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Hindus dismayed over Bank of England’s blatant refusal to withdraw beef-laced banknotes

five-pound-note-1775774_640Special to

Hindus worldwide are upset over Bank of England’s blunt refusal to withdraw £5 polymer banknotes which reportedly contained traces of tallow, despite the serious concerns raised by the Hindu community.

Bank of England (BOE) detailed statement, issued on February 15, said: Bank has concluded that it will not withdraw the current £5 polymer banknotes from circulation and will proceed with plans to withdraw legal tender status of the £5 paper banknotes on 5 May 2017; continue with the proposed launch of the new £10 polymer banknotes in September 2017, using the existing polymer substrate.

It also stated: …it would be appropriate to keep the £5 polymer note in circulation and to issue the £10 polymer note as planned, in September.

Rajan Zed said that it was shocking for the Hindus world over that BOE refused to respect the hurt feelings of the Hindu community and decided to continue with objectionable polymer banknotes.

Most of the large companies world over did extensive consumer research before launching a new product. BOE should have been wise and literate enough to look into the religious sensitivities of its consumers before investing so much money and effort into the production of polymer banknotes, Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out.

Image - Max Pixel

Image – Max Pixel

It appeared that Hindus did not matter to BOE in its public sector equality duty, otherwise how it could justify the negative impact the Hindu community faced with this decision of BOE. Moreover, what happened to BOE claim—“Equality, diversity and inclusion are important to the Bank, and essential to the delivery of the Bank’s business strategy,” Rajan Zed asked.

BOE was the one who made this unwise decision of launching polymer banknotes without researching their impact on the society and now BOE was trying to justify their misadventure by saying that it would impose significant financial costs on the Bank to take these out of circulation, Zed indicated.

Rajan Zed urged BOE Court of Directors Chair Anthony Habgood and Governor Mark Carney to reconsider the BOE decision and stop the circulation of £5 polymer note and halt the production of £10 and £20 polymer notes.

Zed also urged United Kingdom (UK) Prime Minister Theresa May and Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby to intervene.

The £5 polymer banknote, featuring Sir Winston Churchill, was launched on 13 September 2016. The Bank has also announced that the £10 polymer banknote, featuring Jane Austen, is due to be launched in September 2017 and that the £20 polymer banknote, featuring JMW Turner, is due to be launched by 2020.

Products from tallow (rendered form of beef or mutton fat) were reportedly used in the manufacture of the polymer substrate for the £5 and £10 polymer banknotes.

Consumption of beef is highly conflicting to Hindu beliefs and it is certainly banned from entering Hindu religious centers. Cow, the seat of many deities, is sacred and has long been venerated in Hinduism.

London headquartered BOE, founded in 1694, is the UK’s central bank, whose mission is “to deliver monetary and financial stability for the British people.”


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“Walk the talk”: Hindus tell Church of England

fairford church by Holly Hayes

fairford church by Holly Hayes

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Hindus have blamed Church of England for double standards over the issue of environment.

Acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Douglas Williams should clarify where he and the Church stood on the issue of bauxite mining by a company in remote tribal area of Orissa (India) in which Church of England reportedly had a financial stake and which the environmentalists described as devastating to the area environment.

Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, stressed that Church of England should practice what it preached. Its Environmental Policy stated: “The whole creation belongs to God.  As human beings we are part of the whole and have a responsibility to love and care for what God has entrusted to us as temporary tenants of the planet.  We are called to conserve its complex and fragile ecology, while recognising the need for responsible and sustainable development and the pursuit of social justice.”

It has said, “We are not consumers of what God has made; we are in communion with it”, and “…challenge itself and all members of the Church of England to make care for creation, and repentance for its exploitation, fundamental to their faith, practice, and mission…”

Rajan Zed pointed out that Church of England was member of Church Investors Group (CIG), an ecumenical gathering of 37 investors connected with the Churches of Britain and Ireland launched in 1973, which encouraged members to “formulate policies relating to investment that are based on Christian ethical principles” and which seeks to “reflect the moral stance and teachings of our faith in our investment portfolios”.

Zed also asked the CIG to investigate whether Church of England’s investment in this concerned multinational mining company (headquartered in London) met the “ethical principles and moral stance” set-up by CIG. The Church of England has reportedly about 4.1 million dollars stake in this mining company.

According to reports, area tribes view the mountain where mining is proposed as sacred and they have stressed that their traditional and sustainable lifestyle and culture would be disturbed by mining. Environmentalists have asked for a halt in this project arguing that the area is ecologically sensitive and mining would result in displacement, deforestation, affecting water sources, wildlife and ecosystems destruction, water pollution, complicity in human rights violations, etc. Area is said to be home of some endangered species.

