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HAF on a campaign to dismantle negative image of Hinduism – indica News

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iNDICA NEWS BUREAU-

An Indian American advocacy group is keen on spreading awareness on the raising Hinduphobia, that has been scaring the community across the world. One of the main perpetrators of this new fear is the popularity of Narendra Modi-led BJP party, which has been force-feeding the idea of Hinduism.

In order to clear this negative image of the Hindus, Hindu American Foundation (HAF) is heading a campaign targeting universities across the US inviting them for a virtual conference titled Dismantling Global Hindutva (DGH), scheduled for September 1012.

The petition to university and college authorities raises concerns over Hinduphobia. The DGH organizers trade on the prestige of your institutions name to host, not an academic conference, but a partisan event related to politics in India. The event platforms activists with extensive histories of amplifying Hinduphobic discourse even while denying the existence of Hinduphobia, the petition states.

A prominent Indian American state senator from Ohio, Niraj Antani, has thanked HAF for leading the charge against this bigotry, in a statement. He has himself strongly condemned hosting the Dismantling Global Hindutva conference.

HAFs executive director, Suhag Shukla told reports that while the organization was not asking that the event be canceled or that scholar-activists from the institutions not be allowed to participate; but institutionally, there was a duty to encourage a diversity of viewpoints alongside academic freedom and free speech.

We need to be sure that Hindu students, staff, and faculty at each of these institutions are supported through all of this. The recent example of Rashmi Samant, a student from India in the UK, being stripped of her position as the student union president at Oxford University is an overt example of the harm this kind of political activism promulgated by scholar-activists can result in, Shukla said.

The initial effort by HAF to send emails to university presidents delivered slightly more than 928,000 emails in the span of 48 hours. The response was so robust that HAF was forced to move to collect signatures for a petition to be delivered to the same group of university administrators.

We support the rights of academics in their individual capacity to engage in political activism concerning India. But leave universities, and by extension university departments, centers, and institutes out because, aside from potentially violating tax-exempt status, it stifles open enquiry, said Shukla. Students and faculty must have the freedom to explore questions, posit ideas, and express opinions without being viewpoint policed or fear of being labeled a supremacist or extremist by the loudest amongst them and then paying a professional price.

Four universities responded to HAFs campaign and confirmed their name and logo was used in an unauthorized manner and that event organizer were requested to remove the logos. These include Boston College, Dalhousie University, Princeton University, and the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

According to HAF: What was alarming about this event, was the way in which they try to mask the latent Hinduphobia of the stated purpose of the event, the speakers, and the topics. The Hindutva harassment manual actively denies Hinduphobia when there is incontrovertible evidence of anti-Hindu hatred. The organization has launched a multi-pronged effort on this issue, both national and local in America, which includes an unprecedented response through letter-writing campaigns, petitions and individual stakeholder outreach to students, faculty, alumni and donors of the universities.

We urge universities to take this entire episode seriously and understand that their faculty irresponsibly and falsely labeling tens of thousands of people exercising their own right to free speech and assembly as fascists and supremacists is endangering an ethno-religious minority in the US, Shukla said.

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A conference against Hinduism ‘Dismantling Global Hindutva’, supported by 38 US universities. Speakers are the usual leftists mainly with Hindu names….

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By Maria Wirth

It shocked Hindus: a conference on 'Dismantling Global Hindutva', supported by 38 US universities. Speakers are the usual leftists mainly with Hindu names. And of all dates, it is scheduled from 10-12. September.

The title is brazen or is it just truthful? Do they say now openly what has been the plan since over 1000 years? The plan to rid the world of ancient pagan cultures? Inka, Maya, Egypt, Greece, Babylon all are gone. Yet Hindus still exist. Hindus still chant Vedas in their mandirs, still celebrate festivals, still revere great personalities from past ages and even now take more pride in being Hindu thanks to the realisation that Hindu Dharma is most profound and the best of all options.

This must be painful for the enemies of Hindus. Christianity, Islam, Communism and their faithful followers may have felt that a clear sign is needed: Hindutva must be dismantled globally.

No difference between Hinduism and Hindutva

There is no difference between Hinduism and Hindutva, except that the fundamentals of Hinduism are inclusive and beneficial. Photo by Shubhro Jyoti Dey on Unsplash

To obfuscate the issue, a distinction is being made between Hindutva (= Hinduness) and Hinduism. Hinduism is okay, but Hindutva is bad, as bad as ISIS as it also uses terror to achieve a Hindu Rashtra where minorities have no place, so it is claimed.

It's a lie. But media and the leftist academia rely on the ignorance of people and that a lie becomes truth if it is repeated often enough.

