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Seminar on Hindu Dharma Success With Educators
Posted on 2001/11/9 22:47:02 ( 666 reads )


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HOUSTON, TEXAS, November 8, 2001: A hundred teachers, counselors and psychologists from the Houston school districts gathered at the Strake Jesuit College to attend the first seminar on Hindu Culture And Values, held by the World Hindu Council of America (Vishwa Hindu Parishad / VHP) -- Houston Chapter. Erudite Hindu scholars and members of the community sought to simplify for the better understanding of those attending, Hindu concepts of God and worship, scriptural teachings, traditions, arts, culture, family and social structures. The three-hour seminar, the first in a series of many held in the hope of promoting better understanding between teachers and their students of Hindu faith, went a long way in dispelling several misconceptions about Hindu beliefs. "This was a super learning experience," enthused clergyman Rev. Roger D. Christman. Houston Independent School District psychologist Dr. Kellie Gray-Smith was excited about future seminars of the same. "We learned a lot," she said. For more information email VHP president Beth Kulkarni at "source" above.




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Christian Radio Station Warned Over Content
Posted on 2001/11/9 22:46:02 ( 683 reads )


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LONDON, U. K., November 10, 2001: London-based Premier Christian Radio was given a "yellow card" by the Radio Authority for a number of breaches of program rules, including criticism of other religions. Premier said it has since introduced "rigorous measures" to prevent offensive material being broadcast in future. The authority warned of "substantial sanctions" if more occur. They included one instance where the Koran and the holy books of Hindus and Buddhists were described as "full of superstition and absurdities." The watchdog's program code does not allow religious beliefs to be denigrated or attacked. The Radio Authority, a government agency, is responsible for all stations except those of the BBC, and invites any complaints about radio broadcasts to be e-mailed to : reception@radioauthority.org.uk




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Bangladeshi Hindus Held at Border
Posted on 2001/11/6 22:49:02 ( 716 reads )


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BANGLADESH, November 7, 2001: Bangladeshi border guards have detained 124 people belonging to the country's minority Hindu community while they were trying to cross the border into India. Police officials from the southern border district of Satkhira said the detained included many women and children. None had any valid travel documents. Local journalists say these Hindu families were apparently fleeing their villages following reports of torture on Hindu communities in different parts of the country. The detained Hindu families told police officials they were travelling to India to meet relatives. Civil rights groups in Bangladesh say Hindus are being targeted for having voted against the ruling four-party coalition in last month's general election.




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Divali Nagar 2001 Opens in Trinidad
Posted on 2001/11/6 22:48:02 ( 672 reads )


Source: By Anil Mahabir, Hinduism Today Trinidad Correspondent





CHAGUANAS, TRINIDAD, November 6, 2001: The annual Divali Nagar opened tonight at the National Council of Indian Culture grounds located in Chaguanas, central Trinidad, the birthplace of 2001 Nobel Literature Laureate VS Naipaul. The feature address, at the opening ceremony, was delivered by Swami Shri Manas Datta of Mysore India. The Nagar, which runs until the night before Divali day, will feature religious songs, books, lectures, theatrical performances and readings from the Ramayana, Gita, Vedas and Upanishads. A special emphasis will be on the works of Indian-born artist Satya Narayan Mourya, who is being featured at the Nagar for the second consecutive year. Lighting the first deya was Pundit Ramesh Tewarie of the Edinburgh Hindu Temple. The Prime Minister of Trinidad, Basdeo Panday and his wife Oma Panday will be visiting the Nagar on Saturday, November 10th. Two formal dining areas for patrons with gourmet tastes will be opened this year, as well as a food court which will serve vegetable "Indian" dishes indigenous to Trinidad, as well as vegetable dishes from all over the world. The theme of the 2001 Divali Nagar is: "The Hindu Contribution to World Science." Thousands of Trinidadians, many of them non-Hindus, as well as non-Trinidadians, are attracted to this annual week-long event.




