Swami Vivekananda said: "Shivaji is one of the greatest national saviours who emancipated our society and our Dharma when they were faced with the threat of total destruction."
2. RASHTRAPATIJI UNVEILS FIRST BHARATIYA STYLE BUDDHIST TEMPLE IN CHINA: Rashtrapati Pratibha Patil on Saturday May 27, inaugurated the first Bharatiya style Buddhist temple in China after a gap of 1900 years when two Bharatiya monks Kashyapamatanga and Dharmaratna helped establish the first Buddhist shrine. Patil dedicated the new temple, built in the same White Horse complex set up in 75 AD at Luoyang in Henan province, to the people of China. “The Bharatiya-style Buddhist temple is a gift from the people of Bharat to a sister civilization, one with which we share so many valuable associations and memories of interaction,” she told an audience comprising Chinese monks, officials, local visitors and the presidential entourage. The temple has been built with red sandstone, kota stone and Udaipur and Jaisalmer green that were shipped from Bharat over long periods. The Chinese government allotted 6,000 square meters of land after a deal signed during the prime ministership of Atal Behari Vajpayee in 2003. The White Horse temple or Bai Ma Si in Luoyang, 668 kms from Beijing, is regarded as a cradle of Buddhism in China. There is also a small Thai Buddhist temple nearby. The opening of the temple is regarded as a significant milestone in the development of relationship between two countries.
3. HINDU GRANDMOTHER IS TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO's FIRST WOMAN PM: Kamla Persad-Bissessar, whose forefather went to Trinidad and Tobago from Bharat as an indentured labourer, has been elected the first woman prime minister after the political alliance led by her emerged victorious and ended the ruling party's 43 years in power. Persad-Bissessar's People's Partnership won 29 out of the 41 parliamentary seats in the elections held on May 24.
A former Spanish colony, Trinidad and Tobago is located in southern Carribean. It is mainly made up of two major islands - Trinidad and Tobago - and covers over 5,120 sq km. 44% of the country's 1.3 million population is of Bharatiya origin.
Persad-Bissessar, 58, a grandmother of two and a devout Hindu, said: "I am grateful for the immense support from women and women's groups across the country and to the extent that this helps to break the barriers so many competent women face.”
4. RYAN ARJUN VAJPAYEE, YOUNGEST BHARATIYA TO CONQUER MT EVEREST: A doughty schoolboy from New Delhi added yet another feat to the annals of mountaineering by becoming the youngest Bharatiya to climb Mount Everest, the world's highest peak, on Saturday May 22. Arjun Vajpayee, a student of Ryan International School, who turns seventeen, next month, became the tallest twelfth grader when he planted the Bharatiya tricolour on the snow-clad summit of the 8,848 metre mountain.
Arjun set off for the last push at 10.45 pm on Friday night, making it to the top of the world at 6.18 am on Saturday.
Arjun was a part of a twelve member expedition team that has a record number of Bharatiya climbers trying their luck individually. Two hours later, Arjun's team member Mamata Sodah, a thirty year old physical education teacher at Shaheed Baba Deep Singh College of Education in Haryana, also stood on the summit, making it the fourth Bharatiya ascent this year.
On Monday May 24, two more Bharatiya members of the team, who had joined at the last moment after being refused a climbing permit by the Chinese authorities, had reached the summit.
Basanta Singha Roy, a forty seven year old veteran climber and bank employee, thirty seven year old Income tax official Debashish Biswas, became the first climbers from Nadia district in West Bengal to conquer Mount Everest.
Though Arjun began climbing only three years ago, he took to the sport immediately. He had no acclimatisation problems while taking up the Everest challenge.
5. KAILASH MANSAROVAR YATRA-2010 BEGINS: The first batch of 49 Kailash Mansarovar Yatris was flagged off from Delhi today by Surendra Singh, MLA, the Chairman, Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam in august presence of Uday Kaushik, Chairman Tirth Yatra Samiti, Delhi on June 1. The pilgrims are expected to reach Dharchula on June 2 and then they will start their 70 km trek to the 5334 metre high Lipu Lekh pass from Mangti. An ITBP officer said the pilgrims after crossing the Lipu-Lekh pass will enter Tibet. There are five camps along the trekking route to the pilgrimage at Gala (2018m), Bundi (2740m), Gunji (3300m), Kala Pani (3370m) and Nabhi Dhang (3370m) before the Liphu Lekh pass is crossed. 16 batches of 60 yatris each are scheduled to go on Kailash Mansarovar Yatra this year.
