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Elephant Saver Raman Sukumar Fourth Indian in a Row to Win "Green Oscar"


Posted on 2003/3/14 8:48:02 ( 925 reads )


Source: www.ndtv.com





LONDON, ENGLAND, March 14, 2003: Founder and Director of the Bangalore-based Asian Elephant Research and Conservation Center, Professor Raman Sukumar, has won the Whitley Golden Award, the most prestigious international award in the field of environment conservation, for his work in saving endangered Asian elephants. Sukumar received the award popularly known as the "Green Oscar" along with a cash prize of US$79,000 from Princess Anne at the Royal Geographical Society. This is the fourth year in succession that an Indian has won the award. Last year, a Pune scientist, Dr. Anand Karve won the award for developing a technique to produce clean fuel from sugarcane waste. In 2001, Vivek Menon, chief of the Wildlife Trust of India, was chosen for the award for his fight against poaching of elephants and in 2000, Gargi Banerji, a botanist, won the Golden Award for work in conserving medicinal plants in Himachal Pradesh. Sukumar said he planned to spend the cash prize to provide support to local farmers to mitigate the impact of elephants on their lands, as well as to help his field research team which acts as a "watchdog" -- identifying threats such as poaching for ivory and monitoring the health of the elephant population.






Old Dancers Loose to Youth in Delhi High Court


Posted on 2003/3/14 8:47:02 ( 805 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, March 12, 2003: How old is too old when it comes to dancing on stage? Do age, weight and fitness matter? And who should be the final arbiter? All it has taken for these questions to come bouncing to the surface is one court case where the Delhi High Court rejected Bharatanatyam dancer Komala Varadan's plea in her 1997 case against Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR). The ICCR sends artistes in the 18-45 age-group for stage performances abroad. Those who are 45-plus are considered for lecture demonstrations, workshops and seminars. Varadan, who was 56 when she went to court, took this as an affront and wished to continue performing. Varadan's lawyer, R. K. Saini, had a simple argument, "You can be a good dancer even at the age of 60. She has good credentials, and if she didn't then why was she put even in the lec-dem section?" While everyone agrees that age and appearance do matter, the extent to which they are important is a highly contentious issue. Kelucharan Mohapatra, Birju Maharaj and T. Balasaraswati are repeatedly cited as examples of those who have transcended the age barrier. "At 65, I may have less stamina, but I compensate with other aspects like natya or my expressions which evolve with age," says Chennai-based Bharatanatyam dancer V. P. Dhananjayan.






New Temple Hall Opens in UK


Posted on 2003/3/14 8:46:02 ( 909 reads )


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HUDDERSFIELD, ENGLAND, February 18, 2003: Hindus in Huddersfield, England, celebrated the opening of an extension at their Huddersfield temple. The new wing doubles the size of the hall, located on Zetland Street. Officially unveiled by the Mayor of Kirklees Margaret Bates, Mayor Bates was garlanded by Kiran Bali, secretary of the temple's executive committee. Representatives from all other major religions were invited to the event and Ms Bali said, "The room was for all members of the community to use, not just Hindus."






Mata Amritanandamayi Devi Speaks on Hinduism


Posted on 2003/3/13 8:49:02 ( 863 reads )


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KERALA, INDIA, March 13, 2003: The following comments made by Mata Amritanandamayi Devi are excerpted from the interview at source: "Hinduism is not about one God. It is about seeing God in every manifestation of nature, be it an ant, bird, cow or snake. Don't we have temples for nature's creations? Other religions may believe in one God, but Hindus see Eeswaran in all His creation. Even an ant can teach us a lesson or two. ... Hinduism is perhaps the only religion that offers devotees a choice to worship the female Deity in a codified form. The Devi is worshipped by millions in India, but despite this, the status of woman in society has not changed. I would blame men for it, as women have been mentally conditioned to subservience for centuries. If a baby elephant's legs are chained, it carries the impression of the chains on its legs even when it grows up. So do Indian women."






Sivaratri Speech Celebrates Hindu/Muslim Unity in Kashmir


Posted on 2003/3/13 8:48:02 ( 804 reads )


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KASHMIR, INDIA, March 13, 2003: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed delivered a speech at the India Habitat Center that touched the hearts of one and all present, according to this article. The occasion was Sivaratri where Sayeed said, "This is a festival that is celebrated by both Hindus and Muslims in Kashmir with equal fervor. There is absolutely no rift between the two communities in the state. And what comes across as a wall of cultures between the two communities is nothing but mischief created by outsiders." Speaking about the past glory of Kashmir and its eternal beauty, Sayeed evoked strong emotional memories among the guests. Among them was Delhi theater personality, Sita Raina, who said, "The problem in Kashmir is not because of the people there, but the way they have been wrongly handled. And our only hope now is the people there believing that the problems can be solved."






