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The NCHTUK writes to the British Wheel of Yoga ....

 

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The NCHT(UK) whose member temples have been teaching and practicing all of the Yoga Darshans for over half a century here in the UK, usually free of charge, were contacted by concerned Yoga schools and practitioners and we have written to the would be regulators of the British Wheel of Yoga as follows:-

Open letter to the British Wheel of Yoga re NOS

Dear Shelagh,

It was a pleasant surprise to meet you yesterday and being able to also bump in to the “oh so safety concerned” but uneducated and uninformed non-practitioners from the SkillsActive team, at the same time, was a an unexpected boon. I hope that you too found the event of value.

Thank you for being so courageously open to discussion and engagement, it is necessary and the wholly misplaced and unfounded “governing body” attitude and positioning, which is unfortunately becoming associated with the  BWY, has been destructive and counterproductive to date. I will do you the courtesy of being direct and frank in my communication since time is of the essence and if something is to be salvaged from the BWY, wiser counsel must prevail and its current trajectory be quickly corrected.

Despite evidence to the contrary I am going to assume that the BWY is merely guilty of innocent bumbling naivety and not crass monopolistic commercialism and from this perspective present to you what the non BWY world is now seeing in your team. The Wheel has abandoned the Yamas and the Niyamas and is selling Asana for profit. Further it is exploiting Hindu religious and cultural imagery, iconography and vocabulary dishonestly for commercial gain and it is promoting NOS to merely clothe a predatorial desire for market dominance.

We have an understanding that asana should not be taught to those who have not yet accepted and intellectually established, that the Yamas and Niyamas are core and foundational prerequisites, not optional. To ignore any one is folly and this principle is ignored at one’s own peril. Only misguided innocents, fools and the naive could elect and appoint to a position of Yoga representation, a person who has a blatant disregard for the basic “occupational standards”, which have been refined over millennia and which are already enshrined in the Yamas and Niyamas.

For the sake of an example and for clarity, the BWY in deceitfully and duplicitously calling itself the “Governing Body” commits an act of intellectual and emotional violence on other traditions, practitioners and schools - and in your heart you know this to be true. We, and others, have communicated with Paul Fox and Pierre Bibby on this and their squirming responses are worthy of shame.  This “Governing Body” approach and positioning is contrary to the very core of the traditions ie AHIMSA and by creating an US and THEM scenario you create tension and friction – the enemies of Yoga. The word Govern means to control and cannot not be spun into “humble service in the safety of all the vulnerable” no matter how manipulative, self-delusional or conceited the spin doctor.  By seeking to negate others by ignoring their contributions whilst emphasising and highlighting at every juncture your own (seeking to IMPOSE your limited attainments and tragically narrow vision) is HIMSA. You really should take note that in the history of Yoga those who were QUALIFIED BY ABILITY to govern, chose instead to nurture, to serve and to support – perhaps they weren’t as wise, enlightened and elevated as the Olympians of the BWY and SkillsActive?

I can’t help but wonder if somewhere in the ancestry of the present day Trustees of the BWY,  there isn’t a link to the colonialist raider of the Raj, James Canning who, proud in the belief in his own natural superiority, told a gathering of Hindus “You are all a parcel of poor ignorant semi barbarians, you do not even understand your own language and system as well as we enlightened Englishmen who have been at regular Grammar schools..” We are able to recognise neo colonialist theft when we see it.

The “outer worlds” perception of the Wheel has changed in the last two years. You have moved from “innocent bumbling but harmless do-gooders” to ambitious, grubby grasping monopolists and in doing so you have abandoned Aparigraha i.e. non-grasping. Where is the generosity of heart and desire for heart based sharing which Aparigraha fosters ? In its place the Wheel now projects this message “Sure we can teach about Aparigraha but you have to sign up for a paid course and our courses are regulated and better than everyone elses..” Nauseating and morally reprehensible – totally unacceptable.

What about the pinnacle of the Yamas and the Niyamas, Isvarapranidhana "to lay all of ones actions at the feet of Ishvara." ? It is the contemplation on Isvara, the Divinity in one’s own breath, in order to become attuned to the Divinity present in the flow of the Universe. It is the recognition that the spiritual suffuses everything and through our attention and care we can attune ourselves with our role as part of all of Creation. The practice which makes clear that there is the possibility of a presence larger than ourselves that is influencing, guiding and directing the course of our lives leading to real humility and a deep sense of service.  But the Sport England Governing Body, the Wheel “doesn’t need this at all because its religion and Hindu”, and for this stupidity and arrogance alone your organisation is worthy of reform or if this is resisted, deconstruction, before you do more harm.

Your Chair has mistaken our Hindu tolerance for vulnerability and this is a tragic mistake  - a loss for all of the members of the Wheel and for those who are interested in Dharmic practices (yes Yoga is a Dharmic practice). We have never asked anyone to “become a Hindu” or become religious, NEVER, but we will not permit you to re-define us or any our traditional religious practices.

I have written already advising the Wheel, that if you wish to attempt to deconstruct, delineate and separate Hindu and Yoga practices then you must NOT uses Hindu religious texts in your activities. To do so would be dishonest and offensive in the extreme, and this is universally accepted by all of the Yoga practitioners outside of the Wheel and many inside also. Please do not oblige us to act further to protect our traditions and practices from such disrespectful and dishonest distortion, corruption and outright cultural theft.  

If the Wheel had an ounce of integrity it would recognise what the UNESCO has declared only last month“Based on unifying the mind with the body and soul to allow for greater mental, spiritual and physical wellbeing, the values of yoga form a major part of the community’s ethos. Yoga consists of a series of poses, meditation, controlled breathing, word chanting and other techniques designed to help individuals build self-realization, ease any suffering they may be experiencing and allow for a state of liberation.” Which Community are they referring to ? Yes the Shiva and Ganesh worshipping Hindu community.

In the spirit of robust transparent and frank discussion and engagement, I am copying this to the IYN and others who too who feel that you have injured the practice of Yoga in this country.

My mobile number is XXXXX  and I am available to discuss any initiatives which may be beneficial to British Yoga students.

 

Kind regards

Satish K Sharma B.Sc. (Hons) Econ MBCS FRSA
General Secretary, National Council of Hindu Temples (UK)

Chair, British Board of Hindu Scholars

Chair, City of London InterFaith

www.nchtuk.org

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Hindu Dharma needs to spread

Hindu Dharma needs to spread

maria wirth1Intellectual integrity and truth are obviously unwanted in our times. These have been displaced by political correctness. Why this happened is a mystery, but mainstream media and other agencies vehemently enforce the politically correct opinion. They drum into us powerfully what we should think even if it goes against common sense.

