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Tribals Unite Against Conversions in Tripura
Posted on 2001/8/1 23:48:02 ( 793 reads )


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TRIPURA, INDIA, August 2, 2001: Tribal Hindus in Tripura have formed vigilante groups to thwart attempts by separatist militants to convert people to Christianity at gunpoint, community leaders said on Thursday. "It is a very serious threat to Hinduism with armed militants of the outlawed National Liberation Front of Tripura forcibly converting tribal villagers to Christianity," said Rampada Jamatia, a leader of the Jamatia tribe. "We believe up to 5,000 tribal villagers were converted to Christianity by the NLFT in the past two years," Jamatia told IANS in Jirania, 25 km east of Agartala. At least 20 Hindu tribals, including a senior priest of the Jirania Ashram, Santi Kali Maharaj, have been killed by NLFT rebels in the past two years for disobeying orders. The NLFT, fighting for an independent tribal homeland since 1989, has issued orders demanding villagers not celebrate Hindu religious festivals.




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Incense in Unventilated Temple Linked To Cancer
Posted on 2001/8/1 23:47:02 ( 835 reads )


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TAIWAN, August 2, 2001: Researchers in Taiwan found that the smoke produced by burning incense is laden with cancer-causing chemicals. Levels of one chemical believed to cause lung cancer were 40 times higher in a badly ventilated temple in Taiwan than in houses where people smoke tobacco. Incense burning also creates more pollution than road traffic at a local intersection. Ta Chang Lin, of the National Cheng Kung University in Tainan told New Scientist magazine: "We truly hope that incense burning brings only spiritual comfort, without any physical discomfort. But there is a potential cancer risk. We just cannot say how serious it is." Inside the temple, they found very high concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), a large group of highly carcinogenic chemicals that are released when certain substances are burnt.




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Jeeyar Swami Doubts Aryan Invasion
Posted on 2001/7/31 23:49:02 ( 819 reads )


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CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, August 1, 2001: In an interview with J.V. Lakshmana Rao of the India Tribune, Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swami, an eminent Sanskrit scholar, of Jeeyar Educational Trust and Vedic University, located in Sitanagaram in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh, said the "Aryan invasion is a cock and bull story. It is the creation of Western invaders. The Westerners, who doubted the intelligence, culture and heritage of Indians, created the Aryan invasion theory .... The Westerners have no business to evolve a theory which is baseless and irrelevant." The Swami maintains the Hindu civilization is older than the Greek, Roman and Egyptian civilizations. "There is no history to prove that Hinduism had ever fought with anybody for its survival." the scholarly Swami said. The Swamiji was in Chicago as part of his world tour raising funds to create a colony of houses for the victims of the earthquake in Gujarat. The three-month tour, which began towards the end of June, took him to Switzerland, Rome, Paris, San Francisco, and Chicago. He will be visiting Boston and New Jersey, before he leaves the US for India on August 13.




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Swami Agnivesh on ETC TV
Posted on 2001/7/31 23:48:02 ( 756 reads )


Source: Punjab Kesari (Hindi)





NEW DELHI, INDIA, August 1, 2001: The discourses of Swami Agnivesh, organizer of the World Arya Mahasammelan, will be telecast on ETC channel everyday morning between 7:00 and 7:30. Influenced by the revolutionary thought process of Swami Dayananda, for the last 35 years Swami Agnivesh has struggled for the emancipation of bonded laborers. He has addressed the United Nation's Human Rights Commission on the subject and attended the 2000 UN meeting of world religious leaders. This program of half-an-hour duration can be watched from the various districts of India and people of 120 nations of the world.




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World Population Explosion All Over Before 2100
Posted on 2001/7/31 23:47:02 ( 853 reads )


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LONDON, ENGLAND, August 2, 2001: Researchers say the world's population could stop growing sooner than expected. They suggest it could peak within the next 70 years, and then decline. By the end of the century, they believe, the number of people alive could be 8.4 billion -- about one billion fewer than the United Nations has predicted. But there will be wide regional variations, and far more elderly people than there are today. The report appears in the magazine Nature. Their best estimate predicts the world population will peak at nine billion in 2070 and drop to 8.4 billion by 2100. Populations are already declining in Europe. But, "the populations of north Africa and sub-Saharan Africa are likely to double" over the same period, the authors say, "even when we take into account the uncertainty about future HIV trends. "Owing to an earlier fertility decline, the China region is likely to have around 700 million fewer people than the south Asia region by the middle of the century. They also stated, "At the global level the proportion above age 60 is likely to increase from its current level of 10% to around 22% in 2050. "By the end of the century it will increase to around 34%, and extensive population ageing will occur in all world regions."