High Birth Rate in Asian Immigrants Raise Concerns in UK


Posted on 2003/3/13 8:47:02 ( 965 reads )


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LONDON, ENGLAND, March 5, 2003: According to the United Nations 2002 Revision of World Population Prospects, international immigration to countries like the UK, USA, Germany and Canada is likely to average about two million people per year. It also predicts a negative population growth in Europe. But what concerns most people is the prediction that fertility rates will fall below 2.1 children per woman in most developed countries. This is the level needed to ensure the long-term replacement of the population. As immigrants are known to have a higher birth rate, this statistic points to a potential alteration in the demography of developed countries. In the UK the impact of a greater rate of birth in Pakistanis and Bangladeshis is already being noticed. The rate has begun to decline in the Indian community with the correspondingly greater economic success and no religious edict against birth control. Sources say that the asylum seekers too would have a higher birth rate and the cumulative effect in years to come would not be very "pleasant" for the British society.






Diamond Armor Created for Udupi Deity


Posted on 2003/3/12 8:49:02 ( 948 reads )


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UDUPI, INDIA, March 8, 2003: The temple town of Udupi prepares to dedicate the $625,000 Vajra Kavach (diamond armor) to the presiding deity Lord Krishna at 10:45 am on March 10. More than 100,000 devotees from all over the country and abroad are expected to witness the spectacle. Sri Vidyadeesha Theertha Swamiji of the Paryaya Palimaru Math will dedicate the Vajra Kavacha to the deity to fulfill the desire of the late Sri Vidhamanya Theertha Swamiji of Palimaru Math, who had dedicated a golden cradle, golden chariot and a diamond crown to Lord Krishna. As many as 14 craftsmen from Hyderabad worked for 10 days to complete the assignment. Great care was taken in setting the diamonds to ensure color, clarity and cut at the best. According to the Paryaya Palimaru Swamiji, 6,817 diamonds, 4,994 rubies, 2,309 emeralds and 108 blue sapphires have been embedded in the nearly 18 pound golden breastplate. Sri Vidhyadeesha Theertha Swamiji said that the Vajra Kavacha was made for general well-being (Loka Kalyana) of people.






Ancient Hindu Temple Discovered in Cambodia


Posted on 2003/3/12 8:48:02 ( 1017 reads )


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CAMBODIA, March 6, 2003: The Chen Sran temple has been discovered around 40 kilometers from the Thai-Cambodia border, deep in the jungle of the northern Preah Vihear province. It was constructed in dedication to Hindu beliefs in the ninth or tenth century, cultural officials said. The monument was not known to authorities until villagers reported it to a provincial cultural officer, said Uong Von, chief of the heritage department at Cambodia's Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts. The temple is 15 meters tall, 150 meters in length by 100 meters in width. Almost 50 percent of the structure was damaged and, despite the lack of a proper road to the site, most of its artifacts had been plundered. "The temple remains were only a body -- there were no artifacts," said Von. Nearly a dozen previously unknown temples have turned up in the last decade, said the expert who believes there are more temples lying undiscovered in the same area along the Thai-Cambodia border.






Hindus Blamed for Leicester Pigeon Problems?


Posted on 2003/3/12 8:47:02 ( 1142 reads )


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LONDON, ENGLAND, March 5, 2003: One of the first initiatives of Mayor Ken Livingston was the removal of pigeons from Trafalgar Square. The Mayor removed the pigeons, amid protests, because he said over 200 tons of their droppings had to be cleaned up every year. Now the pigeons, and their related problems, have moved to Leicester, and the blame is being put on Hindus, mainly Gujaratis. Cossington Park, a favorite place for walks, is now also a favorite place for pigeons. Some are saying that members of the Hindu community regularly feed the pigeons there, as it is supposed to be a sacred act. But the Hindu families deny the charge saying they themselves are fed up with the conditions at the park and are unable to take their children for a walk. "It is nowhere prescribed in our religion to feed pigeons. The fact is, that a lot of the elderly, even in the white community, throw feed for birds. I have seen it in certain good localities in London as well," said a local Hindu journalist.






