Margshirsha Shukla10, Vik. Samvat 2071. Yugabda 5116: December 1, 2014


1. FESTIVALS: Janakpur marks Vivaha Panchami with fanfare: Thousands of devotees gathered at Barhabigha area in Janakpur, Nepal on November 26th to observe Vivaha Panchami, a weeklong festival held every five years that marks the wedding between Bhagwan  Ram and Sita (Janaki). A wedding procession was taken out from Janaki Temple that converged at Barahabigha for Swayambar, a part of the Hindu marriage ritual. Following the ceremony, the procession moved around the town. More than 100,000 devotees from various parts of the country, as well as from Bharat, had arrived in Janakpur for the festival. -go top


By J.V. Lakshmana Rao
One of the prestigious landmarks of Bharat’s capital city – Hotel Ashok International – wore a festival look with over 1,800 delegates, including 800 delegates from 50 countries congregated for a three-day deliberations addressed by 200 speakers in three plenary sessions and seven conventions that began on November 21 and concluded on November 23.The theme envisioned for this historic event was the Hindu principle of Sangachchhadhwam Samvadadhwam, which means ”Step together, express together”. About 10 percent of the attendees were women, who dressed in crisp saris and other Bharatiya dresses.
The inaugural session of the historic congress was addressed by Dalai Lama, Dr. Mohanrao Bhagwat,  Sarasanghachalak, RSS; Dr. Ashok Singhal, patron, Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) ; Justice C.V. Wigneswaran, Chief Minister, Northern Province of Sri Lanka and other dignitaries. Swami Dayananda Saraswati, a distinguished traditional teacher of Vedanta, could not attend the congress because of age-related ailment. Swami Vigyananad who was the brain behind the congress said while explaining the aims and objectives of the Congress,  that one in every six people of the world was a Hindu, and Hindus carried great traditions in all fields. “Therefore we should develop a system of education to sustain Hindu excellence.  Hindu resurgence is the need of the hour. The youth are underutilized.  They must be trained to take Hindu excellence to the next level. Only then Hindus will be respected all over the world.  This august gathering aims to devise that system of Hindu resurgence,” he added. Delivering his inaugural address titled --  Hindu-Buddhist brotherhood of Dharma, a uniting factor -- the chief guest, Dalai Lama, said that all human beings were born with same traits mentally, physically and emotionally. There was love and affection in everybody.  But the differences among people were created by people themselves. “We should learn to respect all differences.  The Indus civilization is very ancient civilization.  It created great thinkers. When knowledge improves it develops new things.
Thousands of years ago, Buddhism was much developed one because of it following non-traditional ways, but it respected all ancient Hindu traditions. Modern Hindus are becoming Westernized.  But now you are trying to return to that ancient wisdom.  I respect Hindus, who have mastered the modern sciences and technology, and secured a place in the world.  To counter today’s problems; we have to develop positive emotions.  Knowledge is important to offset destructive emotions. A Hindu is aware of inner peace.  The world can be peaceful if we develop constructive and compassionate emotions,” he added.
He said that Ahimsa (non-violence) and religious tolerance were traits of all Hindus.  Wherever Chinese went, they created China towns; therefore to create and establish Bharat’s ancient culture, the Bharatiyas must create Bharat towns wherever they would go in the world.  “You should create Bharatiya cultural centers, thus help the world.  By doing so you will establish good relations between Hindus and the people of the world.  You will also unite the Hindus spread all over the world,” he said.
Dalai Lama said that philosophical views might be difficult to understand for many, but everyone would yearn for peace. “While you practice your rituals, you can also spread love and peace.  I am hoping that one day we will all have deeper experiences and deeper spiritual understanding.  Bharat is a land of ancient knowledge, which is relevant even to modern society,” he concluded amid thunderous applause.
