[Assam] Bull!! Fwd: HPI, May 12, 2007

umesh sharma jaipurschool at yahoo.com
Sun May 13 14:12:08 PDT 2007


This debate is Bull-s***??
Hindus Debate UK Temple Bull Issue HPI
 LONDON, ENGLAND, May 12, 2007: HPI has received two press releases today concerning the handling of the government order to slaughter a bull owned by the Skanda Vale Temple in Wales that has tested positive for bovine tuberculosis. Some Hindus have advocated protecting the bull from the order. Following are two opinion pieces on the issue:

>From Jay Lakhani of Vivekananda Centre UK ():
 
"Hinduism in the UK is getting a lot of press coverage in the last few days, but we are sorry to note that it is for wrong reasons. Let us examine the latest "bull" story that is doing the rounds at the moment.

"Since ancient times Hinduism has recognized that reverence for life cannot be confined to the human kingdom, respect for life should be extended to take into account the animal kingdom. This is clearly visible when we look at some of the Hindu Deities, they are usually accompanied by an an imal or a bird thus encouraging the idea of reverence for animal life.

"Some Hindu temples keep cows and bulls or other animals which are well cared for in the holy surroundings of the temple. This is an endearing practice of this religion. Let us now examine the issue of a bull in one Hindu temple which has tested positive to bTB (bovine tuberculosis) skin test. This is an infectious disease which can be transmitted to other animals or even passed on to human beings. There are strict rules in the UK to ensure that when bTB is suspected the local authority can take immediate measures to limit its spread. If the animal is special, then the temple and the local authority should explore all possible avenues to resolve the issue. For example can the animal be quarantined and be allowed to live its natural life? Or be treated in isolation? If so who would supervise the process? Does the local authority have the resources or ability to offer such flexibility, taking into account the sentimental value Hindus attach to this animal. Even in quarantine
 there will be the question of welfare if the said animal becomes critically ill at a later date. There is another long term concern. What happens if the disease somehow manages to spreads to other animals in nearby Welsh farms? Who will take responsible? The temple, the Hindus or the local autho rity?

"If there is even the slightest risk of the disease spreading to other animals or even humans, then the way forward would be to put down the animal. The life of the bull is sacred, but so is the life of other livestock or humans who may (even accidentally) come in contact with this bull. Hindu religion places a great deal of emphasis on the importance of using our rational faculties when deciding religious issues. If we let our emotive faculties get out of hand and override our rational analysis of the issue, we lose credibility. We don't only lose credibility with the establishment, we also lose credibility with our own thinking youth who are puzzled at the manner in which this issue has been blown out of all proportion. The establishment, too, will be puzzled to see Hindus over-reacting on a simple issue of curtailing the spread of bovine disease. They will be thinking, "What were the Hindus doing when the BSE ("mad cow" disease) struck, when millions of cows were being
 slaughtered?" When Hindus go out on a limb to enforce some kind of Hindu agenda on the establishment, one wonders what are they actually trying to achieve.

And from the Hindu Human Rights group in UK (here):

"It has come to the attention of Hindu Human Rights that the Department for the Environment, Food and Rur al Affairs has issued a notification of slaughter of a bull residing in the Skanda Vale Temple due to having contracted bovine tuberculosis.
 HHR calls upon the government to consider the right to life of the animal and to consider every other alternative before acting on its policy of outright slaughter, especially since the voiceless bull, called Shambo, is not intended to enter the food chain and is cared for by the Hindu community in Skanda Vale. If, however every other treatment alternative has been exhausted and the health hazard still remains substantial, then we call upon the Hindu community to reflect on the message of Bhagavad Gita to detach themselves from their emotions and be objective about the situation, and think about the greater good of society."


Umesh
Hindu Press International <hpi.list at hindu.org> wrote: From: Hindu Press International <hpi.list at hindu.org>
Date: Sat, 12 May 2007 17:27:59 -1000
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Subject: HPI, May 12, 2007

Hindu Press International May 12, 2007                 May 12, 2007 
     
   Hindus Debate UK Temple Bull Issue 
   Indo-Pagans Try to Bridget Hindu-Pagan Divide 
   An Ancient Staple, Coconut Oil Now Powers Cars in New Guinea  

    1. Hindus Debate UK Temple Bull Issue HPI
 LONDON, ENGLAND, May 12, 2007: HPI has received two press releases today concerning the handling of the government order to slaughter a bull owned by the Skanda Vale Temple in Wales that has tested positive for bovine tuberculosis. Some Hindus have advocated protecting the bull from the order. Following are two opinion pieces on the issue:

>From Jay Lakhani of Vivekananda Centre UK ():
 
"Hinduism in the UK is getting a lot of press coverage in the last few days, but we are sorry to note that it is for wrong reasons. Let us examine the latest "bull" story that is doing the rounds at the moment.

"Since ancient times Hinduism has recognized that reverence for life cannot be confined to the human kingdom, respect for life should be extended to take into account the animal kingdom. This is clearly visible when we look at some of the Hindu Deities, they are usually accompanied by an an  imal or a bird thus encouraging the idea of reverence for animal life.

