Vajpayee no more

A Hindu nationalist ex pm of India dies. He was a proud Hindu who like Gandhi lived by Vedic value of oneness of all beings and Vasudaiv kutumbakkam in a dirty landscape of politics.

During his tenure as prime minister, India carried out the Pokhran-II nuclear tests in 1998. Vajpayee sought to improve diplomatic relations with Pakistan, travelling to Lahore by bus to meet with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. After the 1999 Kargil War with Pakistan, he sought to restore relations through engaging with President Pervez Musharraf, inviting him to India for a summit at Agra.

He was conferred India’s highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, by the President of IndiaPranab Mukherjee in 2015.[3] 

India reacted to Vajpayee’s death with grief and thousands of tributes poured in through social media platforms. Thousands of people payed their respects during his funeral procession.[159] A seven-day state mourning was announced by the central government.[160]

  •  Afghanistan: Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai was among several foreign dignitaries present at former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s funeral in New Delhi. He recalled that the departed leader was “the first to offer us civilian planes, Airbuses at the time we were starting out”.[161]
  •  BangladeshBangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed “deep shock” at the demise of former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and said it is a day of great sadness for the people of Bangladesh. Paying tribute to Vajpayee, Hasina termed him as “one of the most famous sons of India” and a highly respected person in Bangladesh.[162]
  •  Bhutan: Bhutan king Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck attended the funeral ceremony in New Delhi.[163]
  •  Japan: Remembering Vajpayee’s visit to Japan in 2001, the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe said, “On behalf of the Government and people of Japan, I would like to convey my sincerest condolences to the Government and people of India and the bereaved family. His Excellency Vajpayee visited Japan in 2001 as the then-Prime Minister and made significant contributions to the friendship between our two countries as a good friend of Japan. It is him who established the cornerstone of Japan-India relations today”. Terming Vajpayee as an eminent leader of India, Abe added, “I pray from the bottom of my heart that his soul may rest in peace”.[164]
  •  Mauritius: On 17 August, the government of Mauritius announced that both Mauritian and Indian flags would fly at half mast in the honour of Vajpayee.[165][166] During the World Hindi Conference in Mauritius, PM Pravind Jugnauth announced that the cyber tower towards which Vajpayee contributed to be set up in Mauritius would be henceforth named as Atal Bihari Vajpayee tower.[167]
  •  PakistanPakistan‘s interim Minister for Law and Information Syed Ali Zafar met External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and extended Pakistan’s condolence on the death of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Zafar was among the foreign dignitaries who attended Vajpayee’s funeral in New Delhi.[168] Former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf mourned the demise of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, calling him a great man. He said that Vajpayee’s demise was a great loss for both India as well as Pakistan.[169]
  •  RussiaRussian President Vladimir Putin sent a message of condolences to President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the demise of Vajpayee. Putin termed the former prime minister as “outstanding statesman”. “Atal Bihari Vajpayee rightly commanded great respect around the world. He will be remembered as a politician who made a major personal contribution to the friendly relations and privileged strategic partnership between our countries. “The President of Russia conveyed words of sincere sympathy and support to the family of the deceased, the Government and the people of India”, the message read.[170]
  •  Sri Lanka: Various Sri Lanka leaders paid rich tribute to the three-time PM, hailing him as a “friend of Sri Lanka”. In a tweetPresident Maithripala Sirisena said: “Today, we have lost a great humanist and a true friend of Sri Lanka. Former Prime Minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee was a visionary leader and an ardent defender of democracy. My condolences to his family and millions of his admirers around the world”. Leader of Opposition R. Sampanthan said India has lost one of its “most regarded intellectual and statesman”. “He served the great country of India with humility and honesty, and he was much loved and respected by millions of people across the world. Former three-time Prime Minister Vajpayee is also an exceptional orator and a leader with a great sense of humour, his speeches within the Indian parliament and outside will always be remembered”, he said in a statement, extending his condolences on behalf of the Tamil people of Sri Lanka.[171]
  •  United StatesU.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said Vajpayee recognised early on that the US-India partnership would contribute to the world’s economic prosperity and security and the two democracies continue to benefit from his vision. “On behalf of the people of the United States of America, I extend my heartfelt condolences to the people of India on the recent passing of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee”, Pompeo said in a statement yesterday. He recalled Vajpayee’s address to the Congress in 2000, when he had famously characterised US-India ties as a “natural partnership of shared endeavours”. “Today, our two countries and our bilateral relationship continue to benefit from Prime Minister Vajpayee vision, which helped promote expanded cooperation”, Pompeo said. He said the American people stand with the people of India “as we mourn Prime Minister Vajpayee’s passing”

