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Hindu Press International
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Course for Priest's Training
Posted on 2001/3/17 22:47:02 ( 851 reads )


Source: Abhiyaan Gujarati Weekly





RAJKOT, GUJARAT, INDIA, February 24, 2001: Bhanubhai Pandya, an Indo-Canadian Hindu Priest of Windsor, Ontario, Canada, inspired his son, Dr. Paresh Pandya, a professor of physics, to start a 2-month certificate course for training of priests at the Continuing Education Department of the Saurashtra University at Rajkot. Dr. Pandya worked for two decades as a "pujari" conducting ritual ceremonies and has conducted more than two-hundred marriages. He noticed that, with increasing numbers of Hindu temples worldwide, there is a great demand for competent priests. He felt that to meet this demand, a certificate of qualification can be useful. He prepared the project report with course contents and got the approval of the University. He had planned for twenty-five students but response was so great that he had to prepare a waiting list of sixty. Course is being attended by young and old, both men and women. They are from different professions, and have taken the course for a variety of reasons.




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India's Haj Subsidy Criticized
Posted on 2001/3/17 22:46:02 ( 689 reads )


Source: Telegraph Calcutta





NEW DELHI, INDIA, March 3, 2001: Muslim scholars in India were surprised over Saudi foreign minister Saud Al-Faisal's statements that his country's ulema will explain to their Indian counterparts that the Indian government's US$32 million Haj subsidy goes against the spirit of Islam. The Haj is among the five mandatory religious obligations. Every Muslim is expected to visit Mecca and Medina and bear the cost, including that of airfare, boarding and lodging, from "their own means." Muslim leaders said the Indian government started to subsidize airfare after it discontinued operating ships to ferry Hajis, as the pilgrims are known, to Saudi Arabia. The government of India not only supports major Hindu pilgrimages, but actively organizes them -- most notably the Kumbha Mela.




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Yoga Conference in Illinois
Posted on 2001/3/17 22:45:02 ( 748 reads )


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GLENDALE HEIGHTS, ILLINOIS, April 29, 2001: Featuring world famous saints and yogis teaching meditation and yoga, the Rejuvenation Yoga Institute of America is offering a free seminar on April 29, 2001. Seminars to be held at Ramada Inn & Suites, 780 E North Ave, Glendale Heights, Illinois, 60139. For more information contact the Yoga Institute at 630-260-8888.




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Contrite Karmapa Lama Returns Barefoot
Posted on 2001/3/14 22:49:02 ( 841 reads )


Source: Telegraph of India





BODHGAYA, INDIA, March 12, 2001: The 17th Karmapa, the Buddhist leader who had visited the sanctum sanctorum of the Mahabodhi temple in Bodhgaya with shoes on, was compelled to make a second trip to the same place barefoot to appease the sensibilities of some monks here. This time before entering shrine, he stopped near the checkpost of the Temple Management Committee where he took off his shoes to walk silently towards the temple. "The Karmapa has come here with a gesture of penance. He meditated in front of the seat of Buddha's enlightenment," said one of his associates. On his arrival on March 6 in Bodhgaya, where Buddha achieved enlightenment, the Karmapa paid his first visit to Vajrasan in Mahabodhi temple, the inner shrine of Buddhists, but with his shoes on. After the Karmapa's gesture today, the temple's orthodox monks appeared mellow.




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Foot-And-Mouth Disease Detected In Punjab, Haryana
Posted on 2001/3/14 22:48:02 ( 776 reads )


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CHANDIGARH, INDIA, 12 Mar 2001: The foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), one of the most contagious animal diseases now ravaging Britain has affected animals in some parts of Haryana and Punjab, though the situation is not alarming, officials from the two states asserted. The disease, which has claimed 11 animals in Haryana and 23 in Punjab, has been checked from spreading. Director, animal husbandry of Punjab, G S Chahal reported that only one village, Ghaloti in Ludhiana district, had reported some cases of FMD and the department teams immediately administered "ring vaccination" to animals to check the spread of the disease. He said 20,000-25,000 animals have been vaccinated in the state. This minimal response stands in stark contrast to that of the UK, where every animal within three kilometers of infected farms -- hundreds of thousands of sheep and cows -- are being slaughtered to contain the disease.




