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Jain Temple Would Not Be Allowed To Come Up In Badrinath
Posted on 2000/11/29 22:48:02 ( 1173 reads )


Source: Punjab Kesari [Hindi], November 17, 2000





DEHRADUN, INDIA: Uttranchal's chief minister Nityananda Swami denied the possibility of the construction of a Jain Temple in Badrinath and said that the sanctity/purity of this religious place would be maintained. He said, "We cannot permit the construction of a Jain temple in Badrinath. By this the purity of this religious place would be destroyed." Swami said Badrinath is one of the four dhams and it has a special place in Hindu dharma.




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Madhya Pradesh Plan for Sanskrit Board
Posted on 2000/11/29 22:47:02 ( 935 reads )


Source: The Hindu, November 21, 2000





BHOPAL, INDIA: The Madhya Pradesh chief minister, Mr. Digvijay Singh, has announced the setting up of a Sanskrit Board by January, 2001, to promote the language. Mr Singh said this at a function organized by the Avdhesh Pratap Singh University in Rewa the other day. A task force, comprising Sanskrit scholars, would be set up to identify the existing resources of Sanskrit and to make recommendations for its development, the Chief Minister announced.




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ICCR brings Ganga and Mekong Together
Posted on 2000/11/29 22:46:02 ( 991 reads )


Source: The Hindustan Times 29- 11-2000





External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh's idea of retracing the path that India's ancient cultural links with South East Asia had carved was given an aesthetic shape by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations and the dancer Madhvi Mudgal. The one-hour presentation "Ganga to Mekong Swarnabhumi," [the Ganga River to the Mekong River's "Land of Gold," as the region was known in ancient India] was first performed by Madhvi and her troupe of twelve young dancers at Laos last month. Not too many civilizations can match an impact comparable to India's with Sanskrit being the official language of the region by the 4th century CE and great memorials coming up such as the Buddhist stupa of Borobudar in Java or the Saivite temples of Angkor in Cambodia. "Ganga to Mekong"did well to throw a torch backwards into the long tunnel of history.




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Brahmakumari's Collect 35 Million Signatures for Peace
Posted on 2000/11/29 22:45:02 ( 1039 reads )


Source: The Hindustan Times, November 29, 2000





DELHI, INDIA: The United Nations Information Centre organized a ceremony today to recognize the unique effort of Prajapita Brahmakumari Ishwariya Vidyalaya in collecting 35 million signatures for the Culture of Peace Manifesto.




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Book Released on Hindu Environmental Design
Posted on 2000/11/29 22:44:02 ( 861 reads )


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VERMONT, USA: The noted publisher of Eastern books, Inner Traditions, announced today the release of "Vastu: The Indian Art of Placement" by Rohit Arya. The book explains how to design and decorate homes to reflect eternal spiritual principles using the ancient practice of vaastu, the Hindu art of environmental design. The book elucidates principles that orient and plan each element of a structure, both the big picture and small details, to create personal environments that promote peace, harmony and health.




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Native Americans Call for Translators
Posted on 2000/11/29 22:43:02 ( 942 reads )


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LAKEWOOD, COLORADO: Native American Mark Lewis the the No Boundaries Project appealed for translators to help with a web project listing "Let's all work together" in as many of the world's 6,700 languages as possible. So far they have 350, and would like help with translating this phrase into Hindi, Sanskrit and other Indian languages. They are also using the related phrase, "We have to live together in peace."




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Lower Caste Hindu Fined For Touching Goddess
Posted on 2000/11/28 22:49:02 ( 866 reads )


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CALCUTTA, INDIA: A Hindu lower-caste "untouchable" family in eastern India is to appeal to the human rights commission after being fined for touching a statue of the Goddess Kali. According to villagers, one family member, Malati Sith, entered a Kali temple and touched the forehead of the statue, angering the upper caste brahmin community in Pursurah village, near Calcutta. The brahmins called a special meeting and imposed the extraordinary fine of 8,000 rupees (US$173) on the family to meet the cost of purifying the icon. "We would have to sell off all our valuables to pay the fine," said Sith's husband Madan Mohon. The temple priests insisted they acted correctly. "We are abiding by the rules of the temple," said head priest Sufal Chakaborty. Although discrimination on the grounds of caste is illegal in India, it continues in many forms. This is an unusual case because it would be a grave offense for anyone, regardless of caste, to enter the inner sanctum, let alone touch the Deity, without the express authorization of the temple priests. At least it would be a form of trespassing. A local village committee member Asit Patra said they were "investigating the matter."




