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Christian Colleges Dominate Education in India

Posted on 2002/5/18 9:44:02 ( 1042 reads )

Source: India Today

DELHI, INDIA, May 18, 2002: A recent India Today has rankings of the top 10 colleges in India in various disciplines. While the exact rankings are not very significant, what is noteworthy is the large number of top-ranked colleges run by Christian --mostly Catholic -- organizations, even though Christians are just a few percent of the population. Five out of the top ten art schools are Christian-run, six of the top ten science schools and four of the top ten commerce schools.

Ten Years of Hinduism Today Goes Online

Posted on 2002/5/18 9:43:02 ( 979 reads )


KAUAI, HAWAII, May 18, 2002: Hinduism Today is pleased to announce the addition of ten years to its on-line archives, from 1979 through to 1989. Click "source" above to reach the archives, and scroll down for the earlier years. The magazine hopes to complete its archives, which currently have a gap from 1990 to 1993, within a few months. Click your way through the years and explore the history of Hinduism as it unfolded to our readers.

Kailas Pilgrimage Route Cut by Landslides

Posted on 2002/5/17 9:49:02 ( 1080 reads )


UTTARANCHAL, INDIA, May 16, 2002: The Kailash-Mansarovar route along the Pithoragarh-Dharchoola road in Uttaranchal has been cut off following landslides triggered by heavy rains disrupting vehicular traffic, officials said in Pithoragarh on Thursday. Heavy rains, accompanied by a hailstorm, lashed Pithoragarh district on Wednesday evening causing the landslides, which blocked a four-metre stretch of the road, they said. Pithoragarh District Magistrate Rajiv Joshi told PTI that Border Roads Organisation (BRO) personnel were working round the clock to clear the landslides. BRO officials said it would take about one week to clear the road for heavy traffic. No casualties have been reported in the area, Joshi added. Landslides along this route are common and one year resulted in the death of many pilgrims. Indian citizens are allowed to enter China to reach Kailas by this road, while nationals of other countries trek through Nepal.

Maneka Gandhi Halts "Horse Sacrifice"

Posted on 2002/5/17 9:48:02 ( 1075 reads )


ORISSA, INDIA, May 17, 2002: A scheduled "horse sacrifice" in the village of Juna Padia, about 430 km southwest of Calcutta was stopped by India minister of Minister for Culture and Animal Care, Maneka Gandhi. She, along with local officials, confiscated the horses. The Washington Times ("source" above) and the South China Morning Post reported April 15 that the sacrifice, scheduled for March 29, had actually occurred, but in a direct communication to HPI, Gandhi said it had not. Other details of these questionable news reports could not be independently confirmed. The kings of ancient India occassionally performed the sacrifice as a demonstration of their power, but there is no provision in scripture for anyone but a king to perform it.

India Considers Vegetarian Label Policy

Posted on 2002/5/17 9:47:02 ( 1095 reads )


DELHI, INDIA, May 11, 2002: Officials in India are considering categorizing and labeling all cosmetics and personal hygiene products as vegetarian or non-vegetarian. The practicalities of implementing the idea are now being considered by a technical committee and the courts. Many Hindus in India are strictly vegetarian for religious reasons -- and some pro-Hindu political groups often express concern about non-vegetarian ingredients in food, especially products imported from the West. If approved, all personal hygiene products and cosmetics would be tested by officials, categorized as vegetarian and non-vegetarian and labeled accordingly. Advocates of the plan stress that consumers have the right to make an informed choice. Critics cite the effect on business, particularly on imports and exports, and the expense of comprehensive testing and labeling. A similar plan to categorize medicines in the same way was earlier rejected, partly, from concerns that if critical drugs were classed as non-vegetarian, strict vegetarians might be deterred from accepting them.

Tiruvannamalai Temple Renovation Nears Completion

Posted on 2002/5/17 9:46:02 ( 1054 reads )

Source: The Hindu

TIRUVANNAMALAI, INDIA, May 11, 2002: Ninety percent of the renovation work has been completed on the famed Arunachaleswara Temple in Tiruvannamalai and arrangements are being made for the kumbhabhishekam, or rededication ceremony, to be held on June 27. Presiding over a meeting on Saturday to review the arrangements for the kumbhabhishekam, PC Ramasamy, Minister for the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments, estimated the total cost of the renovation work at US$865,000. Funding for the renovation included specific contributions from donors and a special renovation fund created through general contributions. The "Alankara Mandapam" was constructed with the help of a grant from the government. Meetings are being conducted regularly to review the progress of the various works undertaken by the departments of health, PWD and highways, and local agencies to provide infrastructure and amenities to the pilgrims. The temple's last kumbhabhishekam was held 25 years ago. Nearby the temple is the ashram of Ramana Maharshi.