Ashok Singhal said that Vishva Hindu Parishad aimed at creating a fearless Hindu society.  “We celebrate August 15 as Bharat’s independence day.  We got political independence but we should strive to get independence of free mind and thinking, and promote peace in the world.  We have our own government, but it is not allowed to work for us. If the government does not safeguard Hindus there can be no future for Hindu society. Hinduism seeks world peace and considers the world is one family – Vasudhaiva kutumbakam. Hindus must protect their self-respect.  VHP and RSS are working towards that goal,” he said.
Ashok Singhal said that agitations would not help achieving goals.  Foreign elements were following Hindu thought. Big forces were working against Hindus.  Rama Janma Bhoomi agitation had awakened need for Hindu resurgence.  Prithviraj Chouhan had sown seeds of Hindu awakening 800 years ago.  It was time to revive that spirit. Sanatana Dharma had connected countries like Nepal to Bharat.  The Ramayana and the Mahabharata had shown that the evil was fought against to achieve peace. That was the Hindu spirit to achieve peace.
Justice C.V. Wigneswaran said that truth was universal in a pluralistic society and political power was derived from it. Bharat had exemplified it, though peace was threatened there.  Because of threat to Hinduism, several pro-Hindu organizations had come together that led to the formation of VHP to create greater understanding of Hinduism.  VHP restored pride among Hindus by launching a revivalist movement.
He said that Hindu temples were destroyed in Sri Lanka to dismantle the Hindu society. Dalai Lama issued a declaration against the Hindu oppression in Sri Lanka.  The most important realization was the need to protect religious minorities in Sri Lanka.  Hindus were needed to be protected.
Justice Wigneswaran sought suggestions to take up Hindu renaissance movement in Sri Lanka, and paid tributes to Bharat’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi for launching “Clean Bharat” campaign.
Speaking on “Right time for global Hindu re-emergence and collective efforts of Hindu society,” Dr. Mohanrao Bhagwat said that Hindus were seeking an identity among the people of the world. It was right time for such an effort.  “The balancing comes to those people, who think and act alike. Unity in diversity is the beauty of Bharatiya thought. This august gathering is an example of our effort to unite people.  It’s not against any religion. Let us rise in unison as a Hindu society.  Let us work and demonstrate it as Hindus.  Let us exemplify collective endurance of Hindu society. Let us show the value of sameness of humanity.  Let us stop not till we achieve it. That is Sanathan Dharma.  Let us work together to achieve Hindu  resurgence,” he concluded.
Thorough debates by several experts and intellectuals resulted in valuable suggestions at the seven panel discussions held on topics like World Hindu Economic Forum; Hindu Educational Conference; Hindu Women’s Conference; Hindu Youth Conference; Hindu Media Conference; Hindu Organizational Conference; and Hindu Political Conference.
The 200 speakers at the conferences consisted of stalwarts like political and economic thinkers, intellectuals, scientists in various fields, industrialists, educationists and mediapersons. Some of the notable speakers were Smriti Irani, Union Minister of Human Resource Development;  Dr. Vijay Bhatkar, an acclaimed scientist;   Dr. Nachiketa Tiwari, an associate professor at IIT Kanpur; Dr. Viswanathan, founder and chancellor of VIT University, Vellore;  Dr. Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry; Dr. Pravin Togadia, a cancer specialist and top VHP leader; and Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Shipping and Transportation.
The next WHC will be hosted in the United States of America in 2018. The World Hindu Economic Forum will meet in London in September 2015. -go top

