India’s first ‘cultural diplomat’ to US returns home after three-year tenure

Updated on Jan 02, 2021 03:34 PM IST

Dr Moxraj spent last three years teaching Sanskrit, Hindi and spreading traditional Indian culture along with Yoga and meditation in many American states.

Dr Moxraj (right) with Taranjit Singh Sandhu, India’s envoy to the US (
Dr Moxraj (right) with Taranjit Singh Sandhu, India’s envoy to the US (
Washington | ByPress Trust of India | Posted by Karan Manral

India’s first cultural diplomat to the US, Dr Moxraj, who spent last three years teaching Sanskrit, Hindi and spreading traditional Indian culture along with Yoga and meditation in many American states believes that the Vedic doctrine of “Vasudhaiv Kutumbkam” has found its own resonance in the post-COVID-19 world.

“India is the only country which believes in the doctrine of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ and this idea of India is not new but from the time of man’s origin, hence it was inspired by ‘Yatra Vishva Bhavatyekanidam’ in the Yajurveda,” said Dr Moxraj as he concluded his three-year tenure as the teacher of Indian Culture at the Indian embassy here.

“Even a civilised person does not want to spoil his family and kutumb in the same way, the culture of India has been working for the good of all. Therefore, India has been trying to maintain the natural balance through yoga, meditation, mental health and vegetarianism and non-violence,” said Dr Moxraj, who left for India on Friday.

Well versed in Vedic texts, Dr Moxraj was one of the 162 teachers sent by Indian Council for Cultural Relations three years ago to various diplomatic missions across the world to create awareness about traditional Indian culture, an initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi government.

“It is the government, which for the first time worked on a plan to appoint 162 Indian culture teachers in all continents,” he said.

Having worked under three Ambassadors – Navtej Sarna, Harshvardhan Shringla and Taranjit Singh Sandhu, Dr Moxraj, who was born in Rajasthan in 1979, in the last three years led the International Yoga Day celebrations in front of the US Capitol, White House and Washington Monument.

Through special classes started by the Indian Embassy, he taught Hindi and Sanskrit to Indian Americans, US citizens and members of the diplomatic community in Washington DC.

He taught Hindi, Indian culture, yoga and Sanskrit in many American States like Washington DC, Virginians, Maryland, West Virginians and Kentucky.

He was invited by George Washington University and Georgetown University to conduct special Hindi classes. Both the universities have given special praise to the Government of India and the Indian Embassy.

As millions of Americans were forced to stay home during the coronavirus lockdown, the Indian Embassy launched “Yog Apke Dwar” “Yoga at Home,” a free online yoga programme which was conducted by him.

Dr Moxraj also took Hindi and Indian culture to Hollywood, as he conducted special classes for African-American Hollywood actress and popular singer Mary Milben.

Milben’s two videos in particular -- National Anthem of India on India’s Independence Day in August and Om Jai Jagdish Hare on the occasion of Diwali – has been widely acclaimed.

Milben attributed her success and knowledge of Indian culture to her “beloved Indian teacher” Dr Moxraj. Those performances were life changing, she said.

“I fell in love with India because of Dr Moxraj, not only because of the language, but also I was introduced to India, the Indian American community and India community all over the world,” Milben said.

Foreign Secretary Shringla, when he was the Indian Ambassador here, had praised Dr Moxraj for holding workshops on yoga and his Hindi classes.

India’s Ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, in his farewell reception, acknowledged the “good work” and “contribution” of Dr Moxraj in spreading Indian culture and values at the embassy here. Sandhu hoped that the ICCR would soon send his successor here.

Indian-American community leader Sunil Singh praised the initiative of Prime Minister Modi to send yoga teachers to the important diplomatic missions like Washington DC.

“In these three years, he taught us Vedic knowledge and yoga. He made India proud by taking Hindi and Indian culture to Hollywood,” Singh said. PTI LKJ PMS AKJ PMS

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