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British Clergymen Turn to Taekwondo

Posted on 2001/12/20 8:45:02 ( 942 reads )


LONDON, ENGLAND, December 18, 2001: Vicars and priests usually turn the other cheek and forgive wrongdoers. But so many members of the clergy are being attacked in Britain that they are now being taught taekwondo to defend themselves. Taekwondo is a Korean martial arts system. The term literally means "the art of kicking and punching." Britain's priests and vicars, including women, are being offered time off from religious duties to take special lessons in taekwondo. Even bishops can join the self-defense classes if they want to. They will be taught how to physically disable attackers, even those armed with knives. Surveys have shown that church ministers are more likely to be attacked than prison guards, probation officers, social workers, doctors or teachers. Seven out of 10 clergy members have experienced some sort of violence, the University of London's Royal Holloway College has found. Many of the assailants have been beggars, homeless people, drug users and people suffering from psychiatric problems. But some have been supposedly respectable parishioners who have been refused a preferred wedding date or who angrily disagreed with a clergyman's sermon.

India to Get Super Highway

Posted on 2001/12/20 8:44:02 ( 953 reads )


DELHI, INDIA, December 19, 2001: India could see huge economic benefits from upgrades to the highway linking four of its biggest cities, the World Bank forecasts. Improving the 3,600-mile-long "Golden Quadrilateral," which links Delhi, Chennai, Calcutta and Bombay, will cost the Indian government some US$6 billion. The World Bank estimates the improvement will generate more than a quarter of that total every year after completion. Most of the highway, plied by cars, buses, trucks and ox-carts alike, is currently a two-lane road. Under the scheme, it is expected to be widened to a four lane highway, including service roads, express way sections and town bypasses.

Malayasian Hindu Sangam Wants Religion Classes in Schools

Posted on 2001/12/19 8:49:02 ( 927 reads )


KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA, December 16, 2001: The Malaysian Hindu Sangam (MHS) urged the government yesterday to review the policy of not having religious classes for non-Muslims in schools and enforce the ban on the sale of drugs, liquor and illicit samsu [a local alcoholic drink] in provision shops and stalls. Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Hindu youth leadership camp, MHS president A. Vaithilingam said the lack of religious and spiritual background in the Malaysian education system for non-Muslims could lead to an undisciplined, selfish, materialistic and immoral community. There is religious study for Muslims in Malaysian schools, but no religious study for non-Muslims. "The youths have been groping for guidance. With this in mind, the Sangam has drawn up a plan to train and mobilize Hindu youth leaders to campaign and motivate youths to be more positive in their approach to life. The two-day camp in Kuala Selangor, the first in a series, is aimed at instilling a "spiritual base with human values." "We are training the youths on spiritual-based leadership. It (the camp) is completely Malaysian-oriented, the speakers are all local," he said, adding that some of the speakers were religious teachers and others were motivational youth speakers. Vaithilingan said similar camps would be conducted in other regions.

London Swami Calls for "Om Day"

Posted on 2001/12/19 8:48:02 ( 1036 reads )


LONDON, ENGLAND, December 19, 2001: Swami Nirliptananda announced today that his London Sevashram Sangha is calling for an "Om Day" for global unity and peace on January 6, 2002. He writes, "I take this opportunity once again to invite your temple/organization to celebrate the Om Day for global unity and peace by performing the Om Gayatri Yajna. Both Om and Gayatri are common to our heritage. This is the third year since this global awareness for unity has started. Your support to the unity process will help to safeguard our cultural and traditional values that sustained us for thousands of years and make our world a safer place to live in. The Om Day is has now spread to Bali in Indonesia and to Nepal. The suggested observance for Om Day is available at "source" above.

Now, Organic Cashew Nuts from Kerala

Posted on 2001/12/19 8:47:02 ( 1134 reads )

Source: The Hindu

THRISSUR, KERALA, INDIA, December 15, 2001: Adopting strict organic farming methods can be a reliable way out from the crisis that the cashew farmers are facing now in the wake of the falling prices of their produce and the extreme competitive atmosphere caused by the World Trade Organization regime, according to a study. The study was prepared by Dr. M. Abdul Salam, the Head of the Cashew Research Station of the Kerala Agricultural University (KAU), Madakkathra, near here. Emphasizing that there is a great demand for organically produced food stuffs like cashew and spices, especially from the Western countries, Dr. Salam says these changes have made organic cashew nut production, processing and marketing immensely potential areas for exploitation. Organic cashews can well fetch a premium price. An encouraging aspect of cashew farming in India is that a large portion of it -- almost 90 per cent -- is already being done without the involvement of chemicals and pesticides, which means that the country's cashews are by and large organic. But the absence of the approved certifying agencies is hindering the prospects in effectively exploiting this potential of India as the producer of large quantity of organic cashew. However, regulatory procedures are now being evolved by the government to certify production, processing and marketing of organic cashew.

