US: Tulsi Gabbard to address Democrats

Tulsi Gabbard appears all set to become the first Hindu-American to be elected to the US House of Representatives.

Updated: Sep 02, 2012, 11:30 AM IST

Washington: Tulsi Gabbard, who appears all set to become the first Hindu-American to be elected to the US House of Representatives, has been invited to address the Democratic national convention in North Carolina next week.

Gabbard, who won the tough Democratic primary from Hawaii early this month, figures among the list of women speakers led by the House Democratic Leader, Nancy Polosi, who will lead a presentation of the women of the House.

The list includes seven women lawmakers and two candidates for US House of Representatives -- Joyce Beatty of Ohio and Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii.

California Attorney General Kamala D Harris is the only Indian American to figure in the list of speakers released so far by the organisers of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte from September 04 to 06.

In the just concluded Republican national convention in Tampa, several Indian Americans had a chance to take the stage, including the South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, the party`s Congressional candidate from California, Ricky Gill, and a Sikh priest from Central Florida, Ishwar Singh.

In a state where Republicans are rarely elected to Congress, victory of Tulsi Gabbard, raised with a Hindu mother and Catholic father, in the November 06 Congressional elections is considered certain, thus making her the first Hindu ever elected to the US Congress.

Dalip Singh Saund, the first Indian American elected to the House of Representatives in 1950s was a Sikh, while Bobby Jindal, the second Indian American to make it to the House of Representatives, had converted to Christianity.

"I had the opportunity to study both Lord Krishna’s Bhagavad Gita and also the New Testament. And like Mahatma Gandhi, who also studied both the Gita and the teachings of Jesus Christ, I saw that the central message of both is that we can only be truly happy if we are using our life in the loving service of God and humanity. That is what I am trying to do in my life--to actually apply the universal spiritual teaching of Karma Yoga and Bhakti Yoga," Gabbard told a news agency in an interview.

Currently, a Company Commander with the Hawaii Army National Guard, who has volunteered to serve on two deployments to the Middle East, Gabbard served as Hawaii`s youngest state representative in 2002 and is the youngest woman in the USA to be elected into such a position.

Having never visited India so far, Tulsi says she is looking forward to visit India as an elected member of the House of Representatives.

"As a Vaishnava, I especially look forward to visiting the holy sites of Vrindavan," she said.