CHARLIE HEBDO: Protesters torch churches in Niger riots, five people killed

Protesters angered by the publishing of satirical cartoons of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad by French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo have reportedly gone on the rampage and set fire to local churches, while five people have been killed, the Huffington Post and Reuters news agency have stated. In the second day of violence in the French-speaking West African nation, five people were killed yesterday as Niger was gripped by religious violence stirred up by the publication of the cartoons in France, which have seen widespread condemnation by Muslim communities across the globe. Charlie Hebdo, a well-known satirical publication that frequently mocks politicians and religions, was the victim of an atrocity last week in which seventeen people, including the … Continue reading CHARLIE HEBDO: Protesters torch churches in Niger riots, five people killed

DEAL GURU’S DANCING SAGE: Indian retail advert accused of defamation towards Hindus

Indian online retailer AskMeBazaar.com has been condemned for religious insensitivity by Hindu groups after it recently broadcast a video advertisement on YouTube that depicts a Hindu sage (clergyman) dancing with a scantily-clad woman. The thirty-second advert depicts an actor dressed as the sage, wearing sacred rudraksha beads and saffron coloured garments associated with religious figureheads of India’s largest faith, levitating over a CGI building buried mostly in the ground while Bollywood actress and ‘item girl‘ Kangana Ranaut is perched on the edge of the building dressed in modern Western clothes, including a short red skirt. As the clip begins, the sage seated in a traditional meditational posture floats towards Ms. Ranaut and asks her why she is so busy. As she … Continue reading DEAL GURU’S DANCING SAGE: Indian retail advert accused of defamation towards Hindus

RAKSHA BANDHAN 2014: HEM rakhi greetings to my sisters…and for all

This Sunday is the Hindu festival of Raksha Bandhan, which celebrates the special bond between brothers and sisters. On this day, siblings get together. The sister ties a length of specially designed string around the brother’s right wrist and prays for his wellbeing and long life, while the brother gives her gifts and sweets and re-affirms his protection and care for her. It can also be celebrated between male and female cousins and even nowadays with friends. It is observed by Hindu, Sikhs and Jains in countries such as India, Mauritius, Nepal and in expatriate communities across the globe. In … Continue reading RAKSHA BANDHAN 2014: HEM rakhi greetings to my sisters…and for all

BLASPHEMOUS QUILT: Clothes retail chain blasted for selling Lord Ganesh duvet cover

The international Hindu community has expressed outrage against the fashion retail outlet Urban Outfitters after they began selling a quilt with the image of Lord Ganesh superimposed on it, in a direct contravention against Hinduism‘ beliefs regarding the portrayal of deities and yet another example of Western fetishism of the beliefs and imagery of one of the world’s oldest religions. Urban Outfitters is a high-street clothing and home furnishings chain which operates in both America and the United Kingdom. Headquartered in Philadelphia, the company specialises in selling clothing, housewares and shoes with a vintage, retro and funky hipster feel. Together with … Continue reading BLASPHEMOUS QUILT: Clothes retail chain blasted for selling Lord Ganesh duvet cover

GIF MOMENT: Easter 2014

In the United Kingdom, the days from the 18th to the 21st April are the Easter Bank Holiday weekend. I have booked a day off work so that means an impressive five-day long rest, which honestly I badly need. Easter is one of the most important Christian festivals celebrated here, and over much of the world. Children and parents look forward to munching their way through tonnes of chocolate Easter eggs and for many churchgoers it is a time to reflect on the lifetime of their religion’s founder Jesus Christ and his dying and resurrection for mankind’s sins. For the less … Continue reading GIF MOMENT: Easter 2014

SRI VENKATESWARA BALAJI TEMPLE: Dudley to welcome Europe’s largest Hindu temple

The city of Dudley, in the former industrial heartlands of England‘s West Midlands, will become the home of Europe’s largest Hindu temple (mandir) this Sunday. The Sri Venkateswara Balaji temple, built and consecrated on land purchased from the local district council, is expected to attract 10,000 devotees and visitors per day for its special inauguration festival which ends after five days of celebrations this Sunday (2 February 2014). While the temple has been in existence for some years, the festival will celebrate its expansion which includes a £500,000 building opened in April 2013 for the blessing of babies in the ‘yagashala’ ceremony. The … Continue reading SRI VENKATESWARA BALAJI TEMPLE: Dudley to welcome Europe’s largest Hindu temple

PHOTO MOMENT: Vijay’s pick of 2013’s best Diwali GIFs

Vijay Shah Here is a selection of Diwali GIFs from various websites that I decided to include in this blogpost to get you in the festive mood. I have especially selected these animated images, or GIFs, for their attractiveness, relevancy or uniqueness. I hope you like them!! 🙂 I have tried to include different styles of design and culture, as Diwali is a festival marked by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains, as well as many people outside in other faiths and none. Many of the images shown here are e-cards and ‘scraps’ for social networks like Facebook and Orkut. A common … Continue reading PHOTO MOMENT: Vijay’s pick of 2013’s best Diwali GIFs

ANTI-SUPERSTITION BILL: Indian state govt. gives go ahead to law after rationalist’s killing

The government of one of India‘s most populous areas, the state of Maharashtra, has passed a bill against so-called superstitious traditions today, despite concerns by religious groups that the new law will be used to persecute those following particular practices of faith.  Led by the Chief Minister, the Maharashtrian state assembly in capital city Mumbai passed the Anti-Superstitions Bill in the wake of the recent killing of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar, the most vocal supporter of the “black magic ordinance”.  The Anti-Superstitions Bill, which still needs to be voted on by Mumbai lawmakers before becoming an official addition to the state’s lawbooks, is … Continue reading ANTI-SUPERSTITION BILL: Indian state govt. gives go ahead to law after rationalist’s killing