California Hindus Concerned About Bangladesh

Posted on 2001/12/18 8:49:02 ( 1138 reads )


SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA, December 18, 2001: While the world's eyes are focused on Afghanistan, Hindus are being brutally repressed in Bangladesh, the most democratic Muslim-dominated country in the region, according to this report in San Jose's newspaper. Since the electoral victory of Prime Minister Khaleda Zia on October 1, thousands of Hindus have fled Bangladesh to avoid being killed or raped, said representatives of Hindu groups and the human rights group Amnesty International at a Hindu Solidarity Day attended by about 150 people at a Sunnyvale temple. "Without notice during the past two months, Hindus have been the victims of ethnic cleansing," said Venkatesh Murthy of San Ramon, West Coast secretary for Hindu Swayam Sevak Sangh. The Bangladeshi government has denied that Hindus were attacked following the October election. But in late November, the country's highest court ordered the government to explain its failure to take steps to protect the Hindu minority.

Australian Hindus Aghast at McDonald's Beefy French Fries

Posted on 2001/12/18 8:48:02 ( 1056 reads )

Source: Hinduism Today

HOMEBUSH, AUSTRALIA, December 18, 2001: The Hindu Council of Australia has confirmed that McDonald's fast food restaurants in Australia have been cooking their french fries in a frying mix of 92% beef tallow and 8% cottonseed oil for the last twenty years. This is the same practice abandoned about 15 years ago by McDonald's in the USA, who then started using vegetable oil for the fries. Just this year, however, the USA McDonald's revealed they still put a small amount of beef flavoring in their fries, resulting in a lawsuit by Hindus. McDonald's in Australia wrote to the Hindu Council that they have always published lists of their ingredients and "have not promoted or published any of the products [including the french fries, hash browns and apple pies] outlined in your letter as being vegetarian." The address for the Hindu Council of Australia is 17 The Cresent, Homebush, NSW 2140, Australia.

Sato's Ramayana Released on Video

Posted on 2001/12/18 8:47:02 ( 972 reads )


December 17, 2001: Yuko Sato's animated version of the Ramayana is now being sold online at "source" above. Sato's US$12 million film, originally released in the mid-1990s, won recognition at the Santa Clarita International Film Festival 2000, the Lucca Animation Film Festival in Italy 2000, the Toronto Film Festival and the Cardiff Animation Film Festival in the UK. The movie is described as "a 170-minute action packed, feature film that explores the animation style called "fusion" which consists of three different schools of animation: Manga from Japan, Disney from the USA and Ravi Varma from India. It is based on the Valmiki version of the Ramayana. It features narration by James Earl Jones and music by Academy Award winner Alan Howarth and Vanraj Bhatia.

Kanchi Peetam Ceremonies on Web Broadcast

Posted on 2001/12/18 8:46:02 ( 941 reads )


KANCHI, INDIA, December 18, 2001: An Ati Rudra Sahita Sahasra Chandi Yegnam is being performed in Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam, Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu, for world peace and prosperity. Find necessary information and day-to-day reports/photos at "source" above. The live webcast is of events on December 19, from 7:30 pm to 8:30 pm (Indian time) and on the 20th from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm.

Child Suicides Called a Crisis In South African

Posted on 2001/12/17 8:49:02 ( 1147 reads )


DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA, December 09, 2001: Welfare organizations have launched a campaign to stop what has been described as a "crisis" in the Indian community of Pietermaritzburg after the suicide of 15 children in the past seven months. In addition to the fatalities, between 100 and 150 children in the predominantly Indian areas of Northdale and Raisethorpe attempted suicide, according to clinical psychologist Rani Moodley. Most of the children who died were from middle-class families, attended secondary schools, and were younger than 15. Ten of the suicides were males. The Famcare Therapy Center, Community Chest, sports groups, and teachers in the city have launched a campaign called "Love to Live -- War on Suicide," aimed at educating families. Aroo Naidoo, a Community Chest counselor in Pietermaritzburg, said Indian children resorted to suicide more easily because of "subtle" pressures that become too much to bear. "There is communication, but the Indian community sets high standards for itself in terms of education and home ownership," said Naidoo.

