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VOL. 24 • NO. 20 • WEDNESDAY, MAY 16, 2018 • P.O. BOX 623, SUGAR LAND, TX 77487 • PERIODICAL PERMIT USPS 017699 • 25 cents
Noted physicist E.C.G. Sudarshan passes away
Austin, TX 78717 on Thursday, May 17. 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM Hindu Ceremony; 11:30 AM 1:30 PM Viewing; After 1:30 PM - Cremation Ceremony Born on September 16, 1931, at Pallam in Kottayam district of Kerala, he did his M.Sc. from Madras University and Ph.D from University of Rochester, New York. He had his academic career mostly in the US. He was a Professor at University of Texas for the past 40 years. In 1980s, he worked as Director of Institute of Mathematical Sciences at Chennai for five years. Sudershan was nominated for Nobel Prize several times but missed the coveted honor every time. His research interests spanned a wide range of fields from particle physics, quantum optics, and quantum field theory to quantum information theory, gauge theories and classical mechanics. He together with American
One of the most accomplished and renowned theoretical physicists of Indian origin, Padma Vibhushan E.C.G. Sudarshan, passed away in Austin on May 13. Dr. Sudarshan serves as Honorary Advisory council member of Sri Meenakshi Temple. Sam Kannappan, one of the founders of Meenakshi Temple, and long time acquaintance of Sudarshan said, the funeral services will be held at Beck Funeral Home See SUDARSHAN, Page 10 at 15709 Ranch Rd 620 N,
World Hindu Congress
‘Save A Mother’ foundation earns kudos at 10th annual gala
By SESHADRI KUMAR The “Save a Mother” or SAM Foundation, which focuses on improving maternal and neo-natal mortality, held its 10th annual Gala on May 6 at the Sugar Land Marriott Hotel. Over the years, the Foundation, which was established in 2008, has developed an Effective Social Persuasion (SAMESP) model for healthcare advocacy and behavior change for the poor in rural India. SAM’s Houston Chapter President Veena Kaul kicked off the evening by welcoming the gathering and introducing Guest of Honor and Keynote Speaker – actress Shabana Azmi. In a powerful address, Shabana Azmi expressed her pride at the work done by Save A Mother and stated that she knew about the organization since its inception. “No mother should die giving birth to a child in the
Save A Mother Houston Chapter President Veena Kaul, right, with actress Shabana Azmi, who was the keynote speaker at the gala. —Photo by BIJAY DIXIT. 20th century,” she emphasized and added that SAM has shown that very small steps can help reduce the mortality rate dramatically. The number of mothers who
die during childbirth in all of Europe in one year occurs in one week in India. SAM is the most shining example of helping rural See SAM, Page 2
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Swami Vigyanandji is busy campaigning for the Second World Hindu Congress to be held in Chicago from 7-9 September, 2018. The conference, which attracts prominent Hindus across the world, is the largest global platform for Hindus to connect, share ideas, introspect towards improvement and seek solutions to challenges facing the community. It coincides with the 125th anniversary of Swami Vivekananda’s iconic address in Chicago’s Parliament of Religions in 1893 – a speech that prompted many Americans to explore Hindu spirituality. Story on Page 4
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PAGE 2 • INDIA HERALD • WEDNESDAY, MAY 16, 2018
Ashish Ganju, director, SAM USA.
From Page 1
women, she continued, alluding to the statistics provided by SAM that the maternal mortality rate dropped by 90 percent after SAM implemented its program in 2008 and child mortality fell by 60 percent. In the last two years, villages in Karnataka where SAM’s program is being implemented has not seen the death of a mother giving childbirth. “The results are unbelievable,” she stated, “and such a dramatic change is so simply done,” She also admired the outstanding performance by SAM that for less than 25 cents, it has dramatically improved health outcomes in underserved rural areas.
SAM Houston Board Members: Preity Bhagia, left, Tina Pariani, Rupa Iyer, Sakina Ali, Veena Mathur, Nat Murthy, Girija Patel, Veena Kaul, Sangeeta Pasrija, Hema Prasad, Poonam Tulsiani, and Puneet Freibott. ( Shalini Bhargava, not in the picture.) Shabana Azmi also recounted the example of 18-year-old Lalina in a village in her home state. She had to till the land, reap the produce and support the family. There was no scope for education. But, by doing road construction work for 100 days, she earned money to support her family and was able to go to school where she could achieve her hopes and dreams. Shabana Azmi said that thousand other Lalinas let their life pass by without hope and opportunity. President of SAM USA, Ashish Ganju outlined the nature of work done by SAM in India and its impact. Save A Mother trains local Health Activists to educate
pregnant women in prenatal care, post-natal care and encourage an institutional delivery. The Activists work as health educators and motivators for pregnant women, encouraging them to seek healthcare from existing public facilities. They do not replace public health workers but supplement them. SAM focuses on “demand side” solutions with the belief that by implementing effective social persuasion to change health care habits, the disease burden can be reduced greatly at a fraction of the cost of supply side aid. SAM engages in continual message delivery without an end point. Repetition of a message seems
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to have a lasting transforming effect. Since then, SAM’s model has been effectively replicated to other focus areas e.g. Tuberculosis Detection and Population Stabilization. TB detection has increased by 10 times and treatment completion under supervision is close to 100 percent. In the population stabilization program, contraceptive acceptance has increased by 20% and unmet need has decreased by 20%. The SAM model has been proven in over 1,500 villages representing approximately 3 million people in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka. In Uttar Pradesh, Save A Mother trained over 4,000 village health activists in over 800 plus villages in Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka. In Karnataka, Save A Mother completed one year of the program successfully in April 2013 in 103 villages in Gadag district. Since then, they have expanded to cover a total of 150 villages. SAM ensures the sustainability of its solutions by partnering with local health organizations and governmental authorities.
Shiban Ganju, founder of SAM. Gala Emcee Preity Bhagia and Dr. Subodh Bhuchar conducted the pledge drive. The Shreekrithi School of Music and comedian Raj Sharma provided the entertainment. Gala Chairs Dr. Veena Mathur and Girija Bhargava Patel proposed the vote of thanks. The SAM Houston chapter team comprises President Veena Kaul, Treasurer Natesan Krishnamurthy and Secretary Dr. Tina Pariani. For more information, visit saveamother.org.
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NEWS Bellaire High School’s Hindi awards banquet
Gradutaing seniors, left to right: Prakash Ghimire, Kunal Ramchandani, Satya Das, Katie Heideman, Pavan Shukla, Krisha Modi The Hindi National Honor Soci- a critical need language in Amerety of Bellaire High School held ica and there is shortage of Hindi its 30th annual Hindi awards ban- speaking bilinguals, he says. quet at Aga’s restaurant In Houston on May 3. Several Hindi students of Bellaire High School were also inducted in to the Honor Society. About 45 students are enrolled in the Hindi program at the school. Bellaire High School houses the oldest high school Hindi program in the nation and Arun Prakash has been the backbone of this program. It was 1989, an assistant principal at Bellaire High School asked him to teach the school’s ﬁrst Hindi language course, when the Hindi teacher hired initially backed oﬀ from the job. Arun Prakash formally retiredin 2014. He is back again as a substitute because the current teacher resigned and a replacement teacher is being recruited. At the awards banquet, Arun Prakash introduced the Hindi students with pride and appealed to the student community and the Indian American community to help the program grow so that more students can be attracted to take Hindi lessons. Dr. Haku Israni of TestMasters, one of the community members who led the initiative to establish Hindi teaching at Bellaire High School, brieﬂy recalled the inception of the program and said how the role fell on the shoulders of Arun Prakash after the original Hindi teacher declined the oﬀer. Bellaire’s Hindi program is the largest in the nation and has 7 levels of Hindi that includes 4 levels of International Baccalaureate Hindi. Bellaire High is the only school in the nation that has Yoga club, Hindu students’ council, South Asian students’ association and Hindi national honor society. Oﬃcers and members of all four clubs celebrate Diwali, Hindu festival of lights and Holi, Hindu festival of colors for the past 30 years. The students also celebrate other festivals, and practice yoga every week. Hindi students have Indian food and Henna tattoo days at school and club members participate in various volunteer activities such as Ram Leela and Thanksgiving at the George R. Brown convention center. Arun Prakash appeals to IndoAmerican organizations to consider supporting this program by providing ﬁnancial support and scholarships for students learning Hindi. Community leaders should petition area school district to start Hindi in elementary, junior and senior high schools since Hindi is
Hindi Honor Society boys, left to right: Anirudh Pathak, Pramit De, Pawan Marathi, Aditya Sood, Radheysham Pathak; Girls, left to right: Sonali Ramchandani, Shravya Aparasu, Kirti Mhadre, Mishma Khan, Asmita Ghimire, Abby Chopra, , President, Hindi National Honor Society, Biridiana Isabel Amaya, Rakshya Acharya, and Meghana Yennu. Hindi teacher Arun Prakash, left.
GRADUATING SENIORS. Left to right: Prakash Ghimire, Kunal Ramchandani, Satya Das, Katie Heideman, Pavan Shukla, and Krisha Modi.
PAGE 4 • INDIA HERALD • WEDNESDAY, MAY 16, 2018
World Hindu Congress to be held in Chicago
By MANU SHAH As dawn breaks, Swami Vigyanandji hops on to his bicycle and pedals to a park close by. He meditates and practices his asanas in the midst of nature, then laces up his shoes to alternately jog and walk for a good number of miles. After a simple sattvic meal, this IIT Kharagpur graduate and renowned scholar of Indian scriptures is ready to put in a full day’s work. As Joint General Secretary of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and founder of the World Hindu Congress, the World Hindu Economic Forum and the Hindu Emergency Aid and Relief Team (HEART), he needs all the focus and energy his morning routine gives him. Currently, Swamiji is busy campaigning for the Second World Hindu Congress to be held in Chicago from 7-9 September, 2018. The conference, which attracts prominent Hindus across the world, is the largest global platform for Hindus to connect, share ideas, introspect towards improvement and seek solutions to challenges facing the community. It coincides with the 125th anniversary of Swami Vivekananda’s iconic address in Chicago’s Parliament of Religions in 1893 – a speech that prompted many Americans to explore Hindu spirituality. The conference will discuss
7 key issues: economics, education, media, politics, youth involvement, women participation and collaboration of Hindu organizations. Confirmed Keynote Speakers include Dr. Mohan Bhagwat, the Dalai Lama, Spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Chinmaya Mission Worldwide Head Swami Swaroopananda. Why is this conference so important? Swamiji, who switches between chaste Hindi and English easily, explains that to “graduate to collective success”, we must encourage wealth creation, affordable quality education, promote a robust Hindu presence in mass media, cultivate future Hindu leaders, tap the unique strengths of Hindu women and encourage all Hindu organizations to work together. This, he states, is the only way to increase our sphere of influence and have a positive societal impact. We are “unlike any other immigrant community”, he adds, we are highly educated, professionally and financially successful but we don’t highlight our achievements enough. We need to become more than a “dandiya, garba and bhangra society,” we need to create awareness about our sizeable contributions, be visible and exercise our influence at the global level. Conferences such as this, he hopes, will remove the apathy
that currently exists among a vast majority of Hindus, promote unity and dispel misconceptions about Hindu philosophy. Born in a small village near Banaras, Swamiji’s sharp mind took him to IIT Kharagpur – India’s premier technology Institute. After his B. Tech, he didn’t take the predictable route of a lucrative job but dived into a 12 year study of Indian history, heritage, Vedanta, Panini’s Grammar and the Shastras. This proved to be a turning point in his life. The sheer richness of Hindu writings that were “compiled, protected, and transmitted through the most difficult times” by our ancestors motivated him to work at preserving this knowledge for successive generations. Swamiji reads a portion of the
Gita every day and his favorite teaching from the scripture is aptly enough “never lose your focus.” The global pracharak, as he is also known, works with Hindu youth from Fiji to Finland and is impressed with their diligence and dedication. They are capable, talented and educated, he says, but need to be introduced to their rich heritage. His singular goal, he emphasizes, is to ignite this awareness among Hindus across the globe and conferences such as these are “only the beginning.” Urging Houstonians to attend, Houston Sampark Coordinator HSS Swapan Dhairyawan stated that “It is important for every proud Hindu to attend the WHC 2018 in September. The conference will reinforce the importance of
maintaining our Hindu identity in North America while assimilating in mainstream America.” CEO of Star Pipes Products Ramesh Bhutada also added that it will give Hindus an opportunity to meet Hindu leaders from all over the world in different fields with relevance to Hindu Dharma while Hindus of Greater Houston (HGH) President Partha Krishnaswamy stated ““Such a congregation with exemplary Hindu leaders and speakers from worldwide is an occasion not to be missed. HGH sincerely requests Houston Hindus to represent in large numbers so that our presence is well recognized.” To learn about or participate in the 2018 World Hindu Congress, visit http:// whc.2018worldhinducongress. org
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INDIA HERALD • WEDNESDAY, MAY 16, 2018 • PAGE 5
INDIA HERALD • WEDNESDAY, MAY 16, 2018 • PAGE 6
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Poetry in motion
On Sunday May 20, from 4 pm to 4:30 pm, at the Museum of Fine Arts Law Building, Award-winning Houston writer Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni and renowned Indian dancer Rathna Kumar will present “Poetry in Motion,” a literary dance performance inspired in part by the photographs of Raghubir Singh (currently being exhibited at the Museum) and in part by the Mahabharat.