South India Dance Gets Center Stage in Geneva

Posted on 2002/5/17 9:45:02 ( 1046 reads )


GENEVA, SWITZERLAND, May 17, 2002: From May 8 to November 17, 2002, the Musee d'ethnographie of Geneva Switzerland presents Bharatanatyam: The Dance of the Gods. The exhibit, the first of its kind in Europe, includes interactive displays, workshops and dance performance by Manjula Lusti Narasimhan and her school Silambam a Geneve. At the exhibit the museum launches its newest publication (in collaboration with Adam Biro), "Bharatanatyam, la Danse Classique de l'Inde", a 176-page book of the dance by Manjula Narasimahan with photos by Johnathan Watts. See "source" above for museum hours, dance performance dates and for information on how to order the book.

Gunmen Kill 30, Including Ten Children, in Kashmir

Posted on 2002/5/16 9:49:02 ( 1074 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA, May 17, 2002: In one of the deadliest attacks India has witnessed in recent years, three men disguised in army fatigues killed 30 people and wounded 48 with sprays of automatic gunfire in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, which both India and Pakistan claim. The attack could provoke a military retaliation by India, which massed troops on the border after it blamed Pakistan-based militants for a suicide attack on its Parliament last December. In the attack, which took place at Kaluchak, on the outskirts of Jammu, Kashmir's capital, the gunmen first opened fire on a busload of people, killing seven. They killed 23 more people, including 10 children, most of them ages 7 to 10, who were in a camp for families of the soldiers. The assailants were killed by soldiers in an hours-long siege. Indian intelligence officials said the attack was probably carried out by Lashkar-e-Taiba, one of two Pakistan-based militant groups that they also accused in the December attack on Parliament, which left 14 people dead.

Hindu Nationalists are Enlisting India's Poor

Posted on 2002/5/16 9:48:02 ( 1016 reads )


ANDOLI, INDIA, May 16, 2002: This New York Times article is an example of the Western media picking up the biases of the Indian press. Originally HPI had not planned to include it, but as several readers mentioned it to us in both a positive and negative light, we include it here in part: "Just beyond the bustle of this nation's capital, is a microcosm of some of India's most destitute: children from pockets of poor. The nearly 300 boys here at the Sewa Dham school, most of them from what are called the tribal belts of central and northeastern India, hew to a rigorous daily schedule from 5 in the morning until 10 at night. They learn Hindu chants in the ancient language, Sanskrit. They are taught to give up their meat-eating ways and to become vegetarians. Patriotic to some, frightening to others, this school represents a central project of the increasingly militant and powerful Hindu right in this country. It is substantially bankrolled by Indians in the United States and run by a charity affiliated with the oldest and most prominent of the Hindu nationalist groups, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, or the National Voluntary Service, known as the R.S.S. Education is a centerpiece of the Hindu revivalist campaign, which is natural, considering its cause: to build a Hindu nation out of what is officially a secular country with rights accorded to religious minorities."

"Yoga for Dancers" Published in India

Posted on 2002/5/16 9:47:02 ( 1211 reads )


CHENNAI, INDIA, May 16, 2002: Do you want to be a healthy dancer? Yoga specialist E.R. Gopalakrishnan's latest book explaining yoga practice for dancers could guide you to be one. Gopalakrishnan says that the book is a result of his work with dancers over the years. Having worked with his daughter who is student of dance, he has analyzed the dance movements, postures, pressure points, areas of weakness, breathing patterns, manipulation of breath in movements, energy centers and dynamics of weight shifting. He adds that his interaction with dance gurus and students at the residential workshops organized by Natyarangam the last two years helped him understand better the problems faced by dancers. E. R. Gopalakrishnan who now runs Yoga Maiam, a center for yoga studies in Madras, trained under Dr. Nagendra of Vivekananda Kendra Kanyakumari and T. K. V. Desikachar of Yoga Mandiram, Madras.

Lectures by Author Who Brought Nepalese "Amma to America"

Posted on 2002/5/16 9:46:02 ( 1063 reads )


WILSON, WYOMING, May 16, 2002: Aama's Journey: A Pilgrimage Between Continents and Cultures is an illustrated lecture presentation by Broughton Coburn, a best-selling author and Harvard graduate who has spent two of the past three decades in the Himalayas. This program headlined America's Knife and Fork Clubs (35 appearances) and has thrilled museums, associations, social groups, universities, schools, libraries and professional societies across the United States. If you know of a venue that may be interested in booking this fascinating, rollicking and poignant program, please visit "source" above, www.unusualspeaker.com or phone (307) 733-4124. Broughton's original book, "Amma in America" is the delightful tale of the former peace-corp volunteer who decided to bring "Amma," an elderly lady in the village in Nepal he served in, to America. The ensuing adventures of this very odd couple in America are a charming commentary on the wisdom and insight of this supposedly "backward" village lady who fearlessly takes on, among other issues, Western irreverence for the Divine.