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Dutch Parliament Legalizes Euthanasia
Posted on 2000/11/28 22:48:02 ( 1012 reads )


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THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS: In a majority vote of 104-40, the Dutch parliament endorsed a bill on Tuesday, November 28, that will legalize the practice of physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia. Since 1993, doctors have followed approved guidelines set out by parliament, but euthanasia was still considered a crime. These guidelines professed that a patient of sound mind and suffering from an incurable disease could voluntarily request that they want help to die. This would be after the patient has explored all medical options and second professional opinions. In addition to the 1993 briefing, the new law allows patients to request for euthanasia in writing so that when illness, physical or mental, takes over, the doctor can use his own judgement. Quoting Health Minister Els Borst, "This will create security for doctors and patients alike. Doctors should not be treated like criminals." Switzerland, Columbia and Belgium tolerate euthanasia, and in Oregon, USA, doctor-assisted suicide for the terminally ill was made law in 1997. However, in the U.S., euthanasia remains illegal. Associated Press states, "In doctor-assisted suicides, the patient administers a lethal dose to him or herself. Under the new Dutch law a doctor can also do so directly." There is controversy in the general populace of undiscretionary abuse of the new law and moral rightness.




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"Goodness Gracious Me!!! They Let You Put This Out???"
Posted on 2000/11/28 22:47:02 ( 961 reads )


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LONDON, ENGLAND: "Goodness Gracious Me" is the BBC's Asian comedy show. They all went to India to film a special, and large crowds gathered to watch as the show's stars -- Meera Syal, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Nina Wadia and Kulvinder Ghir -- along with Dave Lamb, the actor they affectionately call "TWB" (token white bloke). The show is scheduled to air in March. Since GGM's seminal sketch in which a group of drunken Indians "go for an English" (a meal, that is) in a late-night restaurant, its take on the interaction of British and Indian culture has picked up a devoted following, with an estimated 4,000,000 viewers. The stars say that coming to India means more than authentic locations and more about introducing British whites and Asians to each other, as well as to draw the viewership of native Indians. Star TV channel aired the first three shows of the series prefaced by a warning that viewers may be offended by irreverent depictions of religion. At a press conference at the British Council in Delhi, local journalists watched a sample of GGM sketches -- depictions of overbearing Indian mothers, the Indian caste system and police racism with an English police officer trying to interest his skeptical Indian colleagues in a spate of racially motivated attacks on whites -- drew particular interest. "The BBC allows you to put this out?" one local journalist asked, incredulously. Ghir is confident that the truths unmasked by this British-style comedy can help all countries in what he calls "a global race towards a society where everyone is accepted."




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Patient Doctor Behind World's Tallest Lamp
Posted on 2000/11/28 22:46:02 ( 973 reads )


Source: Hindustan Times, October 25, 2000





NAGPUR, INDIA: A city doctor is set to enter the Guiness Book of Records for creating the tallest lamp on Earth -- 48 feet. The electric lamp is 12 feet in diameter and features four elephant heads around the base and a series of yakshas, mythical figures, which appear to carry the lamp. It was created for the Divali festival this year and erected in the Jerryl Lawn of the city. The lamp is made of resin. Guiness is sending its own people to Nagpur to verify the record.




