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India Herald

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National Marrow Donor Program honored Houston’s Indian American Cancer Network with the 2016 Leadership award recently. Suvasini Dorai, left, Blair Foy (Marketing Content Specialist, NMDP), Gaytri Kapoor (Donor Contact Representative, Marrow Donor Program, Gulf Coast Region), Kumari Susarla (President, IACAN), Dr. V.K. Dorai (past President, IACAN) and Dr. Jeffery Chell, M.D., (CEO of NMDP). See Page 4.

At Chinmaya Mission Houston Sata Sahasra Rudraksa Puja (Chanting of the Lord’s name over 100,000 times) was performed where hundreds of devotees chanted Lord Siva’s name with sacred beads and the deity is decorated with the strings of sanctified beads. See Story on Page 14.

Obituary: Mallikarjun B. Shintri

Mallikarjun B. Shintri, a noted community member, yoga practitioner, health enthusiast, teacher and a CPA passed away peacefully at home in Houston on Thursday, Nov. 24, at the age of 79. He is survived by his wife Kusuma of 35 years, daughter Gouri, son Gireesh, 3 grandchildren, and 2 sisters. Funeral services were held at the Garden Oaks Funeral Home & Crematory on Tuesday, Nov. 29. At the service, family and

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friends of Shintri remembered him as a father, guru, teacher, inspirer, mentor and as in Shintri’s own words, “Foot soldier.” Shintri contributed much to the Hindu community and Indian community of Houston. He was best known for his first love, teaching and doing yoga, running, walking. Shintri was one of the main yoga teachers for the community and could always

See OBIT, Page 3


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Man of the Match Kishore from Houston Oilers Cricket Club (HOCC) hits a boundary in the 18th over against Cliff Jumpers Cricket Club (CJCC) in the India House Cricket Club League Tournaments final match. The tournament saw centuries scored, innings score of 250 runs in 18 overs, hat tricks and 5 wickets in an innings by a bowler. Story on Page 15.

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Trump defies “conventional wisdom” at every level

By SESHADRI KUMAR Donald Trump fought and defeated Hillary Clinton, the media, fellow Republicans and conventional wisdom on his way to the American Presidency. I have watched at least eight presidential elections in the U.S. up close. As an immigrant journalist, I had the opportunity to cover the nomination speech of George H.W. Bush at the Republican National Convention, in Houston, in 1992, when the senior Bush lost the election to Bill Clinton. The media narrative that trounced Bush was the catch phrase “Read my lips, no new taxes,” a promise that Bush had broken in his first term. Trump’s victory has variously been described as a “revolution” and a “movement”; and I would add a “phenomenon” as well.

A “Second Coming” I don’t mean to serve up a post-facto encomium to Trump’s election, but I submit that Trump’s announcement in June 2015 of running for the Presidency had a certain “Second Coming” feel to it. I had the feeling then that this was not yet another candidate – I sensed a popular elation that accompanied it. The media enthusiastically caricatured him, the pundits lampooned him, literally laughing at him. And that laughter continues today, even as Trump’s inauguration approaches. What catapulted Trump to national attention was his colloquial, yet somewhat exaggerated, matter-of-fact observation that Mexico is sending across border thieves, smugglers and rapists. He did not merely use the prosaic

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be found speed walking or running at 5K, 10K, half marathons. He also was one of the founding members of the many shakhas and youth camps that are hosted through our Hindu organizations. His official profession was in accounting and tax, and as a CPA, Mr. Shintri provided those services for over 30 years to numerous individuals, corporations, and organizations. He never missed a raas garba event… always the first to arrive and the last to leave…leaving many younger ones out of breath. Mr. Shintri loved and lived life to the fullest. He will forever be known as one of the great “foot soldiers” for making the community a better place and doing it with

expression ‘securing the borders.’ He deliberately chose to avoid the “politically correct”. Contest in Texas While the other Republication candidates could be written off as soft on immigration, Ted Cruz from Texas was as hard and harsh as Trump on containing illegal immigration. What strengthened my thinking outside the conventional box was that even Cruz failed to excite the base because he stuck to politicallycorrect language. Thus, a Conservative like Cruz, a very articulate and accomplished Senator, could not distinguish himself from Democrats as well as fellow Republicans. While Cruz was shackled on immigration, Trump stood out as a torchbearer, not to speak of his visual, emotional and symbolic pledge to build a wall with Mexico. The more the media played up the wall as a divider to alienate Trump, the greater the resolve among Trump supporters in solidifying their support behind him. The first debate Another significant episode, in my opinion, was the first Republican presidential debate conducted by the Fox News Channel. The very first debate question of the 2016 presidential race was asked by Megyn Kelley and it had to do with women. To me, it came across as similar to asking Trump if he would stop beating his wife. At a time when America stood poised to elect its first woman president, I saw another candidate beside his beautiful immigrant wife and an accomplished daughter.

such enthusiasm and energy. Sesh Bala, one of Shintri’s longtime friends, said Shintri taught his two passions, accounting and yoga, at the Houston Community College. “In the early years, he helped the Meenakshi Temple Society with accounting tasks. He later helped the Indo American Charity Foundation raise funds with his long-duration headstands (sirasasana); the longer he stayed the more money he raised for charity. Shintri was an avid member of the Lost Creek Park walking group and participated in several Houston Marathons at half-marathon events. “There are a lot of friendly and affectionate stories of his half marathon episodes but he was always an inspiration to many of us in the walking group. We will miss him dearly,” Bala said.

I felt that that would have a positive impact, at least on some women. It is important to recognize that Trump supporters never saw him as Pope material. His lifestyle was not a secret. By the time allegations of his improper behavior with women became national news, Trump was immune to the attacks as the public has already been desensitized to such charges. The issues that mattered to voters were below the radar of the media, which played up sex scandals, Trump calling a beauty pageant participant as fat and ugly or insulting a Gold Star Muslim family. The majority of them remained in the closet and came out on Election Day.

Fort Bend county: A case study Something very surprising happened in Fort Bend County, where I live and publish newspapers. Fort Bend County in Texas is one of the top three most diversified counties in the country. Nearly 25 per cent of the county’s population is Asian

and a large chunk of them are Indian Americans. It has been a Republican county forever, but the county voted for a Democratic presidential candidate for the first time in more than 50 years. The last time was for John F. Kennedy. While the state of Texas voted for Trump, Fort Bend County voted for Clinton. At the same time, in down ballots, in local races, they

elected all Republicans. The precincts where Trump lost in Fort Bend County comprise a large number of Muslims and immigrants from India. Like everybody else, these voters chose to defy conventional wisdom. (This article was first published in New Canadian Media on Nov. 25.

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HOUSTON CRY(Child Rights & You) America Inc, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that works towards ensuring children their basic rights to live, learn, play and grow hosted the 13th CRY Walk across 16 cities this year. CRY America supports organizations in India and the USA and has transformed the life of over 618,915 children across 3084 villages and slums so far. CRY America’s vision is a just world in which all children have equal opportunities to develop to their full potential. With this goal in mind, people from different parts of Houston came to walk in support of child rights at Lost Creek Park in Sugar Land, TX on Nov 20th 2016. Mousumi Banerjee, 2016 walk lead, asked Pandit Suman Ghosh to inaugurate the walk. Guddi Shah and Ravali Bhavaraju did a great job introducing the entertainers and keeping things on schedule. Children from Tagore Society enthralled the audience with their singing and musical talents. Dance numbers choreographed by Ruchika Dias of Bollywood Shake kept the crowd entertained. A video showing CRY’s ef-

forts in helping children in Sunderbans, West Bengal was played. US Desi Girls danced to the latest Bollywood songs. This was followed by a talk by esteemed guest Dr. Nik Nikam M.D Cardiologist, author & talk show host who also answered questions. Pawan Sonti, Mohan Kothapally & Arushi Banerjee were the top 3 finishers of the 5K run. Great W’kana café, Madras Pavilion and Kurrywallah provided amazing food for the runners and walkers. Murali Santhana and Dr Nik Nikam helped with photography for social media and print. Indira Bhavaraju, a CRY volunteer and Dharam Bali, national advisor for CRY helped with the logistics of the event. Student volunteers helped with registration, face painting and other tasks at the event. CRY America thanks all the sponsors, media and volunteers who helped make this event a big success. People can donate by going to www.cryamerica. org and finding “CRY Walk for Child Rights” under the Events tab. Find Houston walk 2016 to donate for a great cause. Contact Dharam Bali 832341-1142 or Mousumi Banerjee 832-841-5727 for more information about CRY America.

CRY Walkathon – A step forward for Children

CRY(Child Rights & You) America Inc, a non-profit that works towards ensuring children their basic rights to live, learn, play and grow hosted the 13th CRY Walk across 16 cities on Nov. 20 this year, including one in the Houston area. Above, noted Hindustani vocalist Pandit Suman Ghosh inaugurates the walk at the Lost Creek park in Sugar Land. Below, the organizing team.

National Marrow Donor Program honors Houston’s Indian American Cancer Network

Audience and participants in the Walkathon.






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The National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP)/Be The Match®, which operates the Be The Match Registry®, at the opening session of their 2016 Council Meeting on Friday, November 11th, 2016, held at Hilton Minneapolis presented the Indian American Cancer Network (IACAN) the 2016 Leadership Award. The Council Meeting was attended by over 1,150 attendees, including nearly 200 attendees from 36 different countries. On behalf of IACAN, Kumari Susarla, current President and Dr. V.K. Dorai, PhD, immediate past President received the award from Dr. Jeffery Chell, M.D., CEO of National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP)/Be The Match®. IACAN was recognized for its exceptional success in promoting bone marrow donor registration and donations through educational outreach and bone marrow drives among the South Asian community in the Greater Houston area. In 1996 before the conception of IACAN, P. G. Parameswaran, MD, a now former board member and joint secretary of IACAN, began hosting bone marrow donor drives for Houston’s South Asian community. IACAN is now responsible for organizing and sponsoring

over 100 bone marrow donor registration drives. In addition, the organization has registered over 4,000 new registrants, thus substantially increasing the number of South Asian bone marrow donor registrants in the national registry. IACAN has increased the national registry’s Houston

area South Asian donations by 275 percent. Before IACAN began its work in 2009, the national registry accounted for 12 donations by South Asians, but since IACAN’s involvement the number of donations has grown to 45 in the Houston area, as of June 2016.