There is no difference between Islam and Islamism, and there is no difference between Hinduism and Hindutva, except that the fundamentals of Hinduism are inclusive and beneficial, whereas the fundamentals of Islam clearly divide humanity between good believers and bad unbelievers.

Maligning Hindutva

Hindus believes 'Satyameva Jayate' or Truth will triumph. Photo by Onkarphoto on Unsplash

The media onslaught in recent years against Hindutva was unrelenting. RSS was compared with ISIS and Arundhati Roy hinted on Deutsche Welle in Februar 2020 that the genocide of Muslims by the Hindu-nationalist Modi government has already started. A research scholar from Italy asked me to reply to heavily loaded questions on RSS, for example "Why does RSS draw inspiration from Hitler?"

What can Hindus do against Christianity, Islam and the Left, all of whom drive the false narrative of Hindus being dangerous, and who have a military-style strategy to achieve their goal of dismantling the most benign faith and culture?

Hindus usually rely on 'Satyameva Jayate'. Truth will triumph. But this doesn't mean that we should sit idle and not help truth coming to light.

Not wanting to be controversial

Unfortunately, Hindus seem to have one trait which their compatriots in the left and the converts to the Abrahamic religions don't share. It is the desire not to be controversial and to be nice to others, even if those others are not nice to them.

This trait developed due to their painful history when Hindus had to lie low in the face of brutal Muslim and Christian oppressors. Yet this trait continued after 1947 and this does not help India.

It's time to be clear and truthful, and we must not be afraid to call out the basic faults of Christianity and Islam in a proactive manner.

What are the basic faults?

Arti at river Ganges during night time. Photo by ADITYA PRAKASH on Unsplash

The most prominent fault is that they got the nature of ''the one true God' or Creator very, very wrong.

Hindus, Christians and Muslims, all agree that there is one true 'God' or cause for this universe. In fact, Hindus claimed this long before Christianity and Islam. It can be assumed that this Vedic knowledge about the one Brahman was copied/ stolen by Christianity and Islam. This claim of one God is the positive aspect of the Abrahamic religions. They also tell their people, like Hindus do, to have faith and trust in a great God who looks after them if they are "good". This makes sense and would give children an anchor, if the clergy of those two religions had not made a huge error.

Their texts claim that the one true God is jealous, that he loves only their own group and hates Hindus and other Kafirs. And being 'good' means to believe in their book and to be nice to people from their own religion. Others are seen as inferior who will be rejected by God.

For Muslims being good also means to do Jihad and make the whole world for Allah (Q 9.29, 8.39) and for Christians it means to try by hook or crook to convert 'heathens' to save them from eternal hellfire.

Christianity is not any longer as blunt as Islam, but the same mindset drives them, too, like "We alone have the truth. God loves us. Unless 'they' accept our true religion, 'they' won't be saved. So let's help them and finish off their demonic pagan culture"

This is unacceptable and of course not the Will of 'the one true God' whom Hindus call Brahman.

The Human Rights Charter of the United Nations and the Constitution of many countries do not allow to demean anyone on the basis of religion. Yet Christianity and Islam demean all Hindus and others as Kafirs and pagans/ heathens and predict a terrible fate for them in future. Such attitude makes genocide possible.

Driving the narrative instead of being driven

Lord Shiva idol in 'Rudra avatar'. Photo by Ankit Dandhare on Unsplash

Can Hindus for a change DRIVE the narrative, instead of being driven and of only reacting and defending?

Can we demand that Christianity and Islam drop untrue divisive dogmas and that these dogmas must NOT be allowed to be taught to children? For example, Hindu representatives could submit a petition to the UN or to the International Court of Justice demanding this. Can we, including well-known Gurus, support courageous people like Waseem Rizvi that many ayats in the Quran are indeed hateful? Or do we still have doubts if they are hateful? If so, please get a copy in a language you understand.

Or do we feel "Let Muslims sort it out among themselves"? Such attitude is in all likelihood cowardice and not some virtue.

Can the Hindu panellists call a spade a spade in TV debates and can we also, in talks with friends from different communities, dare to be controversial if truth requires it?

Those who support this conference need to realise that it doesn't pay to attack Hindus. And Hindus need to realise that we are alone in this. But we have a great advantage: we have truth on our side. The 'true God' is not a despot who wants to roast us in hell.

If only there were genuine debates, like in ancient times Like between Adi Shankara and Mandana Misra. The Christian and Muslim representatives would have no other option but to accept Hindu Dharma, and the dark shadows of the Kali Yug would end.

Some day it will happen

keywords: Hindus , Global Hindutva, Hindu, Hindutva, Abrahamic religions, Islam, Left, Christianity.

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A conference against Hinduism 'Dismantling Global Hindutva', supported by 38 US universities. Speakers are the usual leftists mainly with Hindu names....