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Kerala Up In Arms Over Elephant Directive
Posted on 2001/3/14 22:47:02 ( 685 reads )


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SANU GEORGE, THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, March 11, 2001: The decision by Union Minister for Social Justice and Environment, Maneka Gandhi, directing the state government to take over ownership of all domestic elephants, has elephant lovers in Kerala up in arms. K. C. Panicker, an elephant specialist and secretary of the Thrissur based Elephants Welfare Association, said the decision is totally impractical. "The Kerala government, which owned around 100 elephants not long ago, has just under 20 elephants today. Isn't this enough indication that it is just not possible for the government to maintain these elephants?" asked Panicker. In the past, mahouts were well trained and had a deep commitment towards these animals, today most of the mahouts on duty are amateurs. The Institute of Social Welfare in Ernakulam has filed a public interest litigation seeking to end cruelty to pachyderms. They have urged the state government to take steps to enact a law or amend existing rules for mahouts. The present Elephant Protection Act was enacted in 1879.




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Sikh Leader Readmitted to Community After Atonement
Posted on 2001/3/14 22:46:02 ( 856 reads )


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SURREY, B.C., CANADA, March 11, 2001: Excommunicated from the Sikh community in June of 1998, Giana Rattan Singh Girn, a Sikh leader, was recently readmitted to the fold after atoning for his sin. Apparently Girn used tables and chairs to seat people while feeding them in a community kitchen. This act was a violation of Sikh doctrine as dictated by Akal Takht, the primary seat of Sikh religious authority in the Punjab. Sikh community members are required to sit on the floor when participating in a langar, free feeding. For his atonement, Girn listened to Sikh devotionals for one hour each day, dusted devotees' shoes at the Temple in Surrey, cleaned utensils at the community kitchen and donated money to the Golden Temple. This issue of sitting on the floor has led to violent clashes among temple factions not only in Vancouver, but in several other American and Canadian cities.




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Forty-Seven Killed in Holi-Related Violence
Posted on 2001/3/14 22:45:02 ( 659 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, March 12, 2001: At least 47 persons were killed and 23 injured in Holi-related violence in different parts of Bihar. In the most serious incident, eight people died and six others were injured in Simthu village in Nalanda district on Saturday when two groups clashed and opened fire following a tiff over Holi songs, the state police headquarters said. In Patna district, three persons died after consuming illicit liquor. A person was shot dead at Fatuha.




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RSS Denies Connection with Tehelka Scam Victim
Posted on 2001/3/14 22:44:02 ( 770 reads )


Source: RSS Press Release





NEW DELHI, INDIA, March 14, 2001: RSS leader Shri Mohan Bhagwat, denied today that R.K. Gupta, one of the persons caught taking bribes in a clever scam by the web site Tehelka, was not associated with the RSS. He said, "The reports say that Shri Gupta described himself as "National Trustee" of the RSS. I have to clarify that RSS is not a trust and hence neither Shri Gupta nor anybody else can be a Trustee of the RSS. Shri Gupta, though known to some of our workers in Delhi, has no position in the RSS. He is neither a member of any central or provincial organizational unit nor is he any office bearer in the RSS. In the report it is also alleged that Shri R. K. Gupta floated a society named 'Friends of India Society International' and that he was its sole trustee. Our inquiry from our contacts in England inform us that the 'Friends of India Society International' is not a trust nor is Mr. Gupta its trustee."




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Australian Labor Union Denies Temple Desecration Charges
Posted on 2001/3/13 22:49:02 ( 759 reads )


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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, March 14, 2001: The Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) which had taken away eight temple construction workers with them on February 26 on the charge that they were being underpaid and exploited, has strongly denied allegations of desecrating the Sri Venkateswara Temple here and has instead leveled a counter-allegation that the management of the temple was trying to exploit the religious sentiments of the expatriate Hindu community. Phil Davey CFMEU media liaison officer denies that the sanctity of the temple was compromised at any stage on February 26. "There was no disrespect at any point by the union members towards the Hindu faith in general and that temple in particular," Davey told IANS. He said that they did go to the accommodations with shoes on, but removed them after it was pointed out as inappropriate. Davey produced documents, which say that the temple has been issued by Workcover (an Australian government organization) with an infringement notice and a fine of Australian US$275 for not ensuring health and safety welfare of its employees."




