All posts tagged: Hindu

A Hindu festival in southwestern Pakistan brings a mountainous region to life

A Hindu festival in southwestern Pakistan brings a mountainous region to life

[ad_1] HINGLAJ, Pakistan (AP) — The ascent of steep mud volcanoes marks the start of Hindu pilgrims’ religious rituals in southwestern Pakistan. They climb hundreds of stairs or clamber over rocks to reach the summit, tossing coconuts and rose petals into the shallow crater while seeking divine permission to visit Hinglaj Mata, an ancient cave temple that is the focus of their three-day worship. The dramatic surroundings of Hingol National Park in Baluchistan province are the setting for Pakistan’s largest Hindu festival, Hinglaj Yatra, which started on Friday and ends on Sunday. Organizers say more than 100,000 Hindus are expected to participate. Muslim-majority Pakistan is home to 4.4 million Hindus, just 2.14% of the population, and Hinglaj Mata is one of the few Hindu sites that continues to draw large numbers of pilgrims every year from across the country. Muslims and Hindus generally live peacefully in Pakistan, from where most of the Hindus migrated to India when it was divided by British colonialists in 1947. But there have been attacks on Hindu temples in recent …

Hinglaj Yatra Hindu festival brings mountainous region in Pakistan to life | Religion

Hinglaj Yatra Hindu festival brings mountainous region in Pakistan to life | Religion

[ad_1] The dramatic surroundings of Hingol National Park in Balochistan province are the setting for Pakistan’s largest Hindu celebration, Hinglaj Yatra, which started on Friday and ends on Sunday. Muslim-majority Pakistan is home to 4.4 million Hindus, just 2.14 percent of the population, and the ancient cave temple of Hinglaj Mata is one of the few Hindu sites in the country that continues to draw large numbers of pilgrims every year. The journeys begin hundreds of kilometres away, mostly from neighbouring Sindh province. Hundreds of packed buses set off from cities like Hyderabad and Karachi, travelling along the Makran Coastal Highway that hugs Pakistan’s south and southwest. But there is scant parking and vehicular access to the holy sites, so many pilgrims disembark and complete their travel by walking over parched and rocky terrain, sometimes barefoot and carrying children or luggage. It’s a few kilometres from the main road to the mud volcano and then, from there, almost 45km (28 miles) to Hinglaj Mata. Kanwal Kumar, 28, was visiting the temple for the first time …

An anti-Hindutva teach-in spurs debate about Hindu representation on college campuses

An anti-Hindutva teach-in spurs debate about Hindu representation on college campuses

[ad_1] Pranay Somayajula, on screen, remotely addresses attendees during the “Holi against Hindutva” teach-in event at Oberlin College, Sunday, April 21, 2024, in Oberlin, Ohio. (Photo by Sayanth Shajith) (RNS) — On Sunday (April 21), a group of about 40 students gathered at Oberlin College, near Cleveland, for a student-led event called “Holi against Hindutva:” a teach-in aimed at discussing Hindu nationalism’s “violent implications for Muslims worldwide and connections to Zionism.” An initiative of this sort is not uncommon on college campuses, especially those, like Oberlin, with a historical orientation toward social justice. But this event, organized by Oberlin’s Asian American Alliance and Muslim Students Association, spurred controversy far beyond campus. The day of the event, demonstrators appeared at Oberlin to protest, holding signs reading “Protect Indigenous Traditions,” “Preserve Holi, Reject Hinduphobia” and “Stop Spreading Hatred Against the Hindu Community!”  The protesters, according to Rakesh Ranjan, president of the Cleveland chapter of Coalition of Hindus of North America, which led the protest, were objecting to the use of Holi, a holiday that celebrates spring and …

From the archive: How Hindu supremacists are tearing India apart – podcast | News

From the archive: How Hindu supremacists are tearing India apart – podcast | News

[ad_1] We are raiding the Guardian Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors. This week, from 2020: For seven decades, India has been held together by its constitution, which promises equality to all. But Narendra Modi’s BJP is remaking the nation into one where some people count as more Indian than others. By Samanth Subramanian How to listen to podcasts: everything you need to know [ad_2] Source link

Hindu nationalist Modi eyes third term as India votes in six-week election

Hindu nationalist Modi eyes third term as India votes in six-week election

[ad_1] India began voting Friday in a six-week election with an all but assured victory for Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as a weakened opposition is pushed to the sidelines. A total of 968 million people are eligible to take part in the world’s biggest vote – a staggering logistical exercise that critics say follows a concerted effort to delegitimise rivals. Voters began queuing up at polling stations hours before they were allowed in at 7 am in the first 21 states to hold votes, from the Himalayan mountains to the tropical Andaman Islands. A long and winding queue was patiently assembled outside a polling station in the Hindu holy city of Haridwar, on the banks of the Ganges river, even before the booths opened. “I am here because I am happy about the direction the country is headed,” said autorickshaw driver Ganga Singh, 27.  “I will vote keeping in mind not personal welfare but the country’s prosperity.” Read moreIndia’s mammoth elections: Nearly a billion voters, 44 polling days Modi, 73, remains resoundingly popular …

