ILE DE FRANCE, FRANCE, August 17, 2017 (by Elsa Marnette): For the first time since the temple of La Courneuve (in the northern Paris suburbs) has been in existence, the God Ganesh was paraded down the street. Several thousand faithful from all over the Paris region rushed to attend this celebration of the elephant-headed God and thank him for bringing them "health, happiness and peace." "I would like to be an Indian," sitting on a bench, a little girl and her companion commented on the colorful parade that passed before their admiring eyes. These were musicians announcing the arrival of Ganesh's chariot, the elephant-headed God, a symbol of wisdom. It is the first time that the favorite God of Hindus appeared in the streets of La Courneuve. "We want to thank him for health, happiness, peace," says a young man. The celebration is part of the temple of Sri Sithi Vinayagar.
"It is a great honor for the mayor to grant us this privilege, for years we have been asking to celebrate outside of the temple premises," says Vithurgashan who draws the chariot of Murugan, brother of Ganesh. "It makes us happy to show everyone our culture." "The population of Paris Hindus is integrated (into French society) to the maximum but we also try to preserve our culture and our language," explains Seyon, one of the organizers of the event. And events like this makes it possible to reunite the diaspora. The Hindu community is estimated at 50,000 to 100,000 people.
SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA, August 17, 2017 (by Vamsee Juluri, The Sacramento Bee):Would any sensible teacher or school official in America today use a textbook that mockingly asked African American students, "How's your voodoo doing?" Of course not; it is intellectually and morally unacceptable. Moreover, California law clearly forbids any "descriptions, depictions, labels or rejoinders that tend to demean, stereotype, or patronize minority groups." Take away the word "voodoo" and try it with "karma," directed at Indian American children. Is that acceptable? Believe it or not, a history textbook from a major publisher like Houghton Mifflin Harcourt begins its lesson on India with the ludicrous and offensive phrase, "How's your Karma doing?" The book is set to go Thursday before the state Department of Education's Instructional Quality Commission. Despite past and current lawsuits, petitions signed by thousands of people, and, most importantly, personal testimonies by hundreds of middle and high school students about the inaccurate and offensive nature of the lessons on Indian history, we see little reflection of reality or change in several textbooks being considered.
Ethnic and racial jokes by random bigots and school bullies are one thing. Having them in your textbook is quite another. The argument in these books is a systematic and persistent portrayal of Indians as ignorant, barbaric and violent. The ancestors of Indian American sixth-graders in California, we are told, "enjoyed making war." Their most significant and well-known sacred deities that we can even find in California's many Hindu temples are brushed aside, and a full-page image is devoted instead to an obscure figure called Indra, who is mistakenly described as the "god of war." The lesson also devotes considerable attention to an utterly inane question: "Are unicorns real?" The pattern and intent are unmistakably derogatory and supremacist. Indian culture is portrayed as essentially one of fanciful false beliefs and deep moral turpitude.
This is the Indian American community's civil rights moment. We call on the education department to reject textbooks that refuse to enter along with the civilized world into a decisively post-racist era.
Many people are afraid of silence. They have to be doing something all the time. Many people also are afraid of being alone. But actually no one ever is alone. He's always with his great divine Self. Every person has a great, divine Self within him, an absolutely perfect, shining, sublime being of light. The voice of this being is a loud silence. The voice of your soul is a loud silence. Many people have said that the voice of God is a deep, profound silence.
-- Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (1927-2001), founder of Hinduism Today
UNITED KINGDOM, August 10, 2017 (National Council of Hindu Temples UK by Pt Satish K. Sharma): The Bank of England announced its decision regarding the use of tallow in pound notes as follows:- "The Bank is today, Thursday 10 August, announcing that after careful and serious consideration and extensive public consultation there will be no change to the composition of polymer used for future banknotes. The new polymer #20 (US$26) note and future print runs of #5 ($6.50) and #10 ($13) notes will continue to be made from polymer manufactured using trace amounts of chemicals, typically less than 0.05%, ultimately derived from animal products.
The Bank has determined that there is a monetary value to the ethics and morals of a rapidly increasing number of British citizens i.e. the vegan and vegetarian community, and also of the religious and spiritual values of the members of the Dharmic traditions who view all of life as one family. The Bank of England has stated that it has taken account of the Equality legislation but what it has in essence done is established that the spirit of Equalities legislation in the UK does in fact carry a price tag and a level at which the spirit of human rights which is enshrined in Equality legislation, becomes "unaffordable", a paltry #1.65m ($2.147 million) per annum for a decade. Has Great Britain become so poor?
More at "source" above.
TEXAS, U.S., August 10, 2017 (Save Temples, by Prakasarao Velagapudi): [HPI adds: The following rebuttal was written to The Wall Street Journal] On behalf of Global Hindu Heritage Foundation (GHHF)and thousands of Hindus, I want to express my surprise and shock that such a vicious and malicious article entitled "The Holy Cows That Weren't" written by one Mr. Tunku Varadarajan was allowed to be published on August 4, 2017 in your newspaper known for fair and balanced reporting.
What is written is unbalanced and negative. This article is written only to demean and degrade the holy cow that has been part of the Indian culture and its history is as ancient as Sanatana dharma. Vedas and other prohibited the killing of cows. One or two statements on beef eating found in the scriptures should not be the basis to attack the sacredness of a cow.
Full rebuttal can be read at "source" above.