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Tulsi Gabbard • First Hindu U.S. Congress

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Tulsi Gabbard
Tulsi Gabbard
  • Tulsi Gabbard was born April 12, 1981.
  • Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat from Hawaii, was sworn in as member of the 113th Congress.
  • Tulsi Gabbard is an American politician and the Congresswoman for Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district.
  • She is the first Hindu ever elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
  • Though a Hindu, Gabbard is not Indian or of Indian origin. Her father Mike Gabbard, a Christian (Catholic), is currently Hawaii State Senator and mother Carol Porter Gabbard, a Hindu, is an educator.
  • She took her oath of office on Thursday on the Bhagavad Gita.
  • Tulsi Gabbard is the first American Samoan and one of the first female combat veterans in U.S. Congress.
  • Gabbard previously served on the Honolulu City Council and as a Hawaii state representative; she was the youngest woman in the United States to be elected to a state legislature.
  • She is currently a Company Commander with the Hawaii Army National Guard, and has served on two deployments to the Middle East.
  • She is also vice president and co-founder of the environmental non-profit organization Healthy Hawaii Coalition.
  • Tulsi Gabbard said she was looking to make her first trip to India as an elected member of the House of Representatives. “As a Vaishnava, I especially look forward to visiting the holy sites of Vrindavan.”.


  • Mr. Bera, also chosen to the 113th congress became the third Indian-American member of the U.S. House after Amritsar-born Dalip Singh Saund, Democrat from California (1957 to 1963); and Louisiana’s current Republican governor Bobby Jindal (2005-2008).
  • Mr. Bera, the son of immigrants from India, took the oath in the presence of his wife, daughter, brothers, and his father.
  • The newly sworn-in 113th Congress is the most diverse group of representatives in history, with 98 women; 43 African-Americans; 31 Latinos; 12 Asian-American and Pacific Islanders; and seven gay and bisexual members new members of the House and Senate.


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  1. Thanks for sharing these vital information.

  2. [Speaking of an unusual religious affiliation of a new Congressperson]First Member of Congress Describes Religion as None’By Elizabeth FlockJanuary 3, 2013When the 113th Congress is sworn in today, its new members will include the first Hindu member of Congress and the first Buddhist to serve as a senator. Also for the first time, Congress will welcome a member who describes her religion as none. Democratic Arizona Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, who was raised a Mormon, is religiously unaffiliated but does not describe herself as an atheist. Her campaign was unavailable for comment to Whispers due to the swearing in, but spokesman Justin Unga told the Religious News Service in November that Sinema favors a secular approach. He told the New York Times the same month that Sinema believes the terms nontheist,’ atheist’ or nonbeliever’ are not befitting of her life’s work or personal character. Despite the clear distinction, both secular and atheist groups have cheered her rise to Congress. In March 2011, The Center for Inquiry presented the Arizona attorney and professor with its Award for the Advancement of Science and Reason in Public Policy, which recognizes legislators who support public policy based on scientific thinking while maintaining church-state separation, according to its web site.In October 2010, Sinema spoke at the opening of the nontheistic Secular Coalition for Arizona.Although Sinema is the first member of Congress to declare her religious affiliation as none, a Pew Forum on Religious and Public Life analysis out Thursday notes that 10 other members of the new Congress declined to provide any indication of religious leanings. That means that about 2 percent of the 113th Congress hasn’t declared a religious affiliation, up from about 1 percent in the prior Congress.And the increasingly secular Congress reflects an increasingly secular American public. Apparently, a growing number of Americans are running from organized religion, but by no means running from God Nones’ are the undecided of the religious world, wrote author and journalist Eric Weiner in a New York Times op-ed in December 2011 of the rise of the nones —the 12 percent of Americans with no religious affiliation. [Some] think politics is to blame. Their idea is that we’ve mixed politics and religion so completely that many simply opt out of both. Sinema, it seems, has shown it’s possible to opt into one but not the other.

    • Your in depth analysis of the dichotomous relationship between religious affiliation and politics is understandable. Thanks for sharing your insights on the topic. Your views are welcome and open a new chapter into this “have to” and “have not to” relationship.

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