Hindu Press International

Hindu Press International (HPI) is a daily summary of world news for Hindus and non-Hindus alike. Sign up to receive to HPI by email

Submit an HPI News Item

« 1 ... 780 781 782 (783) 784 785 786 ... 1032 »

Temple Desecrated in Fiji

Posted on 2004/1/19 8:48:02 ( 1025 reads )


SUVA, FIJI, January 18, 2004: Police are on the hunt for thieves who desecrated a temple early yesterday. The Shiu Narayan temple at Salato Circle in Newtown, outside Suva, was left in a mess when its priest arrived for worship. It was the fifth time thieves raided the temple. Police said thieves gained entry by removing louvre blades and making away with $1,260 worth of items including speakers and religious equipment. The temple caretaker, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said they were tired of reporting the matter to police and were reiterating their calls to relevant authorities to find the culprits who have no respect for places of worship. The caretaker said this was not the first time for the thieves to break into the temple and, despite police intervention, the temple still remains a target for thieves. Government has in the past declared that it will not tolerate the desecration of any religious place of worship. Minister for Multi Ethnic Affairs George Shiu Raj yesterday said he was deeply concerned about the incident. Mr Raj said peace and unity in multiracialism was being attacked by such acts.

Millions of Devotees in India Celebrate Makar Sankranti

Posted on 2004/1/19 8:47:02 ( 872 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA, January 14, 2004: The festival of Makar Sankranti was celebrated fervently throughout India recently. At Hardwar about 700,000 pilgrims and sadhus took a holy dip in the river Ganga to commemorate the beginning of the Ardh-Kumbh Mela. In West Bengal where the Ganga and Bay of Bengal meet, 200,000 devotees took a holy dip and performed puja at the Kapil Muni Temple. Around 5,000 police were employed to make sure the occasion was safe for the pilgrims. The Northern States of Rishikesh and Sonepat reported that people of all ages and sizes braved dense fog and cold winds to bathe in the Ganga and Yamuna rivers. In Gujarat the festival of Uttrayan, which marks a change in the direction of the sun, was celebrated with people flying kites.

Kauai Island Honors Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami

Posted on 2004/1/19 8:46:02 ( 1047 reads )


KAUAI, HAWAII, January 19, 2004: The annual Kauaian Days He Inoa no Kaumuali'i Parade moved along Kaumuali'i Highway to Kaua'i Community College Saturday without a hitch. The community event focused on honoring Kaua'i, its people and its past. Upcoming events include a Martin Luther King memorial on Monday, along with community events across the island.

Among them is "Gurudeva Day," honored by an event from 10 a.m.-noon at Lydgate Park on Saturday, January 24, which focuses on the late Gurudeva, Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami's vision of "Aloha: It's Kaua'i's Spirit. One Island, Many Peoples, All Kauaians."

HPI adds: The event is organized by island leaders to give recognition and respect to Gurudeva and Kauai's Hindu monastery, valued assets to the community. Gurudeva, and his successor Bodhinatha, continue to work behind the scenes to assist with island development and problem solving.

Startling Pesticide Levels in Food in India

Posted on 2004/1/19 8:45:02 ( 914 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA, January 10, 2004: The Centre for Science and Environment conducted a study in November and December of 2003 to determine the level of pesticides in food eaten by the average consumer in India. Sunita Narain director of CSE says, "The results were startling. Of the eight pesticides, the theoretical maximum daily intake (TMDI) for five pesticides was found to be 140 per cent to 7,218 per cent of accepted norms worldwide. The results were published in the CSE's magazine Down To Earth." Apparently the Insecticide Act of 1968 gives guidelines to the Central Insecticide Board and Registration committee when a pesticide is registered. However, these guidelines do not set the Acceptable Daily Intake of a pesticide that can be consumed by an individual on a daily basis without adversely affecting their health, nor do they establish a maximum residue level for food commodities. 180 pesticides have been registered in India but only 71 of them have a MRL. A sampling of results are as follows: rice has a contamination level of 87.4%, pulses 43%, vegetables 56.62%, fruit 42%, and spices 71.5%. Earlier studies by the Indian Council of Medical Research between 1986 and 1991 on milk, milk products and baby food in 12 states revealed the following, "It found that of the total of 2,205 milk samples, HCH was found in 85 per cent of the samples, and DDT contamination in 82 per cent of the samples."

