from India Insight:

Are displaced Kashmiri Hindus returning to their homeland?

September 25, 2009

Tens of thousands of Kashmiri Hindus, locally known as Pandits, fled their ancestral homes in droves 20 years ago after a bloody rebellion broke out against New Delhi’s rule in India's only Muslim-majority state.

Hindus and Muslims worship side-by-side in Uttar Pradesh

By Reuters Staff
September 16, 2009

News stories about Hindu-Muslim relations in India usually stress strains between followers of the two faiths. Here’s a short Reuters video from our partner ANI on Hindus and Muslims worshipping side by side in a temple and a mazar (mausoleum) in Uttar Pradesh state:

India’s defeated Hindu nationalist party faces survival test

September 2, 2009

advaniRiven by squabbling, India’s Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will be forced to name a new leader in a crisis that could reshape the main opposition party, strengthening the left and hindering government efforts at financial reforms.

Indians add green touch to religious festivals

August 31, 2009

ganesha-11 (Photo: Procession with Ganesha statue in Mumbai, 15 Aug, 2009/Punit Paranjpe)

Few events can rival the ancient rituals and riotous color of India’s religious festivals. This year, the months-long celebration season is also becoming eco-friendly.  Alarmed by the high levels of pollution caused by firecrackers, toxic paints and idols made of non-recyclable material, schools, environmentalists and some states are encouraging “greener” celebrations.

Dry spell casts pall over Ramadan in India

August 27, 2009

foodseller (Photo: Food sellers on Ramadan evening near old Delhi’s Jama Masjid (Grand Mosque), 23 Aug 2009/Parth Sanyal)

from India Insight:

What makes a religious symbol conspicuous?

August 24, 2009

Last week, a college in Mangalore in India banned a student wearing a burqa from attending class. The principal told local media the college had a policy of not allowing symbols of religion.

from India Insight:

Can you outsource God?

August 19, 2009

– Saritha Rai writes for the GlobalPost, where this article first appeared. –

from India Insight:

The Mormons in India

August 18, 2009

– Sonya Fatah writes for the GlobalPost, where this article first appeared. –

How God (or more precisely, meditation) changes your brain

August 17, 2009

how-god-changes-your-brainSome book titles are too good to pass up. “How God Changes Your Brain” is neuroscientist Andrew Newberg‘s fourth book on “neurotheology,” the study of the relationship between faith and the brain. All are pitched at a popular audience, with snappy titles like “Born to Believe” or “Why God Won’t Go Away.” Anyone reading the latest one, though, might wonder if the title shouldn’t be “How God Meditation Changes Your Brain.” As he explains in an interview with Reuters here, the benefits that Buddhist monks and contemplative Catholic nuns derive from meditation and intense prayer are also available to atheists and agnostics. The key lies in the method these high performing believers use, not in the belief itself. But that would have made for a more awkward title.

from Tales from the Trail:

U.S. criticizes India on treatment of religious minorities

August 13, 2009

A U.S. commission is criticizing India for its treatment of religious minorities and has added it to a "watch list," annoying the South Asian country.