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India Leading in Coconut Production and Productivity in the World

Posted on 2016/9/3 18:56:10 ( 968 reads )


INDIA, September 2, 2016, (Press Information Bureau): Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Shri Radha Mohan Singh today addressed the farmers on World Coconut Day and National Award presentation ceremony in Bhubaneswar. On the occasion the Minister said that India is a leading country in coconut production and productivity in the world. Its annual coconut production is 306 million coconut from 4.9 million acre area and the productivity per 2.5 acres is 10,345 coconuts. The contribution of coconut in country's GDP is about US$3 billion. In 2015-16 coconut products of $217 million value have been exported. He also said that over ten million people are dependent on coconut crop for their livelihood.

Agriculture Minister said the Coconut Development Board has established 402 coconut processing units in India which process 2.42 billion coconut per year.

Once You Watch How Gummy Candy Is Made, You'll Never Eat It Again

Posted on 2016/9/3 18:55:59 ( 1161 reads )


BELGIUM, September 1, 2016 (Huffington Post): If gummy bears, peach rings and gummy worms are a few of your favorite sweet treats, you may want to stop reading now. The way most gum-based candy is made might scar you forever. If you've ever had a vegetarian friend turn down a fruit snack or cup of jello, you know it's because many of those products are made with gelatin. Gelatin is a gelling agent made from animal skin and bones. But knowing what gelatin is can't prepare you for seeing how it's made. Belgian filmmaker Alina Kneepkens created the horror movie short film that shows in grim detail the way many gummy candies are made. Kneepkens unrolls the footage in reverse, starting with the finished candy before revealing its gory inception.

The disturbing film is at "source" above.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/9/3 18:55:49 ( 847 reads )


Go beyond science, into the region of metaphysics. Real religion is beyond argument. It can only be lived simultaneously inwardly and outwardly.
-- Swami Sivananda (1887-1963), founder of Divine Life Society, Rishikesh

All-Women Army Protecting Rare Bird in India

Posted on 2016/9/2 18:36:47 ( 1060 reads )


DADARA, INDIA, August 15, 2016 (National Geographic): On a cloudy day in July, in a remote village in northeastern India, Charu Das excitedly imitates the awkward movements of a stork with her hands. In a few months, the greater adjutant stork--called hargilla, which means "swallower of bones" in Sanskrit--will descend on this hamlet, situated in Assam's Brahmaputra Valley, to breed in large numbers. Garuda, Lord Vishnu's mount, is a hargilla. They are a member of the stork family, but scavengers like the vulture.

Dadara and two nearby villages, Pasariya, and Singimari, are flanked by food-rich wetlands and brimming with tall trees perfect for nesting. The region has become a major stronghold for this homely creature: Due mostly to deforestation and widespread development of wetlands, only between 800 and 1,200 greater adjutant storks remain in India and Cambodia, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

But thanks to the efforts of the Hargilla Army, a conservation brigade of 70 local women, the region is now "the biggest greater adjutant nesting colony in the world," says Purnima Devi Barman, a wildlife biologist with Aaranyak, a conservation nonprofit in Assam. Backed by the district administration and local conservation groups, the Hargilla Army has been so successful in reducing threats and protecting the habitat of the stork that the group won the United Nations Development Program India's 2016 Biodiversity Award.

Not too long ago, however, the bird wasn't quite as welcome. Many villagers considered the birds "filthy" because of their smelly droppings; harsh calls; and tendency to litter their food, sometimes collected from garbage dumps, Barman says. She organized small, informal meetings to talk about the bird's role in the environment, such as scavenging and disposing of dead animals and its essential link in the food chain of the surroundings wetlands.

More of this very interesting report at "source' above.

Religious Hate Material Fills Pakistani Kids' Textbooks

Posted on 2016/9/2 18:36:36 ( 914 reads )


PAKISTAN, August 28, 2016 (One News Now): Pakistan's National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP) published a report announcing that the Islamic nation's government has broken its promise to purge the religious "hate material" from school textbooks, which are plagued with rhetoric used to incite children with rage toward non-Muslims. World Watch Monitor says that the plan to clean up the biased instruction materials was launched as a result of the Pakistani school massacre that took place two years ago.

