indica News Bureau –
Tulsi Gabbard, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate and the first Hindu Congresswoman, would be a keynote speaker at the upcoming JAINA (Federation of Jain Associations in North America) Convention 2019.
Established in 1981, to promote religious and educational activities related to Jainism, JAINA is the only organization representing over 150,000 Jains in North America.
Gunvant Shah, JAINA president has posted the confirmation on the JAINA website(www.jaina.org).
The website states – JAINA Convention Committee has confirmed Hawaii Congresswoman, Tulsi Gabbard, as a speaker at JAINA Convention 2019!, “We are grateful to have Tulsi join us with her broad range of real-world experience, a storehouse of personal strength, and tested leadership serving in the U.S. House of Representatives.” The convention will be held July 4 – July 7 in Los Angeles, California.
The 37-year-old Gabbard and a four-term Democratic congresswoman announced her presidential bid earlier this month during an interview with CNN.
She has announced to officially hold a campaign rally on February 2 in the US state of Hawaii to formally launch her 2020 White House bid, and past Thursday, January 24, she released her first campaign ad highlighting her military service.
Gabbard, who is not of Indian origin but comes from a Hindu family in Hawaii, will use the rally in Oahu to “gather with friends, family, and supporters to share her vision for the future of our nation”, her campaign said on Friday.
The Iraq veteran Gabbard serves on the House Armed Services Committee and House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Her campaign press note has said earlier that she has been a Hindu American leader in the truest sense, from being the first ever member of Congress to take the oath on the Bhagavad Gita to fiercely advocating for not only her constituents but for issues impacting the wellbeing of Hindus here and around the world. It said Gabbard’s approach to lawmaking and diplomacy has been guided by dharma and steeped in the spirit of karma yoga.
It said that Gabbard has also been vocal against inaccurate and disrespectful presentations of Hindu teachings and traditions in the media and public school textbooks and advocated for civil and human rights not only for Hindu minorities but all people who are suffering.
In The Van Jones Show on CNN, she said she aimed to “ensure every American gets the healthcare they need, to bring about comprehensive immigration reform, to make sure we have clean water and clean air for generations to come, to fix our broken criminal justice system, to end the corrupt influence of special interests in Washington, and so much more.
“But the main reason I’m running has to do with an issue that is central to the rest – war and peace. I look forward to talking with you more about this in the coming days. When we stand together, united by our love for each other and for our country, there is no challenge we cannot overcome,” she wrote in an email sent to her supporters.
In her first tweet after the announcement, Gabbard urged her fellow countrymen to join her campaign.
“When we stand together, united by our love for each other and for our country, there is no challenge we cannot overcome. Will you join me?” she asked on Twitter.
However, she had faced criticism, among other things for her past attacks on the LGBTQ community; for meeting up with Bashar Assad, the president of Syria, which is riven by a civil war Gabbard believes the US should not have intervened in; and objecting to the Iran nuclear deal under President Barack Obama (though she also objected when President Donald Trump decided to pull out of it.
Gabbard also worries the left because of some enthusiastic support she has garnered in far-right groups and the right-wing press.
She did apologize for her earlier views on the LGBTQ community.
“I’m grateful for those in the LGBTQ+ community who have shared their aloha with me throughout my personal journey,” she said on CNN. “Over the past six years in Congress, I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to help work toward passing legislation that ensures equal rights and protections on LGBTQ+ issues, such as the Equality Act, the repeal of DOMA, Restore Honor to Service members Act, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, the Safe Schools Improvement Act and the Equality for All Resolution. Much work remains to ensure equality and civil rights protections for LGBTQ+ Americans and if elected President, I will continue to fight for equal rights for all.”