Let me give an example:

When in 1999, the Pope declared in India that the Church will plant the cross in Asia in the 21st century, media portrayed it as ok. After all, the Church has the duty to spread Christianity all over the world, so the Pope is just doing his duty.

When people like Zakir Naik conduct mass conversion of Hindus to Islam, media ignores it or tells us that it is ok. After all, Islam also needs to spread till all of humanity has become Muslims.

When, however, a Hindu group brings back some of those who had converted out of Hindu Dharma, the media goes hyper: those Hindu groups are communal and divisive forces who want to disturb the plural fabric of our society and establish an intolerant Hindu rashtra. The ranting goes on for days on TV channels.

Why do media get it so wrong? Clearly, the truth is the opposite. Of the three religions, only Hindu or Sanatana Dharma is not divisive and not communal. Only this eternal Dharma considers all as family – Vasudaivam kutumbakam – without any precondition.

In contrast, Christianity and Islam, which are sort of newcomers in the religious field, divide humanity into believers and unbelievers. The believers are right and the unbelievers wrong. The believers are loved by the Supreme and can go to heaven and the unbelievers, even if they lived a virtuous life, are thrown into hell by the Supreme personally. And all those claims are made without any proof.

Are these unsubstantiated claims not intolerant, communal and divisive, apart from not being true?

So in all fairness, the term “divisive forces” must be applied to Christianity and Islam and not to Hindu Dharma. Yet even suggesting this is likely to get the ‘liberal’ elite into fits. They are dead sure that only Hindu Dharma is divisive and needs to be stopped from spreading. But WHY are they so sure?

To explain it, let’s go back to the 18th and 19th century, when the ancient knowledge of the Vedas first reached western universities. The intellectual elite there were deeply impressed and wanted more of it. Prominent personalities like Voltaire, Mark Twain, Schopenhauer, the Schlegel brothers, Paul Deussen and many others spoke in glowing terms about India’s heritage. In the early 20th century scientists like Heisenberg, Schroedinger, Pauli, Oppenheimer, Einstein or Tesla were in their research inspired by Vedanta and acknowledged it.

So what changed? How did Hindu tradition lose the esteem of people worldwide – so much so that now it is considered even by western academics as the worst of all religions?

The reason dawned on me when I recently read that Voltaire, too, had praised the Vedas as the greatest gift for humanity.

Voltaire was in the forefront of fighting the Church. He went to prison for it. Clearly the Church was not amused that western intellectuals praised Indian wisdom as much superior to Christianity. There was real danger that the Church would lose her sheep as it had already lost the power to punish those who dared to disagree with the Church.

The Christian view of the ‘true’ God, who sits in heaven, is jealous of other gods and sends all those who are not baptized into eternal hellfire, was no match for the Indian concept of Brahman which is the one conscious essence in all the different forms, like the one ocean is the essence in all the different waves.

“Brahman is not what the eyes can see but That whereby the eyes can see. Brahman is not what the mind can think but That whereby the mind can think” (Kena Upanishad).

Such profound insights severely challenged the simplistic view of a personal God who cruelly punishes all those who worshipped him under another name or form. The Church must have been genuinely worried that the ‘Christian’ God would be seen as an invention by the Church to keep its members under control and submissive – which in all likelihood comes close to the truth but of course must never be known to the common people.

So it would make sense that the Church – in collaboration with state powers which also had an interest to keep the myth of western superiority intact – developed a strategy to put an end to this praise of India’s great civilization. And the strategy was simple and time-tested:

Teach children all over the world negative aspects about Hinduism (all Indian traditions got an “ism”- ending in the English language which made them look dogmatic) and after some 15 years, the new generation will not even want to know anything about Hinduism. They will be convinced that it is worthless because their teachers said so.

And what were these negative aspects they wanted students to associate with Hinduism? Obviously first and foremost an “oppressive caste system” and next “idol-worship”.

The most unfortunate part was that this strategy was implemented in India, the source of this ancient knowledge, as well. Thomas Macauley correctly analyzed that the Sanskrit culture is India’s backbone. It needed to be broken if the British wanted to subdue the ‘natives’. Macauley’s advice was followed and the Sanskrit education system was replaced with the English one. And even more unfortunate – this English education system continued even after Independence till now.

The strategy worked.

Already in primary school in a small Bavarian town, I knew that India had a terrible caste system and untouchables. We saw pictures of poor, miserable Indians and it left a bad, lasting impression. At that age, I knew nothing about the Holocaust of Jews and gypsies in Germany. It was left to the initiative of our Latin teacher in High School to impress on us what happened in the concentration camps by showing us a documentary.

Neither were we told in school that all societies have a caste or class system and that the Vedic analogy of a society being like a human body was actually ingenious. Caste as such is not bad. Every society needs to be structured. Looking down on lower castes is bad. Yet this is a human weakness all over the world and not advocated by sacred texts.

Since the claim “India has the most terrible caste system” was, and still is, a strategy to put Hinduism and Hindus down, fairness was not to be expected. Otherwise it would become quickly clear that the sins against humanity by the Whites and Arabs were far greater than those by Indians. Slavery, colonialism, the Christianization of the Americas, the Muslim invasions, and even today discrimination against women, racism especially against Jews and Blacks, cruel oppression and terrorism in the name of religion took the lives of many millions of human beings.

Indians come nowhere near their horrific record and have no need to go on the defensive. Yet unfortunately Hindus fall into the trap and become defensive. They enact more laws in favour of backward castes or women, but they of course cannot satisfy those who do not want to be satisfied.

Virulent attacks on Hindus and their tradition continue in Indian and foreign media, often from persons with Hindu names – Macauley’s children. These attacks have the same purpose as the indoctrination of kids with distorted, insincere info on Hinduism: nobody should discover the depth and profundity of the Indian tradition, least of all Hindus.

Fortunately for India and the world, there are still highly knowledgeable Sanskrit pandits, yet the mainstream, especially the youth, tends to look west for inspiration which will make them feel lost and without direction in the long run.

Isn’t it time to set things right, turn around and ask uncomfortable questions for example during the next Interfaith Dialogue? Ask on what basis Christianity and Islam claim that the Supreme Being, the creator of us all, is so cruel and unfair that he throws billions of humans, including all Hindus, for all eternity into hell after one single life, that might have lasted only a few days or may have been lived virtuously and with greatest integrity for 100 years?

If they say that the Highest himself has revealed this truth, tell them that the Vedas also have been revealed by the Highest (as well as other scriptures) and the Vedas claim that the Supreme Being is present in all as blissful awareness and nobody is damned forever. All get chance after chance to realize their divine essence.