AAPI congratulates President-elect Donald Trump

“On behalf of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), I want to congratulate and offer our best wishes to our President-Elect, Donald Trump on his stunning and remarkable victory in the Presidential Election,” said Dr. Ajay Lodha, President of AAPI, in a statement. Describing that AAPI is a non-political umbrella organization which has nearly 90 local chapters, specialty societies and alumni organizations. Almost 10%-12% of medical students entering US schools are of Indian origin.  AAPI represents the interests of over 60,000 physicians and 25,000 medical students and residents of Indian heritage in the United States, Dr. Lodha, a prominent physician with decades of service to the country, said, “The mission AAPI, the largest ethnic organization of physicians, is to provide a forum to facilitate and enable Indian American physicians to excel at inpatient care, teaching and research, and to pursue their aspirations in professional and community affairs.  The new Executive Committee is working hard to ensure active participation of young physicians, increasing membership, and enabling AAPI’s voice to be heard in the corridors of power, and thus taking AAPI to new heights.” Dr. Lodha has extended a warm welcome to PresidentElect Trump to be the Chief Guest at the next annual Convention. “We want to invite President-Elect Trump to address the delegates at our next AAPI Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey from June 21-25, 2017.  The convention provides a venue for medical education programs and symposia with world renowned physicians on the cutting edge of medicine. The 35th AAPI Convention will be held at the Harrah’s Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey from June 21-25, 2017,” Dr. Lodha said.   AAPI’s New York Chapter under the leadership of Dr. Raj Bhayani is working hard to make this convention a memorable one for all. Expected to have a record attendance of nearly 3,000 delegates including Physicians, Industry Leaders, CEOs, Academicians, Researchers and Medical students at the convention, the annual convention offers extensive academic presentations, recognition of achievements and achievers, and professional networking at the alumni and evening social events. A large pool of international media representatives at the convention are expected. Physicians and healthcare professionals from across the country and internationally will convene and participate

Dr. Ajay Lodha in the scholarly exchange of medical advances, to develop health policy agendas, and to encourage legislative priorities for the coming year. The growing influence of doctors of Indian heritage is evident, as increasingly physicians of Indian origin hold critical positions in the healthcare, academic, research and administrative positions across the nation. With their hard work, dedication, compassion, and skills, they have thus carved an enviable niche in the American medical community. AAPI’s role has come to be recognized as vital among members and among lawmakers.  AAPI is also transitioning into a multiyear thinking and behavior by maintaining core continuity. By establishing AAPI PAC, we are now one step closer to exercise our right and assume our responsibility representing the collective voice of the Medical community. Under his leadership, AAPI is all set to make its voice heard and has initiated to present its policies on healthcare before the new administration.  According to Dr. Lodha, AAPI’s Legislative initiatives for 2016-17 include, addressing Physician Shortage, and urged the President Elect to increase Residency Positions across USA. “Our nation is currently experiencing a physician shortage, which will be exacerbated by retiring baby boomers. The result of such a shortage may affect thousands of patients’ access to a physician, and ultimately the health care they need. The only way to address this future crisis is to increase the number of residency positions available for future physicians to get trained, so that our nation can effectively manage the need for increased patient care. Increasing the size of medical school classes is not enough. There must be a simultaneous increase in the size of residency positions to train these future doctors. As Congress capped the number of residency positions in 1997, it is time for Congress to act NOW to remedy this critical situation. AAPI believes that

ALL Americans have the right to see a physician,” Dr. Lodha said. AAPI has appealed to the US Congress to increase the size of entering Medical School classes, Dr. Lodha said. Pointing out that from 19802005, while medical school enrollment remained flat, the U.S. population increased by more than 70 million people. Because the percentage of baby-boomer generation doctors (55 and older) rose from 27 percent to 34 percent during this time, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) predicts that America will need 90,000 physicians by 2020, Dr. Lodha said, the number of physicians needed by 2025 according to the AAMC will reach a staggering 130,000. One way to address this shortage is to increase medical school class sizes to meet this future health care need. This issue is vital as it pertains to health care reform, as more physicians will be needed to provide quality health care to our nation’s uninsured patients. Dr. Lodha urged the newly elected President and his administration to enact Medical Liability Reform. “AAPI supports a healthy doctor-patient environment by curbing aggressive litigation targeting physicians,” Dr. Lodha said. Such lawsuits have had a chilling effect and driven up the cost of health care, through extra testing and the practice of defensive medicine. In the 112th Congress, The  “Help Efficient, Accessible, Low-cost, Timely

Healthcare (HEALTH) Act of 2011,” (H.R. 5) limited the conditions for lawsuits and punitive damages for health care liability claims. It established a statute of limitations and limited noneconomic damages to $250,000. AAPI signed a coalition letter led by the American Medical Association to the Deficit Reduction Committee, which noted that the Congressional Budget Office estimated the cost savings from implementing medical liability reform, including limits on noneconomic damages, to be $62.4 billion over 10 years. Fewer physicians today practice in areas such as obstetrics and gynecology, surgery and emergency medicine, due to increased lawsuits and increasing malpractice insurance premiums. AAPI supports federal and state legislation that places effective caps on non-economic damages, limits the use of joint-and-several liability, provides physicians with flexibility to negotiate settlements with medical insurers and

further limits the statute of limitations for filing medical malpractice claims, Dr. Lodha said. Endorsing President-Elect Trump’s call, Dr. Lodha said, AAPI supports the modification of the Affordable Care Act. “We believe that the current ACA could be improved upon greatly.  To merely repeal the ACA would result in 20 million losing their health insurance coverage and that would be problematic to say the least.  A more reformed system with emphasis on freemarket while retaining the provisions protecting consumers with pre-existing conditions would be ideal.”  According to Dr. Lodha, AAPI opposes MACRA and MIPS.  These systems detract from the care of patients by adding an excessive amount of paper work.  There is a tremendous burden to report all of these measures. For more information on AAPI and its programs and initiatives, please visit: www. and www.

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Interfaith Ministries’ “For All Humanity Luncheon” sets fundraising record

HOUSTON Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston’s (IM) 2016 “For All Humanity Luncheon” raised a record amount for IM’s valuable programming, including refugee resettlement.  Close to 400 guests attended the Nov. 17 luncheon, which raised more than $220,000, nearly a 70 percent increase from last year’s luncheon.  “It is gratifying to see so much support from the community,” said Martin B. Cominsky, IM’s President and CEO. “Not only did we see more people attend the event than ever before, we saw them donating to our work at an unprecedented level of generosity.” For this year’s luncheon, IM honored community leaders Farid and Asha Virani.  Farid Virani is the founder and CEO of Prime Communications, the largest privately held AT&T Authorized Retail Chain in the United States. Asha Virani is an internal medicine physician who is active in a number of causes dedicated to improving children’s health and education. Together, they both actively give back to the community.

“The community coming together in support of the work of IM by being united in service, open heartedness, and generosity is a testimony and reaffirmation of the goodness and compassion that is at the heart and ethos of our city,” said Asha Virani. “May we continue to lead by example by sharing our light with others.” Event chairs were: Mr. and Mrs. Nick Kermally; Mr. and Mrs. Richard Vaughan; Mr. and Mrs. Akbar Mohamed; Mr. and Mrs. Beau Pollock; and Mr. and Mrs. Manolo Sanchez. Harris County Judge Ed Emmett provided the keynote address and Channel 13’s Miya Shay served as emcee.  This year, IM introduced a marketplace of beautiful gifts for purchase, with fabulous finds from Ten Thousand Villages, Community Cloth, Elaine Turner, Kendra Scott and Popinjay.  Proceeds from the luncheon help IM serve more than 2,500 refugees each year fleeing persecution and violence in their homelands. More than 90 percent of these refugees are self-sufficient members of the Houston

community within six months of arrival. “In these times of uncertainty, it’s heartening to know that the community has citizens like the Viranis, and others, who believe in the importance of welcoming new Americans in such a warm and giving way,” Cominsky said. “It says much about the welcoming spirit that makes Houston an example for other cities to aspire.” A United Way agency, Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston (IM) brings people of diverse faith traditions together for dialogue, collaboration and service, as a demonstration of our shared beliefs. IM provides three main services: Meals on Wheels for Greater Houston which delivers more than 1.5 million meals each year to seniors in Harris and Galveston Counties; Refugee Services which, in conjunction with the U.S. State Department, resettles thousands of refugees in Houston; and, Interfaith Relations, which provides community services fostering understanding, respect and engagement among Houstonians of all faiths.

Honorees Asha and Farid Virani

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INDIANS ABROAD Rally in front of Trump Towers urges President Elect Trump to save 25 million Hindus in Bangladesh from Islamist persecution

NEW YORK Just like Yezidis in Iraq, Hindus too are being persecuted in Bangladesh and Pakistan by the Islamists. Hindus from Bangladesh residing in US rallied in front of Trump Towers on Sunday, 27th of November 2016 demanding that the President elect Donald J. Trump save the Hindus and other non-Muslim populations in Bangladesh from the hands of militant radical Islamists. As the organizer Mr. Sitangshu Guha told the rally, we had voted for Mr. Trump and now we want to appraise him that the Hindus and other religious minorities in Bangladesh are routinely persecuted with no end of it in sight. He wished while in office President Trump do something to dismantle the anti -American and anti-Hindu global terror network with its base in Bangladesh for the sake of humanity. Also a memorandum was sent to the Trump team which details minority persecution including recent Brahmanbaria and Santal killings. Organizer Mr. Vincent Bruno of ‘Justice for Hindus’ echoed Mr. Guha and told that, ‘we

support Mr. Trump’ and wish that Mr. Trump will look deep into the fact that why Hindus are being uprooted in Bangladesh and in Pakistan. The organizers believe that Islamist groups like Jamaat-EIslami and Tablighi Jamaat need to be banned and their assets need to be frozen to dismantle the Anti-American terror network that exists, targeting the Hindus but also working with global terror organizations. Travel ban needs to be imposed on the leaders of these organizations and their assets need to be frozen. Tablighi Jamaat for example is one of the largest recruiters for ISIS, is involved in several terror cases and is strongly antiAmerican. They also have deep connections within the Pakistani establishment and ISI. Mr. Mendi Safadi, President, International Diplomacy, Research and PR (An Israeli HR organization) joined the rally and declared that he knows what is happening in Bangladesh with the Hindus and called it an ethnic cleansing. Mr. Nabendu Dutta, President, Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council, USA; announced that

there will be a Rally in front of White House on 11 December 2016 @ 2PM on the same issue. About 53 million Hindus have disappeared from Bangladesh since its formation in 1971 according to Hindu Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. More than 600 Hindus from Bangladesh are being forced to leave Bangladesh everyday after severe persecution they face at the hands of Islamists. Rapes, molestation of Hindu women and beheadings of Hindu men are rampant in Bangladesh. Experts say that in 30 years no Hindus or minorities will be left in Bangladesh if nothing is done to reverse the situation. The speakers also complained that the Bangladesh government did nothing to stop unabated Hindu persecution in Bangladesh, rather police killed 4 indigenous Hindu Santhals in Gopalganj in this month of November. It may be noted that 2500 Santhal houses were burnt to ashes on those occasions. The speakers also noted that, in Nasirnagar, Brahmanbaria, a

minister Syedul Haq and local MP Mokthadir Rabiul were involved in burning, looting 300 Hindu houses and destroying 15 temples and government took no action. In last 6 six years at least 50 major massacre of Hindus and other minorities have taken place, but the government failed to bring the perpetrators to justice for any of these massacres. They observed that what is happening in Bangladesh on Hindus is a shame for Bangladesh and in all cases government minister and MP, or cadres are involved. The opposition in Bangladesh also joins in these antiHindu pogrom, making the Hindus a national pariah. The rally also demanded to scrap the blasphemous ICT Act 57, which is used on Hindus only. Marchers carried the placards and banners saying: We support Trump; Make America great again; For peace & safety Trump is the best hope; Better economy, better life, Trump can make that happen; Save Bangla-

deshi Hindus; Save Bangladeshi Christians; Save Bangladeshi Buddhists; Time for unity; We want Justice in Bangladesh; Save non-Muslims in Bangladesh; Stop Ethnic Cleansing in Bangladesh; Scrap Blasphemous ICT ACT 57; Save secular people in Bangladesh; and Save Hindus, Buddhist, Christians and indigenous people in Bangladesh. The rally was addressed among others’ by Subir Barman, Joint Secretary, Hindu Mohajote, Central Committee, Dhaka; Vajan Sarker, Combined Puja Celebration Committee, Shuva Roy, Bangladesh Minority Rights Movement; Priyotosh Dey, Jamaica Hindu Community, Shyamal Kar, Bangladesh Puja Udjapan Parishad, Bishnu Gope, Bangladesh Puja Samity;Sushil Saha, Srikrishna Bhakta Sangha; Chandan Sengupta, Member Secretary, BHBCUC, USA; Vincent Bruno, Justice for Hindus; Rabindra nath Sarker, Jackson Heights Puja Committee; Sitangshu Guha, and many others.