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Correlation Between Domestic Violence and Animal Abuse
Posted on 2001/3/13 22:48:02 ( 739 reads )


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NEW YORK, NEW YORK, March 11, 2001: Studies have recently indicated that there is a definite correlation between animal abuse and domestic violence. Police departments now teach their officers to be on the look-out for animal cruelty as battered women and children may also be part of that household's scenario. Victims are often prevented from leaving an abusive relationship when threats are directed at their pets. Three shocking incidences are cited in this heart-wrenching article: a wife at a battered women's shelter received an audiotape from her husband with howls from her tortured dog, an ex-husband microwaved his wife's kitten, and a father fried his children's goldfish. Politically both animal welfare advocates and the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence have pulled together in their fight against violence and identifying potential abusers.




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Website Reports On Bangladesh Hindus
Posted on 2001/3/13 22:47:02 ( 688 reads )


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KOLKATA, INDIA, March 13, 2001: This website by Subhas Chakraborty is an authoritative source of information on attacks and harassment of Hindus in Bangladesh. Says the editor, "The staunch bias against minorities (including Buddhists, Hindus and Christians) is evident in all walks of life in Bangladesh. Certain sections in Bangladeshi society want to insure that this bias remains intact and expands to all sections of Muslim society in that country. It is no wonder that oppression and repression of the Hindus and other minorities in that country continue without any break. We have since received details of some recent incidents of attacks on minorities in Bangladesh from our local representatives there. Twenty-two such cases are documented in our reports."




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VHP of America Condemns Taleban's Destruction of Buddhas
Posted on 2001/3/13 22:46:02 ( 682 reads )


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HOUSTON, TEXAS, March 10, 2001: The Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America issued a press release today strongly condemning the destruction of statues in Afghanistan by the Talibans. The release says, "It is an act of savagery finding parallels only in the vandalism forced by tyrants and barbarians of the past, fortunately not so prevalent in modern times since the times of Nazis. But such intolerant bigoted acts of Talibans have made our expectation of peaceful coexistence of different religions by respecting the pluralism somewhat short-lived. It has awakened all of us to the new ground realities of ever-lurking threat to humanity at large and the precarious gap between savagery and civility if left unchecked. Destruction of the statues of Lord Buddha in Bamiyan is an attack on the diversity inherent in nature. Today statues are being destroyed by Talibans; who knows what is going to be their next target?"




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Report Of Cloning Sparks Outrage
Posted on 2001/3/13 22:45:02 ( 786 reads )


Source: The Daily Pioneer





SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, March 11, 2001: Secret human cloning experiments that were conducted in Australia in 1999 implanting a cell containing human DNA into an empty pig's egg, have drawn protests from a prominent church group. Cloning a human being is illegal in Australia and carries a maximum penalty of two years' imprisonment. The resulting cloned embryo survived for 32 days before it was terminated. The report comes just days after a group of American and Italian scientists said that they plan to produce the world's first cloned baby by the end of the year, possibly in Israel. The Telegraph quoted bioethicist Nick Tonti-Filippini as saying the baby-cloning project was one step further than the Australian experiment. "It has never been publicly admitted that we have already done human cloning in Australia," Tonti-Filippini said.




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India's Special Olympians Request Home-Cooked Curry
Posted on 2001/3/13 22:44:02 ( 702 reads )


Source: Anchorage Daily News





ANCHORAGE, ALASKA, March 7, 2001: India's Special Olympians, a team of handicapped individuals competing in special sports, landed in Alaska recently. Appealing to a crowd honoring a reception for the crew, a representative for the Cultural Association of India solicited volunteers to cook for the hungry athletes. Apparently the flight from India offered no familiar food in the form of rice and curry for the team. Collaborating with the Hilton hotel, the Asian community pulled together to provide the Olympians with plenty of spicy home-cooked delicacies with lots of rice. The Special Olympics serve to provide a sense of self-esteem to physically- and mentally-challenged individuals.




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