Who We Are
The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) is a non-profit advocacy organization for the Hindu American community. Founded in 2003, HAF's work impacts a range of issues — from the portrayal of Hinduism in K-12 textbooks to civil and human rights to addressing contemporary problems, such as environmental protection and inter-religious conflict, by applying Hindu philosophy.
The Foundation educates the public about Hinduism, speaks out about issues affecting Hindus worldwide, and builds bridges with institutions and individuals whose work aligns with HAF's objectives. HAF's three areas of focus are education, policy, and community. Through its advocacy efforts, HAF promotes dignity, mutual respect, and pluralism in order to ensure the well-being of Hindus and for all people and the planet to thrive.
Promoting dignity, mutual respect, and pluralism in order to ensure the well-being of Hindus and for all people and the planet to thrive.
- Education: Improve the understanding of Hinduism and Hindus
- 1. Work towards an equitable and accurate portrayal of Hinduism in K-12 textbooks and in classrooms.
- 2. Promote a balanced understanding of Hinduism as a lived tradition in academia.
- 3. Improve narratives about Hindus and Hinduism in media.
- Policy: Promote policies for the well-being of Hindus worldwide and the benefit of all people and the planet.
- 1. Advocate for policies that enhance the well-being of Hindus in the US.
- 2. Advocate for policies that secure the human rights of Hindus around the world and promote peace, prosperity and pluralism in India, the spiritual homeland of Hindus.
- 3. Advocate for solutions aligned with or inspired by Hindu teachings for the benefit of all people and the planet.
- Community: Empower Hindu American communities and partner institutions.
- 1. Enhance the well-being, safety, and security of Hindu communities and institutions.
- 2. Build a culture of advocacy.
- 3. Promote the recognition of Hinduism and Hindu contributions.
HAF is politically agnostic and non-partisan, meaning we are informed, but do not favor or endorse any one political party or its positions. We will work with all individuals and institutions committed to and constructively engaged in promoting dignity, mutual respect, and pluralism. HAF is not affiliated with any religious or political organizations or entities. HAF seeks to serve Hindu Americans across all sampradayas (Hindu religious traditions) regardless of race, color, national origin, citizenship, caste, gender, sexual orientation, age and/or disability.
Our positions are based on a relentless pursuit of facts; deep consideration of Hindu principles and American values, such as freedom, equality, and justice; and the input of subject matter experts. If we like a policy, we’ll say so, and rigorously substantiate our position.
HAF positions will always be based on our guiding principles. And we will always advocate for what we believe is rooted in Hindu Dharma, and serves the well-being of Hindus and the greater good of all.
- Satya. Be truthful. We pride ourselves in offering programming and information with accuracy, integrity, and honesty.
- Ahimsa. Be non-harming. We aspire to work and communicate fairly and respectfully.
- Viveka. Be discerning. We approach our work through careful contemplation, reason, and consensus building.
- Nutana. Be innovative. We aspire to keep our work and approach relevant to our constituents by being creative, innovative, and flexible.
- Sadbhavana. Be collaborative. We seek out partnerships with other individuals and organizations to forward our objectives.
- Kutumbakam. Be big-hearted. We value and respect each other as individuals, work well together as a team, and respect each other’s work/life balance.
- Utsaah. Be passionate. We are passionate about Hindu Dharma, the global community, and our work.
Is HAF a non-partisan, non-profit organization?
HAF is a wholly independent, American organization. It has absolutely no affiliation or ties to any organizations or political parties in the US or abroad. HAF was founded by second-generation Hindu Americans born and raised in the United States.
We do engage and partner with a broad and diverse spectrum of stakeholders on a range of issues. Partnership in no way indicates an endorsement of the views of such stakeholders, or that we agree on all issues and all possible solutions. It does mean, however, that we’re willing to set aside differences in order to constructively work towards solutions on shared areas of concern.
What is HAF's political ideology?
We advocate on a range of issues, which provides opportunity to work with lawmakers and stakeholders on different sides of the aisle. Our position on every issue is based on a relentless pursuit of facts, and deep consideration of Hindu principles and American values, such as freedom, equality, and justice.
Issues we work on that commonly garner the support of lawmakers and stakeholders which might be considered center-left, progressive, liberal, or moderate include: equal protection and due process, voting rights, right to privacy, separation of church and state, gun safety reform, women’s access to healthcare, hate crime prevention, marriage equality, immigration reform, environmental protection, and the ethical treatment of animals.
Issues we work on that commonly garner support of lawmakers and stakeholders which might be considered center-right, conservative, classical liberal, libertarian, or moderate include: free speech, international religious freedom, human rights, national security, counter-terrorism, and immigration reform.
HAF works to promote dignity, mutual respect, and pluralism, and regardless of the issue, believes a secular, democratic form of government is most conducive to ensuring and upholding these principles.
Does HAF advocate for people of all faiths?
While our focus is on the wellbeing of Hindus, we also work to ensure that all people and the planet thrive. We believe that this is possible only when and where dignity, mutual respect, and pluralism are nurtured and sustained. That’s why we promote these three principles.
Standing up for the rights of Hindus and other minorities around the world does require us to highlight current and historical discrimination, subjugation, and violation of human rights committed by members of other religious communities. This does not mean we are against other religions, but stems from the belief that factual integrity is necessary to raise awareness, seek justice, and end suffering.