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University Building Dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi
Posted on 2001/9/17 23:48:02 ( 692 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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Pesticide Kills 15 Wild Elephants
Posted on 2001/9/17 23:47:02 ( 687 reads )


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GAUHATI, INDIA, September 15, 2001: A banned pesticide used by villagers in remote northeastern India was blamed Saturday for the death last month of 15 wild elephants. Investigator Kushal Konwar Sharma said forensic tests revealed the presence of the pesticide Dimecron in the elephants' carcasses, which were discovered in and around Nameri National Park in Assam state. Wildlife authorities have ordered a probe to find out how the villagers procured the pesticide, which is banned in India but used by some farmers to control disease-spreading insects. It was unclear whether villagers angered by the trampling of paddy fields and the destruction of homes intentionally poisoned the animals, Sharma said. The elephants may have grazed in fields where farmers spread Dimecron, he said. Assam is home to more than half of India's 10,000 elephants. Their forest habitat is rapidly disappearing.




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Children's Rights Advocates Want Century-Old Law to be Abolished
Posted on 2001/9/17 23:46:02 ( 708 reads )


Source: Canadian Press





OTTAWA, CANADA, September 10, 2001: Canada may soon be coerced into joining the ranks with eleven other nations of the world where spanking of children is considered to be a criminal act. In the Ontario Court of Appeal, Paul Schabas, a lawyer representing the Canadian Foundation for Children, Youth and the Law, has advocated that Section 43 of the criminal code be abolished. Quoting the article this section, "grants parents, teachers and guardians permission to physically discipline children in the name of correcting behavior." Over a year ago in July of 2000, Justice David McComb's decision to uphold this 100-year-old law sparked controversy among children's rights advocates. Citing examples where parents who abused their children were not punished because of this law, Schabas appealed to the three-panel judge to carefully weigh the evidence before making a decision. However, at this point in time, the Ontario government is upholding the original decision made by David McCombs and is arguing that, "allowing limited corporal punishment doesn't hurt children and balances the societal interest in sustaining the family unit with the charter right of the child."




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McDonalds to Circulate More Information
Posted on 2001/9/17 23:45:02 ( 720 reads )


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NEW YORK, NEW YORK, September 1, 2001: Following a series of lawsuits, McDonald's Corporation has announced it is giving more information about ingredients used in the items on its menu. The fast food giant is using www.mcdonalds.com to mention whether a "natural flavor comes from a dairy, vegetable or meat source." Fliers containing the ingredient information will be available at the company's 13,000 US outlets. McDonald's had so far followed state and federal guidelines for labeling, a method that doesn't specifically describe a "natural flavor." In spring vegetarians, many of them Hindus, filed lawsuits accusing McDonald's of using beef flavoring in fries despite pledges that it would use only vegetable oil. Company spokesman Mike Gordon declined to comment on the lawsuits, but said the questions from the clients "heightened the company's awareness."




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Canadian Hindu Temple Destroyed by Fire, Arson Suspected
Posted on 2001/9/14 23:49:02 ( 837 reads )

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Kolkata University Won't Introduce Astrology Course
Posted on 2001/9/14 23:48:02 ( 1000 reads )


Source: The Daily Pioneer





KOLKATA, INDIA, September 15, 2001: Giving a thumbs down to the Central Government's move to introduce astrology in the curriculum of universities, Rabindra Bharati University (RBU) here has rejected a University Grant's Commission proposal to set up an astrology department and returned a grant of US$31,900. The UGC controls much of the funding for universities in India. "Our university did not send any proposal to the UGC at all for setting up any department for teaching astrology, which the UGC has renamed as Jyotirvigyan," said Vice-Chancellor Subhankar Chakraborty. Mr Chakraborty said the UGC "on its own" accorded approval for the establishment of such a department in the university a few months ago and sent a check for the project. The Commission in a communication also granted the appointment of a professor, two readers and lecturers each and establishment of a computerized horoscope bank, he said. "Our university can never accept this offer of sanction because astrology has not yet been established as a science through laboratory experiments, observations, analysis or research," he said. Despite his denials, there is hardly a person in India who would not consult an astrologer, if not frequently, certainly upon ascertaining marriage compatibility for the children and auspicious times for weddings.