3. MANGALYAAN AMONG BEST INVENTIONS OF 2014: TIME MAGAZINE: Time magazine has declared Bharat’s Mangalyaan as one of the best inventions of the year. Calling it as "The Supersmart Spacecraft," Time said, "Nobody gets Mars right on the first try. The US didn't, Russia didn't, the Europeans didn't. But on September 24, Bharat did. That's when the Mangalyaan went into orbit around the Red Planet, a technological feat no other Asian nation has yet achieved."Mangalyaan is among the 25 'Best Inventions of 2014' listed by Time magazine that are "making the world better, smarter and in some cases a little more fun."

Developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation, the Mars spacecraft cost Bharat just USD 74 million, less than the budget for the multi-Academy Award winning science fiction thriller film Gravity. Time said at that price, the Mangalyaan is equipped with just five onboard instruments that allow it to do simple tasks like measure Martian methane and surface composition.
"More important, however, it allows India to flex its interplanetary muscles, which portends great things for the country's space program and for science in general," Time said. -go top

4. OBAMA INVOKES BHARATIYA-AMERICAN SCHOLAR THOMAS KAILATH: US President Obama on November 20 invoked Kailath's life, work, and philosophy as an example of how the United States needs to keep its doors open to high-skilled foreign immigrants.

The occasion was the awarding of the annual National Medals for science, technology, and innovation in the White House, an event Obama's scientific advisor John Holdren says always perks of the President weighed down with a myriad issues (since this involves meeting problem-solvers).
As one of 19 honorees, Kailath might have expected to have his medal presented and moved on. Instead, Obama, with a landmark immigration speech ahead of him, chose to dwell on the Bharatiya-American who is a legend in Silicon Valley and in academia, having mentored scores of scholars and successful companies.
"As Thomas Kailath, one of our honorees today says, 'Scientists are intrinsically hopeful and believe in grand answers and that if we work hard enough we can find some of them in our lifetime,'" Obama began. "I'm intrinsically hopeful," he grinned, repeating the phrase. That's who I am. That's who we are as a people, as Americans, as a nation. We've had to fight to make stories like the ones here in this room not only possible, but sometimes likely." -go top

5. NARENDRA MODI HAS TURNED BHARAT INTO A MAGNET: MCKINSEY CEO DOMINIC BARTON: Dominic Barton, the CEO of the world's largest whiteshoe consulting firm, McKinsey, says that Bharat is back on the priority list of CEOs after Narendra Modi's ascension to power. "People had given up on Bharat. They felt Bharat is too complicated and it was difficult to get anything done. It had dropped in the last five years on people's priority (list). I think it has gone right back up, people are interested, obviously people are going to want to see action but I think the feeling is they will, because this government seems serious," says Barton.

PM Narendra Modi's high profile, the outcome of addresses at New York's Madison Square Garden and Sydney's Allphones Arena has helped advance Bharat's cause in global boardrooms. "I hear people say he seems very determined... We know it is unbelievably complicated but he is going to get it done. I see it in pharmaceuticals, industrial companies and the pension funds. The pension funds are interested and that is a big opportunity and so we are interested in getting more investment here too," says Barton. -go top

6. MODI IN SYDNEY: SETS DEADLINE FOR MERGER OF OCI AND PIO SCHEMES: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 17 said the differences between Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) and Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) schemes would be ended by January 2015. Addressing the Bharatiya community at the Allphones Arena in Sydney, the Prime Minister called upon Bharatiyas across the world to convert the atmosphere of hope and optimism into a reality of meeting the expectations and aspirations of Bharat`s people.

The PM said on the basis of his experience of the last six months, he could see no reason why the aspirations of millions of Bharatiyas could not be fulfilled. He referred to Swami Vivekananda`s dream of seeing Mother Bharat as a 'Vishva Guru' once again, and said he believed that dream would be a reality.
The Prime Minister congratulated and complimented the Bharatiya Australian community for working hard and making their 'karmbhoomi' proud. He named prominent Bharatiya-Australians who had excelled for Australia in sports and academics. -go top

7. CREATE NEW EDUCATION MODEL ACCEPTABLE TO ALL: MOHAN BHAGWAT: RSS Sarasanghachalak Dr. Mohan Bhagwat asked the intellectuals, educationists and academicians to come out with a new indigenous model of education that would be universal in its appeal and produce better human beings.

"The change is much-needed and even cause of worry because education shapes the next generation and impacts whole of humanity. Several thinkers with varying ideological affinities are at work. So we have a huge responsibility, more so with the whole world hoping that Bharat would show the path to better learning for peaceful and contended life," said the RSS chief. -go top

8. MORE TECHIES TURN SEVAKS, LOG INTO RSS IT MILANS: Yashas Nataraj, 31, an IIM-B alumnus with a master's from Singapore, joined IT Milan 18 months ago. Since then, there has been no looking back.

