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Hindu Press International
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Renovation at Srirangam Temple
Posted on 2001/3/10 22:47:02 ( 909 reads )


Source: The Hindu





TIRUCHI, INDIA, March 6, 2001: During a recent renovation, the honored deity of the Srirangam temple has come under close scrutiny by the temple heritage protection committee. Asking for reassurance from the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister that a significant one centimeter image of Sri Vatsa-Lakshmi be restored to its proper place on Lord Ranganatha's chest, the committee has been questioned as to the image's validity. Supported by scriptures, the Lakshmi embossment will take its rightful place on the Lord's chest and the tantric triangle symbol that was mistakenly approved and placed there in the renovation will be removed. Further renovations will be monitored more closely. Temple devotees anxiously await the worship to commence again on March 15th.




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Minorities Vital to U.K. Economy
Posted on 2001/3/10 22:46:02 ( 813 reads )


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UNITED KINGDOM, March 7, 2001: Ethnic minorities in the U.K. are being viewed in a different light. In order to deter the negative results of an aging population and falling birth rates, Britain needs a youthful work force to fund public pensions and health care. Minorities who start their own businesses and those who work in the transport and health industry have become vital to the U.K.'s economy. As a result, it has been proposed by a study done by Dr. Vaughan Robinson, head of the Migration Unit at Swansea University, that immigration be increased by at least 20%. This increase will keep the economy viable well into the 21st century.




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Iconoclasm Through The Ages - Not A New Trend.
Posted on 2001/3/10 22:45:02 ( 836 reads )


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LONDON, U.K, March 8, 2001: William Dowsing arrived in Cambridge in December, 1643, filled with Puritan zeal, determined to smash the lingering reminders of the old Roman Catholic faith. A similar determination inspired the Taleban in Afghanistan to destroy ancient images of the Buddha, horrifying the world. "Images, symbols, whether religious or not, always attract violence when there is conflict because religious symbols are more densely packed with meaning,'' said Carlos Eire, professor of religious studies at Yale University. Iconoclasm marked the Protestant Reformation in Europe. In the eighth century, there was conflict in the Eastern Church over the use of icons. Christian iconoclasts have drawn inspiration from parts of the Bible which condemn idols and images. Dowsing had the authority of the British Parliament which had enacted an ordinance "for demolishing ...monuments of superstition and idolatry'' regardless of value of art or history.




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Korean Memorial to Indian Princess
Posted on 2001/3/6 22:49:02 ( 767 reads )


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AYODHYA, INDIA, March 6, 2001: In the northern Indian city of Ayodhya, a visiting Korean delegation has inaugurated a memorial to their royal ancestor, Queen Huh. More than a hundred historians and government representatives, including the North Korean ambassador to India, unveiled the memorial on the west bank of the River Saryu. Korean historians believe that Queen Huh was a princess of an ancient kingdom in Ayodhya. She went to Korea some two thousand years ago and started the Karak dynasty by marrying a local king, Suro. Today, the historians say, Queen Huh's descendants number more than six million, including the South Korean president, Kim Dae Jung. But a senior official in Ayodhya told the BBC that no information was available about Queen Huh in Indian history.




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"Safe" Colors This Holi
Posted on 2001/3/6 22:48:02 ( 853 reads )


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KOZHISSERI, NEW DELHI, March 04, 2001: Holi, the Indian festival of colors, will see the use of natural colors made from the extracts of flowers and fruit this year, to the relief of those worried about hazardous chemical colors being smeared on them. "We can get yellow from the 'tesu' plant, black from husk and blue from 'neel' and many more colors that are completely natural and safe," said Vandana Shiva, a noted environmental activist speaking at the program Abir Gulal (named after the colored powder used on Holi), organized by Navdanya, a movement to protect biodiversity. The natural colors will be sold in the capital's Dilli Haat fairgrounds by Navdanya. Often industrial colors are used could cause cancer. We have always stressed toxic-free food, and it is time for toxic-free color," Shiva said. Generally, people play Holi with commercial colors, with carcinogenic properties such as aluminum bromide. "The natural colors will save health and protect nature," said Shiva.