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Muslim Shepherd Discovers Ancient Hindu Temple in India
Posted on 2001/9/14 23:47:02 ( 729 reads )


Source: Religion News Service





KASHMIR, INDIA, September 12, 2001: A Muslim shepherd in northern India who discovered an ancient Hindu temple while searching for lost sheep will receive 10 percent of the cash offerings that tourism officials expect the shrine will collect. Ghulam Qadir stumbled across the 1,500-year-old cave shrine in Chandanwari in central Kashmir, and found a 12-inch icon of the Lord Siva, according to a report published September 11 in the Indian Express. Qadir's discovery prompted the tourism department of Kashmir and Jammu to announce that starting next year, and continuing through the next four years, they will give the shepherd a percentage of the offerings they expect pilgrims will make at the shrine, Reuters news agency reported. Qadir will also receive a substantial final payment when the five-year period ends. Central Kashmir is already home to the famed Amarnath cave shrine to Siva, likewise discovered by a Muslim shepherd.




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Prosperous Times for Ayurveda in South India
Posted on 2001/9/14 23:46:02 ( 752 reads )


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BANGALORE, INDIA: The government is keen to cash in on the sudden demand for ayurveda medical treatment from foreign tourists and will introduce it in three tourist resorts in Karnataka. Shortly, ayurvedic treatment procedures, especially "panchakarma," will be start at Bhimeshwari in Mandya district, Devabag near Karwar and Kabini. Speaking to The Sunday Times of India, Tourism Minister R. Roshan Baig said: "Many tourists from abroad are interested in Indian systems of medicine and want to come here for treatment. It makes good tourist sense to introduce ayurvedic treatment and procedures to tap this segment." In fact, figures released by the Planning Commission indicate that an estimated 300,000 tourists want to come to India specifically for ayurvedic treatment. At present only Kerala, and to some extent Gujarat, cater to these tourists, prompting the commission to ask states to make use of this fad to start centers and cater to the growing demand.




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Kolkata Sets Prize for Cleanest Puja Pandal
Posted on 2001/9/13 23:49:02 ( 1009 reads )


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KOLKATA, INDIA, September 14, 2001: Sick and tired of the garbage piling up during the puja and the stench, the Calcutta Municipal Corporation has come with a novel competition scheme for cleanliness among puja pandals where the cleanest puja pandal will be awarded a prize. A "pandal" is a temporary temple set up beside (or in) a roadway for a festival. Different neighborhoods, clubs and companies compete for the biggest and best each year. "This will the best festival as far as neatness and cleanliness are concerned" said Mala Roy, a director of the city's solid waste management branch. "This award has been designed for the first time in the history of CMC and is a unique effort as the civic body itself will give a 'best puja' prize to the cleanest puja organizers to encourage people to maintain cleanliness in the city," she said. The criteria of judgement will include not only a clean puja venue, but also overall cleanliness of the surrounding areas.




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"Meatless Day" November 25
Posted on 2001/9/13 23:48:02 ( 835 reads )


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PUNE, INDIA, August 28, 2001: Sadhu Vaswani Mission announced today its annual "Meatless Day," also called "Meat-Out Day," on November 25. The popular observance falls on the birthday of the Mission's founder, Sadhu Vaswani, a revered saint of the Sindhi community. The present leader of the Mission, J.P. (Dada) Vaswani said, "Buddha asked 25 centuries ago, 'how may we build a new civilization?' And he answered, 'The key is the spirit of maitri, friendliness towards all living things.' And until the spirit of maitri reveals itself in our laws and our dealings with each other and in our treatment of brother birds and animals, our civilization will not find peace, but will continue to wander from unrest to unrest."




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Diwali Celebrations Still On
Posted on 2001/9/13 23:47:02 ( 777 reads )


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SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA, September 14, 2001: No changes have yet appeared in plans for Diwali celebration on October 13 as a result of the recent attacks upon America. Indians here in years past have set up celebrations at popular entertainment places, including the casinos of Atlantic City and the Great America amusement park in San Jose, California. There Indo-Americans For Better Community plan "a day of great fun and happiness as people come together to enjoy Indian cultural performances, Indian cuisines and just about everything Indian."




