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Hindu Press International
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Catholics Want a Piece of Kerala's Political Pie
Posted on 2001/4/5 23:46:02 ( 982 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 ( 764 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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Ramakrishna Mission Opens First Australasian Center
Posted on 2001/4/4 23:49:02 ( 739 reads )


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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, April 3, 2001: The Ramakrishna Mission opened its only Vedanta Center in the Australasian region with a well-attended grihapravesham, or housewarming, ceremony in Sydney. About 250 were present Sunday to participate in the grihapravesham which was initiated by Ganapati Pujanam (salutations to the elephant-headed God Ganesha). A special puja for Sri Ramakrishna followed. The Mission also plans to add an assembly hall to the new ashram in Sydney's inner-west suburb. The ashram would also house two of Vedanta Center monks, Swami Sridharananda and Swami Atmeshnanda. The mission will continue to hold Sunday discourses at South Strathfield Bowling Club till the Assembly Hall is built.




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Correlation Between Acupuncture and Ayurveda
Posted on 2001/4/4 23:48:02 ( 1128 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, April 2, 2001: Claiming that the roots of Chinese Acupuncture are found in the science of Indian Ayurveda, Dr. B.K. Joshi from Haldwani is backing up the claim by research on the "Sushrut Samhita," an ancient treatise. This research has revealed a definite correlation between the "Marmas" which are vital energy points in the body and the same points of reference in acupuncture. Dr. Joshi and two of his colleagues believe that the reason the comparison between the sciences was never discovered before now was because the translation from Sanskit was lost. The trio are publishing their findings and see their discovery as beneficial to the science of Ayurveda. The famed 4,000-year-old "Ice Man" discovered on a European mountain several years ago was found to have tatoo marks upon several of the common acupunture points. Acupuncture, which is popular in China today, seems to have ancient origins.




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Bidi Craze in U.S.A.
Posted on 2001/4/4 23:47:02 ( 783 reads )


Source: News India Times





LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY, April 2, 2001: Hand-rolled cigarettes called bidis are becoming popular in mainstream America especially among teenagers and college students. Behind the strawberry, cinnamon, orange, and chocolate flavours lurks a higher nicotine and tar content. A study conducted in conjunction with the National Institute on Drug Abuse showed eleven out of twelve brands to have a 28% higher concentration of nicotine than traditional unfiltered cigarettes. Other studies have demonstrated that bidi smokers are twice as likely to contract lung cancer and five times more at risk of suffering heart disease than those who smoke filtered cigarettes. Attorney Generals across the U.S. have collaborated to try to put a stop to the import of bidis into the country.




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Chinmaya Mission Celebrates 50th Anniversary
Posted on 2001/4/4 23:46:02 ( 848 reads )


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MUMBAI, INDIA, March 6, 2001: The Chinmaya Movement is completing 50 years in 2001 and preparations are on in full swing for the Chinmaya Vishwa Sammelan to be held in Mumbai in December 2001. The Sammelan promises to be a grand Chinmaya family get-together. Over 1,000 delegates have registered from all over the world. They have launched a web-site, "source" above, for the occasion giving all the details of the program, registration process and the programs being conducted by various centres as part of the celebrations.




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Tripura Rebels Ban Kirtan Instruments
Posted on 2001/4/3 23:49:02 ( 698 reads )


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AGARTALA, INDIA, April 01, 2001: The Methodist Church-backed NLFT militants have continued interfering in the religious rites of the people, banning the use of traditional musical instruments for performing kirtans (devotional songs) by Hindu tribals. This has triggered panic among the Hindu tribals living in the interior areas of Northeast India such as Borakha, Patni, Barkathal and Sonai in the Sadar subdivision. Sources in the Sanatan Dharma Parishad said there are seven Hindu tribal groups which perform kirtans with musical instruments. Over the past five years, the NLFT has been consistently attacking and killing Hindu tribals. Many have been forced to convert to Christianity at gunpoint. Many Hindu ashrams and religious centers run by the tribals have been destroyed by the militants.




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Andhra Pradesh CM Announces Temple Development
Posted on 2001/4/3 23:48:02 ( 794 reads )


Source: The Hindu





BHADRACHALAM, INDIA, April 3, 2001: Sitarama Kalyanam was performed in the temple town of Bhadrachalam with pomp and gaiety, witnessed by devotees including Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Naidu and his wife. At a press conference, the CM announced a plan formulated for the development of 20 temples with an annual income of more than US$217,391 in the state. The plan was aimed at providing infrastructure besides roads, drainage and drinking water. In keeping with improvement in upkeep of almost all the State's important temples, the flow of pilgrims and thus the income has increased considerably. The plan will develop Bhadrachalam into a model pilgrim centre wherein tourists would get the facilities to spend two to three days with peace of mind.




