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Hindu Press International
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Hard Line Rulers Oppose Conversion
Posted on 2001/1/13 22:42:02 ( 920 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 ( 857 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 ( 1063 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 ( 934 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 ( 878 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 ( 1055 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 ( 931 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 ( 829 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 ( 878 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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Primates Used for Testing
Posted on 2001/1/12 22:43:02 ( 769 reads )


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OREGON, USA, January 11, 2001: In an attempt to discover vaccines for the prevention of disease and new medicines to cure an existing illness, scientists at the Oregon Regional Primate Research Center have produced a genetically modified monkey. They intend to modify future monkeys to react more as humans do to disease, particularly HIV. With subjects closely related to humans, cures using molecular medicine could be tested and the results documented. Animal welfare groups such as the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection are outraged. Spokeswoman for the group, Wendy Higgins, is reported as saying,"The end result is terrible suffering. For scientists to play God with primate genes is morally abhorrent." However Professor Schatten, a researcher at the Oregon Center, claim that monkeys will only be used for research when a cure is imminent for the disease the monkey is carrying. The success with the monkey also demonstrates how close we are to genetically modified humans.




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Budget Cuts For Kasi Viswanath Temple
Posted on 2001/1/11 22:49:02 ( 1005 reads )


Source: The Pioneer





BANARAS, INDIA, January 6, 2001: The Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP)-led state government surprised Hindus by curtailing the annual budget of the famous Kashi Viswanath Temple. The curtailment may pose many difficulties to the management as the charges of various prayers and rituals may have to be hiked higher. According to sources against the proposal of US$434,782 for the year 2001, the state government has sanctioned only $89,630. Whereas the budget for the temple last year was $402,174. The temple pays more than $2,174 in the form of salaries to it's 40-odd employees every month and monthly expenditure on three officials posted at the temple was around $1,304 per month. Suspicions of corruption may be behind the cuts.




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VHP Cadres to Oppose New Year Celebration
Posted on 2001/1/11 22:48:02 ( 830 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, December 30, 2000: The Vishwa Hindu Parishad has taken up the cause of convincing the masses that the Christian new year is no cause for celebration. VHP senior vice-president Acharya Giriraj Kishore told News Today: "The Hindu new year falls in Chaitra, the month of April, and that is when it should be celebrated. The VHP contends that Shristi (Earth) was created long before Jesus Christ was born and therefore it is the creation that should be celebrated and not a new year that has been thrust on India by the West. VHP cadres have been given instructions to oppose New Year's Eve celebrations and to educate the masses about the actual or the original Hindu new year. According to Sheshadri Chari, editor of the Organiser, "New Year's Eve, Valentines Day and other such festivals are increasingly being celebrated in India. These are essential platforms for multinationals to sell their wares." Chari maintains such celebrations are adversely influencing Indian culture and traditions and this is the reason the VHP is opposed to it.




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A Curry Pill May Prevent Cancer
Posted on 2001/1/11 22:47:02 ( 978 reads )


Source: Reuters





LONDON, ENGLAND, January 8, 2001: East Indian Amma's will be delighted to hear that a company in London has produced a curry pill whose main constituent is the beloved herb Turmeric.This pill, known as P54 by the company researching its benefits, has been tested on patients with colon cancer. Proven to help prevent bowel cancer, it will be on sale later this year as a food supplement. Or you can just buy the spice.




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Yoga for Healthy Body and Mind
Posted on 2001/1/11 22:46:02 ( 846 reads )


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TAMPA, FLORIDA: The tenth annual conference of "Yoga of Positive Health" was enthusiastically attended by doctors, scholars and practitioners in December, 2000. Collaborating to orchestrate the exchange of knowledge and philosophy were the University of South Florida, the College of Public Health's Center for Positive Health and Swami Vivekananda's Yoga Research Foundation. Highlights included such topics as the "Future of Yoga Therapy," the "Relationship of Yoga to Ayurveda," "Yoga for Cardiac Patients" and the "Gods Within."




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Helping Sindhi Research
Posted on 2001/1/11 22:45:02 ( 963 reads )


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After the partition of India in 1947, Sindhis from Pakistan immigrated to many countries of the world. If you have any information about this migration first or second-hand, it may be used for a new book called "Sindhi Jottings" or as reference material in the archives of India. Contact: hiroshroff@hotmail.com




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