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Hindus and Dalits Likely to organise Annual Festival in Sri Badrakaliamman Temple at Chennai

The Collector in Nagapattinam, S. Palanisamy, has fastened the ban on Mandagapadi, a week-long annual festival of the temple that was about to start on August 8, 2016

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Badrakaliamman Temple. Image source: subaonline.net

August 7, 2016: A major step has been taken for the upliftment of the Dalit community in Chennai and this year, in 2016, Hindus from Nagapattinam’s Kallimedu village have considered the demand of Dalits from Pazhag Kallimedu to host ‘mandagapadi’ at Sri Badrakaliamman Temple, Chennai, but there is a dispute regarding the date.

The Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment (HR&CE) had proposed four proposals to the caste Hindus, which stated that the customs of the 800-year-old temple could not be altered or changed, which the caste Hindus rejected.

The Collector in Nagapattinam, S. Palanisamy, has fastened the ban on Mandagapadi, a week-long annual festival of the temple that was about to start on Monday, August 8, 2016; as earlier three parties failed to break the deadlock over the right claimed by Dalits of Pazhag Kallimedu to host mandagapadi for a day, mentioned The Hindu reports.

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After various failed attempts on a compromise between the two communities, the festival has been banned. Image source: The Hindu
After various failed attempts at the compromise between the two communities, the festival has been banned. Image source: The Hindu

After the festival was banned by S. Palanisamy, both sects of the same Hindu community discussed numerous times regarding the issue, to reach the decision to somehow conduct the festival.

Members from Hindu Makkal Katchi (HMK) have been staying in the village to derive a conclusion. HMK reports, maximum people from both the sects wanted the festival to be held. The State president Tamilisai Soundararajan from BJP had also visited the village and met representatives from both the communities on August 1 to appeal them to come to an agreement with each other and organise the festivities peacefully, and in brotherhood.

A member of the Hindu group, A. Sivasubramanian, told The Hindu that some people from the group have agreed to make Dalits a part of the festivities so that the festival can be held as per the decided schedule. The Hindu caste group did not wish to be called anti-Dalit. He believes that a peace meeting could have been held before the complete ban on the festival.

Another round of meeting between Hindus and Dalits. Image source: The Hindu
Another round of meeting between Hindus and Dalits.
Image source: The Hindu

A group of people from both Hindus and Dalits is likely to meet the Collector on August 10, in order to negotiate the cancellation of the event.

A representative of the Dalit community, K.Tamilselvam believes that the administration should hold another formal talk to lift the ban on the festival. It is indicated that Hindus are strongly considering to allow Dalits to celebrate Mandagapadi on Saturday, August 13.

– prepared by Chetna Karnani, at NewsGram. Twitter: @karnani_chetna

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Only when people come together despite their differences in caste, or religion can a festival be a celebration.

  2. That picture in this article – is it real ??? There is 1 group of people seated on chairs & another group addressing them seated on the floor !!

    This is year 2016 in modern Chennai for crying out aloud! India claims to be the IT capital of the world with the brightest minds discovering the latest technologies of this world, but the mentality of some of its people hasnt changed very much has it ?

    I’d really to be proven wrong & my allegations baseless. Somebody please correct me as looking at the pic really disgusts me 🙁

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Diwali Puja 2017: Everything You Need To Know About Timings, Muhurat

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Ganesh-Lakshmi are worshipped
Ganesh-Lakshmi are worshipped by devotees on the day of Diwali. Pixabay

New Delhi, October 18, 2017: Diwali is around the corner and everyone is busy with the preparations. On the eve of Diwali, the most important ritual is to perform Ganesh-Lakshmi Puja during the right muhurat (time) and with the right rituals(vidhi).

Here are some of the things you must take care of:

Ganesh-Lakshmi Puja Rituals

It is important that on the day of Diwali, you wake up early in the morning and pay homage to your ancestors and worship gods of your family. It is advised to observe a day-long-fast until the Ganesh-Lakshmi puja is performed in the evening.

Kalash pujan
Ganesh-Lakshmi Puja kalash. Wikimedia

Preparations For Ganesh-Lakshmi Puja

Families can embellish their home and office with Asoka and Marigold flowers, banana and mango leave on the day of the puja. Mangal Kalash covered with unpeeled coconut should be placed at both side of the main entrance of your house.

For puja preparation, place at the right hand side a red cloth on a hoisted platform and put in idols of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesh on it after gracing them with jewellery and clothes. Once this is done, Navgraha gods must be placed on the left hand side on a hoisted platform under white cloth. Prepare carefully nine slots of Akshata (unbroken rice) for placing Navgraha on white cloth and sixteen slots of wheat must prepared for the red cloth. You should perform puja with all the important rituals.

Idols of Ganesh-lakshmi are being worshipped on the eve of Diwali. Wikimedia

Timings (Muhurat) for Lakshmi Puja

Pradosh Kaal muhurat is the time during which puja needs to be performed. It starts after sunset and lasts for about 2 hours and 24 minutes. Goddess Lakshmi will stay in your home if you perform Lakshmi puja in the Pradosh Kaal when it is Sthir Lagna time. Sthir refers to ‘immovable.’  Before you do the puja, make sure you find out Pradosh Kaal (time) for your city or area. It is important that you know the right time to perform the puja.

