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Indian Villagers Pledge To Fight Extortion By Christian Separatists


Posted on 2003/1/26 8:48:02 ( 838 reads )


Source: Agence France Presse





GUWAHATI, INDIA, December 31, 2002: Hindu villagers in India's restive northeastern state of Tripura have pledged to fight alleged extortion demands by a Christian separatist group, community leaders said. Militants of the outlawed National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) have served extortion notices to hundreds of Hindu tribals and threatened them with death if they do not pay up. "The demand notes were served only to tribal Hindu villagers with warnings of capital punishment to those who violated their diktat," said Aswathama Jamatia, head priest of the Jamatia Hoda, an influential tribal Hindu group. Police have confirmed the extortion demands by the NLFT, which is a predominantly Christian group fighting for an independent tribal homeland. Community leaders say the NLFT has demanded three percent of the annual earnings of all government employees as tax, besides charging anything between US$40.00 to $90.00 from farmers and businessmen. Tribal Hindus also accuse the NLFT of converting people to Christianity at gunpoint.






London's Metropolitan Police Forms Hindu Association


Posted on 2003/1/23 8:49:02 ( 901 reads )


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LONDON, ENGLAND, January 11, 2003: For the first time in the history of London's Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), its Hindu officers have come together to form the Metropolitan Police Hindu Association (MPHA). The MPS has over 200 Hindu staff members. The chairman of MPHA, Mahesh Nandha, told Hindustan Times that there are already 40 people interested and more are expected. "Our aim is to help the Metropolitan Police and the Hindu staff in recruiting more people from the community and trying to keep them for longer within the service." He said the Association would provide welfare, support and mentoring. It will help improve recruitment and retention of Hindu employees by working in conjunction with police projects, policies and strategies and reduce premature resignation of Hindu employees. The launch of the MPHA follows a major campaign by the Metropolitan Police to stamp out race hate crime. Dissemination and knowledge of Hindu culture, he said, will undoubtedly help and he said he has already had very positive feedback.






Solar Tower to be built in Australian Outback


Posted on 2003/1/23 8:48:02 ( 923 reads )


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NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA, January 5, 2003: History will be made in 2006, if everything goes as planned, with the completion of a 3300 foot tall solar tower in the Australian Outback. Conceived in Germany by structural engineers Schlaich Bergerman, the tower has the financial backing of the Australian and New South Wales governments to the tune of US $593 million dollars. Upon completion, the structure could provide enough electricity for 200,000 homes and reduce greenhouse gases by more than 700,000 tones. The proposed structure will have a width similar in size to a football field and will stand in the centre of a huge glass roof spanning 7km (4.3 miles). The sun will heat the air under the glass roof, and as it rises an updraft will be created in the tower, allowing air to be sucked through 32 turbines. The turbines will then spin, generating power 24 hours a day. Hopefully other countries that have intense sunlight, such as India, will follow in Australia's footsteps by using solar energy as a power source.






Spiritual Fashion Could Revive Passion


Posted on 2003/1/22 8:49:02 ( 919 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, December 6, 2002: Fashion designer Lorain Chopra is amazing her clients with garments which evoke spiritual ecstasy and enhance sensual elegance. Since spirituality dressing is fast becoming a trend among youth in most European countries, Lorain's latest collection uses symbols like the Siva Lingam, chakras, angels, yantras and the naga. Priced between US$18 to $178, Chopra's ensembles are available in blue, maroon, off-white and beige. "Recently, I bought a top with a black cobra embossed on its front. Whenever I put it on, it makes me feel so ecstatic and sensuous that either I get into a trance or I feel like rediscovering my passion all over again," says Bonnie Baker, an American tour consultant who is a fan of Lorain's clothes. "I draw inspiration from my close encounters which I experience during the state of deep meditation," says Lorain, who practices meditation on a daily basis. "I feel that the American mind, being naturally inquisitive, is more open to such experiments. I am looking for aesthetic and spiritual acknowledgement rather than financial gains. That's why I chose New York for the display of my creativity," adds Lorain.