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Reading Savarkar: Was the Hindutva icon actually Hinduphobic? – Scroll.in

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Accusations of Hinduphobia in those who do not see eye-to-eye with Hindutva have reached new heights in recent years. An obscure 19th-century concept is now the default mantra for Hindutva-vadis against all critiques of their ideas.

The recent furore against the upcoming conference called Dismantling Global Hindutva (September 10-September 12) has made me wonder whether, ironically, these same individuals might also if they had the patience and capacity to read his large corpus of writing need to identify Vinayak Damodar Savarkar as Hinduphobic.

After all, a basic truth made clear in Savarkars writing is that Hindutva is not Hinduism. They are not equivalents. In fact, you do not have to read Savarkar all that carefully to see the clarity with which he argued that Hindus should consider abandoning the concept of Hinduism as part of their lexicon.

One does not need to search deep into his oeuvre to discover Savarkars distinction between Hindutva and Hinduism. In Essentials of Hindutva, published in 1923, he begins by clarifying that Hinduism is only a derivative, a fraction, a part of Hindutva. He declared Hinduism as one of the many isms that had plagued modernity, by calling it a spiritual or religious dogma or system.

He not only argued that Hinduism was inferior in comparison to Hindutva, he also stated that it was more limited, less satisfactory and essentially a sectarian term.

The Marathi intellectual and Marxist scholar GP Deshpande had long argued that Hindutva-vadis do not actually read Savarkar. I think we should take Deshpandes claim seriously, despite the increasing number of celebrations of Savarkars life as exemplary for Hindus. I suspect that Savarkars arguments about Hindutva and Hinduism would create an existential crisis among those who claim to be his supporters.

If their logic is that any critique of Hindutva or Hinduism is a form of Hinduphobia, then certainly Savarkars call to abandon Hinduism he believed it was an inferior concept created by Western Orientalists should also be viewed in the same framework.

Does this mean that Savarkar himself was Hinduphobic?

There was once a period in the 1930s when Sanatanis in Maharashtra decided to stage protests against Savarkars call for temple entry for, and inter-dining with, Untouchables. Petitions were circulated to British officials demanding that Savarkar be prevented from speaking because it was believed he posed a threat to social order, that he was hurting the sentiments of Hindus. Rocks and chappals were regularly thrown at Savarkars processions.

Does this mean that these adherents of Sanatan Dharma were Hinduphobic? Or does it mean, conversely, that Savarkars advocacy of social reform linked to Hindutva was Hinduphobic as it was hurting the sentiments of Hindus?

If the adherents of Hindutva actually read Savarkar, they would know that he also advocated the need for Hindus to kill other Hindus. Savarkars intended Hindu victims were individuals who promoted ahimsa. Savarkar saw ahimsa as a kind of weakness that needed to be weeded out. In similar vein he identified as effeminate all Hindus who lacked a theory of warfare.

Was Savarkar Hinduphobic in celebrating the killing of Hindus? When Savarkar and Gandhi publicly disagreed with each other on interpretations of the Bhagavad Gita or the meaning of the Ramayana, did this mean that both were Hinduphobic?

To push this argument further, are all disagreements between Hindus merely expressions of Hinduphobia? By this logic, the only end to Hinduphobia would be the annihilation of all Hindus, which would happen when there could be no critique of Hindus, Hinduism, and Hindutva. Perhaps this is what all Hindutva-vadis actually desire: reductio ad absurdum.

I do wish that those Hindutva-vadis who decided to burn copies of the Kama Sutra in Ahmedabad recently had read Savarkar on what he called the sexual urges of mankind. As also the importance he attached to Hindus celebrating their rich literary traditions. They would then learn what Savarkar clearly argued, namely, that the libido was more powerful than the claims of any man, god, or prophet. They would also then understand that Savarkar celebrated textual pluralism, and that he had a deep affection for the Bible.

Will these Hinduva-vadis who burned the Kama Sutra now seek to destroy the temples at Khajuraho based on their same argument of indecency? Is the artistic magnificence of Hindu temple architecture to be made hostage to Victorian notions of sexual correctness?

The question that in fact comes to mind by carefully understanding Savarkars sophisticated and clear-headed mind, as evident from his Marathi and English writings the vast bulk of which I have read over many years is this: are these modern Hindutva-vadis who claim Savarkar as their hero in fact themselves Hinduphobic?

In 1937, the Marxist revolutionary MN Roy shared a stage in Mumbai with Savarkar. Roy wanted to introduce Savarkar as a great revolutionary who had influenced him in his childhood. But Roy also publicly disagreed with Savarkars interpretations of Hindu-Muslim relations and his conceptualisation of Hindutva. Savarkar did not denounce Roy as Hinduphobic.

