Hindu News

Hindu News

Hindu News

Hindu News

Friday, March 7, 2014

I’m not surprised

SATNARAYAN Maharaj, head of the nation’s largest Hindu organisation, the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha (SDMS) — yesterday said he was not surprised at Archbishop of Port-of-Spain Joseph Harris’ observation that Carnival was an exhibition of vulgarity.
Maharaj was responding to statements by Archbishop Harris during his Ash Wednesday homily at Our Lady of Perpetual Help RC Church, Harris Promenade in San Fernando. Harris attacked the behaviour of some masqueraders during Carnival Season, which he described as symptomatic of the pervasive lawlessness in society.

Maharaj said the women in this country who are normally sensible young people, seem to lose all their inhibitions with the sound of Carnival and the soca.

“Now we are seeing them virtually naked on the streets, with just a panty on and they airbrush their breasts. If at normal times, the police were to see a lady on the street dressed in a panty, they would arrest that person yet at Carnival time this is permitted. Nobody raises an eyebrow,” he observed.

Maharaj noted that Carnival was supposed to be a religious festival and it never comes into play. He called those persons who attend churches to receive their ashes after partying at the fetes and in the streets, hypocrites.

“They go for ashes, for what? They already planned how they were going to celebrate Carnival a year in advance,” he said.

Maharaj said taxpayers’ money was being spent to corrupt the minds of the nation’s children.

“Taxpayers’ money should not be spent on behaviour like this because the community pays a heavy price in the long run. We have no role models for our children,” he said.

source :newsday.co.tt


Bharat Nivas celebrates the relevance of Sanskrit

Lt. Governor of Puducherry Virendra Kataria looking at an exhibit on Sanskrit language, after inaugurating an exhibition at Bharat Nivas in Auroville on Thursday. Photo: S.S. Kumar
The Hindu Lt. Governor of Puducherry Virendra Kataria looking at an exhibit on Sanskrit language, after inaugurating an exhibition at Bharat Nivas in Auroville on Thursday. Photo: S.S. Kumar

In most people’s perception, Sanskrit is a dead language, and there is very little correlation between the language and the modern world. The newer generation knows very little of the language and it is thought to be an extremely difficult language.
Bharat Nivas is now hosting a series of events that will help dispel these myths about the language.
Dance performance
Part of the celebrations was a dance performance based on the works of Jiddu Krishnamurthi on Thursday. The performance was by five dancers in five different styles – Smitha Madhav for Bharatnatyam, Masaka Ono for Odissi, Prateeksha Kashi for Kuchupudi, Rashmi Menon for Mohiniattam and Achutha Manasa dancing in the Kathak style.
The show titled ‘Essence of Life’ is the brainchild of Dega Dev Kumar Reddy, who produced the show.
The idea of the show is to bring the philosophical teachings of Jiddu Krishnamurthi to the common man through dance. During the process of creating the show, we made a decision to translate Krishnamurthi’s work into Sanskrit, because the elegant power of the language goes beautifully with the dance form, Mr. Reddy explained.
It is also a way to try and bring back tradition to the younger generation. This is why we incorporated traditional art forms and Sanskrit with modern existential problems that are faced by everyone.
The performance was divided into three parts – Essence of Meditation, Essence of Life and the Thillana, How to be free from the self, he said.
On Thursday evening, Lieutenant Governor Virendra Kataria, who attended the show, also inaugurated the Ujjeevanam exhibition that shows how Sanskrit is also a modern language. Modern philosophical and even scientific lessons are present in many of the ancient Sanskrit texts.
The exhibition also features panels with little known factoids on Sanskrit, like how the first words spoken through the phonograph were in Sanskrit by Max Mueller.
Along with the exhibition, on Saturday there is a workshop at Kalakendra on chanting in Sanskrit and the magic and logic of the language from 9.30am and a talk on the Relevance of Sanskrit in South Indian Languages, organiser of the events Tapas said. 

source :thehindu.com

Indian Hindus barred from entering Nankana Sahib on visa issue in Lahore

Five Indian Hindus including two women have been barred from entering the Gurdwara Nankana Sahib near here as they had no visa to enter the district, where the Sikh shrine is located.
A source in Evacuee Trust Property Board told PTI that the Hindus - Vaneet Gupta, Neelam Gupta, Narindar Kumar, Hari Om and Vijay Lakhshami - reached Gurdwara Janamasthan, the birthplace of Guru Nanak, by a car from Lahore yesterday.
The Gurdwara authorities, however, handed them over to the ETPB officials after finding that they had no visa on their passports for the district, some 80 kilometres from Lahore.
When asked about the alleged visa violation, the Hindus said they "wanted to visit the Sikh holy place out of respect", the source said. The Hindus had come here to attend festivities in connection with the 'Shivratri' at historic Katasraj Mandir in Chakwal district, some 250 kilometres from here.
When contacted, Deputy Secretary (Hindu Affairs) Azhar Sulahry said the Hindus in question had visa for Lahore and Chakwal only. "The Hindu pilgrims were sent back to Gurdawar Dera Sahib Lahore from Nankana and today they left for India along with other members of the group," he said.
Over 150 Hindu pilgrims had arrived here on February 25 to attend the Shivratri festival at the Katasraj Mandir.

source :dnaindia.com

Successful 3rd Hindu Youth Conference: The Power of Youth

3 March, 2014
Successful 3rd Hindu Youth Conference: Dynamic You – The Power of Youth
Hindu Youth New Zealand (HYNZ) and New Zealand Hindu Students forum jointly organized a very successful 3rd New Zealand Hindu Youth Conference on Saturday 1st March at Aotea Centre in Auckland. The theme of the conference was Dynamic You – the power of youth. It was a conference calling for young people to realise the power within through being inspired. The conference was attended by 150 participants.
The conference was a step towards bringing together youth from different works of life and areas of interest to showcase their capacity, capability and call for the delegates to search for and realise their hidden potential.
The day began with a diya lighting ceremony in which invited dignitaries – Member of Parliament, Community Board member and Chair of Office of Ethnic Affairs – together with youth representatives from youth groups - Bharatiya Samaj Charitable Trust, Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, Chinmaya Mission, Ram Mandir Youth Group, Indiance Dance Group, Sri Sathya Sai Organization and Hindu Youth Australia.
President of HYNZ, Nitika Sharma, welcomed the guests introducing all delegates to HYNZ, it’s activities and achievements in the preceding years, calling all delegates to participate and make the most of the day. Murali Magesan delivered the key note address highlighting that Hindu’s make up 2% of New Zealand’s population; as a group were significantly more qualified in comparison to the total population and filled a high percentage of professional occupations.
Speakers in the Inspire session highlighted their motivators, challenges and learning from their road to success in the different sectors and encouraged young people to think about participating more in their respective areas: Female youth participation in frontline (Police) service (Telisha Kumar); Traditional music participation at international level (Krishna Ramarathinam); and Technology used for professional and economic advancement (Kunal Bhargava).
Ministry of Youth Development ran two workshops encouraging participants to learn about the importance of youth voice in decision-making (Your Voice), and equipping themselves with skills to be an effective leader (Your Leadership). Calling on all participants to be agents of social change, speakers in the Be the Change session highlighted their experiences and ways of addressing areas of: Poverty (Divya Hariharan), Creative industries and Collaboration (Bhavesh Bhuthadia), Youth positive engagement (Akshita Nama) and Character building through dharmic youth classes (Rahul Chopra).
The day also included discussion on youth getting involved in city planning for the future, the position of women in the Hindu society and experiences of leadership building program (Outward Bound) attended by two HYNZ sponsored young people. Fun energizers, team building exercises and a quiz was also part of the day.
The day concluded with an exercise on brainstorming for activities that HYNZ could get involved in to address youth issues and areas of interest.
HYNZ is committed to building capability in young people. For further information on HYNZ contact Nitika Sharma: neatyka@gmail.com.
The organizing committee would like to extend their appreciation to the event sponsors and the support from all participants, Hindu Organizations, Temples and Associations.
source : scoop.co.nz

Raleigh show celebrates 19th century Hindu ambassador

— The life of a monk credited with introducing yoga and the Hindu religion to the west in the late 19th century will be the subject of a show in Raleigh on Saturday.
The show was created to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Swami Vivekananda, who died in 1902 at the age of 39. It combines live performance with laser animation by laser artist Manick Sorcar.
The show, Swamiji, begins at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893, where Swami Vivekananda spoke of religious tolerance and Vedanta, the philosophical underpinnings of Hinduism.
Swamiji begins at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Fletcher Opera Theater in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh. It is sponsored by the Ramakrishna Vedanta Society of North Carolina, based in Morrisville.

sorce: newsobserver dot com

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Residents march against mounting of Hindu statue

Kisumu, Kenya: Kisumu residents engaged police in running battles in the city centre to protest the construction of a statue by members of the Hindu religion along Nyerere Road. Police were forced to lobby teargas canisters at the protestors who had set the statue ablaze. The incident affected traffic on the busy road, as the angry mob converged on different corners playing hide and seek with the security officers. The protesters, Muslims and Christians, argued that erecting a religious statue in the heart of the town portrayed Kisumu as a city of the Hindu religion. The statue, which was constructed near Aga Khan Hall along Nyerere Road, was meant to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Sri Guru Singh Sabha temple in Kisumu.

