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Hindu Press International
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Birla Temple Packed for Janamashtami
Posted on 2001/8/13 23:47:02 ( 747 reads )


Source: Aaj Tak Hindi TV Channel





DELHI, INDIA, AUGUST 12, 2001: Over 250,000 devotees waited in long lines to worship at Lakshmi Narayan temple today. There were even devotees still waiting at midnight, but the exhausted priests had to call it a day. The temple's chief priest, Sri Lakshmi Narayan Shastri, said that the enthusiasm and interest of people in the festival was going up year after year. Kuldip, a young man said that he prayed to God to nab the wrongdoers in the UTI scam. Whereas Kusum Juneja, a housewife prayed to the Lord for the well being and welfare of one and all.




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Study Suggests Shaken Faith Can Worsen Poor Health
Posted on 2001/8/13 23:46:02 ( 650 reads )


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USA, Aug. 13, 2001: Researchers have asserted in studies over the last half decade that religion and good health go hand in hand. One study of 596 elderly hospitalized patients, mostly Christians, began in 1996. Each was was asked if they "wondered whether God had abandoned me," "questioned God's love for me" or "decided the devil made this happen," among other statements. Those who endorsed such negative statements were more likely to die than patients who did not. Other experts, however, expressed skepticism about the study's findings.




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Married Catholic Archbishop Abandons Wife
Posted on 2001/8/13 23:45:02 ( 683 reads )


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VATICAN, August 14, 2001: An African archbishop of the Catholic Church, Emmanuel Milingo, 71, is reported by the Vatican to be "renouncing my living together with Maria Sung and my relationship with the Rev Moon," according to a letter released by the Vatican. The announcement came after a meeting with the pope. Maria Sung, 43, is a Korean who married the archbishop in a ceremony performed by the controversial Christian leader Sung Myung Moon whose followers are popularly known as "Moonies." Maria told reporters she may be pregnant by the archbishop, and that she has gone on a hunger strike, vowing to die if the archbishop renounced their marriage. The Vatican has not disclosed Archbishop Milingo's whereabouts, other than to say he "had decided to pass a period of reflection and prayer ahead of his full reconciliation" with the Catholic Church. He would have been excommunicated had he not abandoned his wife. Catholics are forbidden to divorce, and it is not explained how the Church justifies the breaking up of a consummated marriage.




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Warning on World's Water Supplies
Posted on 2001/8/13 23:44:02 ( 760 reads )


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STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN, August 13, 2001: Water experts are gathering in Sweden to discuss the pressure on the world's water supplies. Delegates meeting in Stockholm will discuss a range of issues from how to recover and re-use waste water, to what part dams have to play in providing water supplies. Professor Frank Rijsberman, head of the International Water Management Institute say the world's farms will need to use much more water over the coming 25 years to feed the world's growing population. There will also be discussion in defense of dams as a method of providing water, including the controversial Narmada Dam in India, whose opponents say is being built at the expense of local people and the natural environment of the region.




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India Keeps Caste Off Agenda
Posted on 2001/8/12 23:49:02 ( 750 reads )


Source: The Hindu





GENEVA, SWITZERLAND, August 10, 2001: With the backing of China, South Korea and some other countries, India frustrated the attempts of non-government organizations to get the issue of caste discrimination included on the agenda for the coming conference on racism. Despite consistent efforts by the Human Rights Watch and several NGOs, the issue of caste-based discrimination failed to get the support of the member-countries at the meeting of the U.N. subcommission of human rights. Countries such as Britain were inclined to have a debate on the issue. But Mauritius lauded the Indian Government for taking measures to safeguard the rights of Dalits and poor sections. It also referred to safeguards provided by the Indian Constitution which enabled a person from the lower caste to hold the highest constitutional post in the country. India's permanent representative to the U.N. office, Ms. Savitri Kunadi, said the Indian Government had taken a number of steps and provided constitutional safeguards to the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and weaker sections.




