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Protest Over England Footballer Depicted As Siva

Posted on 2002/3/4 8:46:02 ( 1256 reads )


LONDON, ENGLAND, March 04, 2002: Hindu leaders in Britain are strongly protesting a new portrait that depicts football (soccer) captain David Beckham, his pop singer wife Victoria Spice and their son as Hindu Gods. Two Sikh sisters from north England drew the portrait as part of celebrations to mark the Commonwealth Games here to commemorate 50 years of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth. The portrait has evoked instant criticism. "We will be making a strong protest against this," the Vishwa Hindu Parishad's British unit general secretary Kishore Ruparelia told Indo-Asian News Service. He said, "It is just some sort of cheap action." The artist sisters insist the painting is not insulting. "I think it would only have been viewed as blasphemous if we were saying they were gods to be adored," Amrit Singh, one of the sisters said.

Mapping A Leader's Genome

Posted on 2002/3/4 8:45:02 ( 1011 reads )


LUCKNOW, INDIA, March 2, 2002: Monks and corporate head honchos shared the same podium at a meeting where talks centered around value-based leadership in boardrooms and workshops. "The meet is trying to find a common ground where the sages are reaching out to boardrooms and companies are looking at the inner self to evolve as a value-based organization," said Prof Debashish Chatterjee, HoD, Center for Leadership and Human Values, IIM Lucknow on Friday at the start of the two-day conference on "Value-Based Leadership: From Knowledge to Action" organized by Ramakrishna Mission Sevashrama, Lucknow, Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow, and the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. G Narayana, executive chairman, Excel, gave a simple mantra to the audience, "Go to GOD." Only his GOD stood for Group Organization Direction that meant that the companies would have to collaborate and compete in the future to attain leadership and this was possible only if there is a "stable and able" leader at the helm. Swami Muktinathananda, secretary, Ramakrishna Mission, Lucknow, said there was a crying need for journey from knowledge to action and inner experience to unbounded joy of consciousness. "We are all entrepreneurs in our roles and lives," said Pritam Singh, director IIM-L. Dr. Singh termed the Indian brain as "most abundant, least expensive, most underutilized and constantly abused."

Meditation Studied in Monks

Posted on 2002/3/4 8:44:02 ( 959 reads )


PENNSYLVANIA, USA, March 1, 2002: Scientists investigating the effect of the meditative state on Buddhist monk's brains have found that portions of the organ previously active become quiet, while pacified areas become stimulated. Dr Andrew Newberg, a radiologist at the University of Pennsylvania, told BBC world Service's Discovery program: "I think we are poised at a wonderful time in our history to be able to explore religion and spirituality in a way which was never thought possible." Using a brain imaging technique, Newberg and his team studied a group of Tibetan Buddhist monks as they meditated for approximately one hour. When they reached a transcendental high, they were asked to pull a kite string, releasing an injection of a radioactive tracer. By injecting a tiny amount of radioactive marker into the bloodstream of a deep meditator, the scientists saw how the dye moved to active parts of the brain. Later, when the subjects finished meditating, the regions were imaged and the meditative state compared with the normal waking state. "There was an increase in activity in the front part of the brain, the area that is activated when anyone focuses attention on a particular task," Dr Newberg explained. Also, a notable decrease in activity in the back part of the brain, recognized as the area responsible for orientation, reinforced the general suggestion that meditation leads to a lack of spatial awareness.

Schools Reach for Yoga to Calm Students

Posted on 2002/3/4 8:43:02 ( 1028 reads )


SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, February 25, 2002: At a school in the heart of a San Francisco housing project, children and teachers take time from math and reading to breathe and balance. Children inhaled through their noses and exhaled through their mouths. They balanced on one leg, concentrating on poses. When they finished, they lay on the classroom floor, still and quiet. As researchers study whether yoga leads to improved learning, the prevalence of school-site yoga has led to the coining of the term "Om Schooling." Teachers say the exercises work wonders in calming kids and helping them to focus. In San Francisco, that inner peace is sought in more than a half-dozen elementary, middle and high schools. The hatha program used in these schools was created in 1997 by respected yoga teacher Tony Sanchez, who founded the nonprofit United States Yoga Association and runs the San Francisco Yoga Studio. Sanchez's program, called ABC Yoga, combines mind and matter. Teachers incorporate yoga into lessons on physics, anatomy and geometry. While careful not to discuss yoga's religious aspects, teachers do explore the history of yoga and its exercises. Within ABC Yoga is a program called Yogasthma: Seven Steps to Asthma Control. Designed to teach children how to control their asthma, it includes yoga breathing and stretching exercises and a series of workshops done in partnership with St. Luke's Hospital. "Yoga allows kids to become more aware of themselves, of their posture, and to grow into healthier adults," said Sanchez. "Kids also develop the ability to concentrate, to relax at will and to overcome stress."