“Christians are not allowed to bow down to other gods and the location of the statue means everyone using this road bows,” said Erick Otieno, a resident. The statue is located on a roundabout next to the temple and the residents argued that road users were being distracted and that its continued presence could lead to accidents. Kenyan heroes The demonstrators asked the county government to build statues of Kenyan heroes. “Even we Christians and Muslims don’t erect statues of our gods on public roads; we do it inside places of worship, so why should Hindus be allowed to erect theirs on public roads?” asked Mr Otieno. On Tuesday, Christians from the Ministry of Repentance and Holiness Church demonstrated against the monument, saying it would promote idolatry in the region.

Kisumu Central Deputy OCPD Joe Lekuta asked the residents to appeal to the county government, which approved the placement of the statue. “The construction of the statue was not a coincidence. It was allowed by the county government so do not engage in acts that demean the gods of other people,” said Lekuta. He warned that police would take action against those who engage in destruction of the monument.
source: standardmedia.co.ke
Kisumu, Kenya: Kisumu residents engaged police in running battles in the city centre to protest the construction of a statue by members of the Hindu religion along Nyerere Road. Police were forced to lobby teargas canisters at the protestors who had set the statue ablaze. The incident affected traffic on the busy road, as the angry mob converged on different corners playing hide and seek with the security officers. The protesters, Muslims and Christians, argued that erecting a religious statue in the heart of the town portrayed Kisumu as a city of the Hindu religion. The statue, which was constructed near Aga Khan Hall along Nyerere Road, was meant to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Sri Guru Singh Sabha temple in Kisumu.
Read more at: http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/thecounties/article/2000104181/residents-march-against-mounting-of-hindu-statue
Kisumu, Kenya: Kisumu residents engaged police in running battles in the city centre to protest the construction of a statue by members of the Hindu religion along Nyerere Road. Police were forced to lobby teargas canisters at the protestors who had set the statue ablaze. The incident affected traffic on the busy road, as the angry mob converged on different corners playing hide and seek with the security officers. The protesters, Muslims and Christians, argued that erecting a religious statue in the heart of the town portrayed Kisumu as a city of the Hindu religion. The statue, which was constructed near Aga Khan Hall along Nyerere Road, was meant to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Sri Guru Singh Sabha temple in Kisumu.
Read more at: http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/thecounties/article/2000104181/residents-march-against-mounting-of-hindu-statue
Kisumu, Kenya: Kisumu residents engaged police in running battles in the city centre to protest the construction of a statue by members of the Hindu religion along Nyerere Road. Police were forced to lobby teargas canisters at the protestors who had set the statue ablaze. The incident affected traffic on the busy road, as the angry mob converged on different corners playing hide and seek with the security officers. The protesters, Muslims and Christians, argued that erecting a religious statue in the heart of the town portrayed Kisumu as a city of the Hindu religion. The statue, which was constructed near Aga Khan Hall along Nyerere Road, was meant to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Sri Guru Singh Sabha temple in Kisumu.
Read more at: http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/thecounties/article/2000104181/residents-march-against-mounting-of-hindu-statue

Sibal condemns Hindu Sena protest against Caravan magazine over Aseemanand's interview

New Delhi, Feb.7 (ANI): Minister of Communication and Information Technology Kapil Sibal on Friday criticized Hindu Sena workers for protesting outside the office of Caravan Magazine, for running the interview of Swami Aseemanand, in which he allegedly implicated Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat for his involvement in the 2007 terror attacks.
Sibal asserted that the mindset of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is anti-freedom of expression.
"This is a violent attack on the freedom of expression, and the experience of the NDA should make you recognize and understand that this is something they did even during 1999-2004, when people from Tehelka were able to expose them. What did they do? They set up a commission to destroy them. Same thing is happening now," he told media here today.
"Caravan is not a Congress agent; it is a periodical which investigates thoroughly some issues. They have investigated what Aseemanand has been saying. And they stand by their story. And now they are attacking them. The mindset of BJP is anti-freedom of expression. The mindset of BJP is to destroy whoever comes on their way," he added.
Earlier in the day, Hindu Sena workers staged a protest outside Caravan magazine's office over the Aseemanand controversial interview.
"If any Hindu leader or organization is accused of terror then it's an accusation on all 100 crore Hindus. Caravan Magazine should be shut down or else Hindu Sena will shut it down," a Hindu Sena worker Vishnu Gupta said. (ANI)


Hindu prayer services raise money for Bangladeshi victims of attacks

Young children joined in the prayers for victims in Bangladesh  
Young children joined in the prayers for victims in Bangladesh

Hindu prayer services were held in Bromley-by-Bow to raise money for victims of attacks on Bangladesh’s Hindu minority following the country’s recent election.
Children as young as three added their voices to the recital of verses from holy Hindu scripture, The Bhagavad Gita as the congregation demanded safety and security for the victims.
The services at Kingsley Hall last week, part of a series of events across Britain, began with the Narayan Puja, a prayer to the deity Vishnu.
The Aarti was also recited, a prayer to remove darkness and give relief to the suffering.
Ajanta Deb Roy, co-organiser of the event, said: “These events should happen more, because in Bangladesh they are targeting minority people, and this shows that not everyone is involved in the violence.
“People from all faiths have showed their support.”
The January 5 election in Bangladesh was boycotted by main opposition parties, and saw the re-election of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of the Awami League in a record low turnout.
A bloody period of political turmoil has seen more than 300 people killed since the beginning of last year.


No Decision on Declaring Diwali School Holiday: NYC Mayor

The City of New York is still undecided on declaring school holidays for Diwali festival, a longstanding demand of the Indian community, the largest South Asian group here.

However, for Eid and the Chinese New Year, the city's Mayor said, "The goal is to get there."

"Have not spoken about Diwali yet. On the other two (festivals), goal is to get there (declare school holidays)," Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

"It will take time. It is complicated in terms of logistics and school calendar and budget. But it is something I want to get done in a reasonable time frame," de Blasio said.

Appearing on a local radio show, the Mayor was asked if he would make the Lunar New Year, Eid (both Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha) and Diwali school holidays.

Indians are the largest South Asian group here, comprising 2.4 per cent of the city's population of more than 8 million people.

The New York City metropolitan area is home to nearly 600,000 Indian-Americans, with a majority of residents concentrated in Queens neighbourhoods such as Jackson Heights, Flushing, Glen Oaks, Floral Park, Bellerose, Jamaica, Kew Gardens, and Elmhurst.

The ethnic community has long been demanding that the city's schools should be closed on Diwali.

A representative of the Association of Indians in America, Shashi Shah told the New York Daily News that the community is disappointed that Diwali is not a school holiday in the city.

Shah appealed to the Mayor to recognise the Hindu holiday, saying, "We are disappointed. We have been trying for a long time. It's very important for the community."

Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg too had opposed a school holiday on Diwali saying kids should not miss more school


Kalaghoda axes play after Hindu groups call it 'anti-national'; producers move it to YouTube

The art festival drops the play loosely based on Mohammad Ali Jinnah after right wing group Hindu Janajagruti Samiti protests by calling it anti-national
Mumbai's iconic art festival known for its rich portrayal of contemporary art and culture took little consideration while bending over backwards following threats from rightwing Hindu groups.
The play dubbed as 'Ali J' was scheduled to take place on Thursday, Feburary 6. However, following threats by a Hindu nationalist group, Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, that called for the play to be cancelled terming it as 'anti-national' and that it 'spreads communal–hatred'.
On their website, that boasts a tagline 'For establishment of a Hindu nation', the group accuses the play of glorifying Mohammad Ali Jinnah, who they blame for partition of India 67 years ago. The website also states that it led a motely crew of right wing groups to submit a complaint in the Colaba police station, a fact also confirmed by the police. Along with this a warning was also issued to the organisers that if attempts were made to stage its show, the group would hold demonstrations. “Patriotic Hindus are registering their protest,” it stated.
Protest : Show of play ‘Ali J’ glorifying Jinnah to be staged on 6 Feb at Mumbai http://t.co/gZPXcm53Pc
— Hindujagrutiorg (@hindujagrutiorg) February 5, 2014
So what is 'Ali J' really about?
Touted as a political thriller, Ali J is a one act play starring Karthik Kumar, and deals with being Muslim in today's India. However, Sunil Vishnu K, director of Evan Entertainment that produced the play, in conversation with dna, explains, “It is not anti-national or anti-Hindu! If anything, it implores concerns of a generation about partition.”
Further calling the accusations to be unfounded, Sunil is appalled that the protesters would boycott the play without even having watched it. “The play deals with ideas of secularism and unity. It is far from being anti-national!”
Ironically, Sunil explains, the play imagines how things would be if we were all a little more tolerant.
The show was earlier presented in Bangalore and also faced some mild objections by local Hindu groups. But Sunil informs how the theatre community in the city, led by renowned personality Arundathi Nag, came out in solidarity to ensure a peaceful and successful showcase.
Commenting on the art festival's decision to drop the play, Sunil says, “Kalaghoda was made to believe that there would be a law and order situation if they showed Ali J. My play wasn't dropped because the law forbids it; on the contrary, it was because such situations were created, that suppressed our freedoms to present it.”
Web to the rescue
But even as Kalaghoda backs out and refuses to provide a platform to present this theatre, YouTube comes as a much stronger alternative. The show will air online on Thursday at 5.30 pm on Evam Entertainment's YouTube channel.
“It isn't just about this play,” explains Sunil. “It is about freedom of speech. Or else anything and everything can be banned just because someone claimed that it was 'anti-national'.”
On a Facebook group protesting the cancellation of the play screening, the producers point out, “Ali J was prevented from performing based on protests and threats from fundamentalist groups, without them even watching the play. This is an outrage against the freedom of speech and artistic expression, in a secular Democracy. You have stopped us from performing using force; but can you stop people from watching it?”
“I only want to share this play with the masses,” Sunil explains his decision to make Ali J available on a public platform, which is sure to cost him. “I want people to watch it, share it and talk about it. I want them to see for themselves if whether the play evokes anti-national emotions.”
He urges people to watch the play in solidarity of freedom of speech. “If this becomes a trend, then we, the artists, might as well pack our bags and go,” he says in conclusion.


Robert Village Hindu School—An Example

The Robert Village Hindu School, in the Tableland catchment, Southeast Trinidad, was established 50 years ago. The first principal was Chandreika Maharaj, a wellknown teacher and religious activist. When he retired as principal, Robert Village Hindu was recognised in the educational sector as a most successful primary school. Maharaj was credited with training a group of young teachers who became committed educators.

The Maha Sabha Education Board was impressed with Maharaj’s dedication and performance, and went on to name the school the Chandreika Maharaj, Robert Village Hindu School. On January 19, the school halls were filled with more than 600 parents, past pupils and well-wishers, as the school celebrated its golden jubilee—50 years of providing education to children from rural Trinidad.

Parents and teachers celebrated in typical Hindu fashion by inviting pundit Moonilal Maharaj from Chaguanas and pundit Ajay Maharaj to conduct puja and readings from the Hindu holy book, The Ramayan. The acting principal, Shoba Maharaj in a special 50thanniversary publication, spoke about the history and successes of this self-help venture into education: “This prestigious establishment has certainly produced many outstanding citizens, all of whom make contributions to the development of our twin-island republic.


Eight dead after holy Indian cave at Hindu temple collapses

A Hindu devotee pours oil into a wick lamp at a temple for the Hindu God Shiva (AFP)
Dated 4th feb
The wall of a cave leading to a popular Hindu temple in central India collapsed on Tuesday killing eight worshippers, including three young girls, police said.
State Home Minister Ram Sewak Pekra said the accident at Bildwar Cave in Chhattisgarh may have been triggered by blasts in nearby coal mines.
“Frequent blasts are carried out in the nearby coal mines and that could be the reason for the cave-in. We have asked the rescue team to do a thorough combing of the site to ensure no one else is trapped,” Pekra told AFP.
Senior police officer Manisha Thakur told AFP that eight bodies had been recovered — three were girls aged between 10 and 13, and five men.
?Three others are injured. They are in a serious condition,? said Thakur.
India has a long history of accidents at religious festivals and sites, with 18 killed at a stampede during a funeral procession for a Muslim spiritual leader in Mumbai last month.
Heavy machinery was still clearing the mound of debris at the cave into the evening on Tuesday after the collapse, which happened at around 5:00 pm (1130 GMT).
The temple is visited by devotees all year round.
Pekra said that a detailed investigation into the collapse would be carried out.


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Devout Hindus celebrate Basant Panchmi in Allahabad

Allahabad, Feb.4 (ANI): Thousands of devout Hindus took a holy bath and dip in the sacred waters of 'Sangam', the confluence of River Ganges, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati, on Tuesday in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, on the occasion of Basant Panchmi, a festival that marks the onset of spring.
The festival glorifies Hindu Goddess Saraswati, patron of knowledge, music and the arts.
The devotees offered prayers and performed religious rituals on the banks of the river early on Tuesday.
Security has also been tightened in and around the city, as police personnel have been deployed in large numbers keeping in mind huge rush of devotees.
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Umesh Kumar said his team was determined to make the festival a successful one.
"Crowd of devotees are coming to take holy dip on the occasion Basant Panchmi. Till now, around 2 lakh devotees have taken holy bathe. We are determined to make the holy dip successful with the help of police personnel," said Kumar.
Locals queued up before priests who had erected makeshift altars on the riverbanks to perform the rituals and offer prayers.
A devotee, Aman said that he came to seek the blessings of Goddess Saraswati.
"I have come here to take holy dip on the occasion of Hindu festival, Basant Panchmi. We will also pray before Hindu Goddess, Saraswati as we hope that we will be blessed with knowledge and wisdom," said Aman.
'Saraswati Puja' is a festive day for students of all disciplines, special worship ceremonies to honour the goddess 'Saraswati' are put together at various places in India.
Saraswati Puja is observed on the fifth day after the no moon night in the Hindu month of Magh (early in February).
It is believed that of Goddess Saraswati was born on this day. Saraswati has been identified with the Vedic Saraswati River.
The festival concurs with 'Vasant Panchami', which is also named as 'Shree Panchami'. Women dress in yellow, which is the colour of spring, and prepare a variety of sweets flavoured with saffron. (ANI)


