A city in the US state of Kentucky has officially declared September 3 as ‘Sanatana Dharma Day’ even as a row has erupted in India with a minister from Tamil Nadu calling for its eradication.
Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg recently attended a re-consecration ceremony at the Hindu Temple of Kentucky, where the official proclamation on September 3 was read by his deputy, Barbara Sexton Smith.
“I was honored to attend the Mahakumbhabhishekam ceremony at the Hindu Temple. The rituals performed to renew and restore the temple hold great cultural importance. Our office has officially declared September 3rd as ‘Sanatana Dharma Day’,” Mayor Greenberg wrote on X (formerly Twitter) on Wednesday.
The event was attended by several spiritual leaders and dignitaries including Chidanand Saraswati, president of Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Bhagawati Saraswati along with Lieutenant governor Jacqueline Coleman, deputy chief of staff Keisha Dorsey, among others.
“The re-consecration — or Mahakumbh Abhishekam — of the Hindu Temple of Kentucky was made more powerful and significant by Louisville Mayor’s proclamation of 3 September 2023 as SanatanaDharma Day! A wonderful new chapter in the glorious saga of Indian culture!” Swami Chidanand Saraswati wrote on X.
Congratulating Louisville and responding to the Sanatana Dharma row in India, US-based Hindu American Foundation wrote on X: “Excellent timing offering an apt response! Congratulations #Louisville!”
Previously, July 20 was declared as ‘Encyclopedia of Hinduism’ day in Kentucky by former Louisville mayor Greg Fisher.
Addressing an event in Tamil Nadu last week, DMK leader Udhayanidhi Stalin had said that “Sanatan Dharma has to be eradicated just like mosquitoes, malaria, dengue and corona”, sparking a backlash from political parties.
In his first reaction to the ‘inflammatory’ remark, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said it “needs proper response”.
Udhayanidhi Stalin, who is the son of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin, has refused to apologise and repeatedly said that he is ready to face any legal action for it.