Mad Cow Disease has Caused Americans to Take a Second Look at Their Dietary Choices

Posted on 2004/1/19 8:44:02 ( 882 reads )


OREGON, U.S.A., January 10, 2004: Mad Cow Disease, scientifically known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, has caused alarm to some American consumers of beef after a Washington Holstein was identified as carrying the disease. Some are considering adopting a vegetarian diet. This article explains how the beef industry has permeated American Society. Cow by-products are used to make gelatin, soap, asphalt roads and car tires. In the pharmaceutical industry many drugs come from a cow's body including Heparin, an anticoagulant used to thin blood, and Epinephrine to stimulate the heart in the event of cardiac arrest. The article says, "Plenty to render, recycle -- only about half of a beef cow ends up in the meat case, according to the National Renderers Association. The castoffs from beef production -- 35 million cattle slaughtered annually -- would quickly overflow the nation's landfills if they weren't rendered and recycled. So the humble cow continues to yield fertilizer from dried blood, buttons from hooves, neat's-foot oil from shin bones and toothpaste from fats." For Hindus, this article is a real eye opener -- actually rather shocking -- as we revere all life forms and do not consider that a human life form is superior to any other. Our hearts go out to the humble cow, used, abused and never honored in modern society.

Honor Killings: Medieval Custom Plagues Rural India

Posted on 2004/1/18 8:49:02 ( 891 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA, January 11, 2004: The All India Democratic Women's Association today demanded effective policy to end the evil of honor killings of young people marrying out of their community. There is the chilling tale of Geeta whose husband Jasbeer was killed before her eyes. Geeta is a Rajput and her husband was a Jat and the medieval customs of rural India forbid any marital ties between the two communities. So the jats of the village got together and killed Geeta's husband, punishing him for violating the honor of their community. "The people who killed my husband were not even related to me. They just killed him because, according to them, it was a question of their community's honor," said Geeta.

Thai Pongal in Kuala Lumpur

Posted on 2004/1/18 8:48:02 ( 1035 reads )


KUALA LUMPAR, MALAYSIA, January 14, 2004: The Hindu community has been celebrating Thai Pongal, also known as the Harvest festival, for over 5,000 years. Festival popularity has resulted in business for those catering to the festival. Traders sell milk, cashew nuts, raisins and honey to devotees who prepare to give thanks to the Sun for a good harvest. The tradition centers around a pot full of milk that is brought first to a boil and after it boils over, rice, cashew nuts, raisins and honey will be added to the pot. The article says, "Sugar cane, symbolizing prosperity in life, is usually placed at the house entrance while flowers and sweets like laddu and halwa will be used as offerings for the Gods." At least 500 devotees attend the annual event at the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple at Jalan Tun H.S. Lee. This year the milk boiling celebration started at 6 a.m. Many other families celebrated the festival at home.

Pongal Festival a Success in Rawang

Posted on 2004/1/18 8:47:02 ( 1188 reads )


RAWANG, MALAYSIA, January 16, 2004: Sweet success was spelt on the lips of all the participants in the People's Pongal festival at Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Tamil Rawang in Malaysia on January 15. The participants filled 1,001 earthen pots with freshly-cooked sweet Pongal rice. More importantly, their very presence tripled the size of last year's Malaysia Book of Records entry for the Largest Malaysian Pongal Festival. The guests of honor, Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu and his wife Datin Seri Indrani, beamed with pride over what the 1,001 Malaysians -- Indian, Malay and Chinese -- achieved through sheer teamwork. They commended the crowd for displaying the true Malaysian spirit of cooperation, or gotong-royong. Organizing chairman P. Kamalanathan said "Malaysians, regardless of race and religion, took part." The event, organized by the Malaysian Indian Fest, was presented by Beras Jati, Peace Cola, and endorsed by the Malaysia Book of Records. It was cosponsored by Tamil Nesan, Selayang MIC Youth, Haigreva Systems And Solutions, Veenai Holdings, Persatuan Peniaga Video India Malaysia and Perniagaan Tunas Daya.

