Amid a row in India over a Tamil Nadu minister’s controversial remarks about Sanatana Dharma (eternal order), another name for Hinduism, Louisville, Kentucky, Mayor Craig Greenberg has proclaimed Sep 3 as ‘Sanatana Dharma Appreciation Day.’
The historic announcement was made during a huge event celebrating the Maha Kumbha Abhishekam at the Hindu Temple of Kentucky in Louisville.
Louisville’s Deputy Mayor Barbara Sexton Smith, read the proclamation on behalf of the Mayor.
The declaration was described as a testament to not only the spiritual significance of the Maha Kumbha Abhishekam event but also to the great, positive impact that the Hindu community has had in Louisville, in Kentucky and across the United States.
Swami Chidanand Saraswati, president of Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati, along with several other spiritual leaders and dignitaries including Lt Governor Jacqueline Coleman and Deputy Chief of Staff Keisha Dorsey were present.
The leaders of the temple began the Maha Kumbha Abhishekam by ascending to the temple’s rooftop, where they showered the deities with holy water and flowers.
Swami Chidanand Saraswati emphasized the great power and importance of Sanatan Dharma and Sanatan tradition.
“It is so sad that in India some people are creating such negativity around Sanatan Dharma without realizing or understanding its value and depth, and yet here in America, in Louisville, Kentucky, we are celebrating the great declaration by the Government of a day dedicated to Sanatan Dharma!,” he said.
After the speeches, the Deputy Mayor of Louisville presented Sri Sri and Swami Chidanand with official certificates of Honorary Citizenship of Louisville.
The proclamation ceremony took place against the backdrop of an ongoing controversy in India over Tamil Nadu Minister Udhayanidhi Stalin’s recent remarks calling for the ‘eradication of Sanatana Dharma.’
Meanwhile, an FIR has been registered against Stalin and Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge’s son Priyank Kharge for allegedly outraging religious feelings.
Stalin was booked for his call to eradicate Sanatan Dharma and Kharge for backing his remark, police said.