Author Archives: Justice For Hindus

[VIDEO] JFH join Bangladeshi Hindu demonstration at White House

Dec 11th, 2017 – Justice For Hindus joined with many other Bangladeshi Hindu and minority  rights groups and nearly 100 demonstrators outside the White House to protest the latest pogroms against non-Muslims in the Islamic State of Bangladesh.  Since late October, Islamic radicals have either vandalized or destroyed nearly 20 Hindu temples along with hundreds of Hindu homes and businesses. The current spate of violence is being blamed on an alleged facebook comment which was said to be insulting to Islam. The event outside the White House was organized by Sitangshu Guha of the Bangladeshi Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council, USA.

The aim of the demonstration was to push the current administration under Obama and the incoming Trump administration to voice for the minority non-Muslims in Bangladesh who are suffering ongoing and intensifying deadly persecution at the hands of radical Islamic extremists. The movement also hopes to encourage the Bangladeshi government to not only protect it’s minority population but also return to a state of secularism, dropping Islam as the state religion.

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“We believe you are a person of great sensitivity and resolve, and would find the situation in Bangladesh with respect to the minority communities deplorable. We would like to request you, if it is possible, to convey our anxiety regarding Bangladesh to the next administration,” said a memorandum submitted by protesters to Mr. Obama on Sunday.

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“The destruction of Hindu households and temples, the usurping of Hindu lands and occasional killing and rape have become a norm in the present day Bangladesh. In fact, in recent weeks, the news of two more premeditated attacks were documented during which the party in power was complicit, and no actions were taken by the authorities to assist or support the victims and their families,” the memorandum continued.

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Protecting Bangladesh from falling into the lap of ISIS is the “most pressing priorities”, said Jay Kansara of the Hindu American Foundation. “Because if Bengal falls to extremism, then there would be no recourse to that,” he said in his brief address to the protesters, which included women and children.

In response to news of the upcoming protest, the Bangladesh ruling party Awami League representative in the US, Dr Siddiqur Rahman, sent a threatening email (Dec 1oth, 2016) to the event organizer Sitangshu Guha for taking a stand with the persecuted Hindus and other minorities. Senior Hindu activist Sitangshu Guha had also organized a similar rally in front of United Nations in November.

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The nation of Bangladesh (BD) is a Muslim majority state which borders India to the Northeast, Islam is the state religion of Bangladesh.  While the minority Hindus of Bangladesh have been experiencing intense and deadly persecution for decades, the intensity of violent crimes against non-Muslims and secularists has escalated recently with the influx of ISIS elements into the state. In the past months, several Hindus and other non-Muslims have been either murdered, injured or humiliated by Muslim citizens with Islamist motives, and many of these crimes have been claimed by ISIS. Here are some examples of recent attacks on minorities in Bangladesh:

Hindu Priest Slaughtered In Bangladesh, ISIS claims responsibility – A 70-year-old Hindu priest was hacked to death in Bangladesh by three suspected Islamic State jihadists who nearly severed his head, the second priest from the community to be killed this year in the Muslim-majority nation which has seen a string of brutal attacks by Islamists on minorities and secular activists. – DNA INDIA

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Hindu Tailor hacked to death in Bangladesh; ISIS claims responsibility – Police in Bangladesh say they have detained three people in relation to the killing of a Hindu tailor, who was hacked to death in the central Bangladeshi district of Tangail. Those detained for questioning include two party members, one from the opposition BNP party and a local leader of the Jamaat e Islami Islamist. – CNN

Hindu teacher in Bangladesh beaten up, made to do sit-ups by holding ears for ‘insulting’ Islam – – Dhaka: In yet another incident of mob justice against minorities in Bangladesh, a Hindu headmaster of a school in Narayanganj was on Friday punished by locals for allegedly insulting Islam. Shyamal was being punished and made to do sit-ups holding ears, said that the punishment was the only way to save the latter from the mob. – Zee News

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Bangladesh killings: Hindu teacher attacked at home – A Hindu college teacher in Bangladesh has been attacked on his doorstep by three men armed with knives, according to local police. He is critically ill in hospital. The assault, in the town of Madaripur, is the latest in a series of recent attacks on religious minorities, secular writers and academics. – BBC

Christian hacked to death in latest Bangladesh attack, claimed by ISIS – Dhaka (AFP) – A Christian was hacked to death after Sunday prayers near a church in northwest Bangladesh in an attack — the latest in a series on religious minorities — claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group. – Yahoo

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Elderly Buddhist monk HACKED to death amid surge of violence in Muslim-majority country – The body of 75-year-old Mongsowe U Chak was discovered today at the isolated place of worship in the Naikkhangchhari village, about 211 miles southeast of Dhaka, where he lived alone. The past few months have seen a huge rise in the number of violent attacks in Bangladesh, where the majority of the population is Muslim. – Express

Two gay rights activists hacked to death in Bangladesh; Al-Qaeda affiliate claims responsibility for attack – Two people, including the editor of a magazine for the transgender community, have been hacked to death in the capital of Bangladesh. A third person, a security guard at the apartment building where the killings took place, was seriously wounded in Monday’s attack in Dhaka, in which six attackers murdered Xulhaz Mannan and Mahbub Tonoy. Mannan was the editor of Rupban, the only LGBT magazine in the country. – Aljazeera

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In the United States, Hindu congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard has started a video and petition campaign to help fight the rise of violent Jihad within the Islamic State of Bangladesh. Her video and petition highlights the ongoing religious cleansing of Hindus from Bangladesh, the decimation of the Hindu population from 18% in 1971 to less than 10% today, expulsions and land grabs, the rape and forced conversions of young Hindu women, and the ongoing attacks on Hindu places of worship. Please support Tulsi’s campaign to end Islamist violence in Bangladesh.

Transcript:

Aloha and Namaste. While we here in the United States may sometimes take our freedoms for granted, Hindus and other religious minorities in Bangladesh are living in perpetual terror. Forced conversions to Islam, rapes and abductions, extortions and land grabbing and forced expulsion, desecration and destruction of places of worship, are just a few of the types of violence that are currently being unleashed. The population of Hindus in Bangladesh has dwindled from 18% in 1971 to a meager 9.7% today. Accounting for the overall population growth during this time this is a net loss of about 53 million Hindus from Bangladesh. That’s close to the total population of a dozen European Union countries or that of more than fifteen U.S. States that has simply vanished from a tiny country about the size of Greece or the State of New York.

Compounding the problem is the rapid rise of violent jihadists in Bangladesh. We’ve seen in the news recently word of terrorist attacks, machete attacks and beheadings of Hindu priests, secularists, bloggers, and intellectuals. Yet there has been no real action taken by the Bangladesh government to quell this festering crisis.

We must stand together with the people of Bangladesh. Please sign this petition as we call on the Bangladesh government to take urgent action against the horrific oppression and terror that plagues religious minorities in Bangladesh every day.

 

 

[VIDEO] JFH interviews Ramesh Jaipal at White House – Pak Hindu Activist

Dec 11th, 2017 – Ramesh Jaipal is a very special Hindu youth activist living in Pakistan.  Despite dealing with overwhelming discrimination and social pressure, Jaipal runs a Hindu and minority rights organization in Pakistan called the Hare Rama Foundation (HRF). HRF’s mission is to mobilize the Pakistani Hindu and minority community on a common platform and to support them to carry out sustainable development and to work with poor and excluded people to eradicate poverty and injustice. Due to his involvement in many Hindu and minority rights causes in Pakistan, Jaipal was invited to America to take a nationwide tour of the Hindu communities here and to garner support for his cause. During this 2017 tour he has spoken before Hindu groups in New York, Dallas, Chicago, Washington DC and Atlanta.  Some of Jaipal’s initiatives in Pakistan have been to advocate for legal recognition of Hindu marriages, the delivery of Hindu land rights, and the abolition of divisive caste laws which unnecessary label certain Hindu communities as “Dalits”, a division which most Hindus do not recognize.

