USA, July 25, 2016 (Ed.gov Press Release): As part of ongoing efforts to encourage respect for students of all faiths and beliefs, the U.S. Department of Education today shared a series of actions that confront discrimination and promote inclusive school environments. The steps include a new website on religious discrimination, an updated civil rights complaint form, an expanded survey of America's public schools on religious-based bullying, technical assistance for schools, and recent outreach on confronting religious harassment in education. "Students of all religions should feel safe, welcome and valued in our nation's schools," said Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine E. Lhamon. "We will continue to work with schools and communities to stop discrimination and harassment so that all students have an equal opportunity to participate in school no matter who they are, where they come from or which faith, if any, they subscribe to."
"Today's announcement underscores that we are concerned about the well being of students. On the prevention side, President Obama's Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge, started in 2011, is another important resource," said the Rev. Brenda Girton-Mitchell, director of the Department's Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. "Our agency has had the privilege of coordinating the Challenge which provides college students from many religious traditions as well as nonbelievers to work together to tackle community problems. This higher education civic engagement allows students from religiously diverse backgrounds to build bridges of understanding across cultural and religious lines and helps prevent intolerance."
The Department's Office for Civil Rights launched a new page, Religious Discrimination, http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/religion.html, on its website with information about federal laws that protect students from discrimination involving their religion. The page links to OCR policy guidance, notable case resolutions, and resources in multiple languages and from other federal agencies.
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Through meditation and by giving full attention to one thing at a time, we can learn to direct attention where we choose.
-- Eknath Easwaran
CHENNAI, INDIA, July 23, 2016 (Deccan Chronicle): Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Friday wrote to her Uttarakhand counterpart Harish Rawat thanking him for taking steps to install the Thiruvalluvar statue within the government Mela Bhavan in Haridwar. "I am grateful that you have responded speedily and positively to the outpouring of sentiments of the people of TN on this sensitive issue," she told Rawat, who had dispatched a senior Tamil IAS officer in Uttarkhand to identify a suitable spot for the statue's installation.
Ms. Jayalalithaa in her letter told Rawat that the Thiruvalluvar statue issue had caused "considerable disquiet" in TN. Several political leaders in TN had expressed concern over the statue of the poet-saint lying wrapped in a park in Haridwar after the efforts by BJP MP Tarun Vijay to install it on the banks of Ganga failed due to protest from local sadhus.
It appeared that the sadhus were against the Thiruvalluvar statue being erected in an area where only the statues of Hindu deities have been installed. According to R. Meenakshi Sundaram, vice-chairman of the Mussoorie-Dehradun Development Authority, a suitable spot inside the Mela Bhavan will be decided after consulting the Ganga Sabha and the Akhil Bharatiya Akahara Parishad representatives.
To say "through silence He is realized" is not correct, because Supreme Knowledge does not come "through" anything. Supreme Knowledge reveals Itself.
-- Anandamayi Ma
TAMIL NADU, INDIA, July 21, 2016 (The Hindu): Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Wednesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to urgently take up with the Uttarakhand government the issue of installation of a statue of Tamil sage poet Thiruvalluvar in Haridwar. "It is learnt that the Thiruvalluvar statue is now lying in the Dam Kothi Guest House, Haridwar, in an abandoned condition. The visuals beamed on television screens is causing outrage in Tamil Nadu," Ms. Jayalalithaa said.
Thiruvalluvar is a celebrated poet believed to have lived between 3rd Century BC and 1st Century BC. He wrote the most popular Tamil literary works Thirukkural, also known as the common creed. The verses are a moral guide for human beings and have been translated in several languages. "The object of the Thiruvalluvar Ganga Payanam is to show solidarity of the North with the Tamil saint poet Thiruvalluvar's message of equality and ending social discrimination in society," Ms. Jayalalithaa said.
According to her, due to the local protests, the installation of Thiruvalluvar statue at Har ki Pauri was prevented and was installed at Shankaracharya Chowk, Haridwar, on June 28. The statute was to be unveiled on June 29 by the Governor and Chief Minister of Uttarakhand.