India Defense Minister Says Godhra Train Attack Premeditated

Posted on 2002/3/3 8:49:02 ( 1038 reads )

Source: Hindustan Times

GODHRA, INDIA, March 2, 2002: India's Defence Minister George Fernandes on Saturday endorsed the BJP's contention that the unprecedented attack on the Sabarmati Express passengers, mostly Ram Sevaks, at Godhra railway station on February 27 looked "pre-meditated." "It looks like so," Fernandes told reporters here when asked whether he agreed with the views of BJP leaders including Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi, that the attack on train passengers was not spontaneous and was rather carried out in a clinically precision manner under a pre-planned strategy.

Eye-Witness: Train Attack Deliberate

Posted on 2002/3/3 8:48:02 ( 1032 reads )

Source: The Hindu

NEW DELHI, INDIA, March 2, 2002: The communal frenzy in Gujarat that has left around 400 people dead this week had an innocuous but apparently deliberate beginning. According to eyewitnesses, quoted by India Today, the worst communal orgy in the country in a decade was sparked when a Muslim youth "deliberately shouldered" one of the passengers who had alighted from the Sabarmati Express train as it arrived at the Godhra railway station shortly after dawn on February 27. The situation became serious as more people joined in the altercation and, at a signal from the youth, stones started raining on the passenger compartments from a mob that had apparently collected outside in an organized manner, drawing retaliation in kind from the VHP activists. Within minutes, a 500-strong mob attacked three packed coaches of the train with stones, swords and crowbars. They broke open the window grills of one compartment, which had mainly women and children, with the crowbars and hurled petrol bombs and inflammable chemicals inside. As flames engulfed the coach, the mob prevented a fire tender from reaching the train. Soon, 50 policemen arrived and dispersed the attackers. By then, 57 people who were trapped in a burning coach had charred to death. They included 25 women and 14 children.

Francois Gautier on Press Coverage of Riots

Posted on 2002/3/3 8:47:02 ( 1112 reads )

Prime Suspect in Godhra Killings Arrested

Posted on 2002/3/3 8:46:02 ( 994 reads )

Source: Press Trust of India

GODHRA, INDIA, March 3, 2002: The prime suspect in the Godhra train violence case, Mohammad Hussain Kolota, local Congress leader and President of Godhra Municipality, was on Sunday arrested bringing the total number of arrests in connection with the attack to 27. Kolota, 45, has been evading arrest since the attack on the Sabarmati Express last Wednesday killing 58 people. Police have already arrested two municipal councillors and were looking for another two--Bilal Haji and Farookh Bhana-- in connection with the mayhem that led to widespread communal violence in several parts of Gujarat claiming nearly 500 lives.

Hindus Protect Mosque in Bihar

Posted on 2002/3/3 8:45:02 ( 970 reads )


PATNA, INDIA, March 2, 2002: During Friday's bandh in Muzzaffarpur, called by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad to protest the Godhra carnage, a group of hooligans tried to enter the Company Bagh mosque and vandalize it. A senior police official, who was present on the spot when the incident occurred, said that when the word spread about the bid by the hooligans to enter the mosque, almost 100 Hindus converged on the spot from the nearby Goriamath and Sariyaganj area and challenged them. A tussle broke out in which quite few Hindus were injured while guarding the mosque, but the hooligans had to beat a hasty retreat in face of stiff resistance, he said. By the time police reinforcement came in, the hooligans had done the vanishing act. Muzzafarpur has the distinction of never having witnessed a communal riot. "Thanks to timely intervention of local Hindus a major incident was averted," a senior police officer said, heaving a sigh of relief.

