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Hindu Accused in Missionary Death May Seek Political Office

Posted on 2002/1/11 8:48:02 ( 1041 reads )

Source: Religion News Service

UTTAR PRADESH, INDIA, January 9, 2002: A Hindu militant accused of killing an Australian missionary and his two young sons said today he might be a candidate for the Indian parliament from the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. Dara Singh is one of 17 men accused of setting fire to a jeep in which missionary Graham Staines was sleeping with his two sons, Philip, 10, and Timothy, 8. Staines, who ran a leper colony and lived in India for 30 years, died with his sons in the 1999 attack, according to Reuters news agency. Under Indian law, Singh could seek the office while on trial, but would have to resign if convicted.

India to Allow Dual Citizenship

Posted on 2002/1/11 8:47:02 ( 918 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA, January 10, 2002: After years of debate and petitions from Indians living overseas, the government is to allow dual citizenship. The move is intended to maintain links with the Indian diaspora. The government has been seeking ways to create synergy between the Indian diaspora and its rapid economic reform and globalization agenda. Critics say it may weaken the loyalty of Indians to their adopted countries. Government officials estimate the Indian diaspora numbers 20 million worldwide. Ten countries have more than half a million people of Indian origin, and the diaspora covers 53 countries. Some estimates say the Indian diaspora, comprising a mix of professionals and businessmen, has an annual income of US$300 billion, comparable to India's gross domestic product. It will also apply to people of Indian origin who have already become foreign citizens. The new rule will initially apply only to Indians who are residents of Europe, the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.

RSS Plans Temples for Tribals in Madhya Pradesh

Posted on 2002/1/10 8:49:02 ( 996 reads )


BHOPAL, INDIA, JANUARY 6, 2002: The tribal belt of Jhabua and Dhar districts in Madhya Pradesh near here has become a major headache for Digvijay Singh's government as the RSS plans to build devalayas (Hindu places of worship) in 350,000 tribal homes in these two districts. The RSS chief of Indore region, Anila Daga, claims that such devalayas have already been set up in 60 per cent of the homes. "Our activists have stepped up their propaganda war to expose the real nature of Christian missionaries," he asserts. The RSS has been circulating pamphlets explaining how "foreign missionaries coming from thousands of miles away are converting people through fraud". It has also started a quiz program for school children. The purpose, according to Daga, is to "test their awareness about the threats to Hindu society".

Dalai Lama Will Not Reincarnate in Chinese-Ruled Area

Posted on 2002/1/10 8:48:02 ( 1211 reads )

Source: United News Agency

SARNATH, INDIA, January 8, 2001: The Dalai Lama, the exile Tibetan spiritual leader, said Tuesday he will not reincarnate in Tibet or any other territory under Chinese rule. If Tibet was not free when he dies, his reincarnation would be born in some free country elsewhere, the Dalai Lama, 66, said in Sarnath, northern India. Observers saw Dalai Lama's statement as politically significant in view of the Chinese detention six years ago of a boy whom he had confirmed as the reincarnation of the Panchen Lama, Tibet's second-ranking religious figure. China has recognized another boy. Observers said the Dalai Lama's statement now made it practically impossible for the Chinese to have a hand one day in deciding who the next Dalai Lama may be, or for an eventual candidate of theirs to have popular support among Tibetans.

Udupi Hosts International Meeting on Ayurvedic Concepts

Posted on 2002/1/10 8:47:02 ( 954 reads )


UDUPI, INDIA, January 7, 2002: The Department of Kayachikitsa of SDM College of Ayurveda and Hospital in Udupi is hosting an International Congress on Ayurvedic Concepts and Treatment of Neurological Disorders on January 10, 11, and 12, 2002 in Bhava Prakasha and Dhanvantary Auditorium of the college. The conference aims to update knowledge of vatavyadhis in relation to neurological disorders. This includes the papers on concepts, diagnostic methods, specific vatavyadhis of females and children, old age mental disorders, general treatment procedures and specific treatment like pancha karma etc. Delegates from several countries will attend the conference. The chief guest will be Director of Indian System of Medicine and Homeopathy of Karnataka, Dr. B. Guruswamy.

Website for Indian's World Records

Posted on 2002/1/10 8:46:02 ( 921 reads )


January 10, 2002: In case you ever wondered just how many different world records Indians hold, check this web site at "source." This sometimes very strange collection of records includes the largest banana sculpture, 21,111 bananas used to make a a Ganesha, and the largest coconut sculpture, 5,000, also to make a Ganesha, both by Vijay Mataykar in 1991. Then there is flight purser Devinder Kumar Mehta, who holds the world's record for being hijacked the most times -- three, on Indian Airlines flights, first in 1982. Consider too the world's largest incense stick, 14 feet, 9 inches and six inches thick, made in Ahmedabad, which took 60 hours to burn.

