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VHP of America Announces Gujarat Earthquake Volunteer Program
Posted on 2001/4/11 23:46:02 ( 648 reads )


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HOUSTON, TEXAS, April 9, 2001: The Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America announced today a program whereby volunteers from can help with earthquake relief work. Volunteers must speak English, Hindi or Gujarati, and give at least one week's time. Assignments depend on needs and volunteers' interests and skills. Volunteers will get clean water, food and transportation to Bhuj from Ahmedabad. Rehabilitation includes rebuilding permanent residences and complete relocation of communities. Currently, the focus is to build one-room structures prior to the summer monsoon. Visit the website for a complete list of jobs including construction, counseling, tutoring, administration, medical care and many others.




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Monks Irked Over Sage Slur
Posted on 2001/4/10 23:49:02 ( 723 reads )


Source: The Telegraph





KOLKATA, INDIA, April 9, 2001: Religious leaders and followers of Ramakrishna Mission are appalled by the manner in which the famous words spoken by the sage to actress Nati Binodini have been portrayed in cartoons plastered all over city walls of Kolkata (formerly Calcutta). The cartoon's sage, Ramakrishna Paramhansa, with an Ajit Panja look and the devotee: unmistakably Mamata Banerjee -- with the words "May you find enlightenment," and the response by the devotee "I don't want enlightenment, please make me chief minister, O Lord." Ajit Panja is a local politician who, as an actor, has played Ramakrishna. Mamata Banerjee is a popular Bengali politician. Poll graffiti as a cartoon is proving a potent weapon to ridicule rivals but the dig at Trinamul leader Ajit Panja's portrayal of Ramakrishna, and Mamata's ambition, has the monks' disapproval. They described the graffiti as a "vulgar attempt to denigrate the image of the great spiritual leader." Swami Sanatanananda, general secretary of Baranagar Ramakrishna Mission, said, "We don't approve of anyone using Sage Ramakrishna as an element of caricature."




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Prime Minister Appeals for Sanskrit Revival
Posted on 2001/4/10 23:48:02 ( 672 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, April 5, 2001: "Wouldn't it be better if we simply began chatting in it?" quipped Prime Minister Atal Vajpayee at the World Sanskrit Conference held last Thursday. A well-attended conference of Sanskrit lovers and scholars met to discuss music, art, yoga, history and philosophy. The Prime Minister's appeal to popularize the ancient language brought some skepticism from the gathering. However they whole-heartedly supported the leader's promise to provide government funding to publish original manuscripts and to give Sanskrit an equal place in Indian society. Presently the English language has brought India information and technology. "But," said Vajpayee, "It must not take the place of our own languages." One Croatian professor claimed exposure to the Indian ethos via ancient texts helped him overcome grief in the ethnic war and led him to organize relief and humanitarian work. "Western-style capitalism and consumerism is eroding traditions and cultures the world over. Sanskrit has values for India that can check cultural degeneration and teach values to a generation that is taken in by computer games," he said.




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Former President Clinton Loves Curry
Posted on 2001/4/10 23:47:02 ( 713 reads )


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MUMBAI, INDIA, April 6, 2001: His reputation proceeding him, former U.S. President Bill Clinton will be feasting on curry when he visits Mumbai. Featuring curries from every region of India, the executive chef of the hotel Taj Mahal has planned and supervised the menu. Even though several of the normal menu entrees have meat in them, the executive chef has discreetly planned a vegetarian meal for the lunch held in Clinton's honor. Attending the luncheon will be members of India's leading business families and Bollywood stars.




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"Water Harvesting" Restoring Rural Welfare
Posted on 2001/4/10 23:46:02 ( 782 reads )


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UTTAR PRADESH, INDIA, April 5, 2001: Before, no father wanted to marry his daughter to a boy in water-starved Raj Samadhiyala. Motivated by various non-governmental groups, however, Raj Samadhiyala and like villagers throughout India are now producing an undreamt-of bounty by "water harvesting." The construction of thousands of earthen check dams, the recharging of tanks (reservoirs) and permanent ponds has raised the water table and increased forest cover. The dams, plentiful in ancient India, capture the seasonal monsoon rains before they run off the land, allowing the water to soak in and replenish the ground water. India's demand for water will increase to 103 million hectare meters in 2025, up from 38 mham at present. Contact "source" above for more information on these projects.