The Hindus are the sons of Bangladesh soil

By Muhammad Shafiqur Rahman
It seems be came the fate of religious minority, especially the members of Hindu community, who take birth in the soil of Bangladesh and are living here from generation to generation that Hindus fell prey to casualties. When the country faces hard time of a political crisis or a change, the the Hindu community, becomes the target of minority persecution by the So-called Islamist terrorist organizations.
When it goes under a electioneering process, parliament or local governments, as if it is the destine of the Hindus that they will lose their lives, their women will be raped, their houses would be ransacked and destroyed, business establishments and shops will be looted and touched into ashes, their mondirs and temples will be damaged and put on fire, and their property, houses or agricultural lands would be grabbed by the lootera Muslim criminal organization Jamaate Islami and its terrorist student wing Chhatra Shibir, Popularly known as Gestapo Bahini. BNP (the so-called Bangladesh Nationalist Party) was always with them.
We have been observing since 1947 when India was divided into Pakistan & Hindustan on the basis of Jinnah's two nation theory, that means Muslim majority areas will be made Pakistan (name should be Muslimstan) and Hindu majority areas Hindustan. Minority persecution happened in 1947, in 1962, 64, and 1971 when we were in the war of liberation, again after the assassination of country's founding father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1975, we saw in 1992 when the fundamentalist Hindus destroyed Babri Mosque in Uttar Prodesh, India, the fundamentalist Muslims destroyed 247 Mondirs in different places of Bangladesh and its capital Dhaka.
It has happened after the election of 2001 and last January 5, 2014. But can any body deny that Hindus and other religious minority Buddist, Christian’s are the sons of this soil. Still I remember my village, my childhood. It was a remote village of Chandpur district where half of the year was remaining under the rainy season and we used to go to school by boat together, play together, even we the boys both Muslims and Hindus of our village used to masticating sugarcane sitting on the boat and enjoy each others family & religious festivals. We took part in our war of liberation together. Of course none of us ever has forgotten our own religious belief and obligations.
We believe that the religion is personal and the state belongs to every body, it should not be mixed with our Political and state life. Still I remember my friend Priya, Jagadish, Dulal, Santosh, Ranajit, Badal, Shomvo, Gandhi and many others whom I can not remember now. I don't know where they are, how they are? I know only Priya and Dulal left Bangladesh in sixties were settled in Kolkata, India (Dulal died two years back). Priya lives a Posh life there, but I saw him crying for motherland.
The panic and horror I saw in sixties on their face & eyes at the time of communal riots in 1964 and Pakistan India war in 1965 were seen during the last January 5 election. I sow the same horror in the eyes of Hindus in different parts of the country published on the front page of news papers and the main bulletins of the television channels. Main two Prime reasons behind this act of terror are (1) our neighboring country is Hindu majority Hindustan or India and BNP and its alley Jamaat consider Hindus are the enemy of the country (2) Hindus Prefer to vote for AL (Awami League) as it is a secular non-communal political party. So they suffer if vote for, even do not. This time it happened in Jessore, Khulna, Rajshahi, Joypurhat, Rangpur, Gaibandha, Pabna, Satkhira, Ovoynagar, Dinajpur, panchagarh, Chittagong, Baushkhali, Shitakunda, Laksmipur, Chandpur and other places of the Country. We saw hundreds of thousands of Hindus left their places for life leaving their houses, lands, Business, Valuable etc behind.
Following the parliament election held on October 2001, Nation saw with sorrows and panic that the BNP and its terrorist alley Jamaat & shibir led by Begum Khaleda Zia tried to observed their victory celebration through the heinous act of ethnic cleansing. We have been seeing this for last 66 years (1947-2014) and the Hindus became weaker and weaker financially and numerically. Exodus of Hindus to the neighboring India is a known fact for us, but fact remains we didn't do anything to stop it.
Irony is that the party which claiming to be the Nationalist and its leader Begum Khaleda Zia who Claimed herself uncompromising? Is she responsible for these communal attacks? Khaleda Zia herself ordered terrorist to come down on the street with Petrol Bomb, lathel weapon. We saw in may 5, 2013 in the time of Hifazat gathering around Shapla Chattar that she ordered her party activities to join the Hefazat and help (?) them when Hefazat started damaging the road dividers, tourching the book shops including the Holy Qurran and Hadith (S) selling shops and other road side hawkers shops and the party office of Awami league and CPB (Communist Party of Bangladesh) aiming at they wanted to free their leaders now facing capital punishment by international war crime tribunals by creating Lawless in the Country. It also wanted to create a Tahier squire in Dhaka to achieve their target, particularly at the time of the execution of Jamaat leader Kader Molla, popularly known as `Mirpur's Kashai' BNP's target was to reduce the percentage of Hindu votes, popularly known as AL's vote bank. Because AL is a non-communal, democratic and secular political party and it believes in Bengali Nationalism.
All are still very lively in my mind. The fears I saw among them during Pakistan-India war and riots in 60s, such fears were seen in face-eyes of Hindus of different regions after the recent elections (Jatiya Sangsad 2014). There are two prime reasons of it-our neighbour India is a country of Hindu majority. So Hindus will have to be identified as ‘enemy’ (?), second Hindus like Awami League as secular political party, . . . so general impression is they are giving vote for AL even do not, they become victim.
The executive director of ‘Broti’ Sharmin Murshid in a TV talk-show said anyone having black colour on finger was tortured. Thousands of Hindus were forced to take shelter in other places to save life. The road of Abhainagor is like the ‘71’s Jessore Road which became important in September 1971 when millions used it as a highway to life defying natural calamities to evade Pakistani atrocities. They fall prey to killing-torture in the same way after 2001 October elections. They naturally became weak economically because their land-property, businesses were looted-grabbed gradually over the last 66 years (1947-2014). Moreover, this time only they are realising what an inhuman life they are maintaining in the prevailing cold weather after leaving their houses in the face of torture. This time it has been cleared who are launching such attacks—Jamaat-Shibir is committing such inhuman crimes against humanity under the protection of Begum Khaleda zia, who is now populary call Amir-e-Hajabi (Hafarzat+Jamat+BNP). Their target is to save Jamaat leaders who are under-trial or facing death sentences for their war-time crimes and BNP’s target is to reduce vote of Awami League. Jamaat dreams to create Egypt’s Brotherhood’s Tahrir Square like movement; create mass upsurge. But it is Bangladsesh, they also realize it. So they launch attacks on Hindus who are minority and weak socially and financially. It is our national shame that we could not save them. Although, it was possible to resist criminals if steps would have been taken. Because, it did not happen all of a sudden or all over the country, such attacks, killings, torture-repression have started from the day the court began to hand down verdicts on war crimes cases, it was very beginning of last year. But it seems that the administration was enjoying daydream.
Thanks to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and conveying her gratitude on be half of the citizens of the state, she does not sleep if everyone remains asleep, as if she is responsible for whole things only. In 1964, Bangabandhu resisted the riot launching a campaign styled “Purbabangla stand against riot”. During that time the government was unfavorable, because Ayub's Military Junta was in power. This time government is different. It was needed to remain alert and take precautionary measures. Nonetheless, Iqbalur Rahim M.P of Dinajpur was found trying to resist it. Such people are allover the country but why they were asleep? For getting party nomination, they take to the street wearing white clothes (such clothes are used to wrap up dead body of a Muslim for burial), chant slogan by hiring people on payment ‘ . . . brother go ahead, we are with you’ and now trying to be minister.


Monday, February 3, 2014

Ten Hindu pilgrims killed in bus accident in Nepal

Kathmandu:  A bus carrying Hindu pilgrims skidded off a mountain road and fell down more than 300-metre in eastern Nepal, killing at least 10 people, police said today.

The bus, carrying 66 passengers to Haleshi Mahadev of Khotang from Sindhuli district, skidded off the road and plunged some 300-meter down in Suklatar village of Okhaldhunga district on Friday, a police officer told PTI.

Three people died on the spot, while seven others succumbed to their injuries in different hospitals yesterday, the officer said.

Fifty-six passengers, who were seriously injured, have been admitted to Katari Hospital in Udaypur, Neuro Hospital in Biratnagar and B&B Hospital in Lalitpur district.


Necessary protection: Hindu community demands adequate security

Health Minister Shaukat Yousafzai. PHOTO: PPI
PESHAWAR: The Hindu community has voiced strong disapproval over Health Minister Shaukat Yousafzai’s order to remove the security gate from Pir Ratan Nath Temple which was constructed after a police constable was shot dead outside the place of worship last week.
In a press statement, All Pakistan Hindu Rights Movement Chairman Haroon Sarbdyal spoke out against the issue. He said two days ago, the minister visited the area where residents complained that the gate was a hurdle for traffic. Yousafzai then ordered the police to remove it.
 photo HaroonSarbdyal_zps7d51290b.jpg
“The security gate was constructed by the Hindu community to protect itself and the police guards against such attacks in the future,” said Sarbdyal, “But the minister ordered its removal without even consulting us.”
He lamented the police had safeguarded their stations and other government and religious buildings by placing blockades and barbed wires around them, whereas one step taken by the Hindu community to protect themselves was not acceptable to Yousafzai. “We may be a minority, but we are citizens of Pakistan and have equal rights,” said Sarbdyal.
In his defence, Yousafzai said he had earlier ordered the capital city police officer to sit down with locals and resolve the issue amicably. He stressed his intention was to facilitate all inhabitants of the locality.

Demanding rights: ‘No security for Hindu community’

http://i1.tribune.com.pk/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/666408-hinduxx-1391287619-898-640x480.jpgHindu Panchayat president Mukhi Eshwar Lal Makheja laments string of violent incidents. PHOTO: FILE
SUKKUR:  Minorities’ rights and their safety are guaranteed under the Constitution of Pakistan but the Hindu community laments that they are deprived of their basic right. 
Speaking to The Express Tribune, Hindu Panchayat president Mukhi Eshwar Lal Makheja reported that a string of violent incidents, including kidnapping for ransom, robbery, extortion, gang rape and forced conversions had been inflicted upon members of the community over the last three months.
Citing examples of the incidents, Makheja said that a trader, Lachman Das, had been kidnapped from Airport Road, Sukkur, about two and a half months ago and had not been rescued to date. Another trader belonging to the Hindu community, Ravi Kumar, was kidnapped near Sangi but was later rescued.
Makheja appealed to the authorities to provide protection to the Hindu traders as they were an important part of the country’s economy. “Members of the Hindu community are involved in the rice and dates trades, apart from playing their roles in the services sector as doctors and pharmacists,” he said.

