We might say the third of the a-b-c's of good journalism is choosing insightful journalists. Here, we take great pleasure in introducing to you a remarkable team of writers who are guiding, through their contributions to this magazine, the course of Hinduism in the modern world. Their in-depth insights into problems and farsighted suggestions for solutions have made Hinduism Today a vital part of the Hindu home for three decades. The visionary nature and inherent sensitivity of these men, along with our very special women journalists, have inspired leadership far beyond expectations in over 80 nations. We call our entire group of journalists the "renaissance team," as they monitor and guide the global, eternal renewal of the world's oldest faith. These journalists have been with us for many years, and we invite more to join their midst. Of course, there are others who have been and will continue to be instrumental in the Hindu renaissance in various capacities. In our universe they include Kiran Bedi, prison reformist and author; Madhu Kishwar, editor of Manushi magazine; Anita Raj, journalist, dancer and model; Swamini Mayatitananda, writing on sadhana, health and women's issues, late thinker Ram Swarup of New Delhi; astrologer Chakrapani Ullal of California; late artist and author Harish Johari of Haridwar; Vamadeva Shastri, Vedic astrologer, New Mexico; A. Manivel, artist of Chennai; Dr. V. Sodhi who writes on health issues through the lense of ayurveda; and many others. To anyone we have neglected, pardon us for not mentioning you, but you know who you are and how dearly you hold the vision of Hindu Dharma. We honor you and the many more who will volunteer their efforts in the future.
Rajiv Malik, of Delhi, with diplomas in Sales and Marketing Management, has specialized in the sale of textiles in his own showrooms since 1984, and "strayed" into journalism ten years back. He writes, "My association with Hinduism Today has given a new meaning to my life, a new sense of direction and purpose. I had never taken my being a Hindu as something which was of great consequence. While working for Hinduism Today I underwent wonderful and mystical experiences. Especially my visits to various Kumbha Melas had a profound impact on my life and thought process as I sat at the feet of holy men and women. While working on the story on Indian child labor, I came across the heart-rending conditions of Indian children. I realized that Hinduism has the solutions to all the extremely complex problems that face mankind today and therefore Hinduism Today has an extremely challenging role to play in shaping the future. I would like to see Hinduism Today become the voice of downtrodden and weak Hindus who suffer as a silent majority in different parts of the world. It is the job of a magazine like Hinduism Today to convey the eternal message of the Vedas and Puranas--that we are not just these perishable bodies but are a part of the Divine. In fulfilling this, I will act as a humble soldier of the HT team for years, generations and births, till the goal is achieved."
Bashudeb Dhar writes from Dhaka: "I became a member of the Hinduism Today family in 1996. I consider it as a rare honor not only for me, but also for the Hindus of Bangladesh, who have been struggling for decades. I am trying to project their struggle. Bangladesh is constitutionally an Islamic country, but Hindus constitute 12 percent of the 130-million population. From 1941 the Hindus here have faced an uncertain future, with deprivation in all sectors of life. There is a wide communication gap among Hindus throughout the world regarding their religious thinking, culture and tradition. None took initiative to foster Hindu solidarity among all sects and lineages seriously. It is reported that dozens of organizations and institutions are working to this end, but the result is not encouraging. Hinduism Today is an exception in this regard. It is not only a magazine, but an institution working to present Hinduism in its real perspective. This I think will go a long way to unite the followers of Sanatana Dharma all over the world, bridging the communication gaps sincerely."
Freelance journalist Archana Dongre lives with her husband, a computer engineer, in Los Angeles. She has been in the US since the early 1970s. Born in Pune, Maharashtra, schooled in Mumbai and Nagpur, linguistically gifted, she excelled in all other languages and sciences. She earned a degree in education and an M.A. in Sanskrit language and literature. Excelling at broad research pieces, her latest articles In Hinduism Today include Adopting Indian Children (4-94), Tribal Art (2-95), Theosophy (6-95), Home, Sweet Europe (9-95), ISKCON's Second Generation (3-96), and a Day in the Life of India (2-97). She writes, "My vision for the future of Hinduism includes a better place for the Hindu woman. In the Vedas, women are respected for what they are in their own right; for example, Gargi, Lopamudra and Maitreyi. In today's society, despite all the advancements that women have made, they are still looked upon as adjuncts, only as somebody's wife, mother or sister, but not for their own capabilities and talents. Of course, all those relations are important, but a woman's own worth and talents need to be respected, nurtured and cultivated, with encouragement from their fathers, husbands and, later, sons. I strongly feel that Hinduism, if rightly understood, has never been just a blind faith, but a rich, variegated source of such fascinating, appealing sciences, like jnana marga and bhakti marga. In the truest, literal sense of the word Dharma, which signifies 'moral sustenance,' Hinduism has all the potential and power to save humanity. I worked in different fields, took college courses in many diverse subjects, but found that no matter what I did, I came back to writing. I just pray to God to give me strength and long life so I can do something significant for my work and my family so I can make a difference and leave a mark."
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