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More Animals Slaughtered to Eradicate Disease
Posted on 2001/3/6 22:47:02 ( 814 reads )


Source: India Abroad





LONDON, ENGLAND, March 5, 2001: Foot and mouth disease that affects all cloven hoofed animals has rampaged through the countryside of the U.K. Determined to eradicate the virus, government officials have slaughtered an estimated 46,000 animals to date, many thousands of which are cows. Protesting the killing, Hindus in Britain, have spoken out about the way animals are treated in the U.K and blamed the epidemic on poor animal care.




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Maha Kumbha Mela Ends on Maha Sivaratri
Posted on 2001/3/6 22:46:02 ( 799 reads )


Source: News-India times





ALLAHABAD, INDIA, March 2, 2001: The grand Maha Kumbh Mela which started January 9th and ended February 21st on Maha Sivaratri nourished over 100 million pilgrims at the "Sangam." Hindu pilgrims travelled long distances and suffered hardship to participate in the event. Certain auspicious days during the 42-day festival attracted millions of fervent devotees. Having left Allahabad on February 8th to participate in the festivities in Benares, most Holy Men had moved on by February 21st. Those seeking peace, after the crowds left, stayed for the last sacred bath.




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Women Making Delhi "Women-Safe"
Posted on 2001/3/6 22:45:02 ( 738 reads )


Source: The Pioneer





NEW DELHI, INDIA, March 5, 2001: Spearheading the celebrations in the capital, nearly 5,000 poor women will join the Delhi Council for Women (DCW). Plans including forming a human chain and pledging to make Delhi a safer city for women on the millennium's first international Women's Day, Thursday. According to DCW chairperson Anjali Rai, women from various resettlement colonies and slum clusters will interact with representatives from 89 NGOs. According to Ms. Rai, the DCW for the past few months has been promoting the concept of Mahila Panchayats, a sort of women's court, across the city to keep a vigil on acts of domestic violence in resettlement colonies providing para-legal aid to the victims. See also the article on these Mahila Panchayats at http://www.timesofindia.com/ 190101/19mdel15.htm. The DCW run helpline has alone recorded 2,630 cases of harassment and violence against women in the past one year.




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World Press Treats Islam's Hajj Pilgrimage Carefully
Posted on 2001/3/5 22:49:02 ( 830 reads )


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MECCA, SAUDI ARABIA, March 5, 2001: It is interesting to Hinduism Press International to observe the stark difference in reporting of the on-going Muslim Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca and the recently concluded Hindu Kumbha Mela. In the Hajj report, of which "source" above is but one example, there is not a hint of the sarcasm, ridicule and demeaning portrayals that permeated nearly every report on the Kumbha Mela. The single most notable point is that the Western Press makes nothing of this: "Once they complete the stoning ritual, pilgrims shave or cut their hair and then slaughter more than a half-million camels, cows and sheep near this tent city that only comes to life during the Hajj. For pilgrims in Saudi Arabia this year, most of the animals will be sacrificed at a large slaughterhouse in Mecca that was built at a cost of about US$125 million. Pilgrims can go to slaughterhouses to buy and slaughter animals themselves or they can pay a bank or company to do it on their behalf. Meat is sent to the needy in 27 countries." All this is presented without comment of any sort. Imagine what would have happened if a slaughter house of this immense proportions were set up at the Kumbha Mela and one-half million animals offered to the Deities? At least, there would have been photos of it on the wire services, but a search of the major wire services -- AP, Reuters, AFP, UPI and 31 others -- revealed not a single photo or even mention in a caption of the ritual slaughter at Mecca. Nor have we seen any comment in any article on the practice.




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Buddhists Protest Christian Conversion In Sri Lanka
Posted on 2001/3/5 22:48:02 ( 821 reads )


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COLOMBO, SRI LANKA, March 6, 2001: The Centre for Buddhism International (CBI) in Kandy, the central province hill town where the Temple of the Buddha's Tooth is the focal point, has accused Christian missionaries of invading rural villages and tea and rubber plantations, using "unethical, coercive and sometimes barbaric methods" to proselytize their faith. The organization said in a statement that at least 73 foreign and local evangelical groups, with names like Campus Crusade for Christ and Christian Literary Crusade, had been studied by the Regional Centre for Strategic Studies. CBI asked the government to act according to the country's constitution and protect the Buddhist faith, charging that other Christian organizations tried to justify the work of the evangelists and decry opposition from Buddhists as "the work of extremists." The evangelists are from among newly sprung up groups with foreign links who blend religion with relief work, doling out jobs and material aid to converts, said the CBI.




