Vaishakha 3 Vik Samvat 2067. Yugabda 5112: April 16, 2010

1. FESTIVALS: VISHU, considered as the astrological New Year day of Keralites, is the harvest festival of Kerala observed on the first day of the Medam month (April-May) of the Malayalam almanac. Though 1st of Medam is marked on April 14, this year Vishu is being celebrated on April 15. The day marks the sun’s transits to the first zodiac-Mesha Rashi or Aries zodiac and is celebrated with religious ceremonies and rituals. The highlight of the festival is Vishu Kani, Vishu Kaineettam and Vishubhalam. Farmers usyally start ploughing the land on this day.
This festival is celebrated in Tulu Nadu region in Karnataka and is known as Bisu. Puthandu or Chithirai Vishu is the Tamil New Year celebrated by Tamilians and is the first day in the Tamil month of Chithirai. According to Tamil beliefs, Chithirai Vishu is the day during which Lord Brahma commenced the creation. Bengali New Year day is Baisakh or Poila Baisakh and Baisakhi in Punjab.
2. SANT MAHASAMMELAN AT HARIDWAR MAHAKUMBH: In a Sant Mahasammelan, organised at Haridwar the VHP president Shri Ashok Singhal declared that Saints have decided to launch a 4 month nationwide awareness campaign on Ramjanmabhoomi issue. The campaign will begin from Tulsidas Jayanti (August 16) and will conclude on Geeta Jayanti Mokshada Ekadasi (December17).
Before the beginning of the ceremony at every place, the participants will take a pledge (sankalp) for reconstruction of Sri Ramjanmabhoomi temple. During these anushthans the Hanuman Chalisa would be recited in groups for at least 11 times a day
After the Shakti Jagran Anushthan for three months, Hanumat Shakti Jagran Mahayajnas and public meetings will be organized at block, taluka and division levels across the country. These Mahayajnas and public meetings will begin from Devotthani Ekadasi (November 17) and will conclude on Geeta Jayanti Mokshada Ekadasi (December 17). These ceremonies would be organized at 8,000 centers for mobilizing Hindus for reconstruction of Sri Ram temple.
3. DR.VINOD KUMAR IN HAITI: Bakersfield ( California ) cardiologist Dr. Vinod Kumar, a HSS swayamsevak gave a full week of physically exhausting yet spiritually uplifting medical care to dozens of sick and injured residents of Haiti's earthquake-damaged capital, Port-au-Prince.
"I got so much more in Haiti than what I gave," he said. "It was an amazing experience." "You read about enlightenment," he said, his eyes gleaming. "One scripture says it takes only a moment.".
For Kumar, that moment came when he guided the tiny head of the newborn into the tropical air of his island home. Though he was surrounded by images of destruction and suffering, the birth of the tiny child seemed an affirmation of something beyond one's everyday experience. "I was feeling the presence of God," he said.
4. IN KANDHAMAL TOP OFFICIALS ECHO VHP, RSS LINE: Many top officials deposing before Justice (retd) Sarat Mahapatra commission probing the 2008 Kandhamal riots in Orissa have sought to pin the blame on Christians for the communal carnage.
The riots broke out after the murder of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Swami Laxmanananda which commission was originally set up to probe.
The officials have told the Commission that the violence in Kandhamal district was caused primarily because the Panas (Christians) had encroached on the lands of the non-Christian Kandha tribals, The officials have also suggested that the Panas had cornered jobs in the state government by using fake certificates stating they belonged to the Scheduled Castes.
Orissa Director General of Police M.M. Praharaj told the commission, “Many among the Kandhas believed that their land rights, access to government jobs and other benefits had been misappropriated by the members of the Pana community.”
5. OPPOSE PRE-1953 STATUS TO J&K – MADAN DAS: “The move to go back to pre-1953 status (for Jammu and Kashmir) and demand for autonomy is an effort to take the country backward despite Parliament passing a resolution in 1994 that the State is an integral part of Bharat. All political parties, despite differences, should voice their protest against any such move,” said Madan Das, Akhil Bharatiya Pracharak Pramukh of RSS while delivering Shyama Prasad Mookerjee memorial lecture in Delhi 1st April.
