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Hindu Press International
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Hindus and Sikhs Face Uncertain Future in Afghanistan
Posted on 2001/9/20 23:47:02 ( 618 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, September 20, 2001: The tiny Sikh and Hindu communities in Afghanistan face an uncertain future as the U.S. appears ready to launch military strikes in that country. According to representatives of the Afghan Sikh refugee community in the Indian capital, most of their relatives in Afghanistan had left their home and were living in four gurdwaras in and around Kabul. The refugees say there are some 2,000 Sikh families still in Afghanistan. The Hindu community, numbering in the dozens, was already under pressure after the ruling Taliban militia ordered dress codes for its members as a mark of identification. According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, 3,220 Hindus fled Afghanistan prior to the present emergency.




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Low-Caste Hindus Enter Rajasthan Temple
Posted on 2001/9/20 23:46:02 ( 635 reads )


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RAJASTHAN, INDIA, September 21, 2001: Over 1,000 lower caste Hindus, known as Dalits, have broken an age-old taboo banning their entry into Indian temples. The Dalit members went into a temple in the western Indian state of Rajasthan. The lower caste villagers say this was the first time they dared to enter the temple freely and it comes against a backdrop of an awareness campaign organized by civil liberty organizations. One of the group told the BBC that upper caste Hindus have long considered the Dalits untouchable and have barred them from entering temples, an allegation denied by the temple's priest.




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California Moves to Ban Bedis
Posted on 2001/9/20 23:45:02 ( 737 reads )


Source: India West





SACRAMENTO, USA, September 21, 2001: Senator Deborah Ortiz, Democrat for Sacramento, drafted a measure that would allow the sale of "bidis" only in bars and other businesses that do not allow minors to enter. Bidis, made from the flakes and dust of dark tobacco, are hand rolled, filterless cigarettes that often come in a variety of candy-like flavors. They are mainly imported from India and Southeast Asia and have become increasingly popular among young smokers because of their low price. According to the state attorney general, bidis produce three times the carbon monoxide and nicotine and about five times the amount of tar than a normal cigarette. The Senate voted 21-12 Sept. 4 to approve Assembly amendments to the bill and send it to the governor.




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Death of 250 Indians Confirmed in Attacks
Posted on 2001/9/19 23:49:02 ( 662 reads )


Source: UNI





NEW DELHI, INDIA, September 19, 2001: With India virtually confirming the death of about 250 of its citizens and people of Indian origin, in the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States, the government today announced that Air India will provide free transportation of their ashes or mortal remains to Delhi and Mumbai. Similarly, the Indian Airlines will provide free onward transportation of the mortal remains up to the airport nearest to the native place of the deceased, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Nirupama Rao said here today. Facilitation counters will operate at International Airports at Delhi and Mumbai to ensure that the bodies or ashes are cleared promptly and smoothly. All passport-issuing authorities have been instructed to issue travel documents immediately without levying "tatkal" charges on the relatives of the injured, deceased or missing persons. The Indian Railways will also provide all assistance.




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Pakistani Hindus Flee
Posted on 2001/9/19 23:48:02 ( 661 reads )


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ATTARI, PUNJAB, INDIA, September 19, 2001: The only land route between India and Pakistan, the Attari-Wagah border check-point, has become a place of frenzied activity. The train and the bus plying between Delhi and Lahore, about 20 kilometers away from here, are the only means of surface transport between the two countries and pass through Attar-Wagah check-point. With sensitive developments unfolding across the border in the wake of terrorist strikes in the US, the minority communities, particularly the Hindus in Pakistan are increasingly becoming panicky. Five Hindu families arrived here last evening and said they did not intend to go back. One of them, Dula Ram said they had been intimidated into leaving Pakistan as the message was clear from the Taliban supporters in Pakistan -- "Either adopt Islam or leave the country." Hindus who had gone to Pakistan to visit relatives are returning in droves; the buses into Pakistan are nearly empty, those returning are packed.




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Advice for American Hindus
Posted on 2001/9/19 23:47:02 ( 701 reads )


Source: Hinduism Today





USA, September 20, 2001: Hindus who are harassed in America as a result of the recent terrorist attacks should immediately report the incident to the local police by dialing 911. They should also call the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights hotline for reports of hate crimes following the hijacking attacks on September 11, at 1-800-552-6843.




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International Youth Camp in Bangalore
Posted on 2001/9/19 23:46:02 ( 684 reads )


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BANGALORE, INDIA, Sept. 18, 2001: Nineteen-year-old Vinod Shastry, a second-generation Indian American, on his second visit to India, at the Jana Seva Vidya Kendra, a residential boys school 20 kilometers from Bangalore, is reciting from Tulsidas's epic "Ram Charitra Manas." Sixteen-year-old Mihir Pitodia, a Kenyan citizen of Indian origin on his first visit here, is attempting a yoga asana. Shastry and Pitodia are among over 90 foreigners of Indian origin who flew into India nearly a month ago to attend a 21-day Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) camp that aims to put them in touch with the Hindu in them -- something they can't really do in their own countries. "We are giving them grounding in Hinduism, imparting very basic knowledge about their country and culture. They should build upon it," says V. Nagaraj, one of the organizers of the camp who also facilitates the "intellectual" component at the camp.