6. KARMAPA GRACES BUDDHA PURNIMA CELEBRATIONS: Delhi celebrated Buddha Purnima, the birth anniversary of Lord Buddha. 27th May, enriched by the presence of hundreds of monks and lamas from all over the country besides Tibet and Nepal, including the Karmapa, one of the most important lineage holders of the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism.
The association organised special prayers at Karmapa International Buddhist Institute in Qutab Institutional Area in south Delhi, where His Holiness, the 17th Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje prayed and meditated for world peace and for spread of compassion among people.
The Karmapa is the spiritual head of the Karma Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.
'This is not only a day to commemorate but also to take an oath to spread the peace and happiness among all the people of the world and for that we shall have to work with dedication and passion with huge amount of enthusiasm,' the Karmapa said.
7. N-CAPABLE AGNI-II TEST-FIRED SUCCESSFULLY: The 2,000 km plus range surface-to-surface nuclear-capable missile Agni-II was on May 17 test-fired successfully by Strategic Forces Command (SFC) from Launch Complex 4 from the Wheeler's off the Orissa coast at 9.18 a.m. The missile achieved its full range and splashed down at the pre-designated target in the sea with high degree of accuracy after covering a length of 1395 km in a 660 seconds flight. Further data relating to various parameters of the mission's objectives were being analysed by scientists. With this test, all the three variants of Agni have been successfully testfird within 3 months.
8. RSS AGAINST CASTE-BASED CENSUS: "The RSS is following the principles of late Dalit leader BR Ambedkar. Right from the beginning, RSS is in favour of a casteless society and any attempt to dilute it will hurt the sentiments of people," Sarakaryavaha Bhayyaji Joshi told reporters in Nagpur on May 23 adding that nationality provision should be the basis in the ongoing national census and not caste.
According to him, preparation of a multi-utility identity card on the basis of National Population Register will be incorrect. "Therefore, RSS demands that identity cards be issued only after verification of nationality and the nationality provision should be the basis for NPR," Joshi said.
9. ITGF AT SINGAPORE: The first Indian Traditional Games festival (ITGF) was organized by Vivekanand Seva Sangh (VSS) Singapore on Sunday the 18th April 2010 at the Global Indian International School's East Coast campus. The festival was inaugurated by Professor A.N. Rao, founder member of Hindu Center in Singapore. After Ekatmata Mantra, Surya Namaskar and other Yoga demonstrations various Bharatiya traditional games were played at the venue. The games included gamut of games from the ever-exciting Kabaddi to the most mischievous marbles, from the fun-filled gilli-danda (bail and stick) to disciplined team game Kho-Kho and many more. Langadi (one-leg hopping), lattoo (top), skipping, Pitthoo (also called Lagori) were some other very popular games of the day. There were competitions for the team games like kabaddi and kho-kho. Over 500 members of Singapore's Bharatiya community zealously participated in the festival.
The enthusiasts also tried their hands at the art of Rangoli under the guidance of the experienced ones. Some of the dignitaries who graced the occasion were Swami Samachittanand of Ramakrishna Mission, Manish Tripathi – CEO Mediaring, Mr. Ashok Goyal – CEO Spice Group, Singapore, Mr. Shashi Kashyap – Vice-President of SIFAS, Mr. Rajesh Rai – Arya Samaj and Mrs. Vijaya Mohan.
Students of Temple of Fine Arts Singapore presented group songs at the grand finale ceremony.
10. CULTURAL COMMONWEALTH CAN SAVE THE WORLD FROM DOOM: SURESH SONI: Formation of cultural commonwealth is the need of the hour. To achieve this, the missing links amongst the ancient cultures all over the world need to be identified and strengthened. The institutions like International Centre for Cultural Studies (ICCS) should take up and accomplish this stupendous task, opined noted thinker, scholar and Sah-Sarkaryawah of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Suresh Soni. Soni was addressing the gathering of academicians, research scholars and social activists on the occasion of the Foundation Day of ICCS at its newly constructed office in Nagpur on Nrisimha Jayanti i.e. May 26, 2010.
