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The world famous Ramlila in Varanasi will not be held this year due to the pandemic but the tradition will not be broken either.
Wooden puppets will enact Ramlila in the holy city this year and the same will be broadcast on the social media site every day from September 30 to October 30.
The initiative for this was taken by the Mahant of Sankat Mochan, Prof. Vishambhar Nath Mishra’s family.
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The puppets will wear masks of various characters and their names will be put up as sub-titles.
These wooden masks are also on sale and those who want can enact Ramlila within their family too, said one of the organizers.
Ramlila has different platforms in Varanasi.
The Ramlila in Kashi takes place in Ramnagar which is world famous.
Apart from this, Bharat Milap of Nakataiya and Nati Tamarind in Chetganj are included in the Lakkha Fair in Kashi.
Millions of tourists used to come to Varanasi to watch these events every year, but this time Corona has eclipsed the event. All events have almost been cancelled due to Corona. (IANS)
By Maria Wirth
Dalit Christians had filed a complaint with the United Nations against the Vatican because of caste based discriminationUnsplash
Some time ago, a news item caught my attention: Dalit Christians had filed a complaint with the United Nations against the Vatican because of caste based discrimination of the Catholic Church in India. The complaint was filed with the UN Information Centre at New Delhi.
It made me feel that a suggestion I had made in an earlier article was maybe not so outlandish and actually worthwhile. I had suggested that Hindus, Buddhists and others could file a complaint with the UN against Christianity and Islam, because Christianity considers non-Christians as heathen and Islam non-Muslims as infidels, and both these religions claim that heathen and infidels are unworthy of the grace of the Supreme Power and will be thrown into hellfire where they will suffer excruciating pain for all eternity. "Idol-worshippers" – Hindus are labeled as such – are the worst of the lot in the eyes of those religions.
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In the Bible, Mathew (13: 49/50) states:
"This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
The Quran gives a more detailed description of the torture that awaits infidels:
"But as for those who disbelieve, garments of fire will be cut out for them, boiling fluid will be poured down their heads. Whereby that which is in their bellies, and their skins too, will be melted; And for them are hooked rods of iron. Whenever, in their anguish, they would go forth from thence they are driven back therein and (it is said unto them): Taste the doom of burning" (Quran 22:19-22)
Hindus generally have no malice towards other faiths and don't expect others to have malice towards their own faith. They readily pay respect to Bible and Christianity or to Quran and Islam without knowing what they contain. Usually they don't even notice that their respect is not reciprocated.
However, there are also those who know the content, but prefer to ignore unacceptable passages. One reason may be that they of course don't take them seriously and can't imagine that anybody takes them seriously. Unfortunately, they underestimate the power of indoctrination, especially in childhood. It is not only the ISIS types who believe (and act on it). I know from own experience that children believe what they are told and many don't question this belief even as adults.
Also Read: Hindu nationalists and The Hindutva Ideology
Another reason may be that they don't want to draw attention to those divisive, discriminating passages in books that are considered holy by the majority of the world's population. They fear they could remind 'believers' of their duty to fight the "unbelievers" or rather the "wrong believers" as Hindus are great believers in the Supreme and certainly not unbelievers.
However, this attitude won't work today, as the content of Quran, Bible and other scriptures is readily available on the net. It is easy to access any verse of the Bible or Quran. ISIS spread their views on the internet. The radicalization among Muslim youth often happens via the net. A cleric in a German mosque who had banned radicalized youth and declared ISIS as un-Islamic was described as an "old, confused man", by a German Turk, who 'knew' that ISIS is following the Quran. How did he know? "I and my friends have read the Quran", he declared. His friends are fighting for ISIS.
I didn't make the suggestion to complain to the UN because I expect much action from the UN. I made the suggestion mainly, because in this way the issue would hopefully come into mainstream discourse. People, including Christians and Muslims, need to realize how absurd and divisive this claim of "eternal hell for unbelievers" is.