Cherukolppuzha Hindu Meet Begins

The eight-day long 102nd Ayroor-Cherukolppuzha Hindu religious convention, organised under the auspices of Hindu Maha Mandalam,  began on the sand-bed of Pampa at Ayroor Vidyadhiraja Nagar near Kozhenchery on Sunday.
Delivering the inaugural address, Swami Kashikananda Giri Maharaj of Kandivli Anandabhavan Ashramam in Mumbai called on the people to surrender before God through prayer.
The Swami said that the people should reach out to God with a determination and unconditional prayer.“People could purge their mind through meditation,” the seer said. “One could see God’s presence in all living objects and through meditation one could feel it,” Swami Kashikananda Giri said.Hindu Maha Mandalam president T N Upendranatha Kurup welcomed the gathering. Prime Minister’s advisor T K A Nair presided over the function.
Swami Nirmalanandagiri delivered the introductory address. Swami Prajnananda Theerthapada of the Vazhoor Theerthapada Ashramam delivered the benedictory address. Yogakshema Sabha president Akeeramon Kalidasa Bhattathiri delivered the keynote address.
Maha Mandalam secretary M P Sasidharan Nair proposed a vote of thanks on the occasion.
At 10 am, Maha Mandalam president T N Upendranatha Kurup received the processions carrying the portrait of Vidyadhiraja Chattambi Swami, the torchlight and flag at Vidyadhiraja Nagar, followed by hoisting of the flag in front of the auditorium.


Saturday, February 1, 2014

Universities urged to designate prayer spaces for Hindu

Michael Sergel, Newstalk ZB February 1, 2014, 1:19 pm
Universities are being urged to provide designated prayer spaces for Hindu students.
A growing number of students identify as Hindu, especially in the Auckland region.
Rajen Zed, spokesman for the Universal Society of Hinduism, says universities should set aside halls for Hindu spiritual exercise.
He says the halls should include statues of popular deities, and be equipped with a traditional bell and drum.
He says Hindu students should have their spiritual needs met, in the same way Christian and Muslim students are accommodated.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Meeting to give update on £12 million Northampton Hindu temple plans

Hindu blessing ceremony. Hindus blessing land by Lings Way, Proposed sight for Hindu Temple.
News: Nick
People in Northampton are being invited to an ‘open forum’ next Friday where an update on plans to build a new £12 million Hindu temple in the town will be revealed.

The Indian Hindu Welfare Association (IHWO) were given planning permission to build a new temple on land off Lings Way in Lumbertubs in 2012, after plans were revealed in 2008.
The new facility, which will be known as the Northampton Kutumb Centre, will also provide room for sports, leisure, and educational activities.
An open forum will be held at Northampton College on Friday, February 7 at 7pm in the college’s drama theatre.
The event will reveal latest planning designs for the centre and provide details on the fund-raising strategy, construction plans and the build timeline.
A speech in support of the centre will be given by Northampton North MP, Michael Ellis and other guest speakers include Chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, Labour MP for Leicester East Keith Vaz and David Mackintosh, leader of Northampton Borough Council.
Mr Ellis said: “The Northampton Kutumb Centre will be a wonderful resource for our entire community in Northampton and I am very pleased to support this ambitious project. I have supported this endeavour for many years now and I look forward to seeing it become a reality.”
Neelam Aggarwal-Singh MBE , Chairperson of IHWO, said: “Once built, the Northampton Kutumb (or ‘wider family’) Centre will be an innovative and eco-friendly landmark complex. It will be open to people of all ages and backgrounds and will encompass state-of-the-art sports, leisure, educational and enterprise facilities, as well as a spectacular Hindu temple.”
The Northampton Kutumb Centre has been designed to use sustainable solar technology as well as geo-thermal pump technology, which will use the natural heat within the ground to heat up the centre.
There will be a rain water collection and recycling system, which will reduce the demand on public water supplies. The roof space will provide a “green” space made up of vegetation, which will encourage the habitation of local bird life. A large area of land will also be designated as ‘wild meadow’, which again will encourage the habitation of local wildlife.
The Hindu temple will be open to everyone and the IHWO hopes the temple will be a site of interest to people from all backgrounds and has plans to use it as an educational facility in partnership with local schools.

HC Acquits Muslim Youth Accused of Raping Hindu Girl

A Muslim youth, accused of raping a teenaged Hindu girl he married nine years ago after eloping, has got reprieve from the Delhi High Court which upheld his acquittal, observing that religion was the "biggest hurdle" in their matrimonial alliance.

Hasim, a hairdresser in southeast Delhi, and the 14-year- old schoolgirl were in love with each other and had twice ran away from home to be together.

In 2005, the couple apprehending trouble from their respective families, left for Moradabad after their 'nikah' (marriage) in Delhi and applying for registration under the Special Marriage Act.

The duo were traced to Moradabad by the police and brought back to Delhi where a kidnapping and rape case was slapped on Hasim and the girl was married off elsewhere.

A Delhi trial court acquitted Hasim following which police appealed against the verdict in the high court, saying the girl was a minor.

Upholding the acquittal, the high court said, "This is an unfortunate case where perhaps different religion of the boy and the girl was the biggest hurdle in their way to marry each other.

"They wanted to marry crossing this hurdle, hence firstly nikah was performed on February 11, 2005 and thereafter notice for intended marriage under the Special Marriage Act was also given. However, destiny had something else in store for them."

In its 16-page judgment, a bench of justices Pratibha Rani and Reva Khetrapal held that opposition to runaway marriages by parents is mostly on account of caste, religion or disparities in social status.

"With a view to breaking the matrimonial alliance, they (girl's parents) continue pressing the charge of kidnapping and rape on the boy," it said.

The court observed that "runaway marriages not only cause mental agony to the family of the couple but also compel the couple to run for shelter to protect their lives and escape honour killing".

The court also took note of the increasing number of petitions by parents for production of their wards who leave their parental house in runaway marriages.

"While parents of such girls suffer due to social stigma attached with such marriages, the family of the boy is harassed not only by the family of the girl but also by the police to pressurize them to disclose the whereabouts of the boy.

"If the police is able to recover the couple, the 'husband' is generally accused of kidnapping and rape. Most of the time, such girls turn out to be minor. In such circumstances, either the girl has to stay in Nari Niketan and wait for the release of the husband or to return to the parents and succumb to their wishes to marry the person of their choice and stand as a witness against the person with whom she is in love," the bench observed.

In this case, the girl was a consenting party and had left home on her own to join the company of the person with whom she was in love, the trial court had said while acquitting Hasim.

The bench rejected police argument that the girl was a minor according to the school records.

"In the absence of any material on the basis of which date of birth was recorded at the time of her admission in the said school and failure of the prosecution to get the ossification test conducted despite being advised so by the concerned doctor, we are of the view that benefit of doubt in case of proven consent must go to the Respondent (boy)," it said.

The bench said it was established beyond reasonable doubt that the girl was "in love with the respondent. As the girl was Hindu by religion and the boy was a Muslim, to provide legal status to their relationship she left home and performed nikah in 2005. She also initiated steps for getting their marriage registered under Special Marriage Act".

"Even at the time of her being found on April 3, 2006 by the police in the presence of her father as well as at the time of her medical examination by the doctor in the presence of her mother, she did not complain of being sexually assaulted by the boy under any threat or fear," it said.

"In fact, she had run away not once but twice but ultimately had to marry the person chosen by her family which speaks of the volume of influence exercised upon her after she was recovered second time by the police," the bench noted.
The father of the girl had lodged a missing report in Sangam Vihar police station in southeast Delhi. Later, he lodged an FIR and named Hasim as the person who had kidnapped her daughter.

In her statement to the magistrate after they were traced, the girl said that on February 23, Hasim's maternal uncle and aunt had forcibly taken her to Dingerpur and made her stay with him. She said the boy raped her during her stay there.

However, she said she did not want Hasim to be punished.

The high court noted that the girl and her father were not consistent in their deposition before the police and the trial court and that "their versions continued changing colour at every level".

The bench also borrowed from a 2006 judgement to say that "runaway marriages are manifestation of a generational change due to variety of factors, including increased interaction between the sexes, with young boys and girls attaining maturity rapidly".

"It is a complex problem with inter play of social, economic, religious, caste, educational factors, including sex education and vulnerability and backwardness of the weaker sex having its impact."


