[Assam] Harvard Forum discusses Hinduism in California Textbooks

umesh sharma jaipurschool at yahoo.com
Sat Feb 18 09:06:28 PST 2006


Harvard Forum Debates California Textbooks   www.lokvani.com
  http://www.lokvani.com/lokvani/article.php?article_id=3050
  BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, February 4, 2006: Harvard Professor Michael Witzel spoke at a forum defending his position in the California Textbook adoption process. The forum was organized by Dharma Club of Harvard University on February 3. The members of the club, who were discussing the issue of textbooks and role of Professor Michael Witzel in this process, decided to invite the professor to speak to the forum. Krishna Maheshwari, Harvard Business School student and a member of Hindu Students Council spoke on why corrections were necessary. For this informative debate, click "source" above.


Hindu Press International <hpi.list at hindu.org> wrote:
               February 17, 2006 
      
   South Africans Celebrate Maha Sivaratri With Pilgrimage  
   Greek Authorities Have Durga Billboard Removed  
   Whisky Maker Apologizes for Billboard  
   A Village Where Hindus Are Buried, Not Cremated  
   Hindu Professor To Address World Council of Churches Meeting in Brazil  
   Harvard Forum Debates California Textbooks

    1. South Africans Celebrate Maha Sivaratri With Pilgrimage  www.thepost.co.za
  LENASIA, SOUTH AFRICA, February 15, 2006: The annual Sivaratri Yatra undertaken by the Hindu communities of Lenasia and Laudium takes place on Sunday. In Laudium, the procession organized by the Pretoria Hindu Organization will begin at 8am from the Sivan Alayam on a seven-kilometer route that will also pass the Vishnu Mandir before ending at the Seva Samaj Mandir. No water points will be available, so devotees have been asked to carry their own. The Tshwane Metro Police will assist with traffic and crowd control and first aid arrangements have been made. For more information contact Shrichandra Lachman at 082 850 2401. 

In Lenasia, the Yatra organized by the Hindu Coordinating Council will start at 6am at the SVDS Vishnu Mandir in Penguin Street, Lenasia Extension 1, and take in as many temples as possible along the eight-kilometer route before it ends at the Lenasia Shri Satya Sai Centre in Godavari Street, Lenasia Extension 11A. All affiliates of the Council will have floats in the procession, with devotees requested to all wear white clothing. The Johannesburg Metro Police, Lenasia Yuvak Mandal, Lenasia Athletic Club and Saaberie Chisty Ambulance Services will provide support along the way. For information call Kokie Singh on 011 854 3387

  
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    2. Greek Authorities Have Durga Billboard Removed  www.hindustantimes.com
  LONDON, ENGLAND, February 16, 2006: Greek authorities have ordered an Athen discotheque to remove one advertisement of a whiskey brand, which used the image of goddess Durga, after it irked Hindus around the world, a community leader said on Thursday. The offending poster was removed from the discotheque as a result of direct communication from the Greek Embassy in New Delhi to the authorities in Athens to have the poster removed immediately as otherwise there would be a strong reaction from Hindus worldwide, Bimal Krishna Das of the UK's National Council of Hindu Temples said.

  
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    3. Whisky Maker Apologizes for Billboard  www.hindustantimes.com
  LONDON, ENGLAND, February 17, 2006: The controversy over the offending posters at a Disco Bar in Athens showing Durga promoting whisky has finally ended with an apology from the makers of the particular brand, the US-based Southern Comfort Whisky makers. After a quick intervention by the Greek Embassy in Delhi, officials in Athens had got the poster removed. Now the Southern Comforts Vice-President, Media Communications has sent a letter regretting the use of the Hindu goddess. The letter read, "On behalf of Brown-Forman and Southern Comfort, I extend our sincerest apologies for the inappropriate use of the image of the Hindu Goddess Durga. I also promise that we will do everything in our power to prevent any reoccurrence of this offence in the future. Brown-Forman's Marketing, Advertising and Promotional Policy prohibits the use of any religious imagery in the promotion of our beverage alcohol brands. The use of Goddess Durga was in violation of that polic y. This violation
 occurred because of human error -- our employees responsible for approving the promotion simply didn't know that the image was, in fact, a Hindu Deity. We have already taken steps to amend our review process to ensure we don't make this mistake again. The offensive use of the image of Durga was used in one bar in Athens, Greece. The image was removed on Monday night, February 13. We took this action within hours of first learning about the complaints against the use of the image. The image was used on a two-dimensional wooden display featured in the front window of the bar. It was not a poster, nor were there any advertisements featuring the Goddess Durga. We make this point not to diminish the error we made, but rather because we believe it is important for you to know that the image was used in only one place - in the window of a bar in Athens, Greece. ...Thank you for taking time to read this explanation and please accept my apology for the offensive and inappropriate use of the
 image of Goddess Durga in the promotion of Southern Comfort. We will make every effort to ensure that the offending display is burned instead of thrown away."

