Hindus have a lot to offer to America. Political participation, therefore, will not 
only further the interests of our community, but will improve American society 
as well.  It is our duty to participate in the political process by voting, 
letter-writing, and supporting candidates who support the interests of the 

A session on "Holistic Approach to Health and Happiness" attracted over one 
hundred fifty students. Dr. David Frawley, presented the basic philosophy of 
Ayurveda. He said that Ayurveda had developed advanced techniques for performing complex surgeries and presented cures for many ailments.  He stressed that the 
basic philosophy of Ayurveda was that health depended on relative balances 
between the body, mind, and soul. He also conducted a workshop for community 
members on Ayurveda which was titled "The Secret Garden." Over 70 community 
members attended the event on Friday 27, 1994.

Molly Chaudhuri, Assistant District Attorney for Norfolk County, Massachusetts, 
spoke about Social Responsibility and the Indian Family.  She declared that 
"Offenses that are criminal in nature are happening in our community : domestic 
violence, substance abuse, and child abuse.  No women deserves to be beaten or 
slapped!"  To begin to deal with this, she said the community must first admit 
that these occur.

Dr. S. K. Majumdar, Amnesty International spoke about human rights violations 
against religious minorities in Bangladesh. Mr. K. L. Kaul the founder and 
General Secretary of the Indo-American Kashmiri Forum presented the true 
conditions in Kashmir valley. He told the audience that terrorists trained and 
armed by Pakistan are fighting a proxy war.

Swami Tadatmananda from Arsha Vidya Gurukulum conducted the spiritual 
benediction by reciting verses from the Rg Veda. In his address he said that the conflict of Arjuna presented in the Bhagavad Gita reflects the conflicts that we face every day.  He also noted that "Hindu Dharma is universal because the 
truths enshrined in it are eternal and can be discovered through 

"Rethinking Global Development: Economics & Management" was the topic of 
discussion in the final theme session. Prof. Romesh Diwan, former chairman of 
Economics Department at Rensselear Polytechnic Institute explained the relevance of Ghandian Economics in the modern day world. He said "it is each persons 
responsibility to help in the economic development of their own society by 
supporting business in their community instead of a far off place." He 
elaborated on the 'Swadeshi' principle of Gandhiji. Prof. Sabine O'Hara of the 
Graduate Management Institute at Union College, NY also talked on the global 
development. She stressed the importance of ecology and socio-diversity, and 
said that they have to be taken into consideration when developing economic 
policies. Mr. Debashis Chatterjee of Indian Institute of Management also 
addressed the gathering.

Over 70 students participated in a lively discussion on the topic of "Hindu : To be or not to be." They expressed their views on the diverse philosophies of 
Hindu Dharma and explored why they identify themselves as Hindus. During the 
conference there was also a cultural program with dances from 7 states of 
Bharat, and also from Thailand, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia, an evening of 
raas/garba/bhangra, and a cruise in Boston harbor. An art exhibition on the 
theme of 'Hindu Philosophies and Systems' was also on display. Students 
participated in a Yoga workshop, where they learnt about Pranayam and benefits 
of Hata Yoga. 40 delegates enrolled in the bone marrow donation program. Kanchan Banerjee, overall coordinator of the conference, said "This conference almost 
perfectly fits the ideal of HSC: to provide a forum for Hindus to learn about 
religion, culture, history, social issues, political problems, and economics, 
and still have opportunities for fun." Dr. Karen Rigg said, "it was one of the 
best conferences to be organized at Northeastern University." Mr. Soumitra 
Gokhale, graduate student from University of New Brunwick, Canada, said, "the 
topics presented, the overall organization and the cultural events 
were excellent. I learnt a lot from this conference." Vandna Kataria from 
Rutgers university said, "Hindu Students Council is providing a great service to the Hindu youth in America through such conferences." Raman Sharma form Tuffts 
university, after hearing to Dr. David Frawley on Vedic History said, "it is 
unfortunate that incorrect history and myth of Aryan invasion has been 
taught for generations, and we should correct it as soon as possible." Reshma 
Agarwal from Boston University commented, "the yoga and meditation session 
conducted by Pundit Ramadheen Ramsamooj was very insightful."

Hindu Students Council is an international forum providing opportunities to 
learn about Hindu culture and heritage, and to bring Hindu youth around the 
world together. HSC is organizing its fourth annual national camp from June 30 
to July 4, 1994 in Oxford, Ohio.

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