Hindu Chaplaincy course in Melbourne

Hindu Council of Australia, Victoria chapter is conducting a refresher course for Hindu Chaplaincy on 23 and 30 June in Melbourne. This course is a part of an ongoing commitment by Hindu Council of Australia to increase the number of trained Hindu Chaplains in Australia. Hindu Council offers scholarships for practicing Hindus to train as Hindu Chaplains. Further information about the scholarship can be obtained at http://hinducouncil.com.au/new/hindu-chaplaincy/

Location: Sankat Mochan Temple –  1289A North Rd, Huntingdale VIC 3166 Map Link
Time : 10.00 am to 1.00 pm
Dates : Saturday 23 June and 30 June
There will be a short break in both the sessions where light refreshments will be served.
 
If you would like to join this course and become a chaplain, please contact Mr Makarand Bhagwat.

International Yoga Day celebrated in Sydney

By: Jay Raman

IYD 2018 event continues to be successful across Australia. The day started with a sunrise yoga session at Melbourne Cricket Ground, followed by a Yoga session in the noon at Royal Adelaide Hospital. In Sydney, the event was organised at Indian Cultural Centre.

The event witnessed numerous speakers/presenters touching upon various aspects of Yoga, including Mantra chanting, Keertans and Q&A on Yoga as a Profession. We had an attendance of 80 yoga enthusiasts. 

Please click on the link below to watch the video.

 

International Yoga Day celebrations by Hindu Council

Hindu Council of Australia is celebrating International Yoga day in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. Details of the events are given in the brochures below.

 

 

 

Ram Sita Kalyanam Vivah in Parramatta 3rd November 2018

Hindu Council of Australia is celebrating Deepavali festival on 3rd and 4th of November 2018 in Parramatta Park this year also.

A special attraction of this year is likely to be an elaborate performance of Rama Sita Kalyanam or Ram Sita Vivah (marriage of Ram and Sita) being planned for 3rd November in Parramatta park location.

Ram Sita Kalyanam volunteers team meets to plan the event

Ram Sita Kalyanam volunteers team meets to plan the event

This is going to be a huge event and the planning has already started. Our Sai Ji is leading the initiative. A team of volunteers has already started preparations for this grand occasion. Some of the suggestions circulating among the team is to 

  • perform Rama Pattabishekam
  • procession/kolatam to carry idols to the mandapam in a palaki
  • Kalyanam or Vivhah before sunset.

We welcome your suggestions about this event and encourage you to come and join the volunteers team and shape this event.

To participate in making the event happen, please leave a comment at the bottom of this post. You can also visit Hindu Council web site and sign up as a volunteer specifying your interest in Ram Sita Kalyanam event.

The Case for India by Will Durant

Book Review by : Vijai Singhal

The Case for India

This book was written by Will Durant, an American writer, historian and a philosopher in 1930 after visiting India. Given below are some of the abstracts from this book which can be freely down loaded from the Internet. The book was written without the help or cooperation by any Indian.

Will Durant had made an in-depth study of the Indian civilisation, which he declared as one of the oldest and the greatest civilizations that mankind had ever known. He went to India to see for himself but was appalled to see almost one fifth of the human race suffering poverty and oppression bitterer than anywhere on the earth. He had not thought it possible that any government would allow it’s subject to sink to that misery. The British conquest of India was an invasion and destruction of a high civilization by a trading company utterly without scruple or principle.

Writing about the rape of a continent, he says, “When the British came, India was politically weak but economically prosperous. It was the wealth of 18th Century India which attracted the commercial pirates of England and France”. Quoting Sunderland, he says, “Nearly every kind of manufacture or product known to the civilized world existing anywhere had long been produced in India. India was a far greater industrial and manufacturing nation than any in Europe or than any other in Asia. Her Textile goods-the fine products of her looms, in cotton, wool, linen and silk-were famous over the civilized world; so were her exquisite jewelry and her precious stones cut in every lovely form; so were her pottery, porcelain, ceramics of every kind, quality, colour and beautiful shape; so were her fine works in metal-iron, steel, silver and gold. She had great architecture-equal in beauty to any in the world. She had great engineering works. She had great merchants, great businessmen, great bankers and financiers. Not only was she the greatest ship-building nation, but she had great commerce and trade by land and sea. Such was the India which British found when they came.”

The East India Company management profiteered without hindrance; goods which they sold in England for $10 million they bought in India for $2 million. The Company paid fabulous dividends that its shares rose to $32,000 a share. By 1858 the British Government took over the captured and plundered territories as a colony of the Crown. England paid the Company handsomely and added the purchase price to the public debt of India to be redeemed, principal and interest at 10.5% out of the taxes on the Hindu people. Province after province was taken over by offering rulers choice between pension and war. James Mills, historian of India, wrote: “Under their dependence upon the British Government … the people of Oudh and Karnatic, two of the noblest provinces of India, were by misgovernment, plunged into a state of wretchedness with which… hardly any part of the earth has anything to compare”.