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Tribal Rights Controversy
Posted on 2001/4/3 23:47:02 ( 789 reads )


Source: World Organisation Against Torture





COIMBATORE, TAMIL NADU, April 2, 2001: Since 1986 when the Coimbatore Zoological Park was formed with the intention of establishing a conservation centre 30 kilometers from Coimbatore City, tension has existed between this group and the tribal people. The area allocated for the park, known as the Poramboke lands, is the very land that the tribals, known as Irula Adivasis, consider to be home. For close to twenty-five years CZP officials have badgered the tribals with threats and destruction of property. Appealing for help in restoring the rights of the tribals, the OMCT desperation escalated when on March 25, 2001 a tribal activist's home was burned to the ground.




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Americans Held on Religion Charges
Posted on 2001/4/3 23:46:02 ( 785 reads )


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DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, April 3, 2001: United Arab Emirates (AP) -- Three Americans were arrested for distributing compact discs and videotapes promoting Christianity, the Al-Khaleej newspaper reported Tuesday. The Sharjah daily quoted Dubai's prosecutor general. Calls to the prosecutor's office were not returned Tuesday, and the U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi said it was aware of the case but would not comment further. The three Americans were arrested March 12, the newspaper said. It did not identify their church. If convicted of promoting a religion other than Islam or seeking converts, the Americans could face jail sentences of between five and 10 years. A fourth American was reportedly arrested for allegedly arranging their entry visas into the country. It is illegal to promote religions other than Islam in the Emirates, home to many Christian churches, Hindu temples and other non-Muslim worship places. Non-Muslims can practice their religions, but cannot proselytize.




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Government Offered Help in Repairing Quake-Damaged Monuments
Posted on 2001/4/3 23:45:02 ( 757 reads )


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VADODARA, INDIA, April 02, 2001: The Indian Archaeological Society (IAS), a Delhi-based organization, has approached the Gujurat State with proposals to restore eight state-protected monuments damaged in the recent earthquake. They have estimated a cost of about US$3.2 million for the restoration. AIS archeologist D. I. Krishnani said monuments included the Navlakha temple in Ghumli (Jamnagar), four monuments in Kandhkot Bhuj, Bhujia Kothar in Jamnagar, Shiv temple at Kera and the Khambhalena caves at Rajkot.




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Bush Urged to Suspend Export of Contaminated Corn
Posted on 2001/4/3 23:44:02 ( 737 reads )


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WASHINGTON, D.C., April 4, 2001: A joint letter submitted to the US President George Bush president by more than 100 consumer, agriculture and environmental groups from around the world, including seven from India, have urged suspending further export of American corn and corn-products suspected to be unsafe for human consumption. The U.S has to guarantee that they are free of genetically engineered StarLink corn. "The US should not be exporting genetically contaminated food to other countries," said Ricardo Navarro, chairman of the Friends of the Earth International and a resident of El Salvador, "if it is not approved for people to eat in the US." Concerned Indian representatives included the Consumers' Protection Association, Diverse Women for Diversity, Navdanya and National Alliance for Women's Food Rights.




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Buddha Rubble Arrives "For Sale" in Pakistan
Posted on 2001/4/2 23:49:02 ( 840 reads )


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BAMIYAN, AFGHANISTAN, April 02, 2001: Several truckloads of rubble clearly identified as having come from the ancient giant statues of Buddha blown up by the Taleban authorities in Afghanistan last month, is said to have turned up in Pakistan and is being offered for sale. The reports have led to heavy criticism of the trade from academics and collectors. International experts say no museum or respected collector would help if it would reward the destruction. But if the rubble is found to be genuine and a private individual buys it, Pakistan may well allow the material to leave the country.




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Goddess Durga Worshiped
Posted on 2001/4/2 23:48:02 ( 807 reads )


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LUDHIANA, INDIA, April 2, 2001: Durga Ashtami was celebrated with religious fervor in the city yesterday, marking the end of Navaratri, "Nine Nights," the year's biggest festival in honor of the Goddess. On this day girls are worshiped as the manifestation of the Goddess. Beautifully dressed little girls in various residential colonies of the city flitted from house to house with plates in their hand since early morning as they were in great demand everywhere for worshipping. Many of these little goddesses really looked divine with colorful chunris, scarves, covering their heads. Besides worshipping and feeding the girls with halwa, puri and grams, people also gave them cash offerings.




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Mahavira's Birthday Proposed for Meatless Day
Posted on 2001/4/2 23:47:02 ( 785 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, April 2, 2001: India's Central Government has accepted a suggestion that April 6, the birth date of the Jain Saint Mahavira, should be declared as Ahimsa day, a day on which there would be no slaughter of animals and sale of meat. State Governments and Union Territory administrations have been requested to observe Ahimsa Day, an official release stated.




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