Hindus Now Have A Fellow Believer In Congress

When Dr. Uma Mysorekar looks at the members of the new Congress, the Indian immigrant and practicing Hindu can see that, for the first time, there's someone who shares her ethnicity and someone who shares her faith.

To her surprise, they're two different people. Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii is the first Hindu elected to Congress. Democratic Rep. Ami Bera of California is the third Indian-American to serve in the House.

Gabbard, however, isn't from India, where Hinduism originated. India is the county to which the vast majority of Hinduism's followers have ethnic ties. Bera is a Unitarian.

Gabbard's presence in Congress gives Hindus in the United States a chance to celebrate a barrier broken -- while pondering how closely religion and nationality are entwined, or even should be.