HINDU MARRIAGE BILL

For Hindu families, lack of a legal marriage registration mechanism is a matter of serious concern. Lack of legal recognition of Hindu marriages has resulted in many domestic, social and psychological problems for the Hindu families, especially women and girls. Hindu married couples face numerous problems in travelling and lodging outside of their place of residence. Due to an absence of any marriage registration mechanism, Hindu women do not get any share in their husbands’ property, and their access to health facilities and participation in social, economic and political processes is also minimal. For years Hindu women (already married to Hindu men and having children) have been abducted or forcibly converted to Islam and re-married to Muslim men without their consent. Since there is no documentation to prove the earlier marriage, their husbands or other family members are unable to take up the issue on legal grounds.

Due to the work of the Hare Rama Foundation, In 2016 Provincial Assembly of Sindh passed the Hindu Marriage Bill and Provincial of Punjab and KPK passed the resolution on Hindu Marriage Bill, The National Assembly also passed the Hindu Marriage Bill in September 2016. We hope that soon the Hindu Marriage Bill become a law for Pakistani Hindus.

RESIDENTIAL LAND RIGHTS 

Since the creation of Pakistan, Hindus have been deprived of the rights to land. The Hindus in southern Punjab are currently living in slum houses which are in the ownership of the government or landlords of that area. Hare Rama Foundation (HRF) started a campaign on the land rights issues in 2008. HRF conducted several survey’s on land ownership and found almost 95% of the Hindu community is living in slum areas with no land rights. HRF started lobbying and advocacy for residential land rights for the underprivileged community of Punjab and has organized several consultations, seminars, press conference and rallies to sensitize the media and civil society on the residential land rights issue.

WE ARE ALL HINDUS

Ramesh Jaipal and his Hare Rama Foundation believe that there is no such thing as a “Dalit” (untouchable).  We are all one religion, one people, we are all Hindus.  Jaipal and HRF take issue with the fact that the government of Pakistan divides up Hindus along outdated and unrecognized “caste” lines which don’t exist. Jaipal works to unite all Hindus together under one banner and does not allow himself or others to be labeled as “Dalit” by non-Hindus who are seeking to create rifts in Hindu society.

Bengali Hindus protest at UN on Veterans Day

November 11th, Veterans Day, Bengali Hindus took their well protected freedom of speech to the United Nations headquarters to protest the recent surge in anti-Hindu violence in the Islamic nation of Bangladesh. Since late October, Islamic radicals have either vandalized or destroyed nearly 20 Hindu temples along with hundreds of Hindu homes and businesses. The current spate of violence is being blamed on an alleged facebook comment which was said to be insulting to Islam.  The event was attended by the Bangladesh Hindu, Buddhist, Christian Unity Council, USA; the Bangladesh Minority Rights Movement; Justice for Hindus; Bangladesh Puja Samity; Bangladesh Puja Udjapan Parishad; and many others.

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The protest focused on the Brahminbaria district of Bangladesh where the majority of the attacks occurred, which also included looting and the sexual harassment of Hindu women. The demonstrators demanded the immediate resignation of the Livestock Minister, Mohammad Sayedul Haque, believing that he was involved in instigating riots in Nasirnagar, Brahmanbaria. The meeting also demanded a statement from the Prime Minister of Bangladesh on the issue as well as a formal return to state secularism over Islam. It was announced that, if minister Sayedul Haque does not resign, the organizers will hold a rally in front of the White House in early December and a rally in front of Trump tower, subject to permission.

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The nation of Bangladesh (BD) is a Muslim majority state which borders India to the Northeast, Islam is the state religion of Bangladesh.  While the minority Hindus of Bangladesh have been experiencing intense and deadly persecution for decades, the intensity of violent crimes against non-Muslims and secularists has escalated recently with the influx of ISIS elements into the state. In the past months, several Hindus and other non-Muslims have been either murdered, injured or humiliated by Muslim citizens with Islamist motives, and many of these crimes have been claimed by ISIS. Here are some examples of recent attacks on minorities in Bangladesh:

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Hindu Priest Slaughtered In Bangladesh, ISIS claims responsibility – A 70-year-old Hindu priest was hacked to death in Bangladesh by three suspected Islamic State jihadists who nearly severed his head, the second priest from the community to be killed this year in the Muslim-majority nation which has seen a string of brutal attacks by Islamists on minorities and secular activists. – DNA INDIA

Hindu Tailor hacked to death in Bangladesh; ISIS claims responsibility – Police in Bangladesh say they have detained three people in relation to the killing of a Hindu tailor, who was hacked to death in the central Bangladeshi district of Tangail. Those detained for questioning include two party members, one from the opposition BNP party and a local leader of the Jamaat e Islami Islamist. – CNN

Hindu teacher in Bangladesh beaten up, made to do sit-ups by holding ears for ‘insulting’ Islam – – Dhaka: In yet another incident of mob justice against minorities in Bangladesh, a Hindu headmaster of a school in Narayanganj was on Friday punished by locals for allegedly insulting Islam. Shyamal was being punished and made to do sit-ups holding ears, said that the punishment was the only way to save the latter from the mob. – Zee News

Bangladesh killings: Hindu teacher attacked at home – A Hindu college teacher in Bangladesh has been attacked on his doorstep by three men armed with knives, according to local police. He is critically ill in hospital. The assault, in the town of Madaripur, is the latest in a series of recent attacks on religious minorities, secular writers and academics. – BBC

Christian hacked to death in latest Bangladesh attack, claimed by ISIS – Dhaka (AFP) – A Christian was hacked to death after Sunday prayers near a church in northwest Bangladesh in an attack — the latest in a series on religious minorities — claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group. – Yahoo

Elderly Buddhist monk HACKED to death amid surge of violence in Muslim-majority country – The body of 75-year-old Mongsowe U Chak was discovered today at the isolated place of worship in the Naikkhangchhari village, about 211 miles southeast of Dhaka, where he lived alone. The past few months have seen a huge rise in the number of violent attacks in Bangladesh, where the majority of the population is Muslim. – Express

Two gay rights activists hacked to death in Bangladesh; Al-Qaeda affiliate claims responsibility for attack – Two people, including the editor of a magazine for the transgender community, have been hacked to death in the capital of Bangladesh. A third person, a security guard at the apartment building where the killings took place, was seriously wounded in Monday’s attack in Dhaka, in which six attackers murdered Xulhaz Mannan and Mahbub Tonoy. Mannan was the editor of Rupban, the only LGBT magazine in the country. – Aljazeera

In the United States, Hindu congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard has started a video and petition campaign to help fight the rise of violent Jihad within the Islamic State of Bangladesh. Her video and petition highlights the ongoing religious cleansing of Hindus from Bangladesh, the decimation of the Hindu population from 18% in 1971 to less than 10% today, expulsions and land grabs, the rape and forced conversions of young Hindu women, and the ongoing attacks on Hindu places of worship. Please support Tulsi’s campaign to end Islamist violence in Bangladesh.