Suresh Soni said that the formation of such cultural commonwealth was necessary to save the world from all the impending disasters. The ICCS should take initiative to form such cultural commonwealth, he stressed in his scholarly address. He said that the ICCS must conduct research and study in ancient cultures all over the globe and promote an activism to establish global peace, brotherhood and environment protection. The world has high hopes from Bharat because it is the only country in the world where the value system, traditions and culture of the yore was still alive.
In his presidential address, former MP Shri Banwarilal Purohit emphasized that the Bharatiya culture is the richest culture in the world.
Outstanding talented personalities of Nagpur, N W alias Nanasaheb Gokhle, who would be completing his century on June 3, 2010; Dr Ismail Kellellu, Head of the Department of Ancient Indian History, Culture and Arcaheology, Nagpur University, and Ku. Shrinkhala Kangale, the only ST candidate to have cleared the IAS examination from Nagpur, were honored with a memento and a floral bouquet by the dignitaries. The program was attended by large number of ICCS members and other scholars from Nagpur.
11. VHP LAUNCHES SHIVAJI HINDU HELPLINE: Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) Kerala chapter has launched Shivaji Hindu Helpline to offer assistance to the Hindus in distress including the girls who fall victims in the trap being laid by the 'love jihadis'.
The helpline, set up at the Hindu Cultural Centre at the Paavakkulam Temple complex at Kaloor in Ernakulam, has been receiving large number of distress calls. Though, the helpline will provide assistance such as legal and medical help to the Hindus, it is also meant to receive information on terrorist activities, cow slaughter etc. A counselling centre has also been opened in Kochi.
12. DALAI LAMA HAILS 'NEW-AGE' CHINA: The Dalai Lama, speaking at the inauguration of the Buddha Smriti Park in Patna on May 27, has said encouraging changes were taking place in China, with the new leadership having a positive outlook on the Tibet issue. However, he added that he would not return unless the people of Tibet were given their “fundamental rights”.
13. BHARATIYA-ORIGIN SCIENTISTS HELP CREATE ARTIFICIAL LIFE IN US LAB: Three Bharatiya-origin scientists are part of a team that has for the first time created a synthetic cell, controlled by man-made genetic instructions, which can also reproduce itself. The 24-member team included Sanjay Vashee, Radha Krishnakumar and Prashanth P. Parmar. Developed at a cost of $30 million by the researchers at J. Craig Venter Institute, the experimental one-cell organism opens the way to manipulation of life on a previously unattainable scale.
The new cell, a form of bacteria, was conceived solely as a demonstration project, though several biologists were certain that the laboratory technique used to birth it would soon be applied to other strains of bacteria with commercial potential.
14. JUST 2% OF PEOPLE IN J&K WANT TO JOIN PAK: Survey: A survey carried out across both Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir shows that only 2% of the respondents on the Bharatiya side favour joining Pakistan and most such views were confined to Srinagar and Budgam districts. In six of the districts surveyed late last year by researchers from the London-based thinktank Chatham House, not a single person favoured annexation with Pakistan, a notion that remains the bedrock for the hardline separate campaign in Kashmir.
15. AMMA RECEIVES DOCTORATE OF HUMANE LETTERS: The State University of New York (SUNY) presented spiritual leader and humanitarian Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi (Amma) with an honorary doctorate in humane letters at a special ceremony on May 25 at Lippes Concert Hall on the University at Buffalo North Campus, in recognition of her tireless efforts on behalf of global peace, for her commitment to education and for the far-reaching impact of her charitable organizations in relieving poverty and human suffering in Bharat and around the world.
Dr. John B. Simpson, the President of the University at Buffalo (State University of New York), said, “Through this conferral, we pay tribute to the far-reaching contributions of a distinguished educational leader, prominent humanitarian and esteemed spiritual leader. Through her leadership of Amrita University as well as through her humanitarian work, Chancellor Amma exemplifies the value of international dialogue and dedicated public service in the global arena. These are values at the core of the University at Buffalo’s mission as an internationalized public university seeking to prepare our students to contribute meaningfully to the global world.”