– prepared by Siddheshwar Sharma. Twitter: @MancSiddheshwar

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Hinduism is Not an Official or Preferred Religion in Any Country of The World, Says a New Report

Though Hinduism is the third largest religion of the world, it is not the official state religion of any country according to a Pew Research Center Report

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Hinduism
Hinduism is not an official religion of any country in the world. Instagram.
  • No country has declared Hinduism as its official state religion – despite India being an influential Hindu political party
  • Hinduism is not an official or preferred religion in any country of the world, according to a Pew Research Center report.
  • 53% of 199 nations considered in the study don’t have an official religion
  • 80 countries are assigned either an “official religion” or “preferred religion”

Nevada, USA, October 16: Hinduism is the primeval and third largest religion of the world with about 1.1 billion followers of moksh (liberation) being its utmost desire of life. India is among the category of nations where the government do not have an official or preferred religion.

Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank headquartered in Washington DC that aims to inform the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world.

The report states that a country’s official religion is regarded as a legacy of its past and present privileges granted by the state. And a few other countries fall on the other side of the gamut, and propagate their religion as the ‘official religion’, making it a compulsion for all citizens.

It adds up on the context of allocation that more than eight-in-ten countries (86%) provide financial support or resources for religious education programs and religious schools that tend to benefit the official religion.

Hinduism
Islam is the most practiced official religion of the world. Instagram.

Commenting on Hinduism, the report states:

In 2015, Nepal came close to enshrining Hinduism, but got rejected of a constitutional amendment due to a conflict between pro-Hindu protesters and state police.

Although India has no official or preferred religion as mentioned in the Constitution,it was found by PEW that in India the intensity of government constraints and social antagonism involving religion was at a peak. “Nigeria, India, Russia, Pakistan and Egypt had the highest levels of social hostilities involving religion among the 25 most populous countries in 2015. All fell into the “very high” hostilities category,” the report added.

As per the 2011 census, it was found that 79.8% of the Indian population idealizes Hinduism and 14.2% practices to Islam, while the rest 6% pursuit other religions.

While Hinduism stands up with the majority, Article 25 of the Constitution of India contributes secularism allowing for religious freedom and allows every Indian to practice his/her religion, without any intervention by the community or the government.

Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, President of Universal Society of Hinduism, applauded the Hindu community for their benefaction to the society and advised Hindus to concentrate on inner purity, attract spirituality towards youth and children, stay far from the greed, and always keep God in the life.

According to Pew, these are “places where government officials seek to control worship practices, public expressions of religion and political activity by religious groups”.

-by Bhavana Rathi of NewsGram.  She can be reached @tweet_bhavana

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Paintings Which Beautifully Depict Scenes From Ramayana

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Ramayana
Ram lifting the bow during Sita Swayambar. Wikimedia Commons.

Ramayana, the ancient Indian epic which describes the narrative of Ayodhya Prince lord Rama’s struggles. The struggles include- exile of 14 years, abduction of his wife Sita, reaching Lanka, destruction of the evil. It is strongly ingrained in the Indian culture, especially, the Hindu culture since a long time. Hindus celebrate Diwali based on the narratives of Ramayana.

The story of Ramayana gives out the beautiful message that humanity and service to the mankind is way more important than kingdom and wealth. Below are five paintings describing the scenes from Ramayana:

1. Agni Pariksha in Ramayana

Ramayana
Agni Pariksha. Wikimedia.

When Lord Rama questions Sita’s chastity, she undergoes Agni Pariksha, wherein, she enters a burning pyre, declaring that if she has been faithful to her husband then the fire would harm her. She gets through the test without any injuries or pain. The fire God, Agni, was the proof of her purity. Lord Rama accepts Sita and they return to Ayodhya. 

2. Scene From The Panchavati Forest

Ramayana
scene from the panchavati forest. wikimedia.

The picture describes a scene from the Panchavati forest. It is believed that Lord Rama built his forest by residing in the woods of Panchavati, near the sources of the river Godavari, a few miles from the modern city of Mumbai. He lived in peace with his wife and brother in the forest.

3. Hanuman Visits Sita

Ramayana
Hanuman meets Sita. Wikimedia.

Hanuman reaches Lanka in search of Sita. At first, he was unable to find Sita. He later saw a woman sitting in Ashok Vatika, drowned in her sorrows, looked extremely pale. He recognized her. After seeing the evil king, Ravana making her regular visit to Sita, he hid somewhere in the Vatika. After Ravana left, Hanuman proved Sita that he is Rama’s messenger by showing her his ring. He assured her that Rama would soon come to rescue her. Before leaving Lanka, he heckled Ravana. Agitated by Hanuman’s actions, Ravana ordered to set Hanuman’s tail on fire. With the burning tail, Hanuman set the entire city on fire.