  
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    4. A Village Where Hindus Are Buried, Not Cremated  www.ibnlive.com
  KENDRAPARA, ORISSA, INDIA, February 12, 2006: Some traditions become so unique to a place that -- despite many generations passing between them -- they die hard. In Orissa's Kendrapara's Rajkanika village, there is an age-old and a unique tradition where Hindus are not cremated but buried after death. In this remote village, nearly 200,000 Hindus do not cremate their dead, like Hindus elsewhere, but bury them. And they have no clue why they follow this custom. "This has been the tradition here. I do not know why we do it, but everyone here does it," Resident, Rajkanika, Snehalata Jena, says. In Rajkanika, Hindus here prefer to build structures on the grave in memory of their loved ones. Some say one of the kings of the state had ordered that that cremation would be the exclusive right of the royal family and the others would have to bury their dead. But another school of thought believes the practice is a fallout of natural calamities striking this region frequently. "This area is
 inundated by flood for four months in a year. The people do not get wood to cremate so they bury," Local sarpanch, Amitabh Karan, says. Whatever be the actual reason behind the practice - that sets them apart from the customs followed by the community in the rest of the country - the people here are continuing with this unique tradition. 

  
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    5. Hindu Professor To Address World Council of Churches Meeting in Brazil  Paras Romoutar
  TRINIDAD, February 13, 2006: Trinidadian-born Dr. Anantanand Rambachan is now in Brazil to address the Ninth Assembly of the World Council of Churches, February 14 to 23. Dr. Rambachan, brother of the mayor of Chaguanas, Dr. Surujrattan Rambachan, is Professor of Religion at St. Olaf College (http://www.stolaf.edu/), of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The assembly, held once every seven years, is the legislative body of the World Council of Churches. He is one of 15 guests from non-Christian religions invited to attend. Dr. Rambachan said that his participation in the Assembly will present him with, "an opportunity to understand better the issues that are important to the Christian Church." "At the same time, the presence and involvement of people of other faiths reminds us all of the multi-religious character of our world and of our need for each other," he said. Dr. Rambachan continued: "As a Hindu scholar, I have an unique opportunity to bring to the attention of the
 gathering some of the concerns of Hindus and to offer a Hindu perspective on various issues. " More than 700 delegates and their advisers (representing 340 Protestant, Anglican, Orthodox, United and other Churches with a combined total of 550 million members) will attend the plenary sessions, hearings and committee meetings that are part of this year's Assembly. Dr. Rambachan terms the assembly, "a powerful reminder of both the tremendous diversity of the Christian tradition and its unity." Dr. Rambachan who has lectured throughout Trinidad and Tobago, and the Caribbean, also read from the Ramayan at the Divali Nagar for several years. He has taught at St. Olaf since 1985, and has worked on interfaith issues for more than 25 years, including a long involvement with the WCC and writing for Current Dialogue, the Council's Interfaith journal. "I represent a Hindu perspective, but one that has been shaped by having grown up in the Western World and teaching within the Liberal Arts
 context of St. Olaf," he added.

  
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    6. Harvard Forum Debates California Textbooks  www.lokvani.com
  BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, February 4, 2006: Harvard Professor Michael Witzel spoke at a forum defending his position in the California Textbook adoption process. The forum was organized by Dharma Club of Harvard University on February 3. The members of the club, who were discussing the issue of textbooks and role of Professor Michael Witzel in this process, decided to invite the professor to speak to the forum. Krishna Maheshwari, Harvard Business School student and a member of Hindu Students Council spoke on why corrections were necessary. For this informative debate, click "source" above.

  
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Umesh Sharma
5121 Lackawanna ST
College Park, MD 20740

 1-202-215-4328 [Cell Phone]

Ed.M. - International Education Policy
Harvard Graduate School of Education,
Harvard University,
Class of 2005
		
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