16. HOTA FORUM LAUNCHED IN NEW ZEALAND: The Hindu Organisations, Temples and Associations (HOTA) Forum was launched during the 3rd New Zealand National Hindu conference. This was one of the milestone outcomes of the conference.
The conference was organised by the Hindu Council of New Zealand at the Hindu Heritage Centre, Auckland, on 15th and 16th May, 2010. The theme of the conference was "Sustaining New Zealand Through Strengthening Bonds Amongst Communities".
Swami Vigyananand, Coordinator, Civilizational Association of South, South-East & East Asia presented the concept of the HOTA Forum during the second plenary session "Collaboration Amongst Hindu Organisations, Temples, and Associations", and outlined the important role such a forum would play. Following his presentation and a group discussion, over 20 New Zealand Hindu Organisations, Temples and Associations joined the HOTA forum. More are expected to join over the coming weeks and months.
HOTA forum will meet at least once a year to discuss and deliberate the issues concerning Hindu society and collectively position Hindu society for a better future.
17. RSS IN RESCUE OPERATION AT MANGALORE AIR CRASH: Karnataka witnessed its worst ever air mishap as Air India Express flight carrying 169 passengers from Dubai crashed near Mangalore airport on May 22 on a cloudy morning with heavy rain, resulting in death of 158 including Air India staff. Rescue operation was not an easy task at the site as it was a rural and forest area. With the fire engine personnel and emergency staff, the local public especially the RSS Swayamsevaks extended timely help during the day long rescue operation at Mangalore air crash site. More than 100 swayamsevaks near the site of air crash, rushed to the spot within 10 minutes of the crash. Nalin Kumar, local MP also a swayamsevak led the entire operation. BG Chengappa, director of Karnataka Fire and Emergency Services also rushed to the spot and led the team.
18. NEPALI NEW YEAR IN USA: “Hindus settling in the western countries can lead their lives as proud Hindus and preserve their religion, heritage and culture,” Dr. Ved Nanda, president, Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS), USA declared.
Addressing a big gathering of Bhutanese Hindu Community of Colorado at the Nepali New Year celebration in Denver on April 25th, Dr. Nanda urged the community to continue their Hindu way of life in America and assured that they have the freedom and cultural environment to do so.
He asked the Bhutanese community to be vigilant and not fall prey to the proselytization efforts by the Christian missionaries. It is essential and possible to continue many Hindu practices such as daily Puja, Bhajan, Keertan and temple worship in the US, he observed.
Dr. Nanda, a renowned expert in International Law and the Vice Provost at the University of Denver has been a leading advocate of the Bharatiya American community in the USA.
19. ILLIONOIS AND MISSOURI, USA FAMILY CAMP: On 15th of May at Easter Seals Center along the banks of Lake Bloomington, was held a HSS Vibhag Family Camp. About 100 Swayamsevaks and Sevikas of St Louis, Peoria and Bloomington Shakas participated in it.
Ice breaker game “Bharat Yatra”, Kabaddi, Kho Kho & Dand goal, the Shakha with all the three groups having a Yoga session, and an enlightening baudhik on the importance of the Shakha by Sai ji Patil (National sevika pramukh) and Samaroop baudhik by Siddhesh ji Shevade (National Sah-Karyavah) were highlights of the camp.
20. HINDU DHARMASABHA IN AUSTRALIA: On 16th May 2010 Akshay Trutiya, the auditorium at the Shirdi Sai Baba temple in Camberwell, Melbourne reverberated with the auspicious sounds of conch blowing and Vedic recitations, commencing the first ever Hinduism Summit (Hindu Dharmasabha) in Australia. Eminent speakers were Pandit Abhay Awasthi of the Hindu Community Council of Victoria, Mahant Swami Shankaranand Saraswati of the Shiva ashram, Bhaktadas of ISKCON, Sean Clarke of the Spiritual Science Research Foundation & Rohan Mehta. Swami Paramanand Saraswati, President, Yo Veda was also present. A Souvenir on understanding, living and preserving Hinduism was inaugurated on the occasion.
After adopting 6 resolutions, the Summit concluded with speakers answering questions from the press and the attendees, on the direction ahead to understand, live and preserve Hinduism.
