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Vishwa Samvad Kendra (Media Centre), Chennai (vskch.2009@gmail.com)


Pancha is five in Samskritam, Amritam is nectar

Amavaasyaa, Kali Yugaabda 5111, VIRODHI Margazhi 1 (December 16, 2009)


Copenhagen would approve of this marriage! Arushi Shah, 22, has chosen to  get wedded the traditional way. The venue is her home which will be lit with castor oil diyas, instead of floodlights, and the wedding trousseau will in khadi silk. Instead of paneer-tikkas and spring-rolls, guests will be served boiled chana and bor (local berry) as starters. In fact, Arushi will carry a 'streedhan' of a cow and calf. There is also no element of plastic in the gifts given by her parents. All utensils are either of copper, brass or silver.Arushi will wed businessman Dipen Shah, 24, of Paldi on December 13. She is part of an informal group which believes in not messing with mother nature and living the organic way of life. "We have been living the natural way at home and have 30 cows. My in-laws' house will accommodate the cow." said Arushi. While Arushi's parents could have easily afforded a flashy venue, the ceremonies will be performed at her house in Chaitanyanagar Society in Shahibaug (Gujarat, Bharat). On the wedding eve, the guests were served 'pulav' made with vegetables grown in an organic farm and cooked in sesame oil extracted in the traditional way. Her close relatives were in dhoti."Arushi has decided to wear only 'ahimsa' silk or khadi during her wedding ceremonies.

Based on a report by Smt. Radha Sharma in THE TIMES OF INDIA,December 13, 2009


The Harijans of Kisinapur village in Cuttack district (Orissa, Bharat) took a big step on December2, 2009. They walked inside the 900-year-old Chhateswar temple in their village, which has been out of bounds for them, and offered pooja  to Lord Shiva. They were received at the temple gate by the priests and served 'prasad'."It was the greatest day of my life. I had never dreamt of offering puja to the deity," said 49-year-old Sabita Mallick. She and hundreds of other Dalits organised under the Rastriya Yuva Sangathan, which undertook the padayatra to mark the 75th year of Mahatma Gandhi's march against untouchability in 1939. The padayatra began from Bairee in Jajpur on November 30 and ended at Kisinapur.  Dr Biswajit Ray, spokesperson, Rastriya Yuva Sangathan, said the Dalits felt good about this gesture from Brahmins. "There was no palpable tension. Both sections of society exchanged pleasantries on the occasion," he said. Later, the villagers dined together in a grand community feast organised on the occasion.                                                            

 Based on a report by Shri Subhashish Mohanty in   www.dnaindia.com December 4, 2009



The Amman (Parvati) temple in Boothapandi, Kanyakumari district (Tamilnadu, Bharat is under the control of HR&CE (state government department).  The temple owns lands, the revenue from which helps  run the temple worship. In a controversy that developed in the village, temple priest Senthil claimed that the expenses are met from his salary, whereas the temple administrator claimed that the expenses are met from the temple income itself.  Devotees ghraoed the priest and locked him inside the temple.  When informed, the police intervened and a solution was arrived at. It was decided then and there that Hindus of the village would be regularly informed of the revenue and expenditure of the temple thereafter. The Hindus released the priest only after their just aim was achieved.         Team PANCHAAMRITAM


Temple administration under a secular government is all set to interfere in the religious tradition of Hindu worshippers of Madurai (Tamilnadu, Bharat). The majestic towers of the world-famous Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarar temple in Madurai, are targeted by terrorists. That seems to be reason enough for th temple officials to bar devotees from offering  coconuts to the deities. A notice near the Meenakshi  shrine says that it has been decided at a meeting of the board of trustees of the temple that instead of offering coconuts, devotees can present fruits to the gods. Any objections to the proposal could be made known to the administration by mail or in person before December 15 2009. Devotees, led by  Hindu organizations and hundreds of lawyers have plunged into action through signature campaign against the implementation of the ban on coconuts.   Madurai Bench Lawyers' Association Chief Sri A Dharmaraj kicked off the signature campaign. More than 1,000 lawyers have signed a petition to be sent to the Chief Minister and the Temple authorities, right in front of the High Court.



In a humane gesture, the ninth class students of Paramita High school in Karimnagar town (Andhra Pradsh, Bharat) have donated about Rs. 2,500 of their pocket money for the welfare of old aged persons, inmates of an orphanage in the town, on February 3, 2009. Students contributed their pocket money, ranging from Rs. 5 to Rs. 20 each. They donated the said amount for the purchase of food items for the senior citizens of Sri Veerabrahmendra Swamy Old Age Home and Orphanage. The students also spent some time with the inmates and inquired about their health conditions and about their families. Touched by the plight of the orphans, the students have decided to come frequently to the Home and contribute whatever was possible for them. Inspired by the students' noble cause, Paramita High School chairman E. Prasad Rao announced donation of Rs. 10,000 for the orphanage for the purpose of ration and other food items.                                                          Based on a report in THE HINDU, February 4, 2009.



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