Hindu Press International

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Bharat Keshar Simha is New World Hindu Federation President


Posted on 2003/3/4 8:49:02 ( 1085 reads )


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KATHMANDU, NEPAL, February 28, 2003: Bharat Keshar Simha, retired major general of the Royal Nepalese Army and honorary ADC to His Majesty the King, was recently elected unanimously as the president of the World Hindu Federation at their recent meeting in Gorakhpur, India. Asked whether the WHF, being a religious organization, can influence politics, Mr. Simha stated, "Definitely it can. I firmly believe that religion and politics are different. But having said that, I would like to draw attention to the sort of behavior our leaders are conducting and the fact that they are dragging religion into politics, instead of being the other way round. All their actions should be dominated by dharma. Though we translate dharma as religion, it is totally different. I think dharma is more inclusive and more meaningful. Whereas religion merely divides people -- like there are Christians, Muslims, Hindus and so on -- dharma, especially the Sanatana Dharma, actually is for all humankind. Irrespective of any religion, dharma is the way of life for every human being." To read the complete interview go to "source" above.






US Temples Damaged in Attacks


Posted on 2003/3/4 8:48:02 ( 741 reads )


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ST. LOUIS, UNITED STATES, February 23, 2003: Security is being stepped up for the Hindu Temple of St. Louis that was firebombed twice in a week. Federal agents are trying to determine if the attacks were youthful mischief or hate-fueled religious bigotry. No one was injured by the attacks as the temple's massive metal doors blocked the first firebomb, and flame-retardant carpeting limited damage from the second, which was thrown through a window. There was no immediate indication if the February 23 attack was related to one that same day at the Hindu Temple and Cultural Center of Kansas City in Shawnee, Kansas, about 250 miles away, where someone broke the glass front door and caused $700 in damage. Temple officials were concerned about whether the violence could escalate, possibly involving someone who wrongly equates Hindus with Islamic extremists. Several mosques and temples across the country and Canada have been vandalized since the 9/11 terrorist attacks.






Minor Attack on Hindu Temple In US Baffles Police


Posted on 2003/3/3 8:49:02 ( 770 reads )


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ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI, March 1, 2003: The police and FBI are at a loss why a fire bomb was thrown at the Hindu temple in St. Louis, Missouri, on the night of February 22. Officials have registered the attack as a hate crime case. "It seemed to be a crude bomb or Molotov cocktail, which set fire to the front door of the temple," Krishna Reddy, president of the temple trustee board, said. The fire quickly burned itself out, charring a four-foot section of the door. The attack happened after midnight, Reddy thinks. Temple officials discovered the attack when they arrived to open the shrine the next morning. "There are four priests living in the compound a little behind the temple. They did not hear anything that night," Reddy said. "We are getting a lot of support from the police, FBI and other officials. There is no panic in the community," Jiwan Singla, chairman of the temple building committee, said. "Everything is normal, but we are increasing security," he said. Established 13 years ago, it is one of the largest temples in the US, serving more than 8,000 families. "The attack has not changed anything," Singla noted. All the activities will go on as scheduled, he said.






VHP and RSS Said to Face Fund-Raising Issues in UK


Posted on 2003/3/3 8:48:02 ( 755 reads )


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LONDON, UK, February 28, 2003: The following material is from the Paknews.com website: "The British Government is under pressure by its Asian nationals to look into reports that funds collected in the name of charity here are being sent to extremists in India. Indian Muslim Federation UK has demanded that VHP and RSS should be banned for their alleged involvement in communal activities and fanning hatred in India. A leading British daily Financial Times investigation has exposed a link between charity being collected from UK-US and said it was being channeled to extremists in India."






Story Planned on Hindus in Myanmar


Posted on 2003/3/3 8:47:02 ( 750 reads )


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KAUAI, HAWAII, March 3, 2003: Hinduism Today is planning for a story on the one-million plus Hindus of Myanmar (formerly Burma). The New York Times story as "source" above gives a lot of information about the country, though little about Hinduism there. If you know someone in Myanmar who can help with the visit of our reporter this year or next, kindly e-mail ar@hindu.org.






