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Hindu Press International
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Kanchi Shankaracharya Meets With India's Prime Minister
Posted on 2002/3/4 0:49:02 ( 715 reads )


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NEW DELHI, March 4, 2002: As part of efforts to end the Ayodhya impasse, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Monday night held consultations with Shankaracharya of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam, Sri Jayendra Saraswathi. The pontiff met the Prime Minister after holding wide-ranging discussions with VHP top brass and other Hindu religious leaders, who have vowed to go ahead with shifting of carved stones to the Ram Janambhoomi site in Ayodhya on March 15. According to VHP International Working President Ashok Singhal, the seer would urge Vajpayee to hand over the undisputed land acquired by the Government to the Ram Janambhoomi Trust and lift restrictions enforced in the temple town. President of Ram Janambhoomi Nyas (Trust), Mahant Paramhans Ramchandra Das, Singhal, VHP senior Vice-President Acharya Giriraj Kishore and its General Secretary Praveenbhai Togadiya also met the Shankaracharya who arrived here on a "peace mission" on Monday morning, sources said. The Shankaracharya, whose visit to the capital was kept "very secret" till the last minute, is on a mission to prevail upon the VHP leadership to postpone its temple construction plan, according to Mutt sources.




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Killings Reach 572
Posted on 2002/3/4 0:48:02 ( 779 reads )


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AHMEDABAD, INDIA, March 5, 2002: Stray incidents of violence continued in Gujarat on the sixth day even though the scale of violence came down considerably. The toll in the last six days of violence in this riot-torn states now stands at 572, including the 58 persons killed in the attack on Sabarmati Express in Godhra last Wednesday. The state police control room in Gandhinagar has confirmed that 514 deaths have taken place in the post-Godhra aftermath, including 97 persons who have been killed in police firing. The figures have shot up from 430 to 514 during the last 24 hours mainly due to recovery of more bodies and conformation of killings by the police control room. Fresh violence has been reported in North Gujarat areas, particularly in Sabarkantha and Banaskantha districts, where mobs were targeting specific communities till late in the night. Trouble broke out in Halad and Danta towns of Banaskantha and Vijaynagar in Sabarkantha where the police had to open fire at violent mobs. According to unconfirmed reports, at least six persons have been burnt alive in Navaseshan village of Sabarkantha. Police sources said that two persons had been killed in Vijaynagar and six others in Halad and Danta overnight. The situation was still very tense on Monday morning when reports last came in. In Meda Adaraj in Mehsana district, one person was killed in police firing. The Central Gujarat districts of Anand, Kheda, Panchmahals and Dahod were also very tense following fresh incidents of violence in the villages. Incidents of violence have been reported from Mehamdabad, Kathlal and Kapadvanj areas of Kheda district overnight. Ahmedabad was relatively quiet on Monday evening though there were four stabbings incidents in Vejalpur, Shahpur and Kalupur in which the Vejalpur victim succumbed to injuries. The police claimed that some 534 people had also been arrested in connection with the riots in the city that followed the Sabarmati Express carnage.




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The Discovery of Treasures at the Ancient Angkor Complex
Posted on 2002/3/4 0:47:02 ( 829 reads )


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SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA, February 27, 2002: After the Khmer Rouge laid down their arms in Cambodia, the ancient Angkor complex that was built between the 9th and 14th century by the Khmer Kings became available for exploration by tourists and religious seekers. This article written by news correspondent David Richie delves into the wonders of some 30 temples that have been cleared in the jungle and can be visited. Of special interest to Hindus is a temple dedicated to Lord Siva. Built in the 10th century and located 20 km from Bayon, the impressive structure built of red sandstone has been well preserved and houses intricate carvings of deities. Also Hindus would marvel at "The River of a Thousand Lingas" at Kobal Spien. After an hour-long hike, the site reveals lots of "smallish linga-shaped stones" right in the river surrounded by deities of Vishnu, Rama, Lakshmi, and Hanuman. At Preah Khan, the Temple of the Sacred Sword built in 1191, 500 Hindu deities were once worshipped during 20 major festivals. Now the site houses birds, cicadas, and lizards. To bring the vastness of the complex into perspective, the size was compared to the area covered by inner Washington D.C.




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Protest Over England Footballer Depicted As Siva
Posted on 2002/3/4 0:46:02 ( 1032 reads )


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LONDON, ENGLAND, March 04, 2002: Hindu leaders in Britain are strongly protesting a new portrait that depicts football (soccer) captain David Beckham, his pop singer wife Victoria Spice and their son as Hindu Gods. Two Sikh sisters from north England drew the portrait as part of celebrations to mark the Commonwealth Games here to commemorate 50 years of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth. The portrait has evoked instant criticism. "We will be making a strong protest against this," the Vishwa Hindu Parishad's British unit general secretary Kishore Ruparelia told Indo-Asian News Service. He said, "It is just some sort of cheap action." The artist sisters insist the painting is not insulting. "I think it would only have been viewed as blasphemous if we were saying they were gods to be adored," Amrit Singh, one of the sisters said.