RSS Calls for Calm

Posted on 2002/3/3 8:44:02 ( 1132 reads )

Source: Press Release

DELHI, INDIA, March 02, 2002: Shri Mohan Bhagwat. Sarkaryavah, RSS, issued a call for peace. It reads, in part, "I appeal to all Sangh swayamsevaks, sympathizers and friends who have faith in Hindutva to do the utmost in preventing any activity that would disrupt peace, like, sloganeering, stone-pelting, keeping in view the disturbed situation in the country for it would only strengthen the hands of anti-national terrorist elements. I also urge our fellow followers of other faiths not to fall prey to the instigation of terrorist elements and to conduct themselves as children of motherland along with their Hindu brethren."

Homeopathy Drugs May Preserve Art Work

Posted on 2002/3/3 8:43:02 ( 985 reads )


LUCKNOW, INDIA, February 24, 2002: Known as sciences that cure diseases in human beings, homeopathy and naturopathy research has revealed that the drugs used to treat humans could be useful in preserving ancient and precious artifacts. At the National Research Laboratory for Conservation of Cultural Property at Lucknow, research is being conducted that will hopefully eliminate the use of harsh chemicals to preserve art and replace them with environmentally friendly alternatives. This article says, "Many homeopathy drugs are known to effectively cure viral and fungal infections." It is precisely these kinds of infections that plague historical art work. So far the NRLCP has tested Sulphur 30, anona (sitafal) seeds, and neem gold as part of their research. All three drugs combat viral and fungal growth as well as deter infestations by certain insects. Shashi Dhawan, head of NRLCP bio-deterioration division says, "The chemicals we use and the sprays that are used by museum chemists are known to be harmful. If our research is able to yield better alternatives they would be preferable to use."

Marriage Arranging en Masse

Posted on 2002/3/3 8:42:02 ( 978 reads )

Source: Telegraph India

KOLKATA, INDIA, February 24, 2002: Around 300 parents of prospective brides and grooms gathered together at a South Kolkata hotel to arrange marriages for their offspring. With brilliant careers already in place, most seeking a lifetime mate were in the age group 30-35. 100 men and 150 women were presented as candidates for an arranged marriage. During the four-hour program profiles were read and pictures were showed on giant screens. Anindya Sanyal, owner of the marriage consultant firm called Relations that organized the event said, "The objective is to expedite the process of negotiation. The conventional way of advertising through newspapers, drawing up a shortlist of candidates and then meeting them individually not only takes up time but often leads to uncomfortable situations."

Killings Spread to Rural Gujarat; Toll up to 375

Posted on 2002/3/2 8:49:02 ( 930 reads )


AHMEDABAD, INDIA, March 2, 2002: Riot-hit Ahmedabad took a relative respite after four days of mindless violence on Saturday but fresh areas, including far-flung villages in the state, were the target of massive reprisal killings arising out of the Sabarmati Express killings on Wednesday. With the police in urban areas now bolstered by the presence of the Army and paramilitary forces, rioters turned their attention to new cities like Surat and Bhavnagar as well as the countryside which are left largely unguarded. The death toll in the last four days of mob frenzy has crossed the 360-mark though a state government spokesman put the toll at 289, including 47 people killed in police firing. The toll excludes the 58 people who died in Godhra in the attack on the train. Curfew was imposed in Bhavnagar and Surat after incidents of stabbings and arson in which at least five persons were killed, but the large number of killings were reported from the North Gujarat districts of Sabarkantha and Mehsana, where mobs were targeting specific villages. Tension gripped Mehsana as the charred bodies of 27 victims of Sardarpura village, burnt alive in their homes by a mob late on Friday night, were brought to the Civil Hospital here on Saturday afternoon. The victims included seven children and 16 women. Police sources said that the attack was not only gruesome but seemed to have been meticulously planned as the mob had blocked the road leading to Sardarpura from Mehsana by placing obstacles to ensure that the police did not reach the spot on time. In adjoining Sabarkantha district, 11 people were killed in massive rioting that ensued in the Chapariya locality of Himmatnagar on Friday evening. Mobs from both communities came face to face and indulged in stabbing and firing. Nine people succumbed to their injuries. Even in the remote areas of Central Gujarat, tension was running very high and villages were being attacked by mobs. Eyewitnesses said that mobs were on a killing spree in villages like Piplod, Dudhia, Sanjeli and Limbdi in Dahod district which adjoins Godhra. Reports of mobs going on rampage around Godhra for the third consecutive day were pouring in but tight-lipped officials were not willing to confirm these incidents. The whole of Machhiwad was engulfed in smoke coming out of a burning wood godown. Mobs came out on the streets at Athwagate, Parle Point, Makaipul, Majura Gate, Mahidharpura, Salabatpura and Udhana and tension was brewing in the city till late evening. Ahmedabad wasn't entirely peaceful and stray incidents were reported from the fringes of the city even though there was a distinct de-escalation in the scale of violence. Three passengers who alighted from Howrah Express were burnt alive near Ghodasar police chowki by an angry mob in the morning. In the Vatva industrial estate two laborers were found hacked to death on Saturday morning. In Bhavanagar, arsonists caused massive damage to property and three persons were killed, two of them in police firing. According to Bhavnagar SP Rahul Sharma, incidents of rioting and arson had been reported from areas like Limbwadi Sadak, Lokhand Bazaar and Kumharwad. There are more reports of violence coming from the rural areas of the state. In Gandhinagar alone nine deaths have taken place in some of the remote villages where there is hardly any security. With the violence spreading to the countryside and the security forces concentrated in the urban centers, the Gujarat government has asked the Centre for more deployment of the paramilitary forces. Some forces from neighboring Maharashtra are also expected in Surat soon.