Divakaruni will read her pieces, which will be interpreted through dance by Kumar. About the Presenters Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is the Betty and Gene McDavid Professor of Writing at the University of Houston. An activist and best-selling author, her books have been translated into 29 languages and some of them have been Chitra Divakaruni made into movies. She has first in the United States, it was won many awards, including established in 1975. She has the American Book Award. won many awards, including Rathna Kumar is an inter- the Sangeet Natak Akademi nationally renowned danseuse, Award. teacher, and choreographer, This program is free! and the founder-director of the Address: 1001 Bissonnet, Anjali Center for Performing Houston, Texas 77005 Arts. The first Indian dance Sunday May 20, 4-4:30 pm. school in Texas and one of the
INDIA HERALD • WEDNESDAY, MAY 16, 2018 • PAGE 15 INDIA HERALD • WEDNESDAY, MAY 16, 2018 • PAGE 7
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PAGE 8 • INDIA HERALD • WEDNESDAY, MAY 16, 2018
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INDIA HERALD • WEDNESDAY, MAY 16, 2018 • PAGE 9
Effective portrayal of Oonjal, a subtle play on emotions
Father and daughter: Priya Chandru and Saranathan
Keshav Prasad, late writer Sujatha’s son, accompanied by his wife, accepts a memento from BKM President Mani Vaitheeswaran and Dr. Saranathan on the occasion of staging of the play Oonjal, a homage to Sujatha on his 10th death anniversary. By SESHADRI KUMAR Bharathi Kalai Manram of Houston and Meenakshi Theaters paid an outstanding and memorable tribute to the legendary Tamil writer Sujatha Rangarajan, on his 10th death anniversary, by enacting one of his masterpieces “Oonjal” (Swing) on stage on May 5. Sujatha’s son Keshva Prasad and his wife were among the invited guests. Keshav Prasad gave a fresh perspective on Sujatha as his father, beyond the famous writer. Friends and acquaintances of Sujatha highlighted his prolific writing that enhanced Tamil literature, his powerful messages, the writer’s felicity in enacting a scene in reader’s mind with choice expressions and his memorable contributions to the Tamil cinema. This may sound a prosaic reporting of the event, staging a Tamil play in the U.S. by Tamils living in Houston, of a writer who passed away a decade ago. To say it in Sujatha’s style, the protagonist of the play was a traditional, South Indian swing, called “Oonjal” in Tamil language. This standard fixture of a typical home in Tamil Nadu in past generations, loaded with a bunch of thoughts and sentiments, was pivotal to the successful staging of the play and Sujatha’s inimitable simplicity was all pervasive. As Sujatha’s son had stated earlier, the writer had a soft corner for the concerns of common man. Meenakshi Theaters and Director-actor Dr. Kas Saranathan successfully showed that the mundane life situations which may be of no interest or consequence to anyone could be turned into a gripping story, with a dramatic and unforeseen end. And there lives Sujatha’s own legacy.
Of course, the play was already successfully staged by another legendary Tamil dramatist and actor Poornam Viswanathan, for whom Sujatha specially wrote the script. As Dr. Saranathan mentioned, he had not seen Poornam Viswanathan’s acting of this play and consequently gave his own performance. If you have read the story by Sujatha, in the absence of the ending scene, you may not imagine that an interesting stage show of the story is possible. Meenakshi Theaters tackled the challenge by turning out the normal problems and foibles of a middle class man, which can hardly provide a deep plot or suspense or punch dialogues proving laughter, into an award-winning performance. And the credit again goes to writer Sujatha himself, as he has penned this story as amenable to the stage as to a movie. Once successful entrepreneur and innovator, who had amassed wealth and squandered it all, in the later years, struggles to re-live his past with false hopes and overconfidence. Living on the meagre salary of his daughter, the father wants to perform her wedding lavishly and he begs the daughter to postpone her planned registered marriage. Unsuccessful in converting his outdated ideas into cash, he finally prepares to work under one of his former employees. Unable to continue on the job, he comes back home, his mind races back to his past, the glorious days, and the “Oonjal” was a witness to those eventful days. So much immersed in his thought he was over the bygone years, he reminisces the day when the governor of the state visits him at his home and sits on the swing. He does not come out of his dream, but
re-enacts the scene where he rushes out with his head gear to receive the governor as he arrives in his car outside. The reality strikes. The “Oonjal” swings idly and outside a car comes to a screeching halt as suddenly someone crosses the road in front of the car. Lights off. End of the play. As the swing was the mainstay of the story, the setting was realistic and credit goes to Karthik Ramanathan. Saranathan as the middle class man, Lalitha Bala as
Daughter with mother: Priya Chandru and Lalitha Bala his wife and Priya Chandru as their daughter, formed the core characters in the play and their perfect portrayal left little room for doubting their character performance. Perhaps, the only scene evoking humor was when the bride is introduced to the parents of the bridegroom. In the hotel scene, Aneetha Murali as the future mother-in-law and Murali Santhanam as the father in law, did an effective impersonation of the stereotype inlaws.
Mani Vaitheeswaran, as the former employee and the new boss, gave a commendable performance. Others who played for the successful show included Kannan Rangaswamy, Raja Anantharaman, Prabhakar Ganapathy, Senthil Arcot, Nitin Subramanian, Ramalingam Mahadevan, Baby Nithyalakshya Rajan, Saiswaraj Saravanan, Venkat Srinivasan, Nalini Sadagopan and Chandramouli Subramanian.
Son introduces his bride and the in-laws react: Aneetha Murali, left, Senthil Arcot, Priya Chandru and Murali Santhanam.
BKM President Mani Vaitheeswaran felicitates Dr. Saranathan and Meenakshi Theaters members for staging the play Oonjal.
PAGE 10 • INDIA HERALD • WEDNESDAY, MAY 16, 2018
NEWS CRY America holds gala in Houston with Abhay Deol
CRY, Child Rights & You America [CRY America], a 501c3 non-profit that works towards ensuring underprivileged children their basic rights, hosted their 3rd Gala Dinner in Houston on May 4 at the Sweetwater Country Club in Sugar Land. Speakers included Celebrity Abhay Deol who appealed to the guests to support the cause of underprivileged children with a sense of urgency, Shefali Sunderlal, President of CRY America who spoke about the work of CRY and supported Projects and Dr. Rolee Singh, Director of Dr. Shambhunath Singh Research Foundation (SSRF) who came all the way from Varanasi to share her work on issues of child marriage and child trafficking. The evening was supported by prominent guests from the greater Houston area, including, Paul & Manmeet Likhari,
Juuhi & Prakash Ahuja, Anand & Ashima Chauhan, Lalita & Nidhi Trehan, Gobind & Narain Kamnani, Rick & Tanya Pal, Swapnil & Deepika Agarwal, Tina Pariani, Dharam Bali, Santosh & Seema Karande, Hasu Patel, Geeta & Bala Balachandran, Amit Jain & Asheeth Yagnik, and Dina & Samir Patel. Apart from raising awareness for the cause, the evening included dinner, cocktails, auctions, entertainment, music and dancing. CRY America thanks the entertainers, Oliver Rajamani & the Flamenco dancers for their performances which lit up the evening! The MC for the evening was Rashi Vats, Auctioneer was Subodh Bhuchar and the Sound-DJ services provided pro-bono by SAGE Productions. Auction items generously donated by Indian artists Vaikuntam, Solanki, Dinkar Jadhav were featured, along with
fashion ensembles by Abu Jani-Sandeep Khosla, Deepali Shah, Surili Goyal,; Jewelry donated by Rosentique, Sia, Aquamarine and memoribilia autographed by Barack Obama, Adele and the Apollo 11 Astronauts. Millions of children are denied their rights to education, healthcare and forced into child labor, child marriage and abuse on a daily basis. CRY America works with grass-root Projects, communities and local government bodies to ensure children have quality education, healthcare, and protection from child labor, child marriage and issues which hinder their development. Shefali Sunderlal said, “YOU are an integral part of CRY and your support allows us to ensure that thousands of children are able to go to sleep educated, healthy and protected.” She also thanked the media
Sudarshan From Page 1
Academy of Sciences chose to give a prize to R.J.Glauber in 2005 “for his contribution to the quantum theory of optical coherence”, ignoring Sudarshan’s work. In a letter to the Academy, he said, “In the announcement of the 2005 Physics Nobel Prize, the Swedish Royal Academy has chosen R.J. Glauber to be awarded half of the prize. The prize winners are chosen by the Royal Academy, but no one has the right to take my discoveries and formulations and ascribe them to someone else! “The correct formulation of the quantum mechanical treatment of optics was carried out by me in my paper in 1963. In that I showed that every state can be represented in the diagonal form... This diagonal representation is valid for all fields. “... The irony of the situation is that in spite of all these facts being available in print, the diagonal representation instead of being referred to as the Sudarshan representation is dubbed as either the P-Representation (as if Glauber discovered and named it first) or at best as `Glauber-Sudarshan’ Representation. “While the distinction of introducing coherent states as
basic entities to describe optical fields certainly goes to Glauber, the possibility of using them to describe `all’ optical fields (of all intensities) through the diagonal representation is certainly due to Sudarshan. Thus there is no need to `extract’ the classical limit [as stated in the Nobel citation]. Sudarshan’s work is not merely a mathematical formalism. It is the basic theory underlying all optical fields. All the quantum features are brought out in his diagonal representation... “It is my belief that the Royal Swedish Academy was impartial and that to assure the proper priorities it has a Committee in Physics, with members competent to examine and understand the published work. It was also my belief that the members of the Committee did their work diligently and with care. I am therefore genuinely surprised and disappointed by this year’s choice. It would distress me and many others if extra scientific considerations were responsible for this decision. It is my hope that these glaring injustices would be noted by the Academy and modify the citations. Give unto Glauber only what is his”
physicist, Robert Eugene Marshak came out in 1957 with what is called the V.A.Theory of weak interactions. Three others, Sheldon Glashow, Abdus Salam and Steven Weinberg, developed it further. It eventually evolved as electro weak theory of weak interactions. The three got the Nobel Prize for their work in 1979. Sudarshan and Marshak got left behind. Sudarshan achieved another breakthrough in 1960s, when he propounded the theory of Tachyons. According to the theory, there should be particles called Tachyons, which had speeds larger than that of light. So far, the particles have not been found experimentally. But, physicists are hopeful. As and when they are discovered, it will be a historical moment as it would markedly change the conception and understanding of the universe. Tachycon is considered as a revolutionary idea within the framework of the Special Theory of Relativity. Even as he missed the Nobel prize several times, Sudarshan openly expressed his anguish when the Royal Swedish
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INDIA HERALD • WEDNESDAY, MAY 16, 2018 • PAGE 11
Osmania Chemical Engineering professor honored
Dr. M. B. Rao and his wife Mrs. Kalavathi Devi (sitting center) with OUCT grads Osmania University graduates of Chemical Engineering (OUCT) in Houston honored their illustrious professor Dr. Mamidpalli Bhagvanth Rao in Houston recently. The event was organized by the 1975 OUCT grad R. Ravi Iyer to honor Dr. Rao who made a special trip to Houston during his visit to USA. OUCT grads from 1972 to 1995 were all praise in recognizing their beloved professor as making an indelible impact in their lives academically and personally. A 1965 OUCT B. Tech. graduate, Mamidpalli Bhagvanth Rao received his M. Tech. and PhD (1970) in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Science Bangalore followed by a Post Doctoral Fellowship at Tokyo University. His brilliance was noted by the Chemical Engineering world at this early stage of his budding career – so much so, that in 1971 Tokyo University, MIT (USA) and Osmania University all offered him full Professorship positions to join them! An obedient son that he is, he listened to his father and came back home taking up the full Professorship at Osmania University! What followed is a brilliant illustrious career of uniform excellence. Recapping: •1984 Bhatnagar Award by the Government of India •1994 Best Teacher Award by the Government of Andhra Pradesh •1999 Outstanding Chemical Engineer by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers •Recipient of Rs. 20 crores in research grants during his career (1970-2017) •350 publications in peer reviewed national and international journals •All India Record of 125 PhDs produced in any field •A visionary, he started the first Chemical Reaction Engineering Lab in India at Osmania University in I974. At IITs request, he established the same at IITs in 1975. He also established the Division of Bioengineering at Osmania University in 1984. •He has held all Administrative positions at Osmania University during his tenure (1970-2004): Professor, Principal, Dean, Registrar, Control-
ler, Vice Chancellor and Hostel Warden. He was the Director of Academic Affairs for the Anurag Group of Institutions of Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad (2004-2017). •He currently serves as either a Board Member, Advisor or Consultant to the Technology Development Board (Chaired by Prime Minister Modi); Union Public Service Commission
(UPSC), Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), University of Chicago and 12-Chemical companies. Sharing his sentiments and as humble as he is, Dr. Rao thanked all his students for giving him the opportunity to serve them and the chemical engineering profession. He concluded, “but for my students, I could not have achieved anything – thank you.”
