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Pilgrims throng Garhmukteshwar

Posted on 2000/11/13 0:46:02 ( 2214 reads )

Source: The Hindustan Times, November 12, 2000

GHAZIABAD, INDIA: Today, all roads led to Garhmukteshwar where people thronged Garh Ganga for a holy dip on the occasion of Kartik Purnima. More than 2.7 million people took a bath in the holy Ganga today. Due to the heavy rush of pilgrims, all the roads leading to Garh Ganga were blocked at several places. Also, no proper arrangements were made for deploying private and public busses in sufficient number to carry the large number of pilgrims. In spite of strict restrictions on liquor sale by the administration, liquor was being openly sold at the Garh fair. Below standard and stale foodstuffs were being sold everywhere and there was no proper sanitation.

Sikh bodies upset over RSS posters

Posted on 2000/11/13 0:45:02 ( 2189 reads )

Source: The Hindustan Times, November 12, 2000

AMRITSAR, INDIA: A poster brought out by Punjab unit of RSS has raised yet another controversy, as radical Sikh organizations have reacted sharply on it. The poster, both in Hindi and Punjabi, has been seen in various parts of Amritsar. The poster in Punjabi carries the insignia of "Omkar" at its bottom, which gave a sufficient reason to the Sikh organizations here to denounce it. "Omkar" is the syllable "Om" in Gurumukhi script, and signifies in the Sikh religion the oneness of God. According to Kanwar Pal Singh of Dal Khalsa, a radical Sikh organization, the RSS should not carry Omkar in its literature as they do not believe in one God the way Sikhs believe. Secondly, it should have been on the top of the poster as is done by Sikhs. Interestingly, the Hindi version of the poster has a standard Sanskrit Om instead of the Gurumukhi Omkar. This is also at the bottom of the poster.

Sharma Wins Post at Harvard

Posted on 2000/11/13 0:44:02 ( 2290 reads )


CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS: Dr. Arvind Sharma has been appointed the Infinity Foundation Visiting Professor in Indic Studies at Harvard University.

Oxford Funds New Professorship

Posted on 2000/11/13 0:43:02 ( 2098 reads )


OXFORD, ENGLAND: The University of Oxford in central England is launching a new professorship in Indian history and culture. It has been funded by US$3 million from the Indian Government. The new professor will be expected to specialize in the medieval and early modern period - an area the head of Oriental Studies at Oxford, Dr Jeremy Black, said had been neglected.

"Hindus of New York" at The Interfaith Center

Posted on 2000/11/13 0:42:02 ( 2191 reads )

Source: Interfaith Center, November 12, 2000

NEW YORK, NEW YORK: The Interfaith Center of New York will hold "Hindus of New York" on November 30, 2000 in New York City. The one-day event is part of series on living faith traditions in New York and designed to inform religious leaders, students, and the interested public about important religious communities in the City. This event offers an introduction to New York's many Hindu communities, their rich history, social concerns, and cultural heritage - through conversation, music, and ritual. Presenters include: Swami Amarnathananda (Bharat Sevashram Sangha), Geeta Bhatt (Office of Mental Health, State of New York), Swami A. Bua (Indo-American Yoga Vedanta Society), Sachi Dastidar (State University of New York, Old Westbury), Prof. John Stratton Hawley (Barnard College), Dr. Uma Mysorekar (President, Hindu Temple Society of North America), Prof. M.G. Prasad (Hindu Temple and Cultural Society, Bridgewater, New Jersey), Syanda Shivnarian (Shri Layshmi Narayan Mandir) others. The Interfaith Center of New York, 40 East 30th Street New York, NY 10016 212-685-4242, 212- 685-4222 fax

The Presidential Election Snarl: An Astrological Analysis

Posted on 2000/11/9 0:49:02 ( 2095 reads )

Source: Hinduism Today

KAPAA, HAWAII: According to the Hindu astrological system of jyotish, Al Gore and Gorge W. Bush both have Cancer "lagna," or ascendant. This means the planets transiting their charts are in identical houses. For example, Saturn and Jupiter are right now in the sign of Taurus, which puts them in the 11th house of both candidates, indicating fulfillment of ambitions. Hence, a very close race. Of course, each candidate has the nine planets at birth in different placements in their chart, so the Moon's placement in each chart becomes a key to their prospects of winning. In Jyotish there is a simple system used to determine whether or not it is a good day for you, based solely on the fixed stars the Moon is in alignment with. This is call "tarabala" or star strength. On election night the Moon came into the star of uttaraprostapada, which is the 8th from Mr. Gore's birth star, "friendly for the execution of normal affairs," and the 4th from Mr. Bush's birth star, "success at your endeavors." Again the stars looked pretty good for both, but slightly better for Bush. But, as we know, the polling didn't finish on election night. The following evening of November 8, the Moon came into alignment with the star of revati, which is 9th from Gore's star indicating, "very friendly for achieving your desired ends," and 5th from Bush's star, "obstacles to your endeavors." And suddenly Gore's prospects were improving and the Presidency started to slip through the hands of Bush. The Moon remained in this position until 6:08pm EST, Nov 9. Now for the next 24 hours the tables are turned again in favor of Bush, "fulfillment of ambitions" and not so fortunate for Gore, "danger to the body, no risky actions." The word is the final results may not be in until next Tuesday. On that day until 12:17pm EST, the stars are bad for both of them. After 12:17 pm, it's "financial prosperity" for Bush and "fulfillment of ambitions" for Gore.