On the contrary, he shared a stage with this Marxist and stated that Roy was more interested in structural inequality based on class differences, and not in the divisions between Hindus and Muslims. Savarkar added that he was willing to accept Roys description of socialism as long as it meant equality for all Hindus.

The fact is that Savarkar himself exemplifies a liberal principle and broad-minded intellection when he shows, by his presence alongside MN Roy, that political enemies could and should have a debate about ideas. Modern Hindutva-vadis betray their own hero Savarkar when making it clear that debate is no longer possible.

The purpose of an academic conference on Dismantling Global Hindutva is exactly meant to debate interpretations about the very meaning of Hindutva in the 21st century. Those who oppose the conference without even knowing what scholars will actually say by declaring all participants Hinduphobic is a sign that those who promote Hindutva no longer have the capacity for intellectual exchange. Instead, Hindutva-vadis have mastered intimidation and threats of violence, rape, and murder as a way to shut down any intellectual engagement, all the while claiming victimhood in the process.

Hindu fragility is something that Savarkar had anticipated during his lifetime. He claimed that the more the Hindus worshipped cows, the more the Hindus would behave like cows.

Savarkar also wanted to harness what he saw as Hindu fragility into excessive or cruel violence as a form of vengeance, which is why he promoted the lion as the spirit animal of Hindus, and celebrated Narasinhs savage killing of Hiranyakshipu. The fact is that without the claims of victimhood and hurt sentiments, the entire edifice of contemporary Hindutva-vadis falls apart. The endless repetition of Hinduphobia as a chant against anyone who provides a critique of Hindutva is todays tactic to reinforce the idea that those Hindus who support Hindutva are victims.

I cherish this simple irony: that if Hindutva-vadis actually read what Savarkar had to say about Hindutva and Hinduism, we would be one step closer to the declaration that Savarkar was Hinduphobic.

Vinayak Chaturvedi is at the History Department, University of California, Irvine. His Essentials of History: VD Savarkar and the Meaning of Hindutva will be published in 2022 by Permanent Black and Ashoka University, and subsequently by the State University of New York Press.

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Reading Savarkar: Was the Hindutva icon actually Hinduphobic? - Scroll.in

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Afghan Sikhs, Hindus to be allowed to travel: Taliban – The Tribune

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Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 30

The Taliban has said Afghan Hindus and Sikhs are allowed to travel outside the country but a prominent Sikh leader in Kabul said the authorities should fulfil their commitment by allowing them to attend religious ceremonies in India connected with the 400th anniversary of Guru Tegh Bahadurs Prakash Parv.

Gurnam Singh, chairman of the Kabul-based Parwan Committee, told local media that about 150 Hindus and Sikhs were to leave for India but they were not allowed to fly.

A few days ago, due to our transfer to India, a plane came and we waited for 14 hours but we were not allowed to enter the airport, he said while pointing out that they can still attend some of the functions if allowed to travel as there are seven days left.

But so far the authorities have neither said yes nor reject their request.

Asked why so many are travelling this time, Singh said this is because of the landmark 400th birth anniversary.

Taliban spokespersonZabihullah Mujahid told Afghan media that there were no obstacles to their trip to India. There is no obstacle to the travel of Hindus and Sikhs, and they can go to Kabul airport and travel to India to travel and attend religious ceremonies, he added.

Referring to the security of the Hindus and Sikhs, he said that the Taliban had no problem with them as also with other minorities.

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C T Ravi: Constitution, women will remain safe as long as Hindus in majority – The Indian Express

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BJP national General Secretary C T Ravi on Tuesday said the Constitution of India and women will remain safe as long as Hindus remain the majority in the country.

Until Hindus are in majority in this country there will be the constitution written by Dr B R Ambedkar. Until Hindus are in majority there will be equal opportunity, once Hindus become minority what happened to Gandara (Afghanistan) will happen here too, Ravi said.

Speaking to reporters in Kalaburagi, he said, those who want to protect Ambedkars constitution should not forget this truth.

Secularism and religious tolerance is our (Hindu) core belief. Until people with tolerance are in majority there will be secularism, there will be protection for women. Once people with tolerance become a minority, an Afghanistan like situation will get created..Once they (non-Hindus) become majority they speak about Shariyat, not Ambedkars constitution, he added.

Further, the MLA from Chikmagalur urged the Congress to do politics objectively and stop appeasement politics.

Appeasement politics may lead to creation of more Pakistans, you may come to power temporarily, but it will lead to creation of more Pakistans. If you dont want that to happen, do politics objectively and with a country first policy, he said.

Ravi said, It is unfortunate that the Congress today has forgotten the country-first policy, they have become blind and are unable to differentiate between patriotism and terrorism, and thats the reason they try to equate RSS with Taliban.