He slammed the Government for indulging in ‘secret diplomacy’ with the separatists in Kashmir and for of compromising Bharat’s sovereignty. The lecture was organized by the Dr Shyama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation on the topic ‘Are we losing Kashmir in the view of autonomy report?’ Former diplomat G Parthasarthy and AK Doval, former director of Intelligence Bureau also participated in the discussion.
6. CENTRE OKAYS RAISING OF 2 MOUNTAIN DIVISIONS: In a major decision aimed at countering the growing threats from China, the Government has sanctioned raising of two mountain divisions (20,000 troops) to be deployed on the Bharat-China border. Taking the urgency of the situation into account, the Government has lifted a 37-year-old freeze on making fresh recruitment for the China-centric mountain division.
At present, the Army has two divisions and the sanction for two more divisions will help the Army plug all operational gaps and help it defend its eastern and western borders and wage two-front war if need be.
The Government has also decided to speed up the process to procure specialized weaponry needed for mountain warfare in view of rapid modernizing of China’s armed forces and strengthening the infrastructure all along the 4,500-km Line of Actual Control (LAC).
They also claimed that these mountain divisions would be trained to fight a two-front war simultaneously with China and Pakistan as the Army was now capable of rapidly transferring troops from one theatre to another at a very short notice.
7. JAIPUR FOOT: BHARAT'S GIFT TO IRAQ: Heel first, heel first... don’t just walk... run with me,’’ Jaipur Foot founder D R Mehta asks a boy with his newly-fitted prosthetic limb at a camp in the war-ravaged Iraqi capital of Baghdad.
Tears well up in the eyes of the boy’s mother as she jumps with joy. “He has walked for the first time in four years.’’ Dozens others at the camp, including hardened soldiers in battle fatigues who lost their limbs in the war, start clapping and shouting to buck up the boy.
Mehta (72) has been camping in Baghdad along with volunteers of his Bhagwan Mahavir Viklang Sahayata Samiti since March 17 and has given scores of people a new lease of life by fitting them with artificial limbs. Mehta promises to give 1,000 Iraqis a chance to walk again. The Samiti volunteers have earlier given succour to thousands of people across several war-ravaged countries — Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Lebanon, Sierra Leone and even Pakistan.
“Within the first week of the camp, more than 300 Iraqis walked home on new limbs, as the process of fitting an amputee with a Jaipur Foot takes only a day,’’ said Mehta. Amputees from even Iraq’s remotest corners poured in and waited patiently for prosthetic experts from Hind (Bharat) to take measurements of what is left of their limbs and fashion a new leg of fiber and steel.
“The victims told us that other agencies take up to a year to give them a new limb. Here it costs nothing and a man who was on a wheelchair in the morning, walks home in the evening,’’ said Natwarlal Prajapati, himself an amputee and a Samiti volunteer for two decades.
8. LOS ANGELES CHURCH TO GIVE LESSONS ON BHARATIYA WAY OF LIVING: A 100-year-old church in Los Angeles will now propagate the Bharatiya way of life and its spiritual teachings. This historic building is being taken up by the Art of Living Foundation to run its community service, including yoga, meditation, and knowledge programmes.
The new AOL centre, a registered national historic monument since 1987, In a press release on April 13, AOL said its leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar will inaugurate the centre on April 14 and the next day it will host a forum on corporate social responsibility called ‘‘Business, Ethics and Spirituality’’ with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, billionaire philanthropist John Paul DeJoria and professional skateboarder and MTV star Rob Dyrdek. The release added that more than 750 Los Angeles high school students are taking AOL’s Youth Empowerment Seminar (YES). The programme has helped thousands of high school students in New York, Chicago and Washington DC, turn away from gang violence, drugs and alcohol, and toward greater generosity and service, it said.
9. SC ORDERS PROBE INTO TRAFFICKING OF NE KIDS: Following reports of 76 children from Assam and Manipur, most of them minor girls, being rescued from "homes" run by missionaries in Tamil Nadu, the Supreme Court on March 31 ordered a probe into a possible trafficking racket involving tribal children.
The Tamil Nadu police, in its affidavit before the SC, said, "Pastor Shaji was arrested at Somanur in Coimbatore district on February 12 and remanded to judicial custody. Effective steps are being taken to nab the absconding accused Rev Paul."
A Bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices Deepak Verma and B S Chauhan accepted amicus curiae Aparna Bhat's suggestion for a probe into the matter. The National Commission for Protection of Children's Rights will carry out the probe.
