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Showing posts from October 18, 2006

Dwindling crow population hampers Hindu ritual

The funerary rites of a dead person is only complete when the person performing the last rites pays offering to a cow, a dog and crow. There are slight variations in this ritual. In South India, especially in Kerala, the offering is only made to a crow. As of now, there is no dearth in the crow population in Kerala. But the situation is different in several cities in North India. Cows and dogs are available readily but not crows. So people pays offering to crow idols. Zeenews reports about the dwindling population of crows in Allahabad:"As a ritual for the ancestors we are supposed to feed a cow, a dog and a crow. Cow and dog are easily available but we could not find a crow. So we had to observe the tradition with the idol of a crow. That will fulfill the absence in the ritual," said Gautam Chandra Golcha, who performed the rituals with the idol of the crow.The reason:"Crows are dwindling because they feed on the animals who feed on the crops which are tended with ha…

The Bloodless Revolution: Radical Vegetarians and the Discovery of India

This is the title of a book written by Tristram Stuart. It talks about the Indian connection in European vegetarianism.From the observer review:Stuart makes clear that the Western encounter with India provided crucial weight to pro-vegetarian arguments. Here was a civil, peaceful, enlightened society successfully fuelled by vegetables, pulses and grains. Such a diet seemed an escape from the corruption, debauchery, pollution and strife in the West. Many conservative Christians mocked the Hindus' quaint belief in transmigration, but the doctrine of non-violence is a guiding ethical principle that manifests itself through abstention from meat.The story of the reverence and awe in which India was held in certain streams of Western thought is a notable corrective to those who see the history of imperialism as solely the high-handed and brutal imposition of Occidental values on indigenous populations. John Zephaniah Holwell, a survivor of the Black Hole of Calcutta, governor of Bengal …