Transcript:

Aloha and Namaste. While we here in the United States may sometimes take our freedoms for granted, Hindus and other religious minorities in Bangladesh are living in perpetual terror. Forced conversions to Islam, rapes and abductions, extortions and land grabbing and forced expulsion, desecration and destruction of places of worship, are just a few of the types of violence that are currently being unleashed. The population of Hindus in Bangladesh has dwindled from 18% in 1971 to a meager 9.7% today. Accounting for the overall population growth during this time this is a net loss of about 53 million Hindus from Bangladesh. That’s close to the total population of a dozen European Union countries or that of more than fifteen U.S. States that has simply vanished from a tiny country about the size of Greece or the State of New York.

Compounding the problem is the rapid rise of violent jihadists in Bangladesh. We’ve seen in the news recently word of terrorist attacks, machete attacks and beheadings of Hindu priests, secularists, bloggers, and intellectuals. Yet there has been no real action taken by the Bangladesh government to quell this festering crisis.

We must stand together with the people of Bangladesh. Please sign this petition as we call on the Bangladesh government to take urgent action against the horrific oppression and terror that plagues religious minorities in Bangladesh every day.

NYC Hindu Holidays

Please Donate To The Campaign
http://www.justiceforhindus.org/donate/


NYC Hindu Coalition

Project Managed By:
Vincent Bruno, Vijay Kumar, Avijit Roy, Pinaki Das,
Abhishek Bhaskar & Sivaramakrishnan Nagarajan

Coalition Leaders:
Nisha Ramracha
(Hindus Students Association International)
Sitangshu Guha
(Bangladeshi Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council);
Adity Sharma
(Justice For Hindus)

NYC Hindu Holidays Campaign

2nd Meeting With Community Affairs
17 Aug 2017 – NYC Hindus had a second meeting with the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit, assisted by Mr. Marco A. Carrion and Nick Gulotta.  The group discussed possible ways to improve Hindu community involvement in the City’s education departments.  The group also plans to organize along county and district lines so as to streamline their ability to communicate with local city law makers and administrators.

Hindu Holidays Outside White House
11 Dec 2016 – Close to 100 Hindus gathered outside the White House to request that the federal administration take measures to further include the American Hindu presence in school and civic activities, such as consulting the community on Diwali and Holi education.

Hindu Holidays At NYC Comptroller
2 Nov 2016 – NYC Hindus bring the Hindu Holidays Campaign to Comptroller Scott Stringer’s Diwali party at City Hall. We spoke with both the Comptroller and Assembly woman Neeta Jain.

VIDEO

Hindu Holidays At NYC Hindu Unity Day
Sunday 08/30/15 (Queens, New York) Hindu Unity Day was put on by the Indian American Intellectuals Forum (IAIF). IAIF is one of the groups supporting the Hindu Holidays Campaign. At the event a table was set up for the Hindu Holidays Campaign and hundreds of signatures were collected.

1st Meeting With Community Affairs
Friday, 04/24/15 – A delegation of different Hindu Organizations met with the NYC Mayor’s Office Community Affairs Unit Mr. Marco A. Carrion. Mr. Carrion was assisted by Ms. Halen Ho, Director of the Queens Community Affairs Unit. The delegation handed over a few documents supporting Hindu Holidays in NYC schoolsuntitled2Hindu Holidays Demonstration Outside City Hall
Friday, 04/10/15 – HSAI joined with more than two dozen other organizations and nearly 200 Hindus to demonstrate outside City Hall for the inclusion of Hindu holidays in NYC public schools. The event made it to NY1 News and was covered by the Times of Guyana.

 

WHAT IS DIWALI

Celebration of Lakshmi

Diwali is a 5 night festival which takes place in mid to late autumn, beginning on the last night of the Hindu month of Ashvin and goes on into the Hindu month of Kartika. The highest point of the celebration takes place on the third day which commemorates the birth of goddess Lakshmi, the personification of spiritual, familial and material wealth and success. Hindus also venerate the Hindu god of medicine Dhanvantari on this day since he was born at the same time as Lakshmi. Lakshmi and Dhanvantari’s birth story are found in the Puranas which are anthologies on the backgrounds and histories of the gods, sages and heroes of Hinduism. According to the Agni and Padma Puranas, there was a war in heaven between the demons and the gods and the gods lost this war. The god Vishnu came up with a plan to trick the demons into churning the ocean which would bring up the amrita, a powerful drink which the gods could use to regain their strength and defeat the demons. As the gods and the demons churned the ocean, the amritra was not the only thing to float up from the ocean’s depths; many gods arose from the waters and took the side of the gods against the demons. One of these gods to arise from the ocean was the goddess Lakshmi, who fell in love with and married Vishnu. With the help of the gods who arose from the ocean and the amritra, the gods were able to defeat the demons and regain heaven. Lakshmi’s birth took place at a time when good overcame evil, when light overtook dark, and so the entirety of Diwali is a celebration of the triumph of righteousness and goodness over unrighteousness and wickedness.

The Story Of Ram & Sita In Diwali

To symbolize the victory of light, the festival of Diwali is marked by the lighting of large numbers of diyas (oil lamps) and firework displays. Tales of the triumphs of many Hindu heroes are recounted and celebrated during this time, but the most popular hero theme for Diwali is the story of Ram and his defeat of the wicked king Ravana. Ram was a prince and the 8th avatar (human personification) of the god Vishnu, the lord of preservation who saves humanity from moral and social decay. The story of Ram and his journeys along with his wife Sita are found in the Hindu Epic of the Ramayana. In the Ramayana, Hindus find the virtues of Ram and Sita pitted against the ignobilities of those who rule the world at that time. The story has Ram and Sita exiled to the forest and Sita kidnapped by the dubious king Ravana. As Ram struggles to save his love Sita, he builds an army by gaining the trust of several tribes and races, and finally vanquishes king Ravana and is reunited with Sita. Now a warrior and king in his own right, Ram returns to the kingdom of his exile and regains the thrown, ushering in a golden age of peace and prosperity. According to the Padma Purana, Ram’s return to his kingdom of Ayhodya was celebrate by the mass lighting of diyas, as is done at Diwali, thus the return of Ram to his kingdom and the holiday of Diwali are often viewed as synonymous by many Hindus. Anyone interested in learning more about the story of Ram may want to purchase a copy of the Ramayana by C. Rajagopalachari.

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCE TO DIWALI

PADMA PURANA
The Manifestation Of Goddess Lakshmi

Bhisma expressed his desire to know about the manifestation of goddess Lakshmi.Pulastya replied Once, after being defeated by the demons, the deities went to Lord Vishnu and sought his help. Lord Vishnu instructed them to collect all the medicinal herbs, and put them in the Ksheersagar, so that after the churning of the ocean ambrosia could be retrieved.Lord Vishnu also advised them to use the Mandar mountain as a Churner and the serpent Sheshnag as a rope for churning the ocean.The deities then reached an agreement with the demons according to which both the groups were supposed to unitedly churn the ocean. The great Mandar mountain was uprooted and placed on the back of the tortoise the embodiment of Lord Vishnu. Sheshnag coiled around that mountain and both the ends were held by the demons and the deities respectively. The deities intelligently chose the tail-end, while the demons in their foolishness chose the mouth-end. The venom spilled by Sheshnag destroyed the power and strength off the demons. When the process of Churning began, the first thing to emerge from the sea-bed was Kamdhenu the holy cow. The deities claimed the ownership of this divine cow. Subsequently, Varuni (intoxicating drink) emerged from the sea-bed, which was claimed by the ignorant demons. During the process of ocean-churning, various kinds of things emerged out from the ocean Parijat, sixty crore apsaras, the moon and Kalkut (poison), which were distributed among the demons and the deities. Lord Mahadeva drank the Kalkut when he saw that there was no taker for it.