Vibrant dance ballet presents the Nava Rasas in Srimad Bhagavatam

PEARLAND Global Organization for Divinity/Namadwaar will present a bharatanatyam dance ballet – Bhakti Sugandham-The Fragrance of Devotion – on Dec 18, 4 pm at the CA Nelson auditorium at 2337 N Galveston Ave, Pearland TX 77581. The ballet will portray popular as well as lesser-known legends from Srimad Bhagavatam, the 5000-year-old crown jewel of all Puranas, highlighting the Nava Rasas (nine emotions) from the scripture - Courage, Wonder, Anger, Compassion, Disgust, Fearfulness, Love, Humor and Peace. Srimad Bhagavatam, which presents the essential message of bhakti, i.e. of Shravanam (listening to the stories of the Lord and His devotees as the seed for true devotion), contains deep philosophical discussions couched in the seemingly simple garb of stories of divine incarnations, kings and princesses, sages and devotees, devas and asuras. This scripture is said to emanate the fragrance of devotion and sprout devotion in anyone who reads it regularly. Legends from this beautiful text portraying each of the nine emotions will be presented in this performance, using the intricate, graceful and expressive medium of the classical Indian dance form of bharatanatyam. The ballet weaves an English narrative with traditional Indian classical music, Sanskrit and Tamil devotional compositions of a contemporary Indian saint, His Holiness Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji, and original Sanskrit verses from the text itself. It is sure to have the audience riveted and enthralled! The production, which is a fundraiser for the nonprofit community activities of Global Organization for Divinity, has been put together largely by local artists. Surabi Veeraragavan, an accomplished dancer from Houston is the dance director and choreographer, Uma Ranganathan, an accomplished musician from Houston is the music director and vocalist. The concept, script and production was put together by G.O.D. volunteers from Houston, Minneapolis and India, with audio recording and production done in India. The dancer cast includes several experienced dancers and gurus from Houston and other cities including Surabi Veeraragavan, Soujanya Madhusudhan, Sandhya Raghuraman, Shobitha Arun and Meenakshi Venkataraman; and a number of talented dancers of all ages from around Houston - students of Smt. Rathna Kumar, Smt. Padmini Chari, Smt. Indrani Parthasarathy, Smt. Sunanda Nair, Smt. Soujanya Madhusudhan and other gurus – Divya Koothan, Hema Naren, Jvalanti Prasad, Krishnaya Corbett, Pavithra Chandrasekaran, Radha Venkat, Ratna Ramaraju, Selvi Samy, Shriya Fruitwala, Shruti Natarajan, Varsha Vasu, Usha Prashanth, Zenitha Ram, Advaith Subramanian, Ananya Hariharasudhan, Madhura Sriram, Maithreyi Asthagiri, Maya Shankar, Sahana Thothadri. Tickets are $15 advance purchase or $20 at the door on the day of the event. Donor/VIP passes with preferred seating are offered for donors $100, $250, $500 and above. To buy tickets online visit, or on phone, call 281-402-6585. Global Organization for Divinity (G.O.D.) is a nonprofit organization that aims to promote peace, harmony and universal love amid cultural diversity. G.O.D. is involved in several cultural, spiritual, and community service activities in the Houston area. G.O.D. frequently presents classical arts events in Houston and many cities around the world.

The Palanquin scene

Bhishma and T:6” the chariot

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Shraddha Mohan presents wholesome Carnatic music concert

Madurai Mani Iyer Fine Arts Foundation (MIFAF) along with Bharathi Kalai Manram, Houston and Anjali Center of Indian Performing Arts presented a music concert by Shraddha Mohan at Anjali Center, in Sugar Land recently. Ramakrishnan who founded MIFAF, besides being a musician himself, is a connoisseur of Carnatic Music and provides platform for well-known artists and several young and talented musicians. Tupil Narasiman, President of Bharathi Kalai Manram Houston, welcomed the gathering and Rathna Kumar, Founder of Anjali Center gave introductory remarks about Shraddha Mohan, the musician who had earlier provided vocal support at one of Rathna Kumar’s student’s Arangetram. Shraddha Mohan learnt music from her mother Mrs. Mala Mohan and later from Mrs. Sugandha Kalamegham. She is currently a disciple of Mrs. SugunaVaradachari. The music concert started off with a crisp Varnam “Swami daya chooda” in Kedaragowla Raga. She continued with a Raga Alapana in Mayamalava Gowla Raga, and rendered a composition of Saint Thyagaraja “ Tulasi dala mula” that was an impressive and soulful rendition. “Ranga Nayakam” in Nayaki ragam in praise of Lord Ranganatha composed by Muthuswami Dikshitar was remarkably

presented. Then followed “Anupama Gunambudhi”, in raga Atana with a delightful tempo Shraddha displayed an impressive voice range. She sang the Raga alapana in Purvikalyani ‘Satileni Guruguha Moorthi’, a Thanjavur Ponniah Pillai krithi. The Ragam Thodi was delightfully handled and elaborated with raga alapana that was strikingly appealing and the song Papanasam Sivan’s “Karthikeya Gangeya Gowri Thanaya” was the highlight of the concert. Her exposition of ‘Maal Maruga Shanmuga’ was elaborate and very authentic with niraval and swaras that were par excellence. The perfection of the accompaniment equally supported by Deepa Ramachnadran on the violin and their exchanges of raga and swaras were a treat to all listeners. Anuradha Subramanian eminent artist, carnatic musician and teacher and dancer gave befitting remarks of the artist as “ having a melodious voice, choosing well the repertoire of songs and the ragas.” The concert was gauged at a highly professional level and is no amateur. The compositions were presented skillfully bringing out the beauty of the Ragas, crisp kalpana swarams in Atana and with intricate nirval and swaras in Purvi kalyani in Misra Chapu Tala were truly

Karun Salvady, left, Shraddha Mohan and Deepa Ramachandran amazing. The violinist Deepa Ramachandran and Karun Salvady on Mridangam made the whole concert a wholesome experience”. “ Parukulle Nalla Nadu “ by Shraddha Mohan, a compostion of Subramanaya Bharathi, in Jonpuri Ragam was the penultimate song that was brisk and beautifully rendered. Deepa Ramachandran on the violin and the percussionists, Karun Salvady on mridangam both were amazing and gave

excellent support. Karun Salvady’s “Thani avaratham” on the Mridangam was well played revealing the talent of the accomplished percussionist. With a Vrutham on Lord Muruga and concluding her concert with Maand Thillana, Shraddha Mohan made a splash into the pool of

esteemed Carnatic music circle of musicians in Houston. Ramani and Ramakrishnan acknowledged all the organizations that supported the event and thanked all who attended and made the event successful. —THARA NARASIMHAN




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Elegant musical offering at Sri Meenakshi Temple

Participants in the Kaishika Dwadashi musical offering. Among the periodic rituals Sri Meenakshi Temple conducts on special auspicious days, the annual Kaishika Dwadashi Sangeetharchana particularly fascinates many devotees. Many Hindu families look forward to attend this unique event due to the cultural and religious significance of this day to visit the temple. Kaisika Dwadasi is observed on the Shukla Paksha Dwadasi (or the 12th day) during the waxing phase of the moon as per traditional Hindu calendar (usually falls in November). This year it was on Saturday, the November 26. The magnificent main tem-

ple provided the perfect spiritual ambience for conducting of this event. Formal worship of Sriman Narayana (Sri Venkateswara) and the rendition of devotional songs by the musicians simultaneously took place during the event. It is believed that attending a session of Nama Sankeerthanam rekindles bhakthi in the devotees simultaneously offering pleasant feeling. The basis of the format of Kaishika Dwadashi celebration reemphasized the message given in a highly revered story on Nambaduvan in Kaishika Puranam.

This Puranam reiterates that the world exists on promises and their fulfillment. The story of Nambaduvan describes the greatest virtues of those devoted and committed to the service to the Lord. The ardent devotees of Sriman Narayana will never err or sin in life. There cannot be a better example than that of the legendary Nambaduvan. Nambaduvan was an ardent devotee of Lord Mahavishnu who hailed from an oppressed class happens to meet a Brahma-rakshas (demon). The demon was actually a Brahmin who was by curse turned to a demon.

The demon threatens to kill Nambaduvan. However, Nambaduvan convinces the demon that since he is on his way to offer prayers to the Lord, he will definitely become his prey after his return from the worship place. The devotee offers prayers by singing a keerthanam in Kaishika Raga and returns back to offer his body to be devoured as food to the demon. Seeing the truthfulness of the devotee, the demon leaves him and gets back to his original form getting out of the curse. The truthful Nambaduvan attains salvation. Kaishika Dwadashi is observed as a mark of respect to the keertanam rendered by the devotee in Kaishika Raga. This legend is mentioned in Varaha puranam. While the priest Sri Sridharan Raghavan led the ritualistic part of the event, the music rendition was performed by dozens of Houston’s Carnatic musicians. The meticulous planning of the program was done by Vidushi Rajarajeswari Bhat. Several leading musicians also joined the group rendition. Particularly remarkable was to see young children participating in the rendition. Musicians of all levels of training customarily meet and sing on Kaishika Dwadashi day

in praise of the Lord, especially the Raga Kaishika in praise of Sri Venkateswara. The musicians selected a variety of devotional compositions in a variety of ragas. The event lasted for more than two hours including the aradhana in between the songs. The opening song in Mohanam (swagatham Krishna) spread a pleasant atmosphere which lasted throughout the event. It was followed by a Tyagaraja composition in raga Saraswathi (Anuragamule ). Sri Muthuswami Dikshitar’s composition in Mangala kaishiki (Bhargavi) that followed was elegant and melodious. This was followed by Annamacharya krithi (Nigama nigama) in Hindolam. Tyagaraja’s majestic pancharatna krithi (Sachinchine) were sung superbly well and drew much attention. Several krithis that followed (Hamsanandi, Kurinji etc) were well delivered to make the event very special. During the concluding rituals, the reverberating Veda manthras elicited an extraordinarily blissful experience in all the devotees assembled. The team of scholarly priests and the talented musicians deserve great appreciation for making this event very enjoyable . —By Chittoor Ramachandran

