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Sri Ram Returns to Ayodhya but Mandirs in India continue to be desecrated

November Newsletter #1 (Nov 1-15)

In a world interconnected by the threads of globalization, the flow of information has become more pervasive than ever before. However, amid this vast sea of news, there exists a poignant narrative that often remains hidden – the violence against Hindus and the persecution they endure across various regions. This fortnightly report endeavors to bring out these often-overlooked incidents, providing an unbiased and comprehensive selection of news agencies’ reports on violence, persecution and discrimination faced by the Hindu community globally along with the positive reports celebrating Hindu Heritage. The primary objective of this report is to present a clear and objective overview of incidents as reported by credible news agencies. By collating and analysing this information, our aim is to raise awareness about Hindu culture and values besides advocating for the protection of the fundamental rights and freedoms of Hindus worldwide.


India

On Tuesday (14th November), the Andhra Pradesh Police filed a police complaint against members of local churches in the city of Chittoor for using the sacred Hindu Temple tank to convert local Hindus to Christianity. The complaint was filed after some of the locals complained that the church authorities had performed baptism on Hindus at the Pushkarini of Venugopala Swamy temple on Monday (13th November).


India


A bench of Justices AS Bopanna and MM Sundresh disagrees with the Tamil Nadu government that the state was entitled to appoint 'Archakas'.

The Supreme Court directed the Tamil Nadu government to maintain existing conditions on the appointment of 'Archakas' (priests) in the temples governed by the 'Agamic' tradition.


India

An appeal was filed in the Madras High Court against the construction of a commercial complex opposite the Rajagopuram of 1000-year-old Tiruvannamalai Arunachaleswarar Temple. The judges hearing the petition banned the construction and ordered that no work should be carried out as the restraining order will come into effect from the moment the order is issued.


As ‘Gopura Darshanam, Kodi Puniyam’, devotees are worshiping this Rajagopuram from far away, which can be seen up to a distance of 20 km. If the entire commercial complex is completed, the front of the tower will be hidden and devotees will not be able to see the Raja Gopuram. The temple administration has not released any details in this regard.


United States Of America


A Hindu temple, Hari Om Radha Krishna Mandir in the Parkway neighborhood in the US State of California has been raided by burglars who stole a donation box from the premises, leaving the Indian community in a state of shock. The incident took place at about 2:15 a.m., the Sacramento Bee newspaper reported.


The Sacramento Police Department which is investigating the burglary did not disclose what was stolen, but dispatch audio indicated a donation collection box was taken. Police said no arrests have been made, but the incident remains under investigation.

Meanwhile, condemning the incident, the US-based advocacy organisation Coalition of Hindus of North America (CoHNA) has asked the Sacramento Police to take this issue very seriously and investigate it as a potential hate crime.


Pakistan

Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan recently addressed the Israel-Hamas conflict on his X account, calling for the restoration of peace, particularly in the war-torn Gaza. He appealed to world leaders to come together to end the tragic loss of lives in Gaza, especially among innocent children, while the world remains seemingly indifferent to the devastation.

Former Pakistani cricketer Danish Kaneria, who is only the second Hindu from Pakistan to have played for the national cricket team, shared Irfan's post on his X account and encouraged the Indian pacer to also raise his voice for the rights of Hindus in Pakistan who have faced discrimination in the neighbouring country.

"Irfan bhai, I'm happy that you understand the pain of children, and I stand with you on that. But please do speak about Pakistani Hindus as well. The situation is not very different here in Pakistan," read Danish’s reply to Irfan's tweet on X.


Pakistan

Despite 96 incidents of crime, involving abduction, forced conversions and marriages, and gang rapes of women and girls, reported against the Hindus living in Pakistan's Sindh province last year, the community remains undeterred. "We are celebrating Karwa Chauth with the same religious fervour and enthusiasm as we celebrate other Hindu festivals," said Shiva Kachhi, chairperson and Founder of the Sindh-based Darewar Itehand , a minority rights organisation.


"We are working to stop kidnapping of minor girls from the minority Hindu community in Sindh, forced marriages after conversion and for the rights of the minority community through a peaceful struggle. We are hoping that we will be considered as equal citizens of Pakistan and get legitimate rights," said Radhe Bheel, a Hindu woman from Sindh. In the Sindh province, the Hindu community is scattered across Umarkot, Tando Allahyar Tharparkar, Mirpur Khas, Hyderabad, Sangar, and Tando Muhammad Khan districts, said Shiva.


Canada

Canadian MP Melissa Lantsman tabled a petition calling for the recognition of Hinduphobia, in the House of Commons on Thursday. She also sought the Government’s response to the petition, e-4507, closed on October 17, with 25,794 signatures. The deputy leader of the Conservative Party in the House, Lantsman said the community had “seen an increase in attacks against the Hindu people in their places of worship.”

The petition, which garnered support from 80 community organisations including major temples, calls upon the House to recognise Hinduphobia as a term in the glossary of terms in the Human Rights Code to describe anti-Hindu prejudice and discrimination, to define Hinduphobia as denial, negation, prejudice or vilification against Hindus, Hinduism, or Hinduness and to raise awareness and address systemic and institutional Hinduphobia.