Like him, around 2,200 techie swayamsevaks have joined IT Milans in the city since 2001 when the first shakha was launched by the RSS.
"It's a like-minded group and good eco-system to contribute to the society and fashion the national discourse. At the shakha, we start with physical exercises like yoga and Surya Namaskar, after which we discuss various issues, including national security, foreign policy and social issues," he said.
IT Milans are a weekly adaptation of the daily RSS Shakha (gathering of swayamsevaks at a common place for an hour daily). It comprises professionals, mostly from the IT sector.
With 110 shakhas, Bengaluru is home to half the 225 IT Milans in the country. Mysuru has two Shakhas. At an average of 20 members per IT Milan, there are about 2,200 techie Swayamsevaks in the city.
"It's growing every year. The online registration has increased," said Suresh Nayak, an RSS pracharak. The concept was launched in Bengaluru in 2001 to attract outsiders (non-Kannadigas) in the IT industry. The saffron IT brigade has kept pace with the growth of IT. This year alone, the organization has started about a dozen IT Milans in the city.
How's it different from a regular shakha? The regular shakha is a daily affair, while IT Milan is held on Sundays, normally between 8 am and 9 am.
The regular shakhas are held in Kannada, while IT Milan will be either in Hindi or English or Kannada, depending on the profile of the volunteers. However, like in a daily shakha, IT Milans also have physical exercises, patriotic songs, group discussions and prayer. "As they are professionals, there will be more intellectual activity. The focus is more on how they could help the society," Nayak said.
Besides attending shakhas, the groups take active part in Swachh Bharat campaign and activities of NGOs associated with the RSS.
Karnataka has 3,400 RSS Shakhas, including 600 added in the past four years, and around 1.2 lakh swayamsevaks (above 18 years). The process of joining is easy. There is no fee or registration. Once a person starts attending a shakha, he becomes a member.
A senior RSS leader, who didn't wish to be quoted, said, "We record about 30,000 online registrations, of which 1,000 are from outside the country. In Karnataka, the trend (attraction towards the RSS) has been there for the last three-and-a-half to four years.''
"Both interest and awareness about nationalism and the RSS have increased after Narendra Modi became the prime minister,'' said Radha Krishna Holla, who handles the RSS media relations.
(Times of India, December 2, 2014) -go top

9. A BRAVE DAUGHTER OF MADURAI: Dr. Kalyani Gomathinayagam is a young Bharatiya doctor who volunteered to spend four weeks in Foya, Liberia (West Africa) during September-October, 2014, helping those suffering and dying of Ebola, the awful epidemic.  She was one of the few doctors, and likely the only Bharatiya, who had volunteered to work in that region. Kalyani is no stranger to practicing medicine in rough situations. After her medical training in Madurai, and working in rural Kerala, she opted to spend a decade working as a medical officer with the Indo-Tibetan Border Police at extremely isolated regions on the border, including remote places in Jammu and Kashmir, Arunachal Pradesh, as well as a stint, once, on the Kailas-Mansarovar yatra route at Kunji Post.

“The most heartening news is that for the past one month they have not recorded any new case coming from Foya. There are some cases in the periphery -- in other districts. On the whole I think the community has really participated a lot in bringing the epidemic under control in Foya. That’s a good sign.”  -go top

10. AKASH MISSILE SUCCESSFULLY TEST-FIRED FOR SECOND DAY: For the second consecutive day, Bharat successfully test-fired its indigenously developed surface-to-air ‘Akash’ missile from a test range in Odisha as part of the user trial by the air force.