American Fast Food Establishments Adapt to Indian Tastes

Posted on 2000/11/9 0:48:02 ( 2203 reads )

Source: Inter Press Service, October 30, 2000

NEW DELHI, INDIA: Whether you ordered in New York, London, Rome, Tokyo or Mexico City, it was "Big Mac with fries" at McDonalds. No more, as the fast food chain adapted to local palettes with teriyaki burgers in Japan and kosher meat in Israel. Now they've introduced the vegetarian McAloo Tikki Burger to their menu in India. The fast food chains learned a lesson from the failure of Kentucky Fried Chicken in India. Local anti-multinational activists failed to oust the KFC chain, even after burning down a shop in Bangalore. But then the Indian consumer dubbed their food too bland, KFC refused to change and folded. Now Pizza Hut is adapting quickly to Indian tastes, running exclusively vegetarian restaurants. It even offers a sattvic pizza, containing nothing that grows below the ground, such as onions or garlic.

Chinmaya Mission Encounters Opposition to Temple

Posted on 2000/11/9 0:47:02 ( 2057 reads )

Source: The Record, Northern New Jersey, October 30, 2000

CRANBURY, NEW JERSEY: Local farmers oppose construction of a Chinmaya Mission center in this rural community. The Mission wants to build on a seven-acre tract in an area of permanently preserved farmland. The temple would be in a barn-like structure designed to fit in the area, and attract 100 people on Sundays and up to 350 on festival days. Local farmers fear the temple goers may eventually object to the use of heavy machinery and pesticides in the area. The Township Committee, at their request, is trying to change the zoning to block the planned temple. Under the new rules, the temple would have to be smaller and have less parking space. However, this zoning attempt may run afoul of the newly passed "Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act" signed into law by President Clinton this year. That act specifically prevents towns from using zoning to restrict religious building, unless they meet stringent requirements.

Communist Politician Wants VHP Denied UN Consultative Status

Posted on 2000/11/8 0:49:02 ( 2438 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA: K. Suresh Kurup, a Marxist Member of the Indian Parliament, has urged Prime Minister A. B.. Vajpayee to instruct the Indian representative in the UN to object to the entry of Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) into the UN Economic and Social Council. He also appealed to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan that VHP should not be granted consultative status in the council. He said the VHP, which "does not at all represent the lofty and tolerant tradition of Hindu faith," was trying to get a consultative status in the UN Economic and Social Council. There are currently more than 1,500 organizations with such status. The Council was "established by the UN Charter as the principal organ, under the authority of the General Assembly, to promote: (a) higher standards of living, full employment, and conditions of economic and social progress and development; (b) solutions of international economic, social, health and related problems; and international cultural and educational cooperation; and (c) universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion." (see www.un.org/). A quick scan of the list of 1,500 organizations (www.un.org/esa/coordination/ngo/) revealed only one other Hindu organization, the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Sanstha (the Swaminarayan Fellowship under Sri Pramukh Swami Maharaj). There were dozens of Christian, Muslim and Buddhist organizations along with hundreds of social welfare groups and even the International Federation of Beekeepers' Associations. Hardly any other India-based groups were noted on the list.

Trinidad Temple Helps Fund Emergency Surgery for Muslim Girl

Posted on 2000/11/8 0:48:02 ( 2155 reads )