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Mapping A Leader's Genome
Posted on 2002/3/4 0:45:02 ( 779 reads )


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LUCKNOW, INDIA, March 2, 2002: Monks and corporate head honchos shared the same podium at a meeting where talks centered around value-based leadership in boardrooms and workshops. "The meet is trying to find a common ground where the sages are reaching out to boardrooms and companies are looking at the inner self to evolve as a value-based organization," said Prof Debashish Chatterjee, HoD, Center for Leadership and Human Values, IIM Lucknow on Friday at the start of the two-day conference on "Value-Based Leadership: From Knowledge to Action" organized by Ramakrishna Mission Sevashrama, Lucknow, Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow, and the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. G Narayana, executive chairman, Excel, gave a simple mantra to the audience, "Go to GOD." Only his GOD stood for Group Organization Direction that meant that the companies would have to collaborate and compete in the future to attain leadership and this was possible only if there is a "stable and able" leader at the helm. Swami Muktinathananda, secretary, Ramakrishna Mission, Lucknow, said there was a crying need for journey from knowledge to action and inner experience to unbounded joy of consciousness. "We are all entrepreneurs in our roles and lives," said Pritam Singh, director IIM-L. Dr. Singh termed the Indian brain as "most abundant, least expensive, most underutilized and constantly abused."




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Meditation Studied in Monks
Posted on 2002/3/4 0:44:02 ( 740 reads )


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PENNSYLVANIA, USA, March 1, 2002: Scientists investigating the effect of the meditative state on Buddhist monk's brains have found that portions of the organ previously active become quiet, while pacified areas become stimulated. Dr Andrew Newberg, a radiologist at the University of Pennsylvania, told BBC world Service's Discovery program: "I think we are poised at a wonderful time in our history to be able to explore religion and spirituality in a way which was never thought possible." Using a brain imaging technique, Newberg and his team studied a group of Tibetan Buddhist monks as they meditated for approximately one hour. When they reached a transcendental high, they were asked to pull a kite string, releasing an injection of a radioactive tracer. By injecting a tiny amount of radioactive marker into the bloodstream of a deep meditator, the scientists saw how the dye moved to active parts of the brain. Later, when the subjects finished meditating, the regions were imaged and the meditative state compared with the normal waking state. "There was an increase in activity in the front part of the brain, the area that is activated when anyone focuses attention on a particular task," Dr Newberg explained. Also, a notable decrease in activity in the back part of the brain, recognized as the area responsible for orientation, reinforced the general suggestion that meditation leads to a lack of spatial awareness.




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Schools Reach for Yoga to Calm Students
Posted on 2002/3/4 0:43:02 ( 783 reads )


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SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, February 25, 2002: At a school in the heart of a San Francisco housing project, children and teachers take time from math and reading to breathe and balance. Children inhaled through their noses and exhaled through their mouths. They balanced on one leg, concentrating on poses. When they finished, they lay on the classroom floor, still and quiet. As researchers study whether yoga leads to improved learning, the prevalence of school-site yoga has led to the coining of the term "Om Schooling." Teachers say the exercises work wonders in calming kids and helping them to focus. In San Francisco, that inner peace is sought in more than a half-dozen elementary, middle and high schools. The hatha program used in these schools was created in 1997 by respected yoga teacher Tony Sanchez, who founded the nonprofit United States Yoga Association and runs the San Francisco Yoga Studio. Sanchez's program, called ABC Yoga, combines mind and matter. Teachers incorporate yoga into lessons on physics, anatomy and geometry. While careful not to discuss yoga's religious aspects, teachers do explore the history of yoga and its exercises. Within ABC Yoga is a program called Yogasthma: Seven Steps to Asthma Control. Designed to teach children how to control their asthma, it includes yoga breathing and stretching exercises and a series of workshops done in partnership with St. Luke's Hospital. "Yoga allows kids to become more aware of themselves, of their posture, and to grow into healthier adults," said Sanchez. "Kids also develop the ability to concentrate, to relax at will and to overcome stress."




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India Defense Minister Says Godhra Train Attack Premeditated
Posted on 2002/3/3 0:49:02 ( 791 reads )


Source: Hindustan Times





GODHRA, INDIA, March 2, 2002: India's Defence Minister George Fernandes on Saturday endorsed the BJP's contention that the unprecedented attack on the Sabarmati Express passengers, mostly Ram Sevaks, at Godhra railway station on February 27 looked "pre-meditated." "It looks like so," Fernandes told reporters here when asked whether he agreed with the views of BJP leaders including Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi, that the attack on train passengers was not spontaneous and was rather carried out in a clinically precision manner under a pre-planned strategy.




