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India's Flag Rules Challenged
Posted on 2001/6/15 23:43:02 ( 605 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, June 14, 2001: It is an oddity of Indian law that only VIPs, government offices and public sector undertakings are allowed the honor of displaying the country's flag on their premises. Now a 31-year-old businessman, Naveen Jindal, having been cited for flying the flag on his factory, has challenged the law in court. The Supreme Court is expected to deliver a final judgment on the matter in July.




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US House of Representatives Condemns Taliban on Hindus
Posted on 2001/6/14 23:49:02 ( 600 reads )


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WASHINGTON, D.C., June 14, 2001: Several influential US lawmakers wore a yellow badge with the inscription "I am a Hindu" in solidarity with Hindus in Afghanistan as the US House of Representatives unanimously passed a resolution condemning the Taliban's anti-Hindu edict. The bipartisan "Sense of the Congress", non-binding resolution, originally authored by Democrat Rep. Eliot L. Engel and having nearly 100 co-sponsors, was approved by a vote of 420-0 Wednesday. According to this report in India Abroad, the lawmakers slammed the Taliban for its decree and said it was analogous to the Nazi persecution of the Jews, who were forced to wear a yellow Star of David to identify themselves prior to the holocaust.




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Goddess' Blessing Next for King Gyanendra
Posted on 2001/6/14 23:48:02 ( 635 reads )


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KATHMANDU, NEPAL, June 12, 2001: In early autumn this year, the new king of Nepal, Gyanendra, will go before Goddess Taleju Bhawani, the living goddess of Nepal, in Her incarnation as a young girl. The Kumari, or virgin, as she is called, is selected periodically and reigns until puberty. The king can only be crowned following her blessings. The tradition of the living goddess was brought to Nepal from south India's Vijaynagar empire, when that kingdom wielded considerable influence in Nepal.




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As Biotech Crops Multiply, Consumers Get Little Choice
Posted on 2001/6/14 23:47:02 ( 698 reads )


Source: New York Times





CHICAGO, USA June 9, 2001: Despite persistent concerns, genetically modified crops are spreading so rapidly that it has become almost impossible for consumers to avoid them. Wind-blown pollen, commingled seeds and black-market plantings have extended these products of biotechnology into the far corners of the global food supply -- perhaps irreversibly. Some agriculture experts say that cross-pollination of biotech corn and seed corn, as well as poor and imperfect grain-handling practices, have thoroughly scrambled crops in a global food chain that for decades shipped bulk supplies of largely undifferentiated products. Most food makers in the United States continue to use biotech crops, insisting they are safe and far too pervasive to avoid; meanwhile, relatively few American consumers seem to care. "If your standard is 100 percent pure," said one Purdue University agriculture professor, "you better stop eating right now." Thus the various seed companies appear to have been successful in their scheme to introduce this genetically modified food without having to prove is safety.




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Tabla Wizard at Six
Posted on 2001/6/14 23:46:02 ( 650 reads )


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NAGPUR, INDIA, MAY 29, 2001: Six year-old Shantanu Khardenvis is the youngest tabla player in the world. In a recent performance at the Nagpur Doordarshan he performed with the efficiency of a fifteen-year-old. Shantanu, who started learning tabla at the age of two, practices four hours daily. "I gave my first performance when I was in nursery," said the young player who has made it to the "Guinness Book of World Records" with his talent.




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Yuba City's Sikh Immigrants Success Story
Posted on 2001/6/14 23:45:02 ( 642 reads )


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YUBA CITY, CALIFORNIA, June 11, 2001: Early Sikh immigrants from India planted their seeds of success in the rich agricultural community in this American city located in Sutter County. Of Yuba City's 36,758 residents, 2,360 are Indians. Sutter County boasts of the highest percentage of Indians in any US county. Nearly nine percent of its 79,000 residents are Indian-Americans. Families of many of its Indians date their presence to a century ago when their ancestors arrived from Punjab to work on the railroads and then stayed on to farm the land. The Hindus among them married into the Mexican Catholic community and disappeared from history. The Sikhs maintained their religion.




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Gujarat State Attempts to Control Population Growth
Posted on 2001/6/14 23:44:02 ( 625 reads )


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AHMEDABAD, GUJARAT, INDIA, June 10, 2001: With the population increasing in the state of Gujarat year after year, the government has chosen to form a committee to draw up a proposal introducing legislation to limit family size to that of two children per couple. The proposal, which will become law one year after approval has been received by the Gujarat parliament, will provide rewards to couples who have two or less children. Reservations about the legislation have been expressed as it may be aimed at minorities whom the government feels are responsible for the population growth. It could lead to further abortion of female fetuses in a state where there are already 919 females for every thousand men. Nearly every abortion is of a female child now.




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New Temple Opens in Sacramento
Posted on 2001/6/14 23:43:02 ( 669 reads )


Source: Hinduism Today





SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA, June 10, 2001: On Sunday, June 10th, a new Laxmi-Ganesha Temple opened in Sacramento, California. Hindus from northern California gathered to offer milk abishekam to the Deities, Ganesha, Lakshmi and Saraswati. The temple is located at 4679 Aldona Way, conveniently nearby Interstate 80. For puja times and more information call 925-202-7494.