Texas Society of Professional Engineer Houston Chapter celebrate third week of February as Houston Engineer’s week every year with National Engineers Week. The kick‐off this event began with Young Engineers of the Year featuring numerous Houston engineers from various professional societies. The Young Engineer Award is intended to promote the efforts of young professionals as part of their professional development, who has made outstanding contributions to the Engineering Profession in the varying engineering disciplines ranging from civil, chemical, mechanical, petroleum and electrical for their contributions to the economy, the community and to the public's understanding of engineering during the early years of one's career, below 35 years. This year Poolkeshi Patel was honored as ASIE 2017 Young Engineer/Architect of the Year. Poolkeshi has earned a Master’s degree in year 2011 in Environmental and Water Resources Engineering from University of Texas at Austin. She is currently working as an Engineer at KIT Professionals. She has experience in drinking water and wastewater planning and design and has worked on several high‐profile projects with municipal and industrial clients. She has been actively involved with ASIE since 2014 as a Board Member and Membership Chair. ASIE was established in 1994 and its membership demographics include technical professionals of Indian origin in Engineering, Architecture, Sciences, Construction, and Information Technology in the Greater Houston Area. ASIE remains focused on inspiring younger generations of Indian origin to become Engineers and Architects while supporting the working professionals in various branches of engineering and Architecture thru professional development and networking. ASIE provides a forum for career advancement, business development, networking and voicing their opinions to impact public policies by interacting with governmental agencies. ASIE provide scholarships to Undergraduate and Graduate students of Indian origin in assisting them and motivating them to pursue their future career goals of becoming an engineer or an architect. For members, ASIE Organizes multiple PDH seminars in topics related to engineers and architects for project management, project design, new product knowledge as well as field trips to local manufacturing facilities in addition to an ethics seminar by TBPE Outreach Program. The membership is open to all Indian origin engineers, architects, and designers. For more information about ASIE ‐ Visit the website at


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COMMUNITY : Aradhana 2016

The Nritya Dance on the Nritta {pure dance) Academy staged its annual day aspect. These were dances were performance, Aradhana 2016 more upbeat and exhibited on Saturday Nov. 19. the dexterity and footwork The venue was the theater of involved in the Kalakshetra the Evelyn Rubinstein Jewish style of Bharathanatyam. Community Center, Houston. Thus, a cross section of the In all eighty one students students of Nritya was skillfully participated presenting twenty showcased. The young dancers three items in a space of took their places on the stage almost three hours to a packed and performed with great auditorium. attention and sincerity. The dances followed in a The little ones, in gorgeous seamless sequence, punctuated costumes and with obvious only by the compere’s brief and dedication, just stole the hearts crisp descriptions. After the of the large audience who performance, all the students applauded in appreciation. gathered together on stage The various dance items to receive their trophies and selected went from the simple certificates of appreciation Adavus, basic dance steps, to presented by Guru Padmini more complex ones leading up Chari. to the last one, Bhavayami. The program started The latter was a mini dance punctually. The curtains were drama whose lyrics were raised to reveal 81 students made so memorable by the with their eyes closed, heads legendary M.S. Subbulakshmi, bowed and hands together. whose centenary fell this They chanted Sanskrit slokas yearThe Natya presentation, dedicated to dance and Bhavayami, depicting various Nataraja, the Lord of dance. sections from the Ramayana, The dances commenced with was performed by the senior cute five year olds showcasing students. the beauty and precision of Each section was presented Adavus (basic steps). by sets of dancers and the Next, slightly older transition from one to the students performed pieces next flowed effortlessly with such as Allarippu, Ganapathi the previous set leaving the Vandanam and Pushpanjali. stage for the next. This was a The dances emphasized very lively item demanding the importance of a good virtuosity and Bhava and the foundation and how the Adavus students rose to the occasion formed the units for more as could be judged by the complicated dances. audience applause after every As the program progressed, scene change. older students who had been Shubha Soman, a senior learning Bharathanatyam for student of Nritya did a masterly four to six years demonstrated job of explaining the dances their talents by performing and announcing the names Padams such as Adinaye of the students. Numerous Kanna, Parashakthi Nadanam parents and students of Nritya and Gokula Nilaye. are to be commended for their These items focused more tireless volunteer efforts to on emotion and highlighted the make this program a success. appeal of Abhinaya. Woven into Congratulations are indeed the program were dances such due to the indefatigable Guru pathak cpa OL AD 11-2-15.pdf 11/2/15 PM as Murugandevesh Kautvam, Nataraja Padmini4Chari who 12:07 was radiant Anjali and Thillana focusing with pride at the achievement


of her students. After the awards ceremony the students all , grinning from ear to ear with pride and a sense of accomplishment, clustered around her to hug her with raucous cheering. The love of the students for their Guru was so obvious. The sight of the youngest dancers, happily clutching their trophies and traipsing out of the auditorium with their proud parents was so sweet and heartwarming! With a flourish another dance year at Nritya came to a close. —By MEGHANA THOTA PHOTOS by NAVIN MEDIWALA

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Chinmaya Mission rejoices in a unique dual celebration

The Hindu way of life is marked by the constant remembrance of the ever present Divine through meaningful rituals such as japa, puja, and homa. Hindu Dharma infuses the celebration of every stage of life with inspired prayers and incessant gratitude. With that thematic backdrop, the huge Chinmaya family of Houston came together on the weekend of November 12 -13, to invoke the auspicious and cherish the revered in a unique dual celebration. The rare Sata Sahasra Rudraksa Puja that reverberated in the hall of Chinmaya Smriti will be etched in the memories of the almost thousand devotees who came on November 12 which marked Shani Trayodasi of the holy Karthika month in the Hindu calendar. After the Ganapati puja and kalasha sthapana, the abhisekam to the special idol of Lord Siva amid the chanting of Sri Rudram mesmerized everyone. Then it was time to do the japa, “Om Namah Sivaya” with the special Japa malas received for the occasion. To witness the hundreds of devotees chant with the japa malas in their hands, eyes closed and minds harnessed, was an unforgettable moment. Almost 200 children did their own japa of “Om Namah Sivaya,” holding ever so preciously their own little japa malas with earnest reverence. After the intense japa, all the almost 2000 japa malas adorned the idol of Lord Siva as the devotees chanted the Siva Sahasranamavali in harmonious unison. The japa malas were left overnight on the main Sival-

inga in Saumyakasi Sivalaya, to accrue more auspiciousness. On the next morning of Nov.13th (Sunday), the huge Chinmaya family gathered again to specially conduct the Bhima Ratha Santi homam for the 70th birthday milestone of their beloved Acaryas – Sri Gaurangbhai and Smt. Darshanaben Nanavaty – as celebrated in the traditional Hindu way. Invoking God’s Grace and the blessings of the Chinmaya Guru Parampara, several homas were performed in the very space that had been specially sanctified by the glorious Rudraksa puja done the previous day. Sri Ganeshji , the priest of Saumyakasi Sivalaya, and Sri Raghuram Bhatt of Sri Krishna Vrundavana masterfully led the rituals. As the homas concluded and the holy waters from the kalashas were sprinkled on the Acaryas, adored as Gaurang Uncle and Darshana Aunty, prayers were offered for their well-being in their years ahead together. What followed after the homas was a delightful ceremony where Uncle and Aunty were showered with joyful affection by their huge Chinmaya family. It was evident that their life together had touched hundreds of hearts in Houston. So, even when Chinmaya Smriti overflowed with music, dance, and all expressions of love for the Acaryas, it could still not express fully the gratitude and appreciation for their thirty-three years of dedication to Chinmaya Mission Houston. The ceremony was a touching thanksgiving offered for

Acharyas Gaurang Nanavaty and Darshanaben are being felicitated on the occasion of Acharya Gaurang Nanavaty’s 70th birthday celebration.

the decades of the guiding companionship of the Acaryas. Accepting that, Uncle and Aunty credited everything to the Grace and blessings of Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinma-

yananda and the good fortune of tireless team of Chinmaya volunteers. For more information on Chinmaya Mission Houston and its activities visit www. or Jay

Deshmukh 832-541-0059 or Bharati Sutaria 281-933-0233. — By Padmashree Rao; Photos by Jayesh Mistry and Rajesh Thatte.


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India House conducts cricket tournament

Chief Guest Dr. Virendra Mathur giving awards along with Colonel Vipin Kumar (left) and Sanjay Aggarwal (Right).

Winning team Houston Oilers Cricket Club (HOCC) with General Body Group.

Captains Meeting . Food was complementary from India House for all Captains and ViceCaptains from the 16 best cricket teams in Houston Area.

IHCL - General Body Group Meeting on Sept.15, 2016 at India House Library.

HOUSTON India House has organized more than 200 professional cricket games in the year 2016. Starting their first cricketing session a year ago with six teams, the progression has been phenomenal, from 6 to 8 to 12 to 16 teams in one year. Cricket is increasingly becoming a professional sport in Houston Area. Not only is it a sport for Houstonians but is a way to socialize and chill after a hectic work week. All this started back in Jan 2016 with 6 teams participating in “Houston Sunday Cricket League Tournament (HSCLT) which ended on 7th Feb 2016. In the next tournament, ten best teams in Houston were selected to participate in the “India House Cricket Tournament” (IHCT). The India House Houston Premier League Winter 2016-17, started on October 16th, would be the fourth tournament organized in this year on one of the best cricket grounds in Houston with 16 best Houston based cricket clubs participating in this professional taped ball cricket tournament. Sanjay Aggarwal, coordinator of the India House Houston Premier League Winter Tournament says that along with India House Management, he shares big dreams for the future of this ground and cricket talent in the City of Houston. Five members General Body Group for IHCT has been constituted for decision making and dispute resolutions, the members being: Sanjay Aggarwal (IHCC), Vijay Ahire (RWCC) , Gopi Kishan (GCC), Sourabh Malhotra (NGCC), Ravi Ozarker (NGCC) and Col Vipin Kumar (Executive Director, India House) IHCT Tournament final played between Grady Thunders (formerly GCC) vs Cliff Jumpers Cricket Club (CJCC) on 21st May 2016 turned out to be a cliff hanger. CJCC lost by 6 runs required on the last ball. About 60 matches were organized in the IHCT. Next tournament, “India House Cricket Club League Tournaments” (IHCCL) was played with 12 teams participating in it. The tournament saw centuries scored, innings score of 250 runs in 18 overs, hattricks and 5 wickets in an innings by a bowler. With Gopi’s help all the scores were displayed online for public viewing on India House’s state-of-art website. Final was played between Cliff Jumpers (CJCC) vs. Houston Oilers Cricket Club (HOCC) on 15 Oct 2016 with HOCC emerging as winner. Live Commentary was given by DJ Andy. Dr. Virendra Mathur was the chief guest of the award ceremony and announced that he would like to take these competitive tournaments to the next level. He also pointed out that winning these tournaments is going to be more and more difficult but teams and players will improve their game if they play with the best teams. Awards were given out by Dr. Virendra Mathur, Colonel Vipin Kumar, Sanjay Aggarwal, Saurabh Malhotra, Megha Ozarker, Vijay Ahire, and Ravi Ozarker. The General Body Meeting took place at India House Library followed by a Captain’s Meeting on 15th Sep 2016 at Shiv Sagar Restaurant in Houston. Food was complementary from India House for all Captains and Vice-Captains. At the Captain’s Meeting, the General Body was pleased to announce that after another debate about increasing the scope of the tournaments, a new tournament “India House Houston Premier League Winter 2016-17” (IHHPL 2016-2017) will be organized with 16 Teams! Yes 16 Teams! Hats off to the dedication of all India House Management, volunteers, team captains/managers and players who made this task possible. These games offer players and participants/families to socialize. Sanjay Aggarwal has planned events for the next year to bring all these players together through social events and celebrations at India House. For more information log in to

