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Adivasis Vow to Save Hindu Religion


Posted on 2002/1/19 8:49:02 ( 1033 reads )


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JHABUA, INDIA, January 18, 2002: In what was clearly a rare spectacle in a tribal-dominated district, nearly 200,000 adivasis, hands lifted in air, intoned an oath on Thursday to save the honor of the Hindu religion and, if necessary, fight for its cause with at an impressive "Hindu Sangam" organized by the RSS under the aegis of its frontal organization, Sewa Bharati. The resolution passed, in the presence of RSS sarsangachalak (president) K S Sudarshan, also made it amply clear that anyone trying to induce a Hindu to change his faith by dangling the carrot of economic betterment, or threats, was "criminal" under the Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act 1960 which the district administration was expected to implement in letter and spirit. The superbly organized public rally belied all expectations of the district administration which had not been expecting a crowd of more than 60,000. And if the Sangh's opponents were hoping to take it to task for spreading the communal virus, they had to be disappointed. For even the speeches were markedly temperate, with even the fiery Sadhvi Rithambara confining her discourse to the need of reigniting Hindu pride to counter the threat of war with Pakistan. Looking at the faces in the crowd it was obvious that the RSS attempt to awaken their dormant religious sentiments had paid off, and spectacularly well. Since the meeting had been conceived with the specific objective of restoring adivasi faith in simple, honest, muscular Hindutva, the good Lord Hanuman being its most potent symbol, most speakers confined their speeches to the evil of conversion, and the innate openness and all-embracing aspect of Hinduism. Sudarshan said the massive turnout was the fruit of three-years' labor during which 342 single-teacher schools had been set up by the Sewa Bharati. Quite apart from organizing Ganesh "visarjan" festival at 22 places, 3,500 RSS volunteers worked round-the-clock in the 2,455 villages of Jhabua. Worshipful icons of Lord Hanuman were installed in 300,000 homes, and a locket with a picture of the Hanuman given to 2.8 million tribals. Sudarshan said everybody was free to practice his religion, be they Christian or Muslim, but trouble arose when some people said their god was superior to others, and that worshipping him/her alone would lead to eternal bliss.






Man Arrested With Gun at Sai Baba's Ashram


Posted on 2002/1/19 8:48:02 ( 993 reads )


Source: The Hindustan Times





BANGALORE, INDIA, January 18, 2002: A 26-year-old man who allegedly tried to shoot Sai Baba on Thursday with an air pistol at his ashram in Whitefield on the outskirts of Bangalore, was overpowered by ashram volunteers. The air pistol and some pellets were recovered from the man, Somasundaram, the police said. Somasundaram was overpowered when he started running towards Sai Baba who was emerging from a building to give darshan, eyewitnesses said.






South African Tamil Songstress Releases New CD


Posted on 2002/1/19 8:47:02 ( 1215 reads )


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SOUTH AFRICA, January 19, 2002: Tamil Songstress Mahenthri Pillay, one of South Africa's prominent Hindu classical musicians, has just released her fourth CD, Isai Gaanam, "Fragrance of Music." It is a compilation of popular Tamil devotional songs made famous by the renowned Thyagaraj Bhagvathar. See her biography and interview at the Sunday Times link above. Her previously released CDs include: Paamalai -- A collection of devotional songs sung in praise of various deities; Sacred Music -- Compositions of the great Saivite saints; and Dharshan -- Songs in praise of Lord Vishnu in his form as Lord Rama, which includes the sacred Hanuman Chalisa. For further information contact the artist at devgov@iafrica.com or telephone 031-3096647.






One-International Helps Mumbai's Women and Children


Posted on 2002/1/19 8:46:02 ( 941 reads )


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MUMBAI, INDIA, January 19, 2002: One-International is a volunteer organization working toward the betterment of life in Mumbai. It is a non-governmental, non-profit organization whose main target is the street children and thus the families of Mumbai. The main goal of One-International is improving the future of the children and women in Mumbai by providing food, clothing, medical necessities, and the start of an education. For information on their Give-a-Child-a-Chance and other programs see the web site above.






Indian Civilization May be 9,000 years old


Posted on 2002/1/18 8:49:02 ( 1053 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, January 16, 2002: Indian scientists have made an archaeological find dating back to 7500 bce suggesting the world's oldest cities came up about 4,000 years earlier than is currently believed. The revelation comes about 8 months after acoustic images from the sea-bed suggested the presence of built-up structures resembling the ancient Harappan civilization, which dates back around 4,000 years. The scientists found pieces of wood, remains of pots, fossil bones and what appeared like construction material just off the coast of Surat, Science and Technology Minister Murli Manohar Joshi told a news conference. Although Paleolithic sites dating back around 20,000 years have been found on the coast of India's western state of Gujarat before, this is the first time there are indications of man-made structures as old as 9,500 years found deep beneath the sea surface.






