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Partition and Dislocation of Ethnic Groups/Telugus in Bangladesh Forgotten

Posted on 2017/8/3 20:07:32 ( 730 reads )


INDIA, JULY 25, 2017 (Empire's Last Casualty, by Dr. Akkaraju Sarma): One of the legacies of Colonial Empire with unfortunate consequences has been the practice of "indentured laborers." In a nutshell, British recruited a batch of Indian citizens, based on a typical rural structure based on local traditions based on jati (ethnic, caste, tribe or linguistic community.) This subject has been well written on with an overall picture of thriving fellow citizens, whether it be Fiji (with half the nation is Indian Origin), much of South African legendary success of Asians (with business acumen) and of course since 1965 of remarkable achievements of Indians - otherwise known as Non-Resident Indians or NRI's - in the continental United States.

Leaving this aside for the moment, did you know that about 1,200 or so of Telugu speakers have been struggling in Bangladesh? An enterprising Bangladeshi Muslim Scholar-Investigative Photo Journalist Mr. Khamin Cu has documented in 1970s the highlights of the small pocket of Telugus. They were living in a colony for methors, Bengali equivalent of low social status of sweepers/cleaners. While many Bangladesh communities were identified and given recognition, Telugus remain an "invisible" community, denied of rights of a Bangladeshi citizen unable to franchise their rights.

Full article at "source" above.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2017/8/3 20:07:21 ( 495 reads )


Hindu sages have told us that to live the spiritual life, no matter how hampered it might be, no matter with what limitations, is infinitely superior to having a mental grasp of things Divine. They have taught us that until we have woven these things into our lives, one by one and step by step, we would not be able to have a grasp of the whole of the Divine teaching.
-- Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)

Ganpati Special: Festival to Have Tours of Iconic Mandals for Foreigners

Posted on 2017/8/2 20:19:58 ( 624 reads )


MUMBAI, INDIA, August 1, 2017 (DNA India): The spiritual and social traditions of Ganesh utsav will be on display with the state government planning to use these celebrations to attract domestic and foreign tourists to Maharashtra. This will include tours for visitors covering iconic Ganesh mandals in cities like Mumbai and Pune and events at locations like the Asiatic Society of Mumbai precinct to unveil the history and cultural significance of the festival.

Jaykumar Rawal, minister for tourism and employment guarantee scheme (EGS) told DNA that the state tourism department will market the festival through initiatives like special buses and Ganpati walks for tourists in Mumbai and Pune to cover iconic mandals. Rawal, who held a meeting with BMC and tourism department officials recently, added that the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) will collaborate with the BMC to set up an enclosure for foreign tourists to watch the Ganesh immersion procession at Girg Chowpaty. The enclosure will be able to accommodate 200 tourists at one go in batches of an hour.

HMDA to Procure 10,000 Clay Ganesha Statues

Posted on 2017/8/2 20:19:47 ( 511 reads )


HYDERABAD, INDIA, July 30, 2017 (New Indian Express): With the festivities revolving around Ganesha festival set to begin, Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) has drawn plans to supply eco-friendly clay Ganesha statues in order to protect lakes and water bodies in and around Hyderabad including Hussainsagar. Instead of statues made of plaster of Paris sprayed with synthetic colors, HMDA wants devotees to use statues made of clay. The authority has decided to procure as many as 10,000 statues from artisans and agencies who have experience in making eco-friendly statues of minimum size of eight inches. HMDA officials said they have invited expression of interest from eligible artisans and agencies who have proven experience in manufacturing statues in large numbers and willing to supply on or before August 18.

Gorakhpur Gita Press Gets a $1.7 Million Shot in the Arm from Germany

Posted on 2017/8/2 20:19:36 ( 707 reads )


GORAKHPUR, INDIA, July 30, 2017 (Hindustan Times): The world's largest publisher of Hindu religious books, Gita Press in Gorakhpur, is all set to add yet another feather to its cap. Having acquired a German-made machine worth US$1.7 million, the nearly century-old press will now publish books with better print quality and improved binding that will increase their shelf life. Prior to getting this new binding machine, the work was done manually. Now, the machine can bind 10,000 books at a time.

The press, which holds the pride of place for publishing over 650 million books from Mahabharata, Ramayana, Ram Charitmanas and Shrimad Bhagwad Gita to books on numerous fasts and rituals observed in Hindu homes since its inception in 1923 in more than 14 languages, will soon acquire other sophisticated printing machines to improve printing quality. "Use of machines will save time, reduce production cost and, most significantly, improve the quality of books," said KKM Tripathi, manager personnel at Gita Press.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2017/8/2 20:19:25 ( 471 reads )


The practice of yoga is not for ourselves alone, but for the Divine; its aim is to work out the will of the Divine in the world, to effect a spiritual transformation and to bring down a divine nature into the life of humanity. It is not personal ananda, but the bringing down of the divine ananda, the Satya Yuga, upon the Earth.
-- Sri Aurobindo, (1872-1950), Indian philosopher and reformer