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Amitabh Bachchan in Hot Water Over Gayatri Mantra with Shoes
Posted on 2000/11/27 22:49:02 ( 1422 reads )


Source: Hindustan Times, November 27, 2000





VARANASI, INDIA: Vedic scholars in Varanasi have taken exception to a scene in the film "Mohabbatein" by Yash Chopra, now under production, in which Amitabh Bachchan recites the sacred Gayatri Mantra with his shoes on. Just last year another movie production company ("Water") was chased out of Varanasi for complaints over insults to Hinduism. Dr. Kaushal Kishore Mishra, who led the protest against "Water" said a permanent committee will be formed to review all films that might insult Hinduism. Bachchan denied the accusations, telling Press Trust of India, "I am a deeply religious person and cannot even dream of any kind of disrespect to religious sentiments." Producer Chopra said the criticism was "absolutely incorrect, unjust, erroneous and uncalled for."




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Tribals in New Indian States Want Part in Government
Posted on 2000/11/27 22:48:02 ( 911 reads )


Source: Hindustan Times, November 27, 2000





RANCHI, JAHRKHAND, INDIA: Now that the new state of Jahrkhand has been formed, the Jahrkhandi tribals want government outsiders to leave and tribals to take their posts. The newly formed government, they felt, left them out. "Only the tribals fought for a separate state and not the outsiders. Due to all the injustices they were subjected to, all the benefits of the new state should only go to them, said Gyanmani Ekka, a tribal activist. The 1,750 "outsider" government employees aren't protesting themselves, both because they didn't want to be sent into the new state in the first place, and because some have been harassed by the tribals.




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Exorcists and Exorcisms--and Demons too?--Proliferate Across U.S.
Posted on 2000/11/27 22:47:02 ( 990 reads )


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CHICAGO, ILLINOIS: There are demons here, some people say, the kind that torment and manifest themselves through the people they possess, evil spirits that can trap people inside themselves and utter foreign languages. That belief was at the root of a decision by the archdiocese of Chicago to appoint a full-time exorcist last year for the first time in its 160-year history, the name of whom remains undisclosed to protect those seeking his services. Rev. Bob Larson, an evangelical preacher and author who runs an exorcism ministry in Denver said he had 40 "exorcism teams" across the country performing exorcisms in the belief that Christians have the authority by Jesus Christ to drive Satan out. "It's in the Bible. Christ taught it." The number of full-time exorcists in the Roman Catholic Church in the United States has risen to 10 from only one a decade ago, said Michael W. Cuneo, a Fordham University sociologist whose book "American Exorcism: Expelling Demons in the Land of Plenty" is to be published next year. Mr. Cuneo writes of an "underground network" of exorcists numbering in the hundreds, and a "bewildering variety of exorcisms being performed." From 1989 to 1995, the archdiocese of New York examined more than 300 potential exorcism cases. Exorcisms were performed in 10 percent of the cases, Father J. James LeBar, chief exorcist with the New York Diocese, said. Since 1995, the New York diocese has investigated about 40 cases a year. Two factors are spurring the growth in exorcisms, experts said: popular culture and a belief that there is more evil in the world. As recently as the 1960's, Mr. Cuneo said, "exorcism was all but dead and gone in the United States." But in 1973, the recently re-released movie "The Exorcist" of satanic and demonic possession changed that. However, the Roman Catholic Church requires that a physician rule out the existence of a medical or psychological condition before an exorcism can be considered.




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New Lexicon Goes On-Line
Posted on 2000/11/27 22:46:02 ( 997 reads )


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Himalayan Academy Publications announced that its comprehensive lexicon to "Dancing with Siva" is now on-line in it entirety.




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Hindu Religious Institutions Bill Approved
Posted on 2000/11/26 22:49:02 ( 1068 reads )


Source: The Hindu, November 26, 2000





BANGALORE, INDIA: With the purpose of bringing uniform law to religious institutions, the Legislative Council passed the Hindu Religious Institutions Bill on Friday, November 25th. The Bill, replacing seven former acts in Karnataka State, will bring more than 43,000 Hindu temples, maths, and religious groups under the control of a commissioner. Officers and staff, including temple priests, will be paid wages from the government, not temple funds. According to The Hindu, "The Minister of State for Charitable Institutions and Religious Endowments, Mr. Baburao Chinchansoor, assured the members that the government would not interfere in the affairs of these institutions." However, if inconsistencies are charged, administrators will be appointed by the government to rectify. The act only applies to Hindu institutions; those of Christians and Muslims are free from government control.




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