The churning of ocean also resulted into the manifestation of ambrosia-pot, Uchchaishrava (horse) and Airavat (elephant). Ultimately, goddess Lakshmi manifested herself, seated on a lotus. The deities eulogised her by chanting the mantras of Sri Sukta. The deities were desirous of having goddess Lakshmi on their side, so were the demons, but Lord Brahma instructed Vishnu to accept her as his consort. The demons became furious and snatched the ambrosia-pot from the hands of Sage Dhanvantari. Lord Vishnu then disguised himself as the most enchanting woman and fooled the demons into giving back the ambrosia-pot. Lord Vishnu gave the pot to the deities who became immortal after drinking ambrosia. A tremendous battle was fought between the demons and the deities. But, the demons were defeated in this battle and fled to the netherworld to protect their lives. The deities eulogised Lord Vishnu and returned to heaven.

AGNI PURANA
The Turtle

Many years ago there was a war between the devas (gods) and the daityas (demons) and the gods lost this war. They prayed to Vishnu to rescue them from the oppression of the demons. Vishnu told Brahma and the other gods that they should have a temporary truce with the demons. The two sides should get together to churn the ocean. Vishnu would ensure that the devas benefited more from this churning of the ocean than the daityas did.The truce was agreed upon and the two sides got ready to churn the ocean. The mountain Mandara was used as a churning rod and great sake Vasuki as the rope for churning. The devas grasped Vasuki’s tail and the daityas grasped Vasuki’s head. But as the churning began, the mountain Mandara which had no base, started to get immersed in the ocean. What was to be done Lord Vishnu came to the rescue. He adopted the form of a turtle and the peak was balanced on the turtle’s back.As the churning continued, terrible poison named kalkuta emerged from the depths of the ocean and was swallowed by Shiva. Shiva’s throat became blue from this poison and he is therefore known as Nilakantha, blue of throat. The goddess Varunai, the goddess of wine (sura), came out next. The gods readily accepted her and thus they came to be known as suras. But the demons rejected Varunai and were therefore known as asuras. She was followed by the Parijata tree, a beautiful tree that came to occupy the pride of place in Indras garden. A jewel named koustubha emerged and was accepted by Vishnu as his adornment. Three wonderful animals came out next  the cow Kapila, the horse Ucchaishrava and the elephant Airavata. They were followed by the apsaras, beautiful women who became the dancers of heaven. They were known as apsaras because they emerged from ap (water). The goddess Lakshmi or Sri came out next and was united with Vishnu.Finally, Dhanvantari emerged with a pot of amrita (the life giving drink) in his hands. Dhanvantari was the originator of medicine (ayurveda). The daityas led by Jambha gave half of the amrita to the devas and departed with the remaining half.

But Vishnu quickly adopted the form of a beautiful woman. So beautiful was the woman that the demons were charmed. Pretty lady, they said. Take the amrita and serve it to us. Marry us.

Vishnu accepted the amrita, but he had no intention of giving it to the demons. He served it to the gods instead. There was only one demon who was somewhat clever. His name was Rahu. He adopted the form of Chandra, the moon-god, and succeeded in drinking some of the amrita. The sun-god and the moon-god noticed what was happening and reported it to Vishnu. Vishnu thereupon cut off Rahu’s head with a sword.

But Rahu had drunk the amrita, so he could not die. He prayed to Vishnu and Vishnu granted him a boon. The boon was that occasionally Rahu would be permitted to swallow up the sun and the complained about him. You can see this happening at the time of the solar and the lunar eclipses. People who give alms during such eclipses are blessed.

The gods obtained the amrita and the demons did not. Thus, the gods became more powerful than the demons. They defeated the demons and regained heaven.

PADMA PURANA
Sri Rama’s Return From Lanka

Once, Sages requested Suta to describe about Sri Rama’s return from Lanka. Suta narrated the same tale, which Sheshnag had once told Vatsyayan. Sheshnag said After the killing of demon king Ravana, Sri Rama appointed Vibhishan as the king of Lanka. He then decided to return to Ayodhya on Pushpak-Vimana, which Vibhishan had presented to him. He along with Sita, Lakshman, Sugreev and Hanuman boarded the aircraft and flew towards Ayodhya.The earth looked beautiful from such a high altitude and Sri Rama was continuously describing about the importance of various places over which the aircraft flew. As the aircraft was about to enter the airspace of Ayodhya, Sri Rama recognized Bharata, who was living at Nandigram at that time. Bharata had vowed not to enter Ayodhya till the return of Sri Rama, hence he stayed at Nandigram situated at the outskirts of Ayodhya awaiting Sri Rama’s return. He led an austere life as the result of which he had become weak and feeble.

On seeing Bharata, Sri Rama instructed Hanuman to inform him about his (Rama’s) arrival. Hanuman went to the hermitage of Bharata and informed him about Sri Rama’s arrival. Bharata’s joy knew no bound and he expressed his desire to reward Hanuman for bringing such auspicious news. Bharata then accompanied Hanuman and went to meet Sri Rama. Sri Rama’s heart was filled with grief when he saw Bharata, who looked like a hermit in his Valkal and Kaupin. On the other hand Bharata cursed himself for being the cause of Sri Rama’s miseries. Bharata asked for Sri Rama’s forgiveness and said O Lord! You had to go into exile only because of me. I can never be absolved of my sin.

Sri Rama consoled him and after taking Bharata into his embrace enquired about his welfare. He told Bharata that he had to undergo the sufferings of exile because of his own destiny. You are not at fault. Don’t curse yourself for my misery. said Sri Rama. At last all of them including Bharata boarded Pushpak Vimana and the aircraft took- off for Ayodhya.Continuing with Sri Rama’s tale, Sheshnag said When Sumanth brought the news of Sri Rama’s arrival at Ayodhya, people danced in joy, Preparations started being made for Sri Rama’s grand reception. The whole city of Ayodhya was decorated with rows of lighted lamps.

Sri Rama and Sita alighted from the Pushpak Vimana and both of them were carried in a palanquin to the palace. People stood in queues on both sides of the road with folded hands. Sri Rama blessed them by raising his hand. First of all Rama went to meet Kaikayi who was full of remorse and guilt. Sri Rama consoled her and then went to meet Sumitra to pay his obeisance to her. At last, he went to meet his own mother Kaushalya, who was dying to see him. Kaushalya blessed Sri Rama, Sita and Lakshman. Bharata then instructed the royal astrologers to decide upon an auspicious moment for Sri Rama’s coronation. Thus Sri Rama became the king of Ayodhya. During his reign peace and prosperity prevailed everywhere. People were virtuous and there was no sign of sin.

 

 

 

USA congresswoman calls for protection of Bangladeshi Hindus

Saturday, Nov 5th, 2016

Anti-Hindu violence has reignited once again in the Islamic nation of Bangladesh. Over the past week, some 15 Hindu temples and over 100 Hindu homes were vandalized by crowds of radical Islamists; the attacks are supposedly in retaliation for an alleged facebook comment posted by a village Hindu, the comment was said to be insulting to Islam.


