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Krishna Temple Suffered Quake Damage
Posted on 2001/2/9 22:49:02 ( 748 reads )


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JAMNAGAR, INDIA, February 7, 2001: The 5,000-year-old temple at Dwarka in honor of Lord Krishna suffered grave damage as a result of the January 26 earthquake in Gujarat. The Archaeological Survey of India is expected to organize repairs to the temple so that it can be rendered safe for pilgrims. Previous to this natural disaster Lord Krishna's home received around 7,000 pilgrims daily. Stones have fallen and cracks have appeared throughout the structure. Now only locals venture to the temple.




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South India's Kumbha Mela Held at Mysore
Posted on 2001/2/9 22:48:02 ( 821 reads )


Source: The Hindu





MYSORE, INDIA, February 4, 2001: With the approaching Maha Sivaratri celebrations, the Kumbha Mela at Allahabad where millions have taken a purifying dip will soon end. Devout Hindus are now focused on a three-day Mela from February 6-8 in Mysore District at Tirumakudala Narsipura. This site, where three sacred rivers also join, has gained significance since 1989. When the Swamjis of Kailas Ashrama Mahasamsthana Math, Adichunchanagiri Math, Suttur Math and Omkarashrama Mahasamsthana Mathi in the region realized that sages Agastya, Gargamuni and Markandeya had worshiped and done penance at the confluence, the Mela at T. Narsipura has been well attended, especially by those who can't make it to the mela in the north.




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Kanchi Sankaracharya Limits Agni Hotra Practice
Posted on 2001/2/9 22:47:02 ( 846 reads )


Source: Hinduism Today Press Release





KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA, February 10, 2001: On receiving complaints from the public and religious organizations regarding the wrong practice of "agni hotra," the Malaysia Hindu Sangam wrote to the Sankaracharya of Kanchi Peetham in Tamil Nadu, South India for advice. His Holiness, Sri Jayendra Saraswati, replied, "Agni hotra should not be done by everybody. There are lots of achara anusthana, rules and regulations. If everybody does it as they like, it will end up with ill effects. Therefore, the Hindu Sangam should make an effort to stop it". A copy of the letter from Sri Jayendra was published by Sangam president A.Vaithilingam. The Sangam's Hindu Religious Advisory Council advised the public that only those who are well versed with the knowledge of the rules and regulations and who have their guru's initiation should do the agni hotra. A simplified version of the agni hotra, or fire worship ceremony, has been promoted in Malaysia and other parts of the world in recent years as something which could be done by anyone, regardless of training or initiation.




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Corporal Punishment Goes On Despite Ban
Posted on 2001/2/9 22:46:02 ( 837 reads )


Source: Hindustan Times





New Delhi, February 2, 2001: Though it has been two months since corporal punishment was banned by the Delhi Court, some teachers and parents still hold to the adage, "spare the rod and spoil the child." According to a study by psychiatrists Dr. Samir Parikh and Geeta Kapoor, 80 percent of the 1,000 public school students surveyed reveal that the teachers still resort to "physical or severe punishment." Only one out of ten schools has a counselor on their rolls even though it is now compulsory. Counselors not only help the child with academic related anxiety but also personal problems. Dr. Parikh believes that corporal punishment may lead to psychiatric illnesses like obsessive-compulsive disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. It increases the tendency for aggressiveness and violent behavior. In children approaching adolescence the sexual instincts are more pronounced, which might lead to an increased tendency toward aggressiveness and violence if aggravated through physical punishment. One also needs to take a sympathetic look at teachers who are put under great pressure to produce high grades. "Whether we like it or not, the quality of teachers as well as parenting has gone down," adds Dr. Parikh.




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Smoking In Public Taboo
Posted on 2001/2/9 22:45:02 ( 812 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, Feb. 6, 2001: A comprehensive legislation by the Union Cabinet today decided to curb smoking in public places. It would also seek to ban sale of tobacco products to minors under the age of 18 and to ban sponsorship of sports and cultural events by tobacco-product companies. The Union Minister and Cabinet spokesperson, Mr. Pramod Mahajan, said the legislation would ensure that warnings on the package would be of the same size as that of the largest panel of the package, with warnings in both English and the local language of the territory where it was sold. Smoking in public places and sale to minors would attract a fine up to US$2.17. For other convictions, the punishment proposed was imprisonment up to three years and fine up to $2,174. It was estimated that India accounts for one-third of the three million deaths which occurred around the world every year due to tobacco-related ailments.




