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RK Mission's Former General Secretary Passes On
Posted on 2001/5/19 23:44:02 ( 809 reads )


Source: The Telegraph





KOLKATA, INDIA, May 19, 2001: Swami Hiranmayanandaji Maharaj, former general secretary of Ramakrishna Mission, died at the Mission headquarters at Belur Math on Friday night. He was 91. He was suffering from stomach cancer, besides various other ailments. He was cremated at Belur Math. Initiated in 1929 by Srimat Swami Shivanandaji Maharaj, a direct disciple of Sri Ramakrishna, he joined the order at Belur Math in 1933. He was elected a trustee of the Ramakrishna Math and a member of the governing body of Ramakrishna Mission in 1973. He served as the general secretary of the Order between April 1985 and February 1989.




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No More Dissections in India's CBSE Course.
Posted on 2001/5/18 23:49:02 ( 728 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, May 17, 2001: From this year, India's Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is scrapping dissections of animals completely, coinciding with the 2,600th anniversary of the Mahavir the founder of Jainism who preached non-violence. "The idea is to develop a steady hand, and one can learn how to make a fine incision on a pumpkin as well, so why kill an animal?" CBSE chairman Ashok Ganguly reasons. "The reason for dissections was to help develop skills necessary for students pursuing a career in medicine. Over the past few years, animal activists have targeted the use of animals for biology experiments in schools. Two years ago, the Supreme court made it optional.




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Hindu Temple Attacked in Tripura
Posted on 2001/5/18 23:48:02 ( 938 reads )


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KOLKOTA, INDIA, May 17, 2001: At least 14 people were injured, eight of them seriously, in an attack by separatist militants in Tripura on Thursday evening. D. Goutam, Superintendent of Police (Operations) said 15 militants of the National Liberation Front of Tripura stormed the Bholagiri Ashram, a Hindu religious place in the outskirts of Agartala at around 6 pm and fired indiscriminately from automatic weapons. A massive search has been launched to track down the assailants.




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Hindus in New Zealand Celebrate Mother's Day Indian Style
Posted on 2001/5/18 23:47:02 ( 771 reads )


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AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND, MAY 15, 2001: About 50 Hindu children washed their mother's feet in traditional Hindu manner to express their appreciation on Mother's Day. The Matru Puja (mother worship) began with an invocation to Ganesha followed by Sanskrit hymns sung in praise of mothers. The children prostrated to their mothers and washed their feet. They also put turmeric, kumkum and sandalwood on their mother's feet and forehead. The Auckland event was organized to illustrate the mothers' importance to their children and to show the way it is done back in India where Hindu mothers represent god and Mother's Day occurs 365 days a year.




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Kids Who Witness Violence at Home
Posted on 2001/5/18 23:46:02 ( 774 reads )


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SINGAPORE, May 13, 2001: Children who experience abuse in the family often bear emotional scars. A US study shows they sometimes grow up to be abusive parents themselves. At a symposium held in Singapore, Professor Jeffrey Edleson, director of the Minnesota Centre Against Violence and Abuse, said that a study of 500 American families which experienced domestic violence found that 17 per cent had seen violent behavior at home as children. Thirty to 60 per cent of wife-battery cases investigated in the United States included abuse of children in the family. And one out of three among the three million abused children in America grow up to be abusive parents. In Singapore, although there are no parallel statistics on children who have witnessed domestic violence, a service center specializing in dealing with family violence said that in the 568 cases it handled, 827 children had seen their parents, usually their mothers, suffer violence at home.




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Governor Joins Utah Hindu Temple Fundraiser
Posted on 2001/5/18 23:45:02 ( 835 reads )


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SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH, May 15, 2001: Five hundred Hindu families have joined forces to raise money to build a cultural centre next door to the proposed Ganesha Temple in South Jordon, Utah. Governor Mike Leavitt was on hand at a recent fund-raising for the centre. Promoting Indian dance, music, and dinner, the attraction raised $110,000. The Indian community was commended by the Governor for its contribution to Utah's economy and its cultural diversity. Spokesman for the Indian community, Dinesh Patel, expects the construction for the temple and cultural centre to begin in two or three years, as the Indian population is small in Utah.