10. BHANUPRATAP SHUKLA SMRITI SAMMAN PRESENTED: "Indigenous system of village development is the only alternative to get rid of the present day-problems of our villagers.," said former RSS Sarsanghachalak Shri KS Sudarshan. He was addressing a function organised at Chhoti Khatu in Rajasthan on the occasion of Pt. Vachnesh Tripathi Memorial Lecture and Bhanupratap Shukla Smriti Rashtradharma Samman.
Shri Sudarshan and former Vice Chancellor of Ajmer University Dr Purushottam Lal Chaturvedi. felicitated Dr Shivom Ambar with Bhanu Pratap Shukla Smriti Rashtradharma Samman-2010. Prominent among those who were present on the occasion included Shri Pawan Putra Badal, Shri Jugal Kishore Jaithalia and Shri Hastimal.
11. RAJENDRA ARUN SELECTED FOR DR HEDGEWAR PRAGYA SAMMAN: THE 21st Dr Hedgewar Pragya Samman will be presented to noted Hindi writer and director of Ramayana Centre, Mauritius, Shri Rajendra Arun for his outstanding services to popularise the Ramkatha in many countries. The Samman is presented every year by Shree Burrabazar Kumarsabha Pustakalaya of Kolkata. This year it will be presented by Uttarakhand Chief Minister Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ on April 18 at a special function to be organized at Mahajati Sadan auditorium in Kolkata. The Samman consists of Rs 51,000, a citation and a memento.
12. SPEAKERS ON CAMPUS IN SOUTH CALIFORNIA: This Spring Semester Speaker on Campus was held in 5 Universities in Southern California. University of Southern California(USC), University of California, Los Angeles(UCLA), University of California, San Diego(UCSD), San Diego State University(SDSU) and Arizona State University, Phoenix(ASU). In SDSU, Saumitra ji Gokhale was the speaker and Digant ji Dash in rest of the Universities.
The programs were arranged in association with other Organizations such as Hindu Students Organization in USC, Hindu Students Council in UCSD and Bharatiyam in UCLA which gave an opportunity to reach out to more students and helped in establishing working relationship with those Organizations.
13. HINDUTVA AND SECULARISM ARE THE SAME: ADVANI: Senior BJP leader L K Advani has said the party needed to do more to explain to the people that Hindutva and ‘secularism’ in the Bharatiya context was the same thing.
Referring to a magazine article by senior lawyer Ram Jethmalani, Advani said in his latest blog posting that the title of this article ‘Hindutva is not property of BJP’ sounds provocative and many may presume the article is critical. It is not. It is complimentary.”
He recalled that Jethmalani secured a landmark judgment on Hindutva in which the court had observed that “Hindutva is a way of life or state of mind and cannot be understood as religious Hindu fundamentalism”.
14. FATHER OF MASS MARKET GPS IS A BHARATIYA: If you do a Google search for ‘Sanjai Kohli’ you don’t get very much. It even asks you whether you meant ‘Sanjay Kohli’. There’s not even a reference to Sanjai Kohli as the son of F C Kohli; he’s F C Kohli’s second son.
Yet, he is the reason why we are able to use GPS (global navigation system) on our mobile phones and cars. And like his legendary father who is referred to as the ‘father of the Bharatiya software industry’, it might be fair to call the 53-year-old Sanjai Kohli the father of mass-market GPS technology.
Kohli has been short-listed for the European Inventor Award (to be announced on April 28) instituted by the European Patent Office and the European Commission. He’s one out of the total of 12 short-listed, and one among three in the category of inventors from non-European countries.
Kohli said the origin of his interest in GPS lay in the work he did for the US defence sector in the 1980s. Soon after finishing his engineering degree from IIT, Mumbai, in 1979, Kohli went to the US to do his Masters, and then worked in a couple of aerospace companies. In one of these, he was assigned to put intelligence into bombs dropped from planes. At that point, 90% of bombs hit unintended targets. “So we worked on a guided GPS system. We pulled off a successful programme, and soon, all the US military weapons were based on that technology,” Kohli said.
He then thought of commercializing the technology. In 1993, he was in Tokyo and found GPS being used in car navigation. But they frequently did not work inside cities with tall buildings because these obstructed the links to satellites. In order to limit this problem, the system makers linked the GPS with aids like gyros, accelerometer and odometer.
