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Hindu Americans Deeply Concerned About Post-Election Violence and Bias Crime Spike

Posted on 2016/11/16 19:00:00 ( 619 reads )


WASHINGTON DC, November 16, 2016 (HAF):Leaders of the Hindu American Foundation are deeply concerned about recent incidents of bias-motivated violence and harassment, as well as violence at protests, following the Presidential election. Over the past several days, the Southern Poverty Law Center noted a "big uptick in incidents of vandalism, threats, intimidation spurred by the rhetoric surrounding the recent election." Nazi symbols have been spray-painted in dorms, on walls, and the ground in attempts to intimidate non-whites. There have been numerous incidents of verbal abuse of non-whites across the country, as well as incidents of Muslim women having their hijab pulled, while being verbally harassed. Here at HAF, US-born friends of a Board member were recently told, "Go back to your country." And a member of HAF's National Leadership Council was spat at and chased down a street by a person making obscene gestures.

"While feelings surrounding the election may understandably be running high, incidents of hate and violence are unacceptable in a pluralistic, democratic nation operating under the rule of law," said Suhag Shukla, Esq., the Foundation's Executive Director. If you or someone you know has been harassed, assaulted or threatened with harm, HAF urges that you not stay silent, and report such acts and threats of violence to law enforcement immediately. We also ask that that you help us in tracking incidents of identity-based or bias-motivated intimidation, threats, harassment, and violence being experienced in our communities by filling out this form. To this end, please share this form widely with your networks. Also, if you or someone you know believe like you have been or are being discriminated against on religious grounds, HAF's Know Your Rights provides information about fundamental rights in simple, straightforward terms.

Indian Students in the US at Record High

Posted on 2016/11/16 18:59:42 ( 357 reads )


UNITED KINGDOM, November 15, 2016 (BBC): The number of Indian students studying in the US soared by 25% to a record high, figures from 2015-2016 show. The 2016 Open Doors data says Indian students contribute more than $5.5bn to the American economy. It comes against the backdrop of a steep decline in Indian students opting for the UK, with one estimate citing a 50% drop in four years. Analysts say tougher visa rules in the UK and the stabilization of the rupee against the dollar explain the trend.

A total of 165,918 Indians are now studying in the US, up from 132,888 in 2014-15, the report says. It is released by the Institute of International Education (IIE) in collaboration with the US State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The report says India accounted for the largest growth in students in the US for the second year in a row, primarily at the "graduate and optional practical training" levels.

Hindu Students Association Launches Shruti Podcast Series

Posted on 2016/11/16 18:59:21 ( 468 reads )


UNITED STATES, November 16, 2016 (HSA Press Release): Hindu Students Association is proud to announce the release of the first episode of its new podcast series, Shruti. Shruti aims to bring to light the history of Hinduism and important issues affecting Hindus here in the United States and around the world. Shruti, which means "that which is heard," is named after the set of authoritative scriptures of Hindu philosophy. "It seemed appropriate to use the term Shruti," explained Hari Venkatachalam, Vice-President for the Hindu Students Association. "Most of Hinduism's sacred literature wasn't written down until centuries after they were first composed. The knowledge that was contained in these holy books was passed down from teacher to student through recitation and memorization. Our sacred words were first heard, not written. We're hoping that we can share the Hindu experience in the same way, recreating how Hinduism has been passed from generation to generation for millennia."

The first episode in the series "Arrival in the West: Finding a Place in the New Land" is hosted by the national officers of Hindu Students Association. It focuses on the movement of Hinduism to the Americas, and the unique challenges early Hindu immigrants faced as they sought to practice their religion in a foreign land. To listen to the podcast, visit www.hindustudentsassociation.org/podcast. You can subscribe to the Shruti podcast series through Apple iTunes and Google Play, at the links listed below.