New Study Shows Vegetarian Diet Lowers Cholesterol


Posted on 2003/3/12 8:46:02 ( 783 reads )


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MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA, March 7, 2003: A new vegetarian diet emphasizing soy and soluble fiber can lower cholesterol by one-third. The Portfolio diet, as it's called, involves several trendy nutrients that have been shown separately to be good for the heart. Canadian researchers set out to see what would happen if they were combined into a single regimen. At a meeting of the American Heart Association, data was presented that established the combination seems to work. Ordinarily, people do well to lower their cholesterol by 10 percent by changing their diet, so doctors often have to prescribe powerful statin drugs to get their cholesterol down far enough. "The reductions are surprising," said Cyril Kendall of the University of Toronto, who directed the study. "Most dietitians would not expect that sort of reduction through dietary means." He said the Portfolio diet appears to do about as well as the older statin drugs that are still front-line therapy for high cholesterol. The diet is based on a low-fat vegetarian regimen that emphasizes foods shown individually to be beneficial -- soy, soluble fiber, plant sterols and almonds. Sources of soluble fiber include oats, barley, legumes, eggplant, okra and Metamucil. Some brands of margarine are high in plant sterols.






Government To Resettle Displaced Kashmir Pandits


Posted on 2003/3/9 8:49:02 ( 772 reads )


Source: NDTV.com





NEW DELHI, INDIA, March 6, 2003: The Jammu and Kashmir government is working on a plan to develop an area in Anantnag district, in the Kashmir Valley and 40 miles southeast of Srinigar, for resettling around 300,000 displaced Kashmiri Pandits to the valley. The government plans to build around 500 apartment flats with provision of security and essential facilities in the vicinity of Mattan temple, a pilgrimage center in Anantnag, for the Pandits to stay until they can repair their own houses. If the experiment succeeds here, it will be replicated at another prominent pilgrimage center -- Kheer Bhavani. The Mufti Sayeed-led state government is also making efforts to persuade the displaced people to return. About 300,000 Pandits, constituting almost the entire community, moved out of Kashmir valley in late 1989 after militancy erupted there. Many have been living in squalid camps around Jammu for more than a decade.






Ban On Smoking Fails To Reverse Cigarette Sales


Posted on 2003/3/9 8:48:02 ( 1141 reads )


Source: NDTV.com





HYDERABAD, INDIA, March 5, 2003: The number of cigarettes being smoked in India is going up, despite the ban on smoking in public places. The consumption has increased by seven billion cigarettes this year -- from 87 billion sticks in 2001-2002. "People who have been smoking bidis may graduate from bidi smoking to cigarette smoking if their economic condition improves. My fear is that some college-going youth may also resort to smoking. That is another kind of new entry," said P. Dayachari, Tobacco Board Chairman. The Supreme court's directive banning smoking in public places had an immediate impact and the sale of cigarettes was reduced by 15 percent in 2001-2002. But the reversal of the trend this year has worried health activists. Today many people can be seen smoking in public places as there is little policing and no punitive measures -- just a $2 fine. India's tobacco industry is the second largest in the world and accounts for one-third of the total three million tobacco-related deaths in the world.






UK "Crisps" Ads Stereotype Indians


Posted on 2003/3/9 8:47:02 ( 711 reads )


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LONDON, ENGLAND, March 8, 2003: Southall, the British capital's mini India, was taken aback to see British soccer star Gary Lineker dressed as an Indian bridegroom, with his hair dyed black and sitting on a white horse. There were women in saris dressed for the wedding, and a proper baraat, or marriage party, in tow. So was he marrying a girl from Southall? Not quite, he was modeling as an Indian bridegroom for an advertisement for crisps (potato chips.) Going to the bride's house, he discovers her to be an elderly woman, but she has a dowry for him -- the keys to a corner shop with crisps inside. Not everyone in Southall, located in west London, was pleased. "It is bizarre and terribly stereotyped to suggest that the bridegroom would never have seen the bride before because it is an arranged marriage," said Piara Singh. "And it gives the idea that Indians marry only for dowry, whatever the woman may be like." Many in the UK wish the "Indian flavor" was something other than the Bollywood advertising image of elephants, curries and arranged marriages.






Contacts Needed for Angor Wat Research


Posted on 2003/3/9 8:46:02 ( 891 reads )


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KAUAI, HAWAII, March 9, 2003: HPI has been asked to help find someone in Cambodia, or closely associated with the Angor Wat temple, who could assist with the visit of a renowned Hindu temple architect of South India who will be there visit June 11 and 12 of this year. If you could help, or could suggest a contact, kindly e-mail "source" above.






Ten Reasons Why the English Language is So Hard to Learn


Posted on 2003/3/9 8:45:02 ( 839 reads )


Source: HPI





UNITED STATES, March 9, 2003: Learning a new language can be challenging, but here are ten reasons why English is so confusing. 1. The bandage was wound around the wound. 2. The farm was used to produce produce. 3. The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse. 4. We must polish the Polish furniture. 5. He'd be able to lead if he would get the lead out. 6. The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert. 7. Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present. 8. He thought of a subject to subject on his friends. 9. They're flying their plane over their plain. 10. He threw the ball through the window.




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