Ekklesia reports that Anil Bhanot, the general secretary of the Hindu Council UK, has written to some of the main Christian leaders in Britain to express his ‘growing concern’ at divisive elements between religions, urging them to root out and stand against intolerance and religious dogma.
He also calls for an end to what he calls “predatory” missionary activity where followers of one faith seek to convert those of another. He has written separately to The Secretary of State for Community and Local Government, Hazel Blears MP, asking her to consider introducing legislation against “underhand conversion techniques.”
Ekklesia’s Simon Barrow writes in Comment is Free that Gordon Brown was right to use biblical language at the Labour Part conference against those employing religious rhetoric to oppose diversity and equality in family policy.
He goes on to argue thast “a similar pluralist case now needs to be made in relation to faith schools – where the government’s desire to ease its finance problems and promote social cohesion is misguidedly colluding with the wishes of some leaders of faith communities (not least the Anglican and Catholic churches) who are looking for a new role and new credibility in their battle against long-term decline and public indifference.
At the moment, the case against the selection, segregation, employment restrictions and discrimination wrapped up within the pro-faith schools agenda is being heard as an essentially “anti-religious” one. The exclusive tenor of some secular groups is not helping with this, given the sensitivities involved. Continue reading
IBN Live reports that “the war of words over the Ram Setu degenerated into a bitter slander match on Thursday with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi calling Lord Ram a ‘drunkard’ and a ‘big lie’.
This follows calls from Lal Krishna Advani, (pictured) senior leader of Hindu nationalist opposition party the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and ex-Deputy Prime Minister, to withdraw his statement about Ram.
Advani, who has previously faced charges of provoking anti-Muslims violence in 1992, is reported to have asked Karunanidhi him to withdraw his statement about Ram, saying “people at the helm of affairs do not force contempt on others as far as religious affairs are concerned….I want the Tamil Nadu CM to withdraw his statement about Ram. I respect Karunanidhi for being an atheist. But people at the helm of affairs do not force contempt on others as far as religious affairs are concerned,”
Karunanidhi responded that he would not withdraw his statement and added provocatively that “Ram is as big a lie as big as the truth of the existence of the Ganges and the Himalayas,” adding “Even [Hindu sage] Valmiki has said that Ram was a drunkard. I urge Advani to get into a debate with me after reading Valmiki’s Ramayana.” Continue reading
The BBC recently reported that the Indian government has withdrawn a controversial report submitted to the Supreme Court which questioned the existence of the Hindu god Ram. The report was presented in connection with a case against the proposed Sethusamudram shipping canal project between India and Sri Lanka.
The report was withdrawn after huge protests by opposition parties. Protests that have since spilled over into roadbloacks, disruptions of train services and even two murders by Hindu activists when a bus was set alight near Bangalore.
The BBC reports that “Hindu hardliners say the project will destroy what they say is a bridge built by Ram and his army of monkeys. Scientists and archaeologists say the Ram Setu (Lord Ram’s bridge) – or Adam’s Bridge as it is sometimes called – is a natural formation of sand and stones. Continue reading
Taken from MixTogether.org, this is the true story of N, a British Hindu lady, of how she met her husband, and eventually managed to introduce him- successfully- to her family.
My husband, S, and I met 12 years ago in the workplace. I am a British Asian Hindu and he an English atheist. At this time, I was meeting ‘prospectives’ and my colleagues were aware of this. S and I got along really well as colleagues and, understandably, he never really expressed his feelings for me. Also, I was beginning to care for someone who I’d been introduced to. It never worked out because I advised him to go back and have another go with a woman he had met at university. Her family weren’t keen on the fact he was from a different region and community in India (Are we surprised?). Continue reading