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Fiji Hindus Alarmed by McDonald's Fries
Posted on 2001/5/16 23:47:02 ( 933 reads )


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FIJI, May 09, 2001: The Daily Post newspaper says a poll conducted in Suva revealed that most Hindus and vegetarians in Fiji are alarmed after revelations that French fries served by US fast food giant McDonald's contains beef extracts. A Hindu lawyer said the community was following developments with the possibility of filing a lawsuit against McDonald's Fiji. Fiji managing director Mark McElrath said they use 100 percent vegetable oil at the two outlets in Fiji as they are aware of the Hindu taboos placed on beef. However, the beef extract, at least for McDonald's fries in America, is added prior to cooking at the restaurant.




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Residential Workshop in Yoga and Dance
Posted on 2001/5/16 23:46:02 ( 803 reads )


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BANGALORE, INDIA, May 17, 2001: Heritage is a non-profit, charitable institution founded in 1994. From June 14 through July 1, 2001, Heritage is conducting "Parampara," a residential workshop in Bangalore that will impart philosophic, holistic and creative disciplines with performing artists, scholars and academicians from all over the world. Three interactive workshops will run simultaneously: 1. Tranquility of Mind: two three-day capsules targeted at corporate yoga and wellness, 2. Wealth of India: providing an insight into India by tracing its history and 3. Joy of Dance: as workshop on five forms of Indian classical dance and modern dance based on ballet.




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FHA Researches Hindu Genocide
Posted on 2001/5/16 23:45:02 ( 761 reads )


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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, May 17, 2001: The Federation of Hindu Associations based in Southern California is researching the topic: "Was/Is there a Hindu Genocide in Indian Subcontinent?" They invite your assistance sent to "source" above in the form of articles, statistics, sources or other research material. The research will cover three eras: 712 ce - 1757 ce: 1757 - 1947 ce, 1947 - present.




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Indian Temple Workers in Australia Get Back Pay
Posted on 2001/5/15 23:49:02 ( 673 reads )


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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, May 05, 2001: Eight Indian stonemasons helping with construction work at the Sri Venkateswara Temple, in Illawara, embroiled in a payment row with a temple committee here left for their home in Tamil Nadu after getting "substantial" money in back pay in a case that got them the support of one of Australia's largest trade unions. The final settlement amount is a matter of speculation as the court concerned has imposed a gag on both the negotiating parties to not reveal it publicly. "Our members (the Indian stonemasons) are very happy with the settlement," Phil Davey, Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) media liaison officer said. The union had alleged that the workers were being grossly underpaid and were living in poor and unsafe conditions on the temple premises. New South Wales Labor Council deputy assistant secretary Chris Christodoulou said the workers were unaware that their work would be covered under the Australian laws regulating minimum wages.




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Singapore Ranks First in Asia in Meeting Needs of Mums
Posted on 2001/5/15 23:48:02 ( 674 reads )


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SINGAPORE, May 15, 2001: Singapore ranks first in Asia and 16th worldwide when it comes to meeting the needs of mothers, according to the second annual report of a US-based, non-profit organization, Save the Children. Called State of the World's Mothers, the report was released on the eve of Mother's Day this year. The needs identified on the Mothers' Index included health care, contraceptive use and literacy rates of women. The index also takes into consideration infant-mortality rates, nutritional status and primary-school enrollment among children. Sweden topped the list of 94 countries ranked, while Guinea Bissau, an independent state in West Africa, was at the bottom. Singapore comes in ninth on a global basis when it comes to the quality of life that its young female citizens have as measured by the Girls' Investment Index. It is first again in Asia. On this index, Singapore fared better than Switzerland and the United States, which were ranked 18th and 22nd respectively. Sweden and Finland were joint firsts among the 140 countries ranked; Niger was last. The set of 12 indicators included education, health care and medical facilities available to women during childbirth.




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Anglican Bishops in Canada Confront Government over Lawsuits
Posted on 2001/5/15 23:47:02 ( 715 reads )


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TORONTO, CANADA, May 8, 2001: The bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada have warned the prime minister that, unless he gets involved, the church will be bankrupt by the end of the year because of a rash of lawsuits brought by victims of abuse at church-run residential schools for indigenous youth. In a letter to Prime Minister Jean Chretien, the bishops said that "those who were abused still wait for justice and the litigation is rapidly draining the resources of several of our dioceses and of our national body. We are perilously close to bankruptcy." More than 7,000 people have brought legal action against the federal government and churches, which operated the schools. The Indian children at these Christian schools were beaten and abused in an attempt to rid them of their "Indianess." On a recent edition of "60 Minutes" an Indian leader was asked how he felt about driving the Christian churches into bankruptcy. He replied, "They should have thought about that before they started beating the hell out of us."