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Temple Chariot Burned in Flushing, New York
Posted on 2001/11/6 22:47:02 ( 600 reads )


Source: India Tribune, Chicago





FLUSHING, NEW YORK, October 24, 2001: The 20-foot-tall chariot of the Ganesha temple here was burned in a suspect arson attack. The chariot had been used for two decades to take Lord Ganesha around the streets of Flushing in the annual Ganesh Chaturthi festival. No one was hurt in the incident, and only the chariot burned, as it was kept in the back yard of the priest house across the street from the temple. The artistically carved chariot was made in Karaikkudi, Tamil Nadu, South India.




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British Schools Want Ban on Caning Lifted
Posted on 2001/11/6 22:46:02 ( 697 reads )


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LONDON, ENGLAND, November 6, 2001: More than 40 British private schools are asking the High Court to restore corporal punishment two years after it was outlawed. Their headmasters say that discipline has plummeted, and students have become more unruly since the cane was banned. Physically punishing children with a cane or anything else was outlawed in fee-paying schools in 1999 and in all state schools two years before that. Since then, any teacher carrying out any form of corporal punishment faced being sent to prison. The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children condemned the move to restore corporal punishment, saying children should enjoy the same protection from physical assault as adults. Director Will McMahon of the Forum on Children and Violence, said that if force is used on children, they are taught that it is right to inflict force on other people. Increased teacher training in alternative, nonviolent, methods of discipline successful in many schools around the world is needed.




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Hindus Celebrate Festival of Thimithi in Singapore
Posted on 2001/11/5 22:49:02 ( 633 reads )


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SINGAPORE, November 6, 2001: About 3,500 Hindu devotees walked barefoot across a 6-meter-long pit of red-hot coals yesterday to celebrate the annual Hindu festival of Thimithi. They gathered at the Sri Mariamman temple in South Bridge Road to offer prayers hours before performing the fire walk, which is a form of penance or thanksgiving in honor of the Goddesses Sri Mariamman and Sri Draupathai Amman. Only men are allowed to perform the ritual. The Sri Mariamman temple was packed with about 6,000 visitors, who had come to give moral support to the participants. A priest from the temple led the way in the firewalk, carrying a karagam--a silver pot containing water, neem leaves, flowers, lemon and other sacred items on his head. He was followed by the devotees. Some walked while others dashed across the pit of burning embers. When they reached the other end of the pit, they soaked their feet in goat's milk. They then smeared turmeric powder on the soles of their feet and on their forehead so that they would be blessed from head to toe.




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French Reject Religion in Their Search for Answers
Posted on 2001/11/5 22:48:02 ( 348 reads )


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PARIS, FRANCE, November 6, 2001: Cultural liberalism and the new individualism of democratic societies seems to be swaying the French away from religion. People are shying away from declaring their faith and have stopped approaching the Church at times of births, marriages and deaths. They are turning to science or the state and some to other forms of spiritualism. A survey by the weekly current affairs magazine L'Express showed that in the 1960s, 89 per cent of French people claimed to be religious, while today less than 55 per cent willingly state the same. It also showed that only 10 per cent of French people now attend weekly Mass, and as the churches empty out, the priests are dwindling in number while the faithful are getting older. A sociologist specializing in religion, Ms Danile Hervieu-Lger, said religion in France had lost its historical hold on the masses and there were very few real believers ready to publicly declare their faith. But the great paradox is that while Christianity is on the continuing decline, faith is not. People are putting their faith in people, in science, the state or in paganism, whatever means the most to them.




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Indian Supreme Court Bans Public Smoking
Posted on 2001/11/5 22:47:02 ( 645 reads )


Source: The Hindu, Chennai





NEW DELHI India November 2, 2001: In a significant order concerning the health of the citizens, the Supreme Court today ordered a ban on smoking in public places throughout the country with immediate effect. Affected facilities included government buildings, courts, public transports, railways, hospitals, community halls, stadia, educational institutions and public libraries. The Bench also directed the Commissioners of Police of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore and Ahmedabad to comply strictly with the provisions of the Cigarettes (Regulation of Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 1975, relating to the sale, supply and distribution of cigarettes. They were also asked to submit status reports of action taken against cigarette manufacturers violating the advertising code. According to the petitioner, despite the 1975 Act being in force, the implementing authorities had failed to take note of this and the health of a large number of people was affected because of misleading advertisements and publicity for smoking cigarettes.




