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Hindu Council of Australia wholeheartedly supports a recent action taken by the Government of India to grant the citizenship of India to Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhist, Parsi and Christens from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan who migrated before 1st Dec 2014.
The reason for inclusion of these communities is due to the religious persecution they face in those countries. This action meets a long-standing demand of the minority communities from neighbouring countries who migrated to India to avoid persecution due to their religion.
India has a long tradition to give shelter to people who have been prosecuted due to their religious belief starting from Syrian Christians, Parsi from Iran and Jews. The decision of the Indian Government is entirely in line with this tradition of welcoming religiously prosecuted minorities.
People will appreciate that this amendment will apply to only prosecuted religious minorities of these countries and has no impact on the Indian Muslims as rightly said by Shahi Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid.
Indian constitution guarantees secular and democratic governance for all Indians irrespective of their race and religion. Hindu Council of Australia strongly urges the Australian community and Government to support the action of the Government of India. (Hindu Council of Austraila)
Indian-American Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi seeks action to combat Hate Crimes against Religious Minorities in US
Washington, May 2, 2017: Indian-American Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi has urged Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to use his complete authority in combating hate crimes against religious minorities in the US.
Krishnamoorthi made the appeal in a letter signed by 68 others.
The Congressman’s letter comes after Kelly in a Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus meeting said that there was a need for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to focus more on white supremacist organisations and hate groups, the American Bazaar Online reported on Tuesday.
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“I was heartened to hear Secretary Kelly’s recognition of the threat posed by hate groups and other forces of intolerance,” Krishnamoorthi said.
“This letter urges the Secretary to act on that knowledge and use the resources of his department to combat both hate crimes and their root causes.”
Krishnamoorthi wrote in the letter that many Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Jews, and other religious minorities in the US are living under the fear for their safety and requested him to protect their interests.
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Kelly, during his congressional meeting, said: “One of the first things I noticed from the last administration is that there was not enough focus, in my view, on white supremacy organisations or hate organisations? this intolerance is truly disgusting.”
In the letter, Krishnamoorthi pointed out the attacks on Indian Americans and the desecration of Jewish cemeteries. He specifically pointed to the Kansas incident in February, where Indian American engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla was shot dead.
Krishnamoorthi said the time has arrived to take decisive action to put an end to the hate crimes, and asked Kelly to assure the US people their basic rights to live freely in the country. (IANS)
Bangladeshi Hindus Protest in Front of White House, urge Obama to protect Persecution of Religious Minorities
December 12, 2016: In front of the White House, Bangladeshi Hindus have held a peaceful protest to urge outgoing US President Barack Obama to protect and to stop the “persecution” of religious minorities in the Muslim-majority country.
A memorandum submitted by protesters to Obama said,”We believe you are a person of great sensitivity and resolve, and would find the situation in Bangladesh with respect to the minority communities deplorable. We would like to request you, if it is possible, to convey our anxiety regarding Bangladesh to the next administration.”
According to PTI, “Organised by Hindu-Buddhist Christians Unity Council, USA dozens of protesters conveyed their deep concern regarding the allegedly passive role of the Bangladeshi government in coming to the rescue of the affected or in taking legal measures against the perpetrators.”
“The destruction of Hindu households and temples, the usurping of Hindu lands and occasional killing and rape have become a norm in the present day Bangladesh. In fact, in recent weeks, the news of two more premeditated attacks were documented during which the party in power was complicit, and no actions were taken by the authorities to assist or support the victims and their families,” the memorandum said.
Last month, a similar demonstration was held by the same organisation in front of the Trump Towers in New York.
“President-elect Donald Trump had attended a charity event before the election to raise funds for the terrorism. Bangladeshi Hindus who are victims of terrorism. I am sure, he would take up our cause too,” said protester Sitangshu Guha.
Jay Kansara of the Hindu American Foundation said that protecting Bangladesh from falling into the trap of ISIS is the ‘most pressing priorities’.
He said in his brief address to the protesters, which included women and children, “Because if Bengal falls to extremism, then there would be no recourse to that.”
The memorandum alleged that the present government of Bangladesh occasionally spouted words of secularism, but in reality was following a path of ethnic cleansing that was instituted by Pakistan almost seventy years ago.
“We would like to appeal to you to impress upon the Bangladesh government to consider the following pathways in order to end the minority cleansing and persecution in Bangladesh,” the memorandum said.
Nabendu Bikash Dutta, president Hindu Buddhist Christians Unity Council, USA said, “Bangladesh was liberated from Pakistan with the great hope that there would be no communal feeing or communal force, but in the last seven years we see as many as 273 cases have been filed against the attack on minorities in Bangladesh.”
A Bangladeshi cafe was attacked in July by terrorists which killed 22 people including an Indian girl.
by NewsGram team eith PTI inputs
Nov 25, 2016: In California, on June 9, a law lets patients suffering from terminal illnesses to end their lives with help from a physician. This incident let to several debates as to whether human life should be prolonged against the desire to die peacefully as well as with dignity.
Jainism is one of the most ancient religions of India and it teaches a way of life, unique in its own manner. Jainism gives importance to the lives of all beings-living and non-living. Apart from India there is prevalence of Jain faith in other parts of the world as well. It is believed that it was a religious reformer named Mahavira who brought the concept of Jainism amidst common men and women. Mahavira, like Buddha, was born in a royal family, as well. But after the passage of his parents, he left the life of the royal household and embraced the life of an aesthetic.
Jainism is rooted in the concepts of certain values:
- Ahimsa or non-violence
- non-attachment to worldly possessions
- Abstaining from stealing
- Chastity or celibacy
The last vow was added by Mahavira himself and these principles are called mahavirbratas after him. Mahavira gave Jainism its present structure and today there exists so many followers of this religion.
Jainism believes that the soul is immortal and ever-lasting. It cannot be destroyed but it can be transformed from one body to another, one state to another, like energy. Therefore, their life is not built around the worldly pleasures; instead, it is based upon their acceptance of the eternal and inevitable truth of life-death. They do not assume death to be a morose welfare, yet, it is supposed to be the departure of the soul from one body to another. They are firm believers in karma. According to Jainism, there is no particular God or Creator; the actions of men truly define what their fate is going to be.
Recently, the Jain concept of fasting unto death was greatly debated upon. It has been officially recorded that over 200 Jains, fast unto death every year when their urge to live is gone. Not only in India, but it is a widely followed ritual among Jains all over the world. This according to them is their “rite to final passage”. This concept of entitlement to a peaceful departure from the living state of the body is distinctly different from the concept of “right”.
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They do the needful to free the soul who has become tired of that particular life, in that, they see no sin. However, the legal system in India has viewed this as a violation of the law against suicide when a young lawyer called Nikhil Soni filed a case against this ritual or practice of the Jains in 2006. The verdict came out last year, in the favour of Soni. Soon after the verdict came out, the Supreme Court withdrew its verdict and has yet not decided whether to criminalise the practice of “rite to final passage” or not.
Debate still continues on whether “rite to final passage” should be granted by the law or should it be considered as a punishable offence. No matter what the verdict is, it is true that a religion is as unique as its beliefs. Scrapping away their practices, which inflict no harm upon innocents, is probably infringing upon their freedom of religion.