America now is home to approximately five million Hindus and Jains. Their contribution to the economic and intellectual growth of the country is unquestionable. Dharma in America aims to explore the role of Hindu and Jain Americans in diverse fields such as:

  • education and civic engagements
  • medicine and healthcare
  • music.  

Providing a concise history of Hindus and Jains in the Americas over the last two centuries, Dharma in America also gives some insights into the ongoing issues and challenges these important ethnic and religious groups face in America today.

Table of Contents

Preface: being Hindu, being Jain, being American


1 Introduction

2 Before “coolies,” beyond “cyber coolies”: Indians: the silent minority

3 Indians and Ayurveda in the American food and healthcare industries

4 Indian classical and Hindu music in America

5 Jains in North America

6 Indian Americans and civic engagements

7 Conclusion

Appendix 1: the Jain Society of North Texas by Anant Jain

Appendix 2: Jain Diaspora, poem by Cromwell Crawford

Appendix 3: Jain temples in North America

Appendix 4: list of universities offering Jain Studies by Sulekh Jain

Appendix 5: a brief art history of Jain sculpture in North America

Appendix 6: an interview about celebrating Asian holidays in Texas public schools




"Pankaj Jain has done a great service both to the Indian American community and to the wider public with this valuable and timely book. Engagingly written, with humor and clarity, the reader comes away with a vivid sense of the Indian American experience. The chapter on the often overlooked Jain community is a particular strength of this work, which is sure to become an indispensable volume in the literature on multicultural studies." - Jeffery D. Long, Professor of Religion and Asian Studies, Elizabethtown College, USA

"Jain’s book describes the many connections between America and India with particular attention to the areas of medicine and music. His biggest contribution is his detailed timeline and account of the ways that Jain immigrants and their children have organized themselves in North America and his observation of some shifts in the foci of the second generation as they express their American Jainism through activism rather than renunciation. Writing as an American Jain who immigrated from India, Jain takes the reader through his personal journey of navigating public school politics as an example of how his own activism took shape." - Jennifer B. Saunders, Author of Imagining Religious Communities: Transnational Hindus and Their Narrative Performances (OUP, 2019).