We (BJP) will not indulge in appeasement politics, our only mantra is sabka saath sabka vikaas sabka vishwas sabka prayas, on the basis of this mantra we will give priority to development, with commitment towards Hindutva, he added.

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Christians, Sikhs, and Hindus… | Editorial Columnists | dailyadvance.com – The Daily Advance

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Members of the Taliban, Al Qaeda and Isis have one thing in common: religious fanaticism. Its what motivates them to attack and slaughter anyone they consider to be infidels. Heaven awaits those who, like suicide bombers, willingly sacrifice their lives for the cause.

Afghan minorities who identify as Christians, Sikhs or Hindus have always practiced their religion under the threat of persecution. Afghan Christians have especially been targeted because they are mostly converts from Islam, and no person is reviled more by an Islamist than an apostate.

As long as the America military kept the Taliban at bay in Afghanistan, religious minorities managed to survive. Now that the Taliban has conquered virtually all of the country, these minorities know that they face persecution; a fate that has included flogging, beheadings, amputations and public executions by immolation or crucifixion.

Christians are desperate to leave Afghanistan, but who will help them? The U.S. State Department has been scrambling to save not only Americans, but also Afghans who have helped the occupiers. Visas have been issued to translators, journalists, academics, embassy workers and other U.S. allies at risk of persecution by the Taliban.

At the airport, State Department officials have given a P-2 designation to high priority evacuees, and over 100,000 have been safely flown out of Kabul. Unfortunately, Christians and other religious minorities are not high priority.

When it became clear that Christians did not qualify for evacuation by the U.S. government, the call for help went out to non-governmental organizations. Among those who have responded to the call is conservative radio talk show host Glen Beck of The Nazarene Fund, a non-profit group that has raised more than $28 million to evacuate Christians from Afghanistan.

Another is Nadine Maenza of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. She reports that her organization has had to run operations against our own government to get people into the airport.

In an interview on Fox News, Beck said that in spite of difficulties, his organization had 20 planes flying in and out of Kabul, and had managed to evacuate 5,100 Christians. It hasnt been easy, Beck added.

At one point, he had 500 Afghan Christians inside the airport and ready to board when they were ordered back outside the gates by officials. They may have been among those who were killed in the suicide bombing. Beck blamed the State Department.

The Biden Administration has been urged to broaden its P-2 designation to include religious minorities. As of this writing they have yet to face the consequences of Bidens decision to pull all American troops out of Kabul on Aug. 31.

Let us pray for the Christians, Sikhs, Hindus and all those left behind.

Milots Musings is written by Claude Milot, a resident of Perquimans County.

Thadd White is Group Editor of the Bertie Ledger-Advance, Chowan Herald, Perquimans Weekly, The Enterprise & Eastern North Carolina Living. He can be reached via email at twhite@ncweeklies.com.

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Christians, Sikhs, and Hindus... | Editorial Columnists | dailyadvance.com - The Daily Advance

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Hindus to hold chariot-procession in Harare – NewsPatrolling

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Hindu Society Harare (HSH) in Zimbabwe will reportedly organize Rath Yatra (chariot procession) through Harare streets on September five.

As part of Nand Mahotsav festivities, this procession will start from Ridgeview Shree Omkar Mandir (temple) on Anson Road after Kesar Snan rituals and end in Shree Omkar Mandir on Cameron Street; where bhajans, thaal, arti, prasad will be held.

Participants need to show the guard their vaccination card at the point of entry, per the announcement.

Meanwhile, distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, applauded efforts of the organizers and community to realize various wonderful festivals throughout the year, exhibiting the richness of Hinduism.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, further said that it was important to pass on Hindu spirituality, concepts and traditions to coming generations amidst so many distractions in the consumerist society. Zed stressed that instead of running after materialism; we should focus on inner search and realization of self and work towards achieving moksh (liberation), which was the goal of Hinduism.

The original Ratha Yatra is held on a grand scale in Puri (Odisha, India), where the presiding deities of Shree MandiraJagannatha, Balabhadra and Subhadrawith celestial wheel Sudarsana are driven on the chariots to about two miles north Gundicha temple in an elaborate ritual procession, where the huge colorfully decorated chariots are drawn by thousands of devotees. After a stay for seven days, the deities return to their abode in Shree Mandira. A glimpse of Lord Jagannatha on the chariot is considered to be highly auspicious and even a touch of the chariot is believed to yield benefits equivalent to several pious deeds. Many poets have written its glories.

Rajan Zed points out that ancient Hindu text Katha Upanishad talks about the concept of chariot, where soul is said to be the deity, body is the chariot, and intellect the charioteer. Skanda Purana glorifies Ratha Yatras sanctity.

Two Hindu temples in Harare, run by HSH, which had reportedly been closed for months due to COVID-19, have recently reopened; but entry is restricted for community members who have had both doses of COVID 19 vaccination.

