In this special series, iGlobal joins hands with the world-famous Neasden Temple in London to celebrate British Hindu contributions across different walks of life in the UK to commemorate the visit of Mahant Swami Maharaj to the UK. Here, Professor Manoj Ladwa reflects upon the profound impact made by the British Hindu community on public life in the UK.
Lord Krishna says, “O Arjuna! No effort ever goes to waste in selfless service, and there is no adverse effect. There is always an opportunity to serve, and there is always time”.
And so, as we celebrate the contribution of British Hindus in public life, we find a rich tapestry, where not only opportunities to serve have been embraced, but also time and resources mobilised over and beyond the call of duty.
There is perhaps no better example than in our National Health Service (NHS). Its therefore only appropriate that in this 75th year of the NHS, we pay tribute to British Hindu doctors, nurses, and care workers who, if can I say, with no exaggeration, have been the backbone of the NHS since its inception. And most recently on the frontline during the pandemic.
Talking of frontline, there can no greater act of public service than the willingness to make the ultimate sacrifice for the nation. And so, let’s pay tribute to three remarkable Hindu women – Lieutenant Commander Bhavna Parmar of the Royal Navy, Lieutenant Colonel Bheravi Sapre of the Royal Army, and the Royal Air Force’s Command Warrant Officer Shobha Earl. Sisters, we are proud of you. But we need more of you, and more of our brothers also.
There is however a group of public servants who we may sometimes feel we need less of – politicians! But as Britain seeks to tackle some of the big challenges on multiculturalism, climate, conflict, healthcare, and economic strife, I believe some more informed Hindu perspectives within British politics and the senior ranks of the civil service would be helpful.
I am pleased that we now have more MPs including, of course, our first-ever British Hindu Prime Minister, and more Councillors than ever before. I pay tribute to you all. But for our voices to be heard louder and respected more, we need more.
MORE LIKE THIS…
Thank you also to all our British Hindu teachers, local pharmacists, royal mail and public transport works and all those who from John O’Groats to Lands End serve tirelessly for the public good of our nation.
And finally, I see so many friends who have received well deserved royal honours for their public service. I am sure, however, each and everyone will agree with me that there can be no better honour and nothing more fulfilling than to serve your constituents, your patients, your students, and indeed this great nation we all call home.
This is the Hindu way. The way of sewa that has inspired us thousands of years, and this is the very same Hindu way that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak explained simply as: his Dharma. Our Dharma.
MORE LIKE THIS…
Thank you, BAPS for giving me, indeed all of us, the opportunity to celebrate what has been a truly remarkable journey for British Hindus. And with the Blessings of Param Pujya Mahant Swami Maharaj and all our elders gathered here today, as they say: the best is yet to come!
*Info: Neasden Temple