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Hindus world over laud Obama for including “Hindus” in his inaugural address

Haring vs Obama by Mike Dumlao

Haring vs Obama by Mike Dumlao

Special to Earthpages.org

Hindus world over have applauded American President Barack Obama for including “Hindus” in his inaugural address yesterday in Washington DC.

Obama said in this address, “We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus – and non-believers.”

Acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, commended Obama for recognizing Hindus and for his inclusiveness approach.

Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out that serious and honest interfaith dialogue was the need of the hour. Religion was the most powerful, complex and far-reaching force in our society, so we must take it seriously. And we all knew that religion comprised much more than our own particular tradition/experience. In our shared pursuit for the truth, we could learn from one another and thus could arrive nearer to the truth, Zed stressed.

Rajan Zed offered Obama wholehearted Hindu support in his worldwide efforts in the areas of human improvement, peace, ecological responsibility, social & economic development, etc.

Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksha (liberation) is its ultimate goal.


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Hindus commend Albania Orthodox Autocephalous Church for embracing environment cause

Vlora - albania by kÇ

Vlora - Albania by kÇ

Special to Earthpages.org

Hindus have praised Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania for promoting  “respect towards the environment” and calling over-exploitation and contempt towards nature an “unforgivable abuse.”

Acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, applauded Archbishop His Beatitude Anastasios’s powerful stand in this regard: “…cultivation of a religious conscience, with evident interest in the natural environment, constitutes the basic element of glorification and gratitude towards the Creator of the Universe.”

Faiths coming out in support of the environment was a remarkable signal, Rajan Zed said and urged all world religious leaders, religions and denominations to openly bless the environmental causes. Ancient Hindu scriptures, especially Atharva-Veda, were highly respectful of mother nature, he added.

We may believe in different religions, yet we share the same home-our Earth. We must learn to happily progress or miserably perish together. For man can live individually but can only survive collectively, Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, says quoting scriptures.

Christianity came to Albania before the fourth century AD. Autocephalous Church has launched a “Program for the Protection of the Environment” whose purpose is “protection of the eco-system, managing solid waste, etc.” Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksha (liberation) is its ultimate goal.


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Hindus demand “media watchdog” to monitor media bias against European Roma

Kosovo Refugees in Skopje by Maxim Heijndijk

Kosovo Refugees in Skopje by Maxim Heijndijk

Special to Earthpages.org

Hindus have demanded immediate setting-up of an independent “media watchdog” by European Union to monitor the frequent media discrimination and bias against Roma people in Europe, who migrated from India many centuries back, and who reportedly face apartheid like conditions.

Acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, alleged that instead of highlighting their plight, media of Europe often strengthened the deeply embedded prejudice and social exclusion against Roma by recycling the stereotypes, thus leading the public to believe that they were some kind of sub-humans.

Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, said that this proposed “media watchdog” should see that media acted responsibly and ethically on Roma issues. Did the fairness ideals taught in journalism schools only apply to non-Roma population in Europe, he asked.

Rajan Zed further says that it is like an undeclared apartheid in Europe where Roma reportedly continue to face institutional discrimination and severe maltreatment and everybody admits it and knows about it except the media. Media has apparently failed in their moral obligation to bring the continual sufferings of Roma to the desired limelight.

Zed argues that on the other hand, real Roma issues appear to be non-subjects for the European media and there is apparently excessive under reporting or selective reporting. Media often dehumanizes them, treating them as social outcasts undeserving the same treatment and respect as due to other Europeans, and is many times hostile.

Moreover, media being powerful and capable of creating stereotypes in the minds of some audiences, European media persons should be retrained to handle Roma related issues, which should be dealt with very carefully. European Union should support Roma media and staff of media outlets should at least reflect the percentage of European Roma population, Rajan Zed stresses.

Zed suggests that media instead needs to help and highlight the plight of Roma, who reportedly regularly face racism, substandard education, hostility, social exclusion, joblessness, rampant illness, inadequate housing, lower life expectancy, unrest, living on desperate margins, language barriers, stereotypes, mistrust, rights violations, discrimination, marginalization, appalling living conditions, prejudice, human rights abuse, racist slogans on Internet, unusually high unemployment rates, etc.

Rajan Zed points out that European media should work to end the centuries of severe discrimination and abuse of Roma and attempt at achieving their social inclusion. It is simply immoral to let this around ten million population of Europe continually suffer and face human rights violations. Media should show more responsibility in handling complex Roma issues. Their alarming condition is a social blight for Europe and the rest of the world.

It is moral obligation of European media to take care of its frequently maltreated population of Roma people who unfortunately reportedly continue to suffer from brazen structural discrimination, Zed adds.