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Untouchable Villagers In Madurai To Take To Islam
Posted on 2001/2/5 22:49:02 ( 786 reads )


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MADURAI, INDIA, January 16, 2001: Dalit (untouchable) residents in a village in Madurai district of Tamil Nadu plan to convert to Islam, blaming it on social stigma and the state government's failure to meet their economic demands. "All Dalits in the village intend converting to Islam," said the local panchayat (village governing body) president, Murthy. "The upper castes don't respect us and untouchability is a curse when it comes to eking out a living," he explained. It is not only the illiterate among the Dalits who feel ostracized. Even a post-graduate from the village says that conversion is the only way out to ''buy social respect.'' Murthy said that over 25 Dalit families in the village intend to convert to Islam on Friday.




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To Keep Peace Malaysia Needs to Honor Minority Groups
Posted on 2001/2/5 22:48:02 ( 812 reads )


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GEORGETOWN, MALAYSIA, January 23, 2001: "We don't want an angry confrontation with the Malays because we know that racial harmony is the key to our country's peace and success," so expounds Khoo Huck Cheong, a Chinese tourist guide. Until recently Malaysia's Chinese minority population of 6.6 million have been content to cultivate their culture and live peacefully on the northern island of Penang. For over 30 years the Chinese have graciously tolerated a law that guarantees Malays, the Muslim ethnic majority, cheaper loan rates, better jobs and preferred acceptance into universities. Backing Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad in the recent 1999 election, the Chinese were hoping the Malay party leader would abolish the affirmative action policies. Threatening a Muslim holy war, a Malay student group and other Malays have forced the Prime Minister to back down in helping the Chinese. Mahathir, Malaysia's Prime Minister of 19 years has pressured the Chinese to accept racially integrated schools with Malay, Chinese and Indians. In their own schools, the minority Chinese have been able to preserve their language and history. Elsewhere in the region, Singapore, with its predominantly Chinese culture, is watching the situation. Hindus, the other racial minority in Malaysia, have also accommodated the Malay Muslim majority rule. In 1998, a Hindu Temple was relocated when Muslims protested that the temple bells disrupted Muslim prayers.




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Cabinet Approves Subsidy for Haj Pilgrims
Posted on 2001/2/5 22:47:02 ( 858 reads )


Source: Press Trust of India





INDRAPRASTH, INDIA, February 6, 2001: The Union Cabinet on Tuesday approved a US$32 million to enable 72,000 Indian Muslim pilgrims to undertake the Haj pilgrimage to Mecca this year. Pilgrims are expected to pay for $260 out of the total air fare of $717. They can depart from Delhi Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Kochi, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad, with flights to Saudi Arabia all departing and arriving from Shrinagar and Jammu. Devout Muslims are expected to make the pilgrimage at least once in their lifetime. Government funds covered much of the cost of the Hindus' Kumbha Mela, and Christians in India have approached the government for subsidies for pilgrimage to Jerusalem.




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Indians Of The Century
Posted on 2001/2/5 22:46:02 ( 756 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, Feb 4, 2001: Their deeds affected the lives of millions throughout the world. They belonged to different streams of life with one thing in common: True greatness. The Times of India Online's Indians of the Century poll was the most comprehensive to be undertaken in this country with 881,772 votes naming Mahatma Gandhi, Dhirubhai Ambani (founder of Reliance company), Lata Mangeshkar (the great singer) and Swami Vivekananda as the four Indians who made the greatest impact on India this century in four categories respectively -- Leaders and Politicians, Creators of Wealth, Artists and Entertainers and Great Minds and Spiritual Lights. All of them are self-made individuals without the advantages of wealth, aristocracy or caste; they fought adversity and believed in action -- karma yogis in the true sense.




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Sri Chinmoy Presents U Thant Award To PM
Posted on 2001/2/4 22:49:02 ( 1009 reads )


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NEW YORK, NEW YORK, January 13, 2001: International peace leader Sri Chinmoy presented the prestigious U Thant Peace Award to Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee in recognition of his lifetime service to Mother India recently, according to a New India-Times report. The award is named after for late Secretary General of the United Nations and has been presented to Pope John Paul II, Mother Teresa, former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela and Hinduism Today publisher Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami. During their meeting, Sri Chinmoy sang a song in the praise of the prime minister. The prime minister was deeply moved and appreciated the song. Prime Minister Vajpayee was also held the Sri Chinmoy Peace Torch by Sri Chinmoy. The torch is carried by millions of people all over the world as part of history's longest and largest relay run, the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run. Sri Chinmoy was in Bali recently on his annual two month peace goodwill visits to different countries.