Hindus Love to Buy Gold as an Investment


Posted on 2003/1/21 8:49:02 ( 1505 reads )


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CHENNAI, INDIA, May 15, 2002: While western cultures on the
planet watch the stock market and various indexes to decide when to invest; East Indian culture turns to astrology and the stars. Investing in gold has been a time-honored tradition in India and last May 15th jewelery stores in Chennai were swamped with people wanting to buy gold pieces. It was Akshaya Tritiya and according to Indian Astrology, it is a must to buy gold on this day as purchases on this day are most auspicious. One shopper says, "Buying gold on Akshaya Tritiya is a family tradition of ours. Although I am not able to afford anything heavy or grand, it is still a very exciting experience. I like it because shops display new designs and there is such an air of celebration about the whole experience."






Cambodia's Baphon Temple, Worlds Largest Jigsaw Puzzle


Posted on 2003/1/20 8:49:02 ( 1095 reads )


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SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA, January 1, 2003: Forty years ago, a team of French archaeologists decided the best way to save Baphuon temple, part of the huge Angkor Hindu temple complex, was to destroy it. They began to take apart the fragile temple, block by block, keeping meticulous records of their work, planning to put it back together again as a more stable structure. However when the Khmer Rouge took over the country in 1972 the restorers were forced to flee leaving most of the documents behind, all of which were destroyed in the years that followed. When they returned in 1995, all they found were 300,000 heavy stone blocks strewn over 25 acres among the trees and the biggest jigsaw puzzle in the world. When it was built in the 11th-century, the multi-tiered sandstone pyramid was the most impressive building of its day, "a truly astonishing spectacle," according to a 13th-century Chinese traveler, Zhou Daguan.






Christians Modify Worship Practices for Ease of Conversion


Posted on 2003/1/20 8:48:02 ( 833 reads )


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INDIA, November 27, 2002: An array of practices is being employed by Christian faiths when converting Hindus to Christianity, which are designed for Indians to be more comfortable with Christian worship practices. A letter written from Vatican City to an Archbishop in India in 1969 which was in response to a set of proposals from the Catholic Bishop's Conference of India, seeking adaptation of Hindu religious practices for worship by the newly enrolled faithful. Among the proposals were: The posture during Mass, both for the priests and the faithful, may be adapted to local usage, that is, sitting on the floor, standing and the like; footwear may be removed also. Genuflecting may be replaced by the profound bow with the anjali mudra, holding hands together. Oil lamps could be used instead of candles. In the offertory rites, the Indian form of worship may be integrated, that is, double or triple "arati" of flowers and incense. To read the full report, go to "source" above.






Malaysia Priest Calls for Increased Roll of Hindu Temples


Posted on 2003/1/16 8:49:02 ( 843 reads )


Source: News Reports





KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA, January 10, 2003: A high priest is convinced that Hindu temples have a role in tackling criminal-related problems of Indian youths. Unorthodox and determined, Muthu Kumara Gurukal, 56, gets dejected when he reads the newspapers or hears news about Indian youths getting involved in street fights, crimes and drugs, wants the temples to share their wealth in uplifting and restructuring the Indian community. "Don't see the problem. Look for a solution.The solution lies solely with the temples," he told his audience at an evening temple sermon recently. Muthu Kumara Gurukal, who is able to relate the ancient Vedic scriptures to present-day situations, is highly recognised for his credentials and qualifications from leading Indian temples. The Hindu high priest is a highly sought-after speaker and a selfless community worker. He is part of the new wave of Hindu Renaissance, which the Malaysian Hindu Society is propagating nationwide, in a bid to awaken and educate Hindus on the importance of right action through spiritualism. "Use about one-third of the temple collection to provide food and clothing to the poorer Indians, and to increase the number of educated Indians. Temples should allocate 30% of their collections and donations to community service projects. The money could be used to turn the temples into community center to serve the poor, provide tuition to the students and enlighten them on Hinduism so that they could understand and adopt noble human values. Hinduism has a rich and diverse philosophy, and is an all-encompassing way of life. Our sacred rites and rituals are tools. They are the means through which devotees seek spiritual satisfaction." To spread the knowledge of Hinduism, Muthu Kumara is planning to set up a school to train Hindu youths who want to be priests. Being well-versed and having worked as a priest for the past 40 years, Muthu Kumara is finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel as the Malaysian Hindu Sangam has expressed full support of his move to help the community. Its president, A. Vaithialingam, said the objective was for Hindus to play an active role in affirming and reinforcing the strength of Malaysia's multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural society. "Practically all Hindu temples and organizations have come together to support the Master Plan for the Hindu Renaissance in Malaysia.






