Several years ago, a friend of ours called us in anguish. He told us about a dinner party of about 20 Indian couples in Atlanta, Georgia. Two of the families were Muslim & the rest Hindus. One of the Muslim women said during dinner how she wished the Muslims still ruled India. No Hindu man or woman at the party said anything in response.
One of the Hindu women present called our friend Raam and told him about it. She added that she wanted to say something about the wish expressed by the Muslim woman but wasn’t sure if anyone would support her.
Raam called us in some pain a couple of days later. He said he did not understand why no one except the solitary Hindu woman even felt like speaking up. Further he didn’t understand why the Hindu woman who called him was afraid of saying something without assurance of support from other 35 odd Hindus present at the party. To him, it spoke of the still existing inferiority complex among Hindus even after decades of Hindu majority in India. And it stunned him to see how afraid Hindus remained in America, the land of freedom.
Shree Raam Sidhaye was an exceptional man, proud of his Hindu heritage. During the decades we knew him, he was one of the early fighters for Hindu self-confidence & pride. He was also a rare supporter of our efforts to fight defamation of Hindus in American TV, American public media & Universities.
Raam was deeply respected in the Hindu community of North America and India. But he was forthright even in those groups. He was the main activist we could count on in our efforts. A notable one was about a prize to be awarded to a “celebrated” US Professor for, what we thought were, despicable words of defamation for thousands of years of Hindu thought. We wrote to the board of that prize committee & one of them wrote to us saying we were the only ones protesting.
We called Raam & he went into action. He spoke to several activist leaders around America & in India and persuaded them to send emails to the board member. They did and the Board of that prize did NOT award it to that US professor of Sanskrut. That was the first time this “celebrated” professor was denied a prize or an award. And it was entirely due to Raam’s tireless phone calls & emails to everyone in the Hindu community he knew.
One of our personal drives is to override Brit-imposed incorrect spellings of Sanskrut words by phonetically correct spellings. For example, the Brit-imposed spelling “Rama” for the Avataar of God on earth that Hindus continue to use without understanding this spelling is an insult. Just to clarify, the term Rama phonetically means a woman who enjoys (in a physical sense). In contrast, phonetically Raam means a handsome young man & the term Raamaa means a lovely young woman. There is absolutely no doubt about this. So Shree Raam, Raghu-Raam, Raaghav-Raam are all true & valid terms for the young Avataar of God on earth. But not the heinous insult Rama.
When we pointed this out to our friend, he immediately began using the correct term Raam in his emails. And he was one of the rare ones to do that. He knew that Hindus are highly prone to follow whatever conventions the big guys use without even questioning let alone protesting that. And Shree Sidhaye did NOT want to be one of those cowardly Hindus. That is why, in his honor & our fond recollection of him, we refer to him in this article as Raam Sidhaye.
Shree Raam Sidhaye passed away two years ago on April 13, 2021 and we miss him terribly. But we know he is extremely pleased and smiling broadly in heaven. Because his beloved State of Georgia passed a landmark resolution this passed week condemning Hinduphobia:
Had he been alive, we would have travelled to Atlanta to celebrate this landmark with him. If he is listening, we want him to know how proud we are of him & his tireless heroic work to get US Hindus to today’s proud state.
Kudos to the united Hindu-American community in Georgia. They have achieved major success, both religious & political. We hope that the Hindu-American community in every state follows in their footsteps. The trouble has been that, while Hindus became physically independent in 1947, they have not become mentally independent.
As Raam knew this and felt it deeply, we insert below his favorite poem about Independence written by the Great Veer Savarkar:
Editor’s PS: – Veer Savarkar was jailed by the British for 11 years in their most horrible prison on Andaman Island deep in the Indian Ocean. In his honor, a brand new airport terminal named Veer Savarkar International Airport is scheduled to open in Andaman later this year.
This goes to show once again that the election of PM Narendra Modi was the launch of a drive to regain Mental Independence of India & Indians. Wait until the Great Nicobar Naval & Air base is fully built and the new International Port is completed on the Great Nicobar Island. Then the vision of the immortal Veer Savarkar will be realized by one the great patriots of true India, PM Narendra Modi.
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