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A Banyan Tree Family of 65
Posted on 2001/5/15 23:46:02 ( 783 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, May 12, 2001 : The Chowdhury residence in the Central Town neighborhood, with 15 rooms and six bathrooms, is a rare modern-day example of the Indian joint family system, with 65 members of a family living under the same roof. How do they manage? "If there's a fight, reconciliation is brought about over dinner or lunch," says Rajishwar Singh Chowdhury, who at 77 is the eldest of the family. He has four sons and three daughters, who have children of their own, and all live happily in the spacious house. The men run various businesses from food to spare parts. The women do all the housework. Shivani, newly wedded into the family, said she was initially apprehensive about living with so many people but was now delighted. And the third generation echoes the sentiments. "I love to be a member of such a big joint family," said 18-year-old Ricky.




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India is Divided Over English and Hindi
Posted on 2001/5/12 23:49:02 ( 655 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, May 10, 2001: The language divide in India has created a class divide. On one hand, while most East Indians may speak Hindi or other dialects in their mother tongue at home, children are encouraged to pursue English fervently at school. English has been the language used in government since colonial days, and fluency in English ensures that a person can study to become a doctor, engineer or computer scientist. Otherwise, the knowledge of Hindi alone pretty much determines your fate in lower income positions. Some people are fighting back and trying to get the special status given to English thrown out. However, the elite class is preserving the class divide by educating their children in English schools while less privileged children are educated in Hindi-speaking schools.




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Eight India-Based Organizations on Russian Church Blacklist
Posted on 2001/5/12 23:48:02 ( 785 reads )


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MOSCOW, RUSSIA, May 12, 2001: The Russian Orthodox Church, the dominant religious institution in multi-religious Russia, has blacklisted eight India-based religious organizations that it considers "harmful sects." The list was released at a conference, titled "Totalitarian sects: Danger of the 21st century." According to the Moscow weekly journal Profile, the blacklisted groups are the International society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), Ananda Marg, the organizations associated with Mararishi Mahesh Yogi, Sahaja Yoga, the followers of Shri Chinmoy, the Brahma Kumaris, the followers of Satya Sai Baba and Osho Rajnesh's organization. ISKCON and the Brahma Kumaris have the strongest presence in Russia of the blacklisted organizations. Two organizations that escaped the list were the Ramakrishna Mission and the Moscow Gurdwara Committee. The Orthodox Church has a rehabilitation center for the victims of the "harmful sects," and those who have left the folds must go through special re-conversion rituals to return to orthodox Christianity. Though religion and state are separate under the secular Russian constitution, Russia's powerful Orthodox Church receives heavy support from the state and exerts strong political influence. The Church's blacklisting carries no legal force, but the country's laws do allow for limiting or banning of organizations considered harmful to Russian society. Organizations can also be denied registration, and while not thereby made illegal, cannot own property, have bank accounts or otherwise operate easily in the country.




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Babri Mosque Accused Released on a Technicality
Posted on 2001/5/12 23:47:02 ( 680 reads )


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UTTAR PRADESH, INDIA, May 11, 2001: After 8 1/2 long years, the charges against 21 individuals involved directly or indirectly in the demolition of Babri Mosque have been dismissed. On December 6, 1992, a Hindu mob demolished the 16th century masjid in the town of Ayodhya in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Hundreds died in the subsequent riots. Criminal cases were put into motion against BJP and VHP leaders as well as police officials and RSS members at the scene of the demolition and the State government proceeded to set up a special court to try the cases. However, a recent ruling by the Allahabad High Court has said, "the government had not fulfilled the mandatory binding of seeking the high court's permission before issuing the notification for the setting up of the special court to hear this case." As a result, the charges against 21 accused including federal Home Minister L.K. Advani have been dropped. The Home Minister's post is akin to that of the Attorney General in the USA but with a broader responsibility for law and order.




