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Malaysia Hindu Sangam Urged to Include Social Service Work
Posted on 2002/3/17 22:48:02 ( 675 reads )


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MENTAKAB, MALAYSIA, March 17, 2002: The Malaysia Hindu Sangam should not restrict itself to religious activities alone but also be involved in social oriented work, Pahang MIC vice-chairman M.Davendran said Sunday. He said the association could for instance raise funds from Hindus to help the poor, victims of natural disasters and children from broken families. Opening a two-day seminar on Hindu leadership organized by the Malaysia Hindu Sangam's youth wing here, he said the association could also conduct marriage counselling sessions for those getting married. Davendran said this was important as the divorce rate among Hindus was on the rise. Meanwhile, Malaysia Hindu Sangam president A. Vaithilingam said the association's national council had opened a state office in Mentakab to cater to Hindus in Pahang. He said the association would pay the office rental and the salary of a full time staff.




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Japan's Indian Community
Posted on 2002/3/17 22:47:02 ( 828 reads )


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KOBE, JAPAN, March 17, 2002: The port city of Kobe, with the largest concentration of Americans and Europeans in the Kansai region, a few of whom have lived in Japan since the Taisho Era (1912-1926), has long been known as one of Japan's most Westernized cities. But what is little known is that it is also home to a large, perhaps the largest, population of Indians in Japan. A stroll through the streets of Kobe's Sannomiya or Kitano districts reveals a host of Indian restaurants and Indian-run businesses, from textiles to jewelry. The history of the Indian community in Japan began with the first textile merchants, who followed the British traders in the late 1800s. Most landed at Yokohama, which became the center of the Indian community in the early years of foreign settlement. A few moved to Kobe, where the Indian Club was formed in 1904 by a small community of about 100 businessmen drawn from all over India. Today, Kobe's Indian community thrives in the import and export of textiles and electronics; the sale of Japanese used cars to the Middle East and Africa; and, more recently, becoming involved in Osaka real estate.




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Ohio Odissi Dance Performance Captures Audience
Posted on 2002/3/17 22:46:02 ( 671 reads )


Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer





CLEVELAND, OHIO, March 11, 2002: The city of Cleveland and the Cleveland Museum of Art were graced with a stunning performance by six women of the Odissi classical dance form, one of India's oldest art forms. Expressing themes from India's rich legacy, the dance that is now performed on stage was once performed in temples to honor the Gods and Goddesses. With an eloquent blending of East and West, the program was choreographed by Surupa Sen with music by Ganesh Kumaresh. The dancers are known as the Nrityagram Dance Ensemble of India.




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Trinidad Maha Sabha Launches Hindu University
Posted on 2002/3/17 22:45:02 ( 1081 reads )


Source: Anil Mahabir, Trinidad Correspondent





TRINIDAD, March 18, 2002: Secretary General of the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha of Trinidad and Tobago, Shri Satnarine Maharaj, said tertiary education for Hindu citizens of T&T will soon be available "at a fraction of the cost when the Hindu University is set up." Maharaj was speaking at a news conference at the Lakshmi Girls' High School, the headquarters of the Maha Sabha, last week Wednesday at the launch of the project. He said the Maha Sabha, Trinidad's largest Hindu organization, will use its 160 temples and 60 schools throughout the country to set up bases for study. People can also study at their homes. Maharaj said these bases will be set up with computers so students can access information from Florida's Lynn University. Four representatives from Lynn University were present at the launch and said countries from all over the world are receiving data from them through the Internet. "The home is the most important teaching institution in the Hindu home and indeed the country at large," Maharaj said. "Why is it that we can only send six percent of our children to university here in Trinidad, while other developed countries have an average enrollment of about 60 percent?" he asked. "Do we have talent to waste, or do we simply do not care? Sure, it is good to learn about the greatness of Indian culture and the devotional aspects of Hinduism, such as puja, but we have also got to educate our children about Hindu philosophy, such as the Vedas and the Mahabharata and give them a feel of academics as well. The education has to be all around for the Hindu," he said. Maharaj asked the audience, which included many Christians and Muslims, not to draw any conclusions about a Hindu University, since there is already a Christian university in existence. He said that non-Hindus will be allowed to attend classes at the temples and Hindu schools. "No one will be discriminated against," he said. The president of computer company DTRONICS, Richard Guide, said his company will be donating as many as 25 computer-ready bases for the university. These will provide easy access for those who cannot afford computers. Maharaj gave June 6, 2002, as the tentative date for the official launch of the university, that is, when classes will begin in full stream.