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Hindus criticize Pope for being harsh on atheists

Autonomy/Atheism by Zach Stern

Autonomy/Atheism by Zach Stern

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Hindus have criticized Pope for rough handling of atheists and humanists in his long awaited encyclical “Caritas in Veritate” (Charity in Truth) issued in Rome.

His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI wrote in this letter: “…ideological rejection of God and an atheism of indifference, oblivious to the Creator and at risk of becoming equally oblivious to human values, constitute some of the chief obstacles to development today. A humanism which excludes God is an inhuman humanism.”

Acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that as Catholics and Hindus and others had freedom of their belief systems and were respected for their respective choices, and so should be the atheists. A religious leader of Pope’s stature should have been more inclusive.

Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, said that although Pope talked about “right to religious freedom”, “cooperation of the human family”, “truly universal human community”, etc., in this document, he apparently condemned the beliefs of a considerable chunk of world population called atheists, humanists, etc. Who were we as human beings to judge publicly that other humans’ beliefs different than us were “inhuman”?

We applauded Pope Benedict for his call for the “common good”, greater social responsibility, reform of financial bodies, sharing earth’s resources equitably; for taking a strong stand on environment; for criticism of growing divide between poor and rich and abuse of modern technologies; etc., as mentioned in this document but he need to learn to be more inclusive and large-hearted, Rajan Zed argued.

More than two years in the making, this 144-page and over 30,000-word encyclical letter of the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI to “all people of good will” is considered the highest form of papal teaching.

Atheism is disbelief in the existence of God and atheists argue that there is little or no real evidence for the existence of God. 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 and moksha (liberation) is its ultimate goal.

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Hindus back Beatle Paul McCartney’s Meat Free Monday

During the gig Paul McCartney dedicated a song to John, George Linda and all the lovely people by Antoon Kuper

During the gig Paul McCartney dedicated a song to 'John, George Linda and all the lovely people' by Antoon Kuper

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Hindus have thrown their weight behind Beatle Sir Paul McCartney’s call for Meat-Free Monday movement, which aims at persuading public to go vegetarian once a week to slow global warming.

Acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that besides reducing greenhouse gas emissions, it was good for ethical and health reasons also.

Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out that Hinduism promoted strict vegetarianism insisting on ahimsa (not harming living creatures) and non-killing, and renouncing animal slaughter and meat eating. It suggested taking of sattvik (vegetables, fruits, etc.) and avoiding rajasik (eggs, etc.) and tamasik (meat, intoxicants, etc.) foods.

Rajan Zed argued that there was extensive protection of life in Hinduism and ahimsa was a command. All the major religions of the world were opposed to killing, he added.

Zed further said that as eating less meat would help the environment, more celebrities should come out in support of at least staying away from meat once a week, thus contributing to a healthier world.

Other celebrity proponents of idea behind Meat Free Monday reportedly include actors Kevin Spacey and Woody Harrelson; actresses Joanna Lumley and Laura Bailey; singers Sharleen Spiteri, Chris Martin, and Sheryl Crow; comedians David Walliams, Matt Lucas, and Ricky Gervais; media personality Kelly Osbourne; industrialist Sir Richard Branson; poet Benjamin Zephaniah; scientist Sir David King; Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman; socialite Zac Goldsmith; chefs Giorgio Locatelli, Oliver Peyton, Arthur Potts Dawson, Yotam Ottolenghi and Skye Gyngell; food writers Mark Hix and Nigel Slater; restaurateur Oliver Peyton; etc.

To reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the world’s livestock, which was one of the most critical contributors to global warming, McCartney is advocating Meat Free Monday. According to reports, meat is responsible for 18 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions, more than transport’s 13 per cent.

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Shocked Hindus demand UK Parliamentary enquiry into chicken injected with beef

Photo Credit: hddod / poppy

Photo Credit: hddod / poppy

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Perturbed Hindus have demanded Parliamentary enquiry into the reported sale of chicken secretly injected with beef and pork in United Kingdom.

Acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that it was highly disturbing for the people of faith that this illegal act was allowed to go on for quite some time. He demanded immediate halt to the sale of such misleading products and strong action against those found responsible.

Rajan Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, said that for mercantile greed, some businesses played with the sentiments of the faithful. UK should have better enforcement and efficient check system so that illegal acts like this did not happen in the future,

In a study, United Kingdom Government’s Food Standards Agency headquartered in London indicated that proteins from beef or pork were also present in injection powders that claimed to contain only chicken protein. Agency states that it is carrying out further studies and gathering more information in partnership with other European Member States.

