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How the Andhra Pradesh Government Is Reclaiming Temple Lands

Posted on 2016/6/26 20:50:20 ( 346 reads )


INDIA, June 24, 2016 (Swarajya): The Andhra Pradesh government has asked state officials to evict non-Hindu farmers from agricultural land belonging to Hindu temples or mutts. No such land can now be cultivated by a non-Hindu, it said. The state government had issued the official order in November last year but is now following up on it, as the kharif (monsoon) season is starting and land leases are being renewed. "No person professing a religion other than Hinduism is entitled to obtain lease either through tender-cum-public auction or otherwise," said the state government.

The Times Of India reports today (24 June) that the Andhra government began serving notices earlier this month to non-Hindu tenant farmers to immediately hand over the land belonging to temples and mutts. Dalit Christian tenants could continue cultivating if they produced a certificate from the church declaring they aren't Christians. The certificate has perhaps been made mandatory because in the state there are many Dalits who have converted to Christianity but haven't changed their names. So, this would ensure that their true number can be known. Muslim farmers have no such respite. They have been barred altogether.

Temples in Andhra are large landowners. But since they are controlled by the government, land effectively belongs to the state. Around 300,000 acres of land belongs to the temples and 30 percent of the farmers cultivating them are Dalits. The temple authorities have issued notices to all the non-Hindus to comply with the government notification. It is pertinent to note that last year in June, the Andhra government had passed an order prohibiting temple lands from being sold or given on long lease to companies and individuals.

China is Urging People To Eat Less Meat -- Which Could have a Big Climate Impact

Posted on 2016/6/26 20:50:09 ( 281 reads )


CHINA, June 26, 2016 (by Brad Plumer, vox.com): Here in the US, the Obama administration has been reluctant to encourage people to eat less meat for health and environmental reasons. The 2015 US Dietary Guidelines, for instance, remained fairly muted on the topic after fierce lobbying by the meat industry. But in China, where livestock emissions are soaring and obesity is on the rise, officials are being far less circumspect. The Chinese Nutrition Society (CNS) is now enlisting celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenegger, director James Cameron, and actress Li Bingbing in a nationwide campaign urging people to cut their meat consumption in half -- in line with new dietary recommendations. The campaign, taglined "Less Meat, Less Heat, More Life," will tout the climate benefits of lower meat consumption and feature PSAs on billboards and televisions across China.

If all 1.3 billion people in China were to follow this advice -- a big "if," but just to illustrate -- global agricultural emissions would drop 12 percent. That, in turn, would cause total greenhouse gas emissions to fall roughly 1.5 percent, more than the entire annual output of France and Belgium combined. And the savings would get bigger and bigger over the next few decades. We'd get about one-twelfth of the emission cuts needed to stay below 2 C, the report calculates. Now, obviously getting people to eat less meat will take more than the Terminator on a few glitzy billboards. But it does show how outsize an impact diets can have on climate emissions, something I've written about before. It doesn't have to entail going full vegetarian -- even just whittling down portions can make a dent.

For more, go to source

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/6/26 20:49:59 ( 224 reads )


The joy of the vengeful lasts only for a day, but the glory of the forbearing lasts until the end of time.
-- Tirukkural

Puja and Piety Exhibit at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art

Posted on 2016/6/25 19:41:15 ( 435 reads )


SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA, June 23, 2016 (The Independent): For 75 years the Santa Barbara Museum of Art has pursued a mission that includes collecting, displaying, and educating the public about the arts of Asia. Puja and Piety: Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist Art from the Indian Subcontinent demonstrates the impact that an innovative curatorial concept can have on the educational component of this project. Rather than trust the traditional triad of period, location, and style in organizing this large survey (more than 150 objects), the team behind Puja and Piety has chosen instead to employ an approach that focuses on puja, the acts of worship and propitiation that are common to Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist cultures. Objects and images from many different times and places within the Indian subcontinent are displayed together to illustrate different types of devotion, from Buddhist stupa circumambulation to Hindu feast day processions to the daily worship conducted within Jain homes at private household shrines.

Puja and Piety shows at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art (1130 State St.) through August 28. Call (805) 963-4364 or visit sbma.net.

Are Gorkhas of Indian Origin?

Posted on 2016/6/25 19:41:05 ( 398 reads )


INDIA, June 24, 2016 (Eastern Panorama, by Nanda Kirati Dewan):
Many people have a misconception about the Gorkhas in India -- that they are foreigners and have migrated from Nepal. There could not be a greater mistake than this. The Gorkhas are in fact the aborigines of India and they can trace their history back to ancient times. The Gorkha community is the product of Indo-Aryan and Mongoloid assimilation from ages past. As a linguistic group they can trace their origin back to Indo-Aryan and Tibeto-Burman beginnings. In fact the Gorkhas consist of both Indo-Aryan and Mongoloid racial groups. In the Mahabharata and Manusmriti names of Khasa are mentioned. They are in fact the Gorkhas. The Gorkhas spoke the language then known as Khaskura Khasas as a community existed in Nepal which it later changed to another ethnic name. The Lichchhavis, one of the aboriginal tribes of India originally lived in the plains of present Nepal. During the early centuries, the Gorkhas, the aboriginal tribe in India, migrated to Nepal and established themselves there. Other groups from India also migrated to Nepal which comprised high caste Hindus.

During the Muslim invasion of India in which they occupied part of North India from the eleventh century to the sixteenth century, many Indian tribes from the plains of India migrated to Nepal for the security and safety of their religion and culture. These migrants to Nepal were mainly of high castes and powerful groups, and they themselves established their kingdoms and principalities. You can safely deduce that the major part of the population of Nepal came from India who later came to be known as Gorkhas. Gorkhas have insisted that they are not migrants to India. They say that they came to India along with their land, skills and culture. When one-third of Nepal was annexed by the British after the Anglo-Nepal War in 1815, the residents of that territory became subjects of the British East India Company. In 1857, when the crown took over India from the East India Company, the Gorkhas became citizens of British India and when India became Independent in 1947, they automatically became Indian citizens.

For more, go to source.

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