— By Ravi Ozarker



Review: Dear Zindagi Dear Zindagi movie cast: Alia Bhatt, Shah Rukh Khan, Yashwasini Dayama, Ira Dubey, Kunal Kapoor, Ali Zafar, Angad Bedi Dear Zindagi movie director: Gauri Shinde

When we meet Kaira aka Koko (Alia Bhatt) in Dear Zindagi first, she is working. On a set. Looking at the world through a lens, constructing pretty images. We know, from her smile, and from the appreciative comments of her co-workers, that she is good at what she does. To have a female lead presented as possessing a profession from the get-go, and excelling at it, still feel like a significant step for a Bollywood movie. And to have Kaira declare to a current love that she has had a fling with another feels nothing short of a revolution. Right there, within a few minutes of the opening of ‘Dear Zindagi’, director Gauri Shinde has us intrigued. We want to know more about Kaira, about what makes her tick, what she wants to do, because she wants to do something, be someone. And then, just as suddenly, the film gets becalmed. It stops moving. It becomes, instead, a sea of words, where Kaira and her besties — played by Ira Dubey and Yashwasini Dayama (last seen in ‘Phobia’), and her potential romantic interests (Kunal Kapoor, Ali Zafar, Angad Bedi) — chat up a storm, in living rooms, bars, parties, cars. And nothing happens slowly as we get to know that the confident Kaira is actually just a sorry mess, and underneath all that bluster lives a scared little girl, dealing with childhood trauma and abandonment issues.  What could have been a solid drama with emotional heft—the qualities that made Shinde’s debut ‘English Vinglish’ such an engaging watch–built upon the exploration of the fact that our adulthood is shaped by our childhood in ways we don’t really understand, turns into a kitchen sink talkathon, where all the characters are given lines which are meant to be deep but come off mostly banal and obvious. The vehicle through which, or should we say whom, Kaira Learns Life-Lessons, is a dishy shrink played by Shah Rukh Khan. Dr Jehangir Khan has her sit across him in his cosy consultation room, takes her off for long walks on the beach, and teaches her that playing with waves is not just a game. It is Life Itself. Real-life therapists might gape when they see Dr Khan brushing off rules, dimpling his way through his sessions, while giving Kaira, and us, lectures on the virtues of finding the right chair only after experimenting with several (for chair, read relationship, and roll your eyes). More eye-rolls are caused by the dialogues which are straining to be natural, but end up being far too many for much too little. Finally, despite Alia Bhatt’s clear and present spark ( she keeps disappearing into the construct of the Fragile, Vulnerable Little Girl, coming up for air only once in a while) and Shah Rukh’s raffish charm (he keeps reaching out for the right `sur’, a mix of gravitas and lightness, and catches it only occasionally, letting us notice the white in his beard : hey, look, there’s a superstar playing his age!), ‘Dear Zindagi’ comes off as a film which could have done with less preciousness, and more plot. Given the potential of the theme—growing up pains, and walking past the past– and the attractive leads (both Bhatt and Khan work well together, she with her gamine grin which falters when she remembers something troubling, and he with his twinkly come-to-me-and-it-will-all-get-better vibe, making sure we notice how being grizzled becomes him), ‘Dear Zindagi’ should have been a much better film. What we get instead, in spades, is bumper-sticker self-help notes which are strictly boiler-plate. —Indian Express

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Undergoing dramatic body transformation was a huge task: Aamir UTV Motion Pictures released a video of the body transformation of the actor. Hindi cinema superstar Aamir Khan says he was aware about the health hazards of gaining and losing weight quickly when he went for an extreme physical transformation for his role as a wrestler in upcoming film Dangal but decided to go ahead he was taken by the story. “I went through body building to get a certain look for my film (Dangal). This one was one of the most dramatic body transformations so far. The film has two phases. For one part, I had to put on weight. So, I weighed 96 kgs with 38 per cent body fat and then I had to reduce to 9 per cent body fat within five months. That was a huge task,” he said. UTV Motion Pictures released a video of the body transformation of the actor. Watch here For the 51-year-old star putting on weight was easy and fun. Aamir says all he did to gain weight was to eat ice cream, chocolates, brownies, samosa, vada etc. But for losing weight, he followed a diet. “I would like to mention that

Aamir Khan plays the role of a wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat in “Dangal”. | Photo Credit: Vivek Bendre putting on weight and losing it so fast is very unhealthy. I did it for my film under the supervision of experts, but it is very unhealthy for any regular person. “Doctors even suggested me not to try such drastic weight and body transformation. But I get excited to do it if I find the story good,” he said. It’s not the first time that Aamir has worked on his body for a film. He underwent drastic makeovers for Ghajini, 3 Idiots and Dhoom 3. The actor reveals that his wife Kiran Rao and his moth-

er got really worried about his extreme weight gain and loss for the film. “I was worried about the film and my character and performance. I was not worried about my health... my family was,” he said. His son Azad, however, seemed to love his bulky look. “For him I am papa. He is very small to understand things, he was seeing me become fat. When I was fat he found me cuddly, I was like a bear so he used to hug me,” Aamir said. © The Hindu

Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Venkaiah Naidu honours S.P. Balasubrahmanyam with the Centenary Award at the 47th IFFI in Panaji on Sunday. Actor Mukesh Khanna is also seen. — Photo: Atish Pomburfekar |While Korean cinema’s Im Kwon-taek was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award, singer SP Balasubrahmanyam was given the Centenary Award for Indian Personality of the Year. The IFFI celebrated this year in Goa features movies representing various genres and languages.

‘Cinema should reflect larger social concerns’

Minister for Information and Broadcasting M. Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday said cinema should reflect larger social concerns besides focusing on entertainment. Addressing the inaugural ceremony of the nine-day 47th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) here, Mr. Naidu said cinema should focus on promoting national consciousness and social integration as cinema was religion without boundaries. “Films should illuminate the mind and heart, engaging audience both intellectually and emotionally. They should expose people to ideas, problems and developments happening in society and make them think critically and look for alternative solutions and actions. In a country like India, with its several social problems, a case could be made for social realism in our films,” Mr. Naidu said. Elaborating about the role of cinema and social change, Mr. Naidu said the demonetisation scheme was a national project of behavioural change of an unprecedented scale and urged film-makers to analyse and present the consequences of this change to the people in a creative manner. He spoke of the government initiatives to support the film industry in the form of a single window Film Facilitation Office in the National Film Development Corporation and a National Film Heritage Mission to restore and digitise film archives.



Telengana CM moves into a new home ED conducts searches at 40 locations across country

His Holoiness Vhinna Jeeyar Swami blesses the chief minister on the occasion of his house warming eremony. Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhara Rao moved into a sprawling, newly-built vaastu-compliant official bungalow at Begumpet Thursday morning. In a low key function presided over by Shri Tridandi Srimannarayana Ramanuja Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji, KCR and his wife stepped into the official residence amidst chanting of vedas. Due to the cash crisis, and the criticism the CM is facing over expenditure to build the new official residence according to his personal beliefs, the function was kept so low key that the CM’s son K T Rama Rao who is IT Minister in KCR’s Cabinet, and his daughter K Kavita, MP from Nizamabad, KCR’s nephew T Harish Rao, Irrigation Minister, skipped it. Even Governor ESL Narasimhan who usually joins

the CM in all his functions, arrived only after the function was over to greet the CM and his wife. The official CM residence complex named ‘Pragati Bhavan’ has five buildings including two existing buildings. Apart from the new residence, there is a sprawling CM office, and a conference hall named ‘Janahita’ where KCR will meet people. Two existing buildings constructed by late CM Y S Rajasekhara Reddy have been converted into VVIP guesthouse and official quarters. Although, KCR has an office on the sixth floor of the C block at the Telangana Secretariat, he had stopped going there more than a year ago and had been functioning from the CM camp office at Begumpet. Besides vaastu considerations, the CM

felt that it was too congested and there was not enough parking spaces available there. The existing residential complex was expanded by demolishing several quarters of IAS and IPS officers in the area adjacent to the complex and now occupies nearly 9 acres. Officials say the three new buildings, furnishing and redoing of the two old buildings cost nearly Rs crores. The complex includes a theatre cum auditorium. The offices and residences of Chief Secretary, Director General of Police, and the state’s Intelligence chief are also in the new complex. While KCR’s Cabinet colleagues and senior MLAs skipped the event, a few elderly relatives and government officials were present at the function.

Khalistan supporter in U.S. admits to plot to launch attacks in India A Khalistan supporter has admitted in a federal court that he conspired with terrorists to launch attacks in India to target a government official for assassination or maiming, according to officials. Balwinder Singh, an Indian citizen holding a Green Card, made the admission before Federal Judge Larry R. Hicks in Reno, Nevada state, on Tuesday that he provided a co-conspirator with night vision goggles for the planned attack as a part of their terrorist conspiracy. Singh’s conspiracy “was part of a movement to create an independent Sikh state in Punjab”, according to a statement by the prosecutors. To create violence “Singh attempted to provide material support and resources to terrorists to create violence and disruption abroad,” said acting Assistant Attorney General Mary McCord. “Identifying, thwarting and holding accountable individuals who pursue international terrorism is a top priority of the Department of Justice,” she

said. Prosecutors said the conspirators were to decide on the government official to be targeted after one of them reached India. Singh’s co—conspirators in the plot uncovered by US officials in 2013 were not identified. But prosecutors said the law enforcement officials caught one of them in San Francisco on December 9, 2013 while trying to board a flight to Bangkok on way to India to carry the terror attack. “As a result, the planned at-

tack never occurred,” the statement said. That person was carrying the night vision goggles provided by Singh. Singh and the co—conspirators, however, continued to plan terror attacks to be carried out in India till he was arrested on December 17, 2013, according to prosecutors. Singh, 42, who goes by the aliases Jhaji, Happy, Possi and Baljit Singh, has been in jail since his arrest and could face a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison when he is sentenced in February. “Today’s (Tuesday) plea is the result of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force working pro—actively to disrupt terrorist attacks,” said Daniel Bogden, the federal prosecutor in Nevada. “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to locate, identify, and prosecute those who conspire and attempt to provide material support to terrorists and terrorist activities.” © The Hindu

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday conducted searches at 40 places across the country in order to check black money held with currency exchanges, hawala dealers and others in the wake of the demonetisation of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes. Officials said the searches were conducted by multiple teams of the ED in various cities and as many as 100 sleuths. along with police personnel, were undertaking the search operation. In the eastern region, the ED is making searches at 16 places, including six in Kolkata, two each in Bhubaneswar and Paradip (both in Odisha) and Guwahati, among others. Sleuths from the Kolkata zone of the ED seized Rs. 10 lakh cash in new currency from the premises of a doctor during the said operation, even as an assortment of foreign currency worth Rs. 4 lakh was seized from the same area. They said the ED was looking at instances of illegal exchange of old currency and stashing away of new currency to perpetrate activities such as hawala and money laundering. The ED is the central agency to enforce two laws — the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Supreme Court of India orders playing of National Anthem at theatres The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered that the National Anthem be played in cinema halls across the country before the start of a movie. It said the anthem would be accompanied by the image of the Tricolor on the screen. The court said it was mandatory that all present inside the theatre hall should stand up as a sign of respect while the anthem is played. A bench of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Amitava Roy said that this would instil feeling of constitutional patriotism and nationalism. The bench said: “It is the duty of every citizen to abide by the ideals ingrained in the Constitution and as such show respect to the National Anthem and the national flag.”  The court’s order came on a public interest litigation (PIL) by Shayam Narayan Chouksey seeking framing of guidelines on the playing of the National Anthem.  The apex court made it clear that there would be no commercial exploitation of the National Anthem. The bench in its order said that there should not be dramatisation of the anthem and it should not be printed on any “undesirable objects”. The court also barred any playing of the abridged version of the National Anthem. The order would come into force in ten days’ time.