Google Play Link: https://play.google.com/music/m/Izfzvn ... oryq6sttnmh3mowi?t=Shruti
Apple iTunes Link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/shruti/id1168861683

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/11/16 18:59:11 ( 276 reads )


Who there be who, like our Lord, knows the great and the small, the difficult and the facile? Only they who, like a tortoise, withdraw the five senses under their shell. They hear and see the here and the beyond, and have all impurities dispelled.
-- Tirumantiram, verse 133

Demonetization of High Rupee Notes Hits Tirumala Temple Pilgrims Hard

Posted on 2016/11/14 19:25:40 ( 665 reads )


TIRUPATI, INDIA, November 11, 2016 (Sakshi Post): Devotees visiting the Lord Venkateswara temple in Tirumala were hit hard on Wednesday as taxi drivers and owners of hotels and shops refused to accept Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 (US$7.50-15.00) denomination currency notes after the government's sudden move to demonetize them.

The pilgrims, who flock from all over the country to the temple town, had a tough time buying food and other essential items of daily use. Some were facing difficulties even in buying milk for their children. "After reaching at the railway station on Wednesday morning, we learnt that Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes are no longer valid. Since we were travelling, we are carrying only high denomination currency notes," said G. Rammohan, a devotee from Visakhapatnam.

The TTD accepted Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes for darshan tickets. Arrangements were also made to enable devotees swipe their credit and debit cards for accommodation and other services provided by the TTD. With banks and ATMs closed for the day, the pilgrims and visitors had no option but to borrow or buy on credit, or to rough it out. Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD), which runs the affairs of the hill shrine - the richest in the country - intervened to provide some succor to the pilgrims. It arranged for free food, snacks and milk for all pilgrims.

Religion Data of Census 2011: 32nd Note-- Arunachal Pradesh Scheduled Tribes

Posted on 2016/11/14 19:25:29 ( 514 reads )


INDIA, November 13, 2016 (Center for Policy Studies by Anjaneya Bajaj): This thirty-second note on the Religion Data of Census 2011 concerns the Christianisation of many of the very numerous tribes of Arunachal Pradesh. One of the main stories of the Religion Data of Census 2011 is about the Christian penetration into Arunachal Pradesh, a State that had largely escaped Christianisation until recently. We have discussed the issue in our earlier note, Arunachal Joins the Christian Northeast. Now we present the religious profile of individual tribes of the State; this data for 2011 has been released only recently.

Discussion of the individual tribes of Arunachal Pradesh is highly complicated because of the great multiplicity of tribes listed in the Census tabulations. In 2011, the Census lists as many as 105 individual tribes in Arunachal Pradesh; the number was 100 in 2001. This numerousness of the tribes counted in the State has become possible because of the ambiguous language of the Constitutional Order listing the tribes to be included in the Schedule. The Order names only 16 tribes, but says that all tribes of the State including these 16 would be part of the Schedule. This has made the list open-ended.

Many of the tribes listed in the Census are divisions and subdivisions of the same tribe. We have tried to group the numerous tribes into a few groups that are ethnically distinct and inhabit distinct geographical regions of the State. The religion data for these groups indicates that some of the major tribal groups have been fully or largely Christianized, while many of the Buddhist and Hindu tribes have continued to retain their identity.

More at "source" above.

Hindu American Foundation Hiring Two Fulltime Staff Positions: California Regional Associate Director and Associate Director of Membership

Posted on 2016/11/14 19:25:18 ( 465 reads )


USA, November 14, 2016 (HAF): The Hindu American Foundation seeks applicants for two full time positions.

The position of California Regional Associate Director will develop and expand HAF's presence throughout all parts of the state, including Northern, Central, and Southern California, as well as bordering states in the Western region. This will include designing and implementing advocacy and programmatic initiatives; increasing HAF's fundraising capacity; and building relationships with key local, state, and federal policy makers, interfaith, civil rights, and community leaders, in order to educate them on important issues of concern to the Hindu American community. This position is new to the organization so the Associate Director will have some opportunity to build and carry forward his or her vision and function. This role requires an outgoing, highly energetic individual with excellent communication, research/writing, and organizational skills.