"When a Taliban attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar in Dec. 2014 led to the loss of least 141 lives, including 132 students, it brought about a policy change in Pakistan," World Watch Monitor reports. "The government introduced a 20-point National Action Plan to discourage religious extremism and to provide a counter-narrative to promote religious harmony in the country, saying an 'end to religious extremism and [the] protection of minorities will be ensured.'" Despite assurances that the anti-discrimination plan would be implemented, the "Freedom from Suffocating Education" report issued by NCJP alleges that no adoption of curriculum reforms at the school level has taken place, except for a few booklets that were produced.

The NCJP report cited some other examples of contentious or inflammatory passages in school textbooks: The Class VII Baluchistan Textbook Board book on Urdu says: "The British ... feared the Muslims, being the true inheritors of the rule of India, could become a danger for them anytime." "Another book shows that the accusations against [Mughal Emperor of India] Aurangzeb of bias towards Hindus are purely a fabrication of the narrow-minded Hindus and treacherous British," says the Punjab Board's Urdu textbook for "matriculates" (ages 15-16).

The Class V book on Islamic Studies by the Punjab Board states: "The Muslims ruled the Indian subcontinent for about thousand years with magnificence, but they did not forcibly convert a single Hindu. If they had willed, then today there wouldn't even be a trace of them in the subcontinent. But Muslims showed great tolerance and even raised Hindus to high positions."

The Punjab Board's Class VI History book reads: "Most of the population of Delhi consisted of Hindus who considered Muslims strangers. They ... were always busy in thinking about getting free from the rule of Muslims. Hindu landlords used various excuses to not pay land revenue and even sometimes descended into revolt. The Hindus were so much encouraged by [Emperor] Akbar's pro-Hindu policies that they started demolishing mosques and shrines and started building their temples in their place. Wherever Hindus were in majority, they brutalized Muslims."

Much more of this detailed report at "source" above.

Tropical Forestry Services Prepares for First Indian Sandalwood Shipment to China

Posted on 2016/9/2 18:36:26 ( 868 reads )


AUSTRALIA, August 26, 2016 (ABC Rural): The world's largest producer of Indian sandalwood is gearing up for its first shipment of processed wood, with a ship due out of Darwin Port next month. Tropical Forestry Services (TFS) manages over 30,000 acres of sandalwood trees in northern Australia and has just completed its 2016 harvest in Western Australia's Ord Irrigation Scheme.

The company harvested around 32,000 trees from 257 acres, which is expected to yield about 300 tons of heartwood, up tenfold on last year's harvest. TFS managing director Frank Wilson said additional supply agreements had been signed with wood buyers in China and India in the past six months, and the timber being shipped from Darwin is being sold for $US150,000 a metric ton.

"There's very strong demand out of both China and India for high-quality wood or oil-bearing heartwood, that can be used in a variety of applications such as fine furniture, jewelry and traditional Chinese medicine," he said. Mr. Wilson said TFS was positioning itself to be the world's major supplier of "legal and authentic Indian sandalwood oil," with an aim to have 80 per cent of the market share by 2030. He said the company would continue to look for opportunities to grow more Indian sandalwood in northern Australia.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/9/2 18:36:16 ( 845 reads )


When I think of myself as a body, I am your servant, my Lord; when I think of myself as an individual soul, I am part of you; but when I realize I am atman, you and I become one.
-- Lord Hanuman in the epic Ramayana

Ganesha Festival Celebrated in Italy

Posted on 2016/8/30 20:19:53 ( 1543 reads )


ITALY, August 29 (First Page News): Sunday, August 28 over two thousand people came to the Gitananda Hindu Matha Ashram Monastery of Altare (SV) for the celebration of the Ganesha Festival, for many years an annual event for Hindus from all over Italy and neighboring European countries.

