In a bid to promote religious freedom and combat discrimination, Indian-American Congressman Shri Thanedar has launched the Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, and Jain (HBSJ) American congressional caucus.
Thanedar, the founder and chair of the caucus, is joined by 27 other members of the US Congress, both from Republican and Democratic parties.
Stating that the HBSJ communities have made significant contributions to the cultural, social, and economic fabric of the US, Thanedar said on Friday that the launch of the caucus is a "statement of commitment".
"A commitment to stand against religious discrimination, to propel the wheels of inclusion, and to cultivate a nation where diversity is not just tolerated but celebrated," he said while addressing an event in Washington.
The group will address cultural misunderstandings and promote interfaith dialogue and harmony, in addition to supporting initiatives to promote well-being, education, and empowerment of the Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, and Jains in the US.
The caucus will also be looking at combating discrimination and promoting religious freedom for the HBSJ community and ensuring their accurate representation and inclusion of perspectives in policy discussions.
“This caucus will create a platform to have the discourse, engage in action, dispel the misinformation and disinformation of our culture and society, to express religious freedom, protect our existence, and speak the truth about who we are by pushing back on hate and bigotry,” Thanedar, who represents Michigan’s 13th Congressional district in the US House, said.
A US congressional caucus is a group of members of Congress that meet to pursue common legislative objectives.
After entering the ‘Samosa caucus’ of Indian-Americans in the US Congress in 2023, he had said that an "inclusive America is a stronger America”.