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Eye-Witness: Train Attack Deliberate
Posted on 2002/3/3 0:48:02 ( 817 reads )


Source: The Hindu





NEW DELHI, INDIA, March 2, 2002: The communal frenzy in Gujarat that has left around 400 people dead this week had an innocuous but apparently deliberate beginning. According to eyewitnesses, quoted by India Today, the worst communal orgy in the country in a decade was sparked when a Muslim youth "deliberately shouldered" one of the passengers who had alighted from the Sabarmati Express train as it arrived at the Godhra railway station shortly after dawn on February 27. The situation became serious as more people joined in the altercation and, at a signal from the youth, stones started raining on the passenger compartments from a mob that had apparently collected outside in an organized manner, drawing retaliation in kind from the VHP activists. Within minutes, a 500-strong mob attacked three packed coaches of the train with stones, swords and crowbars. They broke open the window grills of one compartment, which had mainly women and children, with the crowbars and hurled petrol bombs and inflammable chemicals inside. As flames engulfed the coach, the mob prevented a fire tender from reaching the train. Soon, 50 policemen arrived and dispersed the attackers. By then, 57 people who were trapped in a burning coach had charred to death. They included 25 women and 14 children.




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Francois Gautier on Press Coverage of Riots
Posted on 2002/3/3 0:47:02 ( 887 reads )

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Prime Suspect in Godhra Killings Arrested
Posted on 2002/3/3 0:46:02 ( 784 reads )


Source: Press Trust of India





GODHRA, INDIA, March 3, 2002: The prime suspect in the Godhra train violence case, Mohammad Hussain Kolota, local Congress leader and President of Godhra Municipality, was on Sunday arrested bringing the total number of arrests in connection with the attack to 27. Kolota, 45, has been evading arrest since the attack on the Sabarmati Express last Wednesday killing 58 people. Police have already arrested two municipal councillors and were looking for another two--Bilal Haji and Farookh Bhana-- in connection with the mayhem that led to widespread communal violence in several parts of Gujarat claiming nearly 500 lives.




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Hindus Protect Mosque in Bihar
Posted on 2002/3/3 0:45:02 ( 729 reads )


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PATNA, INDIA, March 2, 2002: During Friday's bandh in Muzzaffarpur, called by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad to protest the Godhra carnage, a group of hooligans tried to enter the Company Bagh mosque and vandalize it. A senior police official, who was present on the spot when the incident occurred, said that when the word spread about the bid by the hooligans to enter the mosque, almost 100 Hindus converged on the spot from the nearby Goriamath and Sariyaganj area and challenged them. A tussle broke out in which quite few Hindus were injured while guarding the mosque, but the hooligans had to beat a hasty retreat in face of stiff resistance, he said. By the time police reinforcement came in, the hooligans had done the vanishing act. Muzzafarpur has the distinction of never having witnessed a communal riot. "Thanks to timely intervention of local Hindus a major incident was averted," a senior police officer said, heaving a sigh of relief.




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RSS Calls for Calm
Posted on 2002/3/3 0:44:02 ( 927 reads )


Source: Press Release





DELHI, INDIA, March 02, 2002: Shri Mohan Bhagwat. Sarkaryavah, RSS, issued a call for peace. It reads, in part, "I appeal to all Sangh swayamsevaks, sympathizers and friends who have faith in Hindutva to do the utmost in preventing any activity that would disrupt peace, like, sloganeering, stone-pelting, keeping in view the disturbed situation in the country for it would only strengthen the hands of anti-national terrorist elements. I also urge our fellow followers of other faiths not to fall prey to the instigation of terrorist elements and to conduct themselves as children of motherland along with their Hindu brethren."




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Homeopathy Drugs May Preserve Art Work
Posted on 2002/3/3 0:43:02 ( 768 reads )


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LUCKNOW, INDIA, February 24, 2002: Known as sciences that cure diseases in human beings, homeopathy and naturopathy research has revealed that the drugs used to treat humans could be useful in preserving ancient and precious artifacts. At the National Research Laboratory for Conservation of Cultural Property at Lucknow, research is being conducted that will hopefully eliminate the use of harsh chemicals to preserve art and replace them with environmentally friendly alternatives. This article says, "Many homeopathy drugs are known to effectively cure viral and fungal infections." It is precisely these kinds of infections that plague historical art work. So far the NRLCP has tested Sulphur 30, anona (sitafal) seeds, and neem gold as part of their research. All three drugs combat viral and fungal growth as well as deter infestations by certain insects. Shashi Dhawan, head of NRLCP bio-deterioration division says, "The chemicals we use and the sprays that are used by museum chemists are known to be harmful. If our research is able to yield better alternatives they would be preferable to use."




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Marriage Arranging en Masse
Posted on 2002/3/3 0:42:02 ( 767 reads )


Source: Telegraph India





KOLKATA, INDIA, February 24, 2002: Around 300 parents of prospective brides and grooms gathered together at a South Kolkata hotel to arrange marriages for their offspring. With brilliant careers already in place, most seeking a lifetime mate were in the age group 30-35. 100 men and 150 women were presented as candidates for an arranged marriage. During the four-hour program profiles were read and pictures were showed on giant screens. Anindya Sanyal, owner of the marriage consultant firm called Relations that organized the event said, "The objective is to expedite the process of negotiation. The conventional way of advertising through newspapers, drawing up a shortlist of candidates and then meeting them individually not only takes up time but often leads to uncomfortable situations."




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