Passport Office has no right to restrict a holder from going abroad: HC

The Bombay High Court has held that passport authorities have no right to put restrictions on a passport holder from going abroad. A division bench headed by Justice V.M. Kanade was hearing a writ petition, filed by a Jet Airways cabin crew head Sameet Rajani challenging the decision of passport authorities to issue him passport only for a year instead of 10 years stipulated in the Passport Act. The judges asked the passport authorities to renew the passport of Rajani for 10 years instead of the one year period sanctioned earlier. The passport should be renewed in accordance with the Passport Act rules, said the bench. The judges accepted a Supreme Court judgement cited by the petitioner’s lawyer Rupali Rajani which said a passport holder can travel abroad with a business or work purpose as this was his fundamental right. The passport authorities cannot put any restrictions on a passport holder on his visits abroad as this would be against the Constitution, the high court said while allowing his petition. Rajani was embroiled in a criminal case in a magistrate court at suburban Mulund. He was facing charges under IPC sections 353 (using criminal force on a public servant from performing duty), 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to public servant), 337 (causing hurt by endangering lives of others) and 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) read with section 34 (common intention). He had initially moved the magistrate’s court on renewal of his passport and seeking permission to go abroad frequently in the course of his official duty as he was a cabin crew member. The magistrate asked him to approach the passport authorities and Rajani followed suit. The passport authorities renewed his passport only for a year. Being aggrieved, he moved the Bombay High Court seeking the passport validity for 10 years instead of one year sanctioned earlier.



80 women re-enter Haji Ali dargah MUMBAI After intense litigation undertaken by a Muslim nongovernment organisation and effective interventions by the Bombay High Court and the Supreme Court, a group of nearly 80 women on Tuesday re-entered the sanctum sanctorum of the iconic Haji Ali dargah at Worli in south Mumbai and offered prayers, after a gap of four years. The significant development that came after the Haji Ali Dargah Trust told the Supreme Court on October 24 that it would take a month to implement the Bombay High Court’s order of lifting the ban on entry of women to the inner worship area of the famous Sufi shrine. The women, owing affiliation to the Bharitiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) came in a bus, walked to the shrine, located 500 meters off the Worli coast line of Arabian Sea, and offered at ‘chadar’ and the tomb of Sayyed Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari, the 15th century Sufi saint. In line with the assurance it had given to the Supreme Court, the Haji Ali trust had made special arrangements for the women to enter the shrine and offer prayers at the sanctum sanctorum of the shrine. Expressing her happiness over the development, Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan co-founder Noorjehan S Niaz said, “Women would be able to pay respects to the saint now.” It is the legal battle undertaken by Niaz and Zakia Soman that forced the Haji Ali Dargah Trust to lift the fouryear-old ban on the entry women to the sanctum sanctorum of the Sufi shrine, which was immoralised by AR Rehman with his memorable song “Piya Haji Ali” in Khalid Mohammed’s film, Fiza, in the year 2000. Niaz and Soman of BMMA had moved the Bombay High Court challenging the ban imposed by the Haji Ali dargah trust in 2012 on the entry of women into the sanctum sanctorum of the shrine. The In a related development, Bhumata Ranragini Brigade

founder-President Trupti Desai, who has been spearheading women’s right-to-worship campaign, welcomed the trust’s decision to allow women to enter Haji Ali dargah and said, “The Supreme Court’s ruling upholding the High Court’s verdict to treat women at par with men at Haji Ali should act as an inspiration for the nation and to all temples where women are dishonored and not treated at par with their male counterparts”. On August 26 this year, a division bench of the Bombay High Court had–in a landmark verdict-ordered that women be permitted to enter the sanctum sanctorum of the Haji Ali dargah “at par with men”, after holding that the ban imposed by the shrine’s managing trust on entry of women into the inner place of worship contravened the Articles 14, 15 and 25 of the Constitution. Ordering the restoration of status quo ante on the women’s entry inside the sanctum sanctorum of Haji Ali dargah, a HC division of Justices V M Kanade and Revati Mohite Dere  had ruled:  “We hold that the ban imposed by the Haji Ali Dargah Trust prohibiting women from entering the sanctum sanctorum of the Haji Ali Dargah contravenes Articles 14, 15 and 25 of the Constitution, and as such restore status-quo ante i.e. women be permitted to enter the sanctum sanctorum at par with men”. While disposing of a petition filed by the Haji Ali Dargah Trust challenging the Bombay High Court’s order of August 26, 2016 permitting women to enter the sanctum sanctorum of the shrine, a SC bench comprising Chief Justice TS Thakur and Justices DY Chandrachud and L Nageswara Rao had on October 24 accepted an additional affidavit by Dargah trust expressing its readiness to allow women inside the inner precincts of the shrine. The SC bench granted time to the Dargah trust implement the High Court’s order.   It may be recalled that the management of Haji Ali Dar-

gah trust had in November 2012 stoked a fierce controversy over its decision to ban women from entering the Mazar housing the tomb of a 15th century Sufi saint, located inside the religious shrine. While lifting the ban on the entry of women to the sanctorum sanctorum of Haji Ali, the HC Judges stated in their August 26, 2016 verdict : “It is thus apparent that women were being permitted to enter the sanctum sanctorum of the Dargah and only after the Trustees were made to realise through some Muslim clergies, that the act of allowing women in the Dargah was a sin, that the Trustees of Haji Ali Dargah Trust decided to prevent women from entering the sanctum sanctorum and made parallel arrangements, from where women could offer prayers before the Dargah and would not be disturbed. Once, the dargah trust, on oath, has set out the above position, then it becomes very clear that women were being permitted to enter the sanctum sanctorum of the Dargah”. During the course of the arguments in the case, the trustees of the Haji Ali Dargah had told the court that entry of women in close proximity to the grave of a male Muslim saint was considered as a grievous sin in Islam. Among things, the trustees had also justified the move to ban the entry of women into Haji Ali’s sanctum sanctorum, saying the ban was to protect women from “uncomfortable situations”. However, the petitioners have claimed that gender justice was inherent in Quran and the norm at the Dargah contravened the Hadiths, which said that women were not prohibited from visiting tombs. “The restriction comes from a very conservative and extremist Salafi ideology and in future there may be an order banning the entry of women in the Dargah complex and banning the non—Muslims wholly,” the petitioners had argued

The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Centre to take a decision within three months on framing a national yoga policy making yoga compulsory for students of Class I-VIII across the country. The direction came from a bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur on a set of two PILs filed by one JC Seth and another lawyer Ashwini K Upadhyay. Interestingly, when the same issue came up before a bench headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur recently, the Court refused to pass any order suggesting it was not possible

for the Courts to impose yoga upon the school curriculum. The petition was not dismissed as Upadhyay was allowed to intervene in the proceedings filed by Seth. Dealing with the two petitions on Tuesday, the Court asked the Centre to treat the petitions as a representation and take a decision within three months. The petition had demanded the Ministry of Human Resources Development along with NCERT, NCTE and CBSE to provide standard textbooks of ‘yoga and health education’ for students of Class I-

VIII. The petitioner had argued that ‘Right to health’ is an integral part of fundamental right to life under Article 21. “State has an obligation to provide health facilities to all the citizens, especially to children and adolescents. In a welfare state, it is obligation of the State to ensure the creation and sustenance of conditions congenial to good health,” Upadhyay said in his plea. The bench also allowed the petitioners to approach the Court in the event they failed to receive a satisfactory response from the Government.

SC seeks Government call on national yoga policy

Jayalalithaa is very well, to return home soon: AIADMK

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and AIADMK supremo J. Jayalalithaa, undergoing treatment at a hospital here, is back to her normal life and would return home soon, the party said today. “Chief Minister Amma (Jayalalithaa) is very well. She has come (back) to her normal life; is eating well. She is ably doing her political work. Physiotherapy is continuing for her,” party spokesperson C.R. Saraswathy said. Speaking to reporters here, she said Ms. Jayalalithaa “will return home soon”. The 68-year-old chief minister, who was admitted to Apollo Hospitals here on September 22 after she complained of fever and dehydration, had been treated for infection among other health issues. Apollo Hospitals Chairman Pratap Reddy had last week said that Ms. Jayalalithaa, who had been given respiratory support, was doing well and speaking using a valve attached to the tracheostomy tube. He had also said Ms. Jayalalithaa was undergoing a “normal recuperation” after being in bed for several weeks and it is she who would decide when to return home.