So since there are divergent views, there needs to be an intelligent debate about which view is more likely to be true and which can possibly even be proven to be true. However, Christian and Muslim delegates may not be interested in truth as this would endanger the basis on which their whole religious system is built – blind belief in unverifiable dogmas.

Therefore, to bring truthfulness to the discourse is the sole responsibility of the Hindu delegates. That they fulfill their responsibility is in the interest of all humanity, including Christians and Muslims, except maybe of those who earn their livelihood by peddling religion.

Many Christians turned atheists, because they lost faith in ‘God’, but didn’t realize that there is a very different perspective of ‘God’ possible which makes far more sense than atheism – the perspective of the Indian Rishis.

If Hindu Dharma were better known – and it needs to spread for the benefit of humanity – it will become clear that it was portrayed as the worst option for humanity, because nobody should know that it is actually the BEST option.

By Maria

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A Glimpse behind ancient Hindu Practices

A glimpse behind ancient Hindu Practices - Vanamali Mataji, Rishikesh

The universe is run according to certain scientific laws and unless we follow these laws we are bound to end up by being unhappy. This is the problem with human beings today. Our unhappiness is caused by our inability to follow natural laws based on science. Hinduism is the only religion in the world which is based on the scientific laws of Nature that is why there was never a controversy between science and religion as was found in the west. However there is a mis-understanding that Hinduism is hopelessly unscientific and based on a bundle of superstitions. This grossly unfair idea was subtly inserted into the Hindu psyche by the westerners who first came to India because they were completely at sea to understand a religion which seemed to be totally different from their own standard conceptions about God, Nature and man. The rishis of ancient India knew that there was no dichotomy between these three – nature, God and man as was supposed by Semitic religions. The religion known as the Sanatana Dharma which they gave to the country of their origin was totally based on scientific validities. They did not preach or propagate a religion, but a way of life into which was imbedded the truths of Nature which were the truths of science. But they also knew that if they tried to give scientific validity for all their extortions, they would not be understood at all by most people. In ancient times if anything had to have validity it had to have a background of spirituality and moral ethics. Therefore they exhorted their followers to do certain actions which would give them spiritual benefits and did not disclose the true facts to them that these commands were actually based on science. Today however we live in a science oriented world and anything, if it has to be accepted by the masses has to have scientific validity. Thus all the ancient so-called Hindu superstitions, when looked at from a scientific angle have disclosed the fact that all of them without exception are based on certain scientific truths by following which we will get better health and be able to function as better human beings. So today Hinduism is on a better wicket than any other religion since it is the only religion which is based on science. Here we will take a few examples of the commonly used actions and ideas in Hinduism and prove that they are indeed based on science.


Namaste or folding the palms in Greeting
Let us first take the common Hindu practice of greeting each other by folding the hands together and saying “Namaste”. This is of course an action which is normally done when we go to a temple and face the deity. It shows a high degree of respect and acceptance of the fact that we are facing something which is divine. This same action is done when we meet somebody and this implies that we are bowing to that divine which is present in that person however great or lowly, big or small, he or she might be. This is recognition of the divinity present in every human being whatever be his caste or religion. This forges a bond between us and the person on a transcendental level and not just on the physical level.
Secondly, the modern science of reflexology has recognised the fact that the tips of the fingers carry nerves to all parts of the body and hence when we join our palms together every time we meet someone, the fingers touch each other and stimulate these pressure points so that the corresponding parts of the body become more alive.
Another point to be remembered is that the habit of shaking hands is really not such a healthy habit since the person may be carrying some germs which will be passed on to us by the contact.


The dot or line on the forehead.
In ancient days all Hindus, males and females had a dot or a mark between their eyebrows. People may think that this is only a sort of spot which enhances the beauty of the face. No doubt it does do this but again there is a scientific reason behind this. The spot between the eyebrows is known as the ajna chakra or the third eye, in modern parlance. This is the spot where the mind has its abode during the day. During the night it reposes in the anahata or heart chakra. These chakras are whorls of energy and some of them correspond to the endocrine glands which have been recently discovered by western science and which they feel have a lot to do with the balance and health of the whole body. Of course our rishis were well aware of this fact a long time ago and they asked people to wear some sort of dot on the ajna chakra. When we are applying the kum-kum (vermilion powder) our finger automatically presses this chakra and energises the mind, which become alert. Moreover whenever a person looks at us, their gaze is immediately drawn toward the dot which is our third eye. This again activates our chakra and makes our mind more concentrated so that we can listen or talk to the other person in a better manner. The kum-kum or vermilion which is used by women is not a synthetic product as it is now. The process of making it is quite elaborate and is done very well in the south, especially, Kanchiupuram and Madurai, both in Tamil Nadu. It is actually a mixture of turmeric and lime and is exposed to the rays of the moon for a fortnight before it is ready. This mixture again passes through the skin and beautifies the skin.
Nowadays of course people no longer know the reason for this and they use synthetically made powder or to make things easier, dots and other shapes made of some synthetic material. Of course even then if the dot is kept in the right place it will still have some value but sometime people place it high above the forehead and not on the chakra which of course, has not much efficacy.
There are three types of material which used to be used in olden times for making these dots and all three correspond to one of the three gunas which are sattva, rajas and tamas. 1. The vermilion powder has been discussed already. This is related to the worship of the goddess and stands for rajas or the quality of kinesis or action. Shakti is responsible for all action in the universe. She is always personified as a goddess with various names. Naturally her colour should be red, the colour of energy and beauty.
2. Sandal paste. This is made out of sandal wood and is very cooling and soothing to the mind when kept on the forehead. Sandal paste has the quality of sattva or balance and harmony and Vishnu is the god connected with this quality. All Vaishnavites (devotees of Vishnu) wear sandal paste on their forehead.
3. Vibhuti or Bhasmam means ashes. This has the quality of tamas or inertia and is connected with Shiva, the destroyer in the trinity. This vibhuti has many medicinal qualities and can be applied to cuts, wounds, itches etc, and has immediate effect. However these ashes have to be made in a certain way. A few days before Shivaratri one has to make round cow dung cakes with fresh cow dung and place them inside a pile of rice husk. This has to be set on fire. Rice husk does not burn like firewood but will keep smouldering for many days. On Shivaratri day, you have to carefully take out the cow dung cakes which will be remaining intact in shape inside the smouldering fire. These have to be carefully taken out and powdered. In fact it will turn into powder as soon as you touch it so it has to be handled with great care. This is to be offered to Shiva on Shivaratri day and some of it should be used for abhishekam (poured over the lingam). This has to be mixed with the rest of the vibhuti and kept in a safe place to be used daily or as and when it is necessary.
Thus we see that the use of different types of dots or lines on the foreheads of Hindus all have a great esoteric and scientific significance.


