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Trinidad and Tobago Hold Classical Song Competition

Posted on 2003/2/27 8:45:02 ( 1077 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 ( 1057 reads )


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 ( 1089 reads )


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 ( 1057 reads )


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.

Matches Made in Cyberspace Meet Face to Face

Posted on 2003/2/26 8:47:02 ( 1077 reads )


MUMBAI, INDIA, February 14, 2003: Shaida.com has taken their site from cyberspace to a brick and mortar location by holding a swayamvara in the cities of Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata. A swayamvara is a Hindu custom in which a girl chooses her own husband from an assembled group of prospects, though in this case the choosing is mutual. Starting on February 14, young men and women who are registered with the website meet in a room sitting in separate rows of chairs facing each other. They can quickly bring up the profile on an accessible computer of someone they may wish to meet. So far Shaida.com has made 50-60 matches and they hope to have brought at least 1,000 couples together during the next few days. Manager Vandana Asija says, "We have had 300% more response for the swayamvara than we usually do on our website. Traditional Indian values along with a Western, modern outlook is at a premium."

Canadian Temple Seeks Full-Time Priest

Posted on 2003/2/26 8:46:02 ( 1151 reads )


CAMBRIDGE, CANADA, February 26, 2003: The Radha Krishan Temple of Cambridge, Ontario, Canada, is seeking a full-time Hindu priest. The prospective priest must have a good knowledge of Hindi and English. Additionally, it is preferred they have elementary knowledge of Christianity and Islam so they can converse well with Christian Clergymen and Islamic Mullas in the Cambridge community. Please contact Mr. Dwarka Persaud at "source" above for further information.

Correction on Vivekananda Center London

Posted on 2003/2/26 8:45:02 ( 1368 reads )


LONDON, ENGLAND, February 26, 2003: The Vivekananda Center London in yesterday's HPI was incorrectly named. Instead of the Vedanta Center London, they are correctly known as the Vivekananda Center London, which is a different organization from London's Ramakrishna Vedanta Center.

A Quest for the Saraswati River

Posted on 2003/2/25 8:49:02 ( 1179 reads )


KATGARH, INDIA, February 15, 2003: Dozens of archeologists have fanned out across the northern Indian state of Haryana in the last seven months to look for traces of the Saraswati River. A group of geologists and glaciologists, armed with satellite imagery maps and remote sensing data, are studying rocks, glaciers and sediments in the Himalayas, seeking any trace of the river's course. Last summer, the Culture Ministry appointed a special committee of experts to prove that the Saraswati was not a mythological river. If the panel succeeds, the birth of Hinduism would be pushed back at least 1,000 years by establishing that the ancient Indus Valley civilization was Hindu in character. "Saraswati is not only a matter of Hindu faith, but also fact," said Ravindra Singh Bisht, director of the Archaeological Survey of India, who supervises excavation along what is believed to be the course of the river. "The overwhelming archeological evidence of ancient settlements along the course of what was once the Saraswati River proves that our earliest civilizations were not confined to the Indus river alone. Those who wrote the Hindu Vedas on the banks of the Saraswati were the same as the Indus Valley people." HPI adds: Be advised that a lot of negative comments are made about Hinduism in this article in the course of its report on the scientific investigations.

London's Vedanta Center a Hub of Religious Activity

Posted on 2003/2/25 8:48:02 ( 951 reads )


LONDON, ENGLAND, February 24, 2003: London's Vedanta Center is heavily involved in providing input for a series of television shows and public talks around London. A series of four TV programs with ITV have already been recorded and edited and are ready to be aired later this year. Future programs under discussion are a series on science and religion and "The Concept of God" with contributions from various faiths. In the last few weeks participants from the Vedanta Center have been invited to speak at Imperial College, King's College, Queen Mary's College, The London School of Pharmacy, School of Oriental and African Studies and Greenwich College. The next talk is at Imperial College on February 25. There are also two talks a month on Sunday mornings at the Sindhi Center in Harrow where around 150 people regularly attend. The Neasden Swaminarayan temple has arranged a seminar on Hinduism for a hundred religious education teachers this week. The Vedanta Center hopes to be able to contribute to the presentation. Readers may kindly contact "source" above for securing speakers knowledgeable on Hinduism or arranging for talks at the center.