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Multicultural festival to celebrate Hindu deity

This Is Wiltshire: Members of the Swindon Puja Committee. 
  Members of the Swindon Puja Committee.
PEOPLE across Swindon will gather to honour the Hindu goddess of knowledge and wisdom next week.
The Swindon Puja Committee has organised the second annual Hindu festival on Tuesday to celebrate Saraswati Puja, an event devoted to the goddess Saraswati, at The Platform in Faringdon Road.
More than 200 people attended the event last year, which was the first of its kind held in the town and organisers are hoping for an even bigger turn out this year.
The festival’s cultural secretary, Sujan Saha, 33, of Commercial Road, said: “Last year, we were pleased that 200 people attended.
“We arranged the multicultural event ourselves, providing homemade sweets, food and drinks.
This year we are celebrating for the second time and I would like to invite Swindon people so that they can come and enjoy a different culture.
“The festival will start at 10am and we will pray to our goddess Saraswati at 11am.
“The committee has also organised a multicultural programme in the evening.”
The event begins with various prayers throughout the day, followed by a cultural programme from 5pm including sari-tying workshops and henna art.
Music Performances from bass player Phil Spalding, Giorgio Mollo, and local artist Adam Hodges, and others. Call for more details on 07946506747.


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Indian Consulate looking into ‘Vedic pandits’ disappearance

Consul General Ausaf Sayeed said none of the pandits had sought any assistance from the Consulate for their repatriation to India.

The Indian Consul General in Chicago has said that no complaints or information has been received from either the Iowa-based Maharishi Vedic City, or from any one of the 130 “Vedic pandits,” or religious scholars brought here from India for studies and training, who have said to have gone “missing” in the last seven months.
In an email to The Hindu Consul General Ausaf Sayeed said none of the pandits had sought any assistance from the Consulate for their repatriation to India, and “The Consulate has no information on the current whereabouts of the missing pandits and whether they are working elsewhere.”
Dr. Sayeed further clarified, “The Maharishi University has also not deposited any passport of their missing employees with the Consulate.”
Earlier, a Maharishi University official said that the missing pandits were “in violation of U.S. immigration law and it is therefore a federal matter, beyond the legal jurisdiction of local officials in Iowa or the Indian Consul General in Chicago,” however adding that, “The prior Consul General has visited the pandit campus in Iowa and expressed great pleasure at the program and facilities.”
Although Dr. Sayeed said that the Consulate General was in the process of ascertaining full facts of the case, what is evident is that unprecedented numbers of R-1 visa holders have been vanishing from the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi institutions since they began coming here for their training since 2006.
In messages sent to The Hindu earlier, William Goldstein, Dean of Global Development and General Counsel to the Maharishi University of Management, based in Fairfield, Iowa, said that the Global Country of World Peace (GCWP), the U.S. organisation sponsoring the pandits’ R-1 visas and their stay in this country, had not received any prior communication from the scholars before they went “AWOL” (Absence Without Leave).
Mr. Goldstein said that while they did not know for sure what they pandits were doing after their departure from the Vedic city, but suspected that many of them were “working simple jobs in restaurants as the ones who have returned or the few we have information on seem to have followed that pattern”.
He added that it could be that, “Someone is misinforming them about the financial opportunities and the legal implications, and their prime motive appears to be to generate more money for their families,” and there could be an “organised racket brokering the operation”.
Further, Mr. Goldstein said that few, if any, of the pandits spoke English at all, and allegations made by the Chicago-based Hi India newspaper that the pandits’ initial contract signed with the Maharishi institutions for travel to the U.S. had not been translated from English to Hindi were “untrue”.
Mr. Goldstein also said, “I am the attorney who spent many hours before and after the project launched working with the U.S. State Department and Indian passport officials setting up the visas for the project.”
The Hindu contacted the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) regarding this matter, but their office in Minneapolis, which is dealing with the case, was closed owing to extreme weather conditions.
An ICE official however noted that missing person reports were generally not filed with ICE, rather they had to be submitted to local law enforcement authorities and in the case of foreign nationals with the government concerned.


Only 5% Vedic Pandits Missing in US, Claims Vedic Univ

The Iowa-based institutions of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi have said about only five per cent of the 2,600 Vedic pandits, who were brought to the US from north Indian villages, have gone missing in recent years.

"Each of these cases the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have been informed about Vedic pandits leaving their United States Citizenship and Immigration Services and State Department approved programme at its Iowa campus," said William Goldstein, Dean of Global Development and General Counsel to the Maharishi University of Management.

"Only a small number of the over 2,600 pandits, about five per cent, who have come on this unprecedented Vedic programme to the US have gone AWOL (absent without leave)," Goldstein told PTI in an email.

"For the first four years of this programme, it was a very small number. In recent months this number has been unfortunately increasing," he said.

He alleged that they appear to have been induced by individuals providing false and bad information of high earnings, or by unscrupulous employers taking advantage of them.

He also denied allegations of mistreatment of the priests, including giving them low wages.

In an investigative report, Chicago-based ethnic weekly newspaper Hi India alleged that 163 Vedic pandits brought to the US lived in pathetic conditions and were paid less than 75 cents an hour.

Goldstein claimed that these pandits come to the US under R-1 visas and thus are not subject to the minimum wage rules.

"They are on R-1 visas. They are not in possession of a visa to be day labourers nor are they equipped to be such. Their visa only entitles them, and they are solely qualified to engage in, their spiritual vocation of meditation and Vedic performances," he said.

"They are not subject to minimum wage laws in this spiritual or ministerial vocation, like monks in a monastery," said the official from Maharishi University of Management. The Iowa campus has been specifically inspected and approved for this precise purpose by USCIS, for use as a site for R-1 pandits," he said.

Denying allegations that pandits brought to the US are underage, he said, "No pandit has ever come on the programme under 18 years of age."

He said that it has been agreed with the pandits that of the USD 200 per month base cash compensation, USD 150 will be transmitted to their families in India.

All the pandits, contrary to the allegations, reside in modern, fully heated and air-conditioned comfortable modular homes, with an indoor and outdoor athletic facility and a large organic vegetarian kitchen and cafeteria, along with their meditation halls, classrooms, and Vedic performance halls, he said.


Monday, January 27, 2014

5-year-old Hindu girl raped in Sibi

Rapist is said to be drug addict and is being interrogated, Sibi police says. PHOTO: FILE
QUETTA: A five-year-old Hindu girl was abducted and raped before she was left unconscious near the Railway Colony in Sibi district on Wednesday. The police traced the accused, with the help of sniffer dogs, and arrested him. The rapist is said to be drug addict and is being interrogated, said the Sibi police on Thursday.
“The girl went out at 7pm on Wednesday to buy candy from a nearby shop when she was abducted,” a relative of the victim told reporters. Three hours later some passers-by spotted the girl in an unconscious state in Railway Colony, where was lying in the dark and informed the police.  She was taken to hospital for treatment where doctors asked the relatives to move her to Quetta instead because of her critical wounds. She was constantly bleeding, said doctors.
“The culprit is identified as Sunny Masih. The Hindu community observed a shutter-down strike in Sibi on Thursday against the incident and held protest demonstrations, demanding the immediate arrest of the accused.
Protesters organised a procession and marched to Sibi city. “The police should protect the life and property of people. Criminals need to be severely punished for this brutality,” said one of the protesters.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 24th, 2014.


UGC suggests courses in spoken Sanskrit in varsities

The idea is to impart basic knowledge about the language

All universities in the country may soon have centres offering certificate courses in spoken Sanskrit, if the University Grants Commission (UGC) has its way.
The UGC has suggested this idea to impart basic knowledge about the language among students, teachers, and the public.
Shrinivasa Varakhedi, Dean, Karnataka Samskrit University, who has been appointed to a three-member committee headed by the Secretary, Ministry for Human Resources Development, said students were not showing interest to learn the language. Lack of awareness about the importance of Sanskrit was one of the main reasons for this, he said.
Mr. Varakhedi said the committee had been asked to take up 22 schemes under the grant-in-aid programme to help fund non-governmental organisations, universities and other institutions.
Lecturers and teachers engaged in teaching and training people in Sanskrit; and those who run Sanskrit patashalas, conduct conferences, workshops, and research institutes too would be offered help.
The UGC had sanctioned Rs.100 crore two years ago for the scheme and this had been increased to cover more institutions. The committee was entrusted with the responsibility of identifying them and sanctioning funds.
Even teachers and employees of universities and affiliated colleges would benefit from the programme.
Duration of the course would be 25 hours over a period of a month. No fee would be charged.
Student strength
The maximum student strength could be 40, while minimum could be 30. The UGC would provide Rs. 2 lakh a year to every centre and has already sanctioned Rs. 1 crore.
Mr. Varakhedi said Bharatiya Vidwat Parishat, a private e-mail group of 2,000 members comprising vice-chancellors, professors, scholars and students across the country, was providing information sought by the second Sanskrit Commission chaired by Jnanpith awardee Satyavrat Shastri.
The commission has 13 members, including P. Ramanujan, Associate Director (Indian Heritage and Language Computing), C-DAC, Bangalore.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Hindu bodies blame Pak of discrimination

