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.

Religion, poverty and strife: what comes first?

August 6, 2009

An uprising by a radical Islamic sect in northern Nigeria may ostensibly have been about religion, but such bloodletting will recur unless underlying issues of poverty, unemployment and education are addressed.

Could gagged Mumbai confession do more good than harm?

July 22, 2009

hindux1A crucial part of gunman Mohammad Ajmal Kasab’s hindu-articleconfession at the Mumbai attack trial has been censored by the judge on the grounds that it could inflame religious tensions between Hindus and Muslims in India. After stunning the court on Monday by admitting guilt in the the three-day rampage that killed 166 people, Kasab gave further testimony on Tuesday that included details about his training by Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), a Pakistan-based militant group on U.S. and Indian terrorist lists.

Ex-nun urges Indian Catholic Church reform in tell-all book

June 29, 2009

amenA Roman Catholic nun who left her convent in India after 33 years of service has penned an unflattering picture of life within the cloistered walls in a book that may further embarrass the Church.