HOME | ABOUT US | www.MikeGhouse.net Google Profile | C.V. | Interfaith Speaker | Muslim Speaker |Motivational Speaker | Americans Together | Videos | Please note that the blog posts include my own articles plus selected articles critical to India's cohesive functioning. I wish I could have them all, but will have to live with a few. My articles are exclusively published at www.TheGhouseDiary.com


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Fathers, Daughters and Sons day


Of course every day is father’s day, but once you have your own nucleus of a family, father’s day becomes special. My father was very special to me and I am blessed with his infinite affection to last for my life time, and I deeply feel for those who did not have one.

There are many of us out there who grew up without a father, or if we had one, he was not there for us. I feel the pain and incompleteness one feels and I extend that fatherly affection to you, even if you don’t know me, I hope you feel the energy, I am with you. You are welcome to call me to chat for a few moments. This father’s day belongs to my kids and you; you could be of any age.

God (causer/creator/she/it) has programmed us to be adaptable, what we miss in a father, we may find in a Mother, an older brother, uncle or a friend. My heart goes out to those of you who have had an abusive father, and I want you to know that God may have appeared to be cruel to you at times, but you endured it and your rewards with the lord would be bountiful, spiritually you are ahead of most of us. Indeed, you are truly blessed by God to experience the pain just as Jesus had endured it for the humanity.

Continued: http://mikeghouseforamerica.blogspot.com/2010/06/happy-fathers-daughters-and-sons-day.html

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Biggest Indian Flag in the making


Amol, thanks for writing this up in WSJ, and placing Dallas up in the circles. Jindal is a Dallas kid!

Enjoy one of the most beautiful renderings of our National Anthem.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7399792002477900458#

yahan apna paraya koi nahin
Hai sob pay ma udhar tera,
Mere desh ki dharti sohna ugle...

Two incredible statements, Mr. Jindal says his structures are tall enough to make a statement: "When a person displays the national flag, one rises above one's political affiliations, one's religious affiliations, one's caste, one's region, and just shows that they are proud Indians," he said.

Mr. Jindal, no relation to Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, took interest in the issue as an M.B.A. student at the University of Texas at Dallas in the early 1990s. There, he noticed the much more open flag etiquette in America, where people hoist flags on their front porches and the Stars and Stripes are on bandanas, bikinis and boxer shorts.

I hope our India Association members can seek him to donate funds for building an India house and put that tiranga up.

Jai Hind
Mike Ghouse
http://www.mikeghouse.net/
http://mikeghouseforindia.blogspot.com/2010/06/biggest-indian-flag-in-making.html

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
JUNE 15, 2010

This Indian Tycoon Finally Gets to Run His Idea Up the Flagpole
Mr. Jindal Boasts the Biggest Banners in a Country Not Used to Waving Them
By AMOL SHARMA

KURUKSHETRA, India—Indian steel tycoon Naveen Jindal is on a mission to get more of his countrymen to fly the national flag. He's trying to set an example for the masses by erecting a series of 206-foot poles around the country, topped by flags the size of tennis courts.

The 40-year-old industrialist fought a decade-long court battle to make it legal for ordinary Indian citizens to display the flag throughout the year, rather than just on national holidays. The Supreme Court ruled in his favor in 2004.

Indian steel tycoon Nayeen Jindal has made it his life's passion to get more Indians to wave the national flag. He's hoping giant flagpoles will be an inspiration. WSJ's Amol Sharma reports.

Since then, Mr. Jindal, a member of Parliament who controls part of the giant Jindal family steel and power business, has noticed that most Indians aren't taking advantage of their freedom to wave the Tricolor—as the flag is known for its saffron, green and white stripes.

He hopes his flagpoles, the tallest in India, will be an inspiration. They weigh 12.5 tons and are designed to hoist flags measuring nearly 3,500 square feet. Each installation costs about $87,000.

Five giant flagpoles are already up here in Mr. Jindal's home state of Haryana in northern India. More are coming soon around the country, from Orissa in the east to Tamil Nadu in the south to Delhi in the north and Mumbai in the west.

"It's my dream that every big city in India has these monumental flags," Mr. Jindal said. "Just the sight of a big, giant flag looks amazing while fluttering. And I'm sure it would lift up people's spirits."

These won't be the tallest free-standing flagpoles in the world. That honor goes to Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, and its 436-foot installation.

Indians are fervently patriotic, but for decades the country had regulations that made displaying the flag a formal activity reserved for official government functions.

But Mr. Jindal says his structures are tall enough to make a statement: "When a person displays the national flag, one rises above one's political affiliations, one's religious affiliations, one's caste, one's region, and just shows that they are proud Indians," he said.

Mr. Jindal, no relation to Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, took interest in the issue as an M.B.A. student at the University of Texas at Dallas in the early 1990s. There, he noticed the much more open flag etiquette in America, where people hoist flags on their front porches and the Stars and Stripes are on bandanas, bikinis and boxer shorts.

Sanjit Das/Panos for The Wall Street Journal

Steel tycoon Naveen Jindal wants India to fly more flags. Above, a 206-feet-high flagpole in Kurukshetra.

