Stand Strong. Indeed!
In response to the Publisher's appeal to stand strong for Hinduism and not be afraid to call ourselves Hindus with friends, business associates and even strangers [August, 1994], I offer this quote from one of our greatest Hindus, Swami Vivekananda, who had to face this issue in his day too: "When a man has begun to be ashamed of his ancestors, the end has come. Here am I, one of the least of the Hindu race, yet proud of my race, proud of my ancestors. I am proud to call myself a Hindu. I am proud that I am one of your unworthy servants. I am proud that I am a countryman of yours, you the descendants of the sages, you the descendants of the most glorious rishis the world ever saw."
Jaidev Singh, Iauak, Nova Scotia, Canada
Hindu Rights Monitor
In May this year, about 120 delegates attended a conference sponsored by the Project on Religion and Human Rights. This conference was remarkable for the manifest sincerity of all participants. Professor A.L. Basham asserted that "the most striking feature of ancient Indian civilization was its humanity." I think we Hindus should now give a tangible form to this dimension of our heritage by organising a Hindu Rights Monitor, charged with the two tasks of documenting cases of violations of Human Rights among Hindus and against Hindus, so as to raise the level of awareness about Hindu Rights in our midst. Awareness precedes action. Human rights constitute an assertion of human dignity and it has been well said that dignity consists not so much in our receiving due respect as in our awareness that we deserve it.
Professor Arvind Sharma, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
In Trends to Watch [June, 1994] every country's map was shown without any "parts" missing except India, whose northern region was completely chopped off. I am proud of my Kashmiri Vedic Heritage, and I fail to understand why the portions of Kashmir are always missing in the political map of India drawn by the people outside India.
Shikha Malaviya [Wife Abuse, June, 1994] has overlooked the dilemma faced by the husband. He is caught between the love for his mother, who bore him, and the wife for whom he has dharmic obligations. Isn't it ironic that the mother-in-law, who was once in daughter-in-law's shoes, does not change herself and really abuses the woman and the man gets the blame? We need counseling for future mother-in-laws, and they should be psychologically evaluated prior to becoming one.
Surendar Naath Kaul, Baytown, Texas, USA
Your editorial [March, 1994] was excellently written and desperately warranted. How true it is that the successful propagation and preservation of dharma depends upon a solid economic base! For small ashrams, an endowment strategy can make the difference between constant financial struggle and self-sufficiency into-and beyond-the next millenium.
Rupa Manjari Dasi, Maui, Hawaii, USA
I wish to acknowledge the wonderful service you have done to the Vivekananda Kendra by publishing your write-up [June, 1994]. It is appreciated by everybody. My most reverential pranams to Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami.
Dr. M. Lakshmi Kumari, President, Vivekananda Kendra, Kanyakumari, India
Missing a Turn
Under the guise of impartiality and objective reporting, we often wash only our dirty linen in public and then bemoan the fact that we are stereotyped [Smita Patel, My Turn, July, 1994]. Femmicide, bride burning, sati...you forgot to mention wife-beating, arranged weddings, patriarcial duty-bound, caste-ridden society. As Indians, our education is often positively correlated with everything negative about our tradition and culture. For some of us, whose schooling has not interfered with our education, it is still 'cool' to be positively Indian and modern simultaneously.
We all want a Ram or a Sita for a partner. Unfortunately, none of us wants to become a Ram or a Sita.
Omar Singh, Winnipeg, Canada
Learning So Much
I am 65-years old, and I've never seen such a wonderful and outstanding publication, which still talks about the Vedas, Agamas and other scriptures. I have all the copies of Hinduism Today since I started subscribing in a binder and show them to all my friends and relatives visiting my home. I'm learning so much from your paper, things I've heard before and never really learned, a paper that praises the good work of all Hindu organizations.
Manek Kothari, Farmington Hills, Michigan, USA
A respectable woman, who is devoted to her marriage, who does not respond to an irresponsible husband with immature games and provocations to excess is less likely to be harmed in a conflict than a less respectable woman who over uses her powers to manipulate other people to get her selfish ways. Women who get killed, and even their husbands who get killed, probably have pushed the boundries of impropriety and manipulation to the extreme. A greater world awareness of domestic violence will cause authorities to intervene in conflicts sooner, requiring the combatants to attend counseling sessions to mitigate tensions that lead to violence.
Sarah Bromberg, Berkeley, California, USA
Enrich Each Other
According to your article [Marriage, July, 1994], a woman must always convert to the specific beliefs of her husband. Nowhere does your article mention that a man, too, should respect the beliefs of his wife. Yet, Vedic literature has always said that a woman should so be treated.
Hinduism has many diverse elements. Yet, instead of being enriched, we are bound by it. Bound because of one simple thing-a lack of respect for each other. A respect that should be started in the home, and fostered among two individuals who can tolerate, expand and enrich the other's views-same sect or not.
Shilpa Arora, Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, USA
A Trove of Tomes
As president of the Institute for Advanced Studies of World Religions -which is dedicated to assisting those who want to teach, study, and practice a religious way of life-I was pleased to see enthusiastic coverage of Buddhist, Jewish, Taoist and Shintoist religions [July, 1994].
The IASWR houses an extensive collection-over 75,000 volumes-of religious books, manuscripts and rare works in 32 Asian and 11 non-Asian languages. IASWR is adjacent to Chuang Yen Monastery.
C.T. Shen, IASWR, Carmel, New York, USA
The Good Doctor
In your July, 1994, issue, I was delighted to see a wonderful article, Five Simple Home Remedies, by Vaidya Virender Sodhi, Doctor of Ayurveda. I do hope you will keep it as a regular feature in your newspaper. The information is very valuable, especially since the dosha effects are given.
Mrs. Irene Rudra, Marion, Indiana, USA
Let me take this opportunity to compliment Hinduism Today for the truly outstanding publication that it is. Ever since I laid eyes on the paper a little over a year back, I have been hooked. I can't decide which is better: the graphics, the print quality or the contents!
Parthiv Parekh, Chamblee, Georgia, USA
In our August, 1994 article on UK immigration we mistakenly said in the page one photo caption of Virendra Sharma and his wife that she had come to UK for their arranged marriage. Actually, he came from India to join her in the UK 25 years ago. We apologize for the error.