Thailand evolves its own mix of Budhist and Brahmin rituals

The new Brahmins

The relevance of mixing Hinduism with Buddhism and folk beliefs in Thai history

12 Oct 2015 at 03:46 WRITER: MELALIN MAHAVONGTRAKUL 

A man dressed in white blew into a conch as if it were a horn. Joss sticks were burning. Heads bowed but people’s lips were praying. A screenplay on a golden tray was engulfed in a cloud of white smoke…. 

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Ayush ministry seeks ISRO’s help for satellite imagery of events on Yoga Day

NEW DELHI: The Ayush Ministry has approached the country’s premier space agency ISRO for satellite imagery of the countrywide events between 7 am and 8 am on International Day of Yoga (IDY), to be observed on June 21.

The ministry has sought ISRO’s assistance to get an estimate of Yoga enthusiasts who would perform at various venues on that day, an official of the ministry said.

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Mauritius: Hotel Tells Employees Not to Wear Tika, Stirs up Protest

One of Mauritius’ finest hotels, the five-star Residence Mauritius, is in a soup for asking an employee to not sport a Tika (bindi, forehead mark) for hygienic purposes. The hotel, Residence Mauritius, also stated that the issue of visible religious symbols is addressed by telling the employees about exercising discretion. For example, the sindoor or the mangalsutra are allowed, but not tika. 

Hinduism is the largest religion in Mauritius, with over 670,000 adherents, representing approximately 51.9% of the total 1.3 million population of the country according to the 2011 census made by Statistics Mauritius.[4][5] This makes the Mauritius islands in the Indian Ocean as the country having highest percentage of Hindus in Africa and third highest percentage of Hindus in the world after Nepal and India.

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(acknowledgements: wikipedia, Hinduism today)

Meet the Indian housewives studying to become Hindu priests in their ‘second innings’

At 72, Sailja Joshi has found her calling rather late in life. After a lifetime spent caring for others at home, this grandmother wants to join the workforce.  She is studying to become a Hindu priest. Female priests are a relatively new phenomenon in India, and they’re still vastly outnumbered by men. Scholars say that unlike in the Catholic church or Islamic tradition, there’s nothing in Hindu holy books that bans women from becoming religious leaders.

Sydney in Australia has a female priest Dr Meenakshi Srinivasan who has recently been awarded “Gargi Woman Award 2018” for her life long services to the Hindu community and to Sanskrit language.

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Interfaith Peace Symposium “Empowerment of Women”

Bharathi Rengarajan of Hindu Council of Australia, gave a talk on Empowerment of women on an Interfaith Peace Symposium organized by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Woman Association  Australia held in Sydney. She talked about Hindu feminine Gods and how women can empower themselves.

The meeting was also addressed by Rissa Mclnnes – Riverstone Electorate local woman of the Year 2018, Daljit Kaur -Australian Sikh Association, Women & Children Affairs, Miss Tazeen Mehmood – Ahmadiyya Muslim Association, Australia, Louisa Lui – Mingyue Lay Buddhist Temple, Bonnyrigg, Colleen Foley -Good Shepherd Parish, Plumpton, Councillor Ms Danielle Wheeler – Hawkesbury City Council and with a concluding address by Anjum Khan, National President, Women’s Auxiliary of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association of Australia

A new film on Love Jihad by Sudipto Sen

Renonwned film artist Sudipto Sen has made a new film titled ‘In the Name of Love-Melancholy of God’s Own Country’. A screening of the film was organised by Global Indian Foundation and Vivekanand Vichar Manch of Jawahar Lal Nehru University in Delhi. The film focuses on the issue of ‘love jihad’ and religious conversion of girls in Kerala and is based on a true story.

Members of Jawaharlal Nehru Students Union and Gender Sensitisation Committee Against Sexual Harassment disrupted the screening. The organizers of the screening in a statement said: “After disrupting the screening of the movie at Sabarmati dhaba, the left-wing protesters grievously injured a guard intentionally.”

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Summary of films by Sudipto Sen

AASMA (IN THE NAME OF JIHAD) – Hindi feature film – Just Completed
https://pro-labs.imdb.com/title/tt2949654/

LUCKNOW TIMES – Hindi feature film – Completed
https://pro-labs.imdb.com/title/tt4696884/?ref_=sch_int

IN THE NAME OF LOVE!
An hour-long documentary on the issue of religious conversion and so called ‘LOVE JIHAD’!

Project in development:
INDIAN AUTUMN – Indo-US Co-Production film – English/Bengali Bi-lingual film – On Development
(2017-2018)
Hindi/English feature film NUTAN BAZAAR (2017-2018)
History of 5000-years of Indian civilization – A TV Series

Work of reckoning:
English feature film THE LAST MONK (2006)
World Premier at Cannes Film Festival – 2006
Special Invitation Screening at Rotterdam Film Festival – 2006 
Participated in 37 other film festivals

Short feature film AKHNOOR (2007) 
(An Indo-Belgian Co Production) 
Attended 17 International Film Festivals

Malayalam Feature Film ANTHIPONNOVETTAM (2008)
An Indo-French Co Production CORENTIN’S QUEST(2008)
BLUE MOUNTAINS by Suman Ganguli (Consultant)

Documentaries: 
THE OTHER WEALTH (1997) 
A human story on pristine water body near Kolkata
Attended 21 International film festivals