Cameron Street Shree Omkar Mandir celebrated 90th anniversary in February 2019, while 25th anniversary of Ridgeview Shree Omkar Mandir was observed in 2017. HSH intends to publish a written record of the hundred years of communitys existence in Zimbabwe.

In the pre-COVID-19 times, HSH reportedly had been conducting various bhajan events, twice-weekly yoga classes, Hindi lessons, cultural/social activities; organized daily aarti at both the temples with Havan on Sundays; and offered funeral assistance for bereaved families; etc.; besides running Mahila Mandal, Shishu Mandal and Yuvak Mandal. HSH has also been running various schoolsWestridge High School, Westridge Primary School, Gujarati School.

Hinduism is the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about 1.2 billion adherents.

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Scientists believe cow only animal that inhales, exhales oxygen: Allahabad HC – The Hindu

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Justice Shekhar Kumar Yadav of the Allahabad High Court, who made headlines earlier this week for saying that cow should be declared as India's national animal, has said in the same order that scientists believe that cow is the only animal that inhales and exhales oxygen.

In an order dismissing the bail plea of a man accused of cow slaughter, Justice Yadav also said that 'Panchgavya' prepared using cow's milk, curd, ghee, urine and dung helps in treating several incurable diseases.

The petitioner, Javed from Sambhal district, allegedly stole and killed the cow of one Khilendra Singh along with his associates.

In its judgement on Wednesday, the court noted that this is not the first time that the petitioner has committed cow slaughter and if he is released on bail, he will commit the same offence again.

"According to Hinduism, 33 categories of gods and goddesses reside in a cow... Lord Krishna got all his knowledge from cow's feet," the court order said.

"Jesus Christ has said that killing a cow or a bull is tantamount to killing a man. Bal Gangadhar Tilak had said that you can kill me but do not hurt a cow. Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya had advocated total prohibition of cow slaughter.

"Lord Buddha describes cows as the friend of man, whereas Jains have called cow heaven," it said.

Scientists believe that the cow is the only animal that inhales and exhales oxygen, it added.

Claims made in the past on the cow being the only animal that exhales oxygen have generally been contradicted by the scientific community.

"At the time of framing of the Indian Constitution, several members of the Constituent Assembly had spoken about the inclusion of cow protection as a fundamental right.

"Hindus have been worshipping cows for centuries. Non-Hindus also understand this and this is the reason why non-Hindu leaders strongly opposed cow slaughter during the Mughal period out of respect for Hindu sentiments," the court order further said.

"The majority of the country's Muslim leadership has always been in favour of a nationwide ban on cow slaughter. Khwaja Hasan Nizami had started a movement and he wrote a book, 'Tark-e-Gao Kushi', in which he had written about not killing cows. Emperors Akbar, Humayun and Babur had appealed for not killing cows in their sultanate," it said.

"Maulana Mahmood Madani of Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Hind has demanded the introduction of a central law to ban cow slaughter in India. In view of all these circumstances, there is a need to declare the cow as the national animal and include cow protection as a fundamental right of Hindus," the court said.

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Hindus Are the Majority. And Yet the Future of the Constitution Has Become Cause for Concern. – The Wire

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The honourable deputy chief minister of Gujarat has unleashed an interesting formulation.

In a speech at an event organised by that well-known defender of the Constitution, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, he has shamed civil society busybodies into realising that democracy and secularism in India exist only because ours is a Hindu majority nation. He has cautioned that if Hindus were to be reduced to a minority, or indeed if the Muslim population were just to increase, such talk would disappear and nothing would remain.

The question that the minister needs to answer is this: why, then, is there so much concern about the future of the constitution and of secularism when India is such a preponderantly Hindu majority nation?

After all, India did not become a Hindu majority nation only over the last seven years.

Given that obvious fact, why did the future of the constitution and of secularism not bother so many Indians prior to the life of the current regime?

In other words, what explains the fact that today it is not only self-appointed citizen-watchdogs academics, public intellectuals, journalists, voluntary organisations, et al but also judges of various courts who find themselves obliged to address the issue of secular-constitutional verities and of patently coloured arraignments and prosecutions with increasing frequency?

Indeed, why should an honourable justice of the Supreme Court the other day have spoken pointedly of the need for citizens to speak truth to power, noting that totalitarian governments tend to rely on falsehoods which must be constantly exposed. Just to cite one such anxious admonition among many in recent days of our national life.

The answer to the denominational argument advanced by the deputy chief minister of Gujarat is really both simple and distressingly obvious: India is no longer just a Hindu majority nation but a Hindutva-driven one.

And the two, alas, are not the same kettle of fish just as Sufism and Wahabism are not the same either, much as the right-wing would like us to believe that they are.