Various Hindu organisations have blamed Pakistan of discrimination against Hindu pilgrims aspiring to visit Pakistan on religious occasions and have urged the Indian government to take up the issue with the neighbouring country on priority.
“Pakistan High Commission had rejected visas to young Hindu boys during Katasraj pilgrimage in 2013,” said Sri Durgiana Temple Committee General Secretary Ramesh Sharma. He said not only were Hindus discriminated by Pakistani government but were also not given facilities during their visit. He said Indian government should take up the issue with Pakistan on priority.
Eight organisations from Indian Punjab and three each from Delhi and Haryana have a quota of only 200 pilgrims to visit Pakistan twice a year.
“This year Hindu jatha is going to Pakistan from February 25 to March 3 to celebrate Mahashivratri at Katasraj cluster of temples,” said Ramesh, president of Sanatan Dharam Pratinidhi Sabha, Delhi, Indermohan Goswami also blamed Pakistan High Commission officials of discouraging Hindu pilgrims.
“They simply don’t entertain our passports and deliberately make us wait for visas,” he said. The sabha has a quota of 60 pilgrims.
“Security of Hindu pilgrims is one of the major issues,” he said.
President of All India Hindu Rashtriya Sansthan Surinder Kumar Billa said, “Our demand is not only to increase quota of pilgrims but also development and preservation of Hindu religious sites in Pakistan”.


Vedic Pandits go 'missing' in US: report

A Kashmiri pandit (Hindu) devotee lights oil lamps during the annual Hindu festival at the Kheer Bhawani temple in Ganderbal. (Representational pic)

Chicago:  In a shocking revelation, as many as 163 Indians, most of them brought to the US as teenagers from villages in northern India to be trained into Vedic Pandits by two institutions set up by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi of transcendental meditation fame, appear to have gone missing over the last 12 months.

Of the 1,050 young Indians brought to the Maharishi Vedic City and the Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, 163 - some of them just 19 years old - have gone missing in the last one year, Hi India, a Chicago-based weekly newspaper for the Indian community, reported in its latest issue.

Both the Vedic city and the university are owned by the late Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's family. According to the report, the management running these places did not even care to trace the missing people.

Even the Global Country of World Peace (GCWP), one of the many teaching centres set up by the India-born spiritual guru, does not know about the plight or flight of these Vedic scholars called 'world peace professionals'.

"They have jumped the fence for immigration purposes or for chasing their American Dream," the newspaper quoted the varsity bosses as saying.

The GCWP runs a Vedic Pandit programme claiming to "bring about peace on earth where there will be no war".

Under the project to recruit Maharishi Vedic Pandits, publicity literature is distributed in Indian villages, mostly in Hindi speaking areas, among people living under the poverty line.

Children are enrolled with the permission of their parents, who are promised that their wards would be given education up to 12th standard, after which they would be turned into Pandits or masters of the art of Hindu religious rites and services.

After some 10 to 15 years, the qualified Pandits are supposed to have a choice to either remain with the organisation and make a living, or leave the centre and work outside on their own.

Investigations by Hi India have found that the kids of the programme, enrolled at the tender age of five years, were rarely provided education beyond fifth standard. After investigation by the newspaper, it came to light that these Vedic Pandits were brought to the US from India and were kept in makeshift trailer homes to be guarded by round-the-clock guards.

When contacted, most officials of the Maharishi's Fairfield complex refused to comment. Only one of them suggested that these students might have "run away for immigration purposes".

According to one Pandit, before the visa application at the US embassy in India, a contract is prepared and signed by the organization and the concerned Pandit for rules, regulations and compensation. The Pandits are initially sent to the US for two years, and thereafter, either their visa is extended for six more months or they are sent back and recalled for two more years.

According to the report, a contract is drafted in English but the copy is neither given to Pandits nor is it translated or explained to the fifth-grader emigrants who do not even understand English. The contract states that they will be given $50 compensation while in the US and another $150 in India. This $150 is not given on a monthly basis to the families of the Pandits but, rather, is considered as bond money.

"If the Pandit 'behaves well', his so-called compensation for two years is given to him or his family on his return from the US. The contract is prepared in a way to obtain visa," the report said.

According to the newspaper, if the management of the Vedic City finds out that some Pandits are desperate to leave the US, a mock travel plan is chalked out and the Pandits are taken in a van to Chicago's O'Hare airport and dropped at the entry gate. After asking them to wait till the aircraft arrives while the van driver goes around and comes back in a short while.

According to one Pandit who was about to flee, "some of the strong-willed Pandits run away from the airport for better prospects and the rest of them are picked up by the driver and taken back to the Vedic City".

According to sources in the Indian consulate in Chicago, in a situation where an Indian passport holder is considered or presumed gone missing and his passport is left behind, it has to be returned immediately to the nearest Indian mission which has to also be informed about the circumstances in which the Indian citizen went missing.

The Chicago consulate, however, says the GCWP has never returned or deposited any passport and neither has it shared any missing person information. According the sheriff's department and police department of Fairfield, Iowa, no missing person report has ever been filed by the GCWP.
source : ndtv.com

Guard shot-dead outside Hindu temple in Peshawar

Unidentified motorcycle-borne gunmen fatally shot-dead a constable guarding a Hindu temple in Jhanda Bazar area in Peshawar on Sunday morning.
Local police told The Hindu over the phone that the constable's name was Ghulam Mohammed and the incident took place after 8 a.m. However, even the first information report (FIR) did not name the Hindu temple and merely referred to it as the one in the Jhanda Bazar area, police said.
There are two temples — Nandi and Valmiki — in Peshawar, which has a small Hindu population. 


Magh Mela in Allahabad

  • Hindu devotees take holy dips at the Sangam, the confluence of the Ganges and Yamuna river, during the annual month-long Hindu religious fair of Magh Mela in Allahabad. (AP Photo)
  • Hindus serve blessed sweets during the annual month-long Hindu religious fair of Magh Mela at the Sangam. (AP Photo)
  • A man serves food to Sadhus, or Hindu holy men, at a community feast during the annual month-long Hindu religious fair of Magh Mela. (AP Photo)
  • A Sadhu, or Hindu holy man, attends the annual month-long Hindu religious fair of Magh Mela. (AP Photo)
  • A Sadhu smokes marijuana at the Sangam, the confluence of the Ganges, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati rivers, during the annual traditional fair of "Magh Mela" in Allahabad
  • Hindu devotees gather around bonfire at the Sangam, the confluence of the Ganges, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati river. (AP Photo)
  • Hindu priests wait for devotees at Sangam, the confluence of the Hindu holy rivers of Ganges, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati, during the annual traditional fair called "Magh Mela" in Allahabad. (AP Photo) 

Tough Times: Reds Cite Vedas to Win Hearts

Its mythology over ideology for the Communist party of India as a survival strategy. Left staring at a rapidly shrinking support base, and unable to attract the new generation of voters, the Communist Party of India (CPI) is turning to the power of Hinduism to stay relevant.
Today, a three-day seminar begins in one of the last red bastions in the country which will focus on the “power of the past”. The Kannur meet—aptly called Bharateeyam—will have stalwarts studying the past to seek answers for the future.
For the first time in the history of any Left party,  sessions will be held on traditional Indian knowledge systems, Indian philosophy and culture. Also on the agenda are detailed discussions on Vedic and pre-Vedic periods and the Upanishads.
The seminar, which will be attended by academics and Vedic experts from across the country, will have separate sessions on Vedanta, Indian Philosophy and Thoughts, Relevance and Significance of Upanishadic Literature and Indian Knowledge Systems.
“Vedic literature forms a wonderful monument of literary wealth handed over to us by our ancestors…” begins the brochure for the seminar. And the stated objective of the meet is to “popularise ancient authors and their thoughts to the new generation without any prejudice.”
While one may, out of habit, associate these topics with right-wing politics and ideology, one need not anymore if one goes by the CPI argument.
“Vedas and Upanishads are part of our collective past. Why should we let the RSS hijack it? We all have lessons to learn from these ancient texts,” said a CPI leader when asked about the apparent incongruity in the topic of the seminar and the tenets of Leftist ideology. Organised on behalf of a trust named after late CPI leader N E Balram, the seminar is being attended by politicians and academics from across the country.
“Other Communist parties may agree or disagree, but it is a fact that no Left party can survive in India without acknowledging India’s collective past and traditions,” the CPI leader added for good measure.
Going a step further, the brochure proudly declares that CPI leaders like Veliyam Bhargavan and K Damodaran are “scholars of Vedic literature and classic Sanskrit.”
Interestingly, the seminar is being held at a time political parties are still recovering from the after effects of the AAP phenomenon in Delhi and elsewhere. CPI in particular has reasons to worry as its senior leader and National Council member Kamal Mitra Chenoy recently joined AAP. While quitting CPI he said: “Either we can say people are stupid or we are behind times.”
However, CPI leaders insisted the seminar had nothing to do with AAP.