When he returned home after graduating, Mr. Jindal took over one of the family's steel factories in central India and put up a flag on the premises. Local officials told him that wasn't allowed, and, eventually, the district commissioner ordered that the flag be taken down.

Mr. Jindal, at the age of 25, filed a constitutional lawsuit in 1995, to overturn the Indian flag regulations on free-speech grounds. The Supreme Court issued a final ruling in 2004 that flag-displaying is a fundamental right of all Indians.

The legal victory burnished Mr. Jindal's political credentials just as he was seeking office. He was elected to the lower house of Parliament in 2004 as a member of the Congress Party. He has other interests, including skeet shooting and polo, but flags remain his primary obsession.
To boost flag-waving, Mr. Jindal formed the nonprofit Flag Foundation of India, which hands out flags and flag-emblazoned paraphernalia like wrist bands. The group is developing a print and TV ad campaign to promote the flag.

Here at Kurukshetra, a region 100 miles north of Delhi that's rich in Hindu heritage, the giant flagpole is surrounded by a holy water tank that worshipers believe is the cradle of Indian civilization.

"It's the first time in my life I've seen a flag this big," said Gautam Duklan, a 36-year-old tourist from Delhi. "I feel proud for my country."

One reason for the lack of flag-waving is that there aren't many places to buy an Indian flag.
In Delhi, the only official flag retailer is a store in the center of the city best known for khadi, or homespun cotton clothing. Mr. Jindal gets many of his flags—including the gigantic ones—from The Flag Corp., a specialty manufacturer in Mumbai. Owner Gyan Shah says he sells about 1,000 big Indian flags a year and 9,000 small ones for cars and table tops.

In America, "You have flags in every supermarket or Wal-Mart," Mr. Shah said. "In India, you actually have to struggle and look for flags or a flag supplier."

The other major issue, Mr. Jindal and his associates say, is ongoing confusion about regulations governing flags.

In India, anyone who shows disrespect to the flag can go to prison for up to three years. Among the restrictions: the flag can't touch the ground; can't be dipped in anything; can't be a holding receptacle for anything except flower petals; can't be used as drapery or be embroidered onto pillowcases and napkins; and can't be shown damaged or disheveled.

Mr. Jindal has tried to chip away at the rules. He helped push through a 2005 change that allowed the flag to be on T-shirts and sporting equipment. It's still not legal to have the flag printed on any undergarments or below-the-belt clothing.

In February, Mr. Jindal also got Parliament's lower house, the Lok Sabha, to amend its rules to allow politicians to wear flag pins—a political must-have in the U.S.—which were previously banned along with all other badges.

For the giant flagpoles, Mr. Jindal obtained permission last December from India's Home Ministry to keep the big flags hoisted around the clock on the condition that they stay well-lit. Before that change, he would have had to bring the flags down at sunset and put them back up at sunrise. He says financial aid would help, too.

"To say governments have come forward to sponsor, to put up monumental flagpoles—not yet," he says. "I hope in the future we will get that support also."
Write to Amol Sharma at amol.sharma@wsj.com

Sunday, June 13, 2010

1.6 million Indians make US their home

1.6 million Indians make US their home

WASHINGTON: With about 1.6 million foreign-born from India residing in the United States in 2008, they have emerged as the third-largest immigrant group in America after Mexican and Filipino immigrants. There were, however, 2.3 million members of the Indian diaspora residing in the United States in 2008, including 455,000 native-born US citizens of Indian ancestry.

Between 2007 and 2008, the number of Indian immigrants surpassed the number of Chinese and Hong Kong-born immigrants for the first time since at least 1960, according to a new report from the Migration Policy Institute, a Washington is think tank.

Indian immigration to the United States, a fairly recent phenomenon, grew rapidly during the 1990s and 2000s, the report noted.

In addition, people with Indian ancestry have also immigrated to the United States from the Caribbean, East Africa, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

Compared to other immigrant groups, the Indian foreign born are much better educated - nearly three-quarters of Indian-born adults have a bachelor's degree or higher. About one-quarter of Indian-born men in the labour force work in the information technology industry, the survey noted.

Highlights

* Nearly half of all Indian immigrants resided in California, New Jersey, New York, and Texas.

* The Indian born accounted for about one in 10 immigrants in six states.

* Between 2000 and 2008, the size of the Indian immigrant population more than doubled in 10 states.

* Over one in six Indian immigrants resided in the New York metropolitan area.

* Indian immigrants made up at least 10 percent of the immigrant population in 10 metropolitan areas.

* There were 2.3 million members of the Indian diaspora residing in the United States in 2008, including 455,000 native-born US citizens of Indian ancestry.

* Over 40 percent of the Indian foreign born arrived in the United States in 2000 or later.

* Three of every 10 Indian immigrants in 2008 were limited English proficient.

* About two-thirds of limited English proficient Indian immigrants spoke Hindi, Gujarati, or Panjabi.

* Nearly three-quarters of Indian foreign-born adults had a bachelor's degree or higher.

* Indian immigrants were less likely to live in poverty than natives.