21. GREEN HINDUISM, A NATURAL FIT: United Nations has declared 2010 international year for biological diversity. On May 22, the Living Planet Foundation in UK convened what was believed to be the first global "green" Hindu event, calling on Hindus from the UK and abroad to reflect on how they can contribute to preserving biodiversity worldwide. Thousands of years ago, Hindu sages said we must preserve the environment and the ecological balance of our planet, recognising our own survival depended upon it. Hindu scriptures such as the centuries old Vedas, Upanishads and Vedanta are replete with spiritual and poetic references to Mother Earth, where the environment is alive and teeming with life; where trees, mountains and rocks become shrines and the river is respected as a source and support of physical and spiritual life.
The government of Bharat is pushing ahead with plans to drive a shipping canal through a particularly environmentally sensitive region. In the face of international opposition, Bharat plans to dredge the Gulf of Mannar, the shallow body of water separating Bharat from Sri Lanka. It will blast through the ancient limestone base of the gulf which is home countless endangered species, among them the dugong, the green turtle, and several species of sea snake. The devastation this single act of environmental terrorism will wreak is almost unimaginable.
Not only will a biodiversity hotspot be damaged, so too will be the sacred "bridge", known to Hindus as "Ram Sethu" and to Muslims as "Adam's Bridge". According to Hindu stories, this shoal of limestone is the bridge Lord Ram crossed in order to rescue his wife Sita from the clutches of an evil demon.
At UK meeting Kathy Goldsmith, the environmental campaigner, Ian Stephen of the Zoological Society of London, the Hindu ecologist and author Ranchor Prime, and Hindu priest Dr Raj Pandit Sharma, outlined the devastating consequences of this and other economically-driven projects that endanger our planet's future.
22. TWENTY FIVE DOCTORATES AMONG 881 SWAYAMSEVAKS AT RSS TRAINING CAMP: There are 25 doctorate holders among the 881 'Swayamsevaks' attending the month-long third year officers training camp (OTC) of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) at Nagpur.
The trainees include 203 post-graduates, 412 graduates, 105 undergraduates, 128 who had completed their schooling and eight were in school. Age-wise, the highest number, 242 are from the 21-25 age group, while 160 are from the 36-40 group, 170 from the 31-25 group, 234 from the 26-30 group and 75 from the 18-20 group. 563 of them are employed, 188 are students, 140 are full-time workers. Among the employed, 172 are teachers, 6 are doctors, 6 engineers, 23 lawyers, 77 farmers, 4 journalists, 1 chartered accountant, 2 from other professions, while 132 are self-employed. The 881 trainees are from various states of the country and speak 19 different mother-tongues.
Volunteers of the camp undergo three phases, or 'years,' of training. The first year and second year training camps are held all over the country, but the third year training is imparted only at Nagpur, the headquarters of the organisation.
23. GUJARAT CONTRIBUTES SOIL, WATER TO GANDHI MANDIR: In a unique gesture, Chief Minister Narendra Modi on May 24 received pots of soil and water from more than 2,300 villages and five towns from all over Gujarat at the venue of the Mahatma Mandir being built in Gujarat. These soil and water samples, delivered to the Chief Minister by the respective sarpanchas of these villages, would go into the Rs 150 crore Mahatma Mandir, the foundation stone for which was laid jointly by Modi and BJP veteran LK Advani on May 1, the golden jubilee of formation of Gujarat state.
As an innovative idea, soil and water from each of the 18,000 villages and all towns of Gujarat would be brought for jal abhishek of the Mahatma Mandir which will also have a huge convention centre where future business summits can be held.
Soil and water from many other countries too were brought here by non-resident Indians (NRIs).
24. KERALA GETS ITS FIRST TEMPLE PRIESTESS: Eleven-year-old Jyotsna Namboothiripad has created history by becoming the first female temple priest (tantri) in Kerala by performing the ritualistic installation of the goddess’s idol at the ancient Painkannikkavu Durga Devi Temple at Kattur in Thrissur district.
For the Class VII student, the moment meant realisation of her most cherished dream but for Kerala, it symbolised the opening of a new era in the tantri system at Hindu temples. Jyotsna is daughter of Padmanabhan Namboothiripad of Irinjala-kkuda’s Tharananellur Math-om, one of the two schools of tantric rites in the State.