The position of Associate Director of Membership will develop and coordinate community awareness events and membership fundraising drives, and develop and distribute member communication and marketing materials in coordination with other staff. This position is new to the organization so the Associate Director will have some opportunity to build and carry forward his or her vision and function.
For details on how to apply, go to source above. Applicants must be based in the US.

Hinduism Today magazine highly encourages qualified individuals to apply for these important posts in America's foremost advocacy organization.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/11/14 19:25:08 ( 306 reads )


A quiet mind is all you need. All else will happen rightly, once your mind is quiet. As the Sun makes the world active with its rays, so does self-awareness change the mind. In its light, energies wake up and work miracles without effort on your part.
-- Nisargadatta Maharaj (1897-1981), Hindu sage

Kerala Takes U-turn in Supreme Court; Favors Women inside Sabarimala Temple

Posted on 2016/11/10 14:34:20 ( 695 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA, November 7, 2016 (New Indian Express): In a U-turn, the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government of Kerala on Monday informed the Supreme Court that it favored the entry of women of all age groups in the historic Sabarimala temple in the state. The counsel for the state government, which had earlier supported the ban on women's entry in the temple in its additional affidavit filed in July this year, told the apex court it will now go by its original response filed in 2007 favoring entry of women in the temple premises.

Initially, the LDF government had taken a progressive stand in 2007 by favoring women's entry in the temple, which was overturned by the Congress-led United Democratic Front dispensation later. However, the UDF, before losing power to the LDF this year, had taken a view that it was against the entry of women of the age group of 10-to-50 years into the temple as such a practice was being followed since time immemorial.

The bench, which has now fixed the matter for hearing on February 13 next year, said the stand of the government is not the final one as it will take a decision after deliberating upon various aspects including the constitutional provisions with regard to gender equality. The apex court had observed that women are conferred rights under the Constitution and it would pass a detailed order in case the matter is referred to a five-judge constitution bench. It had remarked: "a temple is a public religious place. You cannot refuse entry to a woman who comes there ... It violates the rights of women. We understand the seriousness of issue. Every right needs to be balanced but every balancing has its own limitations...".

British PM Theresa May Wears a Saree During India Visit, and Fits Right in.

Posted on 2016/11/10 14:34:09 ( 706 reads )


INDIA, NOVEMBER 9, 2016 (by Somya Abrol, India Today): British Prime Minister Theresa May visited India for three days to discuss post-Brexit Britain's relations with India, and the way forward. On the final day of her visit, while in Bangalore, May visited the century-old Sri Someshwara Temple clad gracefully in a saree. Taking time off her hectic engagements in the city, May, accompanied by two priests went around the temple at Halasuru, donning a gold and green saree. According to NDTV, May took her temple visit with Hindu priests, who presented her with fruit, a flower garland and a piece of silk, to give as an offering to Lord Shiva.

Saluting a Super Lady This Diwali

Posted on 2016/11/10 14:33:59 ( 450 reads )


NAIROBI, KENYA, October 20, 2016 (Daily Nation): The socio-religious festivities that have been happening throughout October culminate today as faithful mark Diwali, the festival of lights. The festivity takes a brilliant dimension as traditional lamps are lit at residential and business premises. This auspicious day is an opportune time to honor a versatile lady who has dedicated her life in the service of women's rights, theatre and creative arts in Kenya. She is Mrs. Kapil Dhingra.

Currently the Chairperson of Indian Women's Association, Kapil spearheads the organisation which initiates projects to assist women and the underprivileged. Since the late 90s, she has chaired the Indian Citizens Welfare Association-ICWAK. The association was initially formed to quench the cultural thirst of the Indian expatriate community, but later spread its wings and became a group presenting oriental entertainment for all Kenyans. She has over the years not only directed creative cultural activities of ICWAK but also participated in promoting Asian theatre and allied arts.

