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Hindu Press International
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Three Million Pilgrims Expected in Giriraj
Posted on 2001/7/7 23:49:02 ( 807 reads )


Source: Sandhya Times (Hindi)





MATHURA, INDIA, July 5, 2001: Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims have assembled at Giriraj to walk the 23-kilometer circumabulation route of Mathura. Five hundred buses and a number of special trains have proven insufficient to keep up with the influx of pilgrims. The circumabulation route, parikrama marg, is described as "a sea of heads." District Magistrate Narendra Bhushan and senior Police Superintendent Sri Hari Ram Sharma, in charge of keeping order, are taking special precautions against anti-social elements, according to this report.




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Plan to Develop Delhi's Ancient Hanuman Temple
Posted on 2001/7/7 23:48:02 ( 813 reads )


Source: Sandhya Times (Hindi)





DELHI, INDIA, July 6, 2001: The ancient Hanuman Temple in Yamuna Bazaar is to be redeveloped improved. This temple is one of the ancient and popular worship centers of Delhi. A large number of people from different parts of Delhi flock here every Tuesday and Saturday for worship purposes. Plans announced today call for additional buildings for lectures, a two-acre park with fountains, an exhibition hall, shops and amenities for devotees including much-needed parking space. US$45,000 has been earmarked for the project, plus contributions from the Delhi Municipal Corporation and other Delhi agencies interested in the project.




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Ponywalas Agitate Against Fare System
Posted on 2001/7/7 23:47:02 ( 777 reads )


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KATRA, INDIA, June 29, 2001: While several thousand pilgrims to the Mata Vaishno Devi outside Jammu fume and fret, a majority of the porters and ponywalas remain on strike, protesting the pre-paid fare system. Representatives of the Shrine Board, the Notified Area Committee and the pony contractor regulate the fare system. The prepaid system was introduced recently after officials received complaints from the pilgrims that they were either overcharged or harassed while trekking to the shrine, located on a mountainside. On some occasions porters and ponywalas would feign illness and drop the pilgrim halfway to get another customer at Katra. The ponywalas and porters struck work saying that they received delayed payments for the work they put in. At least 10 porters and ponywalas were injured yesterday when their rivals manhandled them for deciding to resume work.




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Personnel Changes at the Royal Nepali Palace
Posted on 2001/7/7 23:46:02 ( 687 reads )


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KATHMANDU, NEPAL, July 3, 2001: Four senior security officials at the Nepalese royal palace have been fired for negligence of duty after last month's massacre in which the king, queen and seven other family members were murdered. Some of those dismissed were personal bodyguards responsible for the safety of the late king, queen and the crown prince. An inquiry panel has also recommended a revamp of palace security following concern in the government over Maoist rebel violence.




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Men Who Sacrificed Child in India Get Death Sentence
Posted on 2001/7/7 23:45:02 ( 748 reads )


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BHUBANESWAR, INDIA, July 6, 2001: An Indian appeals court has upheld the death sentences of four people convicted of killing a 7-year-old boy as a religious sacrifice. Ranjit Mohanty was kidnapped from his parents' home near the Orissa state capital of Bhubaneshwar, and murdered in 1997. His killers allegedly confessed during questioning by police. "This type of heinous crime can only be checked through a heavy punishment like the death penalty," High Court Justices B.P. Das and M. Pappana said Thursday. The defendants -- Kalpana Majumdar, Narayan Majumdar, Kunja Rabana and Subhash Chandra Panda -- allegedly told police they killed the boy after a person who practices black magic told them they would be divinely rewarded with gold. The four defendants were sentenced to death by Judge Ananta Charan Patnaik in July.




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Jews Protest Christian "Synagogues"
Posted on 2001/7/7 23:44:02 ( 752 reads )


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MONSEY, NEW YORK, July 8, 2001: In case you are worried about the recent development of Christian "bhajana" (Hindu-style devotional songs) or the Catholic mass conducted much like a Hindu temple ceremony, check out this site. The Jews are faced with an entire movement called "Messianic Synagogues." Writes Rabbi Tovia Singer at this web site, "Such congregations are designed to appear Jewish, but they are actually fundamentalist Christian churches which use traditional Jewish symbols to lure the most vulnerable of our Jewish people into their ranks. Messianic 'rabbis,' many of whom are Jewish by birth, are committed to bringing the Jewish people to know Jesus. Their agenda is to make Christianity more palatable to the uneducated Jew, and to the astonishment and horror of the Jewish community, their marketing ploys are proving to be successful."