PAGE 12 • INDIA HERALD • WEDNESDAY, MAY 16, 2018
BJP is emerging as the largest party in Karnataka Assembly The BJP is set to emerge as the single largest party in the Karnataka Assembly Elections as counting of votes began on May 15 in the State’s 222 constituencies which went to polls on May 12. But the Congress and the JD(S), which are set to finish second and third have joined hands to stop the BJP on its tracks. According to the leads available on the Election Commission of India website, the BJP has won 103 seats and is leading in one. The Congress has won 78 seats. The JD(S) has won 37 seats according to trends at 09:45 p.m. Among others, the Karnataka Pragnyavantha Janatha Party has won in Ranibennur and JD(S) ally BSP in Kollegal. An independent is leading in Mulbagal. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has lost in Chamundeshwari. JD(S) G.T. Deve Gowda has won the seat by by a margin of 36,042 votes. In Badami, the Chief Minister has won by a slender margin of 1,696votes. BJP’s Chief Ministerial candidate B.S. Yeddyurappa has won from Shikaripura by a margin of 35,397 votes. He secured 86, 983 votes against the 51,586 secured by Congress’ Goni Malatesha. JD(S) leader H.D. Kumaraswamy has won the Ramanagaram seat by a margin of 22,636 votes. In Channapatna too Mr. Kumaraswamy has won. He defeated his BJP rival C.P. Yogeshwar by 21,530 votes.
BJP’s K.S. Eshwarappa, former Deputy Chief Minister, has won in Shivamogga by a margin of 46,107votes. Congress’s Karnataka unit chief G. Parameshwara is leading in Koratagere by 7,619 votes. Counting of votes began at 8 a.m. at 38 centres in 30 districts where 72.36% of the 5.07 crore electorate polled across the State, an Election Commission of India official told IANS in Bengaluru. Votes polled in 26 of the 28 Bengaluru’s urban and rural segments are being counted at four centres across the city. “The poll panel has deployed 16,662 personnel to count votes in each segment and declare the result after the process is completed,” noted the official. In all, 2,622 candidates, including 217 women, contested for the seats, which had 36 reserved for the Scheduled Castes and 15 for the Scheduled Tribes. Election in Bengaluru’s Raja Rajeshwari (RR) Nagar was postponed to May 28 due to seizure of voter ID cards, and countermanded in the city’s Jayanagar seat due to the death of BJP candidate and MLA B.N. Vijaya Kumar on May 4. Counting of votes in RR Nagar will be taken up on May 31.Janata Dal, Congress alliance Janata Dal (Secular) leader H D Kumaraswamy today wrote to Karnataka Governor
Vajubhai Vala informing him about his decision to accept the Congress’ support to form the government. In a dramatic twist, the Congress today offered support to JD(S) to form the government after the BJP, which was emerging as the single largest party, appeared to be falling short of majority. In a letter to Governor Vajubhai Vala, Kumaraswamy, whose party was a distant third after the BJP and Congress, sought an appointment for this evening. “This is to submit to your good self that I have accepted
the support extended by the Indian National Congress (I) party for forming the Government. In this regard, I seek your appointment today evening between 5.30 pm to 6.00 pm,” Kumaraswamy said in a letter, copy of which was released to the media. The Congress offered support to the JDS-led by former prime minister H D Deve Gowda to form a government as the assembly polls appeared to throw up a hung verdict. Unconditional support to JD(S): Siddaramaiah Congress leader Siddaramaiah and Janada Dal (S) lead-
er H.D. Kumaraswamy speaks to journalists after meeting with Governor V. R. Vala at the Raj Bhavan in Bengaluru. “We have given unconditional support to the JD(S). The Congress has extended support to the JD(S) to form a government with both parties put together having MLAs more than the magic number of 111. Democracy is run on numbers; numbers are in our favour. The Governor, after obtaining the list of elected MLAs from the Election Commission of India, will take a call”, “ Mr. Siddaramaiah says.
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PAGE 10 • INDIA HERALD • WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 31, 2018
INDIA HERALD • WEDNESDAY, MAY 16, 2018 • PAGE 13
NEWS Government submits Analysis: BJP scores well in the southern Cauvery USISPF appoints industry U.Sdraft andscheme India regional arithmetic test leadersThefrom Centre on Monday presented the draft scheme for constitu-
WASHINGTON, D.C. As US-India the seatsStrategic stackedPartup The for the BJP in Karnataka on nership Forum (USISPF) ancountingthe dayaddition on Tuesday, the nounced of a third party’s general secretary, Ram Vice Chairman, two new board Madhav, and tookoneto board Twitter to members adviput some perspective to the sor on Jan. 29. party’s performance. “InCEO KarMr. Shantanu Narayen, nataka, TDP [Telugu Desam of Adobe Systems and PresiParty]ofand Naidu dent theChandrababu Adobe Founda[Andhra Pradesh Chief Ministion, has been a member of the ter] usedboard all tactics to recently dissuade USISPF and has Telugu voters from been selected to lead assupporta Vice ing the BJP. Hyderabad Chairman of But the inBoard. Mr. Karnataka most Telugus Narayen haswhere worked closely on live,global BJP has increased tally the strategy for its Adobe fromexpanding 6 to 20 [actual position and the company’s not final]. People have rejected business into India. CBN’s [Chandrababu Naidu’s] Of the recent appointment, politics, our said, Southward Mr. Narayen “StrongMarch strahas begun,” he said. tegic ties between the U.S. and Thehave reference the Andhra India nevertobeen more Pradesh Chief Minister important than they are after toresults for anhas election to the day. USISPF emerged as wasU.S.a nod aKarnataka powerful Assembly force in the to its strategic impact on the ‘Northand vs India partnership South’ narrative around the it is a privilege to be asked to termsasofVice reference of the 15th serve Chairman. I look Finance Commission and an forward to working with busiattempt by the TDP to make ness and government leaders in its sense of grievance against both countries to promote our the BJP, a part of this narrative. shared goals of improved ecoIt wasgrowth, also a reflection the nomic innovation,ofand BJP’s attempts to overcome entrepreneurship.” a New campaign built leaders on regional business repride and a backward-minority cently inducted into the Washcoalition by advocacy Karnataka Chief ington-based group’s Minister Siddaramaiah. Mr. board include Ajay Singh, Naidu had in fact appealed to
Karnatakamembers voters to defeatinthe New BJP. clude senior manThe results on Tuesday, whichever way the governagement from CISment-formation goes, has come CO, Spice Jetwhich and as a relief to the BJP has managed to combat the identity Adobe Systems politics straitjacket of North Vs Shantanu Narayen, South. In an interview to The Hindu in the midst of the camAdobe Systems, was paign, BJP national president recently selected as Amit Shah had clearly stated the party was lookingofat athat Vice Chairman Karnataka as a gateway to the the and south.Board Telangana andDavid Andhra Pradesh are two States where Petraeus as the New the BJP needs to improve its Board Advisor performance. BJP MP Rajeev ChanChairman Managing Didrashekharand terms the ‘North rector of Spice Jet Limited Vs South’ narrative, with the along with John Kern, BJP characterised as aSenior north Vice President of Supply Indian party, a creation Chain of the Operations at Cisco Congress and other Ltd. Opposition With the addition of thenot two parties, but which could be new members, the number of carried off electorally. “It was the board membersabout has inabout an election the creased to 31. five-year rule of Siddaramaiah; USISPF continues they [Congress] madetoitattract about high caliber board everything but that. members, The Conwho as both gressserve campaign hadprominent a singlebusiness leaders and global inpoint strategy of provocative fluencers with ability to imstatements andannegativity-drivpact international and en narrative. Therelations only differcorporate affairs worldwide. ence between the old and new Mr. Singh brings a it wealth Congress is that all of is on of experience to his position Twitter now. Three months ago they brought up the flag issue,
on the Board. He acquired low two airline months SpiceJet before polls they cost in 2004 recommended minority staand helped revive the company tus for Lingayats, and in the after financial losses in 2015, midst of the campaign raised later becoming Chairman and questions Director. on the 15th Finance Managing Commission. It was the is ConMr. Singh said, “India at gress that raised the pitch and a pivotal time in this relationthe stakes, polls ship, with we the fought UnitedtheStates on the Siddaramaiah governrecognizing India as “a leading ment’s record,” he said. power” in the Indo-Pacific reThe southern States hold gion and beyond. I’m thrilled 130 seats the Lok Sabha and to join theinUS-India Strategic are important in the context Partnership Forum at such of a the 2019time general elections. To relevant in this relationdefeatand a campaign built on to reship, I look forward gional pride and a formidable promoting this powerful partcaste coalition is also big nership through my work awith step up for the BJP as the way the forum.” forward to take on powerful reMr. Kern joined Cisco in gional satraps in other States. 2003 and has worked in variThissupply was chain underscored ous positionsbybe-a letter of congratulations disfore becoming Vice President patched by Tamil Nadu Deputy of Supply Chain Operations. Chief Minister andexperience AIADMK He possesses great leader O. Panneerselvam in global operations and spoketo BJP chief Shah:potential, “On this about the Amit country’s cheerful occasion, I wish to exsaying, “India is an incredible press my warm greetings and country for Cisco, representfelicitations for the significant ing an emerging economy with Karnataka Assemavictory great in growth opportunity, bly Elections, bellwethering world-class talent, and an inte-a grand entry India.” gral part of to ourSouth global supply For the party often chain. I look forward toaccused buildof toeing a “Hindi,relationship Hindu, Hining the U.S.-India dustan” my line, theatnumbers through work Cisco andin Karnataka have brought in my work at USISPF.” some much neededtosouthern In addition the new comvice fort.. —The Hindu
tion of Cauvery days after elections chairman and Management new board Board India,two and believes this canin Karnataka USISPF came to a is close. The Court said that itbywill not examine members, adding be achieved business and whether David the scheme is in(U.S. conformity with its February 16, 2018 General Petraeus government coming together direction andas leftanit Advisor to the stakeholders — Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Army, Ret.) to to create meaningful opportuKerala and Puducherry, to examine thethat scheme their to rethe Board. nities haveand thefile power sponses by Wednesday. General Petraeus is the change the lives of citizens. The Centre wasKKR to prepare within sixtoweeks from Chairman of the Globalthe scheme “We are excited welcome the date ofHe judgment. This periodthese expired onimportant March 29leaders following Institute. was previously three to which the Tamil Nadu Government moved asaid, contempt petition the Director of the CIA and our board,” Dr. Mukesh against the Centre in Supreme Court. commander of the InternationAghi, President of USISPF. Monday, Union Water Singh apal On Security Assistance ForceResources “They Secretary will add UP great value peared before a Bench headed Chief Misra along (ISAF) and Commander, U.S.by to theJustice work Dipak that the USISPF with a Afghanistan copy of the draft scheme.board Attorney VenugoForces (USFORand General staff is KK already dopal as saidwell thatastheCommander Court may finalise scheme andtoeven propose A), of ingthe with regards trade, supthe nomenclature of the supervisory it shouldand be a U.S. Central Command and ply body, chainwhether management, Board, Authority or Committee. Water Secretary appeared in Commander of the Multina- The defense work.” Court Force following theduring previous by champions Court whichofheld tional in Iraq the orderAs the Centre U.S.to be in “sheer contempt” of its order summoned official surge developments. He will India and commercial andthe strategic to ensure of its decision. Once the Board assist the speedy forum implementation with its as- partnership, we believe there is will be inofplace, it will develensure smooth water distribution among sessment geopolitical an unprecedented opportunity the threeand states and one UT. opments counter-terrorism for business communities in The bench, also comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar DY efforts. both countries to play aand larger Chandrachud, said, “We will notrole go in into correctness the Regarding his new leaderthethe next chapter ofofthis scheme by theGeneral Centre but examine whether the scheme ship role framed in the forum, important bilateral-partnerconformssaid, to our (of February Petraeus “Ijudgment am a strong ship. 16) or not.” Tamil Nadu counsel senior advocate Shekhar Naphadesuited urged supporter of the relationship USISPF is uniquely the Courtthe to implement the judgment at the earliest as the state between U.S. and India, to work together with leaders was in dire forward need of water. The Court in U.S. its judgment had and look to being in the and India to modified achieve the Cauvery Water Disputes (CWDT) award of 2007 and part of the important work Tribunal of our shared goals. raised the 270 tmcft share of Cauvery water for Karnataka by USISPF.” Headquartered in Washing14.75 tmcft and reduced Tamil share, while has compensatWhile promoting trade is an Nadu’s ton D.C., USISPF offices ing it by allowing extraction of 10intmcft groundwater the important part of the organizaNewofYork, Silicon from Valley, river basin. tion’s work, it focuses on pro- Mumbai and New Delhi. Naphade submitted to the Court For thatmore the Centre politicizmoting job creation, inclusion, details,was please visit ing the case as the delay framehttp://usispf.org/. the scheme by the was start-ups, innovation, and to eduYouCentre can also on account of elections in creKarnataka. Heusurged the CourtTwitter to concation. USISPF works to follow on LinkedIn, sider some of strategic the officialsand to jail for contempt. The Court, ate thesending most powerful Facebook. however, maintained that itand does not wish to get into implementrelationship between U.S. ing its judgment but to ensure a scheme is made operational at the earliest.