“I realized then that there was a great opportunity in GPS devices if I could make them operate reliably in urban environments without external aids while making them smaller and cheaper. He set up a company called SiRF. The innovation we did was to reinvent the signal processing physics to let us reduce the cost and size, and increase power, resulting in tens of thousands of dollars of signal processing/communication equipment to reside in a single silicon chip. The chip was 200 times more capable than those used in the Japanese cars and was available at a fraction of the cost.”t with SiRF. And the rest as they say is history. By 2006, 80% of GPS devices ran on SiRF chips. At its peak SiRF had a market capitalization of $3 billion. (SUJIT JOHN, Times Of India, 5/4/2010)
15 ENGLAND’S CHANGING STREET NAMES: A survey of new street names shows they are increasingly being chosen to reflect councils’ interests in the environment, health sand safety and diversity. Samsara Road, in Bromsgrove, and Karma Way, in Harrow, north London, both use phrases from Bharatiya religions, dealing with concepts of reincarnation and cause and effect, respectively. Then there is Yoga Way, in Sutton, south London. Dr. David Green, a geographer from King’s College London, said: “Street names reflect modern culture and society and preoccupations.
They now also show a worldwide influence.” Among the new streets with an environmental theme are Eco Way, in Doncaster, and Sustainability Way, in Leyland, Lancashire. ( )
16. MAURITIUS HINDUS FACE CUNNING CONVERSION TACTICS: What was to be a big concert in Triolet to mark Mauritius’ Independence celebration anniversary was, surprisingly, just a mere tactic to lure Hindus to Christianity, reports the Hindu Common Front. The Light Ministries of Mauritius invited Johnny Lever — a famous Bollywood star — as chief guest to entertain the audience at Triolet, a well known locality mostly populated by Hindus.
What annoyed many Hindus attending the concert was that other than seeing Johnny Lever performing as a comedian, who he is usually in Bollywwod films, the latter was mainly involved in Christian prayers on the stage. The Voice of Hindu deplored that Johnny Lever was there to purposely convert the crowd and many Hindus were disappointed by his performance. This led to a serious incident where the concert had to be immediately stopped due to angry reactions from Hindus of the locality.
According to Hindu Common Front spokesman, Anil Unnoop, some missionaries are using all kinds of possible means to convert Hindus, especially taking advantage of those who are sick and bedridden in hospitals. “Yes to religious freedom, but No to forced conversion”, concludes the Common Hindu Front.
17. DELHI WHIZ AJAY BANGA BECOMES MASTERCARD CEO: An entirely Bharat-educated financial pundit climbed a world corporate pinnacle on April 12 with MasterCard Inc, the ubiquitous financial company, naming Pune-born, Delhi-educated, IIM-Ahmedabad alum Ajay Banga as its CEO.
Banga was born in Khadki outside Pune, where his father, an army officer, was posted. He rejected an army career his father was keen he pursue and instead later took a BA in Economics Honors from Delhi University and later an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.
18. VA. TAIJI JANMASHATABDHI SAMPARK ABHIYAN IN US: On the occasion of Taiji Janmashatabdhi, Sevika Samiti had planned sampark Abhiyan during Sankranti time frame. The goal was to spread Sangh information through small get together to known/unknown families. Programs were held in all vibhags including Chicago, Bay area, East Coast where small get-togethers – Haldi kumkums , short bauddhik sessions , yoga and Suryanamaskar workshops were arranged. Over 1000 calendars were distributed. In Bay Area itself total sampark was 644 with the help of 85 sevikas. The abhiyan has developed confidence in Sevikas to talk about Sangh.
19. BHARAT DEVELOPING SUB-SONIC 1000 KM CRUISE MISSILE: Bharat is developing a sub-sonic 1,000-km range cruise missile "Nirbhay" which can be used for a "variety of applications", Dr V K Saraswat, Scientific Advisor to Defence Minister and Chief of Defence Research and Development Organization said. He was delivering the keynote address at a national convention on 'The Frontiers of Aeronautical Technologies', organized by the Aeronautical Society of India here. He said Bharat's armed forces are looking for long duration loitering missiles which can enter "enemy territory", search targets such as radars, concentration of assets and "a variety of movements of enemy", "home-on" the targets and "bang" them.