Lingayat Monasteries Split over Separate Religion Issue, Congress Stands to Gain the Most

Posted on 2017/8/1 19:07:49 ( 770 reads )


KARNATAKA, INDIA, July 28, 2017 (The News Minute): The demand for a minority religion status, seems to have divided the Lingayat Mutts (monasteries) in Karnataka. Even as multiple views from Lingayat outfits and political organisations have emerged, the demand of a separate religion seems to have divided the Lingayats of northern and southern Karnataka. On July 19, the Vishwa Lingayat Mahasabha, an umbrella organisation of Lingayat Mutts and political leaders, held a mammoth rally in Bidar. This rally marked the revival of the demand for a separate religion. According to Mate Mahadevi, Head of the Basava Dharma Peetha, the convention will be held in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu as well.

"Lingayats are not Hindus and neither are they a backward caste. We follow Basavanna's Vachanas and not the Vedas. Hence, we should be classified as a separate religion. Just like Christianity, Islam, Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism, we too want the status of a minority religion. Apart from the reason that we are not Hindus, the separate religion status will open up opportunities for the members of the community. The government provides approx. US$250 million for minorities as a grant. This will help uplift the members of the Lingayat community," Mate Mahadevi told TNM.

More at "source" above.

Indian Yoga Teachers Enjoy Life in China

Posted on 2017/8/1 19:07:39 ( 597 reads )


CHINA, July 28, 2017 (Ecns): Since the first Indian yoga college in China was established in June 2015 at Yunnan Nationalities University in Kunming, the capital of Yunnan Province, batches of Indian yoga teachers have come to China and their love for this country has taken root. "Put your palms together in front of your chest with your spine in a neutral position," a 37-year-old Indian yoga teacher Subbulakshmi Velusamy said to her students. After showing the movements, she observed her followers and corrected them. Having lived in China for a year and a half since 2015, Velusamy has adapted herself to the climate and life in Kunming and built her own social circle.

Yatindra Amoli, another Indian yoga teacher in the college, is addicted to Indian and Chinese cultures. He is surprised at the similarities between the two peoples' minority cultures, lifestyles, dietary habits and even marriage customs. "Chinese people once transported many commodities like tea to India through the Ancient Tea Horse Road (a trade link in southwest China, extending to South Asia). The history of trade may partly explain our similarities," he said.

Meditation Truck Offers Moment of Zen in Heart of New York City

Posted on 2017/8/1 19:07:29 ( 531 reads )


NEW YORK, NEW YORK, July 26, 2017 (Metro): Certified meditation teacher Kristin Westbrook offered guided meditation sessions inside of her converted RV truck on Wednesday in midtown Manhattan and encouraged frazzled passersby to join her for a 10-minute mental break. Westbrook, 50, said she opened "Calm City," a mobile meditation studio, in May to alleviate people's stress as it helped her with her own. The Calm City mobile studio, which seats up to nine people at a time, hosted about four customers total on a recent Wednesday, according to Westbrook. She hopes to partner with companies around the city for corporate events and eventually expand her business by operating more trucks.

"I wanted to make it as convenient as a food truck so that you could just pop in, get 10 minutes of calm and then go back to work without it being a big time commitment or travel commitment," Westbrook, who has been meditating since 2001, said. "I love when people come in here and mediate because the look on their face just changes so much when they leave. It's so relaxing and so purifying. People walk by and they are like, 'Oh wait, let me see what's going on in here.'"

Photos at "source" above.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2017/8/1 19:07:18 ( 350 reads )


We who have come from the East here have been told day after day in a patronizing way that we ought to accept Christianity because Christian nations are the most prosperous. We look about us and see England as the most prosperous nation in the world, with her foot on the neck of 250 million Asiatics. We look back in history and see Christian Spain's wealth beginning with the invasion of Mexico. Such prosperity comes from cutting the throats of fellow men. At such a price the Hindu will not have prosperity.
-- Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902), disciple of Sri Ramakrishna, at the Parliament of the World's Religions, 1893

Land of temples in Kalahandi on Path of Recovery

Posted on 2017/7/28 20:36:12 ( 1071 reads )


BHAWANIPATNA, INDIA, July 28, 2017 (New Indian Express): For the land grabbers, the immovable properties of Deities are easy target. Fifteen temples of Kalahandi Group of Temples, managed by Odisha Hindu Religious Endowment, bear testimony to years of neglect and becoming victims of encroachment. Now there is an attempt by the Group to recover the immovable properties of Deities and renovate the temples, which need attention. This has raised new hope.