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Shiv Sena Blamed for Rampage In Haryana Town, Shrines Burnt
Posted on 2002/3/17 22:44:02 ( 608 reads )


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CHANDIGARGH, INDIA, March 17, 2002: Tension hung over Bhiwani in Haryana today after a mob of more than 300 alleged Shiv Sena activists torched two places of worship and shops in Luharu town in the district, angered by rumors that a family had killed a cow. A spokesman said more than 300 Shiv Sena activists torched one holy place near Luharu railway station and another in the Purana Bazaar locality. Later, another mob assembled outside the heritage palace of the Nawab of Luharu, situated on the outskirts of that town, and raised slogans, but the police reached there on time to prevent any damage to the landmark monument. This is the second such incident in a month in Haryana: on March one, tension gripped Kaithal after three places of worship were attacked, damaged and torched.




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Out-of-Print Book on Indian Medicine Sought
Posted on 2002/3/17 22:43:02 ( 647 reads )


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KAUAI, HAWAII, March 18, 2002: Hinduism Today is searching for a copy of "Ancient Indian Medicine," published about 1947 by Orient Longman Publications, Madras, and written by Prof. Kutumbiah. The book is needed for an article on Indian medical ethics. Any suggestions on where to locate a copy may be e-mailed to "source" above.




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Fresh Violence Flares in India
Posted on 2002/3/16 22:49:02 ( 653 reads )


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GUJARAT, INDIA, March 16, 2002: There has been fresh religious violence in the Indian state of Gujarat, with three people killed during disturbances in the main city, Ahmedabad, and another shot dead by police in Boroda. The latest unrest followed a controversial ceremony staged by Hindus in Ayodhya. Later in Ahmedabad, crowds of Hindus and Muslims took to the streets. Two Muslim men were killed as police fired shots to disperse mobs confronting each other in the Ahmedabad neighborhoods of Dudeshwar and Daryapur. Several Muslim shops and properties were set on fire. Curfews were imposed in Ahmedabad and Boroda.




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Accused In Godhra Train Attack Held
Posted on 2002/3/16 22:48:02 ( 676 reads )


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AHMEDABAD, INDIA, March 17, 2002: In a major breakthrough in the Godhra case, police arrested the main accused Haji Bilal Ismail Sujela, a municipal councillor of the Congress party, who had been absconding since the incident which claimed 58 lives on February 27, taking the total number of arrests so far to 28. Bilal was arrested by the anti-terrorist squad and Government Railway Police in Godhra. "Haji Bilal is named in the police First Information Report as one of prime accused along with eight others," Superintendent of Police Raju Bhargav said. The main charge against Bilal is "preventing the fire fighters from coming to control the blaze when the compartment of ill-fated Sabarmati Express was burning."




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Pune Botanist Bags World's Biggest "Green" Prize
Posted on 2002/3/16 22:47:02 ( 612 reads )


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LONDON, ENGLAND., March 14, 2002: An Indian botanist with a passion for converting the tough, traditionally useless leaves of the sugar cane plant into fuel has won the world's largest renewable energy and conservation prize and a cool US$50,000 to fund his work in rural Maharashtra. Within hours of winning the Ashden Awards, Pune-based botanist Dr. A. D. Karve told The Times of India the prize would help his pioneering work "because Indians only pay attention and give respect to an idea once the West praises it." The West, apparently, is over the moon about the sheer simplicity and dogged determination of Karve's idea, which offers an Indian solution to a uniquely Indian problem, that of providing a clean source of renewable energy with the waste materials to hand. "He's doing absolutely wonderful things," raved Maya Vaughan of the Ashden Awards, which offer crucial support to developing countries like India for indigenous ways of generating and using green fuel. Karve's clean fuel beat off tough competition from Tanzania, Zambia and Kenya, each of which suggested new ways of using solar energy to improve their people's lives. The method, described at "source" above, chars sugar cane trash in an oven without igniting it. The resulting "char" is made into charcoal briquettes as good as any. The method isn't especially efficient, but since the trash is free, it is economically viable.