Being Hindu is only a given fact of demography, one that is internally differentiated by diverse social groups (which the honourable prime minister flaunted at the time of his recent cabinet expansion).

Also read: This Photo Tells You All You Need to Know About Modis New Cabinet

Hindutva, conversely, is a culturally weaponised Hinduism that does not mean just to rest in a time-honoured co-existence with non-Hindu Indians, under the aegis of the constitution, but to obtain a racially and religiously dominant state as envisaged by their slogan of Hindi, Hindu, Hindustan.

That this project is clearly seen by many, including honourable judges of the courts, as inimical to the letter and spirit of the constitution given by we the people to ourselves without regard to any preferential rights to any one denomination (save such provisions that protect the rights of minorities of diverse definition) tells us why it is not enough to plead the good Hindu cause as self-evidently as the deputy chief minister seeks to do.

Repercussions

It is clear that a Hindu majority is not the same thing as Hindutva majoritarianism. That is the thankful reason why a majority of Hindus still refuse to vote for the ruling BJP.

Had the two been one and the same, the party ought to have polled more heavily than the 37% that it did in the 2019 parliamentary elections.

That this political shift from a Hindu majority to a Hindutva majoritarian nation, if allowed to carry on, bids fair to thwart Indias celebrated salad-bowl pluralism with grave consequences becomes apparent with each day that passes.

Take the fraught state of Jammu and Kashmir.

A Kashmiri woman holds a girl as they watch a protest after a gun battle between suspected militants and Indian security forces in Srinagar September 17, 2020. Photo: Reuters/Danish Ismail/Files

It is an everyday lauded fact that the unique cultural strength of the state has for centuries resided in what is called its Sufi-Rishi spirituality a beloved reality that this writer has been fortunate to experience during the 20 years he resided in the Valley.

Recall that the late Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah had this to say to the Muslim League when invited to throw the Kashmiri lot with the Muslim dominion of Pakistan: What can a sufi Kashmir have to do with a theocratic Pakistan?.

A matrix that explains why, when Muslim co-religionists invaded the state in 1947, in the absence yet of either the Accession or an Indian army, Muslim Kashmiris, a preponderant majority, took under their wing minuscule Pandits and other Kashmiri Hindus, and stood rock-like to deny the invader his wish.

And, do note that I speak as witness to that history, even if only as a six-year-old child.

Sadly, if anything, the Jammu province was not to demonstrate a fraternalism of the same invaluable and ideologically principled kind.

Also read: Asian Age Kills Karan Thapar Column After Mention of 1947 Violence Against Jammu Muslims

Not for nothing was Gandhi to observe that the only light he saw in the darkness of those days was in Kashmir.

Why has it then been the case that forces inimical to Sufi Islam have been gathering momentum in that unfortunate part of India? Might it not be the case that Kashmiris view the possibility of a theocratic India with the same disquiet that turned them away from allegiance to the idea of Pakistan? This was an eventuality that Sheikh Abdullah had both envisioned and agonised about.

Is it not an irony, therefore, that the powers-that-be have lately realised the need to once again project and give fillip to Kashmiri Sufism?That this is another canny move is suggested by the fact that the need for inaugurating a corresponding Sufi-Bhakti culture in the mainland is nowhere on the cards.

Consider that Sufism in the first place emerged as a spiritually-grounded protest movement against the gumption and excess of rule way back towards the 13th century.

In one word, what did the Sufis teach? That, as in the body of the Greek concept of agape, Gods love for all human beings and all things created is infinite and non-discriminatory; that to be Sufi is to seek communion with that love through abjuration of material ambitions and rejection of autocratic power, meditation, a simple and lived piety, a celebratory veneration of saints at their mazars, and the music of trance. All of this issues from a willing surrender to Gods non-sectarian immanence.

All of which is celebrated in the poetry of Kashmiri mystics from Lal Ded and Sheikh Nooruddin well into our day.

Also read: The Familiar Stench of the Forced Loyalty Slogan, the Demands for Segregation

But, here is the catch:

Can such a project in Kashmir flourish alongside an aggressive Hindutva on the mainland?

Even scions of the ruling BJP acknowledge off and on, even if as a politic gesture, the extraordinary acumen of youthful Kashmiris.

The question that begs itself, then, is how may such Kashmiri youth be expected to embrace, especially on official diktat, a renewed Sufism in the teeth of what they see transpiring on the mainland with sickening continuance?

Representative image of a rioting mob. Photo: Reuters

Were one to recount the story here only from the time of the northeast Delhi riots, the enumeration would still be gruesome: genocidal slogans at Jantar Mantar, the most recent lynchings at Indore and Ujjain, racially exclusionary declamations at Dwarka and neighbourhoods in Moradabad, Meerut, etc., would hardly be inducements to Kashmiri youth to follow Sufism while Hindutva does its work unimpeded.