Goddess Devi Procession Sparks Unrest


Posted on 2003/2/28 8:49:02 ( 1042 reads )


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BANGALORE, INDIA, February 25, 2003: At least 24 people were injured, along with damage to vehicles and shops, in communal violence that erupted in the Anepalya and Neelasandra areas in the city on Tuesday. The problems began around 8:45 p.m. when devotees of Goddess Annamma Devi, playing music, passed in procession through a masjid in the area. City Police Commissioner M. D. Singh, Joint Commissioner Jeevan Kumar Gaonkar and all the DCPs have held meetings with leaders of both the communities (Hindus and Muslims) and appealed to them to maintain peace.






Toronto Temple Hosts Memorial Service for Dr. Chawla


Posted on 2003/2/28 8:48:02 ( 743 reads )


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TORONTO, CANADA, February 28, 2003: A special memorial service honoring Dr. Kalpana Chawla will be held at the Hindu Mandir and Cultural Center, Messissauga, Toronto, March 8, 2003. Dr. Chawla, first Indian woman astronaut, was killed in the recent explosion of the space shuttle Columbia. Kindly contact "source" above for additional information.






Gujarat to Introduce Law Restricting Religious Conversions


Posted on 2003/2/27 8:49:02 ( 1036 reads )


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GUJARAT, INDIA, February 25, 2003: The Gujarati state government has plans to introduce a new law stopping the practice of unethical religious conversion. State Governor Sunder Singh Bhandari declared the Freedom of Religion Bill would be brought before the state assembly during the session that opened on Tuesday. The law -- known as Dharam Swatantrata Vidheya -- will be similar to anti-conversion laws that exist in some other Indian states that ban conversion by inducement or fraud. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ashok Bhatt says the final shape of the new law will be decided at a cabinet meeting next week.






U.K. Hindus Substitute River Thames for Holy Ganga


Posted on 2003/2/27 8:48:02 ( 863 reads )


Source: NewsQuest Media Group Limited





LONDON, ENGLAND, February 18, 2003: Hindus in the U.K. are using a service offered by a ferry company which will send a boat out onto the Thames to perform the ritual of scattering of ashes of the deceased for US$80. City Cruises takes up to 50 friends and relatives on the half-hour trip. Sales manager Ian Faris says, "This is a popular service where predominantly Asian families are taken to a quiet spot on the river to perform the final rites of passage on their loved ones." Strictly speaking, disposing of any waste into rivers is illegal, but the Environment Agency, which is responsible for waterways in Britain, is turning a blind eye to the practice. Environment Agency officer Tessa van den Burghe comments that, "Strictly speaking, it is not allowed as it is considered waste. But it is not a huge amount and we do not consider it a problem." Greenwich Hindu Temple secretary Vidya Misru says, "Ideally the deceased are sent back to their spiritual home in India where their ashes can be cast with a prayer into the holy Ganges. But sometimes this is not possible and in these circumstances the Thames is used as an alternative."






Spiritual Perspectives on Globalization


Posted on 2003/2/27 8:47:02 ( 897 reads )


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UNITED STATES, February 27, 2003: Ira Rifkin's new book, "Spiritual Perspectives on Globalization -- Making Sense of Economic and Cultural Upheaval," takes the globalization debate global -- exploring how it looks to Hindus, Jews, Buddhists, Catholics, Protestants, Baha'is, pagans and Muslims. This look by a noted religion author at globalization from other cultural perspectives helps to understand the phenomenon from their point of view and why some cultures may be less than enthusiastic. The chapter on Hinduism introduces readers to Indian Hindu expatriates working in the Washington suburbs high-tech industry. The author uses their efforts to maintain links to their cultural roots to illustrate the global spread of Vedic thought. But the chapter also delves into the concerns of Hindus who worry that globalization's free-market capitalism and Western-oriented consumer lifestyle undermine Hinduism's traditional emphasis on spiritual advancement over material acquisition. "For traditional Hindus," author Rifkin writes, "both the earth and nonhuman life are sacred, and concern that transnational corporations, abetted by compliant or corrupt governments, have turned both into commodities are cause for additional opposition to globalization."