Every second child in the world is taught that Hindus (and others) are not equal in the eyes of the Supreme GodUnsplash
The gravity of the situation needs to sink in: every second child in the world is taught that Hindus (and others) are not equal in the eyes of the Supreme God, and the child is likely to believe it. In fact, the child is taught that the Supreme hates those others so much that they will burn for all eternity in hellfire if they don't mend their ways and join the believers on the right path. Sri Krishna, Sri Rama, Sita, the Rishis, Swami Vivekananda, Baba Ramdev, Sri Sri Ravishankar, Mata Amritanandamayi, Narendra Modi, Aishwarya Rai, Sachin Tendulkar… just name them, each and every Hindu who ever lived – none will find mercy with the Highest. They all are thrown into the 'blazing furnace'.
People need to become aware that prophesizing eternal hell was a strategy to frighten the own followers into submission and to justify using force to either convert or wipe out those who 'insult the Supreme Power and don't accept the only truth'. This claim of "hell for unbelievers" is about power and influence and has nothing to do with eternal truth or morality.
If a small, crazy sect would claim that all others will burn in hell, one would understand if nobody takes note of such nonsense. But it is not a small sect that makes this claim. This claim is contained in the doctrines of the two most powerful religious institutions on earth with almost four billion followers. Mercifully, many Christians especially in Europe don't believe it anymore, but it is part of the Christian dogma.
Is one allowed to call this claim nonsense – in the age of quantum physics where it is known that ultimately all is connected and nothing is separate?
Strangely, Hindus keep quiet. They may hope it goes away. It won't go away without those who are demeaned in this unacceptable manner putting their foot down. Why should those who benefit from this claim give it up as long as nobody objects?
The Church had once to give in to protests: it lost the power to punish heretics and even had to allow Christians to leave the Church. Ever since, the Church lost many of its flock and the west came out of the Dark Age, but the damage was done nevertheless: arrogance and a feeling of superiority was already ingrained in the people and nature had been divested of its sacredness and still is treated as a slave to be exploited.
The dogmatic religions uprooted people from their pagan societies and made them slowly but surely arrogant, self-righteous and convinced that they are meant to rule the world in the name of their god. Would colonialism in its brutal form have been possible without the mindset that Christians are superior to the native heathen? Would Muslim invasions have been so cruel without the mindset that Allah wants them to smite the necks of infidels till all worship is only for Allah?
Today's most pressing problem, Islamic terrorism, has its roots in the claim that infidels are rejected by Allah. ISIS, Boko Haram and others consider it their sacred duty to rid the earth of such scum.
Christianity stopped killing heathen but still does great harm in so called 'unreached areas' for example in India, where it deceives, threatens and lures people away from their tolerant, inclusive tradition into an arrogant, divisive mindset.
Some followers of Islam still kill. They are called Islamists instead of Muslims. But as long as the Quran contains verses that seem to be exhortations to kill infidels, and no official correction is made that these verses refer only to history, there is insincerity in the claim that they are not Muslims. On one hand we condemn those youth in the strongest terms and on the other, we revere the scripture which they claim to follow.
When Donald Trump declares that he won't allow Muslims into the USA if he becomes President, he may cater to a populist sentiment among Americans but this is no solution. A better strategy would be to make Muslims disown certain passages in the Quran. At the same time, Christians must be made to disown certain passages in the Bible. Blind belief that the Supreme has revealed the truth only to Jesus or only to Mohammed must be allowed to be questioned without putting one's life in danger.
Pope interacting with publicUnsplash
The Pope said recently in Africa "Christians and Muslims are brothers". It sounded more like "Let's live and let live". Yet when the Pope was in India, he didn't make such conciliatory statement. He said "we will plant the cross in Asia". Why? Did he think the "mild" Hindus won't object to their own demise? Or did he behave like a bully to put Hindus on the defensive?
If Christianity really had the better truth, it would be okay. But this is not the case. The supremacy that the Church claims has no basis except in blind belief. In the same way, the supremacy that Islam claims has also no basis except in blind belief. Both faiths can't challenge each other. A debate between Christianity and Islam would go like this:
Christianity: "We alone have the full truth"
Islam: "We alone have the full truth."
