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Hindu Press International
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Dalai Lama Invited to Kumbha Mela
Posted on 2001/1/13 22:48:02 ( 835 reads )


Source: Reuters





DHARMASALA, INDIA, January 11, 2001: The Dalai Lama is considering a request from the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, to attend a Hindu religious festival in India, an official of the Tibetan leader's government-in-exile announced. The Dalai Lama has accepted "in principle" the invitation, according to both a member of his office in New Delhi and a high-ranking member of the Hindu Council. But he still must obtain permission from Indian officials before he can attend, the Tibetan Authority has said.




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Oriya Community Objects to ISKCON Rath Yatra
Posted on 2001/1/13 22:47:02 ( 775 reads )


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BOMBAY, INDIA, January 8, 2001: Traditionalists of the Oriya community in Bombay who worship Lord Jagannath at the Puri temple, have vocalized their disapproval of recent ISKCON activities. Deities from the temple were paraded in chariots amidst cheering and dancing for the second time in the year 2000. Protesting that ISKCON devotees lack respect for the culture that dictates a rath yatra can only take place once a year, the community has also objected that deviation from tradition looks bad to the outside world.




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Tibetans Flee Homeland to Preserve Religious Freedom
Posted on 2001/1/13 22:46:02 ( 741 reads )


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TIBET, CHINA, January 8, 2001: Fleeing their homeland to preserve their religious freedom due to Chinese government repression, Tibetan Clergy, women and children are seeking peace in new lands. The oppressive environment advocated by the government includes such atrocities as illegal raids on houses to destroy religious altars, forced sterilization of women, lack of educational opportunities for Tibetan youth and unfounded arrests. As a result, the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy has reported that over 2,660 Tibetans fled into exile in the year 2000.




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Record Number of Pilgrims Visit Vaishno Devi
Posted on 2001/1/13 22:45:02 ( 746 reads )


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JAMMU, INDIA, January 7, 2001: In the year 2000, an additional 547,0000 pilgrims were able to partake in the darshan at the holy cave shrine of Vaishno Devi. The Chief Executive Officer of the Devi Shrine board attributes the increase to religious devotion as well as more amiable accommodations available for devotees.




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Genetically Modified Foods get Approval
Posted on 2001/1/13 22:44:02 ( 784 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, January 8, 2001: Hopeful of eradicating or reducing poverty, hunger and malnutrition in India by the year 2020, the 88th Indian Science Congress has approved the production of genetically modified (GM) foods. In conjunction with protecting the environment and the rich bio-diversity of India, the technology will be tested in laboratories before reaching the fields. International biotech companies are fervently working to get a free hand for GM plants in India, as Western countries, especially in Europe, severely restrict the research. The "Vitamin A" rice, for example, cannot be tested on humans in Europe and a scheme is underway to have it tested on malnourished Indian villagers.




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Kashmir Shiva Temples May Crumble
Posted on 2001/1/13 22:43:02 ( 837 reads )


Source: Asian Age





JAMMU & KASHMIR, INDIA, January 7, 2001: 2000-year-old temples dedicated to Lord Siva are about to crumble with neglect unless the Archaeological Survey of India steps in. Due to unstable government in the state, restoration has been abandoned. The Naranag temples were built with megaliths, huge undressed stones, that were placed with precision. The result was geometrically correct and artistically pleasing places of worship. They are located 65 miles north of Srinagar and are presently being used as camps for militants in the area.




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Hard Line Rulers Oppose Conversion
Posted on 2001/1/13 22:42:02 ( 851 reads )


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KABUL, AFGHANISTAN January 8, 2001: Hard line Taliban rulers who enforce strict Islamic law in Afghanistan have announced that the death penalty will be imposed on Muslims converting to another religion. Similarly anyone trying to convert a Muslim will experience the same fate. However, followers of other religions are allowed to practice their faith without being ostracized. What is left of once-large Sikh and Hindu community reportedly worship regularly at gurudwaras and temples in the capital of Kabul.




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Ban on Plastics
Posted on 2001/1/13 22:41:02 ( 790 reads )


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GOA, INDIA, January 9, 2001: Backed by the Goa Environment Federation and the Local Authorities, the Goa government has banned the use of plastics in the state starting in May 2001. Plastic can be neither burnt nor buried resulting in a problem for the product's proper disposal. Citizens are supporting the Chief Minister's progressive decision. An special problem is consumption by cows of plastic bags.




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Employed Rather than Retired Over Age 65
Posted on 2001/1/13 22:40:02 ( 989 reads )


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The Census Bureau of the United States predicts that by the year 2030 one in four US citizens will be over 65 years of age. Out of necessity and with good health, this multi-talented age group will be visibly present in the work force. This entertaining New York Times report covers hardworking old folks in their 80s, 90s and even 100s, including one who continues to operate heavy equipment at a quarry. In 1900 there were only 63,000 centenarians. Halfway through the 21st century, this number is expected to reach 834,000.