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Canada Church School Correction
Posted on 2001/5/18 23:44:02 ( 890 reads )


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A reader clarifies that in the article (source above), "Anglican Bishops in Canada Confront Government over Lawsuits," the word "Indians" refers to the Aboriginals and Native tribesmen of North America who migrated from Asia more than 10,000 years ago and not "Indians" from South Asia.




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Rabindranath Tagore's 140th Birth Anniversary Celebrated in Moscow
Posted on 2001/5/17 23:49:02 ( 854 reads )


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MOSCOW, RUSSIA, May 09, 2001: The Indian community and Russians alike gathered around a massive monument of noble laureate Rabindranath Tagore, the largest in Europe, here to celebrate the 140th birthday of one of India's greatest literateurs of the 20th century. "Rabindranath Tagore is not only the best read and most revered Indian literary figure in Russia, he is among the most widely read foreign poet in this country," said Professor Alexander Danilchuk, who has authored a number of books on the life, philosophy and works of Tagore (1861-1721). The state-run TV channel "Kultura" screened a documentary on Tagore to honor the great poet on his birth anniversary Tuesday. Tagore's humanistic philosophy was compared to that of Russian writer Leo Tolstoy. When Russian Prime Minister Putin, addressed the Indian Parliament, he said, "Tolstoy and Tagore have made immense contributions to enriching the spiritual friendship between our two peoples."




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Vajpayee Visit Throws Light on Indian Diaspora in Malaysia
Posted on 2001/5/17 23:48:02 ( 736 reads )


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KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA, May 15, 20011: The recent communal clashes outside the Malaysian capital involving ethnic Indians and indigenous Malays have thrown light on a neglected segment of the India diaspora that has possibly the largest Indian origin community outside the Indian subcontinent. In April, about a dozen people, most of them Indians, were killed in clashes. Although the incidents were local, it caused alarm in a nation of 20 million that is otherwise known for communal harmony. Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, on an official visit to Malaysia, raised the issue with his host, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. Mahathir explained that the situation has been brought under control and his government was seeking to integrate the community more by giving them more political empowerment. There are approximately two million people of Indian origin in Malaysia. The Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) representing the interests of the Indians, claimed that Indian youth held only 0.7 percent of administrative posts in the corporate sector, down from 0.9 percent five years ago.




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Ashwagandha Next on Patent Hunters' list
Posted on 2001/5/17 23:47:02 ( 877 reads )


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HYDERABAD, INDIA, May 16, 2001: Neem. Turmeric. Now, Ashwagandha. American and Japanese companies have discovered another Indian treasure-and they are patenting it. According to the officials of the department of science and technology, seven American and four Japanese firms have filed for grant of patents on formulations containing Ashwagandha or extracts of the plant. Fruits, leaves and seeds of the Indian medicinal plant withania somnifera have been used for ages in the ayurvedic system as aphrodisiacs, diuretics and for restoring loss of memory, the officials said.The Japanese patent applications are related to the use of Ashwagandha as a skin ointment for cosmetic purposes and for promoting fertility. Natreon of the United States has obtained a patent for "an extract obtained from the Ashwagandha plant taken from steep rocks in the Himalayan mountains," officials of the patent facilitating cell said in their report. The report said another US establishment, the New England Deaconess Hospital, has taken a patent on an Ashwagandha formulation claimed to "alleviate symptoms associated with arthritis." "One thing which is very obvious from the above study," the report concluded, "is that Ashwagandha plant is catching attention of scientists and more and more patents related to Ashwagandha are being filed or granted by different patent offices of the world since 1996." (PTI)