"Some Hindu temples keep cows and bulls or other animals which are well cared for in the holy surroundings of the temple. This is an endearing practice of this religion. Let us now examine the issue of a bull in one Hindu temple which has tested positive to bTB (bovine tuberculosis) skin test.  This is an infectious disease which can be transmitted to other animals or even passed on to human beings. There are strict rules in the UK to ensure that when bTB is suspected the local authority can take immediate measures to limit its spread. If the animal is special, then the temple and the local authority should explore all possible avenues to resolve the issue. For example can the animal be quarantined and be allowed to live its natural life? Or be treated in isolation? If so who would supervise the process? Does the local authority have the resources or ability to offer such flexibility, taking into account the sentimental value Hindus attach to this animal. Even in quarantine
 there will be the question of welfare if the said animal becomes critically ill at a later date. There is another long term concern. What happens if the disease somehow manages to spreads to other animals in nearby Welsh farms? Who will take responsible? The temple, the Hindus or the local autho  rity?

"If there is even the slightest risk of the disease spreading to other animals or even humans, then the way forward would be to put down the animal. The life of the bull is sacred, but so is the life of other livestock or humans who may (even accidentally) come in contact with this bull. Hindu religion places a great deal of emphasis on the importance of using our rational faculties when deciding religious issues.  If we let our emotive faculties get out of hand and override our rational analysis of the issue, we lose credibility. We don't only lose credibility with the establishment, we also lose credibility with our own thinking youth who are puzzled at the manner in which this issue has been blown out of all proportion. The establishment, too, will be puzzled to see Hindus over-reacting on a simple issue of curtailing the spread of bovine disease. They will be thinking, "What were the Hindus doing when the BSE ("mad cow" disease) struck, when millions of cows were being
 slaughtered?" When Hindus go out on a limb to enforce some kind of Hindu agenda on the establishment, one wonders what are they actually trying to achieve.

And from the Hindu Human Rights group in UK (here):

"It has come to the attention of Hindu Human Rights that the Department for the Environment, Food and Rur  al Affairs has issued a notification of slaughter of a bull residing in the Skanda Vale Temple due to having contracted bovine tuberculosis.
 HHR calls upon the government to consider the right to life of the animal and to consider every other alternative before acting on its policy of outright slaughter, especially since the voiceless bull, called Shambo, is not intended to enter the food chain and is cared for by the Hindu community in Skanda Vale. If, however every other treatment alternative has been exhausted and the health hazard still remains substantial, then we call upon the Hindu community to reflect on the message of Bhagavad Gita to detach themselves from their emotions and be objective about the situation, and think about the greater good of society."
 

---------------------------------
  2. Indo-Pagans Try to Bridget Hindu-Pagan Divide www.religionwatch.com
 USA, May 9, 2007: (HPI note: The following article appeared in the May edition of Religion Watch.) While there have been efforts to encourage dialogues and cooperation between Hindu and Neopagan groups and leaders as common "indigenous" religions, the project has not had much success (with Hindu critics charging that the two religions have as many differences as similarities; see October, 2001 RW). But now Neopagan practitioners have taken matters into their own hands, forming their own "IndoPagan" rites and communities. An article in the Pagan journal PanGaia (Spring) reports that various Neopagans were worshipping and venerating various Hindu Gods and Goddesses privately for 20 years before they began to recognize and organize themselves, largely through the Internet.
 
In an informal survey distributed to Indo-Pagans, writer Devi Spring finds that Hindu Deities have not been popular in Neopagan or New Age circles, largely because American pract  itioners usually venerate the European Deities related to their own ethnic backgrounds. Among Indo-Pagans there is a wide variety of practices and views on adopting Hindu practices. Some try to separate Hindu rituals from Indian culture and practices.  Others adopt such Indian Hindu practices as ritual worship known as puja, which is conducted in Sanskrit. The need for an authorized Hindu clergy for the performing of rituals is also a divisive issue among Indo-Pagans. But Indo-Pagans are said to be creating a viable subculture, with websites providing resources, such as at: here.


---------------------------------
  3. An Ancient Staple, Coconut Oil Now Powers Cars in New Guinea news.bbc.co.uk
 BOUGAINVILLE, PAPUA NEW GUINEA, May 8, 2007: People on the island of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea have found their own solution to high energy prices - the humble coconut. They are developing mini-refineries that produce a coconut oil that can replace diesel. From police officers to priests, the locals are powering up their vehicles and generators with coco-fuel. Inquiries for the coconut power have come in from overseas, including Iran and Europe.
 
For years, the people of Bougainville have been dependent on expensive fuel imported onto the island. Shortages have often caused many businesses in this part of Papua New Guinea to grind to a halt. High energy costs have not helped either. Increasingly, locals are turning to a cheaper and far more sustainable alternative to diesel. Coconut oil is being produced at a growing number of backyard refineries. Matthias Horn, a German migrant and an engineer, operates one such refinery. "They sometimes   refer to me as the Mad German because how can you do that to your car.. . filling it with some coconut juice that you normally fry your fish in," he said. "The coconut tree is a beautiful tree. Doesn't it sound good if you really run your car on something which falls off a tree and that's the good thing about it. You run your car and it smells nice and it's environmentally friendly and that's the main thing."

Click here to go to a website selling a low-tech coconut oil production system. The process is a very labor-intensive.



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Umesh Sharma

Washington D.C. 

1-202-215-4328 [Cell]

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

http://www.uknow.gse.harvard.edu/index.html

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