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Hindus ask Australian museums re-examine procurement process of Hindu collections

Colombo-temple hindu

Colombo-temple hindu (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Hindus are asking all the museums and art galleries of Australia to exhaustively re-examine the procurement process and the provenance of their Hindu art collections, and if proved stolen, return to Hindu temples these originally belonged.

Rajan Zed, who is based in Nevada (USA), welcomed Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s gesture of returning back to India on September five about 900-years-old bronze Shiva Nataraja and granulite Ardhanarishvara statues stolen from temples in India, which were worth millions of dollars.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, stressed that when acquiring new Hindu artifacts in the future, Australian art institutions should make sure that these were not looted from Hindu religious centers and should follow strict due diligence procedures and have transparent provenance. Pillaging of Hindu temples and archeological sites for mercantile greed was not okay, Zed argued.

Rajan Zed pointed out that Australian art institutions should adhere to the principles of the UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import and Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property. The panels conducting the examinations of existing collections should include internal and external art specialists. He or other Hindu scholars would gladly assist if needed, Zed added.

Zed further said that devotees had been worshipping these images of Hindu deities for centuries and, if confirmed as stolen, the world should respect their feelings by making arrangements to respectfully return to the religious institutions these plundered antiquities rightfully belonged to before being stolen.

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


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Zed urges Vatican Synod for sympathetic look at marriage laws


The largest group of Churchgoers are Roman Catholic (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Hindu religious figure Rajan Zed is urging the upcoming October Synod of Bishops at Vatican to exhaustively re-look into the Church marriage laws to make these more relevant to the contemporary society.

The Third Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops will to take place in the Vatican from October 5-19 on the theme “The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization”.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, requested the Synod to deeply, sympathetically and honestly look into the predicament of remarried and divorced Roman Catholics and complexities of the law governing marriage annulments with a forgiving and merciful attitude.

Quoting a study titled “Modeling the decline of religion” by Richard Wiener (University of Arizona, USA), Haley Yaple (Northwestern University, USA), and Daniel Abrams (Northwestern University), which pointed out that “societies in which the perceived utility of not adhering is greater than the utility of adhering, religion will be driven toward extinction”; Rajan Zed suggested to organizations and leaders of various world religions and denominations to make religion more vibrant, attractive and engaging if they wanted to keep the people in God’s fold.

Zed noted that people with “no religion” were increasing and we (religious leaders and organizations) were responsible for their alienation. We as religious leaders should live exemplary lives to add credibility to our preaching. Accept the people who and as they are, Zed added.


Only 22% Americans know a Hindu

English: Bhagavad Gita, a 19th century manuscr...

Bhagavad Gita, a 19th century manuscript. North India. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Only 22 percent Americans know someone who is Hindu, according to a Pew Research Center survey published on July 17.

This number is lowest than any other religion/denomination surveyed.  Catholics rank highest with 87 percent, followed by evangelical Christians, Jews, Atheists, Mormonscial , Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus.

Americans express warmest and more positive feelings towards Jews (average rating 63); followed by Catholics, evangelical Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, etc., the survey adds.

Reacting to this survey findings, Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, urged American Hindus to make outreach efforts towards non-Hindu communities, do charity, invite others to visit Hindu temples/ashrams, offer help to neighbors, be good role models, act for the benefit of all, volunteer, try to stay pure and exhibit warmth and love towards fellow Americans.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out that ancient Hindu scripture Bhagavad-Gita (Song of the Lord) urged us to act selflessly without any thought of personal profit.

Rajan Zed suggested to each American Hindu to take a vow of undertaking at least one charitable project during this year for less fortunate members of the community. Quoting scriptures, Zed stressed that charity was a duty, which should be undertaken with sympathy and modesty.

Headquartered in Washington DC, “Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world”. Alan Murray is President.

Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal. There are about three million Hindus in USA.

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Gandhi in vogue among American celebrities

Gandhi Memorial by Steve Fernie

Gandhi Memorial by Steve Fernie

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Peace icon Mahatma Gandhi appears to be back in vogue among Hollywood and other celebrities.

Saturn award winner actress Kristen Bell (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) was spotted in New York City streets wearing V-neck T-shirt displaying Gandhi’s large picture.

Actress-supermodel Jessica Szohr (Gossip Girl), Oscar winner Angelina Jolie (Changeling), Golden Globe nominated Jessica Alba (Dark Angel), Grammy nominated Rihanna (Good Girl Gone Bad), etc., also reportedly carry Gandhi T-shirts. DJ I-Dee (Isaac DeLima), scratch music prodigy and winner of DMC USA, was seen in a Miami (USA) club wearing neon Gandhi T-shirt.

A prestigious fashion themed exhibition titled “Italian knots: Evolution, language and style of the tie”, organized by Associazione Culturale Colosseum Roma, showing at Embassy of Italy in Washington DC (USA) till July two, displays Gandhi’s picture prominently along with the pictures of the likes of Oscar winner George Clooney (Good Night, and Good Luck).

Acclaimed Indo-American statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, welcoming Gandhi’s rediscovery by American celebrities, urged them also to look deeper into Gandhi’s philosophy of non-violence, his commitment to world peace, and his work for the upliftment of the downtrodden.

Rajan Zed, who is chairperson of Indo-American Leadership Confederation, further said that although Gandhi never set foot on America, yet he was on Time magazine covers in 1930, 1931, and 1947; Time Person of the Year in 1930; and was runner-up for Time Person of the Century. Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) was one of the few men in history to fight simultaneously on moral, religious, political, social, economic, and cultural fronts.

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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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Hindus admire Church of Norway for firm stand on environment

Bremnes Church, Bømlo by Henke

Bremnes Church, Bømlo by Henke

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Hindus have praised Church of Norway for launching a sustainability reform.

Acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, applauded Church of Norway’s powerful stand on environment challenging national and diocesan councils, parishes and local joint church councils, individuals, and Government and the Parliament to make environmental reform efforts.

Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, said that it was commendable for the Church Synod to try to persuade parishes to become “greener” and local joint church councils to be “environmental lighthouses”, individuals to “make a personal climate promise”, Government and Parliament to make the petroleum extraction carbon neutral, etc.

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 says quoting scriptures.

Christianity came to Norway around 1000 AD, from the British Isles, Germany and Friesland. Church of Norway, with about 1,600 churches/chapels, and with King as its constitutional head, can be defined as a State church with an Episcopal and a Synodical structure. 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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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.