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Abandoned Mosque Demolished
Posted on 2001/7/30 23:49:02 ( 854 reads )


Source: The Hindu





JAIPUR, INDIA, July 30, 2001: A decrepit mosque built by a battalion of the Moghul army in the 16th century near Asind town in Bhilwara district of south Rajasthan was demolished by a mob and a temple built in its place on July 27, sending shock waves across the state and leading to tension between Hindus and Muslims. The incident, concealed for fear of a communal backlash, came to light with the local residents approaching the Rajasthan Waqf Board here. The Waqf Board records the mosque as "Masjid Sawai Bhoj"' which was in use till 1956 and abandoned thereafter apparently because of thin population of Muslims in the vicinity. The trouble began during the three-day "urs" celebrations and took a violent turn when a mob objected to the raising of tents near the dargah for organizing qawwalis (devotional songs). The mob later razed the mosque. A marble platform was hurriedly built at the site and an idol installed with the temple named "Mandir Peer Pachhar Hanuman Ji" ("Temple of Lord Hanuman Who Defeated Peer -- the Muslim saint buried in the dargah).




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Symposium on Saving Hindu Faith and Culture
Posted on 2001/7/30 23:48:02 ( 714 reads )


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KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA, July 29, 2001: The Malaysia Hindu Sangam will organize The Millennium Symposium on the Future of Hinduism on Aug 12 in what the organizers describe as "a clarion call to take action to save our culture and religious heritage." "From the sociological point of view, we are losing our culture and religious heritage at an incredible rate," said Malaysia Hindu Sangam president A. Vaithilingam. He said children of the Hindu faith were growing up mindlessly imbibing only "television values," which were devoid of depth, morality or spirituality. The symposium, Vaithilingam said, while imparting knowledge of practical use to Hindus, would also outline an action program called ATMAH, or Action To Mobilize All Hindus. It will be held at the Kalamandapam auditorium of Sri Karthaswami Temple at Lorong Scott in Brickfields here. Vaithilingam said participants would comprise mainly business executives and professionals. For more information, email mhs_atmah@yahoo.com.




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Trinidad Hindus Call to Address School Imbalance
Posted on 2001/7/30 23:47:02 ( 707 reads )


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TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO, July 21, 2001: Archbishop Edward Gilbert, head of the Catholic Church in Trinidad and Tobago, recently observed that only 30 per cent of the students at Presentation College, Chaguanas are Roman Catholics. He also expressed his intention to give special attention to Roman Catholic education in Catholic schools. Although Presentation College, Chaguanas, is a Catholic College, by the Concordat signed between the Catholic Church and the Eric Williams administration, they sold the majority of enrollment places to the state in exchange for certain financial support. The Concordat also effectively prevented Hindus, who make up the second largest proportion of the population after the Roman Catholics, and other religious groups from building and operating new colleges with state assistance. The implications of this is that Hindus were never permitted to build schools to accommodate the aspirations and expectations of its Hindu community. The Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha endorses the Archbishop's concern about Catholic education in its schools, but more urgently Hindus are concerned about the reality that the majority of children in some Catholics schools are Hindu children. The issue is being faced by the Catholics worldwide as in many countries, the majority of the students in their schools are not Catholics.




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Rakhi Bands Get Expensive
Posted on 2001/7/30 23:46:02 ( 873 reads )


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Youth Stands Strong for Religious Expression
Posted on 2001/7/30 23:45:02 ( 652 reads )


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LYNDHURST, CALIFORNIA, July 24, 2001: Four months after a bouncer turned him away at the door, a 15-year-old Sikh youth has won the right to wear his religious headdress inside the Groove Lounge dance club in Lyndhurst. Sarab Singh Thapar, an American citizen born and raised in West Orange, was denied entry because the club's policy prohibited patrons from wearing hats inside the club in order to prevent fighting. Thapar said. After four months of phone calls between lawyers, the club agreed to change its "no hats" policy. Hats are still not allowed, but the ban will exempt religious head coverings. Sikhs have similarly won the right to wear their religious symbols, such as a ceremonial knife, in places where they would usually be banned.