* Indian immigrants were as likely as other immigrants to own their own home.

* About one in eight Indian immigrants did not have health insurance in 2008.

* More than 550,000 children under age 18 resided in a household with an Indian immigrant parent.

Friday, June 11, 2010

In Cricket-Crazy India, Baseball Finds a Foothold

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Shefali Anand

June 11, 2010, 12:06 PM IST

In Cricket-Crazy India, Baseball Finds a Foothold

In Manipur, one of India's most conflict-ridden states, some locals this summer have picked up different types of armaments: bats, balls and gloves to play baseball.

In cricket-crazy India, Manipur has many fans of America's favorite pastime. Recognizing an opportunity, America's Major League Baseball International this week sent two coaches to train local coaches with the hope that they can further promote the game locally.

This is the third training camp of its kind to be held in Manipur's capital of Imphal. The initiative was put together by New York-based First Pitch: The U.S. Manipur Baseball Project, a non-profit organization founded by 54-year-old film curator L. Somi Roy.

Mr. Roy is a Manipuri who emigrated to the U.S. more than two decades ago. Some years ago, he learned of Manipur's fascination with baseball. His cousin, a local politician, had asked him to bring some baseball gloves and bats when he visited Imphal next. She informed him that several people were playing baseball in Imphal but with limited and over-used equipment.

Manipur, with a population of just 2.4 million, is a hilly state located at the north eastern edge of India. It shares a border with Myanmar (the former Burma). The state is often in the news for its long-running insurgency, which is demanding secession from India. The fighting has hurt the local economy and has kept the state very poor. Foreign nationals can't travel to Manipur without a special government permit.

Most recently, Manipur has been in the news because members of tribes from the neighboring state of Nagaland have blocked a main highway to Manipur to protest the Manipuri government's refusal to let a Naga separatist leader enter the state. (Some Nagas also want to secede from India.) The blockade has created huge shortages of fuel, food and even medical supplies in Manipur, according to news reports.

Amid all this chaos, Major League Baseball and Mr. Roy have been plugging away with their baseball camp this past week. Thanks to heavy rains over the last few days, nearly three-fourths of the training has had to take place indoors, says Mr. Roy.

Major League Baseball International coach Robert Buskett, who was in India for the first time, said he's "impressed" with the local coaches and, in less than a week, he has "seen progress already." He said that MLB has similar coaching camps in other parts of Asia as part of its efforts to increase awareness of the game.

Within India, Manipur is a good base because its people have long had a strong sports culture. Many of India's national-level sportspeople come from Manipur, including weight-lifting champion Nameirakpam Kunjarani Devi, boxing medalist Dingko Singh, and several players in India's soccer team. Also, contrary to the rest of India, Manipuris are not crazy for cricket. Football is their first love.

There is little recorded history of how baseball first came to Manipur. Geet Singh, 36 years old, a Manipuri sportsman and project coordinator with First Pitch, says that there are local reports that baseball was played in Imphal during World War II by American soldiers who were based there.

Local sportswoman Bhanu Devi, 45, (now an MLB-certified baseball coach) says the game was formally introduced in the early 1980s, by E. Bijoy Singh, the then-chief of the All Manipur Sports Association. A team was created which participated in baseball tournaments held in New Delhi and other parts of India, says L. Ranjit Roy, secretary of the All Manipur Football Association. But the momentum waned, especially after Mr. Singh retired a decade later.

However, when Mr. Roy of First Pitch came to set up the first MLB coaching camp in 2006, hundreds of locals showed up to learn the sport. They returned in 2007, and MLB has now certified 31 Manipuri coaches.

"We are not bringing baseball to Manipur; it was already there," says Mr. Roy. "We admire the fact that they've kept it alive" despite the poverty and lack of resources, he adds. Mr. Roy, who is not a baseball enthusiast, says he reached out to MLB and organized these coaching camps in Manipur as a way to promote an exchange between the two cultures that he belongs to.

Mr. Roy's next project is to try to create a baseball season to give locals an incentive to play for a longer part of the year. He hopes to bring the Major League Baseball coaches back with him to Manipur in middle of January. Without the rains, they might even get to practice outside.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Re: MuslimAgenda :: The Chicago Hindu conference adopts the following resolutions:

The last Speaker Mrs. Bhavna stressed on the need for the imparting of Hinduism education. This is something that I agree with entirely provided it is not on the principle of educating the ordinary Hindus about what their scriptures say according to the Brahmanical preachers, rather it should be on the principle of making then learn the scriptures itself. Once equipped by the basic knowledge, the pupil can then pursue the guru to understand the the unique, scientific insight into their faith.

Regards

Syed Adil




On Wed, Jun 9, 2010 at 6:47 AM, <MIKEGHOUSE@aol.com> wrote:
 

( I have copied this to members of the Parliament of Religions)

 

The Hindu Chicago conference adopts the following resolutions:

(Report follows)

 

These efforts must be lauded by one and all, "the spiritual dimension to effectively stop denigration and misconceptions about Hinduism, or anti-Hindu bias" must continue.