20. NAVAL OFFICER EMBARKS ON LAST LEG OF ROUND-THE-GLOBE SOLO SAIL: A Bharatiya Naval officer’s quest to achieve a world record by circumnavigating the globe on a boat sailing solo entered the last phase, with Cdr Dilip Dhonde rounding off the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa, on April 6 and heading towards Mumbai.
The effort, named Sagar Parikrama, is expected to be complete by mid-May, when it will provide the Navy it’s first-ever world record and catapult Cdr Dhonde into maritime history books.
“The Bharatiya Naval Sailing Vessel Mhadei rounded the Cape of Good Hope enroute the final leg of the solo circumnavigation of the world called Sagar Parikrama,” the Navy said in a statement.
21. HINDI MAKES ITS DEBUT IN DELHI HC: It could very well signal the beginning of the end of the monopoly of polished, English-speaking lawyers in the Delhi High Court.
On 9th April the court No. 9 presided over by Justice Rekha Sharma — for the first time in its 44-year history — allowed a lawyer Goninder Singh to argue in Hindi. Even the judge interacted with the lawyer in the same language.
Singh said he will be able to express more effectively if he is allowed to argue in Hindi as it had been his medium of instruction during his career.
22. ANTI-NAXAL NSUI, ABVP UNITE IN JNU: Both ABVP & NSUI came together at Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi on April 8 to oppose a meeting held by ‘ JNU Forum Against War on People’ against ‘Operation Green Hunt’. The forum is backed by leftist groups Democratic Students Union (DSU) and All India Students Association (AISA).
A group ‘Students Against Naxalism’ is formed and is meant for students who want to voice their concern over anti-national campaign on campus,” said Sunil Jhajharia, president, NSUI. Students against Naxalism demonstrated outside the Vice-Chancellor's office and also took out a rally at India Gate.
23. WOMAN PRADHAN SHOWS WAY: Barely 20 km from Ghaziabad city, a village is in the throes of a revolution. At the center of this revolution is 40-year-old Asha Devi, the pradhan (head) of the Chauna village. A typical village woman, Asha Devi doesn’t forget to cover her face when she sits among the village elders. But she doesn’t shy away from taking tough decisions, either.
At a time when the Women’s Reservation Bill is being debated, Asha Devi has managed to ban both dowry and ostentatious weddings in her village. She has also persuaded the men to give up liquor.
All this came about when Asha Devi called a panchayat and placed before it her proposals. The proposals were accepted unanimously.
“We decided that weddings will be held without dowry demands, that wedding ceremonies would be a simple affair, and only small gifts conforming to customs will be allowed. This will reduce the pressure on parents who think their daughters are a burden,” she said.
But this victory didn’t come easy. It took Asha Devi a year to unify the villagers and get the panchayat’s unanimous decision. “These suggestions came up twice earlier but didn’t get support. But with a lot of persuasion, people accepted these suggestions as a means for our village’s welfare,” she said.
Her husband, Devendra Singh, has supported her throughout her efforts. Asha, who studied till class VIII, said her decisions, as a pradhan, would benefit the people, especially the women, of her village. “The panchayat’s decisions were supported by male members and the women also backed them,” she said.
“We had a number of people who drank daily and caused public nuisance and fought with their families. We have now decided to give up alcohol,” she said. The results have been more than she could have asked for.
It has been more than two days since the panchayat’s decision, and 90 per cent of habitual drinkers have abstained from alcohol, said Vijay Pal Singh, a resident. “I have also called it a day and am impressed with the pradhan’s decision. My wife has stopped scolding me since then,” said Bhram Pal Singh.
This was not all. Loud DJ music, fireworks and firearms during social ceremonies, festivals and weddings will not be accepted at the village anymore.
“Fireworks cause pollution. DJ music and stage performances cause clashes apart from unnecessary expenditure. Henceforth, no firearms would be used during marriages as it is just a display of power and can lead to casualties,”
Said Kamlesh, Asha Devi’s friend.
Further, the panchayat also directed all election aspirants to not distribute liquor as a means to collect votes in the forthcoming local Panchayat elections in 2010 end.
“We will not support candidates who use liquor as a tool to get votes,” Asha Devi said.