Most of these temples were constructed during the 19th Century by the then kings of Kalahandi. In the seventies, the former King handed over these temples to the Government along with 1,500 acres of land and valuables of the Deities for the management and maintenance of the temples and also for performance of rituals. Despite having the potential of adequate returns, the situation remained grim. Now, for the last one year, a campaign has been launched by the management of the Group of Temples to recover the grabbed lands by initiating an eviction process and increase the revenue. There are also plans to renovate these structures, many of which are in dilapidated condition.

Historical Report: First "Hindoo" Cremation in America

Posted on 2017/7/28 20:36:02 ( 812 reads )


ASTORIA, OREGON, November 2, 1906 (saada.org archives): HPI Note: This 109-year-old clipping was found by an HPI reader. It reports what was in fact a Sikh funeral, not a "Hindoo" one. At the this time, anyone from India was called a Hindoo, regardless of their actual religion. We provide the report as originally written:

What is believed to be the first Hindoo funeral and cremation ever solemnized in this country took place this morning at a secluded spot in the woods about three miles southeast of this city. It was the cremation of the remains of Ruma Singh, the Hindoo who died in this city a couple of days ago of consumption (tuberculosis), and whose body was, in accordance with an order issued by Circuit Judge McBride, turned over to the deceased's countrymen yesterday, to be disposed of according to the rites of their country and religion.

The ceremony was quiet, was not as spectacular as was expected, and was not attended with the gruesomeness that was anticipated. In fact, the four Hindoos present went about the matter in a purely businesslike manner and with little ceremony. It was evident that they were merely carrying out a duty that their religion made obligatory upon them. [The reporter would have been unaware that a Sikh funeral is in fact a very simple affair: see https://www.allaboutsikhs.com/sikh-cer ... -ceremonies-antam-sanskar

The body was taken to the scene by the Deputy Coroner and City Physician, and there turned over to the Hindoos, who were to conduct the cremation. A pyre had been constructed of cordwood about seven feet long, three feet wide and three feet high. The body, which had previously been wrapped in a sheet and then sewed up in a blanket, was placed on top of the pyre and wood piled on it until the pyre was about six feet in height, with the body in the center of it. A small fire was first built at one side, and six two-pound squares of butter were melted over it in a metal bucket. Then the fire was kindled under the pyre, and as pitchwood was used as kindling, it was soon all ablaze.

As soon as the fire was well started, one of the Hindoos took a dipperful of the melted butter and poured it over the corpse, chanting in his native tongue at the time. This was the only semblance of a religious ceremony, and the explanation was made afterwards that the use of the butter was for sanitary purposes. While the cremation was commenced shortly after 8 o'clock this morning, it was about 3 o'clock this afternoon before the entire body was consumed. Owing to the inaccessibility of the place and the fact that no intimation was given out as to the time and place the cremation was to be held, only a few people witnessed its start, but later in the day the spot was visited by a number of curious persons. The Hindoos were, however, not interfered with, and they paid but little attention to the spectators.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2017/7/28 20:35:51 ( 615 reads )


As long as someone cries out "O God! O God!" be sure that he has not found God, for whoever has found Him becomes still.
-- Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa (1836-1886)

Kenyans of Indian Descent Become 44th Tribe

Posted on 2017/7/26 20:23:15 ( 895 reads )


KENYA, July 22, 2017 (Daily Nation): President Uhuru Kenyatta has gazetted the recognition of the Kenyans of Indian descent as the 44th tribe in Kenya and invited them to participate in the political, economic, cultural and social development of the nation. Acting Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i, who made the announcement on Saturday on behalf of the president, noted the community's great sense of civic duty and its key role in setting up learning and health institutions, which he noted, serve to supplement the government initiatives.

"The Head of State acknowledges that the Kenyan Asian's contribution to Kenya has its roots at the dawn of our Nation," Mr. Matiang'i spoke yesterday on the stairs of Harambee house, which houses the office of the president. In mid-May, 2017, the community requested the formal recognition through a petition to the president. "On consideration of the petition, His Excellency the President opined that the petition merits action. In this regard, we are gathered here this morning to honour the requests by handing over the presidential proclamation that grants the community their wishes," he said.

See also:
http://www.nation.co.ke/oped/Opinion/ ... 4031870-d0o5q9/index.html

India Adding New Cultural Centres Abroad

Posted on 2017/7/26 20:23:05 ( 613 reads )


INDIA, July 26, 2017 (Press Release): ICCR has 36 Indian Cultural Centres and one Sub-Centre. ICCR has plans to establish new Indian Cultural Centres in Washington and Paris. Cultural Centres overseas are ICCR's important arms, which play a significant role in the promotion of India's soft power strength through its variety of activities like facilitating teaching of Indian dance, music, yoga, Hindi etc., organizing cultural performances, film screening, lectures, talks, Seminars & Conferences on themes related to India including workshops/interactions on various streams of Indian dance and music and organizing Festivals of India. Activities are organized in the capital and other cities with the help of involvement of local community and Indian Diaspora.

For a list of Indian Cultural Centres abroad see "source" above.

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