 

The six points resolutions are well written:  

  1. The Bangladeshi government should be pressured to stop the persecution of Bangladeshi Hindus!
  2. We shall create awareness about the plight of our Bangladeshi Hindu brethren!
  3. Hinduism should be recognized as a major religion as are others like Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Buddhism!
  4. We shall protest denigration of Hinduism peacefully but surely!
  5. We shall not support any art, product, academic textbook or media that denigrate Hindu concepts and practices!
  6. We shall take Dharma Education ourselves and impart it to our children and others, who are interested in Hinduism!

I am glad that the word "support" is used in the item # 5.

 

Dallas is officially one of the bid cities for the parliament of World's religions along with Brussels and Guadalajara and we invite participation of all religious traditions and their presentation.

 

We believe holding the event in the United States will have an incredible impact on our society and the world that surrounds us in setting up a model of social cohesion.

 

You will read more about it in the mission statement of the Parliament of World's religions, but one word that sticks to my mind that the Parliament and our Vice-Chair Rev. Petra reiterated and the mission of the foundation for pluralism is, "to let religious and faith based traditions speak for themselves, who they are and what they are about, and how they want to be understood, and NOT what others say or write about them."

 

We hope this event in the United States will have a lasting impact on American Media in how they report rather than sticking their opinions on others. This would be a great step towards understanding each other, which leads to mitigation of conflicts and nurturance of goodwill. Working for creating peaceful societies to co-exist is each one's responsibility. We have to ask, what we have done towards that end and just do it.

 

 As the founder of the Foundation for pluralism and world Muslim congress, I endorse the resolution and it will be posted on our websites. This endorsement is limited to the resolutions and not necessarily the whole report.

 

Mike Ghouse

www.WorldMuslimCongress.com

www.Foundationforpluralism.com

 

 

Report of the Chicago Hinduism Summit held on

Nija Vaishakh Krushna Ashtami 5112 (June 05, 2010) 

Passionate speeches, a rapt audience, reverberations of an auspicious conch, the sound of ancient Sanskrit verses, a unique idol of Lord Ganesh on display and an exhibition of objects attacked by ghosts were just some of the highlights of the second Hinduism Summit held in Chicago on Nija Vaishakh Krushna Ashtami 5112 (5 June 2010) ! The Summit was held by the Forum for Hindu Awakening (FHA) and the Lake County Hindu Temple. Around 100 attendees in person and 200 attendees online took the benefit of this event.

Shri. Dileep Thatte, an ardent student of Hindu philosophy, has presented his "Seven Stars approach towards learning Hinduism" at various universities, groups and also at the recent World Parliament of Religions. Shri. Thatte spoke on 'Learn the basics of Hinduism to counter misconceptions'. His lively speech spoke about how to get the youth of today interested in Hinduism. In his experience young people, around the age of 16-17 start asking fundamental questions about Hinduism, which often parents cannot answer. He feels that if those questions are answered clearly, the youth today will stay interested in Hinduism and identify themselves as Hindus. He shared a simplified version of the basics of Hinduism like non-duality, soul, Law of Karma, etc., to understand Hinduism and dispel common misconceptions about it.

Shri. Shrinarayan Chandak spoke about the anti-Hindu bias in the media. Shri. Chandak, a graduate of IIT Madras and IIT Chicago, and a long-time professional in the fields of Technology and Management Consulting, is a founding board member of Sewa International that is serving the needy through healthcare and education. Shri. Chandak's presentation clearly illustrated the anti-Hindu bias in the media, its reasons and what can be done about it. The solutions he presented were based on Sree Krishna's teachings and resonated with the audience. He shared examples of media coverage, of how he has worked with the media to present Hinduism accurately and in a positive light. He asked all organisations to work together in this cause and share media contacts.

Smt. Kalpana Sharma, a volunteer of the Spiritual Science Research Foundation (SSRF), spoke with conviction about the spiritual dimension underlying Hinduism concepts and Hindu issues. She presented SSRF's spiritual research that shows that subtle negative energies breed unrighteousness (adharma) and so we have to learn about them and how to combat them if we are to be successful in preserving Hinduism. Her speech and videos provoked thought about the need to consider the spiritual dimension to effectively stop denigration and misconceptions about Hinduism, or anti-Hindu bias. The SSRF video demonstrated the power of Saints and the need for Their blessings in any mission.

Shri Hakumat Shroff of Lake County Hindu Mandir was felicitated for his efforts towards Hinduism. He welcomed everyone on behalf of the Hindu Mandir and urged them to share with others interested in Hinduism what they have learned at this Hindusm Summit. He reminded everyone that the Hindu temple is a place for Hindu worship, but also Hinduism education.

Shri. Dewang Gadoya, an avid reader of the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti website, who had come for the Hinduism Summit all the way from Canada, spoke on 'Know denigration and preserve Hinduism'. Shri. Gadoya spoke about what is Hinduism (Dharma) and how the denigration of Dharma today has resulted in the deteriorating condition of society. He shared the true impact of denigration at the psychological and subtle level. At the subtle level the kind of distressing vibrations the denigratory object creates affect us subtly, at the level of our thinking. It reduces the purity and clarity of our thinking, and consequentially, our actions. It sets the wrong precedent for initiates into Hindu Dharma, including the youth/children, as they feel then that it is ok to trivialize the sacred. "If one does not have reverence for the divine, how can one attain the devotion that is essential to worship and experience the divine?" he asked. He shared things that any person can do towards this cause, things within the reach of the common man, like protesting some denigration we come across, peacefully, but surely.