And it’s not just the villagers who are happy. The police officials are elated. “The panchayat has set an example. We are urging the neighbouring villages to come up with such decisions to root out evils of dowry and alcohol from the society,” said SP Capt. M.M. Baig. (Peeyush Khandelwal, Hindustan Times April 7)
24. 100 HIMALAYAN PEAKS IN KASHMIR OPENED TO FOREIGNERS: Foreigners will be allowed to climb nearly 100 high-altitude Himalayan peaks for the first time in Kashmir, an official said on April 9.
The move is aimed at helping to boost tourism; an important source of income for Kashmiris said Farooq Ahmed Shah, a state tourism official.
"The decision has been taken at the highest level and nearly 100 peaks in Ladakh region are open for trekking and mountaineering," he said.
These peaks are situated at an altitude ranging from 9,840 feet (3,000 meters) to nearly 26,246 feet (8,000 meters). The Indian climbers have been scaling those peaks for decades.
25. GODREJ CONSUMER ACQUIRES INDONESIAN INSECTICIDES FIRM: Consumer goods maker Godrej Consumer Products Ltd (GCPL) has acquired the $120-million Indonesian insecticides and personal care products firm PT Megasari Makmur Group and its distribution company.
The acquisition will add to GCPL’s portfolio of insecticides and personal care products, which already includes brands such as Snuggy, Goodknight and Hit, marketed through its joint venture with the US-based Sara Lee Corp.
The buyout comes less than a month after GCPL announced purchasing Nigeria-based personal care products firm Tura. In the past two years, it has also acquired Rapidol and Kinky in South Africa.
“This (Megasari) acquisition is an important step in our global 3-by-3 strategy: Presence in three continents, Asia, Africa and Latin America, through three core categories, home care, personal wash and hair care,” chairman Adi Godrej said in a statement.
26. SOUTH ASIA’S MAXIMUM LIVER TRANSPLANTS AT GANGA RAM: With 520 liver transplants under its belt, the liver transplant unit of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital(SGRH), New Delhi is South Asia’s first centre to successfully complete more than 500 live donor liver transplants.
The hospital conducts about 15 transplants a month making it the world’s second largest live donor liver transplant programme.
The hospital has a success rate of about 95 per cent, which is among the highest globally. The results of transplant are particularly dramatic in a patient suffering from acute liver failure.
“To handle cases of acute liver failure is the most challenging of them all, as it can kill a person within a week, not giving doctors enough time to work on the case,” said Dr AK Soin, chairman, liver transplant unit, Sir Ganga Ram.
27. BHARAT 2ND IN AUTO MARKET AFTER CHINA: While the global car market shrank, Bharat’s auto industry displayed its resilience and strength, racing past several developed markets to emerge as the world’s second-fastest growing light vehicle market, second only to China and ahead of Germany, France, Japan and the US.
According to data released by industry body SIAM, the light vehicle market — that comprises passenger cars, utility vehicles, multi-purpose vehicles and light commercial vehicles — grew 27.5% in Bharat in 2009-10, faster than Germany (23%), Brazil (11%), France (11%), Italy (-0.2%), UK (-6%), Japan (-9%), US (-21%) and Russia (-50%).
China was the only market to have grown faster than Bharat as light vehicle sales there grew 42%, especially after the government reduced vehicle tax by 50% in January 2009. Overall the world light vehicle market contracted by 14% registering its worst sales in eight years.
28. RUPEE SURGES TO A 19-MONTH HIGH AGAINST DOLLAR: The rupee on April 12 rose to almost a 19-month high against the US dollar after overseas investors were seen selling dollars to fund their inward remittances for investments in local stocks, dealers said. The local unit closed at 44.44 per dollar compared with the previous close of Rs 44.92. The rupee had closed
Rs 44.37/$1 on September 4, 2008. The 30-share Sensex rose to almost a 25-month high, ending at 17,936, up 243 points. "Increased foreign inflows continue to put upward pressure on rupee against the greenback," said Navin Raghuvanshi, AVP
29. DR GOVINDA SHARMA ELECTED AS CHAIRMAN OF VIDYA BHARATI: Dr Govinda Prasad Sharma is elected as chairman of Vidya Bharati during the national executive of Vidya Bharati at Cuttack from April 3-5. Other office bearers are Narendra Jeet Singh Rawal as General Secretary Prasad Chandra Gupta as Organising Secretary, and Brahmadev Sharma as adviser. In the closing ceremony Dr Sharma presided over the meeting. International chief of Kriyayoga Ashram Pragyannandaji Maharaj and RSS Sah-Sar Karyavaha Dattatreya Hosbale also spoke on the occasion.