Also read: UP Govt to Rename Sultanpur Kush Bhavanpur, Says Civic Body Chairperson

And what may they be expected to think of the daily news of name-changes of cities, towns, monuments, etc. including now the proposed transmogrification of Aligarh into Harigarh all informed by one single sectarian purpose?

This clearly is not what Hinduism was until seven years ago.

Not to speak of the imperial way in which promises made to Kashmiris at the time of Accession were junked overnight without as much as a democratic-constitutional say-so, and humiliated into becoming sundered and stunted Union Territories, governed by a nominated head?

Invited to go Sufi again, they do not see an Amir Khusro, a Meera, a Tuka Ram, a Narsi Mehta, a Kabir, a Nanak, a Bule Shah, a Baba Farid, the sufi Bauls of Bengal, the minstrels of the heartland, and the many other Hindu scions of the Bhakti movement and tradition being foregrounded in the mainland as they are invited to foreground the Sufis in Kashmir

They only hear the political war-cry of Jai Shri Ram being pressed into the service of denominational homogenisation.

In that war-cry they recognise maryada purushottam Ram not as one of whom Indian Muslim poets have written with devotion and veneration but a Shatriya warrior out for conquest.

Where else may then non-sectarian and democratic citizens go for redress but to the solemn covenant the Republic once made with all Indians?

Put simply, unless we learn to do unto others as we would like others to do unto us, fake laments and corny projects bereft of soul and substance in the genius of governance have few prospects of being either persuasive or implementable.

Lastly, why does one smell a rather irritated pique in the way the deputy chief minister makes mention of the constitution and secularism? Is that tone itself perhaps a give-away?

Badri Raina taught at Delhi University.

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Vinod Kumar, President, Hindu Council of New Zealand

Venkat Raman Auckland, September 5, 2021

The Hindu Council of New Zealand strongly condemns the terrorist act by a lone perpetrator inspired by ISIS extremist ideologies in Auckland, President Vinod Kumar said.

The following is his statement:

On behalf of the entire Hindu community in New Zealand, we express our deep shock at the horrendous act that affected the lives of innocent individuals in our country.

We offer Aroha and well wishes for the speedy recovery to those who are in medical care as a result of the violent attack.

On the afternoon of Friday, September 3, 2021, at a time when Aucklanders were also doing everything possible to help eliminate Covid-19 from the community, the extremist ideology disrupted many lives.

Value for people

As an organisation that values the contribution of individual communities and societies that help in making a stronger New Zealand, we strongly condemn this act of terror that unfolded.

Extremist ideologies have no place in our lives, in our communities and in our New Zealand that we all work tirelessly to strengthen.

We call upon all community leaders to stand in solidarity with the government of the day, with the New Zealand Police and the laws of the land to reject any ideologies that dont encourage social cohesion.

Salutation to people

We stand in solidarity with the New Zealand Police and thank them for acting as swiftly as they did to prevent this from becoming a greater tragedy. The courageous staff of Countdown and those who came to the assistance of the injured, your actions are commendable.

Hindu Council of New Zealand, together with the Hindu community of New Zealand stands with the families of the victims and with all New Zealand to reject hatred, terrorism and the perpetuation of any form of discrimination.

We want to ensure that the values of compassion, pluralism, acceptance and unity that New Zealand has always been proud of is strengthened and ingrained further into the fabric of the country.

At this time, we would like to offer a Vedic prayer:

Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah, Sarve Santu ni Ramayah

Sarve Bhadrani Pashyantu, Ma Kaschit Dukha Bhag Bhavet

Aum Shanti, Shanti, Shanti

May all be happy, may all be healthy

May all see what is uplifting, may no one suffer in any way

May there be peace, peace, peace

Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh New Zealand Inc

The Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh New Zealand joins Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and all fellow New Zealanders in strongly condemning the violent attack on Friday, September 3, 2021 at a supermarket in New Lynn Mall, Auckland, President Shrikant Bhave said.

We commend the Police who acted swiftly to minimise the harm by neutralising the attacker.

Seven shoppers were injured, some of them seriously and are in the hospital in critical condition. This act of terror is against humanity and there is no place for such acts in New Zealand. We pray for the speedy recovery of the victims.

Our prayers are also with victims, their whanau of the victims and those who witnessed this horrible attack.

In this time of grief and need, HSS NZ Inc joins others and extend their heartfelt support to the families who are affected by this terrible incident.

As New Zealanders, let us all stand together as a proud nation of many migrant communities, sharing the common values of love, compassion, co-existence in harmony & let no act of terrorism divide us. It is time to be more vigilant that no divisive forces allow us to succumb to these threats and join hands to fight against these forces.

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