Hits: 0

Famous Hindu temples around the world

If you are planning to travel overseas, you must see these famous temples around the world.

Hits: 0

Katas Raj Hanuman Temple, Kalar Kahar, Pakistan

Hits: 0

Kalyan Das The Hindu Temple of Compassion in Rawalpindi-2

Hits: 0

Gerald Barr – Interviews with non-Indian Hindus

I think Hinduism is an alive tradition that is not frozen in ancient times. It adjusts to the time and place. However, the source must always be preserved. 

I became immensely inspired by Indian Classical Music, and began learning from Ustad Zakir Hussain in 1995. He teaches not just tabla, but also how the music is connected to Hinduism. For example, he traces Indian percussion to Lord Ganesha. He once taught a tabla composition that ‘narrates’ a story of Radha and Krishna. Thus, the music and Hindu spirituality are directly linked.

Hits: 0

Shakti initiative of Hindu American Foundation

Hindu American Foundation. www.hafsite.org. HAF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
Namaste

WELCOME TO THE SHAKTI INITIATIVE!


Many years ago, I was invited to speak on a panel about women and religion. Armed with my senior thesis from undergrad — The Vedic Woman: Who Was She and Will She Return? — I was able to quickly pull together a long list of stories and scriptural quotes to bolster my own experience of finding strength and inspiration in Hindu teachings as a Hindu woman.

After the panel, a number of intrigued audience members approached me for online sources that they could read to learn more.  

I promised I’d get back to them. The truth is, I never did.

After scouring the internet for hours, what I found left me seriously F R U S T R A T E D.

There were the websites that were politically or religiously motivated — brimming with stereotypes and outright lies. They took scriptural quotes out of context and juxtaposed them with social evils afflicting women of all backgrounds in India to paint the ugly picture they sought to promote.  

Others were academic in nature, plagued with the same exoticizing and eroticizing with which we’re sadly all too familiar.

And then there were the well meaning, but confused ones where social customs and even wives’ tales were being passed off as religious mandates.

Frustration, however, can be a pathway to one of two things — anger or innovation.  

At HAF we’re fans of the latter.

And so —  on these auspicious first days of Gupt Navaratri — we welcome you to the Shakti Initiative: An accessible, online exploration of Hindu teachings about and by women the contributions of Hindu women throughout history; and the role both women and men play in bringing to fruition solutions that are grounded in Hindu teachings to address critical contemporary issues.  

My deepest hope for the Shakti Initiative when it was only a seed of an idea was that the life stories and contributions of some of the most remarkable women history has ever seen would inspire both women and men to get reacquainted with and reassert, in many facets of life where we have fallen short, the balance and harmony our traditions advocate for between the feminine and masculine.  

In turn, women and men will renew their commitment to work together to alleviate the suffering that has uniquely and disproportionately affected women in our society, and support one another so that all have access to their highest potential.  

In a small way, my hope is already manifesting.  

When I first proposed the idea at our National Team meet several years ago, nearly every hand shot up, either in support of the project or to join the Shakti writing team. Not only that, we’ve gotten new volunteers — young and not as young — who upon hearing about the project, have contributed articles, and are working on new ones as I write this.  

We hope you enjoy the Shakti Initiative as much as we have been inspired by it.    

We’ve got a lot up already, and a lot more planned, so visitwww.shaktiinitiative.org often.

Jai Mata Di and Happy Navaratri!

Best,

Suhag Shukla

HAF Executive Director

P.S. Would you like us to write about a Hindu woman of note? Interview a swamini known to you? Uncover the reason behind a tradition centered around women? Send us your suggestions at shakti@hafsite.org.  