Trinidad Organization Chooses "Mantra of the Year"

Posted on 2004/1/18 8:46:02 ( 931 reads )

By Paras Ramoutar

TRINIDAD, January 16, 2004: The 20th anniversary of, "Mantra of the Year" (MOTY), will be celebrated on Saturday, January 17, at 7 p.m., at the Hindu Prachar Kendra Mandir, Ragoonanan Road, Central Trinidad. Gita Ramsingh, coordinator of the programme, pointed out this year marks the 20th anniversary, "since the inception of this major religious initiative instituted by Raviji." It was observed in 1984. "MOTY is best understood as an attempt of the Hindu Caribbean to design ways and means to instruct, guide, and interpret the rich religious-cultural heritage of Hindus and address issues affecting the community or mankind in general," Raviji said. Mrs. Ramsingh, who has to her credit as being the first Hindu woman in the Caribbean to lecture on the Ramayana at satsangs (religious gatherings), noted that MOTY grew from a spontaneous selection of a mantra with a translation, to a simple verse in English for community singing. "The process of selection is developed over the years. Experience of the preceding year, local and international conditions, Hindu issues, consultation, discussion, reflection, meditation and research are all tools to arrive at a mantra and expressed as in the composition of the song," she said. Mrs. Ramsingh said that MOTY has addressed issues like Hindu unity, Universalism, United Nations themes, the Family, the Child, Patriotism, Tribute to the jahajee Spirit and the Celebration of Swami Vivekananda. She said that sources for information include: Gita, Tulsidas' Ramayana, Vedas, Mahabharat, Puranas and the words of the Rishis.

Florida Community Orders Resident to Stop Flying Hindu Prayer Flag

Posted on 2004/1/17 8:49:02 ( 1081 reads )


WEST LANTANA, FLORIDA, January 15, 2004: Leila Persaud, a retired teacher who lives in a gated community (a subdivision of homes where access to the roads is allowed only for residents, who pass through a locked gate) of West Lantana in Florida said she faces fines and a trip to court if she continues to fly a jhandi (brightly colored Hindu prayer flag on a bamboo pole) in front of her house. The Rivermill homeowners association board voted last year to ban religious symbols from all 377 of the community's front yards, except during a few weeks around official holidays such as Christmas. Mike Magnanti, president of the board, said the rule was an attempt to address residents' complaints fairly that Persaud's jhandi looks like "a torn, tattered towel in a tree."

"If she wants to put it in front during a holiday period, that's OK," he said. "If she wants to display it during the full year, she needs to put it in her back yard."

Persaud and her priest, Vishnu Sharma, say the rule discriminates against Hindus. Florida American Civil Liberties Union attorney Jim Green agrees. "Unfortunately the [homeowners association] might have the power to pass such a discriminatory regulation," Green said. "Whether such a discriminatory regulation would be enforceable in the state or federal courts is another question." Persaud has refused to move hers from its spot by her front door. Her only concession has been to lower it so it's hidden among some bushes.

Dalits Barred Entry Into Temple

Posted on 2004/1/17 8:48:02 ( 1105 reads )