NA BATE DER… (It will not be late) (2003)
A film on revolutionary peasant movement in India
Attended 11 international film festivals 

LAND WITHIN RIPPLES (1998)
A documentary on fast vanishing Islands at World’s largest deltaic region, Sundarvans

Worked For:
THE WORLD BANK (As an empanelled producer 1998-2002) 
PRIME MINISTER’S OFFICE, UNDP / UNIFEM / UNEP / ACTIONAID / ADB / DFID
Made more than 75 Developmental Corporate films

Ad & Corporate
Worked for more than 50 commercials and corporate films

AWARDS
BEST FILM AWARD (AKHNOOR) at Golden Gate Film Festival, USA 2007-2008 
INTEGRATED REALIZATION AWARD (AKHNOOR) at Brussels International Film Festival 2008 SPECIAL JURY AWARD (AKHNOOR) at San Francisco Film Festival 2007 
Best Cinematography (THE LAST MONK) – Cine International FF

Pakistani Hindu parents allege their daughter forced to convert to Islam

In the predawn darkness on Feb. 24, Rinkel Kumari, a 19-year-old student from a Hindu family, disappeared from her home in Mirpur Mathelo, a small village off a busy highway in Sindh Province. Hours later, she resurfaced 12 miles away, at the home of a prominent Muslim cleric who phoned her parents with news that distressed them: Their daughter wished to convert to Islam, he said. Their protests were futile. By sunset, Ms. Kumari had become a Muslim, married a young Muslim man, and changed her name to Faryal Bibi. Sulachany Devi and Nand Lal are pleading for the return of their daughter, Rinkel Kumari. Ms. Kumari’s family says her marriage and conversion were done at gunpoint.

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Pakistan elects a Hindu woman senator, second time in its history

Compare that with how many Muslim women have been elected in India since 1947. Krishna Kumari Kohli’s election represents a major milestone for women and minority rights in Pakistan. Ms. Kumari’s victory was a rare bit of good news for the country’s Hindu minority.

Pakistan has a dismal record over the treatment of vulnerable religious minorities. Most live in fear of their lives and property amid an increase in religious intolerance in recent years, along with violence and deadly assaults. Hindus, who make up 4 percent of the country’s population of approximately 200 million people, mostly live in southern Sindh Province. In recent years, they have increasingly complained of forced conversions to Islam carried out by hard-line Islamists.

The local Hindu community has suffered persecution at the hands of radical Islamists, with many women forcibly converted to be married off to Muslims. The state’s acquiescence to groups behind kidnappings, killings and desecration of Hindu temples, most notably in Sindh, has meant that Hindus have been fleeing Pakistan – often to find refuge in India.

According to Senator Ramesh Kumar, a member of the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), “around 5,000 Hindus leave Pakistan every year” because of the persecution. Dev says the Kohli community is marginalized even among the Hindus. “This is why a Kohli woman joining the Senate is a positive development. For we have had parliamentarians from the Meghwar community, but never Kohlis,” he said.

Ms. Kumari said her aims as a senator would be to work toward improving the lives of religious minorities and the people of Tharparkar, which has been troubled by drought, unemployment and a lack of development.

Hindus have previously been elected to Parliament, both in the lower and upper houses. Two male Hindus from the Dalit caste have served in the Senate, both members of the Pakistan Peoples Party. 

Kohli joined the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) as a social activist to campaign for the rights of marginalised communities in the Thar region. She also campaigns for women’s rights, against bonded labour, and against sexual harassment in the workplace.[4] Kolhi also actively participated and worked for the rights of downtrodden people of marginalised communities living in Thar and other areas.

She is from the family of the valiant freedom fighter Rooplo Kolhi, who had waged a war against the invading British colonialist forces when they had attacked Sindh from Nagarparkar side in 1857. Subsequently, he was arrested and hanged by the Britishers on August 22, 1858.

Kohli was born on 1 February 1979[2] to a poor family hailing from a village in Nagarparkar.[3] When she was a child and a student of grade three, she and her family were held captive for three years as bonded labourers in a private jail allegedly owned by a landlord in Umerkot District.[4][3] They were only released after a police raid on their employer’s land. She received her early education initially from Umerkot district and then from Mirpurkhas District.[2]

She got married at the age of 16 in 1994 while she was studying in grade nine.[2] She continued her education after her marriage and in 2013 earned a master’s degree in Sociology from the University of Sindh.[3]

In 2007, she attended the third Mehergarh Human Rights Youth Leadership Training Camp in Islamabad in which she studied the government of Pakistan, international migration, strategic planning and learned about the tools that could be used to create social change.[2]

(Source:Wikipedia)

Hindus attacked by Rohingyas in Myanmar

The attaches from international community met with local Hindu women who had been abducted by Muslim insurgents responsible for killing about 100 other Hindus during the crackdown, Hindu leader Ni Maw said.

The women said they wanted to know why the world is talking only about Muslims,” Ni Maw told RFA. “Hindus also were killed by Muslims. They want to know why people don’t talk about this, but only about the Muslims that have been killed.”

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Rangoli workshop at Parramasala

By Shobha Deshikan

Hindu Council of Australia created a huge Rangoli of flowers at Parramasala and conducted a Rangoli making workshop. It took eight people to do the wonderful beautiful Rangoli. of vibrant and colorful flowers.  The Rangoli was very impressive. All day long, passers would stop, wonder and pictures including numerous selfies. It was thoroughly, a joyful sight to see.