Toe rings worn by married women.
It is normal for married women to wear toe rings on the second toe of both feet. This is put on their toes by their husbands and is about the only time a husband touches his wife’s feet. This custom has a deep scientific principle underlying it. An essential nerve connects this toe with the uterus and passes on to the heart. Wearing a ring on this toe stimulates this nerve and strengths the uterus. It helps to regulate the blood flow and normalize the menstrual cycle. In this way it ensures a safe and good pregnancy. It also sustains the foetus while it is in the womb. The toe ring is always made of silver, never of gold. Silver absorbs polar energies from the earth when the foot is pressed down and passes it to the body.


Ringing of bells in temples.
It is a practice amongst Hindus to ring the bell before entering the sanctum. Bells are also rung during the pujas (rituals). The sound made by bells which are made of certain specific metals cause sounds which set up vibrations in or brain and surroundings. The sound spreads in waves to the ecosphere and keeps echoing into space, like the waves set off in a pond when we throw a stone into it. They will keep on till they reach the banks. The sound of the bell also results in an echo which will last for 7 seconds which will have positive effects on all the seven chakras.


Why do Hindus circumbambulate (go round) temples?
Temples are always strategically placed at those places where positive energy is abundantly available from the magnetic and electric wave distributions of north/south pole thrust. The main idol is placed in the core center of the temple, known as “*Garbhagriha*” or *Moolasthanam*. In fact, the temple structure is built after the idol has been placed. This *Moolasthanam* is where earth’s magnetic waves are found to be maximum. Moreover the idol itself is made of certain metals or stone and before putting it in place, a Yantra or mystic design made out of copper is placed under it. The copper plate absorbs earth’s magnetic waves and radiates it to the surroundings. This Yantra will keep on emitting vibrations which are activated by the ringing of the bell. These vibrations emanate from the idol in concentric circles and like the sound of the bell this energy whorls keep spreading out to the outer walls of the temple and even beyond. The devotee who is going round the temple is engulfed in this energy field and gets maximum benefit the more times he goes round. That is why people make vows to do 108 times and so on. Some people do this with their whole body touching the ground. Naturally they get extra benefit not only of the vibrations emanating from the sanctum but from contact with the earth which is also emitting energy.


Why do Hindus eat with their hands?
There is a deep science behind this particular Hindu custom for which we are despised by the westerners. Food is a gift from God and eating is an art in which all the five senses have to be involved in order to get maximum benefit and pleasure. The five senses are sight, smell, taste, sound and touch. Western culinary techniques take into consideration the first three of these senses but totally disregard the other two. It is  deeply conscious of the fact that food should look good and be artistically arranged and it should smell good and of course taste good. But they make no use of the other two senses of sound and touch. This is like using only three fingers instead of all five. If the hand is to be of use we must use all five fingers. Similarly if eating has to be a fulfilling action it has to take all five senses into consideration. So in Indian cooking no meal is complete unless we serve something which produces a sound like crunching. AND most important we will never be able to relish the taste of any food completely unless we use the sense of touch and feel the food with our fingers. God has given the human being five fingers to use as spoons and forks and all children automatically use their hands to put food into their mouth. Western parents have to forcibly insist that the child uses an artificial aid instead of the ones given by god to shovel food into his mouth!


Why are Hindus asked to sleep with their heads to the South?
The human body is actually a huge magnet which attracts the beams from the Earth’s magnetic fields located in the South and North Poles. When we sleep with our head towards the north, our body’s magnetic field becomes completely asymmetrical to the earth’s magnetic field. This forces our heart to work harder in order to overcome this and leads to a rise in blood pressure and general discomfort. Our bodies also have a significant amount of iron in the blood. When we sleep with head to the North, the iron from the whole body starts to congregate in the brain and can lead to headaches, cognitive decline and brain degeneration.


Why do Hindus to pierce their ears?
Recently modern science has discovered that the lobes of the ears are extremely sensitive and has nerves leading to the auditory system and nervous system in the brain. When we are worried we should slowly massage our ear lobes and along the sides and we will immediately feel calmer. In ancient India piercing of the ears was a scientific process and known only to some special goldsmiths. They knew the exact point to be pierced by which our hearing, intellect and nervous system would be fortified.  It also helps to develop creative powers. In ancient India both males and females used to pierce their ears. Sometimes you find that when doctors do this, even though they anesthetise the spot and supposedly do it in a very hygienic way, it often happens that the hole will not heal naturally and sometimes breaks out in a small nodule.


Importance of the Peepul Tree and Tulsi plant. 
The peepul tree is a huge tree which spreads out in branches and has beautiful leaves which shake and quiver at the slightest breeze that passes through them. It doesn’t seem to have much use since it has no flowers or fruit but the Hindus consider it holy. This again rises from the great botanical knowledge which the rishis had about all types of vegetation. They told the common people that it was holy and encouraged them to plant these trees in the village and care for them because they knew that the peepul is the only tree which produces oxygen at night. All other types of vegetation give out carbon dioxide at night. The quivering leaves obviously have a role to play in keeping the oxygen going throughout the night.
The tulsi (holy basil) is another plant which is considered holy by the Hindus. It is closely connected with the worship of Vishnu and his incarnations. Again the rishis knew well of the medicinal and healing properties of the plant and that is why they linked its name with one of the chief gods in the pantheon and insisted that every garden should keep a tulsi plant which should be protected and taken care of at all times. It is a remarkable antibiotic and if used daily in tea or simply chewed it will stabilise the health and balance the body system. If kept in the compound close to the house, it prevents insects from entering the house. Even snakes don’t like to go near a tulsi plant. Thus in ancient days people were encouraged to grow lots of tulsi around their house. 


Why do Hindu women wear bangles?
In olden days even men were encouraged to wear bangles of copper or shell. The wrist is a very sensitive part of the human being. When a doctor wants to check your pulse he will automatically lift up your wrist. When bangles are worn on the wrist, the constant friction increases the blood circulation. Electricity passing out through the outer skin is reverted to one’s own body through the action of the circular bangles which make sure that the current is kept within the body and does not pass out of it.
Thus we see that almost all the so-called superstitious customs which Hindus are prone to do, have their basis in some scientific or medical truth. Western science did not pierce beyond the veil of the obvious which could be experienced by the five senses. Hinduism on the other hand always strove to reach beyond the obvious to the transcendental. Hence we find that almost every act in Hinduism has a deep spiritual meaning as well conferring physical benefits.
Hari Aum Tat Sat

HATE CRIME ALERT - ANTI HINDU INCIDENT AT WEST LONDON TEMPLE

hanif 01

HATE CRIME ALERT - ANTI HINDU INCIDENT AT WEST LONDON TEMPLE

 

4th August 2016

Dear All,

Please note that on the afternoon of the 3rd August, an incident occurred at one of our member Hindu Temples in which an individual, stating his name as Hanif and declaring himself as Pakistani, spent half an hour wandering around the Temple premises speaking with Priests and devotees. He asked questions re the following specific points -

1)    Where do the priests live ?