30. IGNOU SPREADS ACROSS LONDON, PARIS: The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) ), as a part of its plan to spread the message of education, is ready to start its centre in London from July this year that aims to offer undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. After London, they would be planning to expand further in Paris.
V.N.R. Rajasekharan Pillai Vice-Chancellor of IGNOU said, "By the end of this month, the notification for the proposed London centre is expected to arrive. Subjects like management, IT, computer science & intellectual property rights will initially be focused on."
31. KANCHI MAHA SWAMI'S HUMANE APPROACH: It’s been almost 15 years since the attainment of Samadhi of the Kanchi Mutt Maha Swami (Paramacharya Sri Chandrashekarendra Saraswati). People often recall their experiences of visiting him very fondly. He not only preached the Hindu dharma philosophy but also human values, also showed us what a great humanitarian he was. He led by example in following a humane approach.
On one such instance, a group of elders had come from a place called Thiruvadanai (Ramanathapuram District, TamilNadu) His holiness was following a very strict mouna vrat (Ritual or Vow of Silence) which he has been observing for 30 years diligently weekly once. Even when the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi came to seek blessings on one such day, he did not break the vrat. Resoluteness is the asset of a saint!
Amongst the people who had come to visit him, Shankaran was one. He was a freedom fighter - he lost both his eyes to the lathis (Baton) of the British forces. The disciples of the Swami were introducing them one by one to the Swami Ji. He was silently blessing them. When the turn of Shankaran came, he was also introduced. Swami Ji knows Shankaran well. Swami Ji in a clear voice enquired "Are you well, Shankara? Are you family and kids well? Are you still continuously serving our motherland?”
Shankaran's joy knew no bounds - he was very happy that the Maha swami has enquired about him. The disciples and people around him were surprised and also confused that the Maha Swami has broken his silence for Shankaran.
Once the visitors left, after taking Prasad, the disciples asked the Maha swami about the need to sacrifice his silence for the sake of Shankaran - was he such a great person.
Maha swami smiled and said, “We should not treat Shankaran like all others - he has come to seek my blessings, he cannot see me physically. If I bless him silently, he would not be able to understand that. He would be worried if he had been seen by me and also if he was given the blessings. He has sacrificed his eyes for the nation.
There would be no loss if I sacrifice my ritual a little bit for his sake, my sacrifice is very small compared to his".Once the people around him heard this - they were all moved by the compassion and humanitarianism showed by the great soul.(VSK - Chennai)
32. WOMEN CANNOT BE FORCED TO WEAR BURQA: BANGLADESH COURT : In a ruling that may invite the ire of hardliners, a Bangladeshi top court has barred educational institutions in the country against forcing women teachers for wearing a burqa or covering their head, saying it would amount to violation of their fundamental rights.
"It is their (women's) personal choice if they wear veils or cover their heads," the High Court said in the ruling and asked the education ministry to ensure enforcement of the order.
The ruling came on a public interest litigation suit filed by a rights group months after a government education official insulted a school headmistress using abusive words for her dress at a meeting at northwestern Kurigram.
33. NEW LONDON SYMBOL, NRI MADE : It will be taller than the Statue of Liberty and, with 1,400 tons of steel packing its gigantic twisted frame of deep red, it is already being touted as London’s answer to the Eiffel Tower — the French monument.
Built by the sculptor Mumbai-born Anish Kapoor and funded by steel tycoon Lakshmi Niwas Mittal to the tune of £16 million out of the overall expected costs of £19 mn , the sculpture will stand at the 2012 Olympic Park in London as UK’s largest piece of public art. It will be completed by November 2011.
34. SHRI VISHWA NIKETAN: Visitors: Vishnu Bisram – Guyana, Shailesh Makwana – UK, Vandana Jhingan – USA, Ma. Jaiparkash Goel – HongKong Pravas: Dr. Shankar Tatwawadi, Samyojak Vishwa vibhag will be on a tour of Canada and USA.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: As the heat of a fire reduces wood to ashes, the fire of knowledge burns to ashes all karma. Nothing in this world purifies like spiritual wisdom. It is the perfection achieved in time through the path of yoga, the path which leads to the Self within. - Bhagwad Gita 4.37-38.