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These attacks are ending off a particularly violent year for the anti-Hindu elements of Bangladesh. Over the past year, there has been an ever increasing ISIS element within Bangladesh which has claimed responsibility for several deadly attacks on non-Muslims, including the murder of elderly Hindu and Buddhist priests, the hacking to death of a Hindu tailor and a Hindu teacher, the murder of two Christians outside a prayer meeting, and the targeted slaughter of two gay rights activists.

These most recent attacks have sparked protests both within and outside the nation of Bangladesh. In Bangladesh, Hindu youth activists have brought their message to the street with large demonstrations demanding that the Bangladeshi government take action to protect the religious minorities of the state. In Queens, New York, members of the Bangladeshi Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council (BHBCUC) staged awareness demonstrations to highlight the plight of Hindus living in their homeland. Could it be possible that Bangladesh cannot uphold its secular values because Islam is the state religion

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In the United States, Hindu congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard has started a video and petition campaign to help fight the rise of violent Jihad within the Islamic State of Bangladesh. Her video and petition highlights the ongoing religious cleansing of Hindus from Bangladesh, the decimation of the Hindu population from 18% in 1971 to less than 10% today, expulsions and land grabs, the rape and forced conversions of young Hindu women, and the ongoing attacks on Hindu places of worship. Please support Tulsi’s campaign to end Islamist violence in Bangladesh.

 

Transcript:

Aloha and Namaste. While we here in the United States may sometimes take our freedoms for granted, Hindus and other religious minorities in Bangladesh are living in perpetual terror. Forced conversions to Islam, rapes and abductions, extortions and land grabbing and forced expulsion, desecration and destruction of places of worship, are just a few of the types of violence that are currently being unleashed. The population of Hindus in Bangladesh has dwindled from 18% in 1971 to a meager 9.7% today. Accounting for the overall population growth during this time this is a net loss of about 53 million Hindus from Bangladesh. That’s close to the total population of a dozen European Union countries or that of more than fifteen U.S. States that has simply vanished from a tiny country about the size of Greece or the State of New York.

Compounding the problem is the rapid rise of violent jihadists in Bangladesh. We’ve seen in the news recently word of terrorist attacks, machete attacks and beheadings of Hindu priests, secularists, bloggers, and intellectuals. Yet there has been no real action taken by the Bangladesh government to quell this festering crisis.

We must stand together with the people of Bangladesh. Please sign this petition as we call on the Bangladesh government to take urgent action against the horrific oppression and terror that plagues religious minorities in Bangladesh every day.

Is Doniger’s student laying a trap for Hindus with “Uttara”?

Wendy Doniger is a controversial Professor of Religion at the University of Chicago; her area of focus is on Hinduism. Doniger’s greatest claim to fame is that in 2014 her book “The Hindus, An Alternative History” was taken out of circulation in India by the publisher (Penguin) after it was revealed that the book contained gross mistranslations of Sanskrit as well and many factual and historical errors.  She was also accused of overemphasizing the sex-positive aspects of Hinduism in what appeared to be a lewd and sullying manner. The book was not BANNED in India as many tried to imply; Penguin voluntarily withdrew the book from Indian markets, likely because they knew ensuing litigation would reveal the shoddy intellectual quality of the work and tarnish their brand. However, Doniger did gain international sympathy from the mainstream media who focused on some of the more emotional and volatile reactions to the book’s inaccuracies which Doniger’s proponents tried to paint as being fundamentalist.

Western academics of the ilk of Doniger are very much aware of the fact that due to centuries of cruel oppression and social demonization that there is a reactive streak in many Hindus, they know Hindus have a tendency to jump at the slightest provocation, and Doniger’s team may very well be looking to use that to their advantage.  The last time Doniger tried to use the reflexes of Hindus by insulting their injuries it blew up in her face, she became the subject of academic criticism and her reputation was tarnished.  Many aligned academics watched as this drama unfolded and perhaps realized that this time they needed to be a little more careful before provoking the wounded tiger of Hinduism for their own gains. One such person could be Arshia Sattar, Wendy Doniger’s PhD student.

Arshia Sattar
PhD in South Asian Languages and Civilizations from the University of Chicago

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Arshia Sattar obtained her PhD in South Asian Languages and Civilizations from the University of Chicago in 1990, Wendy Doniger was her doctoral advisor. Sattar has recently published her new book “Uttara: The Book Of Answers” which seeks to give a feminist, anti-patriarchal perspective on a controversial addendum to the famous Ramayana of Valmiki. The cover of Sattar’s work could easily lead one to believe that she is seeking to raise ire rather than discussion. The artwork of the cover shows Sita (wife of Rama) being consumed by flames while accusatory hands point down at her. The infamous Doniger herself is quoted on the cover: “A terrific read and a revolutionary contribution to our understanding of the Valmiki Ramayana”. Sattar and Doniger know that not everyone in the world is a PhD, and we don’t all have the time to read their works, but what they do likely know is that to the casual observer this looks like an accusation against Hinduism. Namely, that the Ramayana encouraged the burning of women whose chastity was in question and so Hinduism encapsulates barbaric misogyny in its so-called “book of answers”. But maybe Sattar wants Hindus to react, maybe she wants us to lose our cool so that she can surreptitiously prove a point.

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A review of the book on Vagabomb states that Sattar turns the Uttara Kanda, the so-called last and seventh book of the Ramayana, on its head by providing a new and feminist ending. The Ramayana is a Hindu epic which follows the trials and tribulations of a hero named Rama as he travels to vanquish an evil king named Ravana who has kidnapped his wife Sita.  Left without any further explanation, the book review posted on Vagabomb would leave the naive reader to believe that the Ramayana undisputedly ends with the banishment of Rama’s wife Sita because the kingdom is gossiping that perhaps she could have lost her chastity while kidnapped. This is an inflammatory accusation which many nominal Hindus may not be able to quickly challenge on an intellectual level, and so it is possible some could resort to emotionalism in trying to defend their religion. Should some well meaning but unprepared Hindus try to defame the accusers without addressing the accusations, this could play into stereotypes and make it look like Hindus approve of or are trying to cover up for practices which would be viewed as extremely backward to the modern world, and maybe this is exactly what Sattar and her allies want.

Doniger and her like may have learned something from their affair in India with the retracting of Doniger’s book “The Hindus”… if you are going to garner public outrage, you better make sure you have your facts straight. It would seem that despite the incendiary cover art and snarky book reviews, Sattar has made sure that she presents a historically accurate analysis of the Uttara Kanda. In an article published by Sattar in the online zine Scroll India entitled “Why the Uttara Kanda changes the way the Ramayana should be read“, Sattar very concisely conveys the fact that the Uttara kanda where Sita is banished to the forest for presumed impurity is an ideological addition which was inserted some time later by completely different authors. According to Sattar’s analysis, Sita’s banishment was likely introduced by Vishnu sectarians trying to reduce Hindu pluralism into a more manageable and austere semi-monotheism. So even Sattar herself admits that the original Ramayana of Valmiki ended with the lasting love of Rama and Sita and that originally Sita was never banished as the later additions state.

