(The Story of Hinduism Today Continued)
Ancient Wisdom, Current Problems: Unlike most religious journals, HT never preaches, giving too many should do's or to do's, nor does it become overly moralistic in tone. The editors realize that the congregation in diaspora has changed and the magazine must change with them, keeping pace with its readers. So, one finds Hinduism Today broaching subjects such as abortion, intercultural marriages, divorce, working mothers and adoption. These are the subjects that pose problems for Hindus today, and HT is there with the answers, be it cross-cultural parenting, sex before marriage or bringing up adopted children. Not afraid to discuss tough social topics like wife battering, bride burnings, child-abuse or the fact that Indian girls have the highest suicide rate, Hinduism Today takes on all these issues and tries to find solutions, especially pointing to insights found in the Vedas.
Interviews with strong Hindu women such as Madhu Kishwar, activist editor of Manushi, animal-rights activist Maneka Gandhi and prison reformer Kirin Bedi are part of the consciousness-raising features. While the core team is composed of monks, Hinduism Today has over 100 reporters and journalists and dozens of photograpers and artists working for it worldwide. These are people who actually live in the communities being reported on and understand the problems Hindus in a modern world face. It is interesting to note that a majority of the columnists are Indian women.
The editors are always on the look out for for fresh, new contemporary voices. Over the years HT has picked up the cudgels on behalf of persecuted Hindus in countries from Fiji to Dubai to South Africa to Afghanistan. Without being highlighted in the press, these victims would have disappeared from human memory. By headlining their stories in bold letters on the front page, HT assures that the sacrifices of these people will not be in vain. There have been stories about Nepal, once the only Hindu nation, being stormed by foreign missionaries: there were only 25 baptized Nepalese Christians in 1960. The figure by 1994 had grown to 120,000. One rarely sees such stories in the mainstream press, but these are facts. Is it possible to be a good Hindu and a successful businessman? Time and again, with its countless success stories of important CEOs, artists, dancers and intellectuals who are unabashedly Hindu, HT has pinpointed role models for a whole new generation to follow. There are stories of entrepreneurs, writers and artisans who have achieved success but kept their core values of Hinduism, a beacon in the storms of life.
Through the Internet it's reaching millions of Hindus, and millions of others who are intrigued by Hindu culture, spirituality and literature. Elastic as Hinduism is, it's never tried to convert people, but opened its treasures from the past to whoever wants to partake.
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