2)    When are the busy functions and festivals ?
3)    Which days is food served on ?
4)    Which days do the jalaram temples serve food ?

5)    Do the Neasden and ISKCON temples serve food and if so on which days?.

6)    Further questions were asked about the West London Temples

The incident has been reported to the Police and a photograph of the person will be also be available shortly. When it is available we will send it to out immediately to our member Temples by Whatsapp and others of whom we are aware.

NCHTUK have set up a TempleNet Whatsapp group in order to be able to share and communicate urgent information and if you would like to join please nominate a person in your Committee who will have the designated mobile phone, and please forward the Mobile number to us on our info @ nchtuk.org address.

We are approaching a very busy time of year for our Temples with very major festivals just around the corner, please forward this message to any Temple or Hindu Institution which may need to be notified. Lets look after our community and our Temples and please report any incidents to the Police and to us so that they can be shared with the TempleNet whatsapp group. A video of this person has been posted to the WhatsApp group already.


If your local Hindu Temple is inadequately protected, please access Government Funding in order to ensure that it can be made secure and that our Devotees and visitors can be assured of adequate safety. The details of this scheme are below.

Hate Crime Action Plan

The Government has published a four year Hate Crime Action Plan.   The press release about the launch is at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-support-for-communities-in-united-drive-against-hate.

In the foreword Home Secretary Amber Rudd says “Hate crime of any kind, directed against any community, race or religion has absolutely no place in our society.” In his endorsing foreword, Communities Secretary Sajid Javid speaks of the need not to take tolerance for granted and says “Together, if we report every incident of hate crime, we can drive it from our streets.”

The Action Plan outlines actions the government will take to:

  • prevent and respond to hate crime
  • increase reporting of hate crime incidents
  • improve support for victims
  • build an understanding of hate crime

The relevant section of the summary of the wide-ranging plan is at Annex A to this Circular.  Further information is at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-support-for-communities-in-united-drive-against-hate.

The Action Plan applies to England and Wales. The Welsh Government’s Tackling Hate Crimes and Incidents: A Framework for Action (2015) continues to take forward specific actions within Wales. The Welsh Government was consulted on the Action Plan and there will continue to be engagement on non-devolved areas across Wales through the Hate Crime Criminal Justice Board Cymru. The Action Plan does not cover actions in Scotland and Northern Ireland. The Home Office will continue to work with the devolved governments to ensure that best practice is shared across the United Kingdom.

Security for Places of Worship

Funding Programme

As part of the Hate Crime Action Plan, the Home Office has launched a £2.4million funding scheme for places of worship to provide protective security measures to them.  The scheme is open for 8 weeks and closes at 5pm on 20 September.  A second round of bids will open in Spring 2017.

Details on eligibility and how to apply can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/places-of-worship-security-funding-scheme.

Police message relating to security of Church buildings in wake of attack on priest in France

In the wake of the murder of a Catholic Priest in France, the Police issued today a message to Christian Churches about security. This also contains information relevant to other faith communities and is at Annex B to this Circular.

Looking After One Another: The Safety and Security of our Faith Communities

As member bodies will be aware, in July 2005 IFN published a resource entitled Looking After One Another: The Safety and Security of our Faith Communities.  This is available to download from IFN’s website at http://www.interfaith.org.uk/publications/all-publications/all-publications/20-looking-after-one-another-the-safety-and-security-of-our-faith-communities/file.  A copy is also attached.

Since 2005 the document has been widely circulated and drawn on by many bodies. Interfaith Scotland (then the Scottish Inter Faith Council) reproduced the document, with permission, in partnership with Scottish bodies. The document is in the process of being updated with new contact details and to reflect the current operating environment, including the impact of terrorism, and the very different communication world of social media. The document can be found at:  http://www.interfaith.org.uk/publications/all-publications/all-publications/20-looking-after-one-another-the-safety-and-security-of-our-faith-communities/file.  If you have any comments on the text, David Hampshire (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) would be pleased to receive these by 19 August.

How to report hate crime

Lastly, as part of tackling hate crime, a reminder that it is important to report it.

Hate incidents can be reported directly to the Police. They can also be reported via the True Vision website at www.report-it.org.uk/home and, in some areas, to the Stop Hate website at www.stophateuk.org/report-hate-crime.   In Scotland, hate crime can be reported athttps://www.scotland.police.uk/secureforms/hate-crime/.



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Racism .. or something else ?

 

"To those who know only privilege, equality feels like oppression"

 

 

Whenever there is an attack upon a non white person - the Racist and Racism mantra is trotted out but after 50 years of immigration in to the UK, isnt it time we revisted the very assumptions behind the whole "Racism" ideology or "Race" industry even?

The questions which we, as an immigrant minority and a vulnerable religious minority, faced with institutional anti-Hindu prejudice and the perception of a rising level of white-supremacist hate speech, we will be exploring over the coming months will include:-

  • What if there is only one Race, the human race  - in which case who divided the peoples of this earth into "Races"?
  • Does "white supremacy" still exist in the UK?
  • Is there a difference between "White Supremacy" and Racism ??
  • What if the problem is not Racism  - just "ol fashioned white supremacy" ??
  • If feelings of supremacy do exist - who is teaching them and where do they come from??
  • Is it racist to call a "white racist" a "white supremacist" ??
  • By calling a "white supremacist" a racist do we lose focus on the core problem ?

 

We will have input from Jane Elliot, one of the USA's most potent speakers on the subject of White Suporemacy and Racism and other thought leaders.

 

In the meantime...

An African American friend called Brian Crooks, wrote the following account which makes sobering reading.

 

If we can have video evidence that an officer pulled up, jumped out of his car, shot a 12-year-old to death less than 2 seconds after arriving on the scene, administered no first aid, tackled and hand cuffed the boy's sister when she arrived on the scene, and then falsified a police report to say that the boy pointed a gun at him and that he only shot when the boy refused several orders to drop his weapon and STILL not get an indictment, why should we think that an officer who shoots a Black man who had a gun in his pocket, or a Black man who had a concealed weapon on him, will face a trial?

 

Is discrimination against non-whites a hidden but significant problem  herein the UK? Here's Brians full article, its a lot to read but very much worth it.