Kapil is certainly a multi-talented lady of all seasons, so to say, as she in another of her passions is involved in organising religious activities as Secretary to Shree Sanatan Dharam Sabha. She sits on the board of Kenya India Friendship Association and leads GOPIO the global organisation of people of Indian origin. In recognition of her sterling service to Kenyan Indian community, Kapil Dhingra was awarded the Hind Rattan - the Jewel of India award in the year 2000.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/11/10 14:33:48 ( 315 reads )


You cannot believe in God until you believe in yourself.
-- Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902)

Hindus Attacked Again in Bangladesh; Houses Torched

Posted on 2016/11/9 19:48:16 ( 628 reads )


DHAKA, BANGLADESH, November 5, 2016 (DNA): In fresh attacks on Hindus in Bangladesh, unidentified miscreants set ablaze some of their houses and damaged two temples in central Brahmanbarhia district where several places of worship of the minority community were vandalized earlier this week, police said. Miscreants set fire to at least six Hindu houses in a predawn attack yesterday in central Brahmanbarhia district's Nasirnagar, the place where at least fifteen temples and more than 20 houses were vandaliZed after a Facebook post deemed offensive to Islam sparked outrage in the country.

Many Hindu families have deserted their houses after the attacks on temples and have taken refuge in other areas. Tensions have escalated in the neighborhood after the fresh assault on Friday. Police in overnight drives detained 33 persons for their alleged involvement in the synchronized attacks on Hindus in Brahmanbaria on October 30. With this, police have detained a total of 44 people in connection with the attack, Mizanur Rahman, superintendent of Brahmanbaria police, told The Daily Star.

Meanwhile, hundreds of protesters yesterday rallied in the capital demanding stern action against perpetrators of attacks on Hindus. Several hundred Hindu youths joined by Muslims staged a street protest at central Dhaka's Shahbagh Square. The protests on Friday prompted newly elected Awami League general secretary and Road Transport Minister Obaidul Quader to reiterate the government's tougher stance against the culprits promising to bring them to justice quickly.

13th-Century Relics from Malaysia's Majapahit Kingdom Found Beneath Malacca River

Posted on 2016/11/9 19:48:05 ( 467 reads )


MALACCA, MALAYSIA, November 6, 2016 (The Straits Times): Relics possibly dating back to the 13th-century Majapahit empire are believed to have been found along a 1.25 mile stretch beneath the Malacca river. Two weeks ago, a group of professional divers apparently discovered parts of a Hindu temple and a fort-like structure. They believed that these ancient finds could point to a submerged city that existed even before Parameswara founded Malacca in 1400.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron, when contacted, acknowledged that he had received a report about the sighting of the relics. "But we have yet to get an in-depth report. "The finding is still vague until archaeologists from the Heritage Department make their conclusions," he said.

The Majapahit empire was centralized in east Java and was a vast archipelagic kingdom during its peak between 1293 and 1527. Malacca was once an important town for Majapahit's palace officials and soldiers who made the town their maritime headquarters.

Air India Apologises for Error in Article on Jagannath temple

Posted on 2016/11/9 19:47:55 ( 462 reads )


INDIA, October 31, 2016 (Daily Pioneer): Following widespread criticism and agitations over an article in its in-flight magazine over non-vegetarian dishes being cooked and served at the Shree Jagannath Temple, Puri, Air India on Saturday apologized for publishing the article and withdrew the magazine from all its aircrafts. An article in Subh Yatra, the Air India's magazine, titled "Devotion can be delicious," read, "Said to be the largest in the country, the Jagannath Temple's kitchen in Puri since its inception has had an army of 500 cooks and 300 helpers to serve 100,000 people every day, round the clock, which means almost 285 varieties of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes every day."

After an Odia passenger noticed the article, he shared it in social networking site. Later, the article drew sharp reactions from every quarter with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik stating, "I think this is a most unfortunate matter. We will take it up strongly with the appropriate authorities." Protesting the article, activists of the Jagannath Sena on Saturday took to the streets and demanded an immediate apology from the concerned authorities. Meanwhile, the airline in a tweet said, "AI apologizes for the error. Our intention was not to hurt sentiments. Shubh Yatra copies have been removed with immediate effect."

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