JAIPUR, INDIA, January 13, 2004: Activists participating in a national Dalit Swadhikar rally were denied entry into the famous Shrinath temple in Nathdwara, despite a 15-year-old judgment of the Rajasthan High Court directing the State Government to ensure unhindered access for Dalits to the temple. The rally, organised by the National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, started from four different locations in India in December and will culminate in Mumbai on January 15 at the World Social Forum venue. The northern segment, starting from New Delhi, arrived in Nathdwara after covering 16 districts in Rajasthan on January 2, when the participants tried to enter the Shrinath temple for worship. The convener of the Centre for Dalit Human Rights, P.L. Mimroth, said that hundreds of local residents belonging to the so-called upper castes stopped the rally of 35 Dalit activists about 2 km from the temple and used abusive and threatening language against them. Though the rallyists could have visited the temple without being noticed, the people recognized their caste status after spotting a local Dalit among them. "They were the normal next door people whom we regularly meet in our daily life. But when it came to the temple, they were adamant on not allowing us inside so as to protect the sanctity of their religion," Mr. Mimroth said, adding that Dalits had always been exploited for selfish interests of upper castes and never treated equally. The Centre for Dalit Human Rights has sent memoranda to the Chief Minister, Vasundhara Raje, and the chairpersons of the National Human Rights Commission, National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Tribes and the State Human Rights Commission, urging them to take appropriate measures to facilitate entry of Dalits into the Shrinath temple and strict enforcement of Article 17 of the Constitution which forbids restrictions on temple entry based on caste.

Trinidad Observes Ancient Hindu Ceremony On Sunday

Posted on 2004/1/17 8:47:02 ( 879 reads )

Paras Ramoutar

TRINIDAD, January 13, 2004: Some 1008 havan kurns (receptacles to offer sacred fire) will be the highlight of this year's third annual Hindu Makara Sankraanti ceremony set for Sunday, January 18, at the Dattatreya Yoga Center, Orangefield Road, Carapichaima. Thousands of devout Hindus are expected to attend the program organized by Pundit Munelal Maharaj and Pundit Randir B. Maharaj in collaboration with the Aatmavaani Group. According to Pundit Munelal, devotees will recite sacred Vedic mantras, kirtans and bhajans while making offerings in the 1008 havan kurns. Pundit Munelal said that this event is executed at the beginning of the New Year to infuse a sense of unity and positive outlook, and it is geared towards achieving unity within the community. "This Holy Day of Makara Sankraanti marks the commencement of the Sun's northern course in the heavens. This turn in the Sun's course takes place at the point of time when it enters Makara Rasi or the zodiacal sign of Capricorn. From this day, the duration of daylight increases and the night decreases (HPI adds: actually, that would start from the solstice in December), as it heralds the coming of more sunshine and light in one's life and the reduction of its darker aspects," Pundit Munelal noted. He said that in the Hindu tradition, this most auspicious event symbolizes the journey towards spirituality as it represents the soul's journey to God. "Occurring as it does at the beginning of the year, it is a most appropriate time for reflection and thanksgiving for seeking God's grace upon one's activities for the year and to commit oneself to higher ideals. "On the social plane, the Sankraanti carries a vital significance for national welfare. It is the warmth of love and fellow-feeling among people of a country that ultimately makes them stand up in unison in adversity or in prosperity. It is the necessary lubricant to make the nation's machine work smoothly without friction," he added.

Parishad Attacks Catholic Mission School

Posted on 2004/1/16 8:49:02 ( 1009 reads )


BHOPAL, INDIA, January 14, 2004: Incensed by the rape and murder of a nine-year-old on a Catholic Mission School campus in Jhabua last night, a mob of VHP activists today forced their way into the campus, pelted stones and attacked the priests there, according to this report.

The mob was protesting the rape and murder of a nine-year-old who was found dead on the campus last night. But so far there is no evidence to connect anybody on the campus with the incident. As per reports reaching here, the girl was selling fruits outside the campus with her brother when she was lured inside by a youth on the pretext that the nuns wanted to buy fruit. When the girl did not return, the brother set out to search for her. She was found dead in a toilet on the campus. Father Pradeep Cherian of the Catholic church stationed 15 km away at Meghanagar said, "The mob gathered outside the school today under the banner of the Hindu Jagran Manch. The Collector and SP assured me they would tackle the situation. Over 500 people forced their way in, attacked the priests and damaged vehicles before the police could control them. I am in touch with the school authorities and right now a 1,000-strong mob is gathered outside the school. Police do not have the numbers to control the situation and the IG is rushing to the spot."

