Journey Into Wisdom with Pramila Jayapal

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India, an ancient culture, has many gifts to share with the western world. Pramila Jayapal returned to India to explore the complex issues of progress and development, immersing herself in the life of her native land, living in small cities and villages, traveling from Kerala to Ladakh to the holy city of Varanasi on the Ganges River. She witnessed first-hand a society struggling to reconcile tradition with modernity. Ultimately, this pilgrimage placed Jayapal on a path leading to a search for self and identity. Through grace and ease we hear what frustrates and delights her about her native land. "There is a phenomenal movement going on in India right now, a philosophy that we are a part of something much larger than ourselves. We're related to the earth, we're related to our communities and we have responsibilities to those that we are related to." These projects are community efforts, taking on issues of the community and not relying on outside funding. "India is both beautiful and terrible, I think the greatest growth doesn't come through comfort," says Jayapal. (hosted by Michael Toms)


Pramila Jayapal is an American politician and activist from the state of Washington who is the first Indian-American woman to serve in the U.S. House of RepresentativesBefore entering electoral politics, Jayapal was a Seattle-based civil rights activist, serving until 2012 as the executive director of OneAmerica, originally called Hate Free Zone, a pro-immigrant advocacy group founded by Jayapal after the 2001 September 11 attacks. The organization successfully sued the Bush Administration's Immigration and Naturalization Services to prevent the deportation of over 4,000 Somalis across the country.

She is the author of:

Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • Discover India through the internal and external landscapes of Pramila Jayapal
  • What India offers the west and the world
  • Swadhyaya: Toward a New World Order - find out about this incredible movement and what your place may be in changing times
  • Dive into the rhetoric and reality of the educational system of India
  • Listen to Jayapal relate heartfully how it is to see someone with nothing and not know what to do about it
  • Go deeper into the ethical dimensions of child labor laws, poverty and unemployment
Host: Michael Toms      Interview Date: 5/30/2001      Program Number: 2873