Christianity: "God has revealed the full truth through his son Jesus"
Islam: "Allah has revealed the final truth through Prophet Mohammed."
Christianity: "All have to worship God, the father, via his son."
Islam: "All have to worship Allah."
However, in one point both agree: "Heathen and infidels need to disappear from the earth."
In contrast, 'Hinduism seeks to propagate the collective wisdom and inspiration of centuries and has room for all forms of beliefs' (according to the Supreme Court). It offers a profound philosophy. It can bring to the table the wisdom of the ancient Rishis that has never been disproven. This wisdom points to the absolute truth, which dogmatic religions are ignorant of: Truth is not a belief based on thoughts. It is what we all truly are – thought free, blissful awareness.
One would expect that humanity in the 21st century has outgrown blasphemy laws. This is not the case. Not only is there no pressure on countries that have blasphemy laws to abandon them, but – unbelievable, but true – there are attempts by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to bring the whole world under a blasphemy law.
Several nations, like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, have petitioned the UN to make defamation of Islam a crime. And even President Obama and Hillary Clinton supported a resolution (Istanbul Process 16/18) to curb 'Islamophobia'. Efforts to go further and ban criticism of Islam are surely still on.
Nations that have a majority Hindu, Buddhist or Atheist population like India, China, Japan, Thailand, etc. could join and not only throw a spammer into these efforts but actively weaken their case by demanding a stop to unacceptable claims. Though "idol-worshipping Hindus" are seen as most despicable, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains, Atheists also don't pass muster in the eyes of Christianity and Islam.
It is high that time Hindus woke up. Filing a petition with the UN might make even Christians and Muslims aware that these claims are truly unacceptable and that Hindus are not the scum of this earth and have a right to exist.
UNICEF also should be petitioned that brainwashing of children into hatred for others is made a crime. The video of a child in ISIS land cutting the throat of his teddy bear as practice is horrendous. A lot of noise needs to be made about those petitions. Christianity and Islam must not get away with discrediting Hindu Dharma. Let there be a public discourse on which worldview is closer to the truth, and which religion has a better philosophical basis.
Actually it is so obvious even at a first glance: the choice is between brotherhood of all without any preconditions and fighting each other till all become uniform 'believers'.
Let's choose brotherhood of all. And please also include animals…
Key Words: Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, The Pope, Dalit Community, United Nations
By- Monika Rao
Class 9 is known to be one of the most difficult classes for a student. The grades are the foundation of your high school career. Since it is the beginning of your High School experience, class 9 is crucial as it is the year in which you express your strengths, hone your skills academically and choose your career path. Most students have a difficult time choosing a certain path to study and make a career upon. So in order to help them, certain examinations are made for students to make it easier to choose a specific career. Such practicals also include Olympiads Examinations.
Stress is the worst things that students faceUnsplash
Olympiads is a cluster of aggressive and ambitious exams held for students from Classes 1 to 12. Olympiads are conducted on a national as well as international level and inspire and motivate students from several academic genres or levels to participate. These competitive exams may be very helpful for a student but they are also extremely difficult to get good marks in. So in order to dial the toughness down a notch, the following are the essential tips for such preparations:
- Cover the Basics
The basics are essential. Everything in a given discipline focuses upon the fundamentals. They are the foundation from which all further theories and complicated questions, that are too difficult to work on, are derived. Jumping on to perplexing doubts and working on them without fully knowing the basics will not only complicate the whole syllabus further but will also confuse students with questions like "what to do?" or "how to do it?"
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What works best for you?
Keeping aside the way your friends and teachers encourage you to study, figure out YOUR OWN pattern to study. First, identify your learning styles by finding out what works for you. Using your strengths to hone your skills, adjust your study techniques to fit your subject. Some students learn through images and visual theories, others understand quicker through verbal techniques. Figuring out your own style can solve the majority of your problems by helping you to understand things quickly and efficiently and hence, also allowing you to save time.