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American Leadership Forum
By MANU SHAH When IACCGH Past President Ashok Garg completed the American Leadership Forum (ALF) program recently, the first thought that crossed his mind was how beneficial this program would be for Indo American leaders. Summarizing his “unique and enriching” experience, he says he learned many things about himself, gained a clearer sense of who he is and how he fits in the larger picture of Houston and the surrounding community. He also believes that “we all have something to offer” and ALF helped him find and define what that was. Sanjay Ramabhadran, an alumni of the Program and IACCGH Past President also concurs. Indo American community leaders, he says, would benefit tremendously from connecting with the diverse leadership from across the Houston region. Two traits, according to him, are important in a leader: the ability to listen with “the explicit intent to understand rather than the itch to respond” and the consciousness of being
a servant leader to serve others around you. His experience at ALF also gave him an insight into different leadership styles. ALF, he adds, does a great job of deliberately engineering the class makeup so that the diverse leadership of Houston “gets to interact, work and learn from each other.” The takeaways from ALF are different for each member, emphasizes ALF Houston/Gulf Coast Chapter President Dan Snare. For some, the lessons are deeply personal with opportunities for introspection while others define the legacy they’d like to leave. Some glean invaluable lessons on listening, asking powerful questions, engaging with others around difficult conversations and across differences. ALF Vice President of Development Manisha Gandhi says her ALF experience “came at a career cross roads” and the experience helped bring clarity on what she wanted to contribute to the local community, made her a better listener and enhanced her leadership skills. ALF was started in 1980 by
L to R: Ashok Garg, Prabha Garg, Whitney Crane, Jim Crane and Jagdip Ahluwalia at the Joseph Jaworski Leadership Award Dinner Joseph Jaworski, a lawyer who left a successful law practice to address a crisis of leadership in the country. The organization, which started in Houston, soon spread across the country and presently has 8 active Chapters. The Houston Gulf Coast Chapter boasts of alumni such as Former Mayor Annise Parker, Mayor Sylvester Turner, and heads of diverse organizations. According to an independent study, after participating
in ALF, Senior Fellows say they have greater confidence in their capacity as leaders, have a better understanding of the needs of the community, and how to gather resources to meet those needs. Its twenty day program includes a six-day wilderness experience in the mountains. Monthly sessions are held on topics such as dialogue, group emotional intelligence, appreciative inquiry, consensus building, core values and mor-
al courage. Alumni and IACCGH Executive Director Jagdip Ahluwalia and Dan Snare’s advice for those interested in joining the Program is to check out the website at www.alfhouston.org and look through the membership directory to see who they know among Senior Fellows. They suggest meeting with the Senior Fellow(s) and express an interest in submitting their nomination.
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India’s global poverty ‘Release records on Lal Bahadur Shastri death’ rank improves
India’s Multidimensional Poverty (MDP) has dropped significantly, largely as a result of the performance of five key southern States. Between 2005-06 to 2015-16, poverty level came down from 55% to 21%, improving the country’s MDP ranking. Following the drop in poverty levels, India moved to the 26th rank from its earlier 54, in a decade, among 102 developing countries with MDP. MDP is “an international measure of acute poverty” based on three key categories — health, education and living standards. The fall, at the rate of 3.4 points per annum on average, is largely due to the “lower burden of poverty” among the southern Indian States, a paper titled ‘Estimates of Multidimensional Poverty in India: Evidence from National Family Health Survey-4 (2015-2016)’ says. While the national average is 21%, in the five southern States (Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh) the average MDP is 9%. However, poverty levels have dropped in all States. The paper, authored by Professor S. P. Singh and research scholar Akarsh Arora of Department of Humanities and Social Sciences in IIT Roorkee, and Mohammad Zakaria Siddiqui, an Australia-based development scientist, is to be published later this month. Researchers have extracted data from the National Family Health Survey-4 (NFHS 2015-16) for the comparison. Bihar is the poorest State with 43% incidence of poverty. Jharkhand (36%), Uttar Pradesh (31%), Rajasthan (31%) and Odisha (29%) are also above the national average (21%), as are the other big States — Madhya Pradesh (28%) and Assam (25%). The key southern States performed exceedingly well. Kerala has an MDP of 1%, Tamil Nadu (6%), Karnataka (11%), Telangana (14%) and Andhra Pradesh (13%) are also significantly low. Dr. Siddiqui notes that “it is clear” from the total population share and poor population share of States that the “burden of poverty is disproportionately high for Bihar and U.P.” “Even in dynamic terms Kerala, with the lowest poverty level in 2005-06 at 12%, has the fastest rate of decline in relative terms, that is, relative to its previous level of poverty of 91%, while Bihar’s poverty declined in relative terms by only 45%. This pattern is generally true with all other south Indian states,” he notes. Of 640 districts, 31 districts — all in eastern or central India — have over 50% MDP. The top five districts with the largest prevalence of MDP are in Shravasti, Baharaich and Balrampur in Uttar Pradesh, and Alirajpur and Jhabua in Madhya Pradesh. “Integrating Indian States’ MPI estimates in global ranking, Bihar stands between Congo and Yemen, Jharkhand between Cambodia and Comoros, Uttar Pradesh between Vanuatu and Ghana, and Madhya Pradesh and Odisha between Nepal and Dijibouti,” the paper said. Gujarat (at 16%) and West Bengal (at 17%) are below average as well. Chhattisgarh, which is affected by Left Wing insurgency, has done well, bringing down its poverty level from 71% to 22%. Economists, however, are divided about the findings. While one section said there are “technical problems” related to Statewise disaggregation, another section noted that India “definitely” did not do well enough in certain indicators of MDP. “It can be said that India did not perform well at least in two indicators of MDP — nutrition and child mortality — till the recent past. But, as it is said [in the paper] that overall ranking has improved, so we may say that it could be a result of better performance in other areas,” said Professor Achin Chakraborty, Director of the Kolkata-based Institute of Development Studies.
U.S. complains against India at WTO A complaint lodged by the U.S. at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) against India’s farm subsidies is baseless, according to Indian diplomatic sources. The U.S. had filed a counter-notification at the WTO Committee on Agriculture on May 4, alleging that “based on U.S. calculations, it appears that India has substantially under-reported its market price support (MPS) for wheat and rice”, according to a statement issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Wednesday. Indian diplomatic sources told The Hindu that the U.S. calculations were based on wrong assumptions. They added that India would officially respond at the WTO’s Committee on Agriculture meeting in June. In its 12-page document submitted to the WTO, the U.S. laid out its calculations of the value of India’s MPS programme for the four years between 2010-11 and 2013-14 using publicly available data. “India’s apparent MPS for wheat appears to have been over 60% of the value of production in each of the last four years for which India has notified data,” said the document. “Its apparent MPS for rice appears to have been over 70% of the value of production in each of the years.
The Central Information Commission has directed the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministries of External Affairs and Home to make public the records of the Raj Narain committee, constituted in 1977 to look into the mysterious death of the then Prime Minister, Lal Bahadur Shastri, in 1966. The committee was reportedly constituted by the Janata Party government to look into the circumstances surrounding the death of Shastri on January 11, 1966 in Tashkent, hours after signing a declaration with Pakistan President Muhammad Ayub Khan after the 1965 war. The records related to the committee are reportedly untraceable, the commission noted. Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu also directed the PMO and the Ministries to publish the statement
of categories of documents regarding the death of the second Prime Minister of the country that are available with them. Constitutional duty “The public authorities referred above have a constitutional duty to inform the people who have a legitimate expectation to know the truth behind the death of their beloved leader. More so, it is the primary responsibility of the PMO to inform the people what happened to late Lal Bahadur Shastri, who once was its head,” he said. Mr. Acharyulu’s directive came on an RTI application seeking to know from the Home Ministry whether Shastri’s body was brought to India for cremation or he was cremated in the then USSR. It also sought a copy of the postmortem report. Shastri died in Tashkent
where he had gone for talks with the Pakistan President moderated by Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin. Although he reportedly died after a massive heart attack, questions were raised on the circumstances of his death on foreign soil when the Cold War was at its peak. The conspiracy theories were further fuelled after the Central government started denying documents, under the RTI Act, related to his death calling them secret and disclosure prejudicial to the interests of the country. The CIC in 2011 while hearing a case had directed disclosure of 11 pages related to the death of Shastri but allowed withholding one document of the External Affairs Ministry which had reference to ‘Mukti Bahini’.
Sashi Tharoor charged for abetting suicide
Four years and four months after the mysterious death of Sunanda Pushkar in a five star hotel in New Delhi, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) assigned to probe the case submitted the final report at the Patiala House Court on Monday, terming the incident a suicide and not murder. The Delhi police charged senior Congress leader and Pushkar’s husband Shashi Tharoor with abetting her suicide, claiming there was enough evidence to proceed against him. The police also alleged that Mr. Tharoor had subjected his wife to cruelty. The Congress leader has been charged under Sections 498A (husband or his relative subjecting a woman to cruelty) and 306 (abetment of suicide) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). While Section 498A entails maximum punishment of three years in prison, Section 306 attracts a maximum jail term of
10 years. “The Delhi police has filed the chargesheet on medico legal and psychology analysis. We have also submitted the concerned report in the Supreme Court. Mr. Shashi Tharoor is a verified person in the charge sheet and he was always available during the investigation,” said Delhi police spokesperson Deependra Pathak. Tharoor to fight chargesheet Following the SIT charge sheet on Monday, accusing him of subjecting his wife Sunanda Pushkar to cruelty and abetting her suicide in 2014, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor responded on Twitter: “I have taken note of the filing of this preposterous charge sheet & intend to contest it vigorously. No one who knew Sunanda believes she would ever have committed suicide, let alone abetment on my part.” Mr. Tharoor said, “If this is conclusion arrived at after 4+
yrs of investigation, it does not speak well of the methods or motivations of the Delhi Police.” He pointed out that “In Oct. 17, the Law Officer made a statement in the Delhi High Court that they have not found anything against anyone & now in 6 months they say that I have abetted a suicide. unbelievable!” Sources in the SIT probing the 2014 death of Sunanda Pushkar in a suite of a five star hotel in the national capital said the fact that she had been consuming a large number anti-depressant pills without prescription and her frequent public spats with Mr. Tharoor all point to her committing suicide. However, no suicide note was recovered from the hotel room and Pushkar’s son Shiv Pushkar had also given a clean chit to Mr. Tharoor.
Watching terror videos, reading jehadi literature don’t make a terrorist: Kerala HC
Watching terror videos and reading jehadi literature do not make someone a terrorist, the Kerala High Court has ruled while granting bail to a Muslim man, who was accused of involvement in terror activities by his estranged Hindu wife, who had converted to Islam. A division bench of justices AM Shaffique and P Somarajan made the observation recently while considering an appeal filed by Muhammed Riyas, challenging an NIA court order denying him bail. In his appeal, Riyas had contended that he was not part of any terror organisation. It was only on account of a matrimonial dispute or under the influence of someone else that his wife had levelled such charges against him, the appellant had submitted. Observing that the appellant was detained on the ground that he might have been involved in terrorist activities, the bench said, “The fact that he has seen certain videos and speeches...Will not be a reason to implicate him as a terrorist unless there are other materials to establish the same.” Noting that many such videos, speeches etc. Were in the public domain, the bench said, “Merely for the reason that one sees such matters, it may not be possible for any person to establish that the accused is involved in terrorism.” “In the absence of any such materials forthcoming, even as on date, after the expiry of 70 days of imprisonment, we are of the view that this is a fit case in which this court should exercise jurisdiction to grant bail,” it added.
