A new Hindu Education Centre coming up in Sydney

As Hindu population is growing rapidly in Australia (mostly due to migration), existing temples are struggling to cope up with the demand for spiritual guidance of Hindus. To keep up with the demand, a new Hindu Education and Culture Centre is being planned in western Sydney suburb of Riverstone.

Havan signifying the hand over of land by a donor to the trust is being planned on the site on 8th July 2018. 

According to its President, Prof Nihal Singh Agar OAM, the HINDU EDUCATION CENTRE SYDNEY Incorporated has several objectives, the core being:

  • Establish resources and facilities and centres of learning and teaching Hindutvam, including worship, inculcate spiritual practices and cultural behaviours of followers of Hinduism
  • Build and manage library, resource and research centre on Hinduism
  • Provide centralised facility for Hindu community
  • Provide support and promote activities of Hindu organisation.

The Centre’s constitution stipulates that income, property, profits and financial surplus of HINDU EDUCATION CENTRE SYDNEY, whenever derived, must be applied solely towards the promotion of the objects of HINDU EDUCATION CENTRE SYDNEY as set out in this Constitution.  It also stipulates that the Centre shall not carry on business for the purpose of profit or gain to its individual Members and no portion of its income, property, profits and financial surplus may be paid, distributed to or transferred, directly, indirectly, by way of dividend, property, bonus or otherwise by way of profit, to the Members, or the Board of Directors, or their relatives, except as provided by this Constitution.

Hindu Temples Of Lal Kurti Bazaar, Rawalpindi Pakistan

The most well preserved of the three Hindu temples in the old Lal-Kurti Bazar is now a private property of a well-connected Muslim migrant family and is closed to the public. It is just a few yards from the Lal Kurti main square. Both Hindus and Sikh used to worship in the place during British times. This temple is in the courtyard of an old Hindu mansion. The place had a watering-well and the sacred Banyan tree.

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Hindus fear takeover of their temples in Malaysia

Malaysian government is proposing the formation of a Hindu Endowment Board (HEB) in all states with a sizeable Hindu population is to manage all Hindu temples. Hindus view this move of the Malaysian government with suspicion. 

To assuage the fears of the Hindu community, a government spokesperson has said that it is not the aim of the board to take over temples. There has been some misrepresentation of the functions of the board by some individuals who want to settle old scores with some temple managements in the country who were closely aligned with the BN government. The board will serves to protect existing temples, work closely with existing temple committees, and more importantly find ways and means to advance the religious, social and economic interests of Hindu or Indians in the country.

Islam is the official religion of Malaysia. The constitution of Malaysia declares that Islam is the only religion of true Malay people and that natives are required to be Muslims.[22] Conversion from Islam to Hinduism (or another religion) is against the law, but the conversion of Hindus, Buddhists and Christians to Islam is welcomed. The government actively promotes the spread of Islam in the country.[6] The law requires that any Hindu (or Buddhist or Christian) who marries a Muslim must first convert to Islam, otherwise the marriage is illegal and void.[6] If one of the Hindu parents adopts Islam, the children automatically become Muslim without the consent of the second parent.[5][23]

In recent decades, there have been increasing reports of religious persecution of Hindus, along with other minority religions, by various state governments of Malaysia and its Sharia courts.[5][8] Hindu temples built on private property, and built long before Malaysian independence, have been demolished by Malaysian government officials in recent years.[9]

After a violent conflict in Penang between Hindus and Muslims in March 1998, the government announced a nationwide review of unlicensed Hindu temples and shrines. However, implementation was not vigorous and the program was not a subject of public debate.

Between April to May 2006, several Hindu temples were demolished by city hall authorities in the country, accompanied by violence against Hindus.[25] On 21 April 2006, the Malaimel Sri Selva Kaliamman Temple in Kuala Lumpur was reduced to rubble after the city hall sent in bulldozers.[26] The authorities’ excuse was that these temples were unlicensed and squatting on government land.

The president of the Consumers Association of Subang and Shah Alam in Selangor had been helping to organise efforts to stop the local authorities in the Muslim dominated city of Shah Alam from demolishing a 107-year-old Hindu temple. The growing Islamization in Malaysia is a cause for concern to many Malaysians who follow minority religions such as Hinduism.[27]

On 11 May 2006, armed city hall officers from Kuala Lumpur forcefully demolished part of a 90-year-old suburban temple that serves more than 3,000 Hindus. The “Hindu Rights Action Force”, a coalition of several NGO’s, have protested these demolitions by lodging complaints with the Malaysian Prime Minister.[28]

According to a lawyer for the Hindu Rights Action Task Force, a Hindu temple is demolished in Malaysia once every three weeks.[29]

In 2007, Malaysian Hindu organisations protested the destruction of Hindu temples by the Malaysian regime. On 30 October 2007 the 100-year-old Maha Mariamman Temple in Padang Jawa was demolished by Malaysian authorities. Following that demolition, Works Minister and head of the Malaysian Indian Congress Samy Vellu, who is of Indian origin, said that Hindu temples built on government land were still being demolished despite his appeals to the various state chief ministers.