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Nepal Maoists Tell Of World Plans
Posted on 2001/7/29 23:49:02 ( 680 reads )


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NEPAL, JULY 28, 2001: BBC south Asia correspondent Adam Mynott is one of the first Western journalists to travel to the mountainous Rolpa district of west Nepal, a stronghold of the Maoist rebels. They told him of their ambitions for Nepal, the only Hindu nation, and the rest of the world. The village of Holari, in the foothills of the Himalayas, is where the Maoist insurgents in Nepal carried out their most successful attack against Nepali government forces just over two weeks ago. Seventy-two police officers were captured and one was killed. More than 50 policemen are still in Maoist custody. Speaking in a hut in Holeri, Comrade Sizal, local committee secretary, said the current cease-fire between Nepali Government forces and the rebels was not an obstacle to the Maoists' intention to take over the entire country. Maoists currently control eight of more than 70 districts in Nepal. They are in effect running these areas, collecting taxes and organizing education and health care. The rebels often use cultural shows to gather villagers in remote areas. Comrade Sizal recently addressed a mass meeting of more than 5,000 villagers who had come from all over the countryside to listen to speeches about the Maoist rebellion and watch musical entertainment with a Maoist theme.




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Kashmir and Jammu Ban the Word "Widow"
Posted on 2001/7/29 23:48:02 ( 739 reads )


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JAMMU AND KASHMIR,INDIA, July 26,2001: Twelve years of armed conflict in Jammu and Kashmir has left over 54,000 women without husbands, many of them under the age of 40. In an effort to give these bereaved souls a new status, India's National Human Rights Commission issued a proposal that the word "widow" be replaced with a more honorable phrase such as "wife of deceased". Orders were issued last May to all provincial governments to adopt this proposal. So far the states of Jammu and Kashmir have embraced the directive and widows in these two states have found a new sense of respectability.




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Buddhists in Malaysia Call for Action Against Cult
Posted on 2001/7/29 23:47:02 ( 907 reads )


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KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA, July 29, 2001: The Malaysian Buddhist Association (MBA) has called on the authorities to clamp down on a widespread deviant religious cult which it says uses a Buddhist name but practices black magic, which is contrary to the teachings of Buddhism. The call followed the reported torture of a nine-year-old boy at a Chinese temple here. The MBA said the cult had existed for at least 10 years with its followers in housing estates in many states, especially Malacca. The Young Buddhist Association of Malaysia president said Buddhists practice compassion, patience and kindness and would not condone abuse. The Rev K. Dharmaratana, chief high priest of Malaysia of the Buddhist Mahavihara temple in Brickfields, said there was no system of physical punishment in Buddhism.




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Golden Kalasam for Mahakaleshwar Temple in Ujjain
Posted on 2001/7/29 23:46:02 ( 926 reads )


Source: Aaj Tak Hindi News Channel





UJJAIN, INDIA, July 27, 2001: A one hundred kilograms golden kalasam has been installed on top of the famed Mahakaleshwar Temple in Ujjain recently. Before installation, the pitcher-shaped spire was taken in a procession in the streets of Indore. It is reported that a business man based in Calcutta donated a sum of US$217,000 for this kalasam, which has been made with gold, brass and iron. Interestingly a thirty-four-gun salute was given by the police force in honor.




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Eco-Friendly Ganesha Festival
Posted on 2001/7/29 23:45:02 ( 727 reads )


Source: Aaj Tak Hindi News Channel





MUMBAI, INDIA, July 28, 2001: Massive preparations are now underway for the annual Ganasha festival in this city. A big change for this year is the use of environmentally sound materials for the huge temporary Ganesha statues which are placed in the ocean at the festival's end. The use of non-biodegradable building materials and toxic paint was polluting the water.




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