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South Indians Celebrate Pongal
Posted on 2001/1/12 22:49:02 ( 850 reads )


Source: Shri Rajarathna Bhattar





HOUSTON, TEXAS, January 13, 2001: The festival called variously as Pongal, Makara Sankranthi and Utharayana Punya Kala occurs on January 14 or 15. From the sun's entering Makara rasi, it is called Makara Sankranthi; from the sun's moving northwards, it is named Utharayana; and as the sun is worshipped with sweet rice pongal, it is called Pongal, a day for the worship of Surya (sun). Since agriculture, sun and rain are indispensible, one day is set aside during harvest for the worship of Devendra and celebrated as Bhogi, for according to the shastras, no rain will fall without Indra's command. The next day, thanks are offered to Surya with Pongal made of freshly harvested grain. The third day is Mattu Pongal, when cattle are worshipped with Pongal. On the fourth day called Kanu Pongal, unmarried girls and married women take the blessing of elders and pray for the welfare of the family. Unmarried girls pray to the Almighty in the expectation that in consonance with the Tamil adage, the next month Thai, would see them married.




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Holymen Take Five-Star Tents to Court
Posted on 2001/1/12 22:48:02 ( 810 reads )


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ALLAHABAD, UTTAR PRADESH, January 12, 2001: A luxury tour operator is forced to defend itself in court after it set up next a five-star tent city at the Kumbh Mela Hindu festival site. Irate Hindu sadhus demanded that British travel agent, Cox and Kings, wind up its 74 Swiss-cottage style tents as it went against the true Kumbh spirit. Local official, Mr. Sadakant said the camps were meant to cater to foreign tourists including international celebrities. Reports surfaced that the camp was serving alcohol and meat to its residents -- both taboo at the Mela. Local officials said the holy men's sentiments had to be respected. Organizers ordered the camp be moved using a statute that stated that anything which could affect the sanctity of the religious congregation could be banned. But Cox and Kings said they would fight the order in court, citing misunderstanding of company motives to cater to "spiritual seekers" rather than five-star tourists. The temporary resort has plush tents going for $489 for two nights -- the same as a five-star Delhi hotel. All 74 tents are booked for the entire 42-day duration of the Kumbh Mela.




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Kumbh Mela - A First Hand Account of a Personal Pilgrimage
Posted on 2001/1/12 22:47:02 ( 984 reads )


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ALLAHABAD, INDIA, January 11, 2001: "I was less interested in spiritualism and more in adventure." So recalls Vijay Rana of BBC Hindi Service as he describes his attendance at the great Kumbh Mela two decades ago. Vijay describes the sheer joy of participating in the wave of human bodies drawing each soul towards a sacred dip at the auspicious time in the "Sangam." In this engaging first-hand account, Vijay shares his final mystical moment when leaving Allahabad. "It looked as if a pall of human heads had covered the ground. For the first time I saw the earth and sky not meeting on the horizon. It is an image still imprinted on my mind."




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Monkey Rambo takes no prisoners
Posted on 2001/1/12 22:46:02 ( 858 reads )


Source: South China Morning Post





DELHI, INDIA, December 27, 2001: Authorities in Nirman Bhavan, the huge complex housing the ministries of Health and Urban Development in the Indian capital, have unleashed a specially trained monkey to keep an army of fellow simians at bay. Officials deployed four-year-old Raju to put an end to the monkey business that has been going on for years. The incredibly aggressive Raju, who sent nearly all his cousins packing in less than two months, has earned the nickname Rambo. His keeper, Shyam Kumar, pockets US$108 per month for his services.




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Parsis Community Struggling to Survive
Posted on 2001/1/12 22:45:02 ( 756 reads )


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BOMBAY, INDIA, January 11, 2001: With dwindling numbers in a tight-knit community, the Zoroastrian faith has cause for concern. Most proponents of the religion originating from Iran, discourage conversion and interfaith marriage. As a result, only 125,000 Parsis live world-wide most of them in Bombay. Even though the community has prospered in India through business ventures and as professionals in other parts of the world, these past achievements are secondary. Community elders are primarily concerned with the population decline that in 20 years could leave the faith with as little as 25,000 followers.




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Bible Videos For All Mailboxes In Texas.
Posted on 2001/1/12 22:44:02 ( 798 reads )


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HOUSTON, TEXAS, January 4, 2001: A copy of the "Jesus" video will be placed in every mailbox in Texas. The mailing to 8.4 million homes is the largest ever for the 83-minute film. "We're not out to bug people, we're out to make a difference," Lee Miller, spokesman for the project, told The Dallas Morning News in response to questions about the aggressive and intrusive nature of the project. "People can either choose to look at the video or ignore it." The project is expected to cost $21 million, and $5 million has been raised from 400 churches. Organizers hope 4 million people will convert or return to Christianity after watching the film.




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