Women and Hinduism in U.S. Textbooks

Posted on 2003/2/25 8:47:02 ( 1107 reads )


UNITED STATES, February 5, 2003: In a recent article on Sulekha, Sankrant Sanu examined Microsoft Encarta's treatment of Hinduism, Islam and Christianity. He concluded that Encarta's portrayal of Hinduism was biased and negative in comparison to the more evenhanded and sophisticated treatments granted Islam and Christianity. Sanu's article prompted a closer at a world religions textbook, Mary Pat Fisher's "Living Religions" (5th ed., Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2002), published by one of the largest textbook publishers in the U.S. and is an often-used text in American colleges, universities and prep schools. It was found to contain biases and misrepresentations on how women are portrayed within Hindu society. The author believes "It is clear that religion and theology can be and is often used to sustain and reinforce patriarchal attitudes in societies, whether they be Hindu, Christian or Muslim. It is also clear that religion and theology can and have been used in ways to challenge, break down and replace patriarchal attitudes in these same societies."

U.S. Vegetarian School Lunches

Posted on 2003/2/25 8:46:02 ( 1030 reads )


CALIFORNIA, U.S.A., February 25, 2003: Letters of support are needed for a vegetarian school lunch bill recently introduced in California. Assemblyman Joe Nation of Marin County, California, has introduced Assembly Concurrent Resolution 16 calling for schools to offer a daily plant-based vegetarian option on the daily lunch menu. If you represent a recognized institution, religious community, or are an individual committed to children's health and/or vegetarian issues, please consider writing a letter of support. Send letters to your California state legislators and to the Resolution's author: Assemblyman Joe Nation, State Capitol, Sacramento, CA 95814 or fax to 916-319-2106. On March 5 at 1:30, California State Capitol, Sacramento, a meeting is scheduled of the education committee hearing on ACR 16. For more information and to review the resolution in it's entirety see "source" above and click on "State Resolution."

Correction for Indian Sangam Convention in Fiji

Posted on 2003/2/25 8:45:02 ( 1138 reads )


SUVA, FIJI, February 24, 2003: The e-mail contact for Mr. N. K. Naidu in Fiji was incorrect in HPI's recent summary regarding the Sangam Convention in Fiji. For correct e-mail see "source" above.

Haryana to Make "No-Dowry" Declarations Mandatory

Posted on 2003/2/22 8:49:02 ( 1099 reads )


CHANDIGARH, INDIA, February 15, 2003: Men working for the Haryana government might soon be required to give a written declaration following their marriage stating they have not taken a dowry. In an attempt to stop this practice, Haryana is planning to appoint a chief dowry prohibition officer whose job will be to collect these declarations and lists of gifts employees receive at their weddings, a government spokesman said. Every employee, within a month of marriage, will have to furnish the declaration to the head of department stating he has not taken any dowry. His in-laws and wife would also be required to sign the declaration. A list of gifts received at the time of marriage would also have to be submitted. The list would include a brief description of each gift, its value, as well as the presenter's name and relationship with the couple. The list would have to be signed by the newlyweds and their parents.

Handloom Saris, the Fashion Rage in Tamil Nadu

Posted on 2003/2/22 8:48:02 ( 946 reads )


CHENNAI, INDIA, February 16, 2003: A glut of unsold inexpensive handloom saris designed for the poor have become an overnight favorite of college students in Tamil Nadu. Chief Minister Jayalalithaa was faced with the task of selling 4.5 million saris after the "Free Sari - Dhoti" distribution plan was scrapped. Following this, the handloom businesses were plunged into an unprecedented crisis with more than 21,000 weavers facing unemployment. However, university women decided to address themselves to the cause of the weavers and started wearing the saris, and the entire stock was sold out in two months. Recently a women's college came out with the plan of celebrating "Handloom Day" by wearing the saris. The entire women staff at the State Secretariat wore them on January 30, and later all women MLAs were seen in handloom saris in the State Assembly. Buoyed by the overwhelming response, Co-optex, in a bid to retain the market, has introduced one million saris in new designs.

Study on India's Medicinal Plants Proposed

Posted on 2003/2/22 8:47:02 ( 1057 reads )


TIRUPATI, INDIA, February 17, 2003: Forest Department officials have been asked to take up a comprehensive study on conservation of medicinal plants in South India and document the endangered plants before initiating steps to conserve them. At the inaugural session on "Policy consultation on threatened medicinal plants of Eastern and Western ghats, trading and promoting their cultivation" it was felt that a balance had to be struck between conservation and commercial use of the medicinal plants with a rise in awareness of, and preference for, naturo-therapy. Senior officials shared the view that they have to study more on the plants grown in their forests, their medicinal value and market potential and initiate steps for their controlled commercialization.

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