INDIA HERALD • WEDNESDAY, MAY 16, 2018 • PAGE 17
A killing and a Khalistani plot
NIA probe into RSS leader’s killing in Ludhiana unravels international conspiracy. Hardeep Singh was spotted by a Sikh terror group, the Khalistan Liberation Force, in Italy when he was 19. A senior KLF leader, Harminder Singh Mittoo, who died of a cardiac arrest in a Punjab prison last month, visited the family in Cremona, Italy in the summer of 2013. Mittoo saw potential in him. Before leaving Italy, Mittoo shared a Skype ID (@ billoobakra) with him. In 2017, Singh was arrested for allegedly killing Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) member Ravinder Gosain. Singh told investigators that he was asked to kill any RSS leader but by the time he reached the park in Ludhiana where a shakha (congregation) was being held, everyone had dispersed. He saw Gosain walking on the road and figured that he was an RSS member as he wore the “khaki shorts”. He and his accomplice, Ramandeep Singh, who were on a motorcycle, chased Gosain and shot him dead. According to the National Investigation Agency (NIA), Singh and Ramandeep, a sewing machine mechanic, were involved in eight incidents of murder and attempted murders in Punjab in 2016 and 2017. A pastor was also killed by the accused. The NIA said the crimes were “part of a conspiracy to destabilise Punjab hatched by Sikh extremist elements and others located in various parts of the world”. The NIA said the KLF was revived by a group of “Khalistan” linked extremists in 2000 in Malaysia under pressure from the ISI of Pakistan. “Organisations and persons, who according to the leadership of the KLF, oppose the ideology of the late Jarnail
Singh Bhindarwale are their prime targets for elimination. The members of the organisation also keep a close watch on posts on social media and choose targets who held antiSikh views,” the NIA said. Singh would fly down from Italy every time he was assigned a target. “Singh travelled between India and Italy on several occasions. However, during all the periods that he was in India after 22.12.2015, at least one incident of targeted killings/ attempted killings took place. Conversely, none of the incidents of the targeted killings took place during periods when Singh was in Italy. This implies a perfect correlation between the presence of Singh in India and the execution of the incidents of killings/ attempted killings,” the NIA said in its chargesheet filed on May 5. The NIA filed a chargesheet against 15 persons in a special court in Punjab. The agency said in its chargehseet that in 2014 when Singh called on the Skype ID, it was answered by KLF chief Harmeet Singh, alias “PhD”. Harmeet Singh was working under the “tutelage of Pakistan’s ISI”. It said he was currently living at Gurudwara Bibi Nanki in Lahore. In 2014, Mittoo was arrested in Thailand and deported to India. “Harmeet Singh maintained regular communication with Singh, initially through Skype and later through Signal (a Web-based messenger service). Harmeet motivated Singh on the path of violence and terrorism. He convinced him that Sikhs were being persecuted in India, and singled out specific organisations — the RSS and the Shiv Sena of being responsible for carrying out an anti-Sikh campaign. He convinced the impression-
VHP warning Newly elected VHP international president Vishnu Sadashiv Kokje on Saturday said Hindus would launch a countrywide agitation to mount pressure on their local MPs for passage of a law in Parliament facilitating the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya if the Supreme Court’s verdict “goes against their faith”. On his first visit to the pilgrimage city after assuming charge, Mr. Kokje said the Ram temple issue is in a decisive stage of resolution in the Supreme Court and legal experts in the VHP believe that the apex court will, in six to seven months, pass the judgment in accordance with the faith of crores of Hindus. “However, if the court verdict goes against their faith, crores of Hindus all over the country would start a movement to mount pressure on MPs representing their areas to pass a law in Parliament which paves the way for the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya,” said Mr. Kokje. He said the VHP will continue to work on its old agenda of creating social amity, awareness against cow slaughter and religious conversion, Ram Mandir construction and conservation of the country’s rivers. Without naming anyone, he said those who called the VHP narrow-minded were now offering prayers at temples. “It is a result of our sustained campaign,” he said. Asked why no law was passed in Parliament on Ram temple in the last four years of Narendra Modi-led government, Mr. Kokje said all efforts cannot be made by the government. “Slow, steady and authentic steps have been taken. At least atrocities are not being perpetrated on innocent Hindu youth in the name of saffron terror,” he said.
Smiriti Irani replaced
able young mind of the need to avenge the so-called persecution of the Sikh community by carrying out terrorist acts targeting members of specific communities and organisations,” the NIA chargesheet said. The agency said Harmeet asked Singh to apply for a visa to Dubai but he was denied the visa as he was “too young to travel without a guardian.” Harmeet then arranged for Singh’s training in Italy. “About a week after he was denied the visa, Harmeet told Singh that his trainer would meet him at the Milan railway station. This trainer was Gursharanbir Singh…they boarded a train to Brescia, where they were taken to the house of Gurjindcr Singh. He was told not to reveal or display personal traits while carrying out the killings, to avoid CCTVs, not use personal vehicles, he was told that he would be given the names of he targets,” the NIA said.It said Singh received around ₹23 lakh between July 2016 and November 2017 from Italy, Australia and the U.K. through various channels like wire transfers and hawala transactions. The agency said Harmeet spotted Ramandeep on Facebook and encouraged him to seek revenge for the so-called persecution that the Sikh community was facing in India.”
After a string of controversies involving the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B), Prime Minister Narendra Modi late on Monday evening divested Smriti Irani of the portfolio and elevated junior minister under her, Col. (retd.) Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore. He is the new Minister of State with independent charge of the Ministry. The change in the I&B Minsitry is part of a mini-reshuffle in the Cabinet effected by the Mr. Modi, who has assigned the vital Ministry of Finance to Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, till Minister for Finance Arun Jaitley fully recovers from the successful kidney transplant surgery on Monday. Ms. Irani helmed the Ministry for fewer than 10 months. She had replaced Venkaiah Naidu, who resigned after he was elected to the post of Vice-President of India. This is the second time that Ms. Irani has been divested of an important portfolio. She was appointed Minister for Human Resource and Development in May 2014. After a little over two years, she was replaced by Prakash Javedkar. She remained away from the limelight handling the relatively obscure Ministry of Textiles for over a year before getting I&B in July last. Ms. Irani’s stint at the I&B was controversial — from fighting with the Prasar Bharti Board to issuing a notification on “fake news”, which was eventually withdrawn at the behest of the PMO. The latest row involved the President of India regarding the National Film Awards ceremony. “The government was fed up with constant controversies generated by her,” a top functionary in the government told The Hindu, adding that “the government felt embarrassed at every controversy she created.” After the awards function row, the Rashtrapati Bhavan conveyed to the PMO its unhappiness at the manner in which the office of the President was dragged into a controversy. In April last, the Prime Minister directed that the press release on ‘fake news’ be withdrawn, and that the matter should be addressed only in the Press Council of India. The press release was issued by the I&B Ministry, which had amended the guidelines and sought to punish journalists by cancelling their accreditation if found circulating fake news.
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COMMUNITY CALENDAR COMMUNITY CALENDAR COMMUNITY CALENDAR COMMUNITY CALENDAR COMMUNITY CALENDAR kids 4 to 18 yrs - meditation, Yoga, Arya Samaj Satsang
Art Museum tessori School for ages 2 to 7 years. Arya Samaj Satsang Sri Meenakshi Temple Kumaris Weekly Havan Satsang every fromKhanna 10 a.m. to 12 noon. Kannappan Art Museum will be Sunday Call Brahma Arti 281-759-3286.
Weekly Havan Satsang every 10 a.m. to noon. 8Apr FriSchool 7:00 p.m Brahma is 12 pleased DAV Sanskriti Sundays a.m. Yoga tofrom 12Kumaris noon. -on Havan, Hindi open for public Tuesday 5.30UgaPM10Sunday Free classes Sat. Sanskrit DAV Sanskriti School Sundays 10 a.m. to 12 noon. Havan, Hindi dhi Telugu and Kannada New to announce a new location in and Naitik Shiksha classes. DAV Montessori School for ages 2 7 to 7.30 PM, Saturday 10AM to & Upanishad classes Tue. 6-8 to p.m. and Naitik Shiksha classes. DAV Montessori School for ages 2 to Year Houston at 14333 Pavilion Point years. Call Arti Khanna 281-759-3286. Free Yoga classes on Sat. 2 PM, Sunday 12 noon to 4 PM. At 14375 Schiller Rd. (bet West-7 years. Call Arti Khanna 281-759-3286. FreeAtYoga classes on Rd. Sat. 14- Apr Thu p.m Tamil (77083)(near Beechnut and Sanskrit & Upanishad classes Tue.park 6-8 p.m. 14375 Schiller Address: 2341 N.7:00 Galveston Ave, & Bellaire off Hwy 6). Hwy 281Sanskrit & Upanishad classes Tue. 6-8 p.m. At 14375 Schiller Rd. New year 6). Daily Raja Yoga Meditation (bet Westpark & Bellaire off Hwy 6). 281-752-0100. Pearland, TX 77581. 752-0100. (bet Bellaire Hwy 6). 281-752-0100. 14-Westpark Apr Thu&8:30 a.m off Vishu classes are offered to the comBrahma Kumaris KaniSri Darshanam munity free ofKumaris charge.Raja VisitYoga the ChinmayaThe Mission Meenakshi Temple Brahma 15Apr Fri 7:00 p.m Sri center for a tour every SaturChinmaya Mission Sunday satsangs for adults, children. Thereisare no 7weekly 12-May Sat 10:30 AM youth, and Meditation Center open days a Rama Navami day or The Sunday anytime between Sunday satsangsand for Sunday adults, youth, andfor children. There are no weekly Balavihar classes satsang children during the sumHanuman Jayanthi week. center offers free Raja 15-Apr Fri classes 6:00 pm 11:00 am –Sept. 1:00 during pm. The Balavihar classes and Sunday satsang forMeditation children thecenter summer. Regular weekly will resume on 13. Located at 13-May Sun 10:30 AM Yoga classes: MonDwajarohanam, Mahotsavam is open 7ondays a TX week. Contact mer. Regular weekly classes will resume Sept. 13.77498. Located at Chinmaya Prabha, 10353 Synott Road, Sugar Land, New Mother’s day Fri @ 6:00-6:45am and 7-8 pm, 1st day us between atSugar (832) 379-8888, houston@ Chinmaya Prabha, 10353 Synott desk Road, TX 77498. New members may visit the welcome 8 a.m. - 8:45 a.m. or Raja Mathangi Homam Sat-Sun @Land, 7:00-8:30am, 10 am-2 16-Apr Satvisit 6:00 p.m Poo desk bktexas.com, or bktexas.com to members may welcome between a.m. - 8:45 a.m. @ or 10:15 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Visit www.chin mayahouston.org or call Bharati 28-May Mon 7:00the PM pm. Visiting 8hours are Sat-Sun Pallakku, Meenakshi Pattasign-up for classes and tours. All 10:15 a.m.-11:30 or call Bharati Sutaria 281.933.0233. Vaikasi Vishakama.m. Visit www.chin 10mayahouston.org a.m.-5 p.m. Contact us at (832) bbhishekam Raja Yogahouston@bktexas.com, Meditation teachers Sutaria 281.933.0233. Subramanya Abhishekam 379-8888, 24-Apr Sun 9:30 a.m Ma- or at the Houston center each have bktexas.com to sign-up for Vedanta Society hotsavan final day, Meenakshi 15+ years of teaching experience. Durga Bari Temple Vedanta Society classes. All Raja Yoga MeditaVedanta Society of Greater Houston, 14809 Lindita Drive (77083) Chinmaya Mission Kalyanam Durga Bari every templeSunday is open from tion teachers at p.m. the Houston center Vedanta Society of Greater Houston, 14809 Lindita Drive (77083) has classes from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 on Gospel of Sunday satsangs for adults, 30-Apr Sat 49:00 a.m Mon. Sita are 9Sri to 11 a.m. and to 7 p.m. samarpit and have 15+ years of hasRamakrishna, classes every Sunday 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Gospel 1st & 3rdfrom Sunday; Bhagavad Gita, 2nd Sunday; on youth, and children. Located of at Rama Kalyanam thru Sat. Sandhya aarti at 6:30 teaching experience. Sri Ramakrishna, 1st & 3rd Sunday; Bhagavad Gita,Mother 2nd Sunday; on works of Swami Vivekananda, 4thChinmaya Sunday; Holy Sarada’s Prabha, 10353 Synott p.m. Temple closesVivekananda, at Swamis 7 p.m. SunChinmaya Mission works of5thSwami 4thRoad, Sunday; Holy Mother Gospel, Sunday. of Ramakrishna Order visit to Sarada’s conduct Sugar Land, TX 77498. day special from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday satsangs for adults, youth, Sri Radha Krishna Gospel,and 5th lectures. Sunday. Swamis of Ramakrishna Order visit to conduct retreats www.houstonvedanta. org or 281-584-0488. New members may visit the Temple is located at 13944 Schiland children. A unique Bala Vihar retreats andTemple lectures. www.houstonvedanta. org orbetween 281-584-0488. welcome desk 8 a.m. ler Hwy 6 bet. BellaireBari & program for each grade, from PreK On Rd the(off auspicious occasion of Durga - Temple 8:45 a.m. 10:15 in a.m.