The stream of devotees came walking the long dirt road that separates the monastery from the rest of the world: an oasis of peace transformed for a day into the home to the largest Hindu festival in Italy. The procession toward the monastery was headed by a cheerful and imposing bedecked chariot. More than one hundred Hindu communities (from various spots in Italy and other countries) had the opportunity to gather at this spot to share in song, traditional dance and devotion.

Absent from this gathering was the Maa Bhagwati Association of Valdarno, whose members were engaged in aid activities in the earthquake zone. Thoughts and prayers went out to the victims of the recent earthquake in central Italy, with the hope that similar opportunities for interaction and sharing stimulate the sense of solidarity and closeness to the entire human population as one big family.

Paramahamsa Swami Yogananda Giri, founder and spiritual leader of the Italian Hindu Union and the Hindu monastery said in his welcome address: "We need peace. [...] The instrumental cause of the decadence of the world are economic interests and conflicts, but the efficient cause is selfishness." In the context of the usual ceremony of greetings and the allocation of gifts to the guests according to the Hindu tradition, this year the Italian Hindu Union has decided to hand over to some deserving Hindu women a certificate of merit, to give voice and visibility to to all those who, mostly in the shadows, work tirelessly for the good of their communities.

Hindu Devotees Parade Through Paris to Celebrate Ganesh

Posted on 2016/8/30 20:19:43 ( 1357 reads )


PARIS, FRANCE, August 29, 2016 (Euro News): More than 4,000 Hindu devotees and others celebrated the birth of the elephant God Ganesh in Paris as they paraded through the streets of the French capital in a festival held each year for the past 21 years. As the parade left the temple of Ganesh, devotees made their way through the large crowd, banging on drums and dancing barefoot, some in a state of near trance, as they carried offerings on their shoulders. The Ganesh Chaturthi is the fourth day of a festival which celebrates the birth of the Hindu God who represents prosperity and good fortune. The celebration traditionally lasts 10 days.

Nice video of the parade at "source" above.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/8/30 20:19:32 ( 897 reads )


It is Divinity that shapes, not only your ends, but also your acts, your words and thoughts. Your duty is to treat everybody, including yourself, as a manifestation of the Lord.
-- Swami Sivananda (1887-1963), founder of Divine Life Society, Rishikesh

First Swadeshi Indology Conference Held in Chennai

Posted on 2016/8/29 18:11:39 ( 1384 reads )


CHENNAI, INDIA, July 8, 2016 (Swadeshi Indology Press Release): The Swadeshi Indology (SI) Conference series is a new movement that critiques & replaces the Western (videshi) study of Indian civilization. Rather than depicting Indian civilization as a cause of all sorts of problems, SI adopts a balanced approach. It explains how our civilization is also a source of solutions. It takes to task the most prominent & influential Western schools of Indology, i.e. the ones that have colonized the minds of large numbers of Indians today. Prior to this initiative, there has not been an effective and concerted effort to systematically demolish many core ideas and false assumptions of Western Indology.

The 1st SI conference was held in IIT Madras last month. The videos available are from panels on specialized topics, including the following topics: Refuting the claim that Sanskrit shastras block creativity and innovation. Refuting the claim that ideas contained in ancient Sanskrit texts helped the Nazis to do the Holocaust. Refuting the claim that Sanskrit has been dead for a thousand years, and that it was killed by Hindu kings despite the efforts of Muslims to try and save it. Refuting the claim that the Ramayana is a myth meant for asserting power over the public, and especially for violence against Muslims. And so forth.

You can watch the video of each paper along with the lively Q&As among scholars at "source" above.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2016/8/29 18:11:29 ( 975 reads )


Is there a deeper tragedy than that of a man immersed in the pursuit of the not-self who has no time to realize the Divine Self within?
-- Sadhu Vaswani, (1879-1966) founder the Sadhu Vaswani Mission

Telagana Goverment Set to Take Over Temples

Posted on 2016/8/28 19:55:12 ( 1431 reads )


WARANGAL, TELAGANA, INDIA, August 21, 2016 (The Hans India):
HPI note: What isn't said in this report is that this action constitutes removing the temples from the control of the hereditary trusts and subsuming their management and income under the State government, as is the case in the rest of India.