Nepal to Host World's Highest Cyber Cafe


Posted on 2003/2/27 8:46:02 ( 814 reads )


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KATHMANDU, NEPAL, February 22, 2003: The grandson of a Nepali sherpa in the first expedition to scale Mount Everest 50 years ago plans to set up the world's highest Internet cafe at the mountain's base camp. Tsering Gyaltsen, whose grandfather, Gyaltsen Sherpa, was in the 1953 team that helped Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay reach summit, hopes to open the cafe next month to cash in on a flood of visitors for the anniversary. Thousands of trekkers and mountaineers pass through the base camp at 17,400 feet every year and many expeditions carry satellite phones into the Himalayas to run websites about their efforts and contact friends and family at home. Gyaltsen, waiting for government permission to go ahead, will use radio and satellite links and solar and generator power. Money from the cafe will go to a project to clear Everest of the hundreds of tons of garbage left behind every year.






Trinidad and Tobago Hold Classical Song Competition


Posted on 2003/2/27 8:45:02 ( 824 reads )


Source: Paras Ramoutar





PORT-OF-SPAIN, TRINIDAD, February 27, 2003: The Mere Desh Organization of Trinidad and Tobago has dedicated 2003, to the Classical singers of Trinidad and Tobago and the Father of Hindi Poetry, Sant Kabir. The Organization is inviting all local classical singers throughout the country to enter. The date of the competition is yet to be announced.






Mahamandaleshwar Maheshwaranandaji World Tour


Posted on 2003/2/27 8:44:02 ( 818 reads )


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UNITED STATES, February 27, 2003: Mahamandaleshwar Maheshwaranandaji is starting a World Peace Tour today which will include various cities in the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, and Australia, including a World Peace Forum in Sydney. Kindly contact Swami Bhaktanand at "source" above for information on specific locations and dates.






Refutation Issued to "Foreign Exchange of Hate" Allegations


Posted on 2003/2/26 8:49:02 ( 768 reads )


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UNITED STATES, February 26, 2003: The following statement is issued by the India Development and Relief Fund regarding allegations their funding strategy is designed to encourage hatred and dissension between India's religious groups. "On November 20, 2002, Sabrang Communications and the Forum of Indian Leftists released a report titled, 'The Foreign Exchange of Hate' asserting that the India Development and Relief Fund (IDRF) is involved in funding hate because IDRF has sent money to RSS-affiliated NGOs in India that aid the poor and the underprivileged. The FEH report presents no evidence that IDRF has done anything other than what it advertises: funding socioeconomic development projects, and relief and rehabilitation during times of natural disasters and wars. There is no evidence presented in the FEH report that the funding by IDRF has been unaccounted for or misspent. IDRF-funded projects are exemplary in their simple efficiency and cost-effectiveness, and in their non-discriminatory approach. Houses have been built for Muslims, and aid has been directed through IDRF to a church-run hospital. The FEH report is a political manifesto that seeks to divide the Indian-American community based on their religious and political affiliations, and seeks to demonize groups rather than build bridges between the Diasporic Indian groups." For the complete report click "source" above.






World Hindu General Assembly to be Held in Nepal


Posted on 2003/2/26 8:48:02 ( 784 reads )


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GORAKHPUR, INDIA, February 18, 2003: The seventh World Hindu General Assembly which concluded in Gorakhpur, India, has decided to hold the next General Assembly in Birgunj, Nepal. An 11-point proposal including a complete ban on cow slaughter and assistance to Hindu orphans was also passed by the assembly. Some 28 countries, including Nepal, took part in the general assembly. The three-day assembly held at Gorakhshapeeth also stressed the need for stopping the mistreatment and injustice meted out to Hindus and setting up service-oriented industries to provide employment opportunities for Hindu youth.




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