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News From Puerto Rico
Posted on 2002/3/16 22:46:02 ( 645 reads )


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PUERTO RICO, March 17, 2002: Visvanatha Sundararajan, "source" above, sends the following news items from Puerto Rico, a US territory in the Caribbean. 1) Swami Yogatmananda, of the Vedanta Society at Providence, Rhode Island, USA, is touring Puerto Rico for three days from March 23 to 26, giving lectures and conducting puja in the center to honor the occasion of Ramakrishna's birthday which falls on March 16. Swami was born in Maharastra, India, in 1953 and joined the society in 1976. He was in charge of the Society in Nagpur, Shillong, India, and came to the US in 2001 to run the Providence enter. he will give a lecture on guided meditation on the 23rd at Hato Rey, "Falling in Love with God," based on Naradha Baktisutra on the 24th in Mayaguez and conducing the puja on the 25th in Hato Rey. This is Swami's first visit to Puerto Rico. For more information, contact Shraddha-ma@yahoo.com. 2) Maha Sivaratri was celebrated grandly at the Satya Sai Center in San Juan, Puerto Rico's capital, on March 13. An evening of worship and bhajana was followed by a vegetarian meal.




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Hindu Minister in Malaysia Appeals To Community to Not Oppose Temple Relocation
Posted on 2002/3/15 22:49:02 ( 606 reads )


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PETALING JAYA, MALAYSIA, March 16, 2002: Malaysian Indian Congress president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu yesterday asked temple managements, especially the smaller ones, not to oppose government efforts to relocate temples to alternate sites nearby. He said the MIC was facing difficulty in convincing some of the smaller temples to move. "Being difficult will only make life difficult for us. If you [temple managements] challenge the authorities to tear the temple down, they will tear down the temple and you will have to place your shrines in street corners," he told reporters after laying the foundation stone for the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in Kelana Jaya yesterday. Samy Vellu said the party surveyed more than 17,000 temples in the country but only 2,000 responded to the questionnaire. He said that there were about 190 big and small temples in the Subang and Petaling Jaya Selatan constituencies and Selangor had ordered some of them to be demolished last year. "The MIC met Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohd Khir Toyo in October last year and had asked them to defer their decision pending a study on the temples," he said. He said the party had a hard time convincing the managements of the Ganeshar, Krishnan and Muniswarar temples in Brickfields to agree to be relocated for the construction of the monorail system in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur. "It took a long time before the temples agreed to be relocated together to a nearby site in Brickfields. Each of the temples were also given US$26,300 in compensation," Samy Vellu said. He said although the money was not enough to build a new temple, the managements should try to raise funds to build the temples. Samy Vellu appealed to Hindus who want to build temples in future to be aware of the problems faced by the party, community and the government. Samy Vellu said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad had allocated US$263,000 which will be disbursed to the various temples in the country and announced a $US13,150 grant for the temple in Kelana Jaya.




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CNN "Crossfire" Complaint Gets Results
Posted on 2002/3/15 22:48:02 ( 641 reads )


Source: Hindu Press International





USA, March 16, 2002: HPI reader Mira Goshal complained to CNN about their "Crossfire" program on the McDonald's beef- tainted fries issue. She wrote to CNN, "I watch your program almost every night and I enjoy it immensely. In this case, I feel that you hurt my feelings and the religious principles of many of your viewers. The fact that you both ate french fries on the air was very insulting to those of us who feel cheated by yet another corporation, this time not Enron. Some people who are vegetarians have friends who are not, and we sometimes have to go to places that serve meat. That is just a fact of life for us. To enjoy the company of friends who like taking their children to McDonald's, I would sometime get some french fries and a soft drink--just to be sociable. I am not a member of the law suit brought by the Indian lawyer who you interviewed tonight. But I support his work wholeheartedly! I should be able to trust that what I am putting into my body, indeed is what is promised by the corporation. I feel that you were both very hard on him tonight. You would have never treated him this badly if he were a member of a politically correctly viewed "minority" in this country. I feel that you both owe an apology to the Hindu community of this country." Mira wrote HPI, "To my great surprise a portion of my letter was read at the end of their program this evening. The hosts even seemed apologetic when they read the text of my letter."