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Religious Books Sales Booming
Posted on 2001/11/4 22:49:02 ( 628 reads )


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ATLANTA, GEORGIA, November 1, 2001: The book business boomed during the '90s. The New Economy has suffered some setbacks, and general book sales are down. But in one part of the book business, business is still good: Sales of religious books are up more than four percent. "People are extremely hungry for experiences of God, experiences of faith, experiences of the divine," said Tom Beaudoin, a theologian and author. He observes that this spiritual desire comes even as church attendance in America has declined. "The more suspicious people are of their local church, then the more apt they are to just assemble their own books, to assemble their own spiritual life," he explained. The idea of drawing from many religions is a popular one these days, said Beaudoin. "Americans take very seriously their right to assemble in their shopping cart a little bit of John Paul II, a little bit of Judaism, a little bit of Hinduism, a little bit of Buddhism ... and say, "That is my spirituality."




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Fourth Christian Church Torched in Malaysia
Posted on 2001/11/4 22:48:02 ( 611 reads )


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SUBANG JAYA, MALAYSIA, November 5, 2001: The Christ Community Center Church here was destroyed by arson on October 27, according to a report from the Barnabas Fund. Police had been called out to the building in the early hours of Saturday morning after the burglar alarm went off. Finding nothing suspicious, they left. Three hours later, flames engulfed the building. Christ Community is the fourth Malaysian church to have been burnt in recent weeks, according to the report. The first three fires were the result of arson attacks, carried out by suspected Islamic militants, sources told The Barnabas Fund. The government is working hard to combat these trends and preserve Malaysia's reputation as a majority-Muslim nation where Christians and other minorities do not need to fear violence.




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Indian-Americans Plan Meet for 2005
Posted on 2001/11/4 22:47:02 ( 609 reads )


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USA, November 3, 2001: Mihir Patel is working with a team of Indian people trying to get a national conference for Indians of all walks of life together in Washington D.C. or New York for the year 2005. Students, professional, parents, religious leaders and political leaders would have a chance to network and discuss different issues facing Indians in America today, as well as Indians in general. Contact Mihir at "source" above.




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Dalits Take Oath to Convert to Buddhism
Posted on 2001/11/3 22:49:02 ( 717 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, November 4, 2001: Twenty thousand Dalits assembled at the Ambedkar Bhawan in Delhi today and took a verbal oath converting to Buddhism. The Dalits, Hinduism's lowest caste, were told they are Buddhists just by attending the rally and having wanted to convert to Buddhism. The ceremony was held despite being banned by the Delhi police who feared unrest. There was an elaborate ceremony to initiate Dalit leader Ram Raj into Buddhism. Ram Raj said "Today I am giving a call for change and I will take the issue to the people." But there is pressure on the government from the RSS to prevent the Buddhist rally while the VHP has gone a step ahead and asked for the organizers of the rally to be arrested.




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Maharashtra Government Arrests VHP Leader Praveen Togadia
Posted on 2001/11/3 22:48:02 ( 636 reads )


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AHMEDABAD, INDIA, November 1, 2001: Vishwa Hindu Parishad's international general secretary, Dr. Pravin Togadia, was arrested by the Maharashtra government at Bhusaval town in Khandesh in the backdrop of communal riots in Malegaon and anti-national rhetoric of some Muslim groups in the country. Togadia was arrested on Wednesday morning when he arrived in Bhusaval to grace a program in connection with the upcoming "Ram Jaap Yagna" of the VHP.




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V.S. Naipaul on Islam
Posted on 2001/11/3 22:47:02 ( 622 reads )


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TRINIDAD, November 1, 2001: When asked about whether he was surprised by Osama bin Laden's support in Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia and Iran, V.S. Naipaul, Nobel-prize winning author commented, "No, because these are the converted peoples of Islam, these are the people who are not Arabs. Part of the neurosis of the convert is that he always has to prove himself. He has to be more royalist than the king, as the French say." When asked if this is what he refers to when he writes about Islam's imperial drive to extend its reach and root out the unbeliever, he answered, "Yes. It is not the unbeliever as the other person so much as the remnant of the unbeliever in one's customs and in one's ways of thinking. It's this wish to destroy the past, the ancient soul, the unregenerate soul. This is the great neurosis of the converted." The interview can be read in it's entirety at source given above.




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