So, over the last few days I've done a lot of linking and reposting, but I haven't really done a lot of speaking about my personal experience to explain where I'm coming from. Please, bear with me for a few minutes. Hopefully, it'll help you understand why I feel the way I do about what's been going on.

The first time I was acutely aware of my Blackness, I was probably 6 or 7 years old. Like, before then obviously I knew I was Black, but I hadn't really had it put in my face like this until I was about 6 or 7. I used to go to daycare back then, and we went on a field trip to a water park one time. One of the other boys from the daycare came up to me and told me he was surprised I was going on the trip because his dad told him all colored people were afraid of the water since we sink to the bottom. He didn't know he was being offensive. He was just curious why someone who would sink to the bottom would want to go to a water park.

I can remember being in elementary school thinking maybe I was unable to see what was really going on. I, like many other Black people in my generation, was the only Black kid in my class. I think the first time I actually had class with another Black kid was when I was in 5th grade. I'd need to go back and look at my class pictures to be sure, but for sure there were never, like, 6 or 7 of us in one class. So anyway, in elementary school, right around the same time I was told that colored people couldn't swim, I remember wondering whether I saw the same stuff the White kids saw. I seriously remember wondering whether I just THOUGHT I was sitting quietly while in reality I was running around going crazy and being disruptive. I don't really know why I wondered that. I'd picked up on some kinds of cues in pop culture and stuff, I guess, but I really did think that there was a chance that the White kids were just being polite not to react to me if I was jumping on their desks and throwing stuff without being able to see it myself.

In elementary school, I was in the gifted program. I've never been any good at math or science, but I was a really creative kid who loved history and telling stories. In third grade, the gifted program focused on the middle ages. I was in heaven. I loved learning about knights and castles and all that stuff. We had a group project to do sometime that year, where we had to give a short speech about something we'd learned during the year. All of the groups broke off to divvy up the work when my teacher came over to my group. Wouldn't it be “easier” and more fun for me if my group did our presentation as a rap? I'm eight years old. I have no history writing any kind of music, much less a full 3 or 4 minutes of rap verses for me and my teammates. But, I tried. The other kids just expected it to be natural for me. They looked at me like, “What do you mean you don't know how to rap?” We ended up just doing it as a regular presentation like everybody else, and afterward my teacher came up to me and said, “I thought you guys were going to rap? I was looking forward to MC Brian.” Again, she didn't know that she was making a racially-insensitive statement. Why would she? It's not like she'd had deep conversation about how Black people feel about their Blackness, or the way Black people internalized the way White people feel about our Blackness.

From elementary school through middle school, I can't remember how many times the White kids asked if they could touch my hair. I'm not kidding when I say it happened pretty much once a week at least. At first, it didn't bother me. But eventually I felt like an exhibit in a petting zoo. And I didn't have the vocabulary to explain to them that it was really weird that they kept asking to touch my hair all the time. See, I was a pretty shy kid. I was the only Black one, I was overweight, and I'd moved three times before I turned 10. So, rather than tell the White kids that no, they couldn't rummage through my hair, I just said yes and sat there quietly while they marveled at how my hair felt.

My least favorite time of the year, every year, was February. Black History Month. Being the only Black kid in the class, I was the designated reader for the entire month. When it came time to read from our history books about slavery and the Triangle Trade Route, I was always the one who was chosen to read. When it came time to read about Jim Crow, it was my turn. George Washington Carver and the peanut? That sounds like a job for Brian. Booker T. Washington? Harriet Tubman? Surely Brian is the perfect choice for those passages. All the while, I felt the eyes of my fellow students on me. Again, I was already a shy kid. So, having an entire classroom of White kids stare at me while I explained what lynching and Black Codes were was pretty mortifying.

Middle school is awkward for almost everybody. But when you're one of a handful of Black kids in a sea of judgmental, painfully self-conscious White kids, that awkwardness is magnified. I can remember being in 7th grade when a couple of girls who were always way too cool to talk to me ran up in the hallway and told me they had a girl for me to meet. Being that I was 12 or 13, I asked what she looked like. “You're really going to like her,” they said. I met her near the end of the day. She was morbidly obese and about three shades darker than me. The popular girls, of course, decided that since we were both Black and overweight, we were a match made in heaven. At this point, I'm pretty sure they were aware that they were being jerks. The ignorance of childhood had mostly fallen away by that point. But they were popular, I was a nerd, and the girl they thought was perfect for me was new in school. I'm sure they told her they had a great guy for her too. We just stood there, both aware that we were the butt of their joke and aware that we didn't have the social cache to actually do anything about it.

In 8th grade, I went to a friend's house to jump on his trampoline. I didn't know the kid all that well, but we had some mutual friends and at that age, if a kid has a trampoline, you're going to jump on that trampoline. He had a couple of neighbors who were probably 6 or 7 year old girls. We're jumping on the trampoline and the girls come out of their house and come over into his yard. Within about 5 minutes, they were laughing while saying “Get off our property, Black boy.” They were little, and they were laughing, so I don't think they knew how ugly they were being. After all, they'd probably never had a Black kid in their one or two elementary school classes. But they'd clearly heard that phrase somewhere else before. I wasn't even on their property; I was next door. But it's fair to assume that at some point, someone in their house had said “Get off my property, Black boy.”

In high school, I was around more Black kids. Still not a lot, but more than zero, so that was nice. When I was fifteen, I got my first “real” girlfriend. I'd asked some girls out before, and some of them said yes, but when you're 13 or 14 years old, what does “going out” even mean? So, my first “real” girlfriend was White. After all, I was living in an overwhelmingly White community and it's not like I was a heartthrob, so I was in no position to tell a girl who liked me that I was only interested in dating a Black girl. I might've never had a girlfriend if that was the line I drew. We were a good couple. We got along well and had similar interests and stuff. Basically, what you'd like to have as a high school sophomore. Her parents were divorced, but her mom and stepdad liked me. Then, her biological father found out I was Black. A week later, she called me crying and said we had to break up. Her dad didn't support her dating a Black person. So, my first heartbreak came as a direct result of racism.

When I was going through driver's ed, my behind the wheel instructor was a football coach at one of the other Naperville high schools. He asked what kind of car I wanted one time, and I told him I was gonna get my dad's Dodge Intrepid, but that I really liked my brother's Mazda. He looked at me like I was nuts and said he figured I'd want an Impala so I could put some hydraulics on it and “hit dem switchezzzzz.” When we got back to my house at the end of my last behind the wheel session, he shook my hand and said it was a pleasure teaching me how to drive. Then, he said, “You're a Black kid, but you're pretty cool, you know? Like, you're not like one of THOSE Black people, you know?”