But Sattar’s nuanced approach to the Uttara Kanda leads to many questions, such as if she knows that this version of the story is a later addition, why not make this the obvious topic of the book? Sattar had the option of showing her unbiased intellectual capacity, she could have used her privilege to bring Hinduism’s diversity and ideological fluidity to the forefront, but instead she chose to highlight what could be perceived by outsiders to be misogynistic caricatures of the extremely pluralistic and obviously changeable faith of Hinduism. Her writings would lead non-Hindus to believe that Hinduism needs some kind of feminist re-writing, that it cannot be accepted as it stands.  This is not only inaccurate but it is also malicious on the part of Sattar. Rather than react in any irate fashion to her depictions, perhaps it would be best to spread Sattar’s article as it makes all our points on the issue of the Uttara Kanda for us, that is was a sectarian and ideologically driven addition to the original text which was introduced a great time later from the original writing and by different authors. (SEE: “Why the Uttara Kanda changes the way the Ramayana should be read“).  And if Sattar is looking for a feminist interpretation of Hinduism, she need not invent one herself, she can kindly refer to Indrani’s hymn in the Rig Veda where the Queen of Heaven boldly proclaims herself the be the master of her husband and the ruler of the universe!
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RIG VEDA 10.159
Saci Paulomi.

1. YON Sun hath mounted up, and this my happy fate hath mounted high.
I knowing this, as conqueror have won my husband for mine own.
2 I am the banner and the head, a mighty arbitress am I:
I am victorious, and my Lord shall be submissive to my will.
3 My Sons are slayers of the foe, my Daughter is a ruling Queen:
I am victorious: o’er my Lord my song of triumph is supreme.
4 Oblation, that which Indra gave and thus grew glorious and most high,—
This have I offered, O ye Gods, and rid me of each rival wife.
5 Destroyer of the rival wife, Sole Spouse, victorious, conqueror,
The others’ glory have I seized as ’twere the wealth of weaker Dames.
6 I have subdued as conqueror these rivals, these my fellow-wives,
That I may hold imperial sway over this Hero and the folk.

USA Hindus protest murder of Pakistani Hindu teen at U.N.

SEE ALSO:
Hindu Refugee Camps & Pak Hindus Protest at UN

Aug 1st, 2016 – JFH along with the “Sindhi Academic & Cultural Society of North America” protested the latest targeted murder of a Hindu teen by Islamist mobs in Sindh province, Pakistan.

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In late July, Dewan Sateesh Kumar, 17, was shot dead and his friend Avinas was critically injured when a Muslim mob attacked the youths in a tea stall in the Gothki district. The murder was followed by attacks on Hindu owned shops.

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The anti-Hindu murder and accompanying violence was in response to a supposed desecration of a Quran.  Local Muslims accused a drug addict, Amar Lal, who had recently converted to Islam and was living in a Mosque, of burning pages of the Quran and leaving the book outdoors for others to observe.

SEE: Gulf News – Hindu youth killed, another injured in mob attack in Pakistan

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Pakistan is by its own constitutional definition an Islamic state.  According to the 2nd article of the Pakistani constitution, Islam is the state religion, further provisions state that the President of Pakistan must be a Muslim, and so the theocratic bias in favor of Islam and Muslims in Pakistan is obvious.

For the past 60+ years, Hindus have been experiencing a slow genocide and forced migration within Pakistan, religious cleansing along with exodus of the Hindu population has reduced the Hindu population from 22% in 1947 (time of partition) to less than 2% today.

SEE: Hudson Institute: Cleansing Pakistan of Minorities

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Every year, 100’s of young underage Hindu girls are kidnapped at gunpoint by Islamic gangs, forcibly converted to Islam, and married to Muslim men many times their age. These activities are sanctioned by the Islamic courts within Pakistan who refuse to return these kidnapping victims even when they are found and their underage status is verified.

SEE: Dawn: 1,000 minority girls forced in marriage every year: report

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Hindu youth who oppose Pakistan’s enforced state religion all to often go “missing” and are never seen again. Pakistan’s Islamic blasphemy laws make all religious minorities in Pakistan soft targets for the state’s wanton death penalty.

SEE: Guardian: Pakistan court sentences Christian man to death for blasphemy

The United Nations and the United States must take notice of the ongoing human rights violations against non-Muslims living in Pakistan and reconsider their support and aid to the Islamic Republic.

Big thanks to Subhash Chander for organizing the event! 

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Reinforcing and Fortifying Caribbean Hinduism

 While the entire world may see India as the cradle of Hinduism and a good share of what publicizes itself as Hinduism comes from whatever the media says about India, we in the Caribbean/West Indies especially Guyana, Trinidad and Suriname have forged our own direction for Hinduism. Our ancestors came from India, but every action taken by India Hindus no longer pertains to us. Yes it is true some traditions, ideas and off course the roots of the religion itself remains with us, but we have created our own path. To say we take all our cues from India is to underestimate the achievements and the progress the Indo-Caribbean diaspora has made in the past two centuries. There are many cultures, countries and their diaspora in the West who differ completely from their mother culture in the East. Can we say that Muslims in the West Indies are an exact replica of the ones in the Middle East?

      To say that the receding issues of the caste system, dowry and other social problems that had once crept into India ever pertained to us in the Caribbean is a joke at best. When was the last time people asked for a huge dowry to marry their sons and daughters in the Caribbean? When was the last time parents refused a marriage taking place over caste problems? Do any of us even know which caste we belong too? There are over 3000 so-called “castes” in India most of us are only aware of the Brahmins and it is a common joke in the temples/mandirs whether a pundit is a Brahmin or that you are a Brahmin because you’re a Maharaj. The idea that all of India’s fading social problems exist within our Caribbean Hindu society or that it is the norm is one being propagated by some of our Hindu “intellectuals”. Perhaps they can tell us when was the last time they attended a child marriage in Trinidad or Guyana. These things are not the norm!

      Now we do have other problems that can be addressed, however, other than that, to spread the idea that child abuse, rape and incest pertains to the Indian race in the West Indies is to misinform the entire world about who we are. These things again are not the norm. There is child marriage in America, is this the norm? There is incest in America, is this the norm? Now marrying your cousin in some countries, that is the norm, but not for us. Hindus would consider that disgusting. If one is referring to reforming how Hinduism is taught in the West Indies in general, yes it should be done, but it has to be about reforms that are relevant to us and our social issues. We cannot correct our problems by using a sensationalized version of India’s data sheet.

     I do believe Hindus do not have a proper education in Hinduism. Not only do they not understand the Shastras, they do not have a sound education in our history and our social issues. Hindu children are not properly educated form young on the basics, at least, the principles, core beliefs, rituals, scriptures and their meaning. I believe deep inside of every Hindu they may “understand” on some subconscious level what their ancestors conveyed to them, they may understand the liberal, all-encompassing and non-exclusive nature of Hinduism, but if they are not able to articulate these ideas properly missionaries, politics and other tactics will leave us in shambles eventually.

    Since other religions practically have a two thousand year head start on us and we need to catch up and we need to do it fast. This means we have to stretch our hands and resources far and wide, and we must do them all at once. Simply educating Hindus is not going to work. We need our voices and our issues to be heard. We need to come together and hold many conferences. We need to challenge missionary work and the right of Hinduism to exist. Hindus are like a school of fish, even if we are educated we can maneuver and swim in the other direction, but if we don’t learn to stand and defend our position sooner or later another net will be cast and it is we who will suffer. When the historic Temple by the Sea was vandalized in Trinidad did we come out in numbers to protest? No. When Dr. Ravi Maharaj, a Hindu, was murdered in Trinidad and his killers plainly mentioned they did it because he was an “Idol Worshipper” and it was their duty to do so, did anyone make the slightest reaction? No. But every Hindu on Facebook had something to condemn Sat Maharaj on his recent comments about letting Hindus work their own issues without outside intervention. Therefore the world continues to see us as easy prey and cowards! This is what I mean by politicizing Hinduism. We need to be loud or any struggle for change will be a farce. However, Hindus feel that by raising their voices they will be called racists and bigots. Yes, Hindus are afraid of any type of confrontation. We think that by keeping quiet we will be left alone, but we are wrong. This is the easiest way to go, silently! Others say Hinduism is all-encompassing and within it “politics is already subsumed” However, so is knowledge itself, but do Hindus display it? No. Just because something is assumed to be there does not mean it is being practiced. The Dhanurveda is our Veda based on the art of war and politics, how many of us have read it or are aware of it? Astrophysics exists, are we all aware of its basic principles? Their logic does not hold.