Vatican to Hold Peace Meeting in Assisi


Posted on 2002/1/18 8:48:02 ( 1238 reads )


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VATICAN CITY, January 18, 2002: According to the website at "source," the Pope has called for a meeting of several religions, including Hindus, at Assisi January 24 to pray and fast for world peace. According to the website, Shri Krishnarajav Vanavarayar, Mrs. Karuna Vanavarayar, Mrs. Dhanashree Srinivas Talwalkar, Swami Agnivesh, Prof. Raj Krishan Srivastava, all of India, are to represent Hinduism.






Kids Under Stress


Posted on 2002/1/18 8:47:02 ( 1068 reads )


Source: Hindustan Times





NEW DELHI, INDIA, JANUARY 16, 2002: The suicide of an eight-year-old boy in Delhi on Sunday brings to light the rising levels of stress and depression among young children in urban India. Huge parental expectations, rising levels of competition, examination pressure and a break down of traditional family structures, are some of the contributing factors affecting children as young as 7 or 8. Sushma Mehrotra, a reader in clinical psychology at Mumbai's SNDT University and a practicing psychotherapist blames the parents. "You will not believe the pressures some kids are subjected to. They're shunted from one class to another," she says. In other cases, parental conflicts bring on their own set of problems and pressure on young children. "Parents don't get along and then compete with each other by either giving too much attention or too much money," says Mehrotra. Her advise is to not give your child too many gifts. Spend more time with your child. Get to know their friends and their parents. Instill good values, particularly in the formative years.






Genius Boy Became a Vegetarian


Posted on 2002/1/18 8:46:02 ( 1052 reads )


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ASHLAND, VIRGINIA, JANUARY 8, 2002: Boy genius Gregory Smith finished high school in two years with an A+ average. He was 10 years old. His IQ is "off the chart." According to parents Bob and Janet Smith, Greg began speaking simple words at three months old and full sentences quickly followed. He could recite memorized books before his first birthday and read on his own shortly after. He solved arithmetic problems at 14 months and at two he was reading about dinosaurs and chatting knowledgeably about the Cretaceous Period. He observed that people had flat teeth, like plant-eating dinosaurs, and concluded that human beings must be herbivores, not carnivores. He persuaded his family to become vegetarians. Greg, now 12, is a college senior at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland Virginia. In addition to his vegetarianism, Greg has a rigid moral code: He walks out of a movie at the third curse word because he considers profanity verbal violence; when a film in class contains nudity or sex, he puts his hands over his eyes or leaves the room; when his family rents movies, Greg vetoes anything rated PG-13 because he is only 12. He abhors the thought of animals in pain. Greg's strong feelings on non-violence and human rights for children has mushroomed into a philanthropic foundation called International Youth Advocates.






Swami Pragyanand Tours America and Europe


Posted on 2002/1/18 8:45:02 ( 2256 reads )


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DELHI, INDIA, January 18, 2002: Param Poojya Gurudeo Pragyapeethadheeshwar Jagadguru Dharmasamrat, His Holiness Swami Pragyanandji Maharaj, the founder patron of Vishwamata Gayatri Trust, Pragya Sailok Kalayan Nyas, Pragya Mission International, Sai Pragya Dham, Saket New Delhi and President, Delhi Sant Maha Mandal. Swamiji will be presiding over Sai Surya Gayatri Mahayagyas, Gyan Yagas and traveling to Hawaii for condolences on the pass of Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami. In this spiritual pilgrimage he will be visiting UK, Spain, Holland, Belgium, USA South America Suriname and Canada, from January 7 February 7, 2002. For more details about yagnas and spiritual discourses please contact: Dr .B.l Vasishta (H) 020 7624-2666 (H) 020 7328-1709, (020)-8830-1200; Dr. Shashi Kant 001-201-913-4886, Kailash Sharma 001-718-379-6449 (H) 001-718-595-5190 (H); Rakesh Kumar 001-650-738-2821, 001-650-738-1031; Ram Kumar Singh 001-305-599-1176 (H) 001-305-591-3911 (0). Swamiji will visit Dallas, Miami, Suriname, New Jersey, New York, Philadelphia, Tenerife (Spain), Belgium, and Holland during the remainder of his trip. For information contact the people above or go so "source" for details at each destination.






Furor Over Ministerial Appointment in Trinidad


Posted on 2002/1/17 8:49:02 ( 994 reads )


Source: Hinduism Today, Anil Mahabir, Trinidad Correspondent





TRINIDAD, January 17, 2002: The non-Christian community in Trinidad, including the nation's Hindus and Muslims, have come out strongly against the appointment of a "Minister of Ecclesiastical Affairs" by the predominantly Afro-Christian government of new Prime Minister, Patrick Manning. But Manning, a publicly declared "born-again Christian," who was hugged and rated highly by the controversial American evangelist Benny Hinn during his visit to the island in 2000, has defended the appointment and criticized those who have seen it as exclusively Christian in orientation. The appointment has become a contentious issue over the word "ecclesiastical" with almost all the Hindu groups issuing strongly worded press releases and letters to the newspapers which have been critical of the new ministry. The word "ecclesiastical," they say, has total and exclusive Christian connotations. In fact, the dictionary actually defines the word "ecclesiastical" as "of the Christian church." The Hindu groups are contending that the ministry headed by a Christian is an insult to Hindus and other non-Christians and asked, "How would Christians feel if the former prime minister, a Hindu, had appointed a minister of "Dharmic" Affairs?" They contend that the prime minister would have been better advised to to appoint a minister whose name had universal connotations such as a "Minister of Religious Affairs." Hindus constitute the second largest group in the country after the various Christian groups, accounting for over 300,000 of the population.






