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Trinidad's Hindu PM likely to return to office

Posted on 2000/11/5 0:47:02 ( 2928 reads )

Source: Hinduism Today: Anil Mahabir, Trinidad Correspondent

PORT LOUIS, TRINIDAD: Trinidadians will go to the polls to elect a new government on Monday, December 11, 2000. The two major parties in the race are: the UNC, widely touted as "the Indian/Hindu party" which is led by Basdeo Panday and the PNM, which is seen as the "African/Christian party" led by Patrick Manning. The country is presently run by a Hindu Prime minister in Basdeo Panday. All the recent polls seem to suggest that the incumbent government (the UNC) will return to office, however, it is premature to come to a conclusion. The PNM has vowed to re-visit all the legislation passed "by the Hindu Prime Minister," especially the "blasphemous libel law" which makes it illegal for anyone to publicly criticize any of the world's religions. The PNM only wants it to protect the "Christian faith against the pagans"--as did the original English Common Law version in force up to this year. Things are peaceful in a country which has never seen a single act of election violence even when, in 1995, the country got its first Hindu Prime Minister.

South Africa Hindus act against AIDS

Posted on 2000/11/5 0:46:02 ( 2749 reads )


JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA: Yogapragasan Naidoo has organized an AIDS awareness concert with the help of religious, cultural and nongovernment organizations in South Africa. A float procession through Lenasia will be followed by a concert of bhajan and kirtan groups (religious singers) and speakers from various AIDS organizations. "The idea," explained Naidoo, "is part of the schools initiative run by the South Africa National AIDS Council, which requires schools to do something about AIDS education."

Announcement: Yoga conference, Tampa, Florida, December 15 to 19, 2000

Posted on 2000/11/5 0:45:02 ( 2274 reads )


"Yoga for Positive Health", 10th International Conference, will be held in Tampa, Florida in December. The conference is co-sponsored by sVYASA and The Center for Positive Health at the University of South Florida, College of Public Health. The main conference will focus on "Yoga and Consciousness" and "Applications of Yoga for Health and Diseases" with many nationally and internationally known experts.

Temple Wins Local Community Award

Posted on 2000/11/4 0:49:02 ( 3242 reads )


The Hindu Temple Society of North America, which operates the Ganesha Temple in Flushing New York, has been awarded a place in the "People's Hall of Fame" for providing excellent cultural example to the community.

Hindu Festivals Gear Up in India

Posted on 2000/11/1 0:49:02 ( 2673 reads )

Source: The Tribune, November 1, 2000

PATNA, INDIA: The four day festival of Chatth kicks off Wednesday in Bihar State, India. Millions of Hindus are expected to congregate along different rivers and lakes in the state for the do-it-yourself offerings which require no priests. Similar religious festivals involving millions of Hindus--a scale never seen in the West--will occur all over India through the fall, culminating in the once-in-twelve-year Kumbha Mela at Allahabad in January to March. The Mela will be the largest gathering of human beings in one place in history, likely numbering more than 45 million Hindus.

India Government Subsidies Hindu Pilgrims

Posted on 2000/11/1 0:48:02 ( 2808 reads )

Source: Press Trust of India

DELHI, INDIA: Indian Railways announced a special fare for pilgrims from Delhi to the Vaishno Devi Shrine near Jammu, on the border with Kashmir, 500 miles from Delhi. This famed shrine to the Goddess attracts hundreds of thousands of pilgrims every year. Now they can travel by train and bus from Delhi, stay in hotels, have vegetarian meals for just $65/person for a three-day trip.

India Government Subsidies Muslim Pilgrims

Posted on 2000/11/1 0:47:02 ( 2746 reads )

Source: Hindustan Times, October 30

DELHI, INDIA: 72,000 Muslims from India will make the pilgrimage to Mecca this year financed by the Indian government at US$435 each to cover airfare and accommodations to Saudi Arabia. The subsidy, which totals US$32 million, allows poorer Muslims to make the requiste once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage. The subsidy was increased over last year due to increase in aviation fuel costs.

Norway Envoy Meets Sri Lanka Rebel Leader

Posted on 2000/11/1 0:46:02 ( 3468 reads )


COLOMBO, SRI LANKA: In a remarkable development in the long Sri Lanka civil war, Norwegian special envoy Eric Solheim met the leader of the Tamil Tigers, Velupillai Prabhakaran, in the jungles of Wannai, northern Sri Lanka. Norway has long sought to help mediate the conflict, but during the last state elections it appeared their help was no longer welcome. Now both the government and the rebels are evaluating the Norwegian contribution.