The State government is all set to constitute the non-hereditary trust boards to 33 major temples in the State. As political circles are busy in connection with creation of new districts, the notification issued by the government for the constitution of non-hereditary trust board members to the temples almost went unnoticed, but not for those aspiring for the posts. They are already camping in the capital, hoping to get the plum posts.

Though it has been more than 26 months since the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) stormed to power, it has not made any serious attempt to fill several posts other than a few nominated posts such as agriculture market committees. Against this backdrop, the government has issued a notification for the constitution of trust boards to the temples recently. In a bid to facilitate more persons in the temple committees, the government has increased the number of members through an Ordinance, amending Section 15 of the Telangana Charitable and Hindu Religious Institutions and Endowments Act, 1987.

As per the amendment, the number of trustees has been increased to 14 from the existing nine where the income of the temple exceeds US$149,000 per annum, and the same will be applied to the temples that have an income range between $37,000 and $149,000 per annum. The number of trustees for the temples falling in the income group of $3,000Rs to $37,000 per annum is increased to 7 from 5 and the temples that have an income less than $3,000 per annum will have 5 members instead of 3.

Maharashtra: Supreme Court Ruling on Dahi Handi Met with Disappointment

Posted on 2016/8/28 19:55:02 ( 1158 reads )


[HPI adds: Dahi-Handi is an Indian festival that involves youth groups forming human pyramids in the street during the festival and attempted to break an earthen pot filled with curd (in immitation of the child Krishna's theft of such a pot) tied high above. These pyramids occasionally collapse with injuries to those involved.]

MUMBAI, INDIA, August 17, 2016 (Indian Express): The Supreme Court ruling on age bar of Govindas participating in the Dahi-Handi ritual in Maharashtra, on Wednesday met with disappointment back home with political leaders and local groups seeing the move as a setback to the festive tradition and demanded that the state government file a review petition in the case. The apex court on Wednesday said that youth below 18 years of age cannot participate in the Dahi Handi ritual, part of the Janmashtami festival in Maharashtra and the height of the human pyramid for it cannot exceed 20 feet, a limit fixed by the Bombay High Court. [Presently, the pot may be hung as high as 40 feet above the street.]

Arun Sawant, spokesperson of the Mumbai Congress, termed the cap as "unnecessary" and said, "This is really very disheartening because in the last few years, many organizers have came forward to take care of Govindas in case of any eventuality. They vouched for the well-being of the Govindas and took upon their medical and financial responsibility if anything untoward happens." He said it is only the small organizers who put Govindas' lives at risk during the Dahi Handi event.

Ruling BJP too said that it will do every bit to protect the "sheen" of the festival. "Such sort of a cap is an attempt to spoil our rich culture of Dahi Handi which not only unites youth but also makes them stronger. We are going to do every bit to save this popular festival," Mumbai BJP spokesperson Yogesh Verma said.

Hundreds Defy Human Pyramid Ban at Indian Hindu Festival

Posted on 2016/8/28 19:54:51 ( 890 reads )


INDIA, August 26, 2016 (Aol Travel): Hundreds of people attending a Hindu festival in India's western Maharashtra state on Thursday defied India's Supreme Court order limiting the height of human pyramids due to safety concerns. Members of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) regional party wearing T-shirts reading "I will break the law" formed a human pyramid 49 feet (15 m) tall in Thane district at a Janmashtami celebration marking the birth of Hindu Deity Lord Krishna.

India's Supreme Court on Aug. 17 upheld a lower court's decision banning youths under 18 from participating in the ritual and restricting the height of the human pyramid to 20 feet (6 m). The pyramids invoke Krishna who, according to tradition, formed human pyramids with friends to break pots of butter or curd hung from the ceilings of houses so that they could steal the contents. Maharashtra's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said that it would ask the court to reconsider its order.

People are injured every year while forming human pyramids as competition builds up to see which group can make the highest pyramid. Children are used to climb to the top levels without any safety harnesses.

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