Dr. Richard Benkin spoke about the current situation of ethnic cleansing and religious persecution of Hindus in Bangladesh. Dr. Benkin is a human rights activist, author and speaker. During his fiery speech, Dr. Benkin not only made all the attendees aware of the plight of Bangladeshi Hindus clearly, but also shared practical things for everyone to do toward this cause. He shared how 9 million Jews had stopped the might of the Russian government. How all Jewish people had got together and collected donations, started protests, held rallies, etc. If 9 million Jews can do that, there are 900 million Hindus! We should be able to do much more. It is our responsibility, no one else will do it. His practical tips included contacting our elected representatives regarding this situation; supporting his organization in whatever way we can; awakening the Hindu community to the plight of Hindus everywhere; holding any protests we can, however small, in front of the Bangladeshi consulate, etc. He shared that he had recently received 3 emails from Anti-Hindus asking him not to attend this Summit so whatever we were doing there must be working. He received spontaneous applause from the audience several times during his speech.


The final speaker, Smt. Bhavna had the audience spellbound as she spoke about the current challenges the Hindu community is facing. She emphasized that the main reason for the conversion and other problems faced by Hindus today is the lack of Hinduism Education. She said that such is the state of Dharma that the so-called scholars and educators of Hinduism today are either non-Hindu and often anti-Hindu, like Wendy Doniger, a professor of Hinduism at the University of Chicago. The solution is to take and impart education about Hinduism that shows its unique spiritual scientific basis. Once anyone knows that, including the youth, like Hindus apply vermillion (kumkum) for its spiritually pure properties that aid concentration, they will be inspired to understand, live and preserve Hinduism. Smt. Shinde also shared how to be a Hindu by promoting spiritual purity in oneself and in the surroundings. How the quickest way to attain the aim of Hinduism, God realisation, is through the grace of the Guru. She ended the speech with a saying that in the current age of Kaliyug there is strength in unity and urged Hindus to make concerted efforts to preserve Hinduism. She shared a success story of how just a few Hindus protesting denigrating books in the academia have been able to stop the books from being given awards or circulated further. The audience applauded section after section of her speech.

The summit concluded with unanimous passing of the following resolutions (some of them will be submitted to our policy makers) :

1.     The Bangladeshi government should be pressured to stop the persecution of Bangladeshi Hindus!

2.     We shall create awareness about the plight of our Bangladeshi Hindu brethren !

3.     Hinduism should be recognized as a major religion as are others like Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Buddhism !

4.     We shall protest every denigration of Hinduism peacefully but surely !

5.     We shall not support any art, product, academic textbook or media that denigrate Hindu concepts and practices !

6.     We shall take Dharma Education ourselves and impart it to our children and others, who are interested in Hinduism !

Tejinder Singh

__._,_.___
Recent Activity:
This group is about American Muslims and their civic responsibilities, it is not about religious practices but simply about learning and creating a social and civic space for themselves in the community of religions.
.

__,_._,___



--
Syed Adil

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Re: The Chicago Hindu conference adopts the following resolutions:


While the resolutions look fairly benign, this Hinduism Summit was sponsored by the US chapter of Sanatan Sanstha (also known as Hindu Janajaguriti Samiti). It is an extremist hate group with a history of violent activities and communal riots to its credit.

Sanatan Sanstha has been involved in various terrorist activities in India and a ban on the organization is also likely. Last month, 11 of its activists were arrested by India's National Intelligence Agency for their involvement in the Goa bomb blasts.

For more information, see articles below:


Behind Sanatan Sanstha's spiritual veil, a militarist face
Praveen Swami
Tuesday, Oct 20, 2009
http://www.thehindu.com/2009/10/20/stories/2009102059941000.htm


Inflammatory literature may have driven last week's bombings in Goa

"Sanstha activists precipitated Miraj violence by distributing magazines with communal content"

4 activists of Sanstha's sister organisation were earlier held for attacks on theatre houses


NEW DELHI: Last week, a crude ammonium-nitrate based improvised explosive device detonated across the road from the Grace Church in Margao, tearing apart Goa's festive-season cheer.


Sanatan Sanstha operative Malgonda Patil was killed and Yogesh Naik critically injured while transporting the bomb — one of the two the men are thought to have fabricated to target Hindu religious gatherings held by a rival group.


Many see the Sanstha as a harmless — if quixotic — cult: followers are assigned grades for their levels of spiritual awareness and encouraged to engage in arcane discussions, like the differing merits of lamps using ghee and oil.


Despite credible allegations that the Sanstha has coerced and harassed followers seeking to leave its ranks, branches have sprung up across Maharashtra, in several major cities nationwide, and even in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.