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Hindu Outfit Forces Girl to End Life
Posted on 2001/8/12 23:48:02 ( 724 reads )


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AHMEDABAD, INDIA, August 10, 2001: Coming on the heels of a young couple being publicly hanged in Uttar Pradesh over caste differences, a young girl Bharti Barot, 19, committed suicide in the Hindu Mahasabha office here following pressure from one of its activists, Dasrath Soni, to desert her husband and reconvert to Hinduism. Bharti and Salim were married in a mosque after she converted to Islam. Though the marriage was duly registered, Bharti's parents refused to give up and lodged a complaint with the police. When separated from her husband, Bharti set herself afire. Ahmedabad police have registered a case of accidental death. But Police Commissioner P.C. Pande said a case of abetment to suicide against the Hindu Mahasabha activist couldn't be ruled out.




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Hindu Priests on Government Payroll in Gujarat
Posted on 2001/8/12 23:47:02 ( 901 reads )


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GANDHINAGAR, INDIA, August 11, 2001: The BJP-ruled Gujarat Government will soon pay monthly salaries to priests of Hindu temples in the State. In the first phase, one priest of the 354 Government-controlled "devasthans" temples would be entitled to a monthly salary of US$21.74 from September. When queried why Hindu priests were singled out for this provision, Minister of State for Home Haren Pandya who holds charge of pilgrimage development and cow protection told the Hindustan Times that priests of other religions in any case get paid either from the Waqf Board or trusts managing the place of worship. "It is to give justice to the feelings of the Hindu society that salaries are being paid to them," the minister said. The minister, however, clarified that before paying the salaries some aspects like the priests, antecedents, the managing committee's activities, the "aarti" and "darshan" timings followed, the temple's income-expense position would be ascertained. The State government had recently introduced a group insurance cover of $2,174 for pilgrims from the State going to the Amarnath shrine. The insurance scheme, for which the bulk premium has been paid by the the government, insures the pilgrims against accidents, terrorist strikes and natural calamities. A budgetary provision has also been made to pay a subsidy of $435 for every pilgrim joining the Kailash-Mansarovar Yatra. The government also proposes to ban sale of non-vegetarian food in the periphery of temple towns like Somnath, Dwaraka, Ambaji and Dakor, Pandya added.




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Thousands Devotees Flock for Gogamadi Mela
Posted on 2001/8/12 23:46:02 ( 813 reads )


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GOGAMADI, INDIA, August 11, 2001: Thousands of devotees flocked to one of the prominent fairs of Northern India, Gogamadi Fair, on Saturday evening. Devotees donning yellow clothes could be spotted separately in the rush of mela. They first of all had a bath in the sacred Gogana pond and then had a one-and-a-half kilometers round of the dhuni of Guru Gorakhnath Ji. This was done by them bare-footed. After this they did their worship, etc. in a traditional manner. Many devotees were seen doing full prostrations between the Gorakh Tila and Goga Ji's Temple.




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UK Sikh Priests Condemn Female Foeticide
Posted on 2001/8/12 23:45:02 ( 728 reads )


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PUNJAB, INDIA, August 11, 2001: Dozens of Sikh priests in the district of Fatehgarh Sahib in the northern Indian state of Punjab joined forces with aid agencies and nongovernmental organizations today, to start a campaign against the practice of aborting female foetuses. Clerics representing some 450 villages in the Fatehgarh Sahib district listened to health workers and senior priests describe the dangers of imbalanced sex ratios in the population. The district has the lowest ratio of female-to-male births in India. A senior Sikh clergyman, Jathedar Manjit Singh, told the conference that aborting a female foetus was prohibited in Sikhism, and issued a call to socially boycott families that were known to have done such a thing. The head of the Akal Takht -- Sikhism's highest religious body -- had issued an edict last April condemning the practice.




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Hindus Unite to Form Sangam in Texas
Posted on 2001/8/12 23:44:02 ( 752 reads )


Source: INDIA HERALD





HOUSTON, TEXAS, August 4, 2001: At a gathering of over 1,000 Hindus, Hindu Dharma and culture were advocated by the formation of the "Hindu Sangam." Representatives from Chinmaya Mission Houston and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh were speakers at the inauguration. Coordinator of the RSS activities, Shankarrao Tattvavadi, expounded on several points. His remarks included the fact that Hindu culture is spreading, with over one million Hindus in the U.K. and Malaysia and 1.8 million in the U.S. He further added, "To live as a Hindu, each one should follow the duty or dharma, which includes daily study of the scriptures and to pass on the essence of scriptures to others." K.S. Sudarshan, president of the RSS spoke positively about, "All of us are individuals with some good qualities and use them for the welfare of the whole universe and this philosophy needs the backing of a strong society. Hindus have inherited the great principle of dharma. We must come together to form a strong Hindu society."