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Hinduism Today Publisher's Statement on Attacks On America
Posted on 2001/9/12 23:49:02 ( 703 reads )


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KAUAI, HAWAII, September 13, 2001: In response to many inquiries he has received about yesterday's calamity, Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, publisher of Hinduism Today and Hindu Press International, has asked his monks to share this view from the Hindu heart and perspective: "Every high-minded and good soul on Earth has been hurt and shocked by the appalling images of the buildings being destroyed in New York and Washington and the resulting deaths of untold thousands of innocent human beings. Hindus everywhere in the world, of every tradition, are praying for those who have suffered and rightfully calling for the terrorists to be brought to justice and for terrorism itself to be stopped in every nation of the world so people everywhere may live in security. Leaders must be vigilant, and governments have the duty to protect all citizens and to punish the guilty. We must all rely on the integrity of the US leadership to do the right thing to assure a future free from such terrorism. Hindus everywhere are reminding themselves and those they meet of the great principle of Ahimsa, noninjury, which Gandhi lived so faithfully and which lies at the heart of all Hindu thought and culture. Not to injure others is the highest path. The ancient South Indian scripture, Tirukural, says, 'It is the principle of the pure in heart never to injure others, even when they themselves have been hatefully injured. Harming others, even enemies who harmed you unprovoked, surely brings incessant sorrow.' The wise never let hateful people fill them with hate, never give permission to the angry to arouse their own instinctive nature of anger. They cling to the Divine, trust in the Divine in all circumstances and thus are channels for the divine process of human transformation and evolution. As unimaginable as this tragedy is, we must all not respond to violence with more violence in our homes and streets. Trust our government and the governments of the world to perform their military duty to assure our safety in the future. We must be the peacemakers, the arbiters of differences and the protectors of goodness. The world has always been populated by people of the lower nature and those of a higher nature. Immature souls, young souls in spiritual evolution, live in the chakras below the muladhara, where fear, anger, hatred, jealousy, confusion, selfishness and maliciousness without conscience reside. Old souls live in the higher chakras, where reason, will, understanding and love prevail. Life on Earth has always been happiest, safest and most rewarding when the higher-consciousness people are in control, both of themselves and of those who follow a lower path. Each one can make a choice in the days ahead to remain in the light and illumine the world or be drawn into the darkness of hate, fear and revenge. Our Siva is a God of love, and our traditions and scriptures assure us that this love will overcome every lesser force."




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Udupi Decked Up for Krishna Jayanti
Posted on 2001/9/12 23:48:02 ( 652 reads )


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UDUPI, INDIA, Sept. 13, 3001: "Everyone must do duty, honestly, sincerely and diligently and this is the highest offer to God. This is Lord Krishna's message to the mankind," according to Vishweshatheertha Swamiji of Pejawar Adokshaja Math, Udupi Krishna Temple. Krishanashtami was being celebrated in Udupi on September 10. He said the Krishna Jayanti was celebrated in Udupi according to the solar calendar whereas elsewhere in the country it's celebrated according to the lunar calendar. The Krishna Math, temple and its surroundings are wearing a festive look for the celebration and thousands of devotees from across the state have descended on the temple town. Pujas coupled with cultural, musical and dance programs form the integral part of the two-day celebration.




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Ayurvedic College in Bad Shape
Posted on 2001/9/12 23:47:02 ( 761 reads )


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PATNA, INDIA, Sept. 13, 2001: Though the Government Ayurvedic College, Patna, located in Kadamkuan, would celebrate its Platinum Jubilee in December 2001, since the last three years no medicines have been purchased for the college pharmacy despite allotments. This reports blames local politics and stonewalling amongst appointees who run the college. The college which was established with a view to serve the ailing humanity, especially the poor people who are unable to meet the expenses of modern allopathic treatment, is neglected. This college has 12 departments, but all suffer due to lack of teachers. The college is running with a strength of two professors and four assistant professors.16 posts of lecturers are lying vacant in the college and the college is being run at the strength of 32 lecturers. Students are not interested in taking admission here, said Baliram, the principal. He said that the the number of students studying in this college, in all three semesters, comes to just 200.




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Thousands of Hindu Dalits Convert
Posted on 2001/9/8 23:49:02 ( 693 reads )


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LUCKNOW, INDIA, Sept. 9, 2001: Thousands of Dalits, often segregated as "untouchables" in India's Hindu caste hierarchy, converted to Buddhism at in a northern Indian city. Leaders of the late-Saturday ritual by some 6,000 Dalits said they were protesting discrimination by upper caste people and India's failure to raise caste issues at the racism conference in Durban, South Africa that concluded over the weekend. In Kanpur, 240 miles southeast of India's capital, New Delhi, hundreds of monks in flowing robes arrived from Nepal, Japan and other countries to witness the ceremony, which was presided over by a Japanese Buddhist priest. Participants were distributed posters condemning Hinduism, the religion of India's overwhelming majority. Several Dalit groups had met in the South African city to press for inclusion of caste-based discrimination in the U.N. World Conference on Racism. They said caste-based discrimination in India was as bad as racial discrimination in other parts of the world. But Indian officials lobbied, and succeeded, in keeping it off the conference declaration.




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