US Senate Opens with Hindu Prayer

July 12, 2007

Author: Aziz Haniffa

Source: Rediff India Abroad

History was created in the United States Senate at 9.30 am on Thursday, when Rajan Zed, the Hindu chaplain of the Indian Association of Northern Nevada, opened the Senate with a Hindu prayer.

This is the first such instance since the formation of the powerful Upper House in 1789.

A few Christian fundamentalists protested and began screaming, while holding the Bible aloft, "Lord Jesus, protect us from this abomination."

Officers from the Sergeant of Arms' office ejected one after the other (three were taken away) from the Senate gallery which looks down on the floor.

The president pro-tem of the Senate, had to beat the podium with his gavel thrice. He requested Zed to halt his prayer just as he was about to begin, and called on the Sergeant of Arms to restore order in the Senate Chamber.