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New Approach to a Discoloring Skin Disorder
Posted on 2001/7/7 23:43:02 ( 752 reads )


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NEW YORK, USA, July 3, 2001: About one to two percent percent of Americans have vitilego, a loss of pigment causing white patches to appear on the skin. While the condition is not contagious, painful, itchy or dangerous, the disfigurement it can be -- especially for dark-skinned people -- profoundly damaging socially, professionally and psychologically. In India, vitilego is referred to as "white leprosy," and women with it are often discriminated against in marriage. If they develop vitilego after marriage, it can be cause for divorce. Vitilego results from the loss of melanocytes. These are the skin cells that produce melanin, the pigment that gives skin its color. This report describes several new advances in treatment.




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Germans Slammed For Racial Intolerence
Posted on 2001/7/6 23:49:02 ( 757 reads )


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STRASBOURG, FRANCE, July 4, 2001: The Council of Europe said yesterday it was deeply concerned about racism and anti-semitism in Germany, slamming a broad political atmosphere of intolerance and apathy toward racist attacks in the country. Its latest report on racism and intolerance notes that the causes of racist attacks include open and latent racism and anti-semitism and a generally apathetic attitude towards such attacks. The Council's European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) identified racism in housing, education and employment and expressed concern over asylum seekers being deported to countries where they risked human-rights violations. More generally, there was concern about a culture of intolerance. A Hindu father in Germany wrote to Hindu Press International a few days ago to say that the local authorities refused to register the Hindu name of his new-born daughter, stating that it was the "law" that she had to have a German given name. Any readers of HPI familiar with Germany law in this regard are requested to contact hpi@hindu.org.




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Man on Trial for Murder of UK Hindu Priest
Posted on 2001/7/6 23:48:02 ( 749 reads )


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LONDON, ENGLAND, July 3, 2001: The trial of a man accused of murdering a well-known Hindu priest has begun at Nottingham Crown Court. Harish Purohit, a high-profile member of Leicester's Hindu community, bled to death after being stabbed 16 times in October last year. Dean Riddell, 26, admits killing Harish Purohit by stabbing him in the neck, chest, back and abdomen, but denies murder. Mr Riddell, of no fixed address, says he stabbed Mr Purohit in self-defence after the priest abducted him and tried to sexually assault him. The killing of Harish and the subsequent revelations regarding his personal life shocked the Hindu community.




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Pilgrimage to Amarnath Cave
Posted on 2001/7/6 23:47:02 ( 746 reads )


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JAMMU, INDIA, July 1, 2001: Despite the fact that more than 30,000 people have been killed in Kashmir since 1989 due to the state's Muslim majority protesting being part of Hindu India, religious fervor by Hindus is still predominant. It is expected that over 100,000 Hindu pilgrims will make the journey from Jammu to the Amarnath Cave. Situated in the Himalayan mountain range, an icy stalagmite is worshipped in this cave as a murthi of Lord Siva. The state has upped security personnel to 15,000 to guard the devotees during the month-long pilgrimage.




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Gunbattle Delays Hindu pilgrims
Posted on 2001/7/6 23:46:02 ( 813 reads )


Source: BBC





JAMMU, KASHMIR, July 6, 2001: The authorities in Indian-administered Kashmir say a gunbattle between militants and security forces on the Jammu-Srinagar highway has delayed a convoy of Hindu pilgrims going to Amarnath. At least three Indian security personnel and a militant were killed. A pro-Pakistani group, Lashkar-e-Toiba, said it was involved in the clash. Some 4,000 pilgrims later left Jammu for Pahalgam in Indian-adminstered Kashmir in a convoy of 200 trucks. Pahalgam is the base-camp for the Amarnath pilgrimage. Heavy security is in place for the pilgrimage. In other incidents, ten militants and two Indian security personnel have been killed in Indian-adminstered Kashmir since Thursday night




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USDA Denies Slaughter Allegations
Posted on 2001/7/6 23:45:02 ( 752 reads )