Behind the outfit's idiosyncratic facade, though, is an ugly militarist face. Last year, Sanstha-linked Dharmashakti Sena chief Vinay Palwalkar proclaimed a coming apocalyptic war: "the war of the future will be a Dharamyudh, and the Dharamshakti Sena will be its guiding force."

Were Patil and Naik fighting his war?


Propaganda

Inflammatory — and often inventive — polemic characterises the Sanstha's propaganda.

Discussing September's riots in the town of Miraj, the organisation's house-magazine Sanatan Prabhat's October issue described the violence as "a well-planned attack on Hindus by Afzal Khan's [a 17th century Bijapur warlord] Muslim descendants." "Now," it continued, "Hindus need to become warriors of Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj to repel such attacks."


Police in Miraj say Sanatan Sanstha activists, in fact, precipitated the violence, by distributing magazines with aggressively communal content and forcing shopkeepers to down the shutters. Three Sanatan Sanstha activists were arrested for distributing the inflammatory literature.


"Fed up of Muslim innocence," the magazine reports, "Hindus [gave] a fitting reply." "As a result of the riots in Miraj," the article reads, "Muslims in villages were getting inspired to become insolent. Hindus, however, had enough of their insolence and started retaliating. A mob pelted stones and damaged mosques at 7 places. Thereafter, saffron flags were hoisted on these mosques."


Much of the reporting in Sanatan Prabhat appears to have no great concern for the distinction between fact and fiction.


"Police," one report claims, "have now discovered a kidnapping racket to provide recruits to Pakistani terror outfits through 'Love Jihad.' Investigations have revealed that all over India some 4,000 young women have been recruited in this manner to be trained against their will as terrorists and suicide bombers. In Kerala alone, the police suspect that over 500 women have fallen victim."


Terrorist actions

Images like these have long been known to have incited members of the organisation to engage in acts of terrorism.


Last summer, bombs went off at the Vishnudas Bhave Auditorium in Vashi, and the Gadkari Rangayatan in Thane. Both theatre managements had disregarded Hindu chauvinist protests against the play 'Amhi Pachpute,' a wry reworking of the Mahabharat by Santosh Pawar which is set around the travails of two middle-class Maharashtrian families locked in a dispute over a paan store.


Maharashtra police investigators arrested Ramesh Gadkari, Mangesh Nikam, Santosh Angre and Vikram Bhave for the terrorist attacks.


All four men were activists of the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, an ultra-right Hindutva political group which the Sanstha lists, on its website, as a sister organisation. The men were, at the time of their arrests, reported to be living in retreats run by the Sanstha.


The investigators found that the men had earlier attempted to set off an improvised explosive device targeting a mosque on the Pen highway. Nikam, for his part, was found to be on bail facing trial for having set off a low-grade bomb in the home of a Ratnagiri-based Hindu family that had converted to Christianity.


Police also found gelatine sticks, electronic circuits and detonators that had been buried in a storage dump dug by the four arrested men along a riverbed outside Pen. Similar recoveries were made near Satara.


Dangerous future?

Sanstha leaders deny that their organisation has any role in terrorist acts by individual members.


But the Maharashtra police investigators are less than persuaded by these claims, and have opened investigation of the organisation's possible linkages with Akhand Bharat — the Hindutva terror group responsible for the murderous 2006 bombing of a mosque in Malegaon.

In a cartoon published in the Sanatan Prabhat, a police officer and a Muslim are shown kicking a Hindu. "Hindus," its caption reads, "unite and become strong to end this brute rule."

Akhand Bharat cadre had planned to do just that. In an audio-tape recovered by the Maharashtra police investigators, alleged Akhand Bharat operatives Prasad Shrikant Purohit, R.P. Singh and Dayanand Pandey discussed plans for displacing the Indian government, authoring an alternative constitution, setting up of a government in exile in Israel, and instituting a criminal procedure code which would include public corporal punishment.




11 Sanatan Sanstha members charged in Goa blast case
 
DNA Correspondent / DNA
Tuesday, May 18, 2010 0:19
 
http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_11-sanatan-sanstha-members-charged-in-goa-blast-case_1384335

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday filed charges in the Goa blast case against 11 persons associated with the Sanatan Sanstha for "waging war against India". But the right-wing Hindu group was not directly indicted by the NIA.

The blast took place in Margao on the eve of Diwali, October 16, 2009. Explosives on a scooter went off on a street in the heart of the town around 9.30 pm, killing two.

The NIA's charge-sheet was filed under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 121 (waging war against India), 122, 123 and 427 of the Indian Penal Code, read with sections 16, 17, 18 and 23 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, and sections 3, 4 and 5 of the Explosive Substances Act.

The blast's motive, the charge-sheet said, was to protest against the Narkasur competition held in Goa every year. The accused had written several letters to the state government to stop the competition, to no avail.

Recently, two accused were granted bail as neither the special investigation team (SIT) nor the NIA could frame charges within the mandatory 180 days after their arrest. For the accused in custody, the 180-day limit will expire on Tuesday.