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Gloom spreads at Puri's Jagannath Temple Due to the Death of Nepalese King
Posted on 2001/6/11 23:49:02 ( 673 reads )


Source: Punjab Kesari (translated from Hindi)





PURI, INDIA, June 11, 2001: One of the holiest cities of India, Puri, has turned gloomy due to the death of Nepal's King Birendra and his family. The king of the only Hindu Kingdom in the world had special right for personally performing puja in the holy Jagannath Temple of Puri. According to the records of rights in Jagannath Temple, the late king of Nepal had a special right to puja which was not available to any other person. Even the local erstwhile prince, Gajapati Maharaj, who is considered the living embodiment of Lord Jagannath, does not have this special right. An old employee of Jagannath Temple said, "We are not able to believe on what we have heard. He was one of the important devotees of the temple." King Birendra accompanied by Queen Aishwarya, had last come to the temple on 12th May 1993. A special priest of the temple is appointed to look after the Nepalese Royal family when they visit. The king also has similar rights at the famed Meenakshi temple in Madurai, South India.




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Indian Subcontinent and Africa Sink Deeper Into Poverty
Posted on 2001/6/11 23:48:02 ( 614 reads )


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LONDON, ENGLAND, June 8, 2001: The world's poor may be sinking deeper into poverty, according to a new report that turns traditional insights into poverty reduction upside down. This is in stark contrast to the widely used -- and potentially misleading -- data based on Gross National Product (GNP) and the Human Development Index. The measure of GNP -- the monetary value of all goods and services provided by the economy -- could be fatally flawed as it disregards vitally important factors such as the depletion of natural resources which have a dramatic impact on the survival ability of the future generations. Pakistan's GNP, for example, grew at a healthy 2.7% per year, implying a more than doubling of living standards between 1965 and 1996. The report's alternative measure of wealth shows that Pakistan's living standards have actually almost halved over this period. The assumption that a steady growth in GNP automatically leads to a reduction in poverty could have led to a decrease in the amount of development aid, loans and grants allocated to any one country.




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US Supreme Court Approves School Religious Meetings
Posted on 2001/6/11 23:47:02 ( 610 reads )


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WASHINGTON, USA, June 11, 2001: In a 6-3 decision the Supreme Court ruled for a Christian youth group and lowered the figurative wall of separation between church and state. The justices said a New York public school district must let the Good News Club hold after-school meetings for grade-school children to pray and study the Bible. The majority found that excluding the club was an unconstitutional discrimination based on the club's views. Letting the meeting take place would not be an unconstitutional government endorsement of religion, the court ruled.




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Center Helps Ensure Future of Traditions
Posted on 2001/6/11 23:46:02 ( 683 reads )


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NORTH JERSEY, USA, June 5, 2001: Hindu Samaj, an Indian cultural and religious organization in North Jersey, has taken a key step to help face the challenge that older generations of Indians in the United States often face in conveying to their children and grandchildren the importance of cultural and religious traditions. The group celebrated the renovation of a Victorian home in Mahwah that will serve as its home base while it raises some US$3 million to build a Hindu temple and community center nearby. At a time when the 2000 census figures show the Asian Indian population in the state soared 113 percent, to 169,180, since 1990, many Indians in North Jersey hope that the new home of Hindu Samaj will serve not only as a community center, but as a community builder. Hindu Samaj, which started six years ago with ten families based in a Quaker church the group rented in Ridgewood, has grown to some 400 members.




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Legendary Tree Uprooted
Posted on 2001/6/11 23:45:02 ( 676 reads )


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TRICHUR, INDIA, JUNE 9, 2001: A strong monsoon squall uprooted a gigantic elanji tree on the grounds of the ancient temple of Vadakkunnathan. The tree has been a key feature adding to the colorful atmosphere of one of the states most celebrated temple festivals. A three-hour percussion concert conducted by 140 odd artist under the shade of the sprawling elanj is so synonymous with the tree that the concert itself is popularly called "elanjithara melam" ("thara" meaning "base"). Temple managers are planning to plant a new elanji sapling. Old timers remember that such an uprooting had taken place 40 years ago, when the present tree was then planted. Elanji is an integral part of Siva temples in the state and the uprooting of the tree is considered to be an inauspicious omen.




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Arson Damages Hindu Festival Site in Trinidad
Posted on 2001/6/10 23:49:02 ( 721 reads )


Source: Paras Ramoutar, Hinduism Today





CHAGUANAS, TRINIDAD, June 6, 2001: The Divali Nagar Site, Chaguanas, Central Trinidad, was hit by arson on June 5. Cost of the damage in estimated at over US$80,000.00. Divali Nagar is an annual festival hosted to mark Divali. Officials visiting the site shook their heads in dismay when the extent of the damage was revealed. "There are some fundamentalists out there who could do something like this," said one official. "An act of pure malice," is how one official of the National Council for Indian Culture, (NCIC) described a fire. A half full keg of gasoline and a pair of rubber gloves remained on the compound up to Wednesday at the feet of a 20-foot statue of Swami Vivekananda which was also nearly burnt down. No one has been held yet in connection with the fire. Among the items destroyed were more than a dozen paintings of Hindu scriptures created especially for the NCIC by Indian artist Satyanarayan Mourya. Religious items were the main target leaving some members of the NCIC to believe the fire was an expression of religious intolerance by someone who was familiar with the layout of the building. Paintings have been described as priceless because of their sentimental value.




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Hampi Site Needs Protection
Posted on 2001/6/10 23:48:02 ( 656 reads )


Source: The Hindu





BELLARY, INDIA, June 10, 2001: The Cabinet will take a final decision on the formation of the Hampi Development Authority, according to the Minister for Tourism and Haj, Mr. Roshan Baig. The formation of the authority has become necessary following the fiat from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) that Hampi would be deleted from the list of World Heritage Sites if steps are not taken to protect the ancient monuments. The UNESCO has included Hampi in the list of World Heritage Sites in Danger'' following the construction of two bridges, encroachments on ancient monuments, and construction of "Janata" houses near the major monuments. The functions of the authority will include systematic development of Hampi, conservation of the monuments, clearing the encroachments and providing facilities for tourists.




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