Source: Hinduism Today, Pundit Ramesh Tiwari

EDINBURGH, TRINIDAD: A recent newscast on state-owned television in Trinidad showed a 15-year-old Muslim girl with a spinal deformity, together with her parents, making a desperate appeal for financial assistance to have surgery done in Canada to allow their daughter Saadia to live a normal life. The Edinburgh Hindu Temple of Trinidad, being an orthodox Hindu organization, through its spiritual leader Pundit Ramesh Tiwari and temple committee members, raised US$1,800 at the Temple's Divali 2000 annual fund raising dinner and presented a check for this sum to Saadia Hosein on state-owned television. Callers to the temple were in high praise for the committee's efforts to bridge the "religious gap" between the Hindus and Muslims. The parents subsequently informed Pundit Tiwari that they never imagined that a Hindu Temple organization would come to their assistance. They said that a female member of the Islamic community even chastised them for receiving the sum of money from the Hindus. Pundit Tiwari, later interviewed by the television reporter, stated that sickness knows no religion or race and that the Hindu religion teaches that the world is one family "Vasudeva Kutumba-kum." "We saw an opportunity to demonstrate kindness," Pundit Tiwari said, "and we will do it again for any person of any creed, race or religious persuasion. Hopefully though this gesture we can make a difference in religious harmony in the world."

French in a Panic Over Mad Cow Disease

Posted on 2000/11/8 0:47:02 ( 488 reads )


PARIS, FRANCE: A sharp increase in the number of cases of "Mad Cow Disease" in French herds has led to a national outcry over the safety of the nation's supply of beef. Some meat from these herds had reached supermarkets. Many schools have taken beef off the menu, and the government is considering restrictions on the sale of certain cuts. According to the BBC, French President Jacques Chirac has demanded an immediate end to the use of meat and bonemeal in animal feed, amid growing fears over Mad Cow Disease. Earlier, France's health secretary warned that the country could be facing the prospect of dozens of cases of the human form of the disease, variant CJD. Russia, Hungary and Poland have banned some French meat imports. More than 80 people have died of variant CJD in Britain and the government has warned that the number could grow rapidly. Mad Cow Disease is one reason for the popularity of vegetarianism in England, which is now 6% of the total population and nearly 20% of teenage girls.

"Poor Christian Liberation Movement" Agrees with RSS on "Swadeshi Church"

Posted on 2000/11/8 0:46:02 ( 2291 reads )

Source: Pioneer, November 8, 2000

NEW DELHI, INDIA: The audacious request by the RSS nationalist Hindu organization that Christians in India form their own "Swadeshi Churches," i.e., churches based in India and run by Indians, has received support from an unexpected quarter. The President of the Poor Christian Liberation Movement, R.L. Francis, complained that Christian leaders discriminated against backward Christians in India, and that most church organizations were "commercial enterprises." Francis said his organization will initiate an awareness campaign to demand equal rights for dalits (untouchable caste) in church bodies and strengthen harmony between Hindus and Christians. The Christian churches in India for the most part maintain caste discrimination even though it is against the law and even though the religion is not supposed to recognize caste. There exist "brahmin churches" and "non-brahmin churches," as even today in the Southern United States there are "white" and "black" churches still segregated by race.

Lord Siva Series Bought by Advertiser

Posted on 2000/11/8 0:45:02 ( 2311 reads )

Source: Hindustan Times, November 8, 2000

MUMBAI, INDIA: Rights for the popular 208-episode TV series on the stories of Lord Siva has been bought for US$2.2 million for one time telecast by Hindustan Lever company, India's largest supplier of consumer goods. According to a spokesperson, the series cuts across urban and rural markets and is of perennial interest to target users. "In a competitive market, it is essential to have the right kind of programming that fits in with our brand messages," he said.

Gods Continue to Star on Indian TV

Posted on 2000/11/7 0:49:02 ( 2764 reads )

Source: Dainik Hindustan, November 6, 2000

MUMBAI, INDIA: With the wild success of the Mahabharata and Ramayana series on Indian television, which brought whole sections of the country to a halt during their showings, Indian TV is proceeding with more series based on Hinduism. The latest is not one, but two competing series on Lord Ganesha, Shree Ganesh on Sony TV and Jai Ganesha on Zee TV, being shown 15 minutes apart on Sunday morning. Shree Ganesh is directed by Dheeraj Kumar, whose Om Nama Shivaya on Lord Siva is still running. Dheeraj told the press that the high-tech trunk for the Elephant-Headed God cost nearly US$10,000. Sunil Agnihotri, who is producing Jai Ganesha, is planning for 104 episodes. The two shows are being produced on sets 45 feet apart at Film City.

Information Revolution Reaches into India's Villages

Posted on 2000/11/7 0:48:02 ( 3490 reads )


BANGALORE, INDIA (AP): On remote heights of the Himalayas, awe-struck women from yak-herding tribes sit in front of computers for the very first time. In a farming region, poor village women step into video e-mail booths to send messages to their husbands working in faraway cities. State officials have set up 40 such information centers in remote areas, each with six computers and a direct satellite link. Villagers in some areas can access crop prices, land and health registers, complain to the government and even check horoscopes of prospective brides and grooms.

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