“The fundamental principle of the British has been to make the whole Indian nation subservient… they have been taxed to the utmost limit; the Indians have been denied every honor, dignity or office”.… F J Shore testifying to the House of Commons in 1857.

“The Governments’ assessment does not even leave enough food for the cultivator to feed his family” – Sir William Hunter, 1875.

Economic destruction – The English destroyed the Indian industry. India was forced to become the vast market for the British machine-made goods. They ordered that manufacture of silk fabric must be discouraged but the production of raw silk be encouraged. A tariff of 70-80 % was levied on Indian textile while the English textile was imported duty free into India. It might have been supposed that building of 30,000 miles of railways would have brought prosperity to India. But these railways were built not for India but for England, for the British army and British trade. Similarly Indian shipping industry was ruined. All Indian goods were to be carried by British ships. There was a big drain of revenue through payment of salaries and pensions to English officials. In 1927 Lord Winterton showed, in the House of Commons, that there were some 7500 retired officials in England drawing annually pension of $17.5 million. From Plassey to Waterloo, 57 years, the drain of India’s wealth to England was computed by Brooks Adam to be 2½ to 5 billion dollars.

Social Destruction – When British came there was a system of communal schools, managed by village communities. The agents of East India Company destroyed these communities and the schools. In 1911 Hindu representative Gokhale introduced a Bill for compulsory primary education. The Bill was defeated. After British took possession of India the illiteracy rate in India increased to 93%. Instead of education the Government encouraged drinking of alcohol. In 1922 the government revenue from sale of alcohol increased to $60 million annually. There were also 7000 opium shops operated by the British government. In 1901, 272,000 died of plague. In 1918 there were 125 million cases of influenza, and 12.5 million recorded deaths.

There is a chapter devoted to Mahatma Gandhi and his Satyagraha movement. Gandhi was an idealist. In 1914 when the 1st World War broke, Gandhi saw the war as an opportunity for securing Home Rule by proving the absolute royalty of India to England. India contributed $500 million to fund for prosecuting the war; she contributed $700 million later in subscription to war loans; and she sent to the Allies various products to the value of $1.25 billion. The suspension of the revolutionary movement enabled England to reduce India army to 15,000 men. The number of Indians persuaded to join the army to fight in the war was 1,338,620 which was 178,000 more than troops contributed by combined Dominions of Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Indian fought gallantly but none of them were granted a commission. Nothing came of that sacrifice by the Indian people. Lord Curzon wrote: “British rule of the Indian people is England’s present and future task; it will occupy her energies as long a span of the future as it is humanly possible to forecast”.

In the later part of the book the writer has stated arguments from England’s side, for example: “if India has seen the decay of her old domestic handicrafts, it is because she rejected modern machinery and methods of industrialization; India did not exist as an entity, there are seven hundred nativ

e states, forever at war; no common language, 200 different dialects and the caste system dividing the people etc.”. Later on he debunks these claims, for example the British government has always been friendly to caste, because caste divisions make the British task of holding people in subjection easier, on the principle of “divide and rule”. They encouraged Moslem communities to gain weight against Hindu nationalism. Shifting of capital from Calcutta to Delhi was aimed to secure support of Moslems against the Hindus.

In conclusion he states: “I have tried to express fairly the two points of views about India, but I know that my prejudice has again and again broken through my pretense at impartiality. It is hard to be without feeling, not to be moved with a great pity, in the presence of a Tagore, a Gandhi, a Sir Jagdish Chandra Bose, a Sarojini Naidu, fretting in chains; there is something indecent and offensive in keeping such men and women in bondage”.

Vijai Singhal

OAM Honor awarded to Kanti Jinna Vice President

Congratulations to Mr Kanti Jinna, Vice President of Hindu Council of Australia for being awarded OAM MEDAL, (OAM) OF THE ORDER OF AUSTRALIA IN THE GENERAL DIVISION on Queens birthday in 2018. Such an honor has earlier been bestowed by the Australian government to other Hindu Council members including Dr Balasubramanian (Current Director and Ex-President) , Prof Nihal Agar (Current Director and Ex-President), Mr Jay Raman (Current President NSW Chapter) and Mr Vijai Singhal (Current Director).

Hindu Council is proud of their acheivements.

The medal has been awarded to Mr Kanti Jinna for his service to the multicultural community of the Australian Capital Territory.

His service to the community includes :

Hindu Council of Australia:
Vice-Chairman, since 2009.
Member, current.

