Sarah S. New York

Respect for Hindus

Hindus are seen as polluting when practicing their religion.

Dear Future President,

Congratulations on becoming our President. I would like to inform you about an issue that affects a large religious group in the U.S. Hinduism is the 4th largest religion in the United States, with 2.23 Hindus in the U.S. It’s a part of our religion to give offerings to the gods after a religious function by letting it float in the river. These offerings usually include cloth, food, and flowers. But this is seen as throwing away garbage, so we Hindus have to sneak around to conduct our religious practices to prevent getting caught and having to pay a fine.

I see why we are fined; doing this is seen as polluting the river. But you must remember that the 1st amendment states that ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.’ Furthermore, there are groups and organizations like Sadhana that aim to clean up whatever washes up on the sand. If Hindus could get a few locations designated to conduct our religious practices, then we would not get fined and someone could get a job cleaning up what’s left.

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