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Killer Quake Breathes Life Into "Mythical" Saraswati River
Posted on 2001/2/4 22:48:02 ( 816 reads )


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GUJARAT, INDIA, Feb 5, 2001 - The Saraswati river, the missing third link in Allahabad's Sangam is making an appearance in quake-injured Gujarat. Scientists say shifting of tectonic plates in the Allah Bund fault area has led to a geographical osmosis in the Rann of Kutch area, pushing the Saraswati over-ground in spurts. Hundreds of villages in the Rann, where there was no water last week, now have streams flowing all over. Geological experts say that the Saraswati, a distributary of Indus which had vanished mysteriously around 1600 bce, has changed its course towards Kutch. "There is evidence that Saraswati was a distributary of Indus. And we also know that Saraswati had a connecting point from Indus that still flows from the top of Rajasthan to Pakistan," a Central Ground Water Board scientist said. Now the question the villagers are asking is whether the springs will stay. Prof. R.S. Chaturvedi, a geo-scientist, says the answer can come only after a thorough research. "It depends on the amount of water available in the parent river," he said. The Saraswati River was the lifeline of the Indus Civilization until tectonic shifts caused it to change dry up on the surface. Its course, five miles wide at places, can be seen in satellite photos of the area.




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51 Couples Marry in Gujarat
Posted on 2001/2/4 22:47:02 ( 955 reads )


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AHMEDABAD, INDIA, February 4, 2001: Over 12,000 people attended the mass wedding of 51 couples even though the aftermath of the earthquake is visible throughout Ahmedabad. In honor of the recent tragedy claiming so many lives, the brides of the occasion chose not to wear any gold jewelry.




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Hindu Devotees on Barefoot Holy Journey
Posted on 2001/2/4 22:46:02 ( 1686 reads )


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GURUN, MALAYSIA, February 3, 2001: Seventy Hindu devotees are walking barefoot for 109 km for the Thai Pusam festival on Wednesday. Wearing saffron-colored robes and sarees, the group began a five-day journey from the Kedah state capital on Thursday and is expected to reach Penang on Monday evening. The purpose of the journey is for the devotees to fulfil their vows and to get blessings, according to Dr. Ramasamy K.M.S. Chockalingam Chetiar, who is heading the group. He said the group will pay homage to more than 25 temples along the way, including those at Sungai Petani, Kepala Batas and Butterworth, before reaching their destination. Everyone in the group is required to have been on a vegetarian diet for at least two weeks prior to the journey.




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Thai Pusam Will Air Live On The Internet
Posted on 2001/2/4 22:45:02 ( 813 reads )


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KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA, February 3, 2001: Devotees and the public can view the Thai Pusam celebrations at Batu Caves on Feb 7 live on the Net in what is believed to be the first project of its kind in Malaysia and possibly the world. The broadcast will be covering the once-a-year festival held at Batu Caves for about 24 hours. It will then be transmitted live for the benefit of Internet viewers at a special Thai Pusam website at http://thai pusam.tele.com.my from 6 pm on Feb 6. More than a million devotees are expected to throng Batu Caves this year to fulfil their vows. Dr. Thuraichelvan, Aastha Inter Network chief executive officer, said that surfers would be charged on an hourly basis. "All payments will have to be made by the appropriate payment modes before viewing," he said. Dr. Thuraichelvan is coordinating the US$131,579 project. He and project organizers are inviting companies and organizations for sponsorship.




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Government Helping Gujarat Citizens
Posted on 2001/2/3 22:49:02 ( 877 reads )


Source: Rediff on the Net





GUJARAT, INDIA, February 2, 2001: The aftermath of the earthquake in Gujarat has left many survivors feeling helpless and depressed after losing loved ones, property and other belongings. In an attempt to bring normalcy back into their lives, the government is organizing religious ceremonies to honor the death of loved ones. It is hoped that family survivors will find comfort by interacting with others who have suffered great loss and begin rebuilding their lives.




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