In high school, I played football. There was a kid on the football team who I'd been friends with since middle school. Not, like, best friends or anything, but we ran in similar circles and we were certainly friendly with each other. When we were 16 or 17, he started referring to me as “The Whitest Black guy.” It really pissed me off. He knew it pissed me off. I guess because I used proper grammar, wore clothes that fit, and listened to metal in addition to hip hop, it made me “White.” Turns out, to be “authentically Black” means being a caricature of what a Black person should be, according to this suburban White kid. This is another case of me lacking the vocabulary at the time to express how that made me feel, but it's pretty messed up. This kid (we're currently Facebook friends, so I hope he reads this and knows who I'm talking about) identified as Italian-American. I didn't call him “The most Anglo Italian guy” because he didn't bring home-made ravioli to school for lunch everyday and play an accordion while growing a mustache.

I got pulled over a lot in high school. Like, a lot a lot. By this point, I was no longer driving the Dodge. I had a Mazda of my own. It was flashy and loud, but this was 2002 and everybody with a Japanese car was doing a Vin Diesel impression, so it's not like mine stood out that much more than anyone else's. I spent a ton of money on my car and was especially aware of its appearance. You can understand, then, why it was weird that I was routinely pulled over for a busted taillight. After all, that's the kind of thing I would've noticed and gotten fixed, especially if that taillight tended to burn out once a week or so. My parents had told me how to act when pulled over by the police, so of course I was all “Yes sir, no sir” every time it happened. That didn't stop them from asking me to step out of the car so they could pat me down or search for drugs, though. I didn't have a drop of alcohol until I was 21, but by that point I was an expert at breathalyzers and field sobriety tests. On occasion, the officer was polite. But usually, they walked up with their hand on their gun and talked to me like I'd been found guilty of a grisly homicide earlier in the day. A handful of times, they'd tell me to turn off the car, drop the keys out the window, and keep my hands outside the vehicle before even approaching.

I went to the University of Iowa, which is a very White campus in a very White state. It's funny, because most of the people I met there who came from small-town Iowa were really excited to finally meet a Black person. And it wasn't like they wanted me to be a mascot; they genuinely wanted a Black friend so they could learn about Black people and stuff. It was nice. On the other hand, if I was in a bar and talking to a girl they didn't think I should be talking to, or in their drunken state they bumped into sober me, you'd be surprised to see how quickly some of these guys will call a complete stranger a nigger.

Once, when I came home from college, I was pulled over less than a block from my parents' house. It was late, probably about midnight or so, but I hadn't been drinking and it was winter so I wasn't speeding because it had snowed that day. The officer stepped out of his car with his gun drawn. He told me to drop the keys out the window, then exit the car with my hands up and step back toward him. I knew he was wrong, but I wasn't about to be shot to death down the street from my parents' house because my failure to immediately comply was interpreted as me plotting to murder that officer. So yeah, I stepped out and backed up toward the officer. He hand cuffed me and refused to tell me why I had been pulled over, or why I had been asked to exit my vehicle. Only when I was sitting in the back of the police car did he tell me that there had been reports of gang activity in the area and that a car fitting my car's description with a driver fitting my description had recently been involved in said gang activity. Gang activity. In south Naperville. Committed by a Black male driving a bright blue Mazda MX-6 with a gaudy blue and white interior. Yeah, alright. He was very short in asking me what I was doing in the neighborhood so late at night. I explained that my parents lived at that house with the glass backboard over there. He didn't believe me. He took me back out of the car and put me face down on the hood of the police car to frisk me. I'd already been searched once before he put me in the car. Then, he spent about 15 minutes searching my car while I stood hand cuffed in the cold. My ID had my parents' address on it, but he still didn't think I lived there. I could tell he wanted to accuse me of having a fake ID. About a half hour after being pulled over, when he found nothing on me, nothing in my car, and nothing on my record, he reluctantly let me go. He didn't even say sorry, or explain that it was his mistake; he must've been looking for another Black man in a bright blue Mazda MX-6 who was a gang leader in south Naperville. He sat in the street until I drove to my parents' house, opened the garage door, drove inside, and then closed the garage door.

Back at Iowa, things were pretty cool. Yeah, the occasional frat boy would call me a nigger when he was mad at me at the bar, but I had a lot of good friends and it's not like nobody had ever called me that before or anything. I was dating a girl when I went to college, and we broke up right before my sophomore year. She made sure to tell me she would NEVER date someone outside of her race again when we broke up. As though A) I was the representative of all Black people, and B) I was going to have to explain to all Black men why she was unwilling to date them in the future.

One summer when I was back from college, I had an argument with a good friend of mine. When I say “good friend,” I mean that this is a guy I knew since middle school. Our dads used to work together. I can't count how many times I had spent the night at his parents' house. But we had an argument. The kind of argument most friends have at one point or another. This time, he decided to get really, really racial about it. He started off by telling me I should be ashamed of my complexion (he later claimed that he meant I had bad skin; only I'd only had like two pimples in my entire life). Then, he said I belong in the ghetto, not Naperville. In the end, he looked me dead in the face and called me a nigger. Again, this was one of my closest friends. Since then, I've completely cut him out of my life. But, it fits with the experiences that I've had too many times; people can be totally cool for years and years but suddenly decide that they need to be super racist because they want to hurt you. They'll say they're sorry, they'll explain how you misinterpreted what they said, but the fact is, they reach for racism because they think it'll emotionally and psychologically destroy you, and that's what they want to do at that moment.

During my senior year, I went to a game at Kinnick stadium. I'd been to every home game since my first week at college and a handful of away games too. I'd only started drinking about 5 months before that, but my band had a show the night before and my bandmates were leaving town that morning, so I didn't get hammered during tailgating. I didn't want them to call me for directions and have me be unable to help. We were waiting in line to get into the game; I was with probably 4 or 5 of my friends. While standing in line, a much drunker guy lost his balance and fell into me and one of my friends. I caught him and helped him back up, and he was pretty oblivious to his surroundings. An officer inside the gate saw what happened and called me out of the line when I got inside the gate. He told me that he saw me try to fight that guy in line and said I was too drunk to enter the stadium. He told me I could either go home or go to jail. I told him I had no problem going home, but because there were only two more home games left I wanted to know what I had done to draw such negative attention to myself. Plus, it was pretty cold anyway. He got about an inch from my face and yelled, “GO HOME NOW OR GO TO JAIL.” I turned to leave and he hand cuffed me. I wound up watching Iowa vs Northwestern 2006 from the drunk tank inside Kinnick Stadium. Everyone else in there was either screaming, puking, or passed out. The guy who fell into me was allowed to go into the game. The charges against me were dropped when the lady who kept an eye on the drunk tank spoke on my behalf when I had to go see the judge.