The trial of the missile was ‘fully successful’; ITR director M V K V Prasad said on November 18, adding that it hit a para-barrel target.
The test fire was a practice and evaluation trial for a new squadron and a repeat performance as the medium range missile had been test-fired successfully on November 17 from the same test range.
’Akash’ missile is a medium range surface-to-air anti—aircraft defence system with a strike range of 25 km and can carry a warhead of 60 kg. It has the capability to target aircraft up to 30 km away and is packed with a battery that can track and attack several targets simultaneously.
With its capability to neutralize aerial targets like fighter jets, cruise missiles and air—to—surface missiles, defense experts compare ‘Akash’ to the similar weapons of many other advanced countries. -go top

11. ‘RESPECT EVERY MEMBER OF HINDU SOCIETY EQUALLY': RSS Sarakaryavah Bhayyaji Joshi chaired a Social Harmony Meet (Samajik Sadbhavana Goshti) at Jammu on November 23. Several socio-religious leaders, social activists attended the meet and discussed the speedy mechanisms to achieve social harmony.

Addressing on the occasion Bhayyaji Joshi said, “We need to think above the caste factor and as Hindu we need to communicate and indulge in daily activities in the society. Every member of Hindu society should be equally respected. This will solve several problems. Law has its limitations, cannot eradicate the problem fully. Individually everyone should think and work for a change to achieve social harmony. To make Bharat Vishwaguru; we need to unite and strengthen Hindu society”. Pranth Pracharak Ramesh Pappa and other senior functionaries were present for the program. -go top

12. HINDUS MAKE IMPRINT ON PITTSBURGH     RELIGIOUS SCENE:  Seated in front of the floodlit, intricately sculpted fa├žade of their Hindu temple in Penn Hills – Pennsylvania USA, hundreds of people recently looked into the October night sky, their faces glowing with the colors of fireworks bursting overhead to mark Diwali, a festival of lights marking the god’s victory over darkness and ignorance. Of all the Pittsburgh’s immigrant groups, its 10,000-strong Bharatiya-born community has made the most visible imprint on its diverse religious scene.

Bharatiya-Americans have organized two major Hindu temples and other smaller Hindu institutions, as well as a Jain shrine, a Sikh temple besides a small Christian congregation.  Worshipers prayed before the idol of the deity to whom the temple is dedicated – Sri Venkateswara, an incarnation of Vishnu, surrounded by consorts Lakshmi and Bhoodevi, goddesses of wealth and the earth. The deities were surrounded by gifts such as floral garlands, mango leaves and rice. -go top

13. BHARATIYA - AMERICAN NAMED CHAIRPERSON OF DALLAS FED BOARD: Bharatiya - American Renu Khator has been named the chairperson of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas' board of directors. 59-year-old Khator, who has served as the president of University of Houston (UH) and chancellor of UH System, joined the board in 2011 and was appointed deputy chair two years later. Khator was UH System's first woman chancellor, UH's first foreign-born president and the first ever Bharatiya immigrant to lead a comprehensive research university in the US. Since 2008, she has overseen the UH System's more than 65,000 students and a budget of over USD 1.3 billion.

Khator, born in Farrukhabad - Uttar Pradesh, earned her bachelor's degree from Kanpur before pursuing her master's degree and a Ph.D in political science from Purdue University in the US. A noted scholar in the field of global environmental policy, she has published numerous books and articles on the subject. -go top

14. HAF APPLAUDS TEXTBOOK PUBLISHERS FOR TRANSFORMATIONAL CHANGES IN DEPICTION OF HINDUISM IN TEXAS: In a landmark moment for the Hindu American community, the Texas State Board of Education voted in third week of November 2014 to adopt new textbooks that dramatically improve the way Hinduism is depicted. The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) was involved in the adoption process from the beginning, working with scholars and historians to ensure a constructive and accurate understanding of Hinduism. As a result of the changes made by publishers in response to HAF's reviews, the textbooks now present a picture of Hinduism that emphasizes the religion's core philosophies with accurate explanations of key concepts.