Hindu Temple and Cultural Centre, Australian Capital Territory:
Co-founder, current.
Former President.

Royal Commonwealth Society, Australian Capital Territory
President, 2014-2016.
Council Member, since 2017.
Member, current.

Canberra Multicultural Community Forum
Advisor Ageing, since 2010.
Member, since 2005.

Indian Senior Citizen’s Association, Australian Capital Territory
Vice President, since 2010.
Member, current.

Board Member, Australian Capital Territories Public Cemeteries Authority Board, since 2015.
Member, Partnering with Consumers and Carers Advisory Group, Calvary Hospital, since
2015.

Patron, Fiji Australia Association of Canberra, since 2008.

Member, ACT Chief Minister’s Council of the Ageing, 2005-2011

Help Karma Kitchen to feed homeless in Parramatta

By Jay Raman : We owe our spiritual wealth not just to the sages, seers, masters and enlightened beings who walked the path, but also to the community that nurtured them. In our tradition, serving spiritual seekers and monks was of utmost importance. In fact for many, this was a path in itself. The most beautiful expression of this was the Annadhanam, the offering of food.

Karma Kitchen is an initiative by Hindu council of Australia to serve the needy and homeless by serving free food in Parramatta region. Hindu Council has registered with Parramatta Council for offering food every week on Saturdays.  This initiative gives opportunity to member organisations and individuals to serve and give back something to community. It is also a way to share our food which is an essential part of our culture. Hindu Council hopes to increase the frequency in the coming year. 

A number of organisations and individuals have helped in the initial start-up by donating food, time and resources. This will open up new opportunities to serve people in need through different ways. Important occasions in your life such as a birthdays, anniversaries or any other day of your choice, can be an opportunity to offer Annadanam, and be a part of Hindu Council’s endeavor to spread joy, health and wellbeing in the community.

You are welcome to contact the Coordinators – Sai Pravtsu on 0402 449 524 and please email us on info@hinducouncil.com.au, if you are interested to participate, donate or have any query regarding Karma Kitchen.

NSW Parliament to toughen Hate Laws

The hate speech laws in Australia give redress to someone who is the victim of discriminationvilification, or injury on grounds that differ from one jurisdiction to another.

Under the proposed amendments introduced to the Parliament, individuals who incite violence against a community or person based on their race could face up to three years in prison and an $11,000 fine.

The bill, if passed, will create a new offence in the Crimes Act of “publicly threatening or inciting violence” on the grounds of race, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex or HIV/AIDS status.

Attorney-General Mark Speakman said current provisions in the Anti-Discrimination Act have been ineffective in prosecuting people accused of encouraging violence and have not led to a successful prosecution in 30 years.

[Click here to read more ….]

Source includes Wikipedia.

White Racist posters appear in a Queensland town

Ayr is located 88 kilometres (55 mi) south of Townsville on the Bruce Highway between Top end of Queensland and Brisbane to its south. produces the most sugar cane per square kilometre in Australia. The town has a total population of 8,281 according to the 2016 census of which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made up 7.7%. Unlike other cities, most of the people living in Ayr were born in Australia and 85.4% of people only spoke English at home. The most common responses for religion were Catholic 37.3%, Anglican 15.7% and No Religion 15.0%.[1]

If you visit this town on your way to beautiful beaches of northern Queensland, you would feel the same kind of welcome as you do in  most small towns of Australia. BUT not any more.

The town has become the center of controversy when a racist poster was placed up in one of the shops, telling foreigners and backpackers that they’re not welcomed. Although Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin condemned the people responsible for the poster,[10] the memories of a white only Australia policy that was abolished a long time ago, still seems to find favour among the shopkeepers. Little do they realize that they are driving the tourists away from their town and risk the town of Ayr disappear in an economic black hole like  many mining/agricultural towns in Queensland. 

The profanity-laden poster pasted on a shop window reads: “Unless you are of Northern European descent, speak English and you are not a thot (sic) or degenerate, f*** off, because you are not welcome here”. (Thot, is an Australian slang for “that ho over there”.)

Within hours of being notified, Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin issued a statement condemning the “vile” poster targeting backpackers. “I’m appalled … the person responsible should hang their head in shame,” Cr McLaughlin said. “We wholeheartedly welcome backpackers to our region, not only for the crucial work they do in our horticultural industries but for the cultural diversity they add to our community.”

[Click here to read more …]  

[And see the offensive poster here ….]

Source from Wikipedia also.

 

Local government recognizes Hindu Council volunteers

Many Hindu Council members living in various local councils, give their time as a volunteer to help build the Australian community and to help Hindus integrate well in the Australian society.

Cumberland Council in Sydney recently held a session to thank all its volunteers including those from Hindu Council.