Hits: 1

Hindu Temples ( Mandirs) of Rawalpindi, Pakistan – 1

Four temples are located in a narrow lane that runs between Sarafa bazaar and Lunda bazaar. All four are at a walking distance, and quite similar in appearance. The entrance to this lane from the Sarafa bazar road is barely a meter wide. Knowing that pre-partition Hindus dominated trade in Rawalpindi, finding Hindu remnants in Bohar, Lunda, and Sarafa bazars is no surprise.

Hits: 0

PM of New Zealand and MPs stop those trying to help save the environment

Beef lobby of New Zealand, if it has its way, wants to deny people choice of their food including food free of beef and free of animal products. Hindus avoid eating beef.

When you are in an airplane bound to your seat for 12 hours or more, with no near by restaurants, fully dependent on whatever food is on the menu of the air lines and available with the air hostess, politicians asking air lines not to keep food which does not include beef would be a disservice to consumer choice of food. Coercing people to consume beef instead of vegan alternatives, for a fast buck, is sure to hasten climate calamity.

The beef lobby led by MP Mark Patterson, of the ruling New Zealand First Party, strongly opposes its national carrier Air New Zealand’s decision to serve the vegan burger and considers it as a “slap in the face” to the country’s $6bn red meat sector. 

Air New Zealand is the flag carrier airline of New Zealand. Based in Auckland, the airline operates scheduled passenger flights to 20 domestic and 31 international destinations in 19 countries around the Pacific Rim and the United Kingdom. First class passengers to Los Angeles route are offered a plant based, meat free, environment friendly choice of food.

Beef production has a very high impact on the environment. According to some studies, one Ton of beef production requires almost 17,000 cubic liters of water, (m³ water/ton)[28]. Compare that with 2,500 for rice and about 1,500 for wheat.(wikipedia). Denying consumers choice of ethical food and promoting alternative food high on green gas production chart is a “slap in the face” to the voters who have elected their representatives to look after personal rights and the environment.

However, the strong beef lobby is up in arms. It sees ethical food alternatives to its violent to animal (assuming killing is violence), beef industry as a threat to its existence. 

Peters at the ASEAN Summit in the Philippines in 2017

Acting PM of New Zealand, MP Winston Peters who has been running the country since 21 June while Prime Minister Jacinda Arden is on maternity leave, is also opposed to selling beef alternatives. He said “Some of the taxpayers are the farming industry who want to ensure they get top end of the product market offshore and our airline should be its number one marketer.”

The Vegan Burger, is made using wheat, coconut oil, potatoes and “magic ingredient” heme. Compared to cows, the vegan product uses 95% less land, less water and creates 87% less greenhouse gas emissions, according to the company Impossible’s website.

You can [read more about the news here …]

credit:wikipedia

 

Hits: 0

San Antonio art-clothing firm stops selling Lord Ganesha leggings

Texas fashion firm apologizes and removes Ganesha leggings

San Antonio (Texas) based art-clothing company DiZurita withdrew Ganesha leggings within three hours after upset Hindus protested, calling it “highly inappropriate”.

[Click here to read about withdrawl….]

The objectionable Ganesha Leggings, Ganesha Capri Leggings and Ganesha Leggings (child); priced at $55, $52 and $41 respectively; do not show up anymore on the company website. However, there are still a number of eShops claiming to sell it.

[Ganesha leggings available at GearBunch ….]  [at Lotus leggings….] [and at Yoga Outlets ….]

The item was withdrawn due to widespread protests by Hindus.

[Protest reported by India Post ….]  

It is important for Hindu bodies in western countries to run education campaigns to make their designers, sales and marketing executives aware of Hindu sensitivities.

Hits: 0

What Would India Look Like Today Had It Not Been Colonised By The British ?

While British rule brought about untold change and modifications to India, it is hard to imagine an India without its embedded British characteristics.

 
While some changes might’ve been good and other bad, the fact of the matter is that, British colonialism completely changed the face of the nation for better and for worse.
 

Hits: 0