Yatra to Mansarovar and Mt. Kailash Planned for June

Posted on 2002/5/16 9:45:02 ( 993 reads )


KATHMANDU, NEPAL, May 14, 2002: On June 11, 2002, a group of pilgrims will head to Mansarovar and Mt. Kailash in Tibet. The yatra, or pilgrimage, is organized by Parmarth Niketan ashram in Rishikesh. It will include the official inauguration of the hospital and ashram in the Kailash area which has been built by India Heritage Research Foundation, under Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswati (Muniji)'s blessing and guidance. Pilgrims will arrive and meet in Kathmandu on June 11 and depart for Lhasa on June 13, then travel from Lhasa to Mansarovar by jeep. The itinerary includes the inauguration and the parikrama, or circumambulation, of Mt. Kailash. The group will return to Kathmandu on June 28. For full details and registration information click on "source" above.

Sri Lanka Army Continues to Occupy 274 Hindu Temples in Jaffna

Posted on 2002/5/15 9:49:02 ( 1007 reads )

Source: TamilNet

JAFFNA, SRI LANKA, May 13, 2002: The Sri Lanka Army continues to occupy two hundred seventy four Hindu temples in the Jaffna district, according to initial estimates, sources in the Sri Lankan Ministry of Hindu Affairs said Sunday. The Sri Lanka army should have vacated "places of religious worship" by March 26, 2002, under the terms of the cease-fire agreement between Colombo and the Liberation Tigers. The SLA continues to occupy hundreds of Hindu temples, as well as some Christian churches, in other parts of the northeastern province despite the lapse of 46 days since the deadline set by the agreement for vacating them. The largest number of temples occupied by the Sri Lankan military is in the Tellipalai Division. Many of them are within the high security zone of the sprawling Palali military base in the northwestern part of Jaffna. The cease-fire agreement says: "Places of worship which are situated in "high security zones" shall be vacated by all armed personnel and maintained in good order by civilian workers, even when they are not made accessible to the public".

Ban on LTTE Extended by Indian Government

Posted on 2002/5/15 9:48:02 ( 1118 reads )

Source: The Hindu

NEW DELHI, INDIA, May 14: The Central Government today extended the ban on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam for a further period of two years under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. The earlier ban was scheduled to come to an end today. Announcing the decision, the Government said the LTTE's unlawful activities on the Indian soil as well its contacts and liaison with other extremist groups had been a matter of grave concern. Sympathy for the Tamil Eelam concept still remained and forces were still at work to further the cause of a "separate Tamil Nadu," through secession from India and for this they drew inspiration and sustenance from the LTTE. In view of the sensitivity of the matter and keeping in view that the LTTE had systematically infiltrated into Tamil Nadu, the Centre and the Tamil Nadu Government felt that circumstances existed which rendered it necessary to declare the LTTE as unlawful. The Tamil Nadu Government had sent a proposal to the Centre for banning the organization for a further period of two years, an official press release said.

Christianity Gains Converts in Developing Countries

Posted on 2002/5/15 9:47:02 ( 1094 reads )

Source: Religion News Service

NEW YORK, NEW YORK, May 15, 2002: Excerpts from a report by William bole of Religion News Service: "One of the often-heard comments since Sept. 11 is that Islam is growing so rapidly it will soon become the world's largest religion, overtaking Christianity in just a couple of decades. Many of these projections are traceable to the work of Harvard University scholar Samuel P. Huntington, who has put forward the idea of a 'clash of civilizations.' But a new book about Christianity in the Third World says Huntington and others are missing the global demographic picture. Islam is indeed expanding as Christianity loses its force in the Western world, particularly Europe, says historian and religious studies scholar Philip Jenkins, author of 'The Next Christendom.' But the numbers of Christians are exploding in the southern hemisphere, he reports. In his book, newly published by Oxford University Press, Jenkins argues that the post-Sept. 11 commentaries have overlooked the dramatic upsurge of Christianity in places like Africa. 'Basically, you're talking about Africa being 9 percent Christian back in 1900, and close on 50 percent today. That's a huge change,' Jenkins said in a telephone interview from his home in State College, Penn., where he teaches at Penn State University. 'Somewhere in the 1960s, the number of Christians in Africa outpaced the number of Muslims in Africa. A great, historic change -- and nobody paid attention to it.' As of 2000, there were approximately 2 billion Christians and 1.2 billion Muslims worldwide, according to the World Christian Encyclopedia, which Jenkins draws upon extensively in his book. While disputing Huntington's prediction of a reversal of numerical fortunes, Jenkins does think Christians and Muslims are heading toward a clash that could become cataclysmic. But he sees Islam as facing off in the future not primarily with Western Christianity, but with Christian countries in the developing world. In a worst-case scenario, he pictures Christian and Islamic countries of the southern hemisphere locked in religious conflicts reminiscent of the Middle Ages. 'Imagine the world of the 13th century armed with nuclear warheads and anthrax,' Jenkins writes."

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