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Internationally distinguished fashion designer dedicates clothing line to Hindu statesman Zed

A model showing Mendrilla's "The Little Conch" line of clothing in a Zagreb (Croatia) fashion show, which she has dedicated to acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed

A model showing Mendrilla's "The Little Conch" line of clothing in a Zagreb (Croatia) fashion show, which she has dedicated to acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed

Special to Earthpages.org

Los Angeles (USA), December 31:

Mandali Mendrilla, an internationally distinguished Croatian fashion designer based in USA, has dedicated a line of designer shirts from her latest atelier collection to acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed.

“This collection is a symbiosis of the traditional American T-shirt and the historical Indian kurta and combining them was an attempt to unite the spirits of two continents,” Mandali pointed out in a statement from Los Angeles (USA) today.

Mandali says that the sparkling for the clothing line “The Little Conch: a tribute to His Grace Rajan Zed” came from Zed’s demonstrated courage and capacity for inspiring in others the urge of interfaith dialogue and Mandali’s meeting with him in the recent past. “I felt very proud of Mr. Zed’s spiritual accomplishments and him constantly attempting to reach across lines of difference through prayer”, Mandali stressed.

Influenced by the spirit of peace icon Mahatma Gandhi’s message, Mandali used khadi cloth in these shirts. The designs on the shirts were inspired by the American Pop art and the Orissan Patachitra folk school of painting from India.

The motif of this designer line includes a conch symbolizing purity and spirituality and mango leaf decorated canvas resembling American flag, Mandali explains.

The 32 years old charming Mandali has already exhibited her work in Italy, Croatia, USA, and India and in 2009, she plans to take her shows to Japan and United Kingdom, besides repeating Croatia, Italy, and India.

Mandali finds inspiration in the living installation called world and its abundance of moods, characteristics, relationships and actions of time. The goal of her work is to bond with its beings and inspire happiness and love. She thinks humans can use clothes to help communicate, explore, enhance and discover their inner selves rather than consider dressing as an external act of duty.

Rajan Zed, president of Universal Society of Hinduism, has recited groundbreaking first Hindu opening prayer in United States Senate in Washington DC, besides historic first Hindu prayers in various state legislatures of USA. European Parliament President Hans-Gert Pottering recently invited him for a meeting to promote interfaith dialogue. He has been awarded “World Interfaith Leader Award”. He is one of the panelists for “On Faith”, a prestigious interactive conversation on religion produced jointly by Newsweek and washingtonpost.com.


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Hindus stress participation of world religious leaders in Copenhagen UN Climate Conference

Nyhavn, Copenhagen by Bobby

Nyhavn, Copenhagen by Bobby

Special to Earthpages.org

Leaders of major world religions and denominations should be invited to actively participate in the ambitious “Copenhagen COP 15″ United Nations Climate Change Conference in December 2009, Hindus emphasize.

Acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a release in Nevada (USA) today, said that with world religious leaders, religions and denominations openly blessing the environmental causes at “Copenhagen COP 15″, implementation of the global climate agreements reached at this conference would be more effective and smooth.

Zed, who is the president of Universal Society of Hinduism, said that religion was the most powerful and far-reaching force in our society and could prove very influential in handling concerns like ecological responsibility. Faiths jointly coming out in support of the environment would be a remarkable signal, he added.

Senseless use of natural resources, extravagance, greed, etc., were some of the major causes of this ecological crisis and these could be effectively dealt with by world religions. Current trend of one percent increase in emissions every year, if left unchecked, would be catastrophic for the environment and humanity, Zed warned.

Rajan Zed pointed out that ancient Hindu scriptures, especially Atharva-Veda, were highly respectful of mother nature.

Conference of the Parties (COP), Fifteenth session, of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) to be held at Bella Center in Copenhagen (Denmark) from December 7-18, 2009, will enter into a binding global climate agreement applicable to period after 2012.

Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion followers. Moksha (liberation) is the ultimate goal of Hinduism.


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Lauding Pope’s call on fighting poverty, Hindus urge religious camaraderie on poverty front

Pope Benedict XVI visits Australia for WYD 2008 by Sam Herd

Pope Benedict XVI visits Australia for WYD 2008 by Sam Herd

Special to Earthpages.org

Welcoming the Pope’s call for “global solidarity” to fight against poverty, Hindus have urged all religions to come together on this issue and make poverty eradication a moral priority.

Acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that poverty was a monumental crisis and biggest challenge facing world today and it should be dealt at an emergency level. Religions joining hands on this issue would be the most effective way to deal with it.