      Hindus are afraid, we have been taught to be afraid and we are continuously being preached to about peace and understanding. This “peace” is always at the expense of Hindus. Why is it Hindus cannot speak up when we were denied a TV station in Trinidad? I will say it loud and plain, this is racism towards Indians and Hindus since Hinduism is seen as the ultimate “Indianism.” Today Muslims have more rights than anyone else in the West because of their continuous involvement in politics. Where are the Hindu politicians of America? Are they meditating about the politics subsumed in Hinduism? How Hindus appear to the world and the fate of this religion will depend on their political development whether in the West Indies or India. Case in point, as Hindus and Indians gained political power in Trinidad suddenly Hindu schools began to spring up in masses from mud huts to concrete buildings. Hindu issues are a product of their lack of political progress and strong mentality to control their own destiny. We are always depending on others or waiting for someone to give us the thumbs up. Muslims, Christians and converted Hindus are more likely to proudly speak on behalf of their religion than Hindus. That comes from fear of being victimized as a Hindu.

     Trying to eradicate Hindu social issues is not the only problem. Many of these problems do not even stem from Hinduism itself, but from Western and Islamic colonial subjugation and deliberate manipulation of the Hindu systems in order to wipe out the religion. According to Thomas Babington Macaulay, he wanted to make Hindus feel their religion was inferior and they did this by giving them a British education, filled with false histories and commentary about Hinduism from its inception to its heroes, all fabricated in a way so they will become, “a truly dominated nation,” as he clearly stated to British Parliament. Hinduism is not wiped out yet, but the other sides have succeeded many times over. Even the educated Hindu who wants to reform Hinduism thinks that caste, dowry and child marriage are products of Hinduism. Our original system called varna was manipulated to mimic the backward peasant-surf system of the Europeans. Where was the child marriage before Hinduism was adulterated? Hinduism speaks of Rama going into the forest for his period of education and recommends marriage after 25 years of age. Child marriage came into the equation when desperate Hindus found the only way to save their daughters and keep Hinduism intact was to marry them off young before they were abducted during Islamic rule. Ask the suffering Hindu Pakistanis today, history is repeating itself in front of our eyes. They say they have no choice, but to marry their children young because this means less of a chance they will be abducted and forcefully converted.

    Anyone, even with the best intentions, preaching that caste, child marriage and certain other issues stem from Hinduism is repeating a well-constructed Western version of Hinduism. It is the blame and shame game. These persons are also a product of the Western biased colonial version of Hinduism still being taught in the west and even to Hindus in India. They are charvaka Hindus (foreign-educated) even if they do not know it. The idea that our religion is so damaged and flawed was purposefully put there to shame us when it was willfully manipulated. However, yoga, karma, dharma, Ayurveda, basically all the good things are conveniently not Hindu, but some invading “Aryans”, if such a thing existed, gave it to us. Our pundits repeatedly tell the young congregation these practices belong to the world even if it is Hindu. They are sending our future generations out to battle with no weapons for self-defense when they keep preaching this poison. Apparently nothing except negativity is Hindu which leaves the concept in the Hindu mind, why be Hindu? While I do believe West Indians are generally not so educated in Hinduism in the sense they cannot articulate, give definitions or provide a formal discourse on it, there are many who can. Again, those who are educated need to speak up, they need to come forward and not be afraid. We are looking down the barrel of a gun.

     Before we take up any kind of action to protect and propagate our Dharma we need deep self-introspection into our priorities and our course of action. We need to ask who are our enemies? What do we need to do to bring respect to Dharma and protect the Hindu community? What is the exact course of action? What has worked for others that we can utilize? Fortunately, unlike India we are not weighed down by centuries of maladapted and foreign manipulated social customs. Hinduism does not need any reformation, but Hindus need reformation in their thinking. What Hinduism does need is a little fortifying and reinforcement. I am not limited to simply my writing. My protests, clubs, the organizations I support and my very mannerisms reflect my Indianisms and my commitment to Hinduism.

Satya Sanatan Dharma ki Jai!

Vassan Ramracha.

 

Protest At United Nations For Bangladesh Hindus – 26 Jun 2016 [Video]

Sunday, 26 June 2016, a combination of Bangladeshi and Hindu organization protested outside the United Nations to highlight the ongoing and increasing killings of minority non-Muslims and secularists in Bangladesh, as well as the infiltration of ISIS elements into the nation.

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The event was attended by Justice For Hindus, The Bangladesh Minority Rights Movement, USA Committee For Secular & Democratic Bangladesh, Gonojagaran Mancha Combined Cultural Alliance, Maitre Foundation, Sampriti Manch, Udichi Cultural Groups, SriSriThakur Anukulchandra Satsang USA and others.

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The nation of Bangladesh (BD) is a Muslim majority state which borders India to the Northeast, Islam is the state religion of Bangladesh.  While the minority Hindus of Bangladesh have been experiencing intense and deadly persecution for decades, the intensity of violent crimes against non-Muslims and secularists has escalated recently with the influx of ISIS elements into the state.

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In the past months, several Hindus and other non-Muslims have been either murdered, injured or humiliated by Muslim citizens with Islamist motives, and many of these crimes have been claimed by ISIS. Here are some examples of recent attacks on minorities in Bangladesh”

Hindu Priest Slaughtered In Bangladesh, ISIS claims responsibility – A 70-year-old Hindu priest was hacked to death in Bangladesh by three suspected Islamic State jihadists who nearly severed his head, the second priest from the community to be killed this year in the Muslim-majority nation which has seen a string of brutal attacks by Islamists on minorities and secular activists. – DNA INDIA

Hindu Tailor hacked to death in Bangladesh; ISIS claims responsibility – Police in Bangladesh say they have detained three people in relation to the killing of a Hindu tailor, who was hacked to death in the central Bangladeshi district of Tangail. Those detained for questioning include two party members, one from the opposition BNP party and a local leader of the Jamaat e Islami Islamist. – CNN

Hindu teacher in Bangladesh beaten up, made to do sit-ups by holding ears for ‘insulting’ Islam – – Dhaka: In yet another incident of mob justice against minorities in Bangladesh, a Hindu headmaster of a school in Narayanganj was on Friday punished by locals for allegedly insulting Islam. Shyamal was being punished and made to do sit-ups holding ears, said that the punishment was the only way to save the latter from the mob. – Zee News

Bangladesh killings: Hindu teacher attacked at home – A Hindu college teacher in Bangladesh has been attacked on his doorstep by three men armed with knives, according to local police. He is critically ill in hospital. The assault, in the town of Madaripur, is the latest in a series of recent attacks on religious minorities, secular writers and academics. – BBC

Christian hacked to death in latest Bangladesh attack, claimed by ISIS – Dhaka (AFP) – A Christian was hacked to death after Sunday prayers near a church in northwest Bangladesh in an attack — the latest in a series on religious minorities — claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group. – Yahoo