Posted on 1999/11/28 19:00:00 ( 0 reads )


Hindu of the Year Award Presented to Sri P. Parameswaran

Posted on 1999/11/28 19:00:00 ( 2043 reads )

Source: HPI (by G.K. Nair, correspondent)

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, KERALA, INDIA, June 30: Mr P. Parameswaran, Hinduism Today's Hindu of the Year 2010, has received the award from the magazine's correspondent in Kerala, G.K. Nair. Speaking on behalf of Hinduism Today, Nair said, "to raise India to the heights Vivekananda spoke of is no easy task, but that is the defining thread of P. Parameswaran's life."

P. Parameswaran became the recipient of this prestigious award is a result of his dedication to fulfilling a vision of a strong India forged in Hindu wisdom and strengthened by dharma. His accomplishments as a creative thinker, tireless social worker and peerless leader overseeing many institutions inspire Hindus across the globe. As a thinker, a philosopher, a reformer and current president of Vivekananda Kendra, P. Parameswaran strives to defend both India and Hinduism, which to him are inseparably linked. "He founded several institutions that contribute to this vision," Mr Nair said during the presentation. In 2004, the President of India awarded Parameswaran the prestigious Padma Shree, India's greatest honor for civilians.

Thanking the editorial staff for his selection as Hindu of the Year 2010, Mr Parameswaran said " selecting me for the coveted award is not a recognition of my services, but of the organizations such as Bharatheeya Vichara Kendram, Vivekananda Kendra and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. It is a beacon of the acceptance of Sanathana Dharma as a perpetual solution to the problems the humanity is facing today by the Western world"

The Hindu Renaissance Award was created in 1991 by the founder of Hinduism Today, Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, to recognize and strengthen Hindu leaders worldwide.

You can read the article about P. Parameshwaran in the latest issue of Hinduism Today here.

15,000 Pilgrims Start This Year's Amarnath Yatra

Posted on 1999/11/28 19:00:00 ( 2157 reads )

Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com

SRINAGAR, INDIA, July 1, 2010: The annual Amarnath pilgrimage in Jammu and Kashmir kicked off on Thursday with over 15,000 pilgrims beginning the climb to the cave shrine dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva.

"More than 7,000 yatris began their uphill 14-km trek at 8 am on Thursday from Baltal to the cave. Another batch of 1,100 yatris has also left the Manigam transit camp for Baltal," a senior police officer said here. "All the pilgrims are safe. Adequate arrangements of security have been made at Baltal, Manigam and all along the yatra route," he added.

The nearly two-month-long Amarnath Yatra (pilgrimage) ends on Aug 25.

Hari Prasad, 49, a resident of Haryana who left the Manigam transit camp for Baltal, said: "We shall pray for peace in Kashmir and the rest of the country when we reach the holy cave. This is the land of saints and rishis besides being the abode of Lord Shiva. The people here are nice and hospitable. This is my third yatra and I know the locals have always helped the yatris in times of emergency," he added. While 1.5 lakh pilgrims have registered themselves so far, it is expected that the number of pilgrims will cross the half-million mark this year. The cave shrine has a natural ice stalagmite that is worshipped as a Shiv Lingam, a symbol of Lord Shiva.

Extraordinary security arrangements have been made for the pilgrimage this year because of the heightened tensions in the Kashmir Valley.

Chief Minister Sanctions 113 Posts In Sanskrit Colleges

Posted on 1999/11/28 19:00:00 ( 2027 reads )

Source: www.ptinews.com

DEHRADUN, INDIA, June 10, 2010: To give more prominence to Sanskrit, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhariyal Nishank today sanctioned the creation of 113 posts on government grant basis in 11 non-government Sanskrit institutions in the state. The posts include 11 principals, 39 lecturers, 30 assistant teachers, 11 clerks and 22 peons.

As the government has already extended the benefits of sixth pay commission to the teaching as well as non-teaching staff of Sanskrit University, the new recruits at the recognized institutions would also get the benefits of the pay commission, an official release said today.

The state government has already accorded the status of second official language to Sanskrit.

Record Number of Indian-Americans Seeking Office

Posted on 1999/11/28 19:00:00 ( 1991 reads )

Source: www.google.com

UNITED STATES, June 19, 2020: Meet the new wave of Indian-American politicians. At least eight children of Indian immigrants are running for Congress or statewide office, the most ever. The star of this trend is Nikki Haley, born Nimrata Nikki Randhawa, who is favored to win the election for governor of South Carolina.

Indian heritage is where Haley's similarity with the other candidates seems to end. She is the only Republican, the only one who has been widely mistaken for a white woman, the only one who has been accused of abandoning her heritage for converting from the Sikh faith to Christianity.