The 3,000-page charge-sheet — filed before sessions judge UV Bakre — has named: Vinay Talekar, Vinayak Patil, Dhananjay Ashtekar and Dilip Mangaonkar, all in jail; Malgonda Patil and Yogesh Naik, killed when explosives went off on their scooter before they could plant them at the designated place; Prashant Juvekar, Sarang Akolkar, Jayaprakash, alias Anna, Rudra Patil
and Prashant Ashtekar, absconding.

The NIA's probe has revealed that Dhananjay Ashtekar, an electronics engineering student, prepared 12 detonator circuits in Pune, of which five were brought to Goa in August, 2009.

The test IED was prepared with the help of gelatine sticks and exploded in the jungles adjoining Talaulim village on August 24-25, 2009, behind the house of Laxmikant Naik, the brother of deceased accused Yogesh.

The charge-sheet says that Maganokar was active in the conspiracy and unexploded material was found in his possession. It also names 250 witnesses, who are likely to be examined by the local court during trial.



--- On Tue, 6/8/10, MIKEGHOUSE@aol.com <MIKEGHOUSE@aol.com> wrote:

From: MIKEGHOUSE@aol.com <MIKEGHOUSE@aol.com>
Subject: [india-unity] The Chicago Hindu conference adopts the following resolutions:
To: dallasindians@yahoogroups.com, indianpluralism@yahoogroups.com, foundationforpluralism@yahoogroups.com, worldmuslimcongress@yahoogroups.com, MikeGhouse1.mikeghouseforindia@blogger.com, india-unity@yahoogroups.com
Date: Tuesday, June 8, 2010, 6:17 PM

 

( I have copied this to members of the Parliament of Religions)

 

The Hindu Chicago conference adopts the following resolutions:

(Report follows)

 

These efforts must be lauded by one and all, "the spiritual dimension to effectively stop denigration and misconceptions about Hinduism, or anti-Hindu bias" must continue.

 

The six points resolutions are well written:  

  1. The Bangladeshi government should be pressured to stop the persecution of Bangladeshi Hindus!
  2. We shall create awareness about the plight of our Bangladeshi Hindu brethren!
  3. Hinduism should be recognized as a major religion as are others like Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Buddhism!
  4. We shall protest denigration of Hinduism peacefully but surely!
  5. We shall not support any art, product, academic textbook or media that denigrate Hindu concepts and practices!
  6. We shall take Dharma Education ourselves and impart it to our children and others, who are interested in Hinduism!

I am glad that the word "support" is used in the item # 5.

 

Dallas is officially one of the bid cities for the parliament of World's religions along with Brussels and Guadalajara and we invite participation of all religious traditions and their presentation.

 

We believe holding the event in the United States will have an incredible impact on our society and the world that surrounds us in setting up a model of social cohesion.

 

You will read more about it in the mission statement of the Parliament of World's religions, but one word that sticks to my mind that the Parliament and our Vice-Chair Rev. Petra reiterated and the mission of the foundation for pluralism is, "to let religious and faith based traditions speak for themselves, who they are and what they are about, and how they want to be understood, and NOT what others say or write about them."

 

We hope this event in the United States will have a lasting impact on American Media in how they report rather than sticking their opinions on others. This would be a great step towards understanding each other, which leads to mitigation of conflicts and nurturance of goodwill. Working for creating peaceful societies to co-exist is each one's responsibility. We have to ask, what we have done towards that end and just do it.

 

 As the founder of the Foundation for pluralism and world Muslim congress, I endorse the resolution and it will be posted on our websites. This endorsement is limited to the resolutions and not necessarily the whole report.

 

Mike Ghouse

www.WorldMuslimCong ress.com

www.Foundationforpl uralism.com

 

 

Report of the Chicago Hinduism Summit held on

Nija Vaishakh Krushna Ashtami 5112 (June 05, 2010) 

Passionate speeches, a rapt audience, reverberations of an auspicious conch, the sound of ancient Sanskrit verses, a unique idol of Lord Ganesh on display and an exhibition of objects attacked by ghosts were just some of the highlights of the second Hinduism Summit held in Chicago on Nija Vaishakh Krushna Ashtami 5112 (5 June 2010) ! The Summit was held by the Forum for Hindu Awakening (FHA) and the Lake County Hindu Temple . Around 100 attendees in person and 200 attendees online took the benefit of this event.

Shri. Dileep Thatte, an ardent student of Hindu philosophy, has presented his "Seven Stars approach towards learning Hinduism" at various universities, groups and also at the recent World Parliament of Religions. Shri. Thatte spoke on 'Learn the basics of Hinduism to counter misconceptions'. His lively speech spoke about how to get the youth of today interested in Hinduism. In his experience young people, around the age of 16-17 start asking fundamental questions about Hinduism, which often parents cannot answer. He feels that if those questions are answered clearly, the youth today will stay interested in Hinduism and identify themselves as Hindus. He shared a simplified version of the basics of Hinduism like non-duality, soul, Law of Karma, etc., to understand Hinduism and dispel common misconceptions about it.