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Sources : Wikipedia, Picture of Batu By Aruna at ml.wikipedia – Transferred from ml.wikipedia by User:Sreejithk2000 using CommonsHelper., CC BY-SA 3.0, Link, Picture of temple By Kalaivani SomiahOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Arrest of ISIS-inspired Texas Teen a Reminder for Temples to Review Security Plans

Washington, DC (May 3, 2018) — Yesterday a Plano, Texas teenager was arrested after he revealed his plot to carry out a mass shooting, in what is being reported as an ISIS-inspired attack. Among the targets reportedly considered by the suspect, were a school, local Hindu temple, and shopping mall. The latter was ultimately the chosen target.

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NetFlix’s controversial portrayal of Rajneesh

NetFlix has made a six part documentary on Osho (Bhagwan Rajneesh) called  Wild Wild Country, and is streaming it now. The six-part series tells the story of the Rajneshees, calling him an Indian “sex cult” whose 2000-odd members moved en masse from India to rural Oregon in the 1980s.   


Almost immediately the movement ran into conflict with county residents and the state government, and a succession of legal battles concerning the ashram’s construction and continued development curtailed its success.

Photo By Samvado Gunnar Kossatz, Attribution, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3001538 

 

Largest Vishnu statue in the world

Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park in the island of BaliIndonesia is devoted to the Hindu God Vishnu, and his mount, Garuda, the mythical bird who became his companion. Planned to be established as a landmark or mascot of Bali, construction of the giant statue of Lord Vishnu who was riding his mount Garuda, as high as 120 meters is currently going on.

CC BY-SA 3.0, Link 

Designed to be the Indonesia’s tallest statue, Garuda Wisnu Kencana was inspired by Hindu mythology about the search for Amerta (the elixir of life). According to this myth, Garuda agreed to be ridden by Lord Wisnu in return for the right to use the elixir to liberate his enslaved mother.

(Acknowledgements : Wikipedia)

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Pakistan seals Hindu deities, may renovate the temple

There are many Hindu temples in Pakistan most of them in disarray, their land under threat of encroachment from selfish commercial interests or from terrorists.

A small Krishna temple was built by Kanji Mal and Ujagar Mal Ram Rachpal in 1897 to serve people in nearby areas. However, after partition and creation of a Muslim Pakistan in 1947, the street temple in Saddar became the only place of worship for Rawalpindi’s Hindus. The temple was reopened after partition in 1949; it was operated by local Hindus before being handed over to the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) in 1970.

Until the 1980s, Hindu diplomats living in Islamabad visited the temple to pray. Local Hindus have said the temple’s area should be expanded. Jag Mohan Arora said the temple courtyard, which can only accommodate 100 or so people, should be expanded, and shops next to the temple that the ETPB has leased to local traders should be retrieved to expand the front of the building.

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(acknowledgements: By Bilalakhtar148 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=49331813)

At a mere 7 per cent, Bangladesh Hindus under threat, says US rights activist

By Express News Service 

The minority Hindus in Bangladesh are facing the threat of ethnic cleansing, US rights activist Richard L Benkin has said.  Benkin said he is carrying out an indepth research on the Hindu population’s dwindling numbers which now stand at a mere 7 per cent  as per the 2016 figures. Compared to this, the Hindus accounted for 35 per cent of the population in the then Eastern Pakistan in 1947 which slumped to 20 per cent following the liberation of Bangladesh in 1971.

Dr. Richard Benkin is an American Jewish human rights activist, co-founder of ‘Interfaith Strength‘, journalist, writer and lecturer. He’s also a member of Folks Magazine’s Editorial Board since August 2011.[1]

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Bali Hindu temples Tanah Lot, Ulun Danu to get cleaned up

Two of Bali’s most iconic temples and popular tourist destinations, Tanah Lot and and Pura Ulun Danu will get cleaned ahead of the much anticipated IMF-World Bank meeting to take place on the island in October 2018.

Bali Province has been hard at work to make things on the island more “attractive” and functional in anticipation of the all the delegates and their families that the meeting will bring.

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SBS TV records growth of Hinduism in Australia

SBS (State Broadcasting Services) is an Australian TV and radio network supported by Australian government and specializes in ethnic community news. Decades ago when there were very few Hindus in Australia and Internet had not been invented yet, SBS was a major (and sometimes the only) source of news and entertainment for new migrants to Australia.

In the age of Internet and beaming of TV from all over the world, SBS has reinvented itself as a channel for multicultural Australia. As part of recording religions in Australia, Abbey from SBS has produced a TV program on the growth of Hinduism in Australia. The program was aired on SBS TV and a link to the article is provided below. 

Hindu Council of Australia has recorded the growth of Hinduism in Australia on its website as a part of its eLearing course on Hinduism. A link to that internet based course lesson is also provided below.

Link to SBS program

Link to eLearn Article on Hinduism in Australia