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Telagana Goverment Set to Take Over Temples

Posted on 2016/8/28 19:55:12 ( 462 reads )


WARANGAL, TELAGANA, INDIA, August 21, 2016 (The Hans India):
HPI note: What isn't said in this report is that this action constitutes removing the temples from the control of the hereditary trusts and subsuming their management and income under the State government, as is the case in the rest of India.

The State government is all set to constitute the non-hereditary trust boards to 33 major temples in the State. As political circles are busy in connection with creation of new districts, the notification issued by the government for the constitution of non-hereditary trust board members to the temples almost went unnoticed, but not for those aspiring for the posts. They are already camping in the capital, hoping to get the plum posts.

Though it has been more than 26 months since the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) stormed to power, it has not made any serious attempt to fill several posts other than a few nominated posts such as agriculture market committees. Against this backdrop, the government has issued a notification for the constitution of trust boards to the temples recently. In a bid to facilitate more persons in the temple committees, the government has increased the number of members through an Ordinance, amending Section 15 of the Telangana Charitable and Hindu Religious Institutions and Endowments Act, 1987.

As per the amendment, the number of trustees has been increased to 14 from the existing nine where the income of the temple exceeds US$149,000 per annum, and the same will be applied to the temples that have an income range between $37,000 and $149,000 per annum. The number of trustees for the temples falling in the income group of $3,000Rs to $37,000 per annum is increased to 7 from 5 and the temples that have an income less than $3,000 per annum will have 5 members instead of 3.

Maharashtra: Supreme Court Ruling on Dahi Handi Met with Disappointment

Posted on 2016/8/28 19:55:02 ( 283 reads )


[HPI adds: Dahi-Handi is an Indian festival that involves youth groups forming human pyramids in the street during the festival and attempted to break an earthen pot filled with curd (in immitation of the child Krishna's theft of such a pot) tied high above. These pyramids occasionally collapse with injuries to those involved.]

MUMBAI, INDIA, August 17, 2016 (Indian Express): The Supreme Court ruling on age bar of Govindas participating in the Dahi-Handi ritual in Maharashtra, on Wednesday met with disappointment back home with political leaders and local groups seeing the move as a setback to the festive tradition and demanded that the state government file a review petition in the case. The apex court on Wednesday said that youth below 18 years of age cannot participate in the Dahi Handi ritual, part of the Janmashtami festival in Maharashtra and the height of the human pyramid for it cannot exceed 20 feet, a limit fixed by the Bombay High Court. [Presently, the pot may be hung as high as 40 feet above the street.]

Arun Sawant, spokesperson of the Mumbai Congress, termed the cap as "unnecessary" and said, "This is really very disheartening because in the last few years, many organizers have came forward to take care of Govindas in case of any eventuality. They vouched for the well-being of the Govindas and took upon their medical and financial responsibility if anything untoward happens." He said it is only the small organizers who put Govindas' lives at risk during the Dahi Handi event.

Ruling BJP too said that it will do every bit to protect the "sheen" of the festival. "Such sort of a cap is an attempt to spoil our rich culture of Dahi Handi which not only unites youth but also makes them stronger. We are going to do every bit to save this popular festival," Mumbai BJP spokesperson Yogesh Verma said.

Hundreds Defy Human Pyramid Ban at Indian Hindu Festival

Posted on 2016/8/28 19:54:51 ( 285 reads )


INDIA, August 26, 2016 (Aol Travel): Hundreds of people attending a Hindu festival in India's western Maharashtra state on Thursday defied India's Supreme Court order limiting the height of human pyramids due to safety concerns. Members of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) regional party wearing T-shirts reading "I will break the law" formed a human pyramid 49 feet (15 m) tall in Thane district at a Janmashtami celebration marking the birth of Hindu Deity Lord Krishna.

India's Supreme Court on Aug. 17 upheld a lower court's decision banning youths under 18 from participating in the ritual and restricting the height of the human pyramid to 20 feet (6 m). The pyramids invoke Krishna who, according to tradition, formed human pyramids with friends to break pots of butter or curd hung from the ceilings of houses so that they could steal the contents. Maharashtra's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said that it would ask the court to reconsider its order.

People are injured every year while forming human pyramids as competition builds up to see which group can make the highest pyramid. Children are used to climb to the top levels without any safety harnesses.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/8/28 19:54:41 ( 178 reads )


By constantly repeating, "I am free, I am free," a man verily becomes free. On the other hand, by constantly repeating, "I am bound, I am bound," he certainly becomes bound. The fool who says only, "I am a sinner, I am a sinner," verily drowns himself in worldliness. One should rather say: "I praise the name of God. How can I be a sinner? How can I be bound?"
-- Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa (1836-1886)

US Post Office to Issue Diwali Stamp

Posted on 2016/8/27 19:33:07 ( 583 reads )


WASHINGTON D.C., August 23, 2016 (Washington Post): It took petitions from everyone from schoolchildren to members of Congress, and 12 years of waiting. Soon, a long-hoped-for goal will be a stickum-backed reality of less than a square inch: a new postage stamp recognizing the holiday of Diwali. The stamp, announced by the U.S. Postal Service on Tuesday, will be the first stamp honoring the Hindu religion, joining U.S. postage that has marked Christian, Jewish and Muslim holidays in the past.

What's the value of an old-fashioned stamp in a society that uses less and less snail mail? "Stamps are miniature pieces of art that reflect the American experience," Mark Saunders at the U.S. Postal Service said. Members of the Hindu community and their supporters have asked for years to join the long list of themes that have inspired stamp art. Saunders said the first petition for a Diwali stamp was received in 2004. It's hard for a petition to make the cut: the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee receives about 40,000 stamp suggestions every year and only recommends about 25 to the postmaster general, Saunders said.

The call for a Diwali stamp grew louder. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) introduced a resolution in Congress last year in favor of a Diwali stamp. Indian diplomats in the United States expressed support for it, and thousands of Americans wrote letters and signed petitions. In the end, it was the volume of those petitions, not the high-profile support, that swayed the committee, said William Gicker, director of stamp development. "This was the biggest push, the most people writing in," he said. "From our standpoint, we are producing stamps for people to use for holidays ... Looking at the numbers, we saw that Diwali is a holiday that people send cards and correspondence. So we were happy to support that."

Photo of the new stamp at "source" above. At some point the stamp will be available for sale at https://store.usps.com/store/, but not as of this posting.

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