Hindu Council writes to Archbishop of Perth about Nose Stud

Hindu Council of Australia writes to the Principal of Aranmore Catholic College and Archbishop Perth to recognize Nose Piercing and Bindi as acceptable Hindu religious symbols in Catholic schools.

Hindu Council has expressed its willingness to work with the school and others to resolve the issue resulting from ignorance i.e. lack of knowledge about Hindu icons. It is ready to work with Catholic organizations to help Catholic schools to become more friendly to non-christian students of Hindu faith studying in their schools.

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Winner of the Gargi Woman 2019 Awards are …..

Hindu Council of Australia awards Gargi Woman Award to outstanding women in Australia who make a good role model for growing up Hindu girls and women. The award consists of a commendation letter and is awarded in multiple categories.

On International Women’s Day the winners will be announced for 2019 Gargi Woman Award. Please join us in celebrating the achievements of these outstanding women.

Date : 9th March 2019 – 5pm to 8:30pm

Venue :  Grevillea Room , Wentworthville Community Hub

Come and join an evening filled with great events – Award ceremony, Guest presentation, cultural events and dinner.

THIS IS A PRIVATE INVITE ONLY EVENT

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Hindu Council director awarded Parvasi Bhartiya Award

Dr Nihal Singh Agar, one of the eminent directors and ex-president of Hindu Council of Australia was awarded Parvasi Bhartiye Award by the President of India at 2019 Parvasi Bhartiye Sammelan in Varanasi India. The award is given to NRIs (People of Indian descent from overseas, non-resident Indians).

Professor Agar came to Australia as a young PhD student in 1960’s, became in Professor in University at regional city of Armidale. After his retirement he spent many years as Emeritus Professor at University of Sydney. He has helped Hindu and Indian community in Australia through many organizations like Vishwa Hindu Parishad of Australia, Hindu Council of Australia, Ekal Vidyalay (one teacher school for remote villages), Hindu Swayam Sevak Sangh (imparting Hindu values and culture to youth) and Hindu Education Centre.

While accepting the award, Agar Ji (as he is affectionately known among the community in Sydney) thanked all those who worked with him during the years and sought their blessings.

 

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Australia Day celebrated

By: Surinder Jain.

Both, India the land of Janma Bhumi of Hindus and Australia the karma bhumi of Australian Hindus, share 26th January as a very special day. India became a republic with its own constitution on 26th January. 26th January also marks the anniversary of the 1788 arrival of the First Fleet of British ships at Port Jackson, New South Wales, and the raising of the Flag of Great Britain at Sydney Cove.

In present-day Australia, celebrations of Australia Day reflect the diverse society and landscape of the nation and are marked by community and family events, reflections on Australian history, official community awards and citizenship ceremonies welcoming new members of the Australian community.[1]

In keeping with the spirit of multicultural Australia, The Honourable Gladys Berejiklian MP, Premier of New South Wales invited various communities including Hindu Council to take part in Australia Day celebrations at Western Sydney Community Reception in Penrith.

Jay Raman, Premier, Surinder Jain and Ashwani Jain

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Hindu/Cultural schools should avail $100 Creative Kids program

Are you running a school or an organization in the state of NSW that is teaching Hindu languages, Hindu drama, Hindu arts etc to children. If you are, then state government may subsidize fees paid by your students.
 
Find out more on how to register your school to avail of this $100 for each of your students.
 
https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/register-creative-kids-provider

 

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New Creative Kids program
New Creative Kids program
Parents of NSW school-aged children can apply for a $100 voucher each year to put towards the cost of registration, participation or tuition costs with approved Creative Kids providers.
 
The voucher may be used for performing arts, visual arts, coding, languages, literary, music and other eligible creative and cultural activities.
 
Register to become a provider>>
 
Or, to find out more visit service.nsw.gov.au/creativekids, call 13 77 88 or visit your local Service Centre.

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Multicultural NSW is now recruiting experienced telephone interpreters Australia-wide

Multicultural NSW is currently seeking expressions of interest from highly motivated and experienced Telephone Interpreters from all over Australia in all languages for our new telephone interpreting service.

 

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Walking God walks away from earth

By: Surinder Jain.

Sri Sri Sri Shivakumara Swamiji [1] a Hindu spiritual leader, revered saint, humanitarian and educator, religious figure and head of the Siddaganga Matha in Karnataka,[5] founder of the Sri Siddaganga Education Society,[6] also known as Nadedaaduva Devaru (walking God)[2] passed away at the age of 111 on Monday 21st January 2019.

Swamiji founded a total of 132 institutions for education and training, that range from nursery to colleges for engineering, science, arts and management as well as vocational training.[18] He established educational institutions which offer courses in traditional learning of Sanskrit as well as modern science and technology. He was widely respected by all communities for his philanthropic work.[19]

In 2015, he was awarded by the Government of India the Padma Bhushan, India’s third highest civilian award.[2]

Swamiji’s gurukula houses more than 10,000 children from ages five to sixteen years at any point in time and is open to children from all religions, castes, and creeds who are provided free food, education, and shelter (Trivida Dasohi).[18][3] The pilgrims and visitors to the mutt also receive free meals.[18] Under the pontiff’s guidance, an annual agricultural fair is held for the benefit of the local population. The Government of Karnataka announced the institution of Shivakumara Swamiji Prashasti from 2007, the centennial birth anniversary of Swamiji.[19] A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, the former President of India, visited him at Tumkur and praised the initiatives of Swamiji in education and humanitarian work.[19]

In recognition of his humanitarian work, Swamiji was conferred with an honorary degree of Doctor of Literature by the Karnataka University in 1965.[34] On his centenary in 2007, the Government of Karnataka awarded him the prestigious Karnataka Ratna award, the highest civilian award of the state.[4] In 2015 the Government of India awarded him the Padma Bhushan.[2]

In 2017, the Government of Karnataka and his followers sought Bharat Ratna for him for his social service.[35][4]

Swami Ji’s demise and irreplaceable loss has immersed the whole of Hindu Community into deep sorrow.

