12 February 2013
Dear Mr Minhas Ji
I write to thank you, your colleagues at the Metropolitan Police Hindu Association (MPHA) and the Hindu Academy for all your work in helping organise the celebration at the House of Commons to mark Swami Vivekananda's 150th birth anniversary.
Swami Vivekananda lived only 39 years, but in that time changed the world for the better. He practiced his faith in his actions, and in his belief that service to God could be achieved through service to humankind. He bridged East and West, and is widely credited with the introduction of Vedanta and yoga to the western world.
In Chicago at the World's Parliament of Religions in 1893, he represented India and Hinduism. His address, beginning "Sisters and Brothers of America!" took America by storm and led to a standing ovation. He helped change a perception of India and of Hinduism, and promoted a message of tolerance and inclusivity of all religions that is increasingly important today, and of particular significance for multi-cultural, multi-faith London.
I am proud to have been able to support this event, and congratulate you on the work of the MPHA and the Hindu Academy. The work that members of the MPHA do in keeping our streets safe and in promoting community cohesion is part of values in action. The Hindu Academy's work in teaching Hinduism and Vedanta is vital to ensuring future generations have access to the knowledge and principles that inspired Swami Vivekananda, and through him so many of his followers.
I wish you every success for the event.
Seema Malhotra MP