On May 23 morning, Jyotsna performed all installation rites at Painkannikkavu the renovated Goddess Durga shrine as required by the tantric system under supervision of the guru. After installing the idol, she performed Brahmakalasa Abhi-shekam and Parikalasa Abhishekam without faltering. Devotees outside the shrine chanted praises of Goddess Durga.
25. DEDICATED SATELLITE FOR NAVY BY YEAR-END: Bharat’s first dedicated military satellite should be up in space well within a year. Indian Space Research Organisation has fixed the "launch window'' of the naval communication and surveillance satellite between December 2010 and March 2011. "ISRO has assured us the naval satellite, with an around 1,000 nautical mile footprint over Bharatiya Ocean, will be launched as slated... The project cost is Rs 950 crore. IAF and Army satellites will follow in a couple of years,'' said a senior MoD official on May 19.
Coupled with induction of eight P-8i long-range maritime patrol aircraft between 2013 and 2017 under a $2.1-billion deal inked with US, the geo-stationary satellite will ensure a quantum jump in Navy's C4ISR (command, control, communication, computer, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance) capabilities.
The dedicated satellite will help Navy network all its warships, submarines and aircraft among themselves as well as with operational centres ashore through high-speed data-links.
26. BHARAT's FIRST ARTIFICIAL REEF TO PROTECT : Bharat's first artificial reef was commissioned in the waters off the coast of Kerala's Kovalam beach on May 19.
Tourism minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan unveiled the 110-metre long reef about 100m away from the shoreline. Geo-textile bags measuring about 30m in breadth and filled with sand were stacked on the seabed to build the 'soft reef'.
The submerged structure will break sea waves taller than 1m letting only low intensity ones to pass through.
27. IIT CAMPUS IN SINGAPORE SOON: To be called the International Institute of Technology, it will come up with the joint effort of IIT Council, other centrally-funded technology and science institutes (NITs and Indian Institute of Science) and the Singapore government. The proposed institute will teach both humanities and science. Focus will be on research and innovation. Stress will be on "sunlight areas" like health, technology, communication and education. Even at the undergraduate level unique type of courses will be introduced.
HRD Minister Kapil Sibal said Singapore government had made this proposal to PM Manmohan Singh which has been accepted.
28. BHARATIYA AMERICAN WOMAN FOR GOVERNOR: Giving a major boost to the candidacy of Bharatiya American Nikki Haley for the Governorship of South Carolina State, top Republican leaders including Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney have endorsed her campaign. The impact of her endorsement coming from top two Republican leaders was evident as the latest opinion poll released on May 20 showed Haley way ahead of her closest rival.
While Palin was the Vice Presidential candidate for the Republican Party, Romney is considered to be one of the Republican Party presidential aspirant for the 2012 Presidential elections.
Daughter of a Punjabi Sikh immigrant from Amritsar, Namrata "Nikki" Randhawa Haley, if elected in the election, later this year, would be the second Bharatiya American Governor after Jindal; and the first Bharatiya American woman to become the Governor for an American State.
29. 15OTH BIRTH ANNIVERSARIES OF SWAMI VIVEKANANDA AND RAVINDRA NATH TAGORE: Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi suggested formation of four Yoga universities to train “stress buster” to help people cope with rising stress of modern life and a design school that does away with dreary “PWD-style architecture, in the meetings of committees convened by PM Manmohan Singh on May 20, to plan events related to the 150th birth anniversies of Swami Vivekananda and Rabindranath Tagore.
At the meeting, the CM pointed out that Yoga could serve as the vehicle to make Vivekananda relevant in the 21st century with stress emerging as a major health and lifestyle concern. Modi pointed out that Vivekananda had been a youth icon and his appeal could be enhanced through AIR and DD programmes called "Vivekavani".
Though the PM largely spent his time conducting the meetings, he did feel that homage could be paid to Tagore's huge talent for the arts in all their forms by a design school that, as a part of its brief, would work to present alternatives to heavy and dull official architecture. "PWD-type architecture is inappropriate for the modern century," he is understood to have remarked.