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Lawsuit Filed Against McDonalds
Posted on 2001/5/11 23:49:02 ( 661 reads )


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SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, May 12, 2001: Seattle-based attorney Harish Bharti has filed a class-action lawsuit against McDonald's, alleging that the fast-food giant misled its customers for over a decade by advertising its french fries were vegetarian while all the while they were flavored with beef extract. The ingredient list on McDonald's web site states, "French Fries: potatoes, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, natural flavor, dextrose, sodium acid pyrophosphate (to preserve natural color). Cooked in partially hydrogenated soybean and corn oils, TBHQ (to protect flavor)." The beef flavoring comes under "natural flavor." Bharti filed the complaint in the King County Superior Court on May 1, on behalf of three plaintiffs, alleging that McDonald's engaged in deceptive and fraudulent business. Of the three plaintiffs, two are Hindus and vegetarians, and the third plaintiff is a vegetarian. According to the complaint, "Defendants are aware of the religious sentiments of Hindus, and in defiance of Hindu beliefs, sentiments and religious sanctity, defendants knowingly put beef products into the french fries." Meanwhile, a report in The Wall Street Journal said that, as far back as 1990, McDonald's had made a claim of using "100% vegetable oil." McDonald's, in a "clarification" carried by the Journal, said: "We never made any claims of vegetarianism with our french fries or any other product."




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Yoga Break Can Save Your Workday
Posted on 2001/5/11 23:48:02 ( 717 reads )


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NEW YORK, NEW YORK, April 11, 2001: Many office workers are inventive about recharging their batteries during their lunch hour. Andy Lerer, a cash analyst for a Manhattan publisher, delivers meals to house-bound AIDS patients. Merna Skinner, VP of a consulting firm, often turns off the lights, the computer and the cell phone in her office and lights several candles. Workplace stress is nothing new, but specialists say more people are affected than ever. The hectic pace of the Internet age and the rapidly changing economic climate has an increasingly stressful effect. Some people seek spiritual solace. Chuck Ughetta, secretary-treasurer of a securities firm, goes to mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral. Charlie Buck, president of an executive recruitment firm, favors a Hindu discipline, practicing hatha yoga once a week for 90 minutes: "It revs me up mentally and physically and gives me more energy than if I'd just had eight hours of sleep." According to this article, even one US Supreme Court judge is a yoga fan.




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Indian Science of Architecture Workshop in Maryland
Posted on 2001/5/11 23:47:02 ( 696 reads )


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LANHAM, MARYLAND, May 12, 2001: The Sri Siva Vishnu Temple is conducting a three-day workshop on Vaastu Shastra, the ancient, traditional, Indian building architectural science, at the temple premises (6905 Cipriano Road, Lanham, Maryland) from June 15 to 17, 2001. This workshop will be conducted by the leading world authority on Vaastu Sastra, Dr. Ganapati Sthapati, former principal of the only college of temple architecture in the world. Contact "source" for more information.




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Ramakrishna Mission Swamis Assemble for US Conference
Posted on 2001/5/11 23:46:02 ( 723 reads )


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GANGES, MICHIGAN, May 9, 2001: The public is invited to attend a conference, "Vedanta in the Third Millennium," in western Michigan from June 22-24, 2001. Twelve senior swamis of the Ramakrishna Order will assemble at the Vivekananda Monastery and Retreat, in Ganges, Michigan, about a two-hour drive from Chicago. According to Dr. Shyam Bhatia, professor at the University of Chicago, the conference is intended primarily to "explain how the Ramakrishna-Vivekananda movement can be a part of that urge for a new spiritual age that is being felt in the West." The three-day program includes meditation, devotional bhajans, worship, Indian cultural events and a youth essay competition based on the ideals of Swami Vivekananda.




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Tagore Centers in Bangladesh Under Attack
Posted on 2001/5/10 23:49:02 ( 630 reads )


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BANGLADESH, May 8, 2001: Bangladesh police have increased security at cultural centers connected with Rabindranath Tagore, the revered author and poet. Authorities fear the centers may be subjected to bomb attacks. Tuesday is the 140th anniversary of the birth of Tagore, whose largely secular legacy of poems and song stir great emotion in Bangladesh. The government accuses hardline Islamic groups of demonstrating their intolerance against Bengali culture by instigating a series of bomb attacks over the the last two years at cultural festivals. The recent attacks have fueled the debate about the country's future, whether Bangladesh will assume a more overtly Islamic character or whether it will continue to take pride in secular Bengali culture and tradition.




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