-11:30 Westpark). Call Ganesh Mandal at to Grade 12. or Satsangs two sesNav Ratri,Bari thetemple Temple will have Durga Bari Temple Durga is open from 9 to 11 a.m. and 4 to 7 p.m. Mon. a.m. Visit www.chin mayahous713-797-9057 / 832-423-8541. sions between 8:35 a.m. - Mon. 10:15 Mata Ji Ki Chauki & Akhand Bari temple isatopen from 9ton.org to 11 a.m. and 4Bharati top.m. 7 p.m. thruDurga Sat. Sandhya aarti 6:30 p.m. Temple closes at 7 Sunday or call Sutaria Vipassana Meditation a.m. and 11:20 a.m. 1p.m. Bala Ramayan Path.9 Mata Ji Ki Chauthru Sat.from Sandhya aarti at7 6:30 Temple closes at 7 p.m. Sunday special a.m. to p.m.p.m. Puja services - Priest Bishnupada 281.933.0233. “Register for Houston area VipasVihar students can take shloka, ki by Mahant Ravi Shanker Puri. Puja special from 9 a.m. to Temple 7 p.m. services - Priest Bishnupada Goswami 281-597-8100 is located at 13944 Schiller Rd (off Vedanta Society sana Meditation course as taught bhajan and orchestra classes or on Friday April 08, 2016 startGoswami 281-597-8100 Temple isCall located at 13944 Schiller Rd (off Hwy 6 bet. Bellaire & Westpark). Ganesh Mandal at 713-797Vedanta Society of Greater Housby S. N. Goenka. July 6 to 18, language classes for Hindi, Telugu, ing onwards. Akhand Call Hwy07:30PM 6832-423-8541. bet. Bellaire & Westpark). GaneshLindita Mandal at 713-7979057 /Oct. ton, 14809 Drive (77083) 2018, 19 tostarting 31, 2018, Dec. 7 Marathi, and Gujarati. Chinmaya Ramayan Path Saturday 9057 / 832-423-8541. has classes every Sunday from to 19, 2018. All courses are FREE. is located at Chinmaya April 09, 2016 at 5:00PM on- Mission 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Shiv Mandir Donations are accepted from those 10353 Synott Road, Sugar wards until Sunday AprilShakti 10, Prabha, Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, 1st Shiv Mandir who upon completing the Shakti trainTX Open 77498.daily New7 a.m. members Sanatan Shiv Shakti Mandir, to 8 2016 7:00 PM. Prasad Will6640Land, &Harwin. 3rdvisit Sunday; Bhagavad Gita, ing wish to contribute for future may the welcome desk be-8 Sanatan Shiv Shakti Mandir, 6640 Harwin. Open daily 7 a.m. to p.m. Allafter major festivals, as well birthdays, naam karan, engageserved Ramayan Path. For as 2nd Sunday; on works oforSwami students. Instruction in Vipassana tween 8 a.m. 8:45 a.m. 10:15 p.m. All major festivals, as well as birthdays, naam karan, engagement andinformation other ceremonies. Virat Mehta4th 713-278-9099 or further pleaseCall callPandit Vivekananda, Sunday; Holy meditation is given in ten-day re-puja a.m.-11:30 a.m. Please visit www. ment and other ceremonies. Pandit Virat Mehta 713-278-9099 or Hardik Raval 361-243-6539 for or other ceremonies. temple at 281-933-8100 or Call visit Mother Sarada’s Gospel, 5th treats. Visit www.siri.dhamma.org chinmayahouston.org or contact Hardik Raval 361-243-6539 for puja or other ceremonies. www.SRKT.Org. Temple is lo- Sunday. Swamis of Ramakrishna Arya Samaj Satsang Bharati Sutaria 281.933.0233 for ‘The Universe Within’ cated 11625 Beechnut Street. Order visit to conduct retreats Weekly Havan Satsang every Sunmore information. Universe Within’ Sahaj Nirankari Marg is a ‘The natural and simpleand system of heart-centered mediSant Mission lectures. www.houstonveday from a.m.is toa practice 12 noon. DAV Vedanta Societypotential Sahaj Marg natural and simple system of heart-centered meditation and10 spiritual that helpsdanta. one realize the utimate Sant Nirankari Mission holds its org or 281-584-0488. Sanskriti School Sundays 10that a.m. Vedanta Society ofwho Greater Houstation and spiritual practice helps one realize the utimate potential within oneself. The meditation is available to anyone wishes to weekly spiritual congregation Durga Bari Drive Temple to 12 noon. Havan, Hindi and ton, 14809 Lindita (77083) within meditation is available to anyone who wishes to practice. Weekly meditation sessions held throughout the Houston on everyoneself. SundayThe at India House Durga Bari temple is open from Naitik Shiksha DAV Monhas classes every Sunday from practice. Weekly meditation sessions held throughout the Houston area. www.sahajmarg.org Email: meditate_ firstname.lastname@example.org. 10:30 a.m. toclasses. 12:30 p.m. fol9 to 11 a.m. and 4 to 7 p.m. Mon. area. www.sahajmarg.org Email: lowed by community meals. All meditate_ thru Sat.email@example.com. Sandhya aarti at 6:30 BUY For further are welcome. inforOLD SELL p.m. Temple at 7 p.m. Heritage Classes closesNEW mation, call Raj BhalaHeritage at (281) Sunday special from 9 a.m. to Classes Ashirwad’s Heritage Classes & in Katy, Cypress and Sugar Land for7 980-2825. RESIDENTIAL COMMERCIAL p.m. Puja services Priest BishAshirwad’s Heritage Classes in Katy, Cypress and Sugar Land for Arya Samaj Satsang nupada Goswami 281-597-8100 Phone Weekly Havan every TempleCell SANJEEV Satsang KUMAR is located at 13944 Schil832-689-1819 Sunday 10 a.m. to 12 noon. ler Rd (off Hwy 6 bet. Bellaire & Your from realtor for life. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org DAV Sanskriti School Sundays Westpark). Call Ganesh Mandal 10 a.m. to noon. Havan, at 713-797-9057 / 832-423-8541. LotDEAL for12Sale off- of Kalyani Hwy in Sodhpur, WE IN WE DEAL IN Houses, Hindi and Naitik Shiksha classes. Shiv Shakti Mandir Lot for Sale off of Kalyani Hwy in Sodhpur, West Bengal. 1Motels bhiga or 20Sanatan KathasShiv with 2300 Sq. DAV Montessori School for ages Houses, Gas Shakti Mandir, Gas Stations, West Bengal. 1 bhiga or 20 Kathas with 2300 Sq. ft. bungalow built.6640 Architectural plans 2 to 7 years. Call Artihalf Khanna Harwin. Open daily 7 Stations, Motels and Farm & Ranch. ft. bungalow half built. Architectural 281-759-3286. Freeavailable. Yoga classes a.m. to 8713-722-8870 p.m. All plans major festiOffice: 281-497-7000 Rs. 90 lakhs. Farm Ranch Apartment Complex on and Sat. Sanskrit & & Upanishad vals, as well as birthdays, naam available. Rs. 90 lakhs. Fax: 713-779-4656 281-497-7007 Please contact Saha at classes Tue. 6-8 p.m. At 14375 Shilpi properties Available!! 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Book on Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw Veerashaiva Samaja Aarti @ 7:30 PM 10:30 p.m. on Yoga, Goskids 4 a.m. tostories 18to yrs12:30 -from meditation, slokas, scriptures, ery Sunday aton 5810 Almeda GeBook Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw 361-243-6539 for puja or other Telugu Fellowship Friday, July 10 @ 6:30 p.m. VSNA Houston is a group of Saturday and Sunday pel of Sahasranam, Sri Ramakrishna, 1st & slokas, stories from scriptures, Vishnu bhajans, comnoa Rd. who Sunday School at 9:15 ceremonies. Telugu Christian Friday, July 10 @ 6:30 p.m. families believe in Veeras8:30 AM 1:30 PM Fellowship 3rd Sunday; Bhagavad Gita,Adult 2nd Zoroastrian Association Houston will every third Vishnu Sahasranam, bhajans, competitions and fun activities. a.m. Malayalam servicedharma). atof9:30 meets Saturday of haiva dharma (Basava Aarti at 12:00 PM Sunday; works of Swami ViveHeartfulness Meditation Association of Houston will Behram Panthaki and his petitionson and fun activities. Adult meditation classes. Register at present a.m.Zoroastrian onBrigadier 1st & 3rd Sunday. Adult the month at Triumph Church, Monthly Mahamane program for 5:30 PM 8:30 PM kananda, 4th classes. Sunday; Holy MothHeartfulness Meditation is or aat wife present Brigadier Panthaki and his Zenobia authors of the10555 much meditation Register www.ashirwada-blessing.org Bible class atPanthaki, 9:30Behram a.m. English W. Airport Blvd., Stafprayer and discussion on Vachana Aarti @ 7:30 PM; er Sarada’s Gospel,of5th Sunday. practical technique tuning in-or acclaimed wife Zenobia Panthaki, authors of the much book: “Field Marshal Sam www.ashirwada-blessing.org Sri Ravula 281-995-0930. service at 10:30 a.m. on 2nd & ford TX 77477 at 6:30 p.m. Join Sahitya followed by Prasada. ConContact 832-585--0001 Swamis Ramakrishna Order Manekshaw: wards to of experience our higher acclaimed book: “Field Marshal Sam The 713-991-1557 Man and His Times”, Sri Ravula 281-995-0930. 4th Sunday. Call us for a time of praise, worship tact: vsnahous email@example.com or or firstname.lastname@example.org Hare Krishna Dham visit to Meditation conduct retreats and lec- at selves. with someone Manekshaw: The Heritage Man andand HisCultural Times”, the Zoroastrian or 281-261-4603. and fellowship. Hare Krishna Dham Jagadeesh Halyal 832-744-4166. SaiWorship centers is in tures. www.houstonvedanta. org or Center, who has theoriginal capacity of temple, yogic Houston’s Vedic at the Zoroastrian Heritage and Cultural 8787 W Airport Blvd., Houston, TX Sathya English. Call Chris Gantela 281Sri Guruvayurappan Mar Thoma Church Sunday program held at two loca281-584-0488. Houston’s original Vedic temple, transmission can help exISKCON of Houston. Atyou 1320 W 77071. Center,Starts 8787 W Blvd., Houston, TX at Airport 6:30 with social hour. 344-0707, or Rev. V. Gurrala Temple Trinity Mar Thoma Church every tions (North Houston: 12127 MalJain Society ISKCON of Houston. 1320 W 77071. plore the(77018). Heartfulness practice 34th St. DailyAtDarshan Starts at 6:30was withIndia’s socialfirst hour.Field Sam Manekshaw 281-997-0757. Hours: to FriAlmeda 6 a.m. -8Genoa a.m.hero. Sunday at comson Road, Houston; South Jain Society ofThere Houston (JSH) lo- Marshal 34th St. (77018). Daily Darshan more deeply. are no charg& Arati Times: 4.30am, 7am, SamMon Manekshaw was India’s first Field and5810 a distinguished war HisGaudiya Math and 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. WeekRd. Sunday School at 9:15 a.m. Houston: cated at 3905 Street & for Arati Times: 4.30am, 7am, es this, andArc we4.30pm, inviteHouston you to courage, 8.30am, 12noon, 7pm, Marshal and a distinguished wardedication hero. His 246 Fluor Daniel Drive, his character, and the Sri Govindaji Gaudiya Matha ends & Holidays: 6 a.m. to noon Malayalam service at 9:30 a.m. Sugar Land) from 3:00 to 5:30 pm) Texas 77063 is open M-F pm from 8.30am, 12noon, 4.30pm, 7pm, experience theFestival: unique benefits of 9pm. Sunday 5.30 to to courage, his character, andare thelegendary. dedication his troops and country at 16628 Kieth Harrow Blvd., and 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Bhaon 1st & 3rd Sunday. Adult Bible Sai Spiritual Education (SSE) 7:30 AM to 12 Noon and tofor 7 to 9pm. Sunday Festival: 5.304pm this transmission. Workshops onto 7.30 pm. Weekly Gita classes country are legendary. Thehis lifetroops of thisand distinguished soldier is portrayed by two distinguished Houston 77084. Satsang Sundays jans Saturdays 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.; at 9:30 a.m. English service classes for children; Study Circle PM, Sat, and Sun AM 7.30 and pm.call Weekly Gitafrom classes for Heartfulness relaxation and 8medadults; 281-433-1635 or class The lifewho of this distinguished soldier is portrayed by two distinguished authors worked closely with him and shared many of the historic 5 to 7 pm. Mantra meditation, Sundays 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. Special at 10:30 a.m. on 2nd & 4th Sunfor adults & Devotional singing to 6 PM. Jain Society ofthroughHouston adults; or events itation arecall held281-433-1635 weekly harekrishnadham @gmail.com authorsthat who workedthe closely with him and shared many of theThrough historic changed geo-political landscape of the region. kirtan, Dharma classes. poojas (weekends and holidays) Call or 281- for all. Sanatan Service programs - food invites Jain scholars all year round. day. harekrishnadham @gmail.com out Houston, including Saturdays events that713-991-1557 changed geo-political landscape of the region. Through anecdotes related bythe Behram and Zenobia Panthaki we get a unique Vedic Education and Hindi classChoroon (Annaprasam) for kids, 261-4603. distribution, canned food drives, Please callat Urvashi Jain 713Web: 789 insight at 11 am India House. anecdotes by ideals, Behram Zenobia Panthaki we get a unique intorelated the man’s hisand military acumen, his mannerisms, and Houston Namadwaar es for kids. Gita classes noon Thulabharam, Vahana Pooja, Telugu Christian Fellowship nursing home visits, tutoring at2338. Visit www.jainsocietyhouswww.heartfulness.org; Email: his insight into the man’s ideals, his military acumen, his mannerisms, and sense of humor. Houston Namadwaar 1:30 pm Wed. Hanuman Chalisa A prayer house where the Hare Nirapara. Temple is located at Telugu Christian Fellowship schools, etc. Contact Venkat Rao ton.org for more information. houston.heartfulness@gmail. hisBrigadier sense of Panthaki humor. himself boastsand a distinguished 30-yearon military A prayer house where the Hare meets Ramcharit Manas Tue. Rama Hare Krishna Maha-man11620 Ormandy St. (77035) every third Saturday ofTel: the (North) - 602-503-2249 ormilitary Ranji Shiv713-929-0040 Shakti Mandir com. Cell: Brigadier Panthaki himself boasts a distinguished 30-year career that earned him 12 military honors. Zenobia Panthaki accomRama Hare Krishna Maha-man7:30–8:30 p.m. email@example.com tra is continuously chanted. Week713-729-8994 email: temple@ month at Triumph Church, 10555 Raghavan (South) 281-451-8238. Sanatan Prakash Shiv Shakti Mandir, (Ragini Miryala MD)6640 panied career that earned him 12 military Panthaki accomher husband on his postingshonors. to 281-499-3347. manyZenobia small cantonment towntra is Heritage continuously chanted. Weekor ends: 8-11Open AM &daily 4-7 PM, Weekguruvayur.us Airport Blvd., Stafford TX Visit www.sairegion10.org Harwin. 