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Colored Rain and Vanishing Wells Alarm Populace in State of Kerala
Posted on 2001/9/5 23:47:02 ( 675 reads )


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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, INDIA, August 29, 2001: Collapsing wells and colored rain in many parts of the State of Kerala has led to speculation as to the cause by layman and scientist alike. Dr. Rajasekharam has taken a different and more traditional approach to the phenomena. After studying an ancient Sanskrit text called Charaka Samhita on Ayurveda, dated over 5,000 years ago, it was revealed that vanishing wells, red showers, rings around celestial bodies, meteorite landings, and other unusual happenings have a significance. According to the text, "Such incidents could be triggered by an imbalance in the environmental equilibrium possibly by human intervention." As Ayurveda treatises emphasize the harmonious correlation between man and his environment, the imbalance as indicated by the unnatural phenomena could be attributed to pollution. Dr. Rajasekharam has recommended that studies concentrate on atmospheric conditions as revealed in the Charaka Samhita. Presently, studies by scientists have focused on geological factors.




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Stem Cell Research Continues in India
Posted on 2001/9/5 23:46:02 ( 688 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, August 27, 2001: Two Indian research organizations possess colonies of embryonic stem cells, known as cell lines, which can develop into many other types of tissues and which scientists believe could create new treatments for diabetes and Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases. The release today of a list of existing stem cell lines by the U.S. National Institutes of Health indicated that the two organizations, the National Center for Biological Sciences in Bangalore and Reliance Life Sciences in Bombay, have a total of 10 cell lines. Indian scientists said the Bush policy which grants federal money for work on 64 cell lines derived before Aug. 9, creates a windfall for researchers in such countries as India that do not face such constraints. "A lack of [U.S.] funding would not impede research," said Firuza Parikh, founder and director of Reliance Life Sciences.




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Hindu University of America Inaugurates Campus
Posted on 2001/9/5 23:45:02 ( 706 reads )


Source: Mahir Meghani





ORLANDO, FLORIDA, September 2, 2001: The Hindu University of America has acquired a 12-acre site in Orlando. The University is incorporated in the state of Florida and is authorized by the Education Department, Florida, to conduct Master and Doctoral Programs in Hindu Studies. The Hindu University has been conducting "distant teaching programs" and intensive courses for some time. With the acquisition of the Florida property, it will begin its programs at the new Orlando campus. The inauguration of the campus is scheduled for September 8, 2001. The program will start with an early morning puja, followed by an introduction of the newly appointed faculty. A number of eminent scholars and academics from India and the US will participate. For further information contact Braham R. Aggarwal, (407) 352-2889.




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Archbishop; Mother Teresa "Happily" Underwent Exorcism
Posted on 2001/9/5 23:44:02 ( 759 reads )


Source: Religion News Service





KOLKATA, INDIA, September 6, 2001: Amid fears she had become the victim of the devil, Mother Teresa "happily agreed" to undergo an exorcism, according to the Archbishop of Calcutta. Several months before her death, the 87-year-old Catholic nun turned to the procedure after suffering from sleeplessness during a stay at the Calcutta hospital where she was treated for heart problems, Henry Sebastian D'Souza said. "When doctors said they could not find a medical reason for her sleeplessness, I thought she might be getting attacked by the devil," said D'Souza. "I wanted her to calm down and asked a priest, in the name of the church, to perform an exorcism prayer on her. She happily agreed." After the half-hour procedure, the Macedonia-born nun "slept very well that night," he said. The revelation has slightly embarrassed the Catholic Church, as candidates for sainthood are unusual subjects for exorcisms.




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Govt Says No to Genetically Engineered Seeds
Posted on 2001/9/4 23:49:02 ( 653 reads )


Source: Morning India Business News





NEW DELHI, INDIA, Aug. 31, 2001: The Indian government said today it has not approved the commercial release of genetically engineered seeds in the country. All genetically modified seeds require authorization under the Environment Protection Act 1989 before they can be introduced into the Indian environment, Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilizers S B Mookherjee told the Rajya Sabha. He said authorization is provided by the genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) of the Ministry of Environment and Forests after satisfactory evaluation of bio-safety from the use of such material including safety to humans and animal health.




