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Holi brings Unity in Fiji
Posted on 2015/2/28 17:29:03 ( 315 reads )

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FIJI, February 28, 2015 (by Shayal Devi, Fiji Times): As thousands of Hindus in Fiji prepare to celebrate Holi on March 6, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad has called on devotees to work towards fostering unity among in communities. President Jay Dayal said Holi was one of the most joyful Hindu celebrations.

"Though there are many customs and traditions associated with Holi, the essence remains the same and can be expressed in three common themes," Mr Dayal said."This includes reconnecting with nature in gratitude for the blooming of spring and bountiful harvests, celebrating the victory of good over evil and sharing of love and fostering unity amongst the people." This light-hearted festival gives relationships a fresh start and creates bonds of friendships with adversaries as we remember the inherent divinity within each and every one of us."

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Globalizing Black History Month: Recalling the Professor and the Punjabi Lion
Posted on 2015/2/28 17:28:57 ( 292 reads )

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USA, February 24, 2015 (By Murali Balaji, Huffington Post): A long forgotten part of the global exchange is during the periods between the World Wars, when African American activists and intellectuals had frequent interactions with counterparts in other parts of the world. In this spirit, it should be noted that long before Mahatma Gandhi's activism inspired the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and civil rights leaders, another transatlantic relationship would play a significant role in shaping African-American thought: the close friendship between W.E.B. Du Bois and Indian freedom fighter Lala Lajpat Rai, known by many as the Lion of Punjab. In 1916, Rai, the founder of the India Home Rule League of America, visited the United States to meet with African Americans and the small Indian community across the country, including representatives of the newly formed Ghadar Party. Du Bois and Rai struck a friendship based on the mutual ideals of American civil rights and Indian sovereignty.

Rai played a significant role in changing Du Bois from a liberal intellectual focused on simple integration to a more globalized radical intent on pushing for global emancipation. Du Bois dedicated his novel Dark Princess, an allegorical story about a Hindu princess named Kautilya marrying an African-American man named Matthew Towns. However, before Rai had a chance to read the final manuscript, he was beaten by British police during a protest in Lahore (now in Pakistan) in 1928. Two weeks later, he died. Rai's death would shake Du Bois and play a significant role in his growing dissatisfaction with the NAACP and his increased immersion with the Popular Front movement of the 1930s, led by the likes of Paul Robeson. As a result, Du Bois became a more forceful advocate of global change, and his works like Black Reconstruction and Color and Democracy would reflect a philosophical transformation that began nearly two decades earlier with the help of the Lion of Punjab.

Perhaps the relationship between the men can inspire a new generation of activists and spur dialogue on meaningful social change at a time when lasting, nuanced coalitions are hard to find.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/2/28 17:28:42 ( 237 reads )

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Love gives and gives and gives and seeks no return. Therefore, love has nothing to lose--and consequently, nothing to fear.
-- Dada J.P. Vaswani, spiritual head of Sadhu Vaswani Mission

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Hindraf seeks Urgent Meeting with Chief Minister on Demolition of 100 Temples in Malaysia
Posted on 2015/2/27 18:12:14 ( 491 reads )

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KUALA LUMPUR MALAYSIA , February 24, 2015 (Freemalaysia Today): Hindraf Makkal Sakthi is seeking an urgent meeting with Selangor Menteri Besar Azmin Ali on a reported 100 Hindu temples in the state which have purportedly been earmarked for demolition.The NGO maintains all these temples in Selangor were legally built. The meeting follows a public admission by Selangor Exco V. Ganapathi Rao that some 100 Hindu temples, older than the recently demolished 60-year-old Sri Kottai Munisvarar Nageswary Temple, would be demolished by the state government. He did not state the reasons for the pending demolitions.

"Rao's statement reminds us of the era of MIC and BN where they kept giving lame excuses for their inefficiency in tackling matters of public interest and concern," said Hindraf vice-president Tamil Selvam. "He's the lone Indian representative in the Exco and clearly outnumbered by the others." His helplessness, pointed out Tamil Selvam, stems from the fact he has not been given the mandate to handle the issue. "The temples, he added, originated from plantations which were subsequently acquired by the government or sold to private developers. "Just because the plantations where the temples sit have been acquired by the government and developers, it does not mean that they can go on a demolition spree."

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Why, to Many Critics, Mother Teresa is Still no Saint
Posted on 2015/2/27 18:12:08 ( 515 reads )

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INDIA, February 26, 2015 (by Adam Taylor, Washington Post): Mother Teresa, the Roman Catholic missionary who became an international icon for her charitable work, has been dropped into modern India's religious debate after the head of the Hindu nationalist group Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) criticized the intentions behind her work. "It's good to work for a cause with selfless intentions. But Mother Teresa's work had ulterior motive, which was to convert the person who was being served to Christianity," RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat said at the opening of an orphanage in Rajasthan state on Monday, the Times of India reports. "In the name of service, religious conversions were made. This was followed by other institutes, too." Bhagwat's comments caused a storm among opposition politicians, angered by the implication that a woman who won a Nobel Peace Prize for her work in India would have had ulterior motives.

This controversy about Mother Teresa, who died in 1997, is far from her first. Her saintly reputation was gained for aiding Calcutta's poorest of the poor, yet it was undercut by persistent allegations of misuse of funds, poor medical treatments and religious evangelicalism in the institutions she founded. Many who support Mother Teresa dispute these accounts, of course, but they exist and are frequently debated. In fact, when compared to the criticism that already exists about Mother Teresa and the Missionaries of Charity, Bhagwat's words look relatively meek: Multiple accounts say that Mother Teresa's nuns would baptize the dying and she had a reputation for proselytizing.

A good video accompanies this article.

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