Saturday, January 25, 2014

Dharma school students on Buddhist path to knowledge

Children meditate at the Daylesford Bhuddist Dharma School which is the only one of its kind in Australia.
Calming the mind: Students at Daylesford's Dharma School begin their day with 15 minutes of meditation. Photo: Angela Wylie
The dawn of a new day at the Daylesford Dharma School begins not with the bark of an automated bell, nor with a loudspeaker, but with gentle reverberations of a Tibetan singing bowl.
For the past five years, this traditional harmonic gong has acted as the sign for children to line up outside, to quiet themselves, before entering Australia's first (and only) mainstream Buddhist school.
The prep through grade 5 students - 40 of them begin term one this week, up from 15 when the school opened in 2009 - then file into the meditation room and find a comfy cushion on the floor.
''They know that it's a time of respect,'' said principal Joel Hines. ''There's a bit of reverence for the space. The kids sit in front of the altar - eyes closed, legs crossed, hands in lap - and take a few deep breaths.''
There, under the watchful eye of the golden Buddha and the Buddha of compassionate action, a small bell chimes, signalling the start of morning meditation.
''They may be asked to imagine their family or friends in front of them,'' Mr Hines said. ''Or to visualise a ball of light in their hands - to feel it rise up and then send that positive energy or golden light out to other beings - insects and animals and people in the world.''
After 15 minutes comes the weekly themed ''awareness program'', which could include anything from teachers role-playing an act of generosity, to kids telling stories about kindness.
Then comes literacy and numeracy. This is a primary school, after all. They stick to the national curriculum and consistently post above-average results in NAPLAN data.
Lisa Brock of Hepburn Springs couldn't be happier with the education Holly, 10, Anika, 8, and Mischa, 7, have received since they came here in prep and began developing ''their own innate wisdom''.
Ms Brock considered schools in Daylesford, Hepburn Springs, Yandoit, Drummond and Bullarto, but ultimately wanted intellectual rigour with ''a more gentle beginning''.
''We wanted a place where we knew they would be nurtured like they would at home,'' Ms Brock said. ''They encourage them to speak their own truth.''
Dr Zane Ma Rhea of Monash University spent 18 months researching the early days of the school, supporting the staff and exploring how a mostly non-religious cohort of teachers could conduct classes in a ''Buddhistic sort of way'' without turning it into a religious school with monks for tutors.
Dave Edmunds has been teaching at the school for 18 months. A former Xavier College boy raised Catholic in Brighton, Mr Edmunds said the Dharma school doesn't push religion, but rather embeds a philosophy.
''You receive Buddhism almost by osmosis,'' said Mr Edmunds, 40, a typical spa country tree-changer who has been everything from inner-city rocker and cycle messenger to barista and youth worker. ''Everything revolves around our five precepts - deep listening and loving speech, generosity, body responsibility, mindful consumption, and reverence for all life. There's a lot of cause and effect.''
Mindfulness is one of the new buzzwords in early years education, but there are subtle extensions here including the ''conflict resolution circle'' and the more intimate ''peace table'', where children discuss the facts of any incident or act of aggression.
From fights to cliquishness, they talk through how it made both parties feel, and how problems can be avoided. Kids in the older grades recently started sitting down without staff, unprompted, running their own dialogue.
The school is small, but specialist teachers come for Chinese classes, violin and guitar lessons, and to supervise sport. Competition is not discouraged. ''Our kids are incredibly physically active,'' said school founder and former principal Andrea Furness. ''Losing with grace and honour is something we teach.''
The school charges $2800 a year for full-fee-paying students, which helps pay for the long-term lease on the quirky premises: the school is housed inside the local tennis club social rooms. They have two portable classrooms on site, courtesy of BER funding, and they mean to expand.
A fund-raiser this month at the Quang Minh Temple in Braybrook saw 350 people raise $15,000 towards the purchase of idyllic forested land in nearby Musk.
Melbourne has taken notice of the model, too, with Vietnamese, Thai and Sir Lankan communities planning two more Dharma schools in Braybrook and Springvale. In Daylesford, there are plans for a high school.
In the meantime, they have a perfectly sound home with the town's best view of Wombat Hill. The vegie patch is burgeoning out back, and there is a big Buddha out front, resting under a weeping cherry tree.
It would be natural to fear that these children may get eaten alive at high school, where ''unpacking your own reality'' is not exactly part of the pre-teen lexicon. But, anecdotally at least, the transition has been fine.
''There's always this idea that you're putting kids in a bubble,'' Ms Furness said. ''But we hold them accountable to everything they do. They know that kids can be nasty, and they have the language to deal with that. We're actually smashing the bubble wide open.''
Twitter: @KonradMarshall
source: theage.com.au

Whole town invited to join Hindu celebrations at Swindon Puja

This Is Wiltshire: Members of the Saraswati Puja festival committee. Back, from left  Rita Dey, Kakoli Saha, Suzana Saha, Noyon Sarkar, Labony Roy,Front, from left, Priyonti Dey, Pollob Dey
Members of the Saraswati Puja festival committee. Back, from left Rita Dey, Kakoli Saha, Suzana Saha, Noyon Sarkar, Labony Roy,Front, from left, Priyonti Dey, Pollob Dey  
PEOPLE from across the town will come together to honour the Hindu goddess of knowledge and wisdom next month.
The Swindon Puja Committee has organised the second annual Hindu festival on February 4 to celebrate Saraswati Puja, an event devoted to the goddess Saraswati, at The Platform in Faringdon Road.
More than 200 people attended the event last year, which was the first of its kind held in the town and organisers are hoping for an even bigger turn out this year.
The festival’s cultural secretary, Sujan Saha, 33, of Commercial Road, said: “Last year, we were really pleased that 200 people came to our festival.
“We arranged the multi-cultural event ourselves to provide free homemade sweets, food and drinks.
This year we are celebrating for the second time and on behalf of the committee, I would like to invite our Swindon people so that they can come and enjoy a different culture.
“Our Puja committee’s main aim is to celebrate Bengali social, culture and religious events throughout the year so that our next generation will learn and remember about our rich, colourful heritage.
“The festival will start at 10am and we will pray to our goddess Saraswati at 11am.
“The committee has also organised a multi-cultural programme in the evening.”
The event begins with various prayers throughout the day, followed by a cultural programme from 5pm where there will be sari tying facilities for women, henna art work for children and a photo shoot with the goddess.
Music and dance will continue into the evening, with performances from bass player Phil Spalding, Giorgio Mollo, and local artist Adam Hodges, and others.
South Swindon MP Robert Buckland, and Mayor Nick Martin will also be at the celebration.
Last year, a statue of Saraswati was shipped over from Calcutta and installed in pride of place in the venue. The community raised £6,000 to stage the event in 2013, but this year it is more likely to be in the region of £7,000. Call for more details 07946506747.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Hindu leaders meet with police after temple armed robbery attempt

Temple thefts

Leaders from about a dozen Hindu temples met in Scarborough recently not to discuss spirituality, but safety and security.
Last Sunday night, a man and a woman burst into the Sri Varasiththi Vinayagar Hindu Temple at Kennedy Road and McNicoll Avenue and attempted to rob worshippers at gunpoint.
“It’s terrible what happened in temple because it’s a worship place. We go there to pray,” said Jeya Rajah of the temple. “Those people who do this, they don’t believe in God.”
The community leaders met with police, concerned about recent violations of their sacred places.
It's the fourth time Rajah’s temple has been targeted by thieves. Last summer worshippers at other temples were victims of "snatch and grab" type robberies.
“But there’s nothing in the temple,” he said. “We have decoration pieces but they are not gold. I don’t know what they came for.”
The incidents prompted a police info blitz, but they don’t think any community is being singled out.
“I don’t like to use the term they are targeting any specific culture or community,” said Staff Sgt. Dave Rydzik. “Whether it’s in the Tamil community or Chinese community, if they’re wearing lots of jewelry or carrying lots of money, criminals will target you.”
The Toronto Police Hold Up Squad arrested two people in connection with Sunday's attempted armed robbery, but are still looking for a third suspect.

source:www dot cbc dot ca