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Yoga -- Everybody's Doing It!
Posted on 2001/9/19 23:45:02 ( 696 reads )

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Indian Malaysians Worried About Low Birth Rate
Posted on 2001/9/18 23:49:02 ( 679 reads )


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KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA, September 17, 2001: Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, the chief of Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC), says he was worried about the declining Indian population as it could directly reduce the political voice of the community. He said the community's population of 10.3 per cent of all Malaysians has now been cut to 9.4 per cent of the 23 million people. While acknowledging the socio-economic reasons for small families, he said fewer Indians meant lower political bargaining power for them. Datuk Seri Samy Vellu said that while it advocates bigger families, the MIC also wants Indian families to equip their children with better education. His concerns reflected those of Chinese community leaders who are just as worried about declining birth rates in their community. The Chinese today form 24.6 per cent of the population, compared to 37 per cent prior to the country's independence in 1957. The MIC is the biggest Indian political group, with seven representatives in the 193-strong parliament within the ruling, 13-party Barisan Nasional coalition.




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Crafts Mela to Coincide with Brahmotsavam
Posted on 2001/9/18 23:48:02 ( 734 reads )


Source: The Hindu





TIRUPATI, INDIA, September 16, 2001: Coinciding with the annual Brahmotsavam of Lord Venkateswara, the All-India Crafts Mela will be held at Tirupati from September 19 to October 3. The venue of the mela is the Urban Haat site, jointly promoted by the Central Government's Ministry of Textiles and State's Tourism Department at a cost of US$342,500 on Tiruchanur road here to give a boost to local arts and crafts. Around 100 artisans, craftsmen and weavers from various parts of the country will take part in the mela. The tourism director, Mr. G. Kishan Rao, said that Tirupati being a major pilgrim centre, there was lesser need for his department to go in search of market and the department's only job was to provide sufficient infrastructure to streamline the process of linking artisans and customers directly avoiding middlemen.




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Manavi Announces Legal Clinics For Battered Women
Posted on 2001/9/18 23:47:02 ( 572 reads )


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NEW BURNSWICK, NEW JERSEY, September 17, 2001: Manavi, a South Asian organization dedicated to empowering women from the subcontinent who live in the US, has announced a legal clinic for women who have experienced violence in their lives in two new locations. Manavi's legal clinics provide women with the option of meeting with an immigration and family lawyers free of charge. The legal clinics, which began in 1997, were previously held in Manavi's former office in Union, New Jersey. Hours for any of the legal clinics are by appointments only and one can reach Manavi at phone: 732-435-1414 or e-mail: Manavi@worldnet.att.net




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Samudri, Sruti to Honor Three Senior Dancers in NY
Posted on 2001/9/18 23:46:02 ( 689 reads )

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Astrology of Terrorist Attack
Posted on 2001/9/18 23:45:02 ( 915 reads )


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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, September 19, 2001: Chakrapani Ullal, the foremost exponent of Hindu astrology in the United States, offers his analysis of the September 11 terrorist attack on America at "source" above.




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VHP Makes Statement on Attacks
Posted on 2001/9/17 23:49:02 ( 656 reads )


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UBLI, INDIA, September 16, 2001: The president of Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Ashok Singhal, has declared that he is against the direct involvement of India in the predicted "war." He said the Indian land should never become a battlefield when "Christians and Muslims are fighting it out". Acknowledging that the fight between Christians and Muslims was continuing since ages, Singhal said "Hindus are nowhere in the picture of this war, and that position should be maintained." However, he maintained that the country should support America in its war against terrorism in principle.




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University Building Dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi
Posted on 2001/9/17 23:48:02 ( 633 reads )


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ALISO VIEJO, CALIFORNIA, Sept. 16, 2001: When the brand new campus of Soka University of America opened its doors here for admissions for this fall, it decided to dedicate one of its classroom buildings to the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi, naming it "Gandhi Hall." Gandhi's grandson, Dr. Arun Gandhi, who had flown here from Memphis, Tenn., especially for the occasion, performed the formal ceremony of dedication August 23. The building houses distance learning classrooms, multi-media and interactive classrooms, as well as faculty offices. On a stage lined with the flags of dozens of nations, signifying the university's international outlook, Gandhi took to the podium amid thunderous applause. "Non-violence is about how we behave with one another. It is not about going to places like the Middle East where the violence is already rampant," he told the audience.




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