7 a.m. to 8 W. Classes panied her husband on his postings to many small cantonment townships all over India and became involved with running welfare proends:All 8-11 AM 4-7PM. PM,Weekly days: 7-8 AM && 6-7 Hindu Temple of Preksha Meditation at 6:30 p.m. Join us for a involved Sadhu Vaswani Center p.m. major festivals, asWeekwell Ashirwad’s Heritage Classes in 77477 ships all over India and became with running welfare programs for soldiers’ wives and children; she has run the Army School, days: 7-8 AMnaam &and 6-7 PM. engageWeekly “Gopa Kuteeram” children’s heri- time New facilities of JVB Preksha of praise, worship and felSadhu Vaswani Center of School, Housas birthdays, karan, the Woodlands Katy, Cypress Sugar Land grams for soldiers’ wives and children; she has run the Army and worked for the World Bank for 28 years until retirement in 2012. “Gopa Kuteeram” children’s heritage classes and Srimad Meditation Center. Classes for forton Worship isWorld in English. holds regular Satsang on2012. 3rd ment and other ceremonies. Call lowship. 7601 S.reviews. Forest Gate Dr, in for kids 4 to 18 yrs - meditation, and worked for the Bank 28 years until retirement The book has received over 60 positive To quote: “From tage classes and Srimad Bhagavatam classes. Call 281Yoga and Meditation under guidFor information call Chris Gantela Thursday of the month and daily Pandit slokas, Virat Mehta The Woodlands, 77382 Yoga, stories713-278-9099 from scrip- beginning The book hasthis received overnarrative 60 positive reviews. To quote: “From to end delightful simply racesTX along, providing Bhagavatam classes. Call bha281402-6585; visit www.godivinity.org ance by Samani jis and discoursor Rev. Vijay GurArti at 7.30 p.m. Call 281-463or Hardik Raval 361-243-6539 for 281-344-0707, Temple Hours tures, Vishnu Sahasranam, beginning to end this delightful narrative simply races along, providing an intimate, witty and scintillating story of a superhero “ Sam’s hu402-6585; visit www.godivinity.org (Global Organization forfun Divinity). es. At 14102 witty Schiller Road (off 0379 281-997-0757. orofe.mail firstname.lastname@example.org puja or other ceremonies. Weekdays: jans, competitions and activi- rala an intimate, and scintillating story a superhero “ Sam’s humanism, his notations on official files, his colorful language and his (Global Organization for Divinity). 6 bethis Bellaire and Westpark Sri Guruvayurappan Temple Gaudiya Math and his Heartfulness Meditation 7:30 his AMcolorful - 9:30 AM ties. Adult meditation classes. Hwy manism, notations on official files, language doodling”. - doodling”. 77082). Telto281-596-9642. Mon Fri 6 a.m. -8 a.m. Shri Govindji Gaudiya Matha Heartfulness Meditation is a Hours: 5:30 PM 8.30 PM Register at www.ashirwadaSaumyakasi Sivalaya This book, with over 200 photographs, is -dedicated to the men in Patanjali Yogpeeth and 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Weekis a Hindu Vaishnava ofin practical technique of tuningis in- uniform Aartidefending @is7:30 PM Saumyakasi Sivalaya blessing.org or SriSivalaya Ravula 281This book, withlaid over 200 their photographs, dedicated to temple the men Sri Saumyakasi lowho have down lives their country and to Free Yoga Classes every Sat/Sun ends & Holidays: 6 a.m. to noon Sanatan Dharam and worshipping wards to experience our 10353 higher Saturday and The Sunday 995-0930. SriatSaumyakasi Sivalaya is lo- their uniform whowho havehave laid down their lives defending their country to cated Chinmaya Prabha, widows also sacrificed so much. book will and be on at Arya Samaj from 8 am to 9:30 and 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Bhaplace of Shri Shri Radha will Krishna, selves. Meditation with someone 8:30 AM 1:30 PM Hare Krishna Dham cated atRoad, Chinmaya Prabha, theiratwidows who have also so much. The be on Synott Sugar Land,10353 TX sale the discounted price ofsacrificed $35, and autographed bybook the authors. A a.m. Anil7 p.m. 281-579-9433. jans to 8 of p.m.; Shri Gaur NitaiPM & Shri Ram Dar-A who has the capacity oftemple, yogic Aarti at 12:00 Houston’s original Vedic Synott Road, Sugar Land, TX saleSaturdays atCall the discounted $35, and autographed the authors. 77478. Temple timings: Monday to major portion of the price royalty will be donated to thebyWar Wounded For other free classes, call Indra Sundays 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. Special bar. Mandir is open daily from transmission can you explore 5:30 PM -Welfare 8:30 PMAssn. ISKCON of AM Houston. AtMonday 1320 Wto Foundation 77478. 9:00 Temple timings: major portion the and royalty donated to the War Wounded Friday: -help 12:00 Noon and of of India the will Warbe Widows of India. 281-537-0018. For Yoga/Herbal poojas (weekends and holidays) 5.30 AM until 8.30 PM. We urge the practice more @ 7:30 PM; Assn. of India. 34th St. (77018). Darshan Friday: 9:00 AM - Daily 12:00 Noon and Foundation of India and the WarAarti Widows Welfare 5:00 -Heartfulness 8:00 PM Saturday and Sunproducts, call Shekhar 281-242Choroon (Annaprasam) for kids, you to make a special effort to deeply. There are noa.m, charges for families who believe in Veerashaiva dharma Contact(Basava 832-585--0001 & Arati Times: 4.30 7-a.m, 5:00 - 8:00 PMPM Saturday and Sunday: 8:30-2:00 and 5:00 8:00 dharma). Monthly 5000. Web: www.pyptusa.org Thulabharam, Vahana Pooja, Nijoin our Sunday services regularly this, and we you to experiordiscussion email@example.com 8.30 a.m,Bharti 12invite noon, 4.30 p.m, 7 Mahamane day:Call 8:30-2:00 PM and 5:00 - 8:00 PM. Sutaria 281-568families whoprogram believe infor Veerashaiva (Basava Monthly prayer anddharma on dharma). Vachana Sahitya and www.DivyaProducts.com. rapara. Temple is located at 11620 with your family & friends. The ence the unique benefits of this p.m, 9 p.m. Sunday Festival: Temple PM. Call Bharti Sutaria832-541281-568- followed 1690 or Jay Deshmukh Mahamane programContact: for prayer andSwaminarayan discussion on Vachana Sahitya by Prasada. vsnahous firstname.lastname@example.org or Jagadeesh Sathya Sai centers Ormandy St. (77035) Tel: 713services are held from 5.30PM transmission. on Halyal 5.30 to Deshmukh 7.30 p.m. Weekly Hindu Satsang at Shree Swami1690pm oror Jay 832-5410059 visitWorkshops www.saum followed by Prasada. Contact: vsnahous email@example.com or Jagadeesh Sunday832-744-4166. program at two lo- to email: held temple@ guru7.30PM followed by under deliHeartfulness relaxation and mediGita classes for adults; call 281narayan Hindu Temple, 0059 or visit www.saum 729-8994 yakasi.org. Halyal 832-744-4166. cations (North Houston: 12127 vayur.us cious prashad. Daily Aarti times tation are or held weekly throughout 433-1635 harekrishnadham @ Shree NarNarayan Dev Gadi kayakasi.org. Mar Thoma Church Rd, Meditation Houston; South :lupur. Mangala Aarti5:30from am. 7 Bhog Houston, including Saturdays at 11 LouettaPreksha gmail.com Opens daily a.m. Gandhi Library Mar Thoma Church Trinity Mar Thoma Church every Sunday at 5810 Almeda Genoa Houston: 246 Fluor Daniel Dr, JVB Preksha Meditation Center Aarti 12:30 pm. Evening Aarti amHouston atGandhi India House. Web: www. Namadwaar to 12:30 p.m. and from 4 p.m. Library Mahatma Gandhi Library Book conducts Mar Thoma Church every Sunday at 5810 Almeda Rd.Trinity Sunday School at3:00 9:15 a.m. service atyour 9:30 a.m. Genoa on Sri 1st Land, from pm toMalayalam weekly Meditation, Yoga -to7:00 Enroll heartfulness.org; Email: houston. A prayer house where the Hare Suga 8:30pm. p.m. Daily aartichild at 7in a.m. Mahatma Gandhi Library Book Club: Meets 2nd Sunday of each Rd. Sunday School at 9:15 a.m. Malayalam service at 9:30 a.m. on 1st & 3rd Sunday. Adult Bible class at 9:30 a.m. English service at 10:30 5:30 pm. Sai Spiritual Education and Swadhyay sessions inside its Govindaji Vedic School. We offer firstname.lastname@example.org. Cell: Rama Hare Krishna Mahaand 7a.m. p.m.English Saturday sabha from Club: Meets 2nd Sunday of each unique month; 12:30 PM at Arya Samaj & 3rd Sunday. Adult Bible class at 9:30 service at 10:30 a.m. on 2nd & 4th Sunday. Call 713-991-1557 or 281-261-4603. classes for children; study circle Pyramid hall under the Hindi classes for all ages. Sri Go713-929-0040. mantra is continuously chanted. 5p.m to 7 p.m. followed by aarti month; Houston, 12:30 PM13475 at Arya Samaj for Greater Schiller a.m.adults. on 2ndguidance & 4th Sunday. Call -713-991-1557 or 281-261-4603. Service programs of Samani vindaji Gaudiya Matha is located Hare Krishna Dham Weekends: 8-11 AM & 4-7 PM, auspicious at 7 p.m. and Maha-Prasad (free Greater Houston, 13475 Schiller Sri Guruvayurappan Temple Rd. Join the discussion of the great food distribution & food drives; Kanchan Pragyaji and Samani in Northwest Houston at 16628 Houston’s original temple, Weekdays: 7-8 AMVedic & 6-7 PM. dinner). Website www.issotx. Sri Guruvayurappan Temple Rd. Join the discussion of the great man’s autobiography –AtThe Story Hours: Mon who tovisits, Friare 6 a.m. -8 a.m. Kieth and 5:00 p.m. to 8:30Houston p.m. Weeknursing home tutoring Pragyaji stationed Harrow Blvd TX ISKCON of Houston. 1320 W Pranav Weekly “Gopa Kuteeram” chilorg, phone (281) 530-2565. man’s autobiography – TheTruth. Story at of My Experiments with Hours: Mon to Fri 6 a.m. -8 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Weekends & Holidays: 6 a.m. to noon and 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Bhajans schools etc. Contact Sanjay Houston Center this year. It 77084. For more information, call 34th St.heritage (77018).classes Daily Darshan & dren’s and SriSanatan of My Experiments with Truth. also Call 713-829-6979. endsruns &(North) Holidays: to noon 5:00 p.m. 8:30 p.m.our Bhajans Saturdays 7 p.m. to6 8a.m. p.m.; Sundays a.m. to 1to a.m. Special poojas 832-687-6766 or and special events and proat 9832-464-4686 orDharm visit webAratiManish Times:Wani 4.30 a.m, 7 a.m, Call 8.30 Gupta mad Bhagavatam classes. Call Manish Wani 713-829-6979. grams Maha Sabha Saturdays 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Sundays 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. Special poojas (weekends and holidays) Choroon (Annaprasam) for kids, Sondip Mathur (South) 832-215like I-Choose, Meditation site: http://sggm.org. a.m, 12 noon, 4.30 7 p.m, 9 281-402-6585; visitp.m, www.godiWestSwaminarayan Indian Religious Organiza(weekends and holidays) Choroon (Annaprasam) for kids, Thulabharam, Vahana Pooja, Nirapara. Temple is located at 11620 8675 www.sairegion10.org. and Gyanshala program Temple p.m. Sunday Festival: 5.30 pm to Camps Gauri Siddhivinayak vinity.org (Global Organization tion called Sanatan Dharm Maha Thulabharam, Vahana Pooja, Nirapara. Temple is located at 11620 Ormandy St (77035) Tel: 713-729-8994 email: temple@ guruvayur.us for children ages 4-14 yrs. JVB Hindu Satsang at Shree SwaminaGauri 7.30 p.m. Siddhivinayak Weekly Gita classes Sadhu Vaswani Center for Divinity). Sabha Branch # 377guruvayur.us is located Ormandy St Tel: email: temple@ located at (77035) 14102 Schiller Rd. rayan Hindu Temple, under Shree forSaumyakasi adults; Temple call 281-433-1635 or is Sadhu Vaswani Center of713-729-8994 HousSivalaya Temple at 26100 Tina Lane, Katy, TX Darshan from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Preksha Meditation Houston 77082. Every Tuesday, NarNarayan Dev Gadi kalupur. harekrishnadham Sri Saumyakasi @gmail.com Sivalaya is lo- ton holds regular Satsang on 3rd 77494. Durga Mata Pooja is held Darshan from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Preksha Meditation daily. All major festivals as well 9:30am-11:30am, Samaniji has Opens daily from 7 a.m. to 12:30 Houston Namadwaar New facilities of JVBand Preksha of the month daily Meditation Center. Classes for Yoga cated at Chinmaya Prabha, 10353 Thursday everyand Friday from 7 to pm8:30 to14102 9.30 daily. All major festivals asHare well as birthdays, naam karan, engageforp.m. allunder adults interested p.m. from 4 p.m. p.m. facilities ofCall JVB Preksha Center. Classes for Yoga A prayer house where the andNew Meditation guidance by Meditation Samani jis and discourses. At Arti at 7.30 281-463Synott Road, Sugar Land, TX pravachan pm. Contact Ram Sharma @ as birthdays, naam karan, engagement and other ceremonies. Call in learning about Jainism. Every Daily aarti at 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. and Meditation under guidance Samani jis and discourses. At 14102 Rama Hare Krishna Maha-mantra Schiller Road email@example.com (off Hwy 6 bet by Bellaire and Westpark - 77082). Tel or e.mail 77478. Temple timings: Monday 0379 713-412-9985 ment and other ceremonies. Call Pandit Pradip Pandya 832-466Wednesday there is Swadhyay Saturday sabha from 5 p.m to 7 Schiller Road (off Hwy 6 bet Bellaire and Westpark - 77082). Tel is Friday: continuously to 9 a.m.