He added: "They are attempting to blame our personnel. The priests have been evacuated but there are sisters and around 75 girls still in the hostel. I do not know how the police will evacuate them because even the police vehicles are being attacked." SP Jhabua Mayank Jain would only confirm that "a mob of over 50 persons from the VHP entered the campus and pelted stones. They caused some damage to property and vehicles."

Meditation And Yoga Help Eliminate Stress In Iraq

Posted on 2004/1/16 8:48:02 ( 914 reads )


IRAQ, January 13, 2004: The Art of Living foundation of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is bringing yoga, meditation and breathing exercises to try to soothe a people rattled by war and continuing violence. The Bangalore-based foundation whose goal is to "eliminate stress, create a sense of belonging and restore human values" has added Iraq to its 140 countries of operation. About 15 volunteers, including doctors, are running medical camps using traditional Indian alternative medicine, and meditation and yoga classes to ease the strain on Iraqis. The initiative began in Dillad, a farming village near Saddam Hussein's home town of Tikrit. Since then, volunteers have set up medical camps in Baghdad and al-Qadisiyah on the outskirts of the city. At one of the al-Qadisiyah camps, 200 Iraqis lined up every day. "After the bombings, trauma and anxiety levels among people in Baghdad were very high," said Vinod Kumar, the leader of the group in Iraq. "Though the war is over, we found many residents were unable to sleep or even eat. The residents go through mood swings and depression. The majority of the men smoke heavily and a large number of women have begun smoking," said Mr. Kumar. The volunteers conduct stress-busting sessions -- two-hour-long special breathing exercises over four days -- and the doctors recommend traditional Indian herbal medicines. The volunteers found that Iraqi children were among the worst affected by the continuing violence and insecurity in the country. The children are being put through breathing exercises and play stress-relieving games. The foundation's volunteers have not found it easy to work in Iraq, although being Indian has helped. "Iraqis are fond of Indians. So they have been very open to our healing techniques. They also have a spiritual thirst," said Mr. Kumar.

World's Most Luxurious Train Flagged Off by PM

Posted on 2004/1/16 8:47:02 ( 925 reads )


MUMBAI, INDIA, January 14, 2004: It is pitched as the most expensive train ever to run on the Indian railway tracks. After the formal flagging off ceremony by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on January 16, The Deccan Odyssey (DO), dubbed as the "five star hotel on rails," will traverse a distance of 2,200 kilometers covering the Konkan Coast, the Deccan plateau and Goa in early February. The train will unveil the magic of the Deccan plateau and the golden beaches with swaying coconut palms along the Konkan coast for its passengers. A joint venture of the Indian Railways and the Maharshtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC), it hopes to bring in the much needed capital to the bankrupt state exchequer.

"The train has all the comforts that you can get in a five star hotel, plus the additional value of seeing the virgin beauty of the coastal areas, traditional Maharashtrian culture and pristine beaches in Goa," says MTDC managing director Ashish Kumar Singh. A single occupancy suite in the DO during peak season (October to March) will cost US$480, while a triple occupancy cost $285. The DO has a capacity of 80 passengers and will complete the journey in seven days. The 21 blue coaches is furnished in Maharaja style with suites, gyms, two restaurants and conference rooms being part of the train. The cost of this venture is around $6.5 million and the MTDC will be in charge of the service and hospitality and the Railways will be operating the train.

"The 720 kilometer coast line of Maharashtra, dotted with beaches and supplemented by ancient temples, coastal forts that remind of naval power of the Maratha empire, folk arts and malvani cuisine are unique attraction that only this state can offer," said Sunil Jain, CPRO, Central Railways. Ajanta Caves is along the route. MTDC officials state that it will be run on similar line as the Palace on Wheels, a train made of coaches commissioned for various Maharajas, that has by now become a sort of icon for Rajasthan tourism.

« 1 ... 780 781 782 (783) 784 785 786 ... 1032 »
Copyright© 2016 Himalayan Academy. All rights reserved.

Get from the App Store Android app on Google Play