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Pablo Picasso and the art of living

Pablo Picasso – Les Demoiselles d’Avignon via Flickr

Pablo (Ruiz y) Picasso (1881-1973) was a Spanish artist, born at Málaga.

In 1901 Picasso painted in Montmartre, Paris, during his so-called blue period (1901-4). This produced a series of satirical, tragic pictures focusing on the poor, the anguished and the lonely.

Next was the pink period (1904-6). A celebration of life, this period depicted young nudes and that great 20th century spectacle, the circus.

Picasso’s innovative bent lead him toward Cubism (rendering three-dimensions without perspective). The most critical step in creating this new school was probably taken with the completion of Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907).

Read More

 11 Hidden Secrets in Famous Works of Art (livescience.com)

 Rayo Withanage – An apology (telegraph.co.uk)

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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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Religions and nations should encourage religious pluralism, Indo-American statesman Zed emphasizes

“Canada World Religion Day Stamp”
originally uploaded by Kianoosh Raika
at flickr.com, CCL

Special to Earthpages.org

World needed to work on religious pluralism, acclaimed Indo-American statesman Rajan Zed stated in Nevada (USA) today.

Zed, who is the president of Universal Society of Hinduism, said that lot of work was being done in this direction but still lot more needed to be done. World religious leaders should come out and join hands to chalk out a universal roadmap to freedom of thought and religion and respect for each other’s traditions.

Citing from recently issued International Religious Freedom Report 2008 by Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, Zed said that in this 21st century world, it was sad to note that there were still instances of regimes seeking to control religious thought/expression, state hostility toward minority religions, state failing to address intolerance, discriminatory legislation to favor majority religions, discriminatory practice against certain religions in some countries.

But it was uplifting to learn that some nations were making efforts to promote dialogue, conducive environment to promote religious coexistence, and tolerance, Zed added.

Zed applauded the remarks of His All Holiness Archbishop Bartholomew, Patriarch of Orthodox Christian Church, who while addressing the European Parliament recently, spoke of promoting peace, tolerance, and the importance of accepting minorities, and said, “”We are all brothers and sisters on this beautiful planet” and “there is room for everyone.”

Rajan Zed pointed out that world religions and nations should promote mutual, peaceful, harmonious and productive co-existence, actively engaging in inter-religious dialogue. For bridge building, we needed to undertake constructive dialogue. World needed deeper, more inclusive, and broader understanding of religion, which was a complex element of human life and was very powerful and must be taken seriously.

We are all searching for the truth in different ways and should work on establishing a significant common ground to achieve agreed upon mutually desirable goals, Zed says.


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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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Featured Comment – H. H. Swami Ramakrishnananda on The Love Guru

Photo: B Balaji

Photo: B Balaji

Dear Respected Producers, Directors and Distributors of the The Love Guru:

Please accept my humble reverences. As the founder of the Ramakrishnananda Yoga Vedanta Mission and as a minister and preacher within the Sanatana Dharma religion, I wish to express my most vehement repudiation of your film The Love Guru.

A few days ago I had the opportunity to see the trailer for this movie and found that it offends the most intimate religious feelings of millions of Hindus in the United States and in the world. It is a clear expression of a colonialist mindset, complete with an unfounded superiority complex that considers religions to be true only if they are based on the Holy Bible, a practice that marginalizes religions such as the sacred Sanatana Dharma as a sect or cult. Portraying rabbis, priests and pastors as the only authentic religious leaders demeans the holy preachers of Hinduism. This movie is another offense against our religion, a clear expression of anti-Hinduism, which grow more common and acceptable in the media and on the internet.

I wish to express my denunciation of anti-Hindu attitudes wherever they may appear.

Your ever well wisher
H.H. Swami Ramakrishnananda

Founder of The Ramakrishnananda Yoga Vedanta Mission
headquarters 96 Ave. B, New York, USA

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Zoroastrians invite Hindu leader Zed for Unity Walk

World Religions

Originally uploaded by nataliesap

Special to Earthpages.org

In a remarkable interfaith gesture, Federation of Zoroastrian Associations of North America (FEZANA) has invited acclaimed Hindu leader Rajan Zed for Unity Walk in Washington DC in September next.

Behram Pastakia of FEZANA, in a communiqué to Zed, said, “We should connect to seek commonalities where we can work together in civil society to take the message of not just tolerance, but respect for “the other” in this short sojourn of life, so that we can be among those who strive to create harmony and peace on earth.”

FEZANA wants to replicate this Unity Walk in other cities in North America and has asked Zed for his input in this regard. It has also sought Zed’s opinion in shaping programs around the theme of supporting human rights on the 60th anniversary of Universal Declaration of Human Rights in December next.

“Your work in the changing religious landscape of North America, is well known…”, Pastakia said in this communiqué to Zed.

Zoroastrianism, the religion of the followers of prophet Zoroaster/Zarathustra, is the world’s oldest prophetic religion. FEZANA serves as coordinating body for 25 Zoroastrian associations in USA and Canada.

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