Event on Capitol Hill highlights Ramayana’s teachings

The event called ‘Ramayana Across Asia and Beyond’ was incepted to underscore the importance of cultural heritage in contemporary geopolitics.

Indian envoy to the U.S. Taranjit Singh Sandhu at the event / (X/@SandhuTaranjitS)

Hindu American non-profit organization HinduACTion held a conference focused on the integration of the Ramayana’s teachings in today’s governance on January 10 on Capitol Hill, Washington D.C. 

The event called ‘Ramayana Across Asia and Beyond’  aimed to underscore the importance of cultural heritage in contemporary geopolitics. It was attended by several dignitaries including India’s Ambassador to the U.S. Taranjit Singh Sandhu, Rep. Jim Baird (R-IN.), Rep. Max Miller (R-OH.), and Rep. Shri Thanedar (D-CA.) 

“Pleasure to join ‘Ramayana Across Asia: The Shared Cultural Heritage of the Indo-Pacific’ event at US Capitol earlier today along with Congressmen @MaxMillerOH, @ShriThanedar, and Ambassador @SangratTanee. Ramayana’s timeless wisdom transcends geographies, across the Indo-Pacific & beyond,” Sandhu said in a post on X. 

Key embassy staff from Guyana, Bangladesh, think tank members from Sri Lanka, Thailand’s ambassador were also present at the event. However, the presence of members of the Afghan Hazara community was a significant highlight of the event. 

A cultural dance performance of the Ramayana was showcased at the event, illustrating the epic’s interpretation across various Indo-Pacific nations. Jay Kansara, one of the co-curators of the exhibition said, "Not many people in this Congress may have been aware of the cultural and geopolitical significance of this epic for so many nations around the world, especially in the Indo-Pacific region.”

“The story of Ramayana transcends millennia, And its message of ethical governance, coalition building, and respect for family values, are relevant now more than ever before,” he added.

Utsav Chakrabarti, the other co-curator of the exhibit and executive director of HinduACTion said, "I strongly believe that America as a nation should engage our friends in the Indo-Pacific through a civilizational lens, and the Ramayana and the message it carries, provides us with such a lens. That is why the Ramayana has transcended boundaries of ethnicity, language, culture, and religion in each of these nations and has found a place of respect and reverence in them.”

Chakrabarti emphasized that the civilizational message has the power and strength to unite the Indo-Pacific countries in their stand against Communist China and its regional machinations. 

HinduACTion is a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C. dedicated to empowering American pluralism by integrating STEM, meditation, and yoga with Hindu civilizational wisdom for inclusive policies, media accuracy, and community engagement.