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Nepal Honors Late King in an Ancient Ritual
Posted on 2001/6/15 23:49:02 ( 665 reads )


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KATHMANDU, NEPAL, June 11, 2001: Dressing up to resemble the late King Birendra, a priest was banished from Kathmandu in a "katto" ceremony dating back to Nepal's ancient times. This ceremony, a rare Hindu rite performed on the eleventh day after the death of the King, is meant to cleanse the soul of the late King Birendra who was killed by his son, Prince Dipendra. The priest ritually leaves Kathmandu valley on an elephant, and this is symbolic of the dead King's spirit being freed from the area, and a means to mitigate the inauspicious aspects of his death. As part of the ritual, the brahmin priest is served a dish with some meat in it, the first time in his life he would have eaten meat.




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Pakistani Hindus Vow Not to Go Back
Posted on 2001/6/15 23:48:02 ( 737 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, June 13, 2001: "We will never go back to Pakistan," asserts Chander Pal, one of several Pakistani Hindus living here quietly since fleeing their country to escape persecution by Islamic zealots. "Here we feel at home. In Pakistan each day was like hell, but we suffered indignities silently as we had no choice," he said. Pal, 32, is one of some 150 Pakistanis who live in Sanjay Colony near the Bhatti mines in the Indian capital's southern fringes. Like the others he is determined to stay on in India. The Pakistanis follow their own customs and practices. They don't mingle with the Indians. Sanjay Colony has no regular supply of water and electricity, but there is a school, a small hospital and a police post. But despite the pathetic conditions, the Pakistanis say they feel safe and secure. These Pakistanis began trickling into India about 12 years ago. The men and women spoke up about their past in Pakistan. "Dogs and Hindus are treated alike there," said Dilip, who also came here in 1998. Pal said he envied Indian Muslims. "They enjoy so much respect in this country. Even if something happens to them, there are protests. No one ever cared for us in Pakistan."




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Man Shot While Performing Worship
Posted on 2001/6/15 23:47:02 ( 715 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA June 11, 2001: A decade-old dispute over possession of an unauthorized Shiva-Hanuman temple on the railway land, close to Bhairon Marg, took an ugly turn on Sunday with a man belonging to one faction firing at a rival who was performing puja. The attack, police said, was an attempt at taking control of the temple.




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Texas Storm Ruins Music Books
Posted on 2001/6/15 23:46:02 ( 777 reads )


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HOUSTON, TEXAS, June 11, 2001: For over twenty years, Houston-based internationally acclaimed musical duo Chandrakantha and David Courtney have charmed audiences with their performances of Hindustani classical music and bhajanas. Like thousands of others all over the Houston, they too experienced the wrath of Tropical Storm Allison last week. In the aftermath of the floods that all but devastated their quaint little home in the West University area, the couple are asking the community to help them salvage treasured music notes ravaged by water. They earnestly request volunteers who know how to read and write the Hindi and Telugu languages come forward to assist them in transcribing priceless music manuscripts.




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Roadside Shrines Disturb Traffic
Posted on 2001/6/15 23:45:02 ( 860 reads )


Source: Deccan Herald





BANGALORE, INDIA, JUNE 9, 2001: According to a rough estimate prepared by the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BMP) there are at least 1,000 unauthorized roadside Hindu shrines in Bangalore. Shrines erected on footpaths, parks, and public thoroughfares are mushrooming all over the city. Roadside shrines, a strange phenomenon, endemic to Bangalore, are supported by the generosity of the public. Not only are they patronized, but these temples, within a year of consecration, draw a huge number of devotees. A shrine often begins as a tin shed, upgrades to an asbestos roof, and in no time has a concrete roof. The BMP is trying to limit these shrines, and has even demolished a few, but faces strong public resistance.




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HSC Camp 2001
Posted on 2001/6/15 23:44:02 ( 777 reads )


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VIRGINIA, USA, JUNE 5, 2001: Over 70 individuals attended the 11th annual Hindu Student Council National Camp over Memorial Day weekend. The camp was held at the High Road campsite in Virginia. Students came from universities all over America. Along with sports and nature hikes, the day's activities included yoga and meditation exercises. Interactive discussions gave campers the opportunity to voice their opinion about topics that are relevant to Hindus in our society today. Presenters led discussion on topics ranging from Hindu views on cloning and Vedic mathematics to explaining the Hindu concept of dharma to a non-Hindu and "Is it acceptable to date/marry outside of the Hindu religion?" Evening activities included pujas, bhajanas, interactive skits and a campfire. A cultural show and a garba dance concluded the final evening's program.




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India's Flag Rules Challenged
Posted on 2001/6/15 23:43:02 ( 675 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, June 14, 2001: It is an oddity of Indian law that only VIPs, government offices and public sector undertakings are allowed the honor of displaying the country's flag on their premises. Now a 31-year-old businessman, Naveen Jindal, having been cited for flying the flag on his factory, has challenged the law in court. The Supreme Court is expected to deliver a final judgment on the matter in July.




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US House of Representatives Condemns Taliban on Hindus
Posted on 2001/6/14 23:49:02 ( 671 reads )


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WASHINGTON, D.C., June 14, 2001: Several influential US lawmakers wore a yellow badge with the inscription "I am a Hindu" in solidarity with Hindus in Afghanistan as the US House of Representatives unanimously passed a resolution condemning the Taliban's anti-Hindu edict. The bipartisan "Sense of the Congress", non-binding resolution, originally authored by Democrat Rep. Eliot L. Engel and having nearly 100 co-sponsors, was approved by a vote of 420-0 Wednesday. According to this report in India Abroad, the lawmakers slammed the Taliban for its decree and said it was analogous to the Nazi persecution of the Jews, who were forced to wear a yellow Star of David to identify themselves prior to the holocaust.