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No Colors In 7 Race Course Road This Holi
Posted on 2001/3/5 22:47:02 ( 789 reads )


Source: Kaumudi Online





NEW DELHI, INDIA, March, 2001: Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee will not celebrate Holi, the festival of colors, as a mark of respect for the victims of the devastating quake that hit Gujarat in January, official sources said. Spokesman for the Prime Minister's Office on Sunday said there would be no celebrations on Holi, which falls on March 10 this year, at 7 Race Course Road, Vajpayee's official residence, as he wanted to express solidarity with the people of Gujarat. About 25,000 people were killed and thousands rendered homeless by the quake that rocked the western state on January 26.




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India's States Take Action Against Domestic Violence
Posted on 2001/3/5 22:46:02 ( 871 reads )


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RAJASTHAN, INDIA, March 5, 2001: In a path-breaking initiative, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has ordered a change in the service rules so that action can be taken against male employees of the government who beat and harass their wives. Similarly, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu has also ordered an assessment of the extent of sexual harassment in the state secretariat, following media reports of atrocities against women in the secretariat.




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Record Number Pilgrims Visit Holy Cave Shrine
Posted on 2001/3/5 22:45:02 ( 745 reads )


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JAMMU, INDIA, March 5, 2001: A record number of 432,000 pilgrims have visited the holy cave shrine of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji since January 1, 2001. During the same time last year, 361,000 pilgrims had Darshan of the holy cave shrine. Of the 174,000 devotees who visited the shrine last month, over 136,000 were from outside the State. About 10,000 pilgrims a day reach Katra, the base camp of pilgrimage. The Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board has made elaborate arrangements for the comfortable stay of pilgrims.




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Vultures Needed for Tradition to Survive
Posted on 2001/3/4 22:49:02 ( 780 reads )


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BOMBAY, INDIA, March 1, 2001: Parsis, descendants of the ancient Persians and followers of the prophet Zoroaster, have an ancient way of disposing of their dead in the city of Bombay. On Malabar Hill and the tranquil park at Doongerwadi, Parsi followers bring their dead to be devoured by vultures. Bodies that have been exposed to the sun and eaten by scavengers ensures that no pollution takes place and that all are equal in death. However this traditional way of disposing of their dead is being threatened. In 1988, 350 pairs of vultures nested in the park. Due to an infectious disease which has reduced the population of vultures to a mere dozen, the situation has escalated to a crisis. The Bombay Parsi council has collaborated with scientists to build an aviary so that vultures can be bred in captivity. The project will take at least four years to get off the ground. In the meantime, the Parsis are left wondering how to dispose of their dead. Many bodies are left to decompose in the tropical sun. At least 1,000 bodies are placed annually in the Tower of Silence and there are simply not enough vultures to uphold the tradition. They are considering switching to cremation.




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School Violence by Teachers--A Cowardly and Sad Crime
Posted on 2001/3/4 22:48:02 ( 753 reads )


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KERALA, INDIA, February 21, 2001: Sparing the rod and spoiling the child, a medieval concept that chipped away at a child's self esteem, has virtually been abandoned in most nations around the world. In 1989 the United Nations General Assembly adopted a move in favor of the "Rights of the Child" and the convention promoted that, "State parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that school discipline is administered in a manner consistent with the child's human dignity." However, India has only paid lip service to the U.N. directive. Allowing corporal punishment in certain circumstances, none of which have been defined, has literally given frustrated low paid teachers the license to abuse the children under their care. Several instances have been reported such as a teenager needing surgery because his ears were boxed by a principal, a 5-year-old requiring psychiatric care after physical torture by a teacher, and a 13-year-old was stripped naked and paraded at a New Delhi school. Results of such discipline has been proven completely contrary to the intended result of society and condemned by psychologists and social scientists. Children exposed to such punishment develop warped personalities with inclinations of defiance, hostility, and rebelliousness.




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