"This is a game-changing moment for our community," said Houston-based HAF Board Member Rishi Bhutada, testified before the state board in September, urging changes to the proposed content. "This is the first time that this type of textbook reform has ever been accomplished on a statewide level anywhere in the US, and to do it in Texas, one of the two biggest textbook markets in the country, is amazing."
Educators, several publishers, and other advocacy groups worked closely with HAF to make sure the representations of Hinduism were not steeped in the archaic and inaccurate "caste, cows, and karma" approach that has dominated textbook content for years. -go top

15. BHARATIYA COUPLE IN UK IS THE WORLD'S OLDEST PARTNERS: A Bharatiya couple, both over 100 years old and said to be the world's oldest partners, has celebrated their joint birthdays on November 23 in the UK. The couple tied the knot almost 89 years ago on December 11, 1925 after meeting in Bharat as teenagers.

They married the same year Margaret Thatcher was born and Stanley Baldwin was British prime minister. Karam Chand, a retired mill worker, reached 109 on the same day his wife turned 102. They marked the occasion with four generations of their family at their home in Bradford. -go top

16. US HISTORIAN INSISTS 'ARYANS WERE INDIGENOUS TO BHARAT': Throwing his weight behind the ‘Aryan Project’ by Delhi University’s Sanskrit department, noted American scholar David Frawley said there is a need for an extensive new Vedic study, and insisted that Aryans were indigenous to Bharat.

“There is a need for extensive new Vedic study and research in Bharat, including considering the mantric and yogic dimensions of Vedic knowledge,” Frawley said on November 24 while giving a presentation of his findings on ‘Aryan Theory in The Light of Textual Evidences’.
Vedic literary evidence — the largest, best preserved and most complete from the early ancient world — reflects a compilation over a long period of time by several kingdoms and dynasties, he said. The Sanskrit department, which has started the project to prove that Aryans were indigenous to the country, will hold at least seven lectures. It also plans to invite national and international scholars to speak on the issue. -go top

17. BHARAT SHOULD BRING BACK AREAS LOST TO PAKISTAN, CHINA: INDRESH: Senior RSS leader Indresh Kumar on November 17 suggested that Bharat should take steps to reclaim territories which are controlled by Pakistan and China. He also said the people from the Valley who have left Jammu and Kashmir due to terrorism must be brought back in the greater interest of democracy.

Releasing a book, Plight of Jammu and Kashmir, by Justice (retd) G D Sharma, RSS national executive member Kumar mentioned a Parliament resolution on reclaiming Bharatiya territories and said, “Leaders of country must adhere to the resolution passed by Parliament. Bring back the lost land.”“Boundaries were changed due to our weakness and their (China and Pakistan) hawkish approach,” Kumar said. The RSS leader said Jammu and Kashmir was yet to join the “mainstream”, and that in 2014 there was an opportunity to bring back “Kashmir, Kashmiriyat and Kashmiri” into the mainstream of Bharat. -go top

18. BHARAT HAS WORLD’S LARGEST NUMBER OF VOLUNTARY GIVERS: Bharat tops the charts when it comes to the largest number of volunteers anywhere in the world. Nearly 18.65 crore people in Bharat support non-profit organizations (popularly known as non-government organizations or NGOs) by volunteering their time and effort. In stark contrast, China, with only 6.8 crore volunteers, was fourth on this list.
Compared with the previous findings relating to 2012, the number of Bharatiyas volunteering time has shot up by three percentage points as 29 million more people contributed their time in 2013. These findings were released by Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), a global non-profit that compiles the World Giving Index annually. This index looks at three measures of giving during 2013: The number of people who have given money to charity, volunteered their time or helped a stranger. -go top

19. ‘GITA MY BASIS FOR COUNSELLING HINDUS IN U.S. MILITARY’: Bharatiya-American Pratima Dharm has been a pioneer on multiple counts – last month she was appointed as the first ever Hindu chaplain of a U.S. university and in 2011 she made history after the Pentagon named her as its first Hindu and inter-faith chaplain. She served in the U.S. military through some of the hardest times faced by its soldiers in the battlefields of Iraq, and she counseled many of them afflicted by PTSD, steering them away from suicide, and helping them reclaim their familial relationships. She also participated in humanitarian aid missions into the Kurdish regions of northern Iraq, an experience that left her with lasting ties to the people there.