People have given befitting reply to Opposition’s canards: Shah

Buoyed by his party’s recent victories in by-elections and Municipal polls, BJP president Amit Shah said that his party has won hearts despite a canard being spread by Opposition parties over demonetisation of high value notes. “Opposition parties are shell-shocked over the Government decision to cull high value notes as their money ‘looted’ through scams has turned into trash in one go. Before November 7, these leaders used to ask what action had been taken against black money by Modiji. Now they are asking why Modi has taken this action,” Shah said while addressing a Parviratan rally in Maharajganj on Tuesday. The BJP topgun said that leaders who had stashed black money gave a call of Bharat Bandh and Aakrosh Diwas but people gave a befitting reply to them in local elections. The Opposition has made demonetisation an election issue in the by-polls and civic polls in Maharshtra and Gujarat. But everywhere the BJP posted unprecedented victories,” Shah said. “People’s mandate in these elections is referendum towards demonetisation. Black money would go to the State treasury and black marketers to jail,” the BJP president said. In his 45-minute spech, Shah delved in detail about corruption during UPA regime and how Mayawati and Akhilesh Government had looted the State exchequer in a systematic manner. “In its 10 years regime, the UPA Government had earned over `12 lakh crore through different scams. Leaders like Mamata Banerji, Mayawati, Kejriwal and Akhilesh Yadav are angry with Modiji because in one stroke, he has reduced their ill-gotten money to trash,” he said. “The Modi Government has even introduced a bill in Lok Sabha as per which taxes earned from unaccounted money would be utilised for poor people’s welfare. This is the only Government of the country which is working continuously towards public welfare. Other parties while in power, looted the State exchequer while the BJP is replenishing it through different sources,” Shah asserted. Hitting out at Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi for his ‘khoon ki dalali’ remark on surgical strikes across the LoC, the BJP chief said that the Modi Government acted within 10 days of the Uri attack unlike the previous Congress-led Government. As the ruling BJP emerged as a clear winner in the municipal council polls–both in terms of the number of seats won and the number of the civic bodies in which it installed its presidents, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday expressed confidence that his party would emerge as the number one party in the forthcoming Municipal Corporation and Zilla Parishad polls in the state. Addressing a victory rally, Fadnavis said: “We ( the BJP) have emerged as the number one party in the municipal Council polls… I am confident that we will emerge as the number one party in the forthcoming municipal corporation and Zilla Parishad polls as well”. Meanwhile,  the final tally of the  first phase of the municipal council and Nagar Panchayat poll results pegged the BJP as the clear winner among the four major political parties in the State. Of the total 3727 local body seats for which the elections were held on Sunday, the BJP won as many 893 seats, while the Opposition won as many as 727 seats. The NCP and Shiv Sena won 615 and 529 seats respectively.



New £5 note sparks ire among vegetarians, religious communities

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney dips a new plastic £5 note into a tray of food as he buys lunch from a stall at Whitecross Street market in London, in this September 13, 2016 photo. The polymer fiver is said by the Bank of England to be cleaner, safer and stronger than paper notes, lasting around five years longer. LONDON A new £5 note issued by the Bank of England has generated concern and anger among religious groups, vegans and vegetarians after it emerged that it contained traces of animal fat. The note entered circulation in September, but its controversial content only emerged on Monday after the Bank of England responded to a ques-

tion on Twitter confirming that there was a “trace of tallow in the polymer pallets used in the base substrate of the polymer £5 notes.” “Tallow is derived from animal fats (suet) and is a substance that is also widely used in the manufacture of candles and soap,” the central bank said in a statement.

Online plea not to use animal fat An online petition calling for the bank to cease using animal product in its notes swiftly gained support: at the time of writing more than 90,000 people had signed the petition due to be delivered to the Bank of England. The notes were “unacceptable to millions of vegans, vegetarians, Hindus,

McDonald’s celebrates South Asian Culture with latest campaign

Website revamp and new commercial explores themes of South Asian heritage and identity.

Oak Brook, IL – In recognition of South Asians across the United States, McDonald’s USA has revamped its Asian-American dedicated website,, to feature vibrant South-Asian artwork and a new TV commercial depicting a young girl embracing her unique culture. “McDonald’s is proud to celebrate themes relevant to our South Asian customers,” said Sharmila Fowler, Marketing Director, McDonald’s USA. “The South Asian population is a growing and influential market, and we want to make sure our initiatives reflect this burgeoning audience. As a proud Indian American, I salute McDonald’s for dedicating efforts to honor our rich heritage.”

The South Asian population is on the rise, yielding a growth rate of over 69% between 2000 and 2010, and is marked as one of the fastest growing ethnic segments in the United States.1 The newly revamped website and marketing efforts are indicative of McDonalds’ ongoing dedication to address the cultural needs of its various ethnic audiences. In addition to the website revamp, McDonald’s recently joined the South Asian community in New York at the annual Diwali at Times Square festival. McDonald’s partnered with beauty blogger Deepica Mutyala to launch a campaign titled #24HoursIndianAm, which let her Twitter fans decide the details of her day at the celebration. Deepica fulfilled the results, including what Diwali-themed dress and makeup she should wear, captured her visit to the McDonald’s-sponsored festival, and shared her experiences growing up as a South Asian in the United States. A special edition vlog featuring Deepica and her experiences at the festival can be seen at McDonald- “We hope that McDonalds’ latest campaign inspires continued pride and celebration of all the things that make South Asian culture so beautiful,” said Neel Chapatwala, OwnerOperator, McDonald’s. “We encourage our customers to visit our website to stay up to the date on all of McDonalds’ efforts to continue addressing the needs of our Asian-American communities.” McDonald’s USA, LLC, serves a variety of menu options made with quality ingredients to approximately 27 million customers every day. Nearly 90 percent of McDonald’s 14,000 U.S. restaurants are independently owned and operated by businessmen and women. Customers can now log online for free at approximately 11,500 participating Wi-Fi enabled McDonald’s U.S. restaurants. For more information, visit, or follow us on Twitter @McDonalds and Facebook

Sikhs, Jains and others in the U.K,” reads the petition started by Doug Maw. “We demand that you cease to use animal products in the production of currency that we have to use.” The new note is the first of a series of notes based on polymer being brought out by the central bank, as part of a drive to make notes that “last longer, stay cleaner and are harder to counterfeit than paper notes.” The bank conducted a consultation on the switch to the notes in 2013, and there is even a website devoted to it: New £10 and £20 polymer notes are due to come out in 2017 and 2020 respectively. The bank estimates the notes last 2.5 times longer than paper ones. Indian groups miffed at move Indian groups expressed their concern about the revelations. “There is huge disappointment, shock and anger among our members specially who are vegetarians, Jains, Hindus and Sikhs,” said Poonam Joshi, founder of Indian Ladies UK, a networking and support group for first generation migrants. “Thousands have already signed the petition.” “This country is very stringent about mentioning everything on the label and yet it took 2 months for this finding

to come to light,” she added. Trupti Patel, President of the Hindu Forum of Britain, which represents over 300 Hindu organisations, expressed her surprise about the move, which, she said, contrasted with the largely inclusive and sensitive approach of U.K. authorities to the concerns of different faith groups. “Its very insensitive to do this. Currency is not a choice,” she said, adding that while many members had already signed the petition, its executive committee and constituent member organisations would consider whether further steps were needed. She noted the logistical problem it would pose for temples across Britain, many of which did not allow even garlic or onions. To have the new £5 note in the donation boxes would be totally and utterly unacceptable,” she said. ‘Think of it as oversight’ While to some the controversy might hark back to 1857, and the animal fat cartridges, Ms. Patel said she believed the inclusion of animal fat was simply an oversight by U.K. authorities. “I think it’s most likely a mistake. When you develop something new and its animal content doesn’t matter to you, you just don’t think of it.” © The Hindu

Dutch Parliament approves limited burqa ban

Lawmakers in the lower house of the Dutch parliament on Tuesday approved a limited ban on “face-covering clothing” including Islamic veils and robes such as the burqa and niqab. The legislation, approved by a large majority in the 150-seat lower house, must now be approved by the upper house of parliament before it can be signed into law. In a text message to The Associated Press, anti-Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders called the limited ban, “a step in the right direction” and said he will push for a full burqa ban if his Freedom Party wins elections in March. Studies suggest that only a few hundred women in the Netherlands wear niqabs or full-face burqas, but successive governments have attempted to ban the garments, following the example of European countries such as France and Belgium. The Dutch proposal, described by the government as “religion-neutral,” does not go as far as the complete bans in those countries. It applies on public transport and in education institutions, health institutions such as hospitals, and government buildings. In a debate last week that paved the way for Tuesday’s swift vote, Interior Minister Ronald Plasterk acknowledged that debate about the burqa had played a major role in the ban. But Plasterk, who is from the center-left Labor Party, said that in a free country like the Netherlands people should be allowed to appear in public with their faces covered, if they want to, but that in government buildings, schools and hospitals people need to be able to look each other in the face. The maximum fine for breaching the ban, which also covers s masks and full-face helmets, is just over 400 euros ($425). Studies suggest that only a few hundred women in the Netherlands wear niqabs or full-face burqas, but successive governments have attempted to ban the garments, following the example of European countries such as France and Belgium. The Dutch proposal, described by the government as “religion-neutral,” does not go as far as the complete bans in those countries. It applies on public transport and in education institutions, health institutions such as hospitals, and government buildings. In a debate last week that paved the way for Tuesday’s swift vote, Interior Minister Ronald Plasterk acknowledged that debate about the burqa had played a major role in the ban. But Plasterk, who is from the center-left Labor Party, said that in a free country like the Netherlands people should be allowed to appear in public with their faces covered, if they want to, but that in government buildings, schools and hospitals people need to be able to look each other in the face.