Once a fringe Indian ideology, Hindu nationalism is now mainstream, thanks to Modi’s decade in power

Once a fringe Indian ideology, Hindu nationalism is now mainstream, thanks to Modi’s decade in power

[ad_1] AHMEDABAD, India (AP) — Hindu nationalism, once a fringe ideology in India, is now mainstream. Nobody has done more to advance this cause than Prime Minister Narendra Modi, one of India’s most beloved and polarizing political leaders. And no entity has had more influence on his political philosophy and ambitions than a paramilitary, right-wing group founded nearly a century ago and known as the RSS. “We never imagined that we would get power in such a way,” said Ambalal Koshti, 76, who says he first brought Modi into the political wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh in the late 1960s in their home state, Gujarat. Modi was a teenager. Like other young men — and even boys — who joined, he would learn to march in formation, fight, meditate and protect their Hindu homeland. A few decades earlier, while Mahatma Gandhi preached Hindu-Muslim unity, the RSS advocated for transforming India — by force, if necessary — into a Hindu nation. (A former RSS worker would fire three bullets into Gandhi’s chest in 1948, killing …

Hindu Lord Ram road-trips through the United States

Hindu Lord Ram road-trips through the United States

[ad_1] (RNS) — For the past month, four road-trippers have been making their way across the United States, snacking on vegetarian treats and playing Hindu devotional music called bhajans on the car radio. With them, a very important passenger: the idol of baby Ram, or Ram Lalla. For the first time in North America, Ram Lalla is being paraded from temple to temple on a two-month-long, 16,000-mile road trip, just in time for Ram Navami — the birthday of Lord Ram. “I bought the van and I said, ‘I’m going to go, anybody wants to join?’” said Amitabh Mittal, joint general secretary of the World Hindu Council of America-VHPA, the group behind the Ram Rath Yatra, or Ram chariot procession. “‘Just be part of it,’ I said. ‘Don’t regret it later.’” Rather than a chariot, Ram’s normal conveyance in Indian versions of Mittal’s trek, the baby Ram is seated in the back of a decked-out Honda Odyssey, visiting about 14 mandirs, or temples, per day for about 30 minutes at each. From makeshift temples in …

Indian protesters pull from poetic tradition to resist Modi’s Hindu nationalism

Indian protesters pull from poetic tradition to resist Modi’s Hindu nationalism

[ad_1] (The Conversation) — India’s government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, implemented the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act, or CAA, in March 2024. Opponents of the law – which fast-tracks citizenship for undocumented, non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan – decry the ways in which it discriminates against Muslims. As they did when the law was passed in 2019, many Indians took to the streets. The demonstrations were more muted this time, though some protesters were detained by the police. The government, perhaps fearing a reprise, had increased police patrols and deployed paramilitary troops in places that had been hotbeds of protest. Four years ago, university campuses and Muslim neighborhoods such as Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh were packed with people who, day after day, chanted slogans, belted out songs and recited poetry. Poetry seemed to unsettle the government the most. Dissenters reciting protest poems were accused of spreading hate against India, beaten and arrested by the police. Poet Hussain Haidry rose to fame in the 2019-2020 protests. Haidry, who’s also a Bollywood lyricist and scriptwriter, …

Indian American lawmakers urge DOJ to address ‘alarming’ rise of Hindu temple vandalism

Indian American lawmakers urge DOJ to address ‘alarming’ rise of Hindu temple vandalism

[ad_1] (RNS) — In a letter sent to the U.S. Department of Justice on Friday (March 29), five members of Congress of Indian and Hindu heritage requested a briefing on the status of investigations into recent vandalism incidents at Hindu temples across the country. Members of the “Samosa Caucus” — an informal term for the group, coined by one of its founders, U.S. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois — also urged Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke to outline the the DOJ Civil Rights Division’s “broader strategy against hate crimes targeting Hindus in the United States.” Attacks from New York to California have “increased collective anxiety among Hindu Americans,” the letter indicated, adding that “It takes relatively few coordinated acts of hate to create fear within a community that has often been marginalized or neglected.” The letter was signed by Krishnamoorthi and U.S. Reps. Ro Khanna and Ami Bera of California, Pramila Jayapal of Washington and Shri Thanedar of Michigan.  The lawmakers requested that the department provide the briefing no later than April 18. The DOJ …

what the clouds of colour in the Hindu festival mean

what the clouds of colour in the Hindu festival mean

[ad_1] Holi is one of the most vibrant and fun festivals in the Hindu calendar. It’s practised across India (though mainly in the north), Nepal and throughout south Asian diasporic communities. The date of Holi varies in accordance with the lunar calendar but the festival often takes place in February or March. In 2024, it’s celebrated on March 25. Celebrating new beginnings. Hull & East Riding Hindu Cultural Association People gather together to throw and smear gulal or coloured powders over each other in a symbolic celebration of spring, the harvest, new life and the triumph of good over evil. As with many Hindu festivals, there is more than one narrative explaining its symbolism, but it is the visual splendour of this festival that explains its appeal. My research focuses, in part, on the religious and material culture of Hinduism, especially in relation to its practice in contemporary culture. One of the most uplifting aspects of Holi is the way people from all walks of life come together. It is an expression of the dynamism …