A Celebration of Hinduism in North America


Posted on 2003/1/16 8:48:02 ( 1012 reads )


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UNITED STATES, January 12, 2003: "Hindu Temples In North America: A Celebration of Life" by Mahalingum Kolapen is more than compendium of North American Temples. Apart from being informative, the tome also preserves the Hindu legacy and informs the reader about the ancient Indian culture and art form. And more than that, the book showcases the changing face of America and the journey of Hindus in North America. "The learning curve while working on the book was great, and I have tried to incorporate all that information in the book," says Mahalingum Kolapen. The author spent four years researching and collecting material. The book brings to light the significance of Hindu Temples and their relevance in contemporary North American society. "It fills a wide gap in the availability of authentic, credible materials addressing the cultural issues related to Hindus in North America, a fast-growing minority," says Mahalingum Kolapen. With the current project, Mahalingum says he "saw an opportunity to help place America's large Hindu community in perspective."






Call to Revive Bhajana Groups Gets Good Response in Tamil Nadu


Posted on 2003/1/15 8:49:02 ( 1053 reads )


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KANCHEEPURAM, INDIA, January 8, 2003 : In response to the Kancheepuram ashram's call to start bhajana programs in villages, over 5,000 applications have come in to the ashram. H.H. Sri Jayendra Saraswathi said that bhajana singing was an ancient practice, but has been on the decline over the last few years. So far representatives from 2,000 villages have come to the ashram and collected percussion and ensemble instruments. A group from Walajabad also asked for pictures for their bhajana hall and books on traditional songs. His Holiness said the movements like Harinama Japavali and Harikatha were the most vibrant forms of rural worship and bound communities together.






Jodhpur Hosts International Conference on Yoga


Posted on 2003/1/15 8:48:02 ( 885 reads )



Redefine "Hindutva" Say Some Indian Religious Leaders


Posted on 2003/1/15 8:47:02 ( 836 reads )


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PATNA, INDIA, January 12, 2003: The concept of "Hindutva" should be redefined on a broader perspective, salvaging it from what some believe are the "narrow confines" of a particular religion, two religious leaders said. "Love for all fellow beings, refraining from causing any harm to anybody with a spirit of sacrifice and dedication to come closer to the 'Supreme Soul' through spiritualism and meditation are the essence of the concept of 'Hindutva'," says Acharya Kishore Kunal and Ratan Lal Singh. They considered Hindutva as synonymous with an ideal lifestyle, devoid of greed, anger and feelings of revenge. They opposed intermingling of the pious approach of 'Hindutva' with nationalism of a particular country.






English Romantic Poets May Have Been Influenced by Hindu Philosophy


Posted on 2003/1/15 8:46:02 ( 872 reads )



Indian Citizenship for It's Diaspora Population -- Another Viewpoint


Posted on 2003/1/15 8:45:02 ( 835 reads )


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SOUTH AFRICA, January 15, 2003: HPI ran a story where views from one South African Indian Hindu were quoted opposing Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's recent proposal for dual citizenship for India's diaspora. Thavashan Govender's response to this story follows: "I myself am a South African of Indian origin and a Hindu as well. I am proud of my cultural and religious background. To be once again a citizen of the motherland would be the ultimate honor! India should not regard Mewa Ramgobin and Fatima Meer as representing the opinions of Indo- South Africans. Many of us would certainly love having dual-citizenship and would consider it an honor." Readers may contact "source" above for further discussion.






Hindu Temple of Central Texas Announces Kumbhabhishekam


Posted on 2003/1/15 8:44:02 ( 914 reads )


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TEMPLE, TEXAS, January 15, 2003: The Hindu Temple of Central Texas, 4309 Midway Drive, Temple, Texas, announces their kumbhabhishekam. The installation of the Deities and dedication of the temple will be held in three different stages. The first, for Lord Venkateswara and Goddess Padmavati (donated by the Thirupati Thirumalai Devasthanam), will take place on January 17, 18, 19; for Ram Parivar and Radha Krishna will occur on January 24 and 25; ceremonies for Lord Mahaganapathy, main deity, along with Lord Siva, Goddess Parvati, Lord Subramaniam, Ayyappa, Navagraha and Lord Balaganapathy will be held February 12 through 16. For further details of the Kumbhabhishekam celebrations and of temple activities, readers may contact "source" above.




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