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Discrimination of Non-Catholics Alleged in Mannar
Posted on 2001/8/9 23:49:02 ( 816 reads )


Source: Sunday Leader





SRI LANKA, August 5, 2001: In response to humanitarian disasters both natural and man-made, victims are usually resettled in their place of origin, or at least compensated for their loss. One project has created a furor, bringing to light divisions among religious communities in Mannar, Sri Lanka. The 300-320 families to be resettled under this project are inmates of the Pesalai open relief camp. The program involves the government providing the infrastructure and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR, which builds houses for settlers. The Catholic Church got involved as the bishop of Mannar had offered church land in Thotaveli where 300 families could be resettled. Settlers were distributed a document that basically excluded everyone who is not a Catholic from settling on this land. The agreement expects all settlers to acknowledge that they have been settled in the land belonging to the church and those who avail themselves of this benefit have to abide within the Catholic faith. The victims wrote in protest to the government telling of this demand that violates their right to religious beliefs and the standards enshrined in the UN guiding principles on resettling internally displaced persons.




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Beef Book Sparks Hindu Protest
Posted on 2001/8/9 23:48:02 ( 719 reads )


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DELHI, INDIA, Aug. 9, 2001: A spokesman for the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council) have strongly protested against the publication of a book which says that ancient Indians ate beef. the VHP claimed that the motive behind the book was to insult Hindus, who revere cows as part of their religion. But experts say the book only adds to existing evidence that beef was widely eaten in India hundreds of years ago. The author, Professor DN Jha, of "Holy Cow: Beef in Indian Dietary Traditions," said he was seeking legal advice to ensure publication soon and knows of the court case in Hyderabad which seeks to prevent the book from being published. Two religious groups, the All Jain Sewak Sangh and the All Gowd Sangh, are said to have sought the ban because they argue that the book damages their faith.




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Hindu Leaders Forum to Meet in Los Angeles
Posted on 2001/8/9 23:47:02 ( 773 reads )


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NEW YORK, NEW YORK, August 10, 2001: Dr. B.K. Modi announced today that a group of Hindu leaders traveling to 40 counties and 50 cities will be in Los Angeles on August 26 at the Anaheim Convention Center Arena. According to the press release, "The Forum is a global network of prominent women and men of Hindu background representing a wide variety of professions and from all regions of the world which convenes globally to address issues affecting the Hindu community as well as to present the Hindu perspective on and Hindu response to key issues of global concern." For more information, contact "source" above by e-mail.




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Italian Scientist to Try Human Cloning
Posted on 2001/8/8 23:49:02 ( 705 reads )


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LONDON, ENGLAND, August 1, 2001: A controversial Italian embryologist Professor Severino Antinori is preparing to impregnate up to 200 women with cloned embryos in November. The move will reignite a debate about the ethics and safety of cloning as an infertility treatment. Antinori, whose clinic in Rome enabled a 62-year-old woman to have a baby in 1994, said that up to 200 couples from several countries, including eight from Britain, were being selected for the cloning project and would be treated free of charge. The Sunday Times reported that he intended to use a technique which involved taking a nucleus from a cell belonging to the man which is inserted into a woman's egg cell from which the nucleus has been removed. The embryo is then implanted in her womb. Antinori acknowledged that international hostility to cloning meant that he could be forced to work in a remote country, or even on a ship in international waters.




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Preparations for Janamashtami in Full Swing
Posted on 2001/8/8 23:48:02 ( 730 reads )


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JAIPUR, INDIA, August 7, 2001: Though there are five days for Janamashtami to arrive, in this city of Jaipur widespread preparations for the festival have started. The main festival is celebrated in Govind Dev Ji. Here the material of display is being prepared and programs of religious music/bhajans are being held. To celebrate the birthday of Lord Krishna, people are busy in preparations in their own unique manner with special food dishes and decorations for the temples. (translated from Hindi)




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