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India's Home-Spun Khadi Is in Vogue

Posted on 2017/8/9 19:15:34 ( 667 reads )


INDIA, August 5, 2017 (Government Press Release): More than a century ago, when Mahatma Gandhi returned to India from South Africa, he had not seen a spinning wheel- charkha- but during the Swadeshi movement, he meticulously spun khadi into the national life style. Now, khadi is in vogue again. Presenting statistics of khadi products sales, during last three years, the khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) has reported nearly 33 per cent growth in sale of khadi products to approx. US$315 million in the fiscal 2016-17 from $237 million a year ago.

Known for natural luster and rough texture, khadi strands of late have turned livewire ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched khadi promotion blitz in his radio talk show three years ago. He has since hardly lost an opportunity to sell the khadi. He frequently articulates his penchant for khadi and directly signals to governments at the Centre and states as well as to the common public that the khadi must be promoted with spirit of nationalism. khadi is a cloth woven by hand using handspun yarn only. Natural fibers namely cotton, wool and silk are used in the production.

World's Largest Holder of Gold? Indian Households!

Posted on 2017/8/9 19:15:24 ( 619 reads )


LONDON, U.K., August 4, 2017 (Bloomberg): The London Bullion Market Association this week lifted the veil on how much gold is stored in vaults in the city, which instantly joined a list of the world's biggest hoards. Their estimated 596,000 bars weigh 7,449 tons, far short of the holdings of "Indian Households," estimated over 22 metric tons. And Fort Knox? The US government is second in world gold holdings, with around 8 thousand metric tons. After London's hoard is thought to be Indian temples, with just under four thousand metric tons.

Thirukkural in Sanskrit

Posted on 2017/8/9 19:15:14 ( 626 reads )


INDIA, June 6, 2017 (Lokvani, by K. Arvind): Thirukkural is a renowned literary work in Tamil composed by the Sage Thiruvalluvar over two millennia ago. Thirukkural has been translated into a multitude of world languages including Hindi, Urdu, Latin, French, German and American English. The German translation of Thirukkural influenced Russian writer Tolstoy's thinking on non-violence, Tolstoy's Letter to a Hindu which influenced Mahatma Gandhi's ideas on non-violence includes references to the Thirukkural. Thirukkural has now been translated into Sanskrit, another classical language of India which is even older than Thirukkural. This article captures some of Thirukkural's pithy life wisdom, as well as some interesting facts about Thiruvalluvar, Thirukkural, and its Sanskrit translator Sri S.N. Srirama Desikan.

Thirukkural is an ancient treatise on ethics and values that is held in high reverence by Tamils everywhere. Even though Thirukkural is said to have traces of influence from Hindu and Jain thought, especially where it exhorts non-violence and vegetarianism, and is held in reverence by Hindus in South India, it is considered mostly non-denominational and secular in the life guidance that it provides. Sage Thiruvalluvar is the poet who composed the Thirukkural, but not much is known about him. It is believed that he was a divinely inspired weaver born in Mylapore, Chennai, sometime between the 5th and 1st centuries BCE.

More at "source" above

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2017/8/9 19:15:03 ( 543 reads )


There are three kinds of devotees. The inferior devotee says, "God is out there" and thinks God is different from His creation. The mediocre devotee says, "God is antaryami, the inner guide who dwells in everyone's heart;" thus the mediocre devotee sees God within. But the superior devotee sees that God alone is everything, for He has become the twenty-four cosmic tattvas. That devotee finds that everything, above and below, is filled with God.
-- Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa (1836-1886)

The Indian Dream? World Bank Says Social Mobility in India Comparable to U.S.

Posted on 2017/8/5 20:18:25 ( 1215 reads )


INDIA, January 21, 2015 (Newsweek): A recently released World Bank report has claimed that the chance of escaping poverty is now roughly the same in India as it is in the U.S. The report, called Addressing Inequality in South Asia, compares the share of consumption among three developing countries - Vietnam, Bangladesh and India - and the United States, divided along transitioning class lines - moving out of poverty, those moving from poverty into the middle class, falling back to poverty, falling out of middle class. The findings of the analysis were that "within the same generation, mobility in earnings - measured by the ability to move out of poverty and into the middle class - is comparable to that of the United States."