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Goddess' Blessing Next for King Gyanendra
Posted on 2001/6/14 23:48:02 ( 702 reads )


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KATHMANDU, NEPAL, June 12, 2001: In early autumn this year, the new king of Nepal, Gyanendra, will go before Goddess Taleju Bhawani, the living goddess of Nepal, in Her incarnation as a young girl. The Kumari, or virgin, as she is called, is selected periodically and reigns until puberty. The king can only be crowned following her blessings. The tradition of the living goddess was brought to Nepal from south India's Vijaynagar empire, when that kingdom wielded considerable influence in Nepal.




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As Biotech Crops Multiply, Consumers Get Little Choice
Posted on 2001/6/14 23:47:02 ( 778 reads )


Source: New York Times





CHICAGO, USA June 9, 2001: Despite persistent concerns, genetically modified crops are spreading so rapidly that it has become almost impossible for consumers to avoid them. Wind-blown pollen, commingled seeds and black-market plantings have extended these products of biotechnology into the far corners of the global food supply -- perhaps irreversibly. Some agriculture experts say that cross-pollination of biotech corn and seed corn, as well as poor and imperfect grain-handling practices, have thoroughly scrambled crops in a global food chain that for decades shipped bulk supplies of largely undifferentiated products. Most food makers in the United States continue to use biotech crops, insisting they are safe and far too pervasive to avoid; meanwhile, relatively few American consumers seem to care. "If your standard is 100 percent pure," said one Purdue University agriculture professor, "you better stop eating right now." Thus the various seed companies appear to have been successful in their scheme to introduce this genetically modified food without having to prove is safety.




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Tabla Wizard at Six
Posted on 2001/6/14 23:46:02 ( 733 reads )


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NAGPUR, INDIA, MAY 29, 2001: Six year-old Shantanu Khardenvis is the youngest tabla player in the world. In a recent performance at the Nagpur Doordarshan he performed with the efficiency of a fifteen-year-old. Shantanu, who started learning tabla at the age of two, practices four hours daily. "I gave my first performance when I was in nursery," said the young player who has made it to the "Guinness Book of World Records" with his talent.




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Yuba City's Sikh Immigrants Success Story
Posted on 2001/6/14 23:45:02 ( 698 reads )


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YUBA CITY, CALIFORNIA, June 11, 2001: Early Sikh immigrants from India planted their seeds of success in the rich agricultural community in this American city located in Sutter County. Of Yuba City's 36,758 residents, 2,360 are Indians. Sutter County boasts of the highest percentage of Indians in any US county. Nearly nine percent of its 79,000 residents are Indian-Americans. Families of many of its Indians date their presence to a century ago when their ancestors arrived from Punjab to work on the railroads and then stayed on to farm the land. The Hindus among them married into the Mexican Catholic community and disappeared from history. The Sikhs maintained their religion.




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Gujarat State Attempts to Control Population Growth
Posted on 2001/6/14 23:44:02 ( 691 reads )


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AHMEDABAD, GUJARAT, INDIA, June 10, 2001: With the population increasing in the state of Gujarat year after year, the government has chosen to form a committee to draw up a proposal introducing legislation to limit family size to that of two children per couple. The proposal, which will become law one year after approval has been received by the Gujarat parliament, will provide rewards to couples who have two or less children. Reservations about the legislation have been expressed as it may be aimed at minorities whom the government feels are responsible for the population growth. It could lead to further abortion of female fetuses in a state where there are already 919 females for every thousand men. Nearly every abortion is of a female child now.




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New Temple Opens in Sacramento
Posted on 2001/6/14 23:43:02 ( 752 reads )


Source: Hinduism Today





SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA, June 10, 2001: On Sunday, June 10th, a new Laxmi-Ganesha Temple opened in Sacramento, California. Hindus from northern California gathered to offer milk abishekam to the Deities, Ganesha, Lakshmi and Saraswati. The temple is located at 4679 Aldona Way, conveniently nearby Interstate 80. For puja times and more information call 925-202-7494.




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Gloom spreads at Puri's Jagannath Temple Due to the Death of Nepalese King
Posted on 2001/6/11 23:49:02 ( 752 reads )


Source: Punjab Kesari (translated from Hindi)





PURI, INDIA, June 11, 2001: One of the holiest cities of India, Puri, has turned gloomy due to the death of Nepal's King Birendra and his family. The king of the only Hindu Kingdom in the world had special right for personally performing puja in the holy Jagannath Temple of Puri. According to the records of rights in Jagannath Temple, the late king of Nepal had a special right to puja which was not available to any other person. Even the local erstwhile prince, Gajapati Maharaj, who is considered the living embodiment of Lord Jagannath, does not have this special right. An old employee of Jagannath Temple said, "We are not able to believe on what we have heard. He was one of the important devotees of the temple." King Birendra accompanied by Queen Aishwarya, had last come to the temple on 12th May 1993. A special priest of the temple is appointed to look after the Nepalese Royal family when they visit. The king also has similar rights at the famed Meenakshi temple in Madurai, South India.




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