- Set a Timetable
Arranging your routine in a proper manner to specify your priorities by setting up a timetable can help manage your schedule. Scheduling allows one to calendar their goals and achieve their tasks by saving time and keeping you on the right track. Listing down your syllabus and arranging each chapter according to your time will help narrow down the pathway to study effectively. This makes sure that a student can focus and concentrate without losing track of their process.
- Sample Papers
Sample papers have always proved to be helpful. These allow you to go through different patterns of previously said examinations. Students can look up previous year's question papers and sample papers from the Indian Talent Olympiad's website. One of such sample papers includes IMO maths olympiad class 9 sample paper 1 Solving such sample papers from long back will give a fair knowledge about the pattern and the difficulty level of the examination. These sample papers include IMO Maths Olympiad Class 9 Sample Paper.
- Visit Olympiad Website
Olympiad websites contain a lot of necessary information a student needs to learn about these exams and solve any queries they have. Visiting the main source of such examinations can help you shed some light on the rules and regulations of such activities. It may help you brush up on your facts about Olympiads and learn something which you, previously, did not know.
- The Internet
Honestly speaking, the internet is the best thing to ever come into existence. All the knowledge to grasp and learn is contained in such an accessible way. This amazing thing can also help you to solve several problems. You can find beneficial intel across various platforms, be it Youtube videos or sites that offer practice tests. The information or techniques on how to solve difficult maths problems can help you achieve your goals with a flick of your fingers.
- Practice. A LOT!
Practice makes perfect. Practicing various problems and questions may not only help you to learn but also will give you a perspective on certain questions by showing how to solve them in an easier and understandable way. Practicing beginner questions and then moving on to harder ones will help you figure out a basic key to understand them all.
- Get a Teacher's opinion.
Remember, that at the end of the day, your school teachers are most likely to be your best bet at giving you the honest feedback to work on yourselves as they understand your strengths and weaknesses better than anyone from teaching you. While teaching you, they get an idea of how you work and probably know more about your studious self than you do. So, taking notes from your teacher and asking her questions will help your performance amazingly.
- Keep a Healthy Life
Keeping a balanced diet and exercising will help you attain a healthy life. Not only does it keep you in good shape, but it also keeps your mind healthy by eliminating stress and anxiety. Statistics have been proven to show that students are able to learn better when they're well-nourished, and eating healthy meals has been associated with better grades, excellent memory and alertness, and faster information processing.
Also read: All about class 10 maths olympiad
- Staying Calm
To be honest, has excess stress ever helped you in any situation? Everyone knows that Olympiad Examinations are a headache and the stress of learning in an extensive manner not only ruins your mood but can also lead to severe anxiety which may further cause panic attacks or even death.
It is just another test, granted a very difficult one but still, do not let the pressure play into your emotions.
Olympiad Examinations have been known to create fear and anxiety in your already stressed-out brain. With the list given above, you can now eliminate such feelings from your head and create a peaceful station for you to achieve your goals. GOOD LUCK!
(Disclaimer: This is a sponsored article and includes some commercial links)
Himachal Pradesh Urban Development Minister Suresh Bhardwaj said on Wednesday that summer capital Shimla was ranked first under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Urban Index by the NITI Aayog.
The index took into account 56 urban areas for measuring SDGs indicators in areas related to ending poverty, zero hunger, good health and well-being, quality education, gender equality, etc.
Shimla has secured the first rank with 75.50 marks out of 100 for this year.
The minister said the statistical methodology for the SDG Urban Index is drawn from the globally accepted methodology developed by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN).
A comprehensive list of 77 indicators, covering 46 global SDG targets across 15 SDGs, are used in the index.
Shimla was also ranked most liveable among the cities across the country under Ease of Living Index ranking which was issued earlier this year. This was based on the assessment of four parameters -- quality of life, economic ability, sustainability and citizen perception. (IANS/JB)
Keywords: Shimla, India, Sustainable Development Goals, NITI Aayog