30. CHAR DHAM YATRA -SHRINES REOPEN: The Char Dham Yatra began with the opening of the portals of Gangotri and Yamunotri shrines on May 16. The doors of both the shrines were reopened on the auspicious day of Akshaya Tritiya amid the chanting of Vedic mantras, shlaokas and beating of drums and other local musical instruments. Thousands of pilgrims reached the shrines to offer prayers on the first day. First the doors of the Yamunotri shine, situated at a height of 3,700 metres in the Uttarkashi district, were opened and then the doors of the Gangotri, situated at a height of 3,041 metres were opened.
The Char Dham Yatra collectively comprises of the pilgrimage to Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri shrines. The portals of Kedarnath, which is situated in Rudraprayag district, was opened on May 18 and the portals of Badrinath, which is located in Chamoli district at a height of 3,333 metres, was opened on May 19. The Yatra usually spans six months but this time due to Adhimas (an extra month of Hindu calendar), during which no auspicious rites can be performed, the opening of the four shrines has got delayed by about one month.
The Char Dham Yatra is considered to be the backbone of thriving religious tourism in the State that attracts nearly 15 lakh pilgrims every year from within the country and across the world.
31. BHARATIYA-ORIGIN FLORIDA BOY, 13, WINS NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC BEE: A 13-year-old Bharatiya-origin boy from Florida has won the 22nd annual National Geographic Bee - courtesy his knowledge about Haiti.
By correctly answering that Cap-Haitien is the largest city in northern Haiti that was renamed following Haiti's independence from France, Aadith Moorthy received a 25,000-dollar college scholarship, free trip to the Galapagos Islands and lifetime membership to the National Geographic Society. The 13-year-old Palm Harbor Middle School student also sings Carnatic, a style of southern Bharatiya classical music.
32. MAURITIAN HINDU COMMUNITY CELEBRATED KAVADI IN ITALY: The coast of Torre a Mare, a few kilometers from Bari, was transformed to look like Mauritius, or maybe, with a stretch of the imagination, like Bharat. A ceremony was done in the temple dedicated to Murugan, the Murugan Kovil of Bari Torre a Mare, by the Tamil Mauritians of Pugliese, organized by the Govinda Association.
The ritual is called Sittirai Cavadee and is dedicated to the popular God Murugan, particularly revered in the south east of Bharat. It began at 8:00AM with a procession departing from the temple on Valle Giglioli Partigiani street. Renganadun Mootoosamy. A Hindu priest from Mauritius, came to Bari to help with the ceremonies courtesy of the Union Tamoule de Maurice and Mauritius Tamil Temple Federation. There are over one thousand Mauritians in Bari.
33. RSS ON ENDING MANIPUR CRISIS: RSS on May 23 demanded immediate steps from the Centre to end the economic blockade faced by people of Manipur and for their safety.
"It was highly deplorable to shut both the national highways to Manipur for the last 17 days while opposing the entry of NSCN-IM leader T Muivah in Manipur", RSS Sarakaryavaha Bhayyaji Joshi said in a statement at Nagpur.
About 25 lakh people in Manipur are hit by the closure of national highways. Prices of essential commodities including rice, pulses, floor, diesel, petrol and kerosenes are skyrocketing. Dimapur-Imphal NH 39 and Jiribam-Imphal NH 53 are closed since April 11, he said.
34. FIRST INDIAN COMBAT CHOPPER TAKES TO SKY: The indigenously built light combat helicopter (LCH) debuted in the skies on Sunday the May 23, 2010.
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) began work on the LCH in 2006. It will be ready for induction in the army and air force by 2014-15, said R Srinivasan, who heads HAL's Helicopter Complex.
The heavily armoured helicopter is a bit obese. The 5.8-tonne helicopter has turned out to be 300 kg heavier than planned. HAL's designers are now figuring out ways to cut down its weight so it can carry a higher weapons payload.
The LCH is tailored for roles such as destroying enemy tanks, counter-insurgency operations and offensive deployment in urban warfare. It incorporates stealth features and can undertake night missions.
35. SHRI VISHWA NIKETAN: Visitors: Shri Mangatram Sharma – Denmark, Pravas: Dr. Shankar Tatwawadi, Samyojak Vishwa Vibhag returned to Bharat after his tour of USA and UK. Shri Ravikumar, sah samyojak will be in Sri Lanka from June 17-27.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: May we unite in our mind, unite in our purposes, and not fight against the divine spirit within us. – Atharva Veda
JAI SHREE RAM