Karnataka State Mandates Boards for Every Temple

Posted on 2002/1/9 8:49:02 ( 1421 reads )


MADIKERI, KARNATAKA, INDIA, January 6, 2002: "The state government has decided to constitute a nine-member committee for each of the 43,000 temples coming under the Muzarai Department, responsible for public temples in the state, following the presidential assent to the Karnataka Religions Institutions and Endowment Act," said Suma Vasanth, Mujarai Minister. Suma told reporters that selection of members to the committees would be made on the basis of social justice. She said each panel would consist of two women, one from backward community, a priest and five locals chosen from those who applied. "I will hold meetings with officials in all the districts to discuss ways and means to implement the Act effectively," she said. Following the enactment of the new legislation, seven legislations which were in force have become null and void. Those legislations are the Kodagu Temples Fund Management Act (1956), the Bombay Public Trust Act (1950), the Madras Hindu Religions and Endowment Act (1951), the Kodagu Temples Fund Maintenance Rules, the Mysore Religions and Endowment Act (1927), the Hyderabad Endowment Act and the Renuka Yellamma Temple Act.

Mind Over Matter on a Planetary Scale

Posted on 2002/1/9 8:48:02 ( 1071 reads )


PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY, January 2, 2002: Intriguing research suggests that the collective horror across the globe on September 11, 2001, was so great it was recorded by machines. Evidence from a worldwide experiment that has been running since 1998 has lent credence to the belief that electrical energy generated by the human brain is powerful enough to exert an influence on objects -- in essence, that mind can move matter. The experiment, based at Princeton University, New Jersey, is known as the Global Consciousness Project (GCP). The research involves computers at 40 places across the world, producing a steady stream of random bits -- the digital equivalent of flipping a coin 200 times a second at each site. Normally the outcome will be about 50:50. But, field research in situations where large groups of people become integrated, such a concerts, shows a reduced randomness of the bits. Significant events in the last two years, such as the 2000 US presidential election, the NATO bombing in Yugoslavia and the Sydney Olympics opening ceremony have created blips on the data collection system large enough to hint that the combined focus of large numbers of people on the event produces an effect detectable on appropriate instruments. But these incidents were dwarfed by the extraordinary findings of September 11, when instruments recorded a marked aberration from the usual random data. Across the world, the project's machines remained less than random for three days. GCP director Roger Nelson said, " We do not know how the correlations that arise between electronic random event generators and human concerns come to be, and yet the results of our analysis over the past three years repeatedly indicate such correlations".

Genetically Modified Corn Discovered in Mexican Farm Fields

Posted on 2002/1/9 8:47:02 ( 1011 reads )


MEXICO CITY, MEXICO December 29, 2001: Looking for a control sample for a project to produce natural, organic corn, a variety over 4,000 years old, Oaxaca's Uzachi agricultural researchers sought out the Zapotec Indian village of Calpulalpan in November, 2000. After analyzing the sample, they were surprised to find that it contained a gene common in genetically modified plants. Thinking that their equipment was not working properly, the researchers went back to the mountains for further samples. Only after venturing more than three hours from the state capital of Oaxaca were they able to find two fields out of six that did not contain engineered plants. Researcher Francisco Chapela published his findings in Nature science magazine in December of 2001. Mexicans were outraged by the findings mainly because of their belief that the Gods created man from an ear of corn. Scientists are concerned that the genetically modified corn, apparently coming from farmers who plant GM corn imported only for consumption, will contaminate Mexico's gene pool of at least 60 corn varieties that provide diversification to staple crops worldwide. Over 80 scientists from twelve countries have appealed to the Mexican government to stop the genetic contamination. On the flip side, advocates of GM corn claim they are not alarmed by the findings. They say the environment will benefit by planting these crops as they need less pesticide or soil cultivation. But the inability to control introduction of GM plants into the environment, with subsequent unknown consequences, has been one main objections to the rapid release of GM crops.

MCC Blasts Religious Institution in Bihar

Posted on 2002/1/8 8:49:02 ( 1054 reads )


GAYA, INDIA, January 7, 2002: Naxalites of the banned Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) blew up a mutt (religious institution) at Khajbati village, about 15 km from Gaya. Police said the ultras attacked the mutt late on Sunday night and demolished part of it with dynamite. Later, they set fire to a jeep belonging to the institution. The head of the institution Mahanth Laxmanand Giri, who was severely beaten up, was admitted to a government hospital in Gaya in a serious condition. Police said the desperadoes also decamped with the cash chest of the mutt. No arrest has so far been made in connection with the incident. The Naxalites are communists who often engage in violent encounters with the police in a region of India across Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and parts of Tamil Nadu. Its members are called Naxalites after the eastern Indian town of Naxalbari, where their movement originated in 1967.