London based “The Independent” newspaper says that this fraud was run by firms in three European Union states to fetch a higher price for chicken breasts. “The fraud has been taking place for at least the past two years, and still continues because of inaction by the authorities in three EU states, believed to be Germany, Netherlands and Spain,” it wrote in its June four edition. This adulteration was first detected in UK in 2001.

Cow is held sacred by Hindus and they do not eat beef.

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Hindus ask Canada to urgently organize nationwide interfaith dialogue

Toronto at Night by Benson Kua

Toronto at Night by Benson Kua

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Concerned at the recent religion poll, Hindus have called Canada to organize a nationwide interfaith dialogue as a high-priority.

In view of Maclean’s magazine’s recent poll “What Canadians think of Sikhs, Jews, Christians, Muslims . . .”, which Maclean’s itself calls “disturbing”, acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed today urged Canada government to form a nationwide council for interreligious dialogue, including the leaders of major religions and non-believers. Similar councils should be formed in all the ten provinces, three territories, and ten major cities.

Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, in a statement today in Nevada (USA), said that Canada should introduce study of comparative religion in all public and private schools so that “we could understand each other better, see interrelations and inter-reliance among religions and even resemblance in doctrines.”

Rajan Zed argues that religion is a complex element of our lives and religion comprises much more than one’s own individual experience or specific tradition. God, as a sign of God’s munificence and benevolence, constructively wished presence of different faiths.

Zed pointed out, “We are all looking for the truth and we are all gravitated towards the same direction. In our shared exploration for truth, we can learn from one another and thus come closer to the truth. Dialogue will bring us reciprocal enrichment.  Dialogue helps us triumph over the biases, typecasting, and caricatures, handed down to us from previous generations.”

Rajan Zed listed cities where councils for interreligious dialogue should be formed initially as: Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Vancouver, London, Ottawa, Hamilton, and Quebec City. Later on these councils may be extended to other cities as well.

Canada, besides various Christian denominations, is home to considerable number of Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, aboriginal spirituality, etc., and about 16 percent with no religious affiliation. A 2006 Ipsos Reid Survey of Christian religious attitudes indicates that approximately 17 percent of the population attends a Christian church on a weekly basis. The Government observes Good Friday, Easter Monday, and Christmas Day as national holidays. Ontario funds Catholic religious education, while providing no funding for other religious schools.

Maclean’s, founded in 1905 and based in Toronto, claims to be Canada’s only national weekly current affairs magazine, which enlightens, engages and entertains 2.8 million readers. Kenneth Whyte is Editor-in-Chief. Canada, with Stephen Harper as Prime Minister, is second largest country of the world. 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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Sony agrees to review Hindus’ withdrawal demand of Hanuman video game

Hanuman by ૐ Dey Alexander ૐ

Hanuman by ૐ Dey Alexander ૐ

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Sony Corporation has agreed to look into the issue of objections of Hindus against their newly released controversial “Hanuman: Boy Warrior” video game for PlayStation2.

Replying to the communiqué of Bhavna Shinde of Forum for Hindu Awakening, Keita Sanekata of Sony Electronics Inc wrote, “We will review this issue, and get back to you as soon as possible.”

Advancing the protest spearheaded by acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, Shinde earlier wrote Sanekata to “look into withdrawing this game and publishing an apology, so as to prevent further denigration of our Deity Sree Hanuman and intensifying of our protests”.

Rajan Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, had earlier urged Sony Corporation to withdraw the “Hanuman: Boy Warrior” video game, saying it trivializes the highly revered deity of Hinduism.

Shinde wrote, “Using a sacred figure from Hinduism, namely, the Hindus’ revered Deity, Sree Hanuman, as a character in a video game is highly objectionable to us Hindus worldwide… As an ethical corporation, Sony is expected to treat with respect the objects and concepts held sacred by the one-billion-strong Hindu community.”

Many other Hindu leaders/groups world over have joined the protest, including

Vamsi Krishna of Sanatan Sanstha based in Australia; Hindu Janajagruti Samiti headquartered in India; Jawahar L. Khurana, Chairperson of Hindu Alliance of India; Lila D. Sharma, President of India Heritage Panel; Dharam Loonaa, Executive Director of Universal Society of Hinduism; and Rakesh Nagpal, General Secretary of Shri Ramayan Pracharini Sabha; urging Sony for urgent withdrawal of “Hanuman: Boy Warrior” video game.

Lord Hanuman is greatly revered and his worship is very popular among Hindus and there are numerous temples dedicated to him. Hinduism is the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one billion adherents. Sony, with Howard Stringer as Chairman, is one of the most comprehensive entertainment companies in the world.