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Dharma Explorers: A Dialogue with Khalid Umar

March 24 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm EDT

Dharma Explorers: A Dialogue with Khalid Umar

Dharma Explorers is a series of conversations with prominent personalities who are strong supporters of Hindu Dharma but were not born into it. We begin this series with Khalid Umar, a human rights activist in the UK. Khalid was born in a Punjabi Muslim family in Pakistan but discovered that Sanatana Dharma provided answers to his questions that he did not find in other philosophies.

In this hour-long conversation with Jai Bansal (VP of Education, VHPA) and Amitabh Mittal (General Secretary of VHPA), Khalid Umar shares his perspectives on a variety of topics.

Khalid Umar, born in Pakistan to a Punjabi Muslim family, credits his open-minded upbringing for his development into an independent thinker. His father, an engineer and government servant, fostered in him a love for free thinking, rationality, and an expansive interest in reading, which became his primary source of entertainment and education. This upbringing shielded him from the rigid indoctrination prevalent in his society, allowing him to form unbiased viewpoints on various issues.

As an adult, Umar moved to the UK, motivated by the stifling political atmosphere in Pakistan and a personal mission to advocate for human rights, especially against the misuse of blasphemy laws. In England, he found a conducive environment for his advocacy work, leveraging professional opportunities to continue his mission.

Umar’s exploration of Hindu Dharma (Sanatana Dharma) marked a significant turn in his ideological journey. His study of comparative religion led him to appreciate Hinduism’s philosophical depth, particularly its perspectives on karma, reincarnation, and a harmonious connection with nature. This shift was not just intellectual but deeply spiritual, leading him to advocate for Hindu dharma actively. He contrasts the fear-driven approach of Abrahamic religions with the liberating, inclusive ethos of Hinduism, critiquing the former’s rigid monotheism and celebrating the latter’s pluralistic view of divinity.

In discussing the concept of India as a Hindu Rashtra, Umar argues from a historical and demographic perspective, emphasizing the need to preserve Hindu culture and philosophy against the backdrop of global religious dynamics. He advocates for India to assert its Hindu identity while preserving its pluralistic and inclusive traditions.

Umar’s critiques extend to the Islamic world’s views on India and Hinduism. He notes recent positive developments that hint at a possible transformation within Islam, driven by cultural exchanges and economic shifts, particularly in India. However, he remains critical of the entrenched anti-India sentiment within certain segments of the Muslim population, advocating for educational reforms and a focus on the younger generation to bridge divides.

Despite the challenges, Umar is optimistic about the potential for reconciliation and harmony. He cites examples of historical recovery and advocates for a truth and reconciliation approach to healing past wounds. He envisions a future where shared values and understanding can overcome historical animosities, fostering a more inclusive and empathetic world.

Umar Khalid’s narrative is one of transformation and hope, rooted in personal experience and deep philosophical inquiry. His advocacy for Sanatana Dharma, coupled with his critiques of religious orthodoxy and extremism, reflects a desire for a world that embraces diversity, fosters understanding, and champions human rights and freedom of expression.

About Khalid Umar

Khalid Umar was born and raised in Pakistan. According to one of his interviews, during his formative years in the late 1970s in the Punjab province of Pakistan, his school education emphasized the supremacy of the Islamic faith and portrayed Hindus as wicked. However, he grew up in an educated family with a more inclusive view and was not easily swayed by religious indoctrination. This shaped his worldview as a free thinker unburdened by the prevalent biases and animosities.

Khalid is an advocate for human rights and a prominent and outspoken supporter of Sanatan Dharma. He is very active on social media, where he shares his views on a variety of subjects with his nearly 20,000 followers.

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March 24
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm EDT
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