Afghan Hindus Emerge From the Shadows

Posted on 2002/3/2 8:48:02 ( 1026 reads )


KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN, February 28, 2002: Kandahar's Hindu community has dwindled from 500 families to just five. But now, with the city at peace and the Taliban of Mullah Mohammad Omar gone, Hindus say their plight has eased. "Now we are very happy," said 43 year-old Roop Chand Batija, head of Kandahar's Hindu and Sikh communities. "We hope that some of our relatives will come back. It is safe for them now." Kandahar has been a thriving commercial center for centuries. It is set in an oasis straddling ancient trade routes from South Asia to the Middle East and Europe, and once had a thriving community of Hindu and Sikh merchants and traders. Most fled in the years before the Taliban took power. Those who stayed had to endure the Taliban, who treated non-Muslims with deep suspicion and often contempt. "We had to keep ourselves to ourselves," Batija said. "The Taliban didn't allow us to celebrate festivals in public, or to play music. We were told to wear a piece of yellow cloth, so people would know we weren't Muslims." The struggle now for the Hindus and Sikhs is simply to keep their tiny communities alive. Hindus, pray daily in their temple, which they say was built when modern Kandahar was founded in the 18th century. "Most of us are old people," Batija said. "But now things are better, we hope the young will come back."

English Football Star, Wife and Son Depicted as Hindu Gods

Posted on 2002/3/2 8:47:02 ( 962 reads )


LONDON, U. K., February 26, 2002: Celebrity couple and Manchester United football ("soccer" to the Americans) star David Beckham and his wife Victoria, have been depicted as gods for a major exhibition of Indian-influenced art. Beckham is shown sitting four-armed on a throne in a crown and robes as the Hindu Deity Siva and on his lap is his scantily-clothed wife, Victoria, as the Goddess Parvati, while their son Brooklyn becomes a trunk-less elephant God Ganesh. The artwork, by sisters Amrit and Rabindra Singh, is described by them as a "light-hearted" view of fame and will be displayed in the run-up to the Commonwealth Games which start in Manchester in June. The Singhs said their painting is a blend of traditional 17th century Eastern art and modern concepts of sport and pop. Once the exhibition has been shown in Manchester it will visit India and Canada after the games. The 36-year-old Singh sisters, both Sikh, say it's not their intention to insult Hindus. "I think it would only have been viewed as blasphemous if we were saying they were gods to be adored," said Amrit. "We are using the language of religion but it doesn't mean we are saying they are gods in a spiritual sense but in a material sense. They are figures people follow just like gods in the Hindu religion. "We take it as a positive image. They are role models. They are depicted as the ideal family within celebrity circles. It's the re-interpretation of that in terms of modern-day celebrity."

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