Brahma Kumaris PM, and Sat, and Sun from 8 AM or Jay Deshmukh 832-541-0059 org or send email at info@jvbDurga Bari HERALD Temple • WEDNESDAY, PAGE 8 • INDIA JULY 1, 2015 for more details. The Brahma Kumaris Houston  temple will PAGE Durgabari 8 • INDIA HERALD • WEDNESDAY, JULY 1, 2015Raja Yoga to 6 PM. Jain Society of Houston or visit www.saum PAGE 8 • INDIA HERALD • WEDNESDAY, MARCH 30, 2016  Patanjali Yogpeeth Gauri Siddhivinayak Temple celebrate 11th years of Deity’s Meditation Center is open 7 days a invites Jain scholars all year round. Free Yoga Classes every Sat/Sun PRAN PRATHISHTHA DI- week.  The center offers free Raja Please call Urvashi Jain 713 789 Darshan from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Arya Samaj from 8 am to 9:30 2338. Visit www.jainsocietyhous- daily. All major festivals as well VAS  on Sunday Dec. 4, 2016. The Yoga Meditation classes:  Mon-Fri kids 4 to 18 yrs - meditation, Yoga, a.m. Call Anil 281-579-9433. For Arya Samaj Satsang Book on Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw 6:00-6:45am and 7:00-8:00pm, slokas, for calendar of events and as birthdays, naam karan, engage- other free classes, call Indra 281Abhisekam will startArya at 10 Samaj AM. @ Satsang kids 4 to 18 yrs meditation, Yoga, stories from scriptures, ery Sunday at 5810 Almeda GeBook Field Marshal Manekshaw forinformation.  puja or other Telugu Fellowship Meenakshi Temple Brahma Kumaris Weekly HavantoSatsang from 10 a.m. to 1210:00amnoon. 361-243-6539 Friday, July 10 6:30 p.m. andon other ceremonies. Call@Sam Sat-Sun @ 7:00-8:30am, otherSahasranam, detailed YouSri are all invited see theevery puja Sunday slokas, stories from scriptures, Vishnu bhajans, com- noa ment 537-0018. For Fellowship Yoga/Herbal prodRd. Sunday School at 9:15 ceremonies. Telugu Christian Weekly Havan Satsang every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. 8Apr Fri 7:00 p.m UgaBrahma Kumaris is pleased Friday, July 10 @ 6:30 p.m. DAV Sanskriti School Sundays 10 a.m. to 12 noon. Havan, Hindi Pandit Pradip Pandyaof Houston 832-466-willucts, call Shekhar Shivfun Shakti Mandir and take Prasad. For puja sponsor- 2:00pm.  Visiting hours are Sat- petitions Zoroastrian Association Vishnu Sahasranam, bhajans, com281-242-5000. and activities. Adult a.m. Malayalam service at 9:30 meets every third Saturday of DAV Sanskriti Sundays a.m. 12School noon. -for Havan, Hindi dhi andSchool Kannada New to announce a new location and Naitik classes. DAV10 Montessori ages 2Contact to in 7 Heartfulness 9868 for puja and other ceremoMeditation Sun @to10:00am-5:00pm.  Sanatanand Shiv Shakti Mandir, 6640 Zoroastrian Association of Houston will ship , Telugu please Shiksha call Ganesh 832present Brigadier Behram Panthaki and his petitions fun activities. Adult Web: and www. meditation classes. Register at a.m. on 1st & 3rd Sunday. Adult the month at Triumph Church, and Naitik Shiksha classes. DAV Montessori School for ages 2 to 7 Year Houston at 14333 Pavilion Point years. Call Arti Khanna 281-759-3286. Free Yoga classes on Sat. Heartfulness Meditation is a nies. AtatPanthaki, 5645 Hillcroft Ste 701, us at (832) 379-8888, houston@ Harwin. Open daily 7 a.m.or 8present Brigadier Panthaki and Zenobia authors of the much 423-8541 / Achinta 832-535meditation classes. Register atto wife Bible class 9:30Behram a.m. English 10555 W. Airport Blvd., Stafyears. Call Arti 7:00 Khanna 281-759-3286. FreeAtYoga classes onHwy Sat. practical 14- Apr Thu p.m Tamil (77083)(near Beechnut and Sanskrit & Upanishad classes, 6-8 p.m. 14375 Schiller Rd. technique of tuning as in-orwell Houston, TX 77036. wife Zenobia Panthaki, authors of the much or to Sri p.m. All major festivals, acclaimed book: “Field Marshal Sam 8954 / Nirmalya 832-971-8659 . Ravula 281-995-0930. Sanskrit classes Tue.6). 6-8 p.m. At 14375 Rd. wards to experience our higher service at 10:30 a.m. on 2nd & ford TX 77477 at 6:30 p.m. Join New year& Upanishad 6). Daily Raja YogaSchiller Meditation (bet Westpark & Bellaire off Hwy 281-752-0100. acclaimed book: “Field Marshal Sam Hindu Temple of Veerashaiva Samaja Manekshaw: The 713-991-1557 Man and His Times”, sign-up for classes.   All Raja Yoga SriasRavula 281-995-0930. birthdays, naam karan, engageDurga Bari is open from 4th Sunday. Call us for a time of praise, worship (bet Bellaire Hwy 6). 281-752-0100. 14-Westpark Apr temple Thu&8:30 a.m off Vishu classes are offered to the com- selves. Hare Krishna Dham Meditation with someone Manekshaw: The Man and His Times”, The Woodlands at the Zoroastrian Heritage and Cultural VSNA Houston is a group of Meditation teachers at the Houston ment and other ceremonies. Call 9 to 11 a.m. and 4 to 7 p.m. Mon. or 281-261-4603. and fellowship. Worship is in Kani Darshanam Chinmayamunity free of charge. Visit the who Hare Krishna Dham Mission has Virat theoriginal capacity of temple, yogic Center, Houston’s Vedic S. Forest Gate Dr, at the Zoroastrian Heritage and Cultural 8787 Wwho Airport Blvd.,inHouston, TX 7601 families believe Veerasare and have 15+ Pandit Mehta 713-278-9099 thru 15Sat.Apr Sandhya aarti at 6:30 English. Call Chris Gantela 281Sri Guruvayurappan Fri 7:00 p.m Sri center center for samarpit aThere tour are every SaturMission Sunday satsangs forChinmaya adults, youth, and children. no weekly Houston’s original Vedic temple, transmission can help you exThe Woodlands, TX 77382 ISKCON of Houston. At 1320 W Center, 8787 W Airport Blvd., Houston, TX haiva dharma (Basava dharma). 77071. Starts at 6:30 with social hour. years teachinganytime experience.   or Hardik Raval 361-243-6539 for p.m. Temple closes at 7 p.m. Sun344-0707, orHours, Rev. V. Gurrala Rama Navami day orofchildren Sunday between Temple Sunday satsangs for adults, youth, andfor children. There are no weekly Balavihar classes and Sunday satsang during the sum- 34th ISKCON of Houston. At 1320 W plore the Heartfulness practice Temple Weekdays: St. (77018). Daily Darshan 77071. Starts at 6:30 with social hour. Monthly Mahamane program for Sam Manekshaw was India’s first Field Chinmaya Mission puja or other ceremonies. daymer. special from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. 281-997-0757. 15-Apr Fri 6:00 pm 11:00 am – 1:00 pm. The center Hours: Mon to Fri 6 a.m. -8on a.m. Balavihar classes andclasses Sundaywill satsang for on children the sumRegular weekly resume Sept. during 13. Located at & 34th St. (77018). Daily more deeply. There are noDarshan chargAM - 9:30 AM Arati Times: 4.30am, 7am, Marshal prayer discussion Vachana Sam Manekshaw was India’s first Field andand a distinguished war hero. His7:30 Sunday satsangs for77498. adults, youth, Heartfulness Meditation Gaudiya Math Temple is located at 10353 13944 SchilDwajarohanam, Mahotsavam is open 7on days a TX week. Contact and 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Weekmer. Regular weekly classes will resume Sept. 13. Located at 8.30am, Chinmaya Prabha, Synott Road, Sugar Land, New 5:30 PM - 8.30 PM & for Arati Times: 4.30am, 7am, es this, and we4.30pm, invite you to courage, 12noon, 7pm, Sahitya followed by Prasada. ConMarshal and a distinguished war hero. His his character, and the dedication and children. A unique Bala Vihar Heartfulness Meditation is a Sri Govindaji Gaudiya day us at (832) 379-8888, houston@ ler1st Rd (off Hwy 6 bet. Bellaire & ends & Holidays: 6 a.m. to noon Chinmayamay Prabha, Synott desk Road,between Sugar Land, TX 77498. New members visit 10353 the welcome 8 a.m. - 8:45 a.m. or 9pm. 8.30am, 12noon, 4.30pm, 7pm, experience theFestival: unique benefits of tact: vsnahous or Aarti @ 7:30 PM Matha Sunday 5.30 pm to to courage, his character, andare thelegendary. dedication his troops and country at 16628 Kiethand Harrow program for each grade, practical technique of tuning 16-Apr Sat 6:00 p.m Poo, to 7.30 Westpark). Call Ganesh Mandal at desk and 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. are Bha-legendary. members may visit welcome between 8 or a.m. - 8:45 a.m.PreK or Saturday SundayBlvd., 10:15 a.m.-11:30 a.m.the Visit www.chin or callfrom Bharati 9pm. Sunday Festival: 5.30 pmfor this transmission. Workshops onto inJagadeesh Halyal 832-744-4166. pm. Weekly Gita classes to country Thehis lifetroops of thisand distinguished soldierHouston is portrayed by two distinguished 77084. Satsang Sundays Pallakku, Meenakshi sign-up classes and tours. to Gradefor12. Satsangs in Bharati twoAll ses- adults; wards to experience our higher jans Saturdays 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.; 713-797-9057 / 832-423-8541. 10:15 a.m.-11:30 a.m. VisitPattawww.chin or call 8:30 AM 1:30 PM Sutaria 281.933.0233. Thoma Church 7.30 Weekly Gita classes for Heartfulness relaxation and med281-433-1635 or authors The lifewho ofMar this distinguished soldier isto portrayed by twoof distinguished worked closely with him and shared many the historic 5 7 pm. Mantra meditation, bbhishekam Raja Yoga Meditation teachers sions between 8:35 a.m. - 10:15 harekrishnadham selves. Meditation with someone 9 a.m. toThoma 1 a.m. Special Vipassana Meditation Aarti atthe 12:00 PM Sutaria 281.933.0233. Trinity Mar Church adults; or Sundays itation arecall held281-433-1635 weekly authors who worked closely withevery him and shared many of the historic events that changed the geo-political landscape of region. Through kirtan,5:30 Sanatan 24-Apr Sun 9:30 a.m Ma- a.m. at theand Houston poojas (weekends and holidays) 11:20 center a.m. - each 1 p.m.have Bala out who has including the capacity of yogic PMthe-Dharma 8:30 PMaclasses. Register for Houston area VipasSunday at 5810 Almeda Genoa harekrishnadham Houston, Saturdays Vedanta Society events thatrelated changed the geo-political landscape of region. Through anecdotes by Behram and Zenobia Panthaki we get Vedic Education andPM; Hindiunique classhotsavan final course day, Meenakshi 15+ years of teaching Choroon (Annaprasam) forat kids, Aarti @his7:30 Vihar students can experience. take shloka, at transmission canHouse. help youWeb: explore Rd.into Sunday School 9:15 a.m. sana Meditation as taught 11 am at India Vedanta Society anecdotes related by Behram and Zenobia Panthaki we get anoon unique insight the man’s ideals, his military acumen, mannerisms, and Vedanta Society of Greater Houston, 14809 Lindita Drive (77083) Houston Namadwaar es for kids. Gita classes Chinmaya Mission Kalyanam Thulabharam, Vahana Pooja, Contact 832-585--0001 Malayalam service at 9:30 a.m. acumen, his mannerisms, and bhajan and orchestra classes or; the Heartfulness practice Email:morehis byhas S. Vedanta N. Goenka. January 7from to 18, insight into the man’s ideals, his military sense of humor. Society of Greater Houston, 14809 Lindita Drive (77083) classes every Sunday 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Gospel of Houston Namadwaar 1:30 pm Wed. Hanuman Chalisa Sunday satsangs for adults, 30-Apr Sat 9:00 a.m Sita A prayer house where the Hare Nirapara. Temple is located at or on 1st & 3rd Sunday. Adult Bible language classes for on Hindi, Telugu, deeply. There are no charges forhisBrigadier houston.heartfulness@gmail. 2017 courses areSunday FREE. Donasense of Panthaki humor. himself boastsand a distinguished 30-yearon military hasAll classes every 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, 1st & 3rdfrom Sunday; Bhagavad Gita, 2nd Sunday; on A prayer house where the Hare 11620 Ramcharit Sathya Manas Tue. youth, and children. Located at Rama Hare Krishna Maha-manOrmandy St. (77035) Tel: Rama Kalyanam class atearned 9:30 a.m. English service Sai centers com. Cell: 713-929-0040 Marathi, and Gujarati. Chinmaya this, and we invite you to experitions are accepted from those who Brigadier Panthaki himself boasts a distinguished 30-year military career that him 12 military honors. Zenobia Panthaki accomSri Ramakrishna, 1st & 3rd Sunday; Bhagavad Gita, 2nd Sunday; on works of Swami Vivekananda, 4thChinmaya Sunday; Holy Mother Sarada’s Rama Hare Krishna Maha-man7:30–8:30 p.m. Prabha, 10353 Synott tra is continuously chanted. Week713-729-8994 email: temple@ at 10:30 a.m. on 2nd & 