India


The doors of the historic Hasanamba Temple will be opened on Thursday. On the first day, the devotees would not be allowed to enter the temple. The temple is open to devotees only during the festival of the year. Thousands of people from different parts of the State visit the temple during the festival. Hasanamba temple is a Hindu temple located in Hassan, Karnataka, dedicated to the Goddess Shakti or Amba. The temple was built in the 12th century. The temple is opened once a year during the Hindu festival Deepavali in October.


United Kingdom


A British-Indian London Assembly member Krupesh Hirani tabled a motion calling on the Metropolitan Police to include the breakdown of hate crimes by religion to tackle growing instances of anti-Hindu hate. Hirani addressed the assembly, which deals with issues affecting Londoners as part of the Mayor of London-run Greater London Authority, to highlight instances of “Hinduphobia”. His motion, tabled on Thursday and agreed unanimously, called for the Met Police to work with local Hindu communities to encourage confidence in reporting hate crimes targeting Hindus. Hirani referenced the Crime Survey for England and Wales, which shows that Hindus are the second most likely religion to have been victims of religiously motivated hate crime.



India


A disgusting incident from West Bengal has come to light in which a Muslim man urinated near Shivling inside the Hindu temple in Murshidabad’s Kandar Village. The outrageous act on 31st October this year was captured on camera and is confirmed by the local police. A video of the same has gone viral on the internet.


Thailand

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will address the World Hindu Congress-2023 in Bangkok later this month, the event’s organiser said on Wednesday.


The three-day conference, beginning November 24, is being organised by the World Hindu Foundation. This is its third edition, with the first held in Delhi in 2014 and the second in Chicago in 2018. With participation of delegates from more than 60 countries, the conference aims to provide a “comprehensive platform to explore and deliberate on challenges and opportunities before the Hindu community”, he said.



India

Nearly a thousand volunteers of different RSS affiliates from each of its 45 prant(regional) units across the country, will be distributing “akshat (holy offering)” door-to-door, urging them to attend celebrations at their nearest temple on January 22, to mark the consecration ceremony of the Ram temple in Ayodhya.

The offering of akshat — rice grains mixed with turmeric and ghee — will be sent in brass urns to nearly 200 VHP and RSS volunteers at Ram Janmabhoomi in Ayodhya on Sunday. They will then leave for their prant headquarters.“Our target is to also have 5 crore households light diyas,” said a member of the temple trust, adding that the plan was “to turn the whole country into Ayodhya, with such programs at over 5 lakh temples”.


England (United Kingdom)

A group of Hindu worshippers has finally found a new home after more than a decade of searching. They had hoped to build a new temple, or mandir, in Northampton but were unable to find funding for the project.


They are now converting an old Christadelphian hall in the town into a mandir.

The first religious ceremony at the new venue takes place on Monday to mark Annakut - which means "a mountain of food" and is part of Deepavali. The Indian Hindu Welfare Organisation (IHWO) was set up in 1996 to enhance the lives of Northampton's Hindu community and develop partnerships with other groups. The IHWO has already staged an open day, but the first religious event will be Annakut.



Ram Mandir

India


The Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) on Monday said it will invite more than 10 crore families in the country and abroad to take part in the consecration ceremony to be held at Ram temple in Ayodhya on January 22.


Addressing a press conference here, VHP central working president Alok Kumar said the 'pious akshat kalash' sanctified in Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Temple on November 5 has already been sent across the country. 'Workers of the Vishva Hindu Parishad, along with other Hindu organisations, will visit Hindu families in cities and villages of the country from January 1 to January 15, 2024, to invite them,' he told reporters. A similar programme has also been organised to invite “Hindus living abroad,” he said.

VHP teams and workers engaged in this work will not accept 'any gift, donation or other materials” from the devotees.



India

The temples in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh have been spruced up as the auspicious ‘Karthika Masam’ is all set to begin from November 14 (Tuesday).

Famous Shiva temples at Srikalahasti, Moghili, Kailasakona, Kapilatheertham in Tirupati, Sadasivakona, and Talakona, besides a large number of other shrines, in the undivided Chittoor district have made elaborate arrangements to deal with the heavy influx of devotees during the holy month

A large number of devotees from Chennai and other parts of neighbouring Tamil Nadu visit the Srikalahasti temple to offer prayers and perform the Rahu-Ketu puja during this holy month. The devotees from Tamil Nadu and Karnataka throng the Shiva temples in Chittoor district, while the Telugus hold equal importance for the historical Shiva shrines in Tamil Nadu. An estimated 3 lakh devotees from the Chittoor district offer prayers at Tiruvannamalai during this month, while the rush peaks during the lighting of holy lamps atop the Arunachala hillock. Similarly, Kotilingala and Dharmasthala in Karnataka lure devotees from the Chittoor district.



We welcome your feedback and suggestions on our global media report covering Hindu heritage and the challenges faced by Hindus worldwide. Your insights are invaluable in fostering greater understanding and awareness. Please share your thoughts and let us continue this important conversation together.


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