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Nepal's Growing Rural Revolt
Posted on 2001/5/17 23:46:02 ( 765 reads )


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KATHMANDU, NEPAL, May, 14, 2001: Clutching vintage Enfield .303 rifles, Nepalese police patrol the bazaars of the remote western town of Musikot. Maoist rebels control most of Rukum and several neighboring districts, confining the police to a few places like Musikot. The Maoists have killed more than 100 police officers this year. The strategy is to assert sovereignty over the countryside by demoralizing the police, and it seems to be working. It has been just over five years since Nepal's Maoists began fighting the elected government in Kathmandu for a "People's Republic." In Kathmandu, the authorities are determined to press ahead with army deployment to stamp out the revolt. "We have to stand up for democracy and the rights of our nation," says Deputy premier Ram Chandra Poudel.




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The Big Business of Organic Food
Posted on 2001/5/17 23:45:02 ( 802 reads )


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NEW YORK, NEW YORK, May 13, 2001: In this long, long article, Michael Pollan reports on his journey through the changing world of organic food. He begins with the ever-increasing selection of organic foods at the supermarket and closer inspection of some of his favorite brands. He found organic food is no longer produced just on small farms. For example, Cascadian Farms, a company who makes a popular brand of organic TV dinners, has recently become a subsidiary of General Mills, the third biggest food conglomerate in North America. Organic food is now the fastest-growing category in the supermarket, and rapidly attracting the attention of the very agribusiness corporations to which the organic movement once presented a radical alternative. Pollan traces the history of Cascadian Farms and its founder, Gene Kahn, a former hippie farmer who is now a General Mills vice-president and a millionaire. Mainstream food companies such as Gerber's, Heinz, Dole and ConAgra have all created or acquired organic brands. Today, five giant farms control half of the $400 million a year organic produce market in California. That is resulting in lower consumer prices but threatening the existence of the smaller organic farms. Pollan discusses industrial organic farms, big and little organics, and what the "word" organic means today.




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Singapore Government Restrains Religious Leaders
Posted on 2001/5/16 23:49:02 ( 806 reads )


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SINGAPORE, May 12, 2001: The Singapore Government has come close to invoking the Religious Harmony Act on several occasions when religious leaders were found mixing politics with religion and putting down other faiths. After being summoned and warned by the police and Internal Security Department officers, the religious leaders stopped their activities. According to the 1990 law, they could have been served with a Restraining Order forbidding them to address any congregation or group on any subject. They would be barred from holding office in any editorial board or committee related to their religious publications. Heavy fines and jail time could result for those convicted of violating the order. Among those who have received warnings are an Islamic religious leader who urged Muslims to vote for Muslim candidates with deep religious beliefs and a Christian pastor who used his church publications to criticize Buddhism, Taoism and Catholicism. An Islamic religious leader was reproved for criticizing a Hindu belief in 1995 that statues of the deity, Ganesha, could drink milk offerings. The leader asserted this widely-witnessed miracle was the work of Satan. The act was brought in when the Government noticed the increase in missionary zeal among different groups and decided to enact legislation while relations between religious groups were still good.




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Adoption Centers Raided - 150 Children Rescued
Posted on 2001/5/16 23:48:02 ( 849 reads )


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HYDERABAD, INDIA, April, 26, 2001 : The Andhra Pradesh government has ordered a high-level probe into irregularities at various adoption centers in and around the state capital, including child-sale rackets, following the discovery of the body of an orphan, John Abraham Bethany, buried in the grounds of an adoption home. So far, about 150 children, several of them infants aged between one month and one year, have been rescued from four adoption centers in Hyderabad and neighboring Ranga Reddy and Medak districts. The police have registered cases against the management of the three centers of forging documents and wrongfully confining children. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu has told officials to keep a tight vigil on adoption homes in the state.




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Fiji Hindus Alarmed by McDonald's Fries
Posted on 2001/5/16 23:47:02 ( 1017 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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