Zed, who is the president of Universal Society of Hinduism, agreed with His Holiness Pope Benedictus XVI’s message under “Fighting Poverty to Build Peace” on World Day of Peace (January one) posted at Vatican website, which said, “…we all share in a single divine plan: we are called to form one family in which all – individuals, peoples and nations – model their behaviour according to the principles of fraternity and responsibility.”

Rajan Zed pointed out that world religions should develop a global partnership to stamp out hunger and poverty, promote gender parity, battle AIDS and other diseases, bring about environment sustainability, and ensure universal basic education. As all the faith traditions told us to help the poor, so we as world’s religious leaders should give priority to the needs of the poor.

Zed stressed that religions needed to redouble their efforts in poverty eradication as poverty and suffering were more pervasive than previously estimated. Economics, politics, and markets should also take an ethical approach. Pope was very right when he said, “…peace can be built only if everyone is assured the possibility of reasonable growth”.

Rajan Zed further said that problems like severe malnutrition; spiraling food prices; ineffectual government programs; lack of access to medical facilities, potable water, energy sources, sanitation; illiteracy; etc., required to be immediately dealt with world over. Poverty had lead to many other societal problems, which we faced today.

Zed warned that world should wake up to the magnitude of the emergency of poverty. Raising people above the poverty line was an achievable task. It just needed strong political and social will and should be treated as a crisis.

Religion was the most powerful and far-reaching force in our society and could prove very influential in handling common concerns like human improvement, peace, ecological responsibility, social & economic development, etc., Rajan Zed added.

Pope Benedict heads the Roman Catholic Church, which is the largest of the Christian denominations. Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents. Moksha is the ultimate goal of Hinduism.


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High-level European Roma Summit at Brussels failed to show concrete results, Hindus assert

Gypsy Collectors

Originally uploaded by D LeRoy

Special to Earthpages.org

The much-publicized first-ever high-level European Roma Summit held in Brussels (Belgium) on Tuesday failed to deliver any concrete results to improve the plight of Roma (also called Gypsies) people of Europe, who live in apartheid like conditions, Hindus emphasize.

Rajan Zed, acclaimed Hindu and Indo-American statesman, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that although the participants in the Summit, organized by European Commission, agreed that Roma faced deeply embedded institutional discrimination and social exclusion, but no solid steps came out of it to improve their condition. The Summit even did not criticize the recent allegedly discriminatory measures of Italy against Roma, which some have portrayed as ethnic profiling.

Describing the Summit as just a “sweet talk”, Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, said that Summit failed to secure commitments for actions, which was one of its main aims.

Zed said that what was the use of keynote addresses, video presentation, display, policy panels, etc., (which formed agenda of Tuesday’s Summit) to highlight the plight of Roma people, while it was very clear from previous reports/researches/memorandums/etc. that they have been facing persistent discrimination for long time. If somebody was ignorant about their plight, he/she just had to visit one of their encampments and their sufferings were easily visible to the naked eye.

Zed further says that on paper, Roma are fully covered by EU legislation, which prohibits discrimination on grounds of ethnic origin in employment, social protection and education as well as access to goods and services, including housing. But in reality, Roma reportedly regularly face racism, substandard education, hostility, social exclusion, joblessness, rampant illness, inadequate housing, lower life expectancy, unrest, living on desperate margins, language barriers, stereotypes, mistrust, rights violations, discrimination, marginalization, appalling living conditions, prejudice, human rights abuse, racist slogans on Internet, unusually high unemployment rates, etc.

European Union and countries of Europe, instead of just discussions like this Summit, should act immediately with clear deadlines to end the centuries of severe discrimination and abuse of Roma and achieve their social inclusion. It is simply immoral to let this around ten million population of Europe continually suffer and face human rights violations, Rajan Zed says and adds that instead of repression, provide them social inclusion.

Zed points out that a comprehensive, uniform, sustainable, cohesive and integrated Europe-wide policy with strategic focus; supported by effective implementation, firm commitment and strong political will is needed to improve the Roma plight. In the past, policies on paper to tackle Roma discrimination and exclusion had proved very weak to deal with their day-to-day sufferings.

Rajan Zed stresses that European Union and member countries should show more responsibility in handling complex Roma issues. Roma inclusion and integration programs need to immediately take off the ground providing them with better health and education avenues, higher economic opportunities, sources of empowerment and participation, etc. Their alarming condition is a social blight for Europe and the rest of the world.

It is like an undeclared apartheid, Zed argues explaining the Roma situation, and adds that it is moral obligation of Europe to take care of its frequently maltreated population of Roma people.

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