Herbal Cures May Receive UK NHS Approval in 2002

Posted on 2002/1/8 8:48:02 ( 968 reads )


UNITED KINGDOM, December 30, 2001: The beginning of 2002 may see the United Kingdom government giving the National Health Service stamp of approval on herbal remedies. Backed by the prime minister and his wife as well as thousands of other followers, the government plans to bring herbal remedies and maybe even acupuncture under statutory control. Presently general practitioner's could prescribe herbal remedies but they very seldom do because of legal responsibility. Under the new regulations, GP's could refer a patient to an alternative therapist who would prescribe the remedy. Herbalists are somewhat leery about the backing of the NHS as they feel many remedies are cheaper over the counter than by prescription, herbs are readily available now and the controlled regulations may up the price of many herbs.

Sixty-Eighth Kanchi Shankaracharya to be Honored

Posted on 2002/1/8 8:47:02 ( 960 reads )


KANCHI, INDIA, January 8, 2001: The Eighth Annual Aradhana of Jeevan Muktha and Parabrahmaswaroopi, the 68th Acharya of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi Mahaswamigal will be performed at the Brindavan at Sri Matam Complex on Thursday, January 10, 2002. The week-long celebrations commence on January 5, 2002. Details of the Aradhana at Kanchipuram and elsewhere (Calcutta, Chicago, Atlanta, New Jersey etc.), as also daily updates at Kanchipuram are available at "source" above.

Hindu Shadow Puppetry Loses Allure in Indonesia

Posted on 2002/1/5 8:49:02 ( 1014 reads )


JAKARTA, INDONESIA, January 2, 2002: The ancient world of the Indonesian wayang kulit, Indonesia's renowned shadow puppets, is fast disappearing. Sugiri, 47, a well-known dalang, or puppeteer, is carrying on a family tradition that goes back more than 300 years. "All my family and relatives can play dalang or play the instruments," said Sugiri. But although the wayang kulit retains a hard-core following on Java, the traditional puppet shows are struggling to maintain their popularity in an increasingly urbanized country awash in foreign soap operas and other cultural imports. Some Indonesians are fearful that they are fighting a losing battle to save their signature art form. There are only a few schools left where students can learn how to make and perform with the traditional puppets. Indonesia's economic crisis of the past four years has quickened wayang's retreat, making performances too expensive for many people. Puppetry was introduced to Indonesia about 900 years ago by traders and immigrants from India, Arabia, and China. In wayang kulit, the dalang sits on a mat behind an illuminated screen, manipulating the puppets to cast their shadows. The stories are sometimes based on local Javanese tales but more often on Javanese adaptations of the Hindu epics, the Ramayana and Mahabharata.

Government Offers Land for Ram Museum in Delhi

Posted on 2002/1/5 8:48:02 ( 1039 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA, January 3, 2001: The Indian government will allot land in the capital for the construction of a museum depicting the journeys of Lord Ram across the country. "While Rashtrapati Bhavan and India Gate [both built under British rule] reflect a century or so of our history, the museum would bring to life 10,000 years of the country's heritage and inspire people to visit all the places visited by Lord Ram," said Union Urban Development Minister Ananth Kumar. Offering the plot of land to the Mahasangh, Kumar hoped the museum would be as grand as the proposed Ram temple at Ayodhya. Equating "Ram darshan" [receiving blessing by the sight of Ram] with "Bharat darshan," Kumar said the story of Ram's journey should be incorporated in the curricula to make the younger generation aware of it.

Muslim, Hindu, Christian Holidays Overlap in Guyana This Year

Posted on 2002/1/5 8:47:02 ( 1315 reads )

Source: CNN

GEORGETOWN, GUYANA, January 4, 2002: Conflicting dates for holidays this year have Christians, Hindus and Muslims in Guyana asking how to honor all religious traditions without rescheduling some celebrations in the South American country. This year, the Hindu festival of Phagwah, Holi, which joyously celebrates spring and the Hindu new year, falls on the same day as the Christians' solemn Good Friday -- March 29. After many letters from readers debating whether some holidays should be rescheduled, the Stabroek News newspaper took a position in an editorial Friday, saying it is a major challenge for multi-faith societies such as Guyana. "There can be no question of any religious holiday being moved to another date," the newspaper said. "We just have to adapt to the situation and find ways of ensuring there is no unnecessary friction."

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