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WASHINGTON, USA, July 6, 2001: The US government's Agriculture Department denies allegations by Burger King Corp. that government inspectors are failing to enforce humane-handling standards in slaughterhouses. In a recent letter to Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman, Burger King chief executive John Dasburg said the department's enforcement of the Humane Slaughter Act was unacceptable. The law requires that animals be treated humanely and rendered unconscious before being slaughtered. "We are fully enforcing the law," spokesman Kevin Herglotz said Friday. Animals welfare experts say that conditions in packing plants have improved significantly over the last two years because of plant inspections undertaken by Burger King's competitors, McDonald's and Wendy's. Burger King announced June 28 that it would also start an inspection program but simultaneously petitioned USDA to improve its own enforcement. Officials with Burger King and the Agriculture Department are expected to meet later this month or early August to discuss the company's complaint.




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Christian Evangelists Pray For India
Posted on 2001/7/6 23:44:02 ( 804 reads )


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CANADA, July 5, 2001: The Christian "Voice of the Martyrs" issued the following "Persecution and Prayer Alert" for India today: "As numbers of lower caste Indians embrace Christ, and in the face of the increasingly violence against Christians in India at the hands of Hindu militants, Dr. Joseph D'Souza, President of the All India Christian Council, is asking for Christians from around the world to pray for his nation during the month of July. God is mightily at work in India and so it should not surprise us that persecution should be on the rise as well. According to Dr. D'Souza, India needs worldwide prayer for the following: 1. Peace among communities in the midst of tumultuous changes. It is difficult to imagine how the Hindu extremists will respond to this. May they see the aspirations and cries of a people who are looking for social and spiritual deliverance. May they not resort to violence and the killing of innocent people. 2. Pray for the Dalit leadership in the nation and the leaders of the Other Backward Castes, as their people look to them to provide support and strength during this time of change. The Dalits and OBC's together make up 75% of the Indian population. 3. Pray for the Indian Church. Pray there will be no compromise by any section of the Church. Pray that the hearts of the Indian Church leaders will be big and courageous to welcome all those who want to come to the Christian faith for the spiritual and social needs. 4. Pray for the social needs of India's majority peoples, especially their need for quality education." This last item we take to mean to continue to provide education in Christian schools for Hindus as a means of covert evangelism.




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Survey Reveals Surge in Muslim Worshipers
Posted on 2001/7/6 23:43:02 ( 829 reads )


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INDIANAPOLIS, USA, July 5, 2001: Mosques in America are generally places with a growing community of believers that have a vital spiritual life and offer social services to the faithful, says Ihsan Bagby, the leader of the first comprehensive survey of Islam in the United States. Bagby of Shaw University in Raleigh, N.C., led a project in which the leaders of 416 of America's roughly 1,200 mosques were interviewed last year. Today, an estimated 6 million to 7 million Americans consider themselves orthodox Muslims. Bagby, said 77 percent of the imams and other mosque leaders reported increases in the number of regular participants over the previous five years, with 61 percent of mosques seeing 10 percent growth or more. "We are probably experiencing the greatest growth rates of any faith group in America," said Bagby, a former United Methodist who converted to Islam 32 years ago.




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American Press Loves Mata Amritanandamayi
Posted on 2001/7/2 23:49:02 ( 871 reads )


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CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, June 29, 2001: Mata Amritanandamayi has changed a lot of people's lives for the better, but her greatest miracle in America may have been melting the hearts of one mainstream journalist after another across the country. Reverential articles have appeared about her in the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. These are among the nation's most prestigious newspapers. Their take on Hindu religious figures is, shall we say, sometimes less than laudatory. This latest article, in Chicago's equally prestigious Sun Times, by Cathleen Falsani, announces Mataji's upcoming visit to the city. "Next week, just in time for Fourth of July celebrations, a middle-age woman from India will come to town with the sole purpose of giving away free hugs. Hugs and pats on the back and kisses on the head and chucks on the chin. For free. No strings attached. And nothing creepy. Her name is Mata Amritanandamayi, but most people call her Amma, Ammachi, or simply, Mother. She's a 47-year-old Hindu holy woman from the Kerala state in India who, for the last dozen years or so, has been coming to the United States each summer to hug people. Many who have been held in her arms say it's a healing embrace. Sometimes the healing is physical, they say. More often, it's emotional and spiritual."




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