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Government Shuts Down OHM Hindu Media Foundation over Mismanagement
Posted on 2015/4/20 17:56:45 ( 260 reads )

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HILVERSOM, NETHERLANDS, April 17, 2015 (Volkskrant): John van der Starre, the government appointed interim director of the OHM religious TV and radio broadcaster in the Netherlands, has a mission. According to him the account books and the doors of the organization's headquarters and studio will be closed for the final time on December 31st, 2015.

A small group of representatives of the Hindu community still cherishes a hope that the broadcasting can be maintained in its current form. They have started a petition titled "OHM is ours." But "those people do not realize that their effort is too little, too late," van der Starre explains.

The 'Organisatie Hindoe Media' (OHM) was established in the early nineties by five Dutch Hindu organizations, with the aim of spreading knowledge of Hinduism to a wide audience. [ HPI adds: Article 2.42 of the Dutch media law (the Mediawet) allows for faith-based radio and television broadcasters to operate as part of the Netherlands Public Broadcasting system.]

From OHM's inception there were programs on important Hindu festivals and reports about Hindu culture and society. The organization was receiving a US two million dollar grant each year from the government. Its most recent broadcast schedule was a half-hour of television and two hours of radio per week.

Serious ongoing internal disputes and legal tangles, along with financial accounting irregularities, caused the government's Media Commission to step in and remove OHM's director Jagdish Rambali and appoint John van der Starre in his place in early January. The government has discontinued its subsidy of the operation. Without subsidies it is the end of the story for OHM, van der Starre concludes.

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Hindu Culture Week in La Laguna, Tenerife
Posted on 2015/4/20 17:56:33 ( 265 reads )

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SPAIN, April 16, 2015 (El Dia): Starting from today La Laguna will host "Indian Culture Week," an initiative that will start at 9 pm with a performance at the Leal Theater. A trio of traditional musical pieces will be performed by Jayanta Kumar, master of the Rudra Veena. This week will see a wide range of cultural activities aimed at raising awareness of the lifestyle and culture of India, including music, food, art, film, religion and crafts. Events will run until Saturday April 25 in various cultural institutions in the town of La Laguna, such as the Casino de La Laguna, the Royal Society of Friends of Spain, the History Museum of Tenerife, the Convent of Santo Domingo and the La Laguna Athenaeum.

The opening ceremony for the "Religions of India" photo exhibition will be attended by the head of the Municipal Department of Culture, Maria Jose Castaneda, and the Ambassador of India, Vikram Misri at the Convent of Santo Domingo tomorrow at 11:30 am. Another highlight of the India Week will be a fair, open to the public, on Saturday April 25, where samples of Indian products will be offered, in addition to other activities related to culture, such as henna hand painting and a display of traditional dance.

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To Make Yoga the Common Man's Choice, Modi Government to Drop all References to 'Om' from Promotion
Posted on 2015/4/20 17:56:27 ( 311 reads )

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NEW DELHI, INDIA, April 18, 2015 (Times of India): To make yoga an aam [Hindi for "common," as in "common man"] lifestyle choice in a country where religious symbolism often attracts high-voltage political controversies, Modi Sarkar is dropping all references to Om -- the traditional mystical invocation related to Hindu spirituality and yoga practice -- in its coming high-powered promotion of this ancient discipline. Senior officials involved in the government's extensive preparations to celebrate the June 21 International Yoga Day told ET that the brief is to keep the effort "free of controversy." Therefore, there will be no reference to aum in the 33-minute Common Yoga Protocol that's been prepared by the department of AYUSH (ayurveda, yoga & naturopathy, unani, siddha and homoeopathy), as well as all literature and video being prepared for the June 21 celebration.

"It has to be kept in mind that the idea of the International Yoga Day is to take yoga to the global stage," a top government official involved in preparations told ET. The Modi government's decision is significant not only in the light of recent religion-related political controversies but also global debates about yoga's religious identity. Court battles have been fought in the US over whether yoga propagates religion and although the discipline's global popularity is substantial and growing, the question hasn't completely gone away.


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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/4/20 17:56:20 ( 219 reads )

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You must not let your life run in the ordinary way; do something that nobody else has done, something that will dazzle the world. Show that God's creative principle works in you.
-- Paramahansa Yogananda (1893-1952), founder of Self Realization Fellowship

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Correction: Harappan Stepwell Article Inaccurate
Posted on 2015/4/16 18:27:45 ( 1040 reads )

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INDIA, April 15, 2015 (HPI): Scholar Michel Danino informs Hinduism Today that the Times of India article ("source" above) summarized recently in HPI is incorrect. Dr. V.N. Prabhakar, who was interviewed for the Times of India articles states:

*The "stepwell" is not 5,000 years old and is not bigger than the Great Bath of Mohenjo-daro. The stepwell is located inside the Eastern Reservoir at Dholavira. The Eastern Reservoir measures 73 X 29 X 10 m (L X B X H), which is bigger than Great Bath and NOT the "stepwell" which is a circular well cut into the bedrock with a flight of steps.

*The stepwell was excavated by Dr. R.S. Bisht of the Archaeological Survey of India nearly 15 years back and is NOT a recent discovery by IITGN as claimed in the report.

*The news item while reporting its location inside the Eastern Reservoir, ignores the fact that it is much smaller and circular in shape (a photograph is also published showing its circular shape), and goes on to claim that it is "rectangular."

*Surveys are yet to be undertaken by IITGN at Dholavira and the news items mentioning that 'surveys indicating more buried reservoirs and stepwells' is NOT TRUE.

*IITGN is not planning excavations at the site as falsely published.

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