The report says that India between 2004-05 and 2009-10, 15% of the total population moved above the poverty line. By these measures, the report claims "upward mobility within a generation in.... India was comparable to that of dynamic societies such as the United States." The report attributed much of India's upward mobility to increased urbanisation in the country, stating in a summary: "Urban jobs have become a ticket to the middle class. Upward mobility is much stronger in cities, where even self-employment and casual work can lead to substantial gains in consumption." While the report pointed to robust mobility, it also highlighted inequality in access to public services, which can largely be traced to factors such as gender, location and caste.

More at "source" above.

Clay Ganesh Statues Yet to Catch the Devouts Fancy

Posted on 2017/8/5 20:18:15 ( 775 reads )


INDIA, July 27, 2017 (The Hindu): Despite the clamour for environment friendly Ganesh statues, clay statue-makers are finding it difficult to find customers. Traditional potter families say that the flooding of plaster of Paris statues and mass produced by molds, have reduced the market share of clay statues. "All this talk of eco-friendly Ganesh statues, without paint and harmful chemicals, is humbug," says Maruti Jyotiba Kumbar, who is busy making clay Ganesh statues by hand, in a small shop near the Kapileshwar temple.

"Environmentalists keep talking about such things. But such statements are yet to catch the people's fancy. Even the Belagavi City Corporation puts out advertisements asking people to stop using statues made of plaster. But all this is yet to sink in," he said. "At least 50,000-60,000 families may be buying statues and performing puja in their homes in Belagavi. I am sure nine out of 10 statues are made of plaster of Paris," he said.

Beautiful Somnath Temple Video

Posted on 2017/8/5 20:18:04 ( 825 reads )


INDIA, August 4, 2017 (YouTube): The Somnath temple on the western coast of Gujarat, is believed to be the first among the twelve jyotirlinga shrines of Shiva. Short but beautiful video at "source" above features the temple and its surroundings.

Please Take HAF's Second Nationwide Hindu Bullying Survey

Posted on 2017/8/5 20:17:54 ( 647 reads )


UNITED STATES, August 5, 2017 (Hindu American Foundation): HAF needs your help! We need Hindu American youth to take our survey on anti-Hindu bullying and bias in schools. Youth must be 11-24 years old to participate. No matter the amount of bullying or harassment you've experienced (even if it's been none at all) please take this survey. All of your experiences are important parts of the picture. The results of the data will be published by HAF next year to help prevent and combat religion-based bias and bullying.

In 2016, we published our landmark report "Classroom Subjected", highlighting the bullying against Hindu American students. The results underscored the challenges young Hindu Americans face in their classrooms. Half of respondents said they felt awkward and socially isolated because of their religious identity, while one-third said they had been bullied for being Hindu. Survey data will be collected until December 1, 2017. Some participants may be contacted for a follow up anonymous interview.

Go to "source" above to participate.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2017/8/5 20:17:43 ( 543 reads )


The sages, being filled with universal love for all beings, did not want to keep their enlightenment to themselves. They declared to all: "O mortals, striving and struggling upon this Earth plane, weeping, wailing, buffeted by the vicissitudes of life: we have come upon a great discovery. There is something beyond these appearances, these vanishing names and forms that go to make up this universe. There is something beyond, which is the very source and support of all these objects of the phenomenal world. Why do you search in vain for happiness outside? Come, come, happiness resides within."
-- Swami Chidananda (1916-2008), president of Divine Life Society

Narendra Modi Addresses 99th Birthday Celebrations of Dada Vaswani Via Video Conference

Posted on 2017/8/3 20:07:42 ( 857 reads )


INDIA, August 2, 2017 (Press Release): The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today addressed via video conference the 99th birthday celebrations of Dada Vaswani in Pune. He recalled that he had first met Dada Vaswani 27 years ago at the World Religions Conference in the United Nations. He also recalled their meeting in Pune in 2013.

The Prime Minister praised Dada Vaswani for his selfless service to humanity. Appreciating Dada Vaswani's thoughts on "Making the Right Choice," the Prime Minister said that if people resolve to make the right choice, evils such as corruption, casteism, drug-abuse, crime etc., can be overcome. He spoke of India's 75th anniversary of independence in 2022, and said India must resolve today, to fulfil the dreams of the freedom fighters by then. He urged the Sadhu Vaswani Mission to join this effort, in whatever ways it can.