In 2012, I went to watch the Iowa game at John Barleycorn on Clark Street in Chicago. We watched almost every game there. I had gotten some t-shirts printed up and went to my car to get them so I could give them to my friends. While coming back, I saw a Michigan fan absolutely beating the hell out of a Nebraska fan (they were both White). I ran up into the fight (I was admittedly drunk this time) and pulled the Michigan fan off the Nebraska fan. Dude's face was all bloody and messed up. The police were on the scene about 15 seconds later. Michigan and Nebraska both got to go home to “cool off,” but I wound up hand cuffed and sitting on the curb. There were at least a dozen witnesses there who tried to tell the officer that I was just trying to break up the fight, and that Michigan should've been arrested for assault. One of Nebraska's female friends even told the officer that I might've saved his life (probably an exaggeration, but it's what was said). After about 15 minutes, the officer removed the hand cuffs and let me go. He said he got a call that there was a big fight breaking out, but otherwise I'd be going to jail that night. He said if he ever saw me on Clark Street again, we'd have a problem.

I could go on and on and on about this. I could tell you about the guy who wanted to buy his guitar from someone who “actually knew what a guitar was” when I worked at guitar center. At that point, I had a Gibson Les Paul at my house and an Ibanez acoustic, plus a Warwick fretless bass. I could tell you about the coworker who thought it was funny to adopt a stereotypical Black accent to apologize that we weren't going to have fried chicken and cornbread at our company Christmas party. I could tell you about the time I gave my floor mate a haircut freshman year and he “thanked” me by saying he'd let a negro cut his hair any day of the week. I could tell you about leaving a bar heartbroken and fighting tears when the Trayvon Martin verdict came out only to see a couple middle-aged White guys high-fiving and saying he “got what he deserved” right outside. These are only a handful of the experiences I've had in my 31 years.

I've never had a Black boss. I played football from middle school through senior year of high school and only had one Black coach in that whole time. Not just head coaches, I'm talking about assistants and position coaches. I've had two Black teachers in my entire life. One was for my Harlem Renaissance class, and one was for my sign language class. I've never been to a Black doctor, or a Black dentist. I've never been pulled over by a Black police officer. What I'm trying to explain is that, in 31 years, I've seen three Black people in a position of authority. Think about what that does to the psyche of a growing young man. I remember being excited just a few years ago when we started to see Black people in commercials without there being gospel or hip hop music in the background (remember that McDonald's commercial where the little kid was pop-locking with the chicken McNuggets?).

Before you say it, I don't want to hear that you're “sorry I had these experiences.” Because it's not just me. It's not like I'm some kind of magnet for all of the racists in America and I'm some weird anomaly. This is what it means to be Black in America. I appreciate that you're sorry for me, but I'm not seeking your sorrow. I'm seeking your understanding. I just want you to understand that this is real. We're not exaggerating it, and we're not making it up. White people often say that we make everything about race. That's because, for us, damn near everything IS about race. It's always been that way. When I have a great phone interview, but go for my in-person interview only to be told that the position has been filled, how am I supposed to know that's not just because they expected a White Iowa graduate to show up for the interview? When I have an especially-attentive employee keep checking in with me at the mall, how am I supposed to know they're shooting for employee of the month, not watching me to make sure I'm not stealing? What do you think it's like when someone says “You don't sound Black at all” when I have a phone conversation with them and then meet them in person? What do you think it's like seeing Confederate flags on cars and flag poles in northern states, only to have someone tell me I'm being too sensitive for not liking it?

When we say “Black Lives Matter,” understand what that actually means. We aren't saying that ONLY Black lives matter. We're saying “Black lives matter TOO.” For the entirety of the history of this country, Black lives have not mattered. At a minimum, they haven't mattered nearly as much as White lives. If a Black person kills another Black person, and we have it on tape, the killer goes to jail. If a White police officer kills a Black person and we have it on tape, the entire judicial system steps up to make sure that officer doesn't go to jail. It doesn't matter whether the Black person was holding a toy gun in a Walmart, or whether the Black person was a 12-year-old kid playing with a BB gun in an empty park. The police union steps up to say the officer was fearing for his life, just worried about trying to make it home that night. IF a grand jury is convened, the prosecutor will present a purposely-weak case to make sure no indictment is reached. IF, by some miracle, an indictment is handed down, no jury is actually going to convict that officer. That's what we mean when we say Black Lives Matter. I can only speak for myself, but I have no reason to believe that the officers in Minnesota or Baton Rouge will ever see the inside of a jail cell. If we can have video evidence that an officer pulled up, jumped out of his car, shot a 12-year-old to death less than 2 seconds after arriving on the scene, administered no first aid, tackled and hand cuffed the boy's sister when she arrived on the scene, and then falsified a police report to say that the boy pointed a gun at him and that he only shot when the boy refused several orders to drop his weapon and STILL not get an indictment, why should we think that an officer who shoots a Black man who had a gun in his pocket, or a Black man who had a concealed weapon on him, will face a trial? If a White man sees a 14-year-old Black boy in his neighborhood, follows him in his car, ignores orders not to engage him, then gets into a fight with him and shoots him in the chest and is found not guilty, why should we expect ANYBODY to go to jail for killing us? It's just not realistic. It's a fairy tale. All you have to do is say you were afraid, and you get a book deal and a job as a commentator on FOX News every time this kind of thing happens again.

That is why Black people are in such pain right now. The deaths are bad enough. But having the feeling that nobody will ever actually be held accountable for the deaths is so much worse. And then watching as the police union, the media, and conservative politicians team up to imagine scenarios where the officer did nothing wrong, and then tell those of us who are in pain that our pain is wrong, unjustified, and all in our heads just serves to twist the knife.

If you read all this, I really, really want to say thank you. I know it was a lot to get through. But this is real. This is me. This is what my life is and has been. And I'm not alone.

 

There is much work to be done, join us in helping find a real and lasting solution.

Hindu Community bids Farewell to PM Cameron

 cameron baps

In a joint letter to PM David Cameron, the NCHT(UK) joined with the Hindu Forum of Britain, the VHP, HSS and the National Hindu Students Forum to offer a note of gratitude and appreciation for the manner in which PM Cameron engaged fully and with great humour and enthusiasm, with the British Hindu Community.

Whether it was on the stage at Wembley at PM Modiji''s side or perfoming Abhishek at  the Swaminarayan BAPS Temple in Neasden with Mrs Cameron, PM Cameron established and developed direct links with the British Hindu community and Government to a level and degree unheard of before. The principal National Hindu organisations have written to the PM today to express their appreciation for his encouragement and support.

 

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