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Russia's Fascination with Valmiki Ramayana Continues
Posted on 2001/4/9 23:49:02 ( 878 reads )


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MOSCOW, RUSSIA, April 9, 2001: Russia is perhaps the only European country where the Valmiki Ramayana, the story of Lord Rama written by the Hindu sage Valmiki, has sold tens of thousands of copies in Russian. More than a thousand people offered prayers and tributes to the Hindu God Ram in the first ever Ramnavami celebrations, at which Russian artists and writers who took Ram's story to the people were felicitated. The Jawaharlal Nehru Cultural Center (JNCC) at Moscow organized a function to honor those who are associated with translating and staging the Ramayana as a play in Russia. While eminent Indologist Alexander Baranikov first translated the Ramayana into Russian in 1948, Natalia Guseva, another prominent scholar on India, had written the script for a play based on the Indian epic that was staged in Moscow Children's Theatre in the Soviet Union for the first time in 1957. The Ramayana, popularly perceived as a tale of triumph of good over evil, is used extensively for inculcating noble values in Russian children, and has been staged in scores of cities many times over during the past five decades.




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Bangalore Government Putting a Stop to Land Encroachments
Posted on 2001/4/9 23:48:02 ( 693 reads )


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BANGALORE, INDIA, April 3, 2001: Bangalore could very well be called the City of Temples with at least four to five temples on every other road. Many of these houses of worship have been built on government land. With no apparent patrons or upkeep, many have fallen into disrepair. Chief Minister S.M. Krishna has warned the populace that all temples, mosques and churches built on government land without authorization will be destroyed. Supporting the Bangalore Development Authority and other urban bodies, the government wants to clean up the city to strengthen its position in the global market for investors.




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Orissa Plans Special Activities at Konark Temple
Posted on 2001/4/9 23:47:02 ( 704 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, April 06, 2001: After 100 years of the renovation of the Sun Temple of Konark, near Orissa capital Bhubaneswar, the state's tourism department and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) are jointly planning year-long activities to boost tourist traffic to the state. Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said due to financial constraints, tourism potential of the state has not yet been fully exploited. He called for private sector participation to augment the requirements of the tourism sector and cited lack of adequate air connectivity that has proved to be a major discouraging factor but said the civil aviation ministry had taken up the matter.




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Burger King Re-Thinks Animal Treatment
Posted on 2001/4/9 23:46:02 ( 714 reads )


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MIAMI, FLORIDA, April 3, 2001: After a boycott by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals three months ago, Burger King has been convinced to adopt more stringent humane guidelines for their suppliers in the treatment of animals. One such goal that the new company guidelines will enforce is that animals are stunned before they are slaughtered. A similar boycott two years ago forced McDonalds to adopt humane animal treatment.




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Evolutionists Battle New Theory on Creation
Posted on 2001/4/9 23:45:02 ( 703 reads )


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KANSAS, USA, April 8, 2001: When Kansas school officials restored the theory of evolution to statewide education standards a few weeks ago, biologists might have wanted to declare victory over creationism -- the belief of some Christians that the world was created by God 4,000 years ago in one week. Instead, some evolutionists say that the issue is far from settled. Now evolutionists find themselves arrayed against the "intelligent design theory," which accepts that the Earth is billions of years old, but disputes the idea of natural selection. They believe instead that the living creatures we see today must be the work of an intelligent designer much like the biblical God. Some are open to other explanations, such as that life was seeded by a meteorite from elsewhere in the cosmos, possibly involving extraterrestrial intelligence or a mysterious but inanimate life force.




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Saints Come Out Against VHP Leader
Posted on 2001/4/5 23:49:02 ( 711 reads )


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HARIDWAR, INDIA, April 2, 2001: The Hindu saints of the holy city are up in arms against VHP leader Ashok Singhal's. They complained about the VHP leader's comment that the saints had an "irreverent attitude" towards the Ganga on the Tehri dam issue. Having failed to take the saints along with him to Tehri on March 30 to save the river from the onslaught of the dam, he lashed out at them a day after in Haridwar. He was surprised when all the saints came out openly against him. Villagers being displaced by the controversial dam are protesting at the site, and Singhal had gone to join their protest.