Shri. Shrinarayan Chandak spoke about the anti-Hindu bias in the media. Shri. Chandak, a graduate of IIT Madras and IIT Chicago, and a long-time professional in the fields of Technology and Management Consulting, is a founding board member of Sewa International that is serving the needy through healthcare and education. Shri. Chandak's presentation clearly illustrated the anti-Hindu bias in the media, its reasons and what can be done about it. The solutions he presented were based on Sree Krishna's teachings and resonated with the audience. He shared examples of media coverage, of how he has worked with the media to present Hinduism accurately and in a positive light. He asked all organisations to work together in this cause and share media contacts.

Smt. Kalpana Sharma, a volunteer of the Spiritual Science Research Foundation (SSRF), spoke with conviction about the spiritual dimension underlying Hinduism concepts and Hindu issues. She presented SSRF's spiritual research that shows that subtle negative energies breed unrighteousness (adharma) and so we have to learn about them and how to combat them if we are to be successful in preserving Hinduism. Her speech and videos provoked thought about the need to consider the spiritual dimension to effectively stop denigration and misconceptions about Hinduism, or anti-Hindu bias. The SSRF video demonstrated the power of Saints and the need for Their blessings in any mission.

Shri Hakumat Shroff of Lake County Hindu Mandir was felicitated for his efforts towards Hinduism. He welcomed everyone on behalf of the Hindu Mandir and urged them to share with others interested in Hinduism what they have learned at this Hindusm Summit. He reminded everyone that the Hindu temple is a place for Hindu worship, but also Hinduism education.

Shri. Dewang Gadoya, an avid reader of the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti website, who had come for the Hinduism Summit all the way from Canada , spoke on 'Know denigration and preserve Hinduism'. Shri. Gadoya spoke about what is Hinduism (Dharma) and how the denigration of Dharma today has resulted in the deteriorating condition of society. He shared the true impact of denigration at the psychological and subtle level. At the subtle level the kind of distressing vibrations the denigratory object creates affect us subtly, at the level of our thinking. It reduces the purity and clarity of our thinking, and consequentially, our actions. It sets the wrong precedent for initiates into Hindu Dharma, including the youth/children, as they feel then that it is ok to trivialize the sacred. "If one does not have reverence for the divine, how can one attain the devotion that is essential to worship and experience the divine?" he asked. He shared things that any person can do towards this cause, things within the reach of the common man, like protesting some denigration we come across, peacefully, but surely.


Dr. Richard Benkin spoke about the current situation of ethnic cleansing and religious persecution of Hindus in Bangladesh . Dr. Benkin is a human rights activist, author and speaker. During his fiery speech, Dr. Benkin not only made all the attendees aware of the plight of Bangladeshi Hindus clearly, but also shared practical things for everyone to do toward this cause. He shared how 9 million Jews had stopped the might of the Russian government. How all Jewish people had got together and collected donations, started protests, held rallies, etc. If 9 million Jews can do that, there are 900 million Hindus! We should be able to do much more. It is our responsibility, no one else will do it. His practical tips included contacting our elected representatives regarding this situation; supporting his organization in whatever way we can; awakening the Hindu community to the plight of Hindus everywhere; holding any protests we can, however small, in front of the Bangladeshi consulate, etc. He shared that he had recently received 3 emails from Anti-Hindus asking him not to attend this Summit so whatever we were doing there must be working. He received spontaneous applause from the audience several times during his speech.


The final speaker, Smt. Bhavna had the audience spellbound as she spoke about the current challenges the Hindu community is facing. She emphasized that the main reason for the conversion and other problems faced by Hindus today is the lack of Hinduism Education. She said that such is the state of Dharma that the so-called scholars and educators of Hinduism today are either non-Hindu and often anti-Hindu, like Wendy Doniger, a professor of Hinduism at the University of Chicago . The solution is to take and impart education about Hinduism that shows its unique spiritual scientific basis. Once anyone knows that, including the youth, like Hindus apply vermillion (kumkum) for its spiritually pure properties that aid concentration, they will be inspired to understand, live and preserve Hinduism. Smt. Shinde also shared how to be a Hindu by promoting spiritual purity in oneself and in the surroundings. How the quickest way to attain the aim of Hinduism, God realisation, is through the grace of the Guru. She ended the speech with a saying that in the current age of Kaliyug there is strength in unity and urged Hindus to make concerted efforts to preserve Hinduism. She shared a success story of how just a few Hindus protesting denigrating books in the academia have been able to stop the books from being given awards or circulated further. The audience applauded section after section of her speech.

The summit concluded with unanimous passing of the following resolutions (some of them will be submitted to our policy makers) :

1.     The Bangladeshi government should be pressured to stop the persecution of Bangladeshi Hindus!

2.     We shall create awareness about the plight of our Bangladeshi Hindu brethren !

3.     Hinduism should be recognized as a major religion as are others like Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Buddhism !

4.     We shall protest every denigration of Hinduism peacefully but surely !

5.     We shall not support any art, product, academic textbook or media that denigrate Hindu concepts and practices !

6.     We shall take Dharma Education ourselves and impart it to our children and others, who are interested in Hinduism !

Tejinder Singh

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