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New York Times Reports Catholic Church Far From Getting Past Pedophile Scandal
Posted on 2002/3/15 22:47:02 ( 535 reads )


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NEW YORK, NEW YORK, March 17, 2002: The New York Times continues with nearly an article every edition on the pedophile scandal within the Catholic Church. Some excerpts from today's long article. "In a financial settlement reached earlier this year, the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland agreed to pay the equivalent of $110 million to compensate thousands of victims of molestation in church-run schools and child care centers over most of the last century." ... "The sexual abuse scandal engulfing the Roman Catholic Church, far from being nearly over, has only begun. Across the country, in an effort to restore credibility, many dioceses after another is volunteering to turn over its records to prosecutors. The news media daily are exposing new cases of priests accused as pedophiles and new reports of cover-ups. Already, the scandal has traumatized the church's faithful, demoralized the clergy and threatened the hard-won moral authority of its bishops. It has brought down a bishop, removed dozens of priests and tarnished the nation's preeminent prelate, Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston. But the real extent of the impact on the church's life, status and future is only now becoming clear. In a startling step, the official Catholic newspaper of the Archdiocese of Boston, said in an editorial on Friday that the Catholic Church must now confront questions and commission studies about whether the celibate, unmarried, all-male priesthood should be continued." ... "Distrust of the church hierarchy could drive some to abandon the church. Peggy Morales, who lives in East Harlem, sends her children to parochial school and attends Mass on Sunday, said she was having second thoughts about a weekly habit engrained since childhood. 'I always said going to church was setting the right example for my kids,' she said. 'Now I am just so glad my son has never been an altar boy.'" ... "Church lawyers settled what plaintiffs' lawyers estimate were as many as 1,000 lawsuits, paying victims anywhere from a few thousand dollars to millions each." ... "Within weeks [of the Boston case], bishops across the country began purging their dioceses of priests who had been serving despite accusations of child abuse. Since January, at least 55 priests in 17 dioceses have been removed, suspended, put on administrative leave or forced to resign or retire. They include at least 6 priests in Philadelphia, 7 in Manchester, N.H., 2 in St. Louis, 2 in Maine, 1 in Fargo, N.D., and as many as 12 in Los Angeles. Thus far, the 17 dioceses that have publicly announced the ouster of priests represent a small percentage of the nation's 194 Catholic dioceses."




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Aydohya Ceremonies Peaceful
Posted on 2002/3/14 22:49:02 ( 640 reads )


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AYODHYA, INDIA, March 15, 2002: Hindus in India have held a peaceful ceremony in Ayodhya, as a massive security operation largely forestalled a feared eruption in religious violence. The acceptance of the stones by the authorities in Ayodhya today means that the process of establishing the temple here has begun. Up to 3,000 people -- the numbers limited by intense government efforts to turn people away from the town -- marched towards the disputed area where in 1992 Hindu zealots tore down the 16th century Babri Masjid, built upon the birthplace of Lord Rama. Chanting "Lord Ram, we are coming," the activists handed the two pieces of stone -- part of a temple they want to build on the site -- to a local civic leader. But the ritual, which passed off without incident, was held outside the disputed area from which all religious activity was barred by a Supreme Court order on Wednesday. But authorities took no chances, arresting at least 35,000 people across the country to prevent any renewed outbreaks of Hindu-Muslim violence. Activists of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) did not try and break through to the site, despite earlier warnings that they would defy the ban. The VHP initially pledged to begin construction of the temple on Friday, but leaders said the compromise ceremony was the first step. "The acceptance of the stones by the authorities in Ayodhya today means that the process of establishing the temple here has begun," VHP General Secretary Praveen Togadia told reporters in New Delhi.




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Swami Calls for Rehabilitation in Gujarat
Posted on 2002/3/14 22:48:02 ( 623 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, March 15, 2002: Swami Agnivesh issued the following press release today, "In one of the worst-ever outbreaks of communal violence in the country, hundreds of lives were lost and Muslim houses and business establishments have been totally destroyed. It is not enough to denounce or feel sorry for this communal madness. Our compassion for those who have lost everything must find a practical expression. One of the worst-affected areas is village Dolepur in Sabarkhantha district of Gujarat. Here a hundred houses have been totally destroyed and 15 more partially damaged. Under Shri. G. R. Khairnar, the ex-Municipal Commissioner of Bombay and Shri Dharma Bandhu, a celebrated social activist, a scheme to rehabilitate the affected people of this village has been launched. This is a cause worth supporting. Each of the destroyed houses will be re-built comprising a large room (18ft x 12ft), veranda (12ft x 6) and toilet. This will cost, labor being provided free by the villagers, Rs. 35000 or US$ 745 per unit. Those who wish to participate in this humanitarian endeavor are requested to send their donations favoring: Dharma Pratishtan, A/C No. 66769 SB, Punjab National Bank, Parliament Street, New Delhi, India." To contact Swami Agnivesh, click "source" above.




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