Swami Ji headed the Sri Siddaganga math since 1941. Under his watch the math run institutes students have excelled in education and are working all over the world.

 

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Have your say on Cumberland Council’s children and families strategy

An opportunity for Hindu families to have a say in framing a policy that affects children and families.

Council is developing Cumberland’s first ever Children and Families Strategy with Mayor Greg Cummings calling for community input to help make Cumberland a great place for children and families. The Children and Families Strategy will give residents the chance to share their views on the issues that impact children and families as well as help outline Council’s role in providing future services and programs.

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Diwali 2018 at Federal Parliament in Canberra

Hindu Council of Australia celebrated Diwali at Australian Federal Parliament jointly with BAPS (Swaminarayan). Here is a brief video of the same.

 

 

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Religious freedom collides with anti-discrimination laws in Australia

By: Surinder Jain.

Religious freedom is fundamental to Australian identity said the Australian Prime minister Scott Morrison. And Australians voted in favor of anti-discrimination laws to protect the rights of LGBT only recently. One would think that both are laudable achievements for Australia, but the future of religious freedom does not look so rosy.

A clash between Religious Freedom and Human Rights is brewing up.

Religious freedom right to propagate one’s belief permits Christians, Jews, Muslims and all other religions to run their own schools. Does this freedom means that these schools can admit gay students and have gay teachers imparting religious teachings to children when many believe admitting gay in their schools is against their faith.

This debate is heating up in Australia.

Religious freedom rights for an individual come in various parts. Right to belief is a right to believe in a certain religion and some/all the tenants that come with it. Right to practice a religion is a right to practice your religious rituals and actions coming from the belief. It also includes a right to propagate your beliefs either to your own constituency or to other non-believers.

Human rights on the other hand are also a set of rights for an individual and includes Right to Live, a Right to Freedom, a Right to Express and a number of other rights like anti-discrimination and so on.

Australia and most secular and theocratic countries permit Right to Belief. Australia also permits Right to Practice and a Right to Propagate religion without any state interference. Some theocratic countries like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia place restrictions on Right to Practice in public and thus not allowing any temple or church unless it has been sanctioned by the government. Many countries in the middle east ban propagation of any religion other than the state sanctioned one.

Communist countries like China place restrictions on all religions. They frown upon all religious beliefs and control them by total control over appointment of clergy and allow only state permitted rituals to be practiced. Communist ideology and whims of the party are given far higher priority than either religious freedom or human rights.

A clash between the rights of one individual to protect their faith and institutions and the right of other individuals to a fair go requires a balancing act. While the Liberal party PM has vowed to protect religious freedom as integral to Australian identity, the opposition Labor party is considering an “appropriate” balance between the two.

When Right to Life clashes with Right to Practice, the human Right to live wins hands down. Thus I can not take away life or liberty of an individual even if I believe that my religious belief requires me to do so. My Right to Propagate my religion by imposing it on others will be OK in ISIS ruled countries but will be rejected in most other countries including Australia.

In a progressive country like Australia, Right to Propagate once religion has been well balanced with the Right to Practice one’s religion. Thus each religion is prohibited from imposing its belief on another religion. If I believe in a religion that does not have a personal God then I can not ask another religion to permit me to enforce my belief as part of their propagation. Thus if a religion does not believe in God, then s/he has no right to join a christian church/school and expect to teach his/her belief to the christian congregation or to students in a christian school. Religious practitioners can not invoke courts of law to enforce their Right to Propagate through the propagation machinery (churches, schools, congregations, Sunday mass, sermons, communications etc.) of other religions except in their own.

This is tampered both ways. No religion can frown upon the beliefs and practices of others as long as they are valid in law. No religion should propagate a belief that belittles the belief of another religion.

We can find the appropriate balance between right to propagation and anti-discrimination using the above well accepted principal. Thus all religions will respect the rights of LGBT and will not frown upon their practices in their religious propagation. At the same time, LGBT do not have an automatic right to use another religions propagation machinery to propagate their beliefs. Thus LGBT should not expect that they will be able to teach their belief in a religious school as much as a Hindu does not expect to have an automatic right give a Hindu sermon in a Christian church.

Number of Religious schools and number of students studying in religious schools is such a minority that it does not restrict the right of LGBT children to study or LGBT teachers to employment. These children have a very wide choice as to which school they go to study.  Teachers of LGBT persuasion are not constrained in applying for jobs to most schools and have a meaningful employment. And off course, there is nothing stopping people passionate about their gender beliefs to start their own special LGBT friendly schools.

Each new religion in Australia has to do the hard effort to establish their own schools, churches, temples and congregations. A newly arrived religion like Hinduism does not expect Christians or Jews to be forced to give up their resources like church or school for the propagation of Hinduism. Similarly, LGBT have to do their own hard yakka in establishing their own schools etc and not expect to get an easy ride on the resources of other religions in the name of anti-discrimination. And the Religions should not frown upon LGBT efforts to establish their own special LGBT friendly schools either.

By : Surinder Jain

 

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