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Now, the Evangelization of Britain
Posted on 2001/9/4 23:48:02 ( 686 reads )


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UNITED KINGDOM, Aug. 31, 2001: Britain has been targeted by determined foreigners with shocking intentions. They want to convert the British, who embraced Christianity 1,500 years ago, to Christianity. These 21st-century evangelists aren't called reverse-missionaries, but that is what they are. Solomon Joseph, a Christian priest from south India, has been working in Bradford for the past two years, attempting to provide the city's churches with a bridge to the Sikh, Muslim and Hindu communities. "I knew no one. I had no friends in other faiths. I spoke a different language even from the other Indians here. And everyone, white and Asian, mistrusted me." There are reckoned to be more than 1,000 missionaries from 60 countries working in Britain now because Christian faith is believed to be flagging. "The pendulum has swung completely," observes Solomon Joseph in Bradford. "In the 19th century, Britain shipped not only missionaries to India but even the bricks and stained glass to build churches. Now, when the Hindu community in Leicester builds its new temple, a huge statue is carved in India and shipped in 5,000 pieces to Britain."




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Stone Writ Could Hold Key to Ayodhya
Posted on 2001/9/4 23:47:02 ( 614 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, Sept. 1, 2001: A 12th-century stone inscription recovered from the debris of the disputed structure at Ayodhya could hold the key to the resolution of the temple-mosque imbroglio. The 20-line inscription comprising 30 verses in Sanskrit was found embedded in the lower portion of a wall of the structure that was demolished on December 6, 1992. Experts believe it could provide conclusive proof of the existence of a Ram temple at the site in the 12th century and even earlier. The inscription was shown in photos in some publications at the time. It would be common for a temple to contain such an inscription detailing the date of construction and the reigning king.




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V.S. Naipaul Novel Released on Film
Posted on 2001/9/4 23:46:02 ( 695 reads )


Source: Anil Mahabir, Trinidad





NEW YORK, NEW YORK, September 5, 2001: Ismail Merchant's latest film, THE MYSTIC MASSEUR, based on one of VS Naipaul's novels, is scheduled to be released next week in cinemas in New York. Shot in Naipaul's birthplace, Trinidad, and set among the Indo-Trinidadian community, the film traces the story of rural born Ganesh Ramsumair- from writer, to revered mystic, to colonial statesman, during the 1940's and 1950's. Ganesh (played by Aasif Mandvi), whose life offers a slice of Trinidadian history, is a character shaped by invention and ambition as much as it is by the forces of British Colonialism. After struggling to become a writer, Ganesh is finally convinced by his aged aunt that he has been given "a gift" of mystic powers which can be harnessed for profit making. It is this special "power" (which the people perceives he really has), with all its Trinidadian Hindu configurations, which allow Ganesh to become "Pundit Ganesh," then member of the Legislative Council. The Mystic Masseur is the first of Naipaul's novels that he has allowed to be adapted in film.




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Plaster Of Paris Ganesha Idols Still a Hazard
Posted on 2001/9/4 23:45:02 ( 760 reads )


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MUMBAI, INDIA, August 31, 2001: Ganapati was again being crafted in plaster of paris this year, despite the efforts of NGOs and the police to encourage the return to traditional clay. As a result, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is readying its hammers and crowbars to break the Ganesha idols to pieces as plaster of paris creates environmental hazards and does not dissolve into the sea as the traditional clay would. Plaster of paris also contains chemicals that contribute to the environmental and ecological disaster and pollute the sea, rendering it dangerous for fish, fowl and human beings. The police and NGOs waged a campaign this year to educate people about the importance of making their Ganapati's eco-friendly. But, it was difficult to persuade them to return to clay idols instead of plaster ones.




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Physicist Hawking Warns Humans About Computer Intelligence
Posted on 2001/9/4 23:44:02 ( 630 reads )


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BERLIN, GERMANY, September 1, 2001: Famed British physicist Stephen Hawking says if humans hope to compete with the rising tide of artificial intelligence, they'll have to improve through genetic engineering. Hawking said science could increase the complexity of DNA and "improve" human beings. He conceded that it would be a long process, "but we should follow this road if we want biological systems to remain superior to electronic ones. In contrast with our intellect, computers double their performance every 18 months," he added. "So the danger is real that they could develop intelligence and take over the world."




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Three Hundred Hindus Killed in Doda in Last Seven Years.
Posted on 2001/9/3 23:49:02 ( 641 reads )