Bobby Jindal was elected the nation's first Indian governor in 2007, at age 36. Named Piyush at birth, he told his Hindu parents when he was 4 that he wanted to be called Bobby. He converted to Catholicism as a teenager.

Speaking about their faith is rarely in the agenda for those who have not converted to Christianity like Jindal. J. Ashwin Madia, a Minnesota Democrat who lost a congressional election in 2008 and is a follower of the Jain religion, says their faith is irrelevant. "They can choose to be called what they want to be called, they can worship what they want to worship," said Madia. "I don't think being Indian-American is this thing they need to strive for or meet some sort of purity test. They are finding the right balance for themselves."

Barack Hussein Obama, known as Barry in his younger days, proved that an unusual name was not an insurmountable political barrier. Some Indian politicians seem to be following his blueprint as they embrace their Indian names while describing their faith in voters' lack of bias. "This campaign is all about vision and values and policies," said Raj Goyle, who is battling for the Democratic congressional nomination in his hometown of Wichita, Kan. "I don't spend time thinking about differences, I think about ways that Kansans can come together." In 2006, he became the first Indian-American elected to the Kansas Legislature and the first Democrat to hold his statehouse district.

Indians began immigrating to the United States in large numbers about 50 years ago, but just two have been elected to Congress: Dalip Singh Saund in 1956 and Jindal, who entered Congress in 2004 and became governor midway through his second term. In 2008, Madia says he was the only major Indian-American candidate for Congress. Today there are six, including Goyle and Trivedi. Ami Bera in California, Ravi Sangisetty in Louisiana and Reshma Saujani in New York face upcoming primaries, and Surya Yalamanchili won a primary in Ohio.

Can Sikhs, Hindus Get Elected Without Converting?

Posted on 1999/11/28 19:00:00 ( 1980 reads )

Source: Religion News Service

WASHINGTON, DC, USA, July 5, 2010: (RNS) What does it mean when the two best-known Indian-American politicians in American politics are converts to Christianity?

In South Carolina, Nikki Haley won the Republican nomination for governor despite a whisper campaign that criticized her name and religion. Many questioned the validity of Haley's Christian faith. Some, including Republican state Sen. Jake Knotts, called her Christian conversion into question.

But in a country that has demonstrated that religion matters when it comes to politics, the issue remains: does it remain difficult for Hindus, Jains and Sikhs to be voted into high office? Both Haley and Louisiana Gov. Piyush "Bobby" Jindal, who became the nation's first Indian-American governor in 2007, are Republicans and converts to Christianity. Both also have faced questions about their religion. Haley has a special section of her campaign website devoted to dispelling rumors and to setting "the record straight." On the site, Haley affirms her Christianity, saying "being a Christian is not about words, but about living for Christ every day."

The extra attention carries both positive and negative implications for members of minority faiths, said Suhag Shukla, managing director and legal counsel for the Hindu American Foundation. "I think it sends a mixed sense of hope to young people in the Indian-American community that while we may have, as a society, gotten somewhat over the race barrier, the religion barrier is still there," she said. At least seven other Indian-Americans are running for Congress or statewide office this year, many of whom openly embrace Sikhism, Hinduism or other Indian religions. Democrat Reshma Saujani, candidate for Congress from New York's Manhattan-based 14th district, identifies herself "first and foremost" as a "daughter of political refugees" of Indian descent. She is a practicing Hindu who says her faith has not caused friction in her campaign. "I think that there might be more pressure ... where there might not be as much diversity in religious faith," she said. "But in New York, there definitely is (religious diversity)."

Where a candidate is running can determine how much scrutiny a candidate's faith will attract, Shukla said. A Hindu running for office in New York is one thing; a Sikh-turned-Methodist in the Bible Belt is another. "We still see this type of discrimination in other places, and it plays out in some elections," she said. "Again, I think it would have to depend on geography," she added. Indeed, some candidates are reluctant to reveal specifics about their faith. Ravi Sangisetty, running as a Democrat for Louisiana's 3rd Congressional District south of New Orleans, details his Catholic school education and membership in the Catholic Church on his campaign website. But when asked whether Sangisetty had converted, a campaign spokeswoman responded, "Like I said, he's Catholic."

While religion and ethnicity pique interest in the national media, with some viewing Indian ethnicity as a potential handicap, Manan Trivedi, Democratic congressional candidate from Pennsylvania, believes "the American electorate is smarter than that." An Indian-American himself, Trivedi hasn't faced questions about his Hindu faith. A spokesman for Trivedi's campaign said "people care much more about jobs and what their candidates are going to do." "Issues are much more important," he said.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 1999/11/28 19:00:00 ( 2143 reads )

Source: www.hinduismtoday.com

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