Singapore Hindus Celebrate Pongal


Posted on 2002/1/17 8:48:02 ( 985 reads )


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SINGAPORE, Jan 16, 2002: Singapore Hindus of South Indian origin started celebrating the Pongal harvest festival on Monday, thanking the Sun god, Surya, for a good harvest. Celebrations here usually last for four days. On the first day, Pongal rice, a sweet dish of rice boiled with milk, ghee and raw cane sugar, is prepared. Letting it boil over toward the east signifies prosperity, success and happiness. As the milk bubbled over the earthen pots, the devotees cried: 'Pongal, O Pongal!' Pongal also begins the Hindu calendar's auspicious month of Thai.






The Asian Corner Store Numbers are Dropping in the U.K.


Posted on 2002/1/17 8:47:02 ( 971 reads )


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UNITED KINGDOM, January 5, 2002: After 20 years of running a family Asian corner store in the U.K., Gurdip Sumal is selling the business. In the last ten years the number of corner shops has declined by 25%, greatly impacting a common and family-oriented way of making a living for Hindus here. Competition from 24-hour supermarkets, market diversification of petrol shops that sell snacks and cigarettes, as well as better educated offspring who have sought greener pastures, are all contributing factors of the decline. However, overall self-employment by Asians has increased as they seek other business ventures such as restaurant owners and taxi drivers.






Badri-Kedar Temple's Chief Priest Suspended


Posted on 2002/1/17 8:46:02 ( 1105 reads )


Source: Sandhya Times (Hindi)





BADRINATH, HIMALAYAS, INDIA, January 16, 2002: Badri Kedar Nath Temple's chief priest, Vishnu Nambutri, has been suspended. This information has been provided by the president of the committees of these temples Sri Vinod Prasad Nautiyal. Sri Nautiyal said that Rawal [chief priest] Nambutri was doing his own will for the last many years and that he was even ignoring the suggestions of the temple committee. He was also not forwarding the offerings made by the devotees to the managing committee, Nautiyal alleged. Sri Nautiyal said that a four-member body has been constituted.






Judge Rules Chaplains' Suits May Continue


Posted on 2002/1/17 8:45:02 ( 990 reads )


Source: Religion New Service





WASHINGTON, D.C., January 16, 2002: A U.S. District Court judge has determined that two suits by chaplains alleging religious discrimination in the U.S. Navy should continue. Judge Ricardo M. Urbina has denied in part the Navy's motion to dismiss the cases, which accuse the military service of discriminating against evangelical Christian groups. The chaplains allege second-class treatment by the Navy, which they say has "illegal religious quotas" for chaplain promotions and a tendency for bias against nonliturgical Christian Navy chaplains. HPI adds: A "nonliturgical" chaplain is an evangelical Christian who performs no rituals as do, for example, Catholic or Episcopalian ministers. What they do instead, and this is the issue for the Navy, is to preach, appealing to their listeners to adopt their particular form of Christianity. But because one chaplain often ministers to a mixed group and not to just followers of his own denomination, such preaching amounts to a conversion campaign within the ranks. The Navy and other armed forces believe such conversion efforts to be potentially destabilizing and a threat to morale. It is compounded by the fact the ministers are officers and their charges are enlisted personnel. For decades, the military chaplain corps has enforced a ban on conversion attempts, and as a result been been exemplars of religious tolerance and harmony. Should this suit succeed, all the unfortunate consequences of conversion activities that Hindus are familiar with may occur within the US military, and Hindu servicemen and women may find themselves targets of evangelists.






City Older Than Mohenjodaro Unearthed


Posted on 2002/1/16 8:49:02 ( 1048 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, January 16, 2002: Indian scientists have made an archaeological find dating back to 7500 bce suggesting the world's oldest cities came up about 4,000 years earlier than is currently believed, a top government official said on Wednesday. The scientists found pieces of wood, remains of pots, fossil bones and what appeared like construction material just off the coast of Surat, Science and Technology Minister Murli Manohar Joshi told a news conference. "Some of these artifacts recovered by the National Institute of Ocean Technology from the site, such as the log of wood date back to 7500 bce, which is indicative of a very ancient culture in the present Gulf of Cambay, that got submerged subsequently," Joshi said. Current belief is that the first cities appeared around 3500 bce in the valley of Sumer, where Iraq now stands, a statement issued by the government said. "We can safely say from the antiquities and the acoustic images of the geometric structures that there was human activity in the region more than 9,500 years ago (7500 BC)," S.N. Rajguru, an independent archaeologist, said. It is not clear from the article why the scientists considered the findings evidence of a "city."




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