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DODA, KASHMIR, INDIA: Violence unleashed by militants in the mountainous Doda district has claimed the lives of over 300 Hindus during the last seven years, defense sources said. Most of these massacres were the handiwork of Lashker-e-Taiba (LeT) and Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM), who wanted to create terror among minorities and force their migration, sector commander of Kishtwar brigade, Brig G D Bakshi said. They strike in unprotected scattered minority areas, where security setup including that of police, Army and Village Defense Committee (VDC) is not there, Bakshi said adding most of these killings took place when villagers went to upper reaches for grazing cattle and other agricultural activities. The first massacre took place on August 14, 1993, when 18 Hindus were brought down from a passenger bus and shot dead at Sarthal forest area in Kishtwar, he said, adding it was followed by killing of six boys at Batholi (Gandoh) on September 18, 1994. The other major massacres included that of 17 Hindus at Barshal a on January 15, 1996, 15 people at Sarwadhar (July 25, 1996), 25 people of a marriage party at Chapnari (June 19, 1998), 16 at Channa-Thakari (July 28, 1998), 35 at Kalaban-Sharundi (August 3, 1998), 16 at Lihota (June 20, 1999), 14 at Qund-Phugal (August 1, 2000), 16 at Kotechadwal (February 10, 2000), 14 at Cherji-Badadhar (July 21, 2001), and 15 at Shrotidhar (August 3, 2001).




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Police Stations In Bhopal To Become Secular
Posted on 2001/9/3 23:48:02 ( 632 reads )


Source: Aaj Tak Hindi Channel Telecast





BHOPAL, INDIA, August 29, 2001: The Director General of Police, Madhya Pradesh, Sri S.C. Tripathi, has issued an order to have all the pictures of Gods and Goddesses removed from the police stations of Bhopal. In an interview given to Aaj Tak Channel, Tripathi said that some of the heads of police stations had the pictures of Gods and Goddesses in their rooms and were offering garlands to them everyday as they were worshipping them. This should not be done in a secular country, the DGP stated in the interview. In another order issued by the DGP, his own pictures are to be put in all the police stations. Officials are busy removing the pictures of Gods and Goddesses and hanging pictures of their DGP. BJP leader Krishnan Sarang, said in an interview to the channel that they will oppose the order vehemently.




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Mass child marriage in Rajasthan
Posted on 2001/9/3 23:47:02 ( 663 reads )


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ODHPUR, INDIA: In a mass marriage ceremony, about 80 children of Dewasi community, some of them sleeping in the lap of their parents, tied the nuptial knot at Bali village of Pali district in Jodhpur division on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturdashi, reports said on Sunday. Though the marriages have taken place in violation of the Sarda Act, which prohibits child marriage, no case has been filed against anybody, according to the report. The marriage processions, with drums and symbolic barat, passed through the main markets and local police stations of the area. According to traditions in western Rajasthan, marriages are solemnized on Ganesh Chaturdashi by the Dewasi community.




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Religious Groups Under Scrutiny in Britain
Posted on 2001/9/3 23:46:02 ( 642 reads )


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LONDON, ENGLAND, August 27, 2001: Campaigners against religious "cults" across western Europe are trying to persuade the British government to follow the French and legislate against movements such as Sai Baba and the Moonies. There is growing British press interest in the man they describe as "Indian mystic and miracle worker" to the rich, famous and titled such as the Duchess of York and an architect known to be close to Prince Charles. Commentators say this is largely because Sai Baba has a substantial European fan following, alongside a growing number of hostile and vocal former devotees who accuse him of physical, mental and monetary abuse. A new area of concern has arisen, according to The Times, which says Sai Baba has infiltrated the British school system in a dangerous "catch 'em young" policy. The newspaper says more than 500 British schools are being taught according to "Sai Baba-influenced educational programs." Anti-cult campaigners say that their cause has been strengthened because UNESCO pulled out of an educational conference at Puttaparthi last year. They say that if the French legislation is followed by other European countries, it could eventually become European Union law and would severely limit the activities of movements such as that of Sai Baba.




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Kashmiri Hindus Fearful Of Escalating Violence
Posted on 2001/8/30 23:49:02 ( 640 reads )


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JAMMU, INDIA, August 29, 2001: A wave of killings of Hindus by militants over the past six weeks has terrorized the minority community in Kashmir. The latest victims were two Hindu monks who were dragged from a temple by militants and beheaded, police said. The slayings on Monday brought the Hindu death toll to at least 34 since last month's India-Pakistan peace summit focused on the Kashmir issue collapsed. "Villagers are scared to death," said Purushottam Lal, a resident of the Jammu region, home to over two million Hindus in the state. "We're struggling to organize ourselves to prevent attacks," Lal reported from Poonch where a curfew remains in force following the monks' deaths. Authorities say the militants are trying to drive a wedge between the Hindus and Muslims in the region and force the Hindus out of the state through violence. Hindus, they say, are being targeted as they are seen as being in favor of Kashmir remaining within India. During the last decade, thousands of Hindus have fled the Srinagar region since the revolt against Indian rule erupted in 1989. Until recently, the Jammu region, with its large Hindu population was relatively free of violence.




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