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Student-Founded Vegetarian Cafe a Winner on Campus
Posted on 2001/4/5 23:48:02 ( 844 reads )


Source: Pradip Jain





ONTARIO, CANADA, April 6, 2001: Vegetarian Chaula Tolia, an intern dietician student at the University of Western Ontario, London, Canada, became the founder-manager of the Vegetarian Cafe at the University of Toronto in 1999-2000, a non-profit, student run food service at the International Students Centre. With a menu offering low-cost, healthy vegan lunches and snacks, and items from various different cuisines including Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Middle Eastern, African, Thai, etc, it is considered the best vegetarian place on campus. The Cafe has been positively promoted by student press and has won a Healthy Eating Award in the past year. Chaula has also been involved with the Toronto Vegetarian Association (TVA), and is a sterling example of how one person can make a difference.




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Orissa Villages Ban Conversion
Posted on 2001/4/5 23:47:02 ( 645 reads )


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BHUBANESWAR, INDIA, December 29, 2000: Religious conversions and re-conversions have caused numerous clashes between Hindus and those converted to Christianity in this state, leading to a gruesome murder in 1999, when Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two minor sons were burned to death. According to this dated report just brought to the attention of HPI, some 4,000 people in eight Orissa villages resolved last year to ban religious conversions days after the people of Jharia village stopped the erection of a statue of Jesus Christ within the precincts of a Hindu temple. Around five percent of the population of these villages is Christian. The meeting decided by a majority vote to ban religious conversions and construction of churches, chapels and Christian statues in the villages. "We have decided on the ban because we found many people of various villages adopting Christianity by taking money from missionaries. They are also allowing the construction of churches in their villages," said Laxmidhar Soren, who lives in one of the villages that accepted the ban on conversion.




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Catholics Want a Piece of Kerala's Political Pie
Posted on 2001/4/5 23:46:02 ( 923 reads )


Source: Rediff on Net





KERALA, INDIA, April 5, 2001: On the eve of the assembly elections in Kerala where Christians constitute nearly 21 percent of the state's 30 million population, the first political demand from a religious community came from the Catholic church, when senior priests from the archdiocese of Thrissur met Congress leaders A K Antony and K Karunakaran and demanded the UDF political party field Catholic candidates from the district's five assembly constituencies -- Kodakara, Thrissur, Ollur, Manaloor and Kunnamkulam. The Vicar General of the Thrissur archdiocese Monsignor Joseph Kakkassery went a step further by issuing an ultimatum: "If the UDF rejects our demand, the Church will not hesitate to put up its own candidates in these five constituencies." UDF leaders had no choice but to agree. The five seats are dominated by Catholics, whose electoral decision will be influenced by Thrissur's Archbishop Jacob Thumkuzhy. Over the years, the Church has emerged as an influential pressure group in Kerala raising questions about whether it should flaunt its political affiliations and openly indulge in political activity. Church leaders are divided. Some say it is unethical. Others say it is in the proper Christian spirit. Father Paul Thelakat, editor of the Catholic weekly, The Sathyadeepam, laments, "It is improper. The mission of the Church is not political. Sometimes, I fear the line between politics and religion are getting blurred in Kerala."




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Hindu Students Council Announce National Camp
Posted on 2001/4/5 23:45:02 ( 723 reads )


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VIRGINIA, USA, April 6, 2001: The Hindu Students Council is pleased to announce that the 11th Annual North American Camp will be held at the Camp Highroad, Virginia, campground, near Washington, D.C., during May 25 - May 28, 2001, Memorial Day Weekend). The Annual North American Camp was originally founded in 1990 and has brought together students from all across the United States and Canada. The vision of the camps has been to create an intellectually and culturally stimulating atmosphere in which Hindu Youth can share, grow, learn, and build an extended bond of Hindu family relationships.




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