Partition and Dislocation of Ethnic Groups/Telugus in Bangladesh Forgotten

Posted on 2017/8/3 20:07:32 ( 735 reads )


INDIA, JULY 25, 2017 (Empire's Last Casualty, by Dr. Akkaraju Sarma): One of the legacies of Colonial Empire with unfortunate consequences has been the practice of "indentured laborers." In a nutshell, British recruited a batch of Indian citizens, based on a typical rural structure based on local traditions based on jati (ethnic, caste, tribe or linguistic community.) This subject has been well written on with an overall picture of thriving fellow citizens, whether it be Fiji (with half the nation is Indian Origin), much of South African legendary success of Asians (with business acumen) and of course since 1965 of remarkable achievements of Indians - otherwise known as Non-Resident Indians or NRI's - in the continental United States.

Leaving this aside for the moment, did you know that about 1,200 or so of Telugu speakers have been struggling in Bangladesh? An enterprising Bangladeshi Muslim Scholar-Investigative Photo Journalist Mr. Khamin Cu has documented in 1970s the highlights of the small pocket of Telugus. They were living in a colony for methors, Bengali equivalent of low social status of sweepers/cleaners. While many Bangladesh communities were identified and given recognition, Telugus remain an "invisible" community, denied of rights of a Bangladeshi citizen unable to franchise their rights.

Full article at "source" above.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2017/8/3 20:07:21 ( 500 reads )


Hindu sages have told us that to live the spiritual life, no matter how hampered it might be, no matter with what limitations, is infinitely superior to having a mental grasp of things Divine. They have taught us that until we have woven these things into our lives, one by one and step by step, we would not be able to have a grasp of the whole of the Divine teaching.
-- Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)

Ganpati Special: Festival to Have Tours of Iconic Mandals for Foreigners

Posted on 2017/8/2 20:19:58 ( 628 reads )


MUMBAI, INDIA, August 1, 2017 (DNA India): The spiritual and social traditions of Ganesh utsav will be on display with the state government planning to use these celebrations to attract domestic and foreign tourists to Maharashtra. This will include tours for visitors covering iconic Ganesh mandals in cities like Mumbai and Pune and events at locations like the Asiatic Society of Mumbai precinct to unveil the history and cultural significance of the festival.

Jaykumar Rawal, minister for tourism and employment guarantee scheme (EGS) told DNA that the state tourism department will market the festival through initiatives like special buses and Ganpati walks for tourists in Mumbai and Pune to cover iconic mandals. Rawal, who held a meeting with BMC and tourism department officials recently, added that the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) will collaborate with the BMC to set up an enclosure for foreign tourists to watch the Ganesh immersion procession at Girg Chowpaty. The enclosure will be able to accommodate 200 tourists at one go in batches of an hour.

HMDA to Procure 10,000 Clay Ganesha Statues

Posted on 2017/8/2 20:19:47 ( 515 reads )


HYDERABAD, INDIA, July 30, 2017 (New Indian Express): With the festivities revolving around Ganesha festival set to begin, Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) has drawn plans to supply eco-friendly clay Ganesha statues in order to protect lakes and water bodies in and around Hyderabad including Hussainsagar. Instead of statues made of plaster of Paris sprayed with synthetic colors, HMDA wants devotees to use statues made of clay. The authority has decided to procure as many as 10,000 statues from artisans and agencies who have experience in making eco-friendly statues of minimum size of eight inches. HMDA officials said they have invited expression of interest from eligible artisans and agencies who have proven experience in manufacturing statues in large numbers and willing to supply on or before August 18.

Gorakhpur Gita Press Gets a $1.7 Million Shot in the Arm from Germany

Posted on 2017/8/2 20:19:36 ( 711 reads )


GORAKHPUR, INDIA, July 30, 2017 (Hindustan Times): The world's largest publisher of Hindu religious books, Gita Press in Gorakhpur, is all set to add yet another feather to its cap. Having acquired a German-made machine worth US$1.7 million, the nearly century-old press will now publish books with better print quality and improved binding that will increase their shelf life. Prior to getting this new binding machine, the work was done manually. Now, the machine can bind 10,000 books at a time.

The press, which holds the pride of place for publishing over 650 million books from Mahabharata, Ramayana, Ram Charitmanas and Shrimad Bhagwad Gita to books on numerous fasts and rituals observed in Hindu homes since its inception in 1923 in more than 14 languages, will soon acquire other sophisticated printing machines to improve printing quality. "Use of machines will save time, reduce production cost and, most significantly, improve the quality of books," said KKM Tripathi, manager personnel at Gita Press.

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