In a conversation with Narayan Lakshman, Ms. Dharm spoke of her deep links with Bharat and the principles of Hinduism that she associates with her upbringing in the country, and also shared her thoughts on Hindus in the U.S. military and the kind of leader she hopes Bharatiya Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be. -go top

20. ‘KRUNVANTO VISHWAMARYAM’ IS BHARAT’S ONLY WORLD MISSION: J NANDKUMAR: “To make the world cultured, rich in knowledge, thoughts and actions is the only world mission of Bharat and we have been pursuing this mission since eons. There were some obstacles and hurdles in accomplishment of this mission.

Dr Hedgewar started the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) to remove those hurdles and fulfil the mission,” said J Nandkumar, Akhil Bharatiya Sah Prachar Pramukh of RSS while interacting with the students of journalism and mass communication at the depart of journalism, Rajasthan University, Jaipur on Nov 18. Nandkumar said that societal transformation was necessary for making the country strong and vibrant. We have to take our nation to the highest pedestal of the world community with the help of our society thus transformed. -go top

21. BHUTANESE AMERICANS MAKE HISTORY ADVOCATING ON CAPITOL HILL: A delegation of nearly 30 Bhutanese Hindus from across the country made history on Capitol Hill on  November 17 with the first ever Bhutanese American Advocacy Day. The unprecedented event, organized by the Hindu American Foundation (HAF), featured a congressional briefing along with meetings with the State Department and several House and Senate offices. There are now nearly 80,000 Bhutanese Hindu refugees living in major cities throughout America, and they face a number of challenges, including a high incidence of mental illness and suicide, trouble obtaining employment, and difficulty retaining their cultural and religious traditions.

The day was capped off with a meeting between the entire delegation and Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), the first and only Hindu in the United States Congress. Delegate leaders and HAF directly briefed the Congresswoman on the circumstances prevailing in Bhutan as well as the difficulties these refugees face assimilating to life in a new country. -go top

22. BHARAT LAUNCHES E-VISA FACILITY FOR 43 NATIONS: Electronic visa facility for visitors from 43 countries including US, Germany and Israel was launched in New Delhi on November 27."We want to promote tourism in the country in a big way. The contribution of tourism in the GDP is approximately 7 per cent and we want to double it up," Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on the occasion. Now, a visitor from these countries will just have to apply for an e-visa on the designated website and pay the fee online to get an electronic travel authorization (ETA) within 72 hours. Russia, Ukraine, Brazil, UAE, Kenya, Fiji, Mauritius, Norway and Oman and are among the countries which have got the e-visa facility in the first phase. E-visa will be valid for 30 days and a tourist can avail the facility twice a year. -go top


23. SEWA REPORT ON “MY PARK DAY”: On November 8 Sad-Karma Shakha and Durga Shakha participated in a Sewa project called “My Park Day” at Kissena Corridor Park in New York City.  The main project was to plant flower bulbs so that patients from the nearby New York Queens Hospital would be able to take a walk in the park during the Spring and see the beautiful flowers. The event was organized by Green Earth Urban Gardens and had over 200 people from several organizations and neighboring schools.  -go top


24. SHRI VISHWA NIKETAN: Pravas: Shri Suresh ji Soni sahsarkaryavaha RSS is on a tour to Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar, Saumitra Gokhale samyojak Vishwa Vibhag returned to US, Shri Ravikumar sah samyojak is on a tour to Thailand, Dr. Ram Vaidya sahsamyojak returned to UK Visitors: Ravi Deo – Guyana, Ma Dr. Ved Nanada, Amrit  Mittal Shridhar Damle - USA, Ma Dhirajbhai Shah – UK, Ranjeev Gowrie – Netherlands, Radhakrishnan – SriLanka, Regu – Malaysia  -go top


FOOD FOR THOGUHT: A Hindu is someone who sees unity in all human diversity – RSS Sarasanghachalak Mohan Bhagawat at World Hindu Congress on November 21, 2014.-go top