Northern Himalayan Town Forced to Relocate Due to Dam Construction

Posted on 2001/12/17 8:48:02 ( 952 reads )


TEHRI, INDIA, December 8, 2001: Despite protests from Indian scientists and environmentalists, the government has forged ahead on building a dam whose construction will result in the total submergence of the 200-year-old northern Himalayan town of Tehri by November of 2002. Scientists are concerned that the dam is too close to the "edge of the central Himalayan seismic gap, around 45 kms. from the epicenter of a 1991 earthquake." Over 10,000 townspeople will be forced to relocate. As part of the construction process, two water tunnels controlling the flow of the Bhagirathi river were closed recently, the river flow reversed, and the alteration created a reservoir that has submerged part of the town, including some ancient temples. The local people feel intimidated by this recent development and insecure that the bridge linking the old part of the town with the new part may become submerged. However, authorities such as the district magistrate, Radha Ratudi told the BBC, "that her administration was working to ensure normal food supplies and transport services," for the townspeople during their transition.

Bengal To Ban Smoking In Public Places

Posted on 2001/12/17 8:47:02 ( 969 reads )


KOLKATA, INDIA, December 12, 2001: The West Bengal government today passed a bill prohibiting smoking, spitting or consumption of tobacco in public places. The bill, which now awaits the president's approval, will prohibit smoking and spitting in public auditoriums, hospitals, health institutions, amusement centers, public offices, court buildings, educational institutions, libraries, places of worship, public conveyances and "such places notified by the state government." The bill recommends fines of US$22 to $109 and up to three months imprisonment. It will also prohibit the selling of tobacco and cigarettes to people below 18 years of age.

What to Do When You See Someone Spanking Their Child

Posted on 2001/12/17 8:46:02 ( 952 reads )


November, 2001: This article by Debra Stang gives some concrete suggestions about what to do if you see someone hitting their child. Debra encourages everyone to take a stand against the culturally accepted practice of spanking and advices, "Use your voice -- silence is consent." Eleven suggestions are given including direct confrontation (works most effectively if you know the hitter), asking the manager of a business establishment to speak to the offender, maintaining eye contact at a safe distance from the hitter (makes them feel uncomfortable), stepping in to resolve the situation if you feel it has escalated (works if you know the parent) and many others. One can also call the police, though depending on the states, they may consider the issue, "just a spanking." Many states, however, limit the definition of "spanking" to hitting on the buttocks, and consider it a crime to slap a child on the head or in the face, or twist their ear -- which can easily cause deafness.

Changing Views on Female Infanticide

Posted on 2001/12/13 8:49:02 ( 1155 reads )


TAMIL NADU, INDIA, December 11, 2001: Officials in the Salem district of India's Tamil Nadu state say there is a new awareness among the villagers against the notorious practice of female infanticide after two village couples handed over their newborn baby girls, in front a huge crowd, to Salem's District Collector. With so many baby girls killed in the poorer districts the state government has offered to adopt abandoned babies as an incentive against killing them. However, non-governmental organizations (NGO's) working in the poor districts say many baby girls are still being killed there soon after birth. This is despite the efforts of the government and social organizations to educate the people against this practice. They say the birth of a daughter is unwelcome to a poor family as they cannot afford the traditional dowry and other marriage expenses which follow when the girl grows up. A Tamil Nadu Government launched initiative, called the Cradle scheme, was revived after the new government, headed by Ms. Jayalalitha took over in May. If a mother does not want a baby, she can leave the child in a cradle kept outside the Social Welfare Department and the government will then help raise the child.

Do Single-Faith Schools Promote Racism in UK?

Posted on 2001/12/13 8:48:02 ( 1004 reads )


UNITED KINGDOM, December 13, 2001: Liberal Democrat David Ward education spokesman in Bradford, one of the towns affected by racial riots earlier this year, has said he would support the abolition of single faith schools. "I believe that prejudice is created when people are kept apart," he said. The idea of having a quota system for minority pupils proposed in one of the official reports on the summer's disturbances was impractical because it would involve "massive bussing" of children across Bradford. He said most Muslim parents did not want separate schools for their children and that those who advocated them tended towards extremism. Director of the London School of Islamics educational trust, Iftikhar Ahmad, argues that "the silent majority" of Muslim parents do want separate schools because multi-culturalism has failed their children. There is one Hindu school in UK.

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