Elderly Buddhist monk HACKED to death amid surge of violence in Muslim-majority country – The body of 75-year-old Mongsowe U Chak was discovered today at the isolated place of worship in the Naikkhangchhari village, about 211 miles southeast of Dhaka, where he lived alone. The past few months have seen a huge rise in the number of violent attacks in Bangladesh, where the majority of the population is Muslim. – Express

Two gay rights activists hacked to death in Bangladesh; Al-Qaeda affiliate claims responsibility for attack – Two people, including the editor of a magazine for the transgender community, have been hacked to death in the capital of Bangladesh. A third person, a security guard at the apartment building where the killings took place, was seriously wounded in Monday’s attack in Dhaka, in which six attackers murdered Xulhaz Mannan and Mahbub Tonoy. Mannan was the editor of Rupban, the only LGBT magazine in the country. – Aljazeera

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The Bangladeshi government has not only routinely failed to protect non-Muslim and secularists citizen in Bangladesh but also promotes Islamic nationalism. While Bangladesh claims to be a “secular democracy”, according to the Bangladesh constitution, Islam is the state religion, referencing both “Allah” and the “Koran”, and it is the state’s objective to: “consolidate, preserve and strengthen fraternal relations among Muslim countries based on Islamic solidarity.”  – Hindu American Foundation Report

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Until 2012, Hindu living in Bangladesh were subjected to discriminatory land practices and seizures of property under what was known as a series of “Enemy Property” and “Vested Property” acts. Under these discriminatory acts, more than 1 million Hindu households and millions of acres of Hindu owned lands were seized. While the Bangladesh government has since promulgated acts (2012 Vested Property Return Act) to return lands or compensate Hindu families, these measures have not been fully implemented and Hindu lands continue to be seized illegally by Islamist groups. – Hindu American Foundation Report

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After the election of the Bangladesh Nation Party (BNP) in 2001, partly leaders and lawmakers instigated a 150 day pogrom against the Hindu minority which lead to 500,000 Hindus fleeing Bangladesh to take refuge in India, with more than 1000 Hindu women either being raped or gang-raped. Form 2013 to 2014, more than 1,500 Hindu temples were demolished, 302 minorities were killed, 5,050 minorities families were displaced from their homes, more than 3,000 Hindu homes were attacked, 585 shops were either attacked or looted, and nearly 300 rapes of minority women were reported. Islamist groups in Bangladesh have also begun creating “hit lists” against secular bloggers, many of whom have been killed. – Hindu American Foundation Report

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Despite the influx of ISIS and accompanied violence into Bangladesh, the nation has also had a long tradition of its own homegrown Islamic terrorist outfits such as the Jamaat-e-Islami (JEL).  JEL seeks to create a “Taliban style” regime in Bangladesh and garners recruits and funds through its control of Islamic schools (madrassas) and its student wing, the Islami Chhatra Shibir (ICS).  Both JEL and ICS have been accused of interacting with and supporting designated terrorist groups such as the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami Bangladesh (HuJI-B), the Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) and Al-Queda. In 2015, the JEL-ICS brought riots to the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka, setting off some 20 bombs; an ICS crude bomb factory was discovered in the same year. Despite these activities, the Bangladesh government has not designated JEL or ICS as terrorist organization and has been unable or unwilling to curtail their activities. – Hindu American Foundation Report

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 The message brought to the United Nations by Bangladeshi and Hindu groups was clear, Bangladesh needs to curtail both its homegrown Islamic terrorist groups, as well as take measures to prevent the infiltration of ISIS within its borders. Bangladesh claims to be a secular democracy, but this is obviously not possible so long as Islam continues to be the state religion. Bangladesh must protect the non-Muslims and secular minorities within its borders, curtail terrorists organizations within the nation, and join the civilized world by repealing the Islamic elements of its constitution.

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The Siege On The Hindu Mind Inside Hindu Temples

I recently wrote an article detailing Hinduism under attack in Trinidad due to some outdated law being used to justify the demonization of Hinduism disguised as an attack on a Hindu leader. While this might be an outright political attack there are others creeping slowly and might be more dangerous. The worse attack is one from inside and one you do not see coming. The other day a Hindu Temple hosted a Sai Baba event, it was called a Sai Satsang. Inside the mandir/temple they sang Bhajans and then began to sing Qaseedas which are like Muslim hymns in Trinidad and Tobago. The danger in propagating Sai Baba and even Hare Krishna ideologies in Hindu temples has a neutralizing effect on the Hindu mind. These two groups do not subscribe to the name “Hindu” and many times refused to be called that. They teach all Gods are the same and all religions are one and many things to that effect. It prepares Hindus to be defenseless when it is only Hindus who are being taught to accept other Gods and other ways using what appears to be Hindu methods, Hindu clothes and other Hindu elements to make it seem harmless. I do not have a problem with trying to create peace and harmony and acceptance, in fact, Hinduism teaches this but, it needs to be done in a community or cultural center. Can Hindus sings Bhajans inside mosques and churches? What would happen if Hindus approached a mosque or church to do this? What would happen if even Sai Baba and Hare Krishna approached a mosque or church to conduct an interfaith session and sing praises to Gods they do not worship inside their places of worship? They wouldn’t try, the answer would be no.

Why is it that peace must always be at the expense of Hindus? Hindus are always the ones who have to convert in an interreligious marriage, always the ones who have to compromise in a society, bend over backwards and scratch everybody else’s back. We can show tolerance but, time for it to be reciprocated and it cannot be done inside a Mandir which represents the backbone of our beliefs. When they have reached inside the Mandir premises that signifies domination, being conquered and what will follow? Our sons and daughters have already been taught to accept this as a form of God? It will be easier to discard the Hindu religion when a coercive spouse-to-be puts their foot down and says they are not allowed to worship our Gods so the Hindu must convert if this is ok with them. We are not giving our children and the future of our religion a fighting chance.

Keep in mind it is mostly Hindus who have to convert in an interreligious marriage. It is mostly Hindus who have to compromise bringing up their children as another faith and are always being victimized as Idol Worshippers. It is easier to use Hindu Gods and Goddesses to advertise and Hindu concepts for branding in the West and Hindus barely complain. Hindus have always been easy going but, we always get taken advantage of. However, the day we begin to stand up for ourselves, everything we have done to create peace, at our expense, will quickly be forgotten and we will be left to defend ourselves because the others will have convenient amnesia. We will be called racists and called out for obstructing the peace. Apparently we are the only people on this planet who never experienced being victims of getting conquered, having genocide unleashed upon us, our temples smashed to pieces and our wealth looted. History books have forgotten us, conveniently. Abrahamic religions spread across the earth by conquering, enslaving and converting by tricky means however, they are always the victims, never us.

The Abrahamic religions believe it is their duty to convert “Idol Worshippers” like us, when will Hindus learn there is a line to be drawn when it comes to multiculturalism? When will Hindus learn we cannot expect tolerance and we alone are expected to dish it out? When will Hindus learn Abrahamic religions believe in exclusivity, this means it is their God and no other can be worshipped. Maybe they will learn when it is too late. We always have our hands open and get slapped in the face. If tolerance is so easy to come by Hindu Trinidadians and Guyanese should ask the Hindus in India about the mosques built over the site where Lord Rama and Lord Krishna were born and the refusal of the other community to move their house of worship built over the most sacred sites in Hinduism. Why? Because they conquered and dominated us and why should their hard work be so easily undone just because we asked?

 

Vassan I. Ramracha.