- chanted. 12 Noon Weekand 5 281-596-9642. Pandit Pradip Pandya 832-4669868 for puja and other ceremoclass from 7-8pm and meditation p.m. followed by aarti at 7 p.m. ends:- 8-11 AMSaturday & 4-7 PM, p.m. 8 p.m. andWeekSun- 281-596-9642. 98688:30 for5645 puja and ceremonies. At Hillcroft 701, from 8-9pm. Every Thursday from Yogpeeth and Maha-Prasad (free dinner). days: 7-8 AM & 6-7other PM. Weekly day: a.m.-2 p.m. andSte 5 p.m. Patanjali Exciting Summer nies. At 5645 Hillcroft Ste 701, Houston, TX 77036. 9:30-11am there is special Yoga www.issotx.org. (281)Camp heri-“Gopa 8 p.m.Kuteeram” Call Bhartichildren’s Sutaria 281Free Yoga ClassesPatanjali every Sat/SunYogpeeth at Arya Samaj from 8530-2565. am to 9:30 Houston, TX 77036. class for Ladies only. Every SatSanatan Dharm Maha tage classes andDeshmukh Srimad Bhaga568-1690 or Jay 832- a.m.Free every Sat/Sun at Arya from amSabha to2819:30 CallYoga AnilClasses 281-579-9433. For other freeSamaj classes, call8Indra urday, there is Yoga Class from Veerashaiva Samaja West Indian Religious Organizavatam classes. 541-0059 or Call visit281-402-6585; www.saum 537-0018. a.m. Call Anil 281-579-9433. For other free classes, call Indra 281For Yoga/Herbal products, call Shekhar 281-242-5000. Web: Veerashaiva andFor Meditation 10- tion Sanatan Dharm Maha visit www.godivinity.org (Global VSNA Houston isSamaja a group of 9-10am 537-0018. Yoga/Herbal products, callcalled Shekhar 281-242-5000. Web: www.pyptusa.org and from www.DivyaProducts.com. yakasi.org. 10.30am. Ist & 3rd Sundays, there Sabha Branch # 377 is located at VSNA Houston is a group of www.pyptusa.org and www.DivyaProducts.com. Organization for Divinity). Gauri Siddhivinayak Temple is Gyanshala Classes for Kids 26100 Tina Lane, Katy, TX 77494. Saumyakasi Sivalaya Darshan from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. WANT HOST YOURDurga SUMMER CAMP? fromTO10-12:15pm Mata Pooja is held every Sri Saumyakasi Sivalaya is located ages 4-14yrs. daily. All major festivals as well PARTNER WITH US & HOST YOUR SUMMER CAMP AT INDIA Friday from 7 pm toHOUSE 9.30 pm. followed by Lunch. Visit www. at Chinmaya Prabha, 10353 Synas birthdays, naam karan, enContact Ram Sharma @ 713-412jvbhouston.org or send email ott Road, Sugar Land, TX 77478. Instructors or agencies looking for an amazing space gagement and other ceremonies. 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LEGAL LEGAL NOTICE NOTICE
MUSINGS by Gadfly
Who am I?
Mother’s Day is behind us ((May 13) & my father’s birthday is on May 18. Since 2016, I’ve written about my father around his birthday. I wrote about my mother for a magazine two decades ago. She also has made guest appearances in Musings about my father. Recently someone asked why I don’t write about my mother. The honest answer is this. My father was a legend in our house & to everyone who knew him because of how he conducted himself for years & decades. Everyone was in awe of him & unbelievably, so was my mother. Like most marriages then, theirs was an arranged marriage but you wouldn’t have known that seeing them together. So much respect for each other, so much caring. ‘Birds of same feather’ was written all over them when they walked together; the way they talked to each other with joy. It was obvious there was more than one common bond between them. Both lost their mothers at age six. Both suffered at the hands of families they were left with while their fathers travelled to towns, near & far, to make a living & provide for their children. My mother suffered much less than my father not just because she was a tough cookie but because her father was extra careful about her wellbeing as a girl-child. Besides there was that assumption (which still exists) that men should take care of themselves while women should get special attention for their safety & well-being. Admittedly, my mother made it easy for her father. She was more social and being a girl-child, she knew cooking & housework. She also knew how to be useful. For my father & his brother, the new responsibilities in someone else’s house were just too difficult. They had to learn the housework & also go to school. My father, more than his older brother, was a fish out of water in someone else’s house. Being more emotional, less social right until his last day, didn’t exactly make life easy for him growing up without his mother. Only my mother & us children saw his emotional side. As if loss of mother at age six wasn’t hard enough, frequent separation from his father increased his fears about losing his father. There was no one to talk to. His only sibling, the older brother, was more like a younger brother. My father took care of him after their mother died till the brother himself passed away years later in his fifties in our 2-room house. For my father, life was a struggle both physically & emotionally. The wounds from age six never left.
So their marriage was of two people who were desperate for home & family, my father more so. In the almost 29 years I lived with him in that chawl, he never stayed anywhere else even for one night except when we traveled to his native place in Konkan during summer holidays. My mother seemed to be in charge of public relations. She traveled more, stayed with relatives, and of course, with her children & grandchildren. My father was comfortable only at home. I was not even in my teens yet when I learned that a couple (I still remember their faces) that visited us on 2-3 Sundays a month & were treated with so much respect, grace & joy were the ones who were unkind to my father when he had to stay with them on his arrival in Bombay. I asked him, in disbelief, “Mother just told me who these people are. They are the ones who made your struggling years unpleasant. How come you’re so nice to them? I know you can’t turn them away but you seem to be too nice to them.” My father smiled (he always smiled first whenever I asked pointed questions) and said, “What they did to me will go with them. What I do to them now will stay with me. I don’t want to live with that burden. Settling scores is God’s job, not mine. Ask your mother about Mrs. S.” I turned to my mother with a question mark. She smiled with embarrassment. She never talked about her pain. Now she felt cornered. “What good is it going to do me or anybody by taking it out on her now? She knows how she treated me. She probably realizes she is reaping what she sowed. Like they say, ‘you don’t kick someone who is already down.’ And dwelling on unhappy past spoils my present.” Birds of same feather indeed, all the way from loss of mother, struggling childhood, not holding grudges, only one sibling, a brother. Hers was two years younger. His was 3-4 years older. My mother’s brother grew into a charming, devilishly handsome guy. Sometime after his marriage, she heard something about him that made her mad. She sent him a message through someone in our building who worked in the same area as her brother, to stop by our house that evening. Newly married & very successful, her brother was quite popular among his peers & relatives. The only person he now listened to was my mother, not his father. She told him if what she had heard was true, he’s not welcome to her house anymore; that she is dead to him and ‘this is the last time you’ll see your sister’. With his head down, he
INDIA HERALD • WEDNESDAY, MAY 16, 2018 • PAGE 19
said it was not true. He was almost in tears. When his mother died, he was only four. Now in his late thirties, my mother was the only ‘mother’ he knew since he was four. She was the disciplinarian. My father was out working six days & evenings a week. Our school was a ten minutes’ walk from our chawl. We were supposed to be home from school within 45 minutes after school. There was no way to let my parents know if we decided to stay longer at school & play. Yet that’s the age you don’t think of those things. You take chances on everything including your parents’ hearts & fears. Living in the chawl (2nd floor), our punishments & our shame couldn’t be hidden from our neighbours. One Saturday, my older brother & I were late, I mean very late. On Saturdays, school closed at two. Two hours later, we were still not home, having too much fun playing – either volleyball or cricket - with schoolmates. It was 5pm when we got home. Judging by the look in her eyes, we knew we were in trouble. When we sheepishly said we were late because we were playing, she said, “Stand there & explain that to your father when he gets home.” My father was not going to be home till 8pm. There we were, standing in the gallery, in front of our door, as neighbours passed by with a smile on their face while she talked about what we put her & our father through when ‘we don’t know where our children
are, whether they’re safe, not in a car accident, not beat up by someone. As evening approached, our next door neighbor lady got tired of passing us by, of feeling sorry for us. She pleaded with my mother to let us in, that we had been punished enough & to forgive us. (This would be unheard of for today’s neighbours anywhere.) Once we were let in, we washed our hands, feet & faces & changed. We took out the stainless steel plates for our food. Mother was watching. She said, “How are you going to warm your food? I know you know how to light the stove but you don’t know how to warm your food just right. Sit down there & wait.” And two hungry stomachs were stuffed with warm & delicious food. She was a good cook & taught me & my brothers how to cook (except my younger brother). Aside from her various curries, her home-made pickles – mango, chili, lemon - were beyond-belief-good, far better than any you get in Indian stores today. I cook every day. I don’t exactly enjoy cooking. And I can’t make pickles. I wouldn’t even try. But what she taught us was self-reliance & taking pride in it. With her mother’s death, her school stopped after grade two. That meant no introduction to the English alphabet. However before her first son was old enough to go to school (their only daughter succumbed to illness before she turned two), she learned the English alphabet so she could teach her son
& he could keep up with his peers. Self-reliance again. I never saw my parents despair despite repeated & continuous financial hardships. Their main concern was shielding us from feeling that hardship. We were sent to fairly upper middle class schools, the best doctors & were eating the best fruits & vegetables. My father taught us about life. My mother taught us about us, our personalities. She taught us not to give up on life because giving up on life is giving up on yourself, a short cut to despair & defeat. “Things can’t get better from there,“ she said. “God-willing, you’ll never have to go through what your father & I had to before marriage. You’ve grown in much more stable surroundings. But suffering is unavoidable in life. Less ups & more downs.” I never had to ask myself ‘who am I’? My mother had already introduced me to myself several times. She told me, “You’re likely to get hurt more often than your brothers because you take life too seriously. You take people too seriously. Nothing I do or say can change that. But I can warn you what’s ahead. Life & people will hurt you. You’re the most thin-skinned of my sons. Learning from your experiences is the only protection you have. But shame on you if you give up on life.” (Send responses to email@example.com)
PAGE 24 20 â€¢ INDIA HERALD HERALD â€¢ WEDNESDAY, MAY 16,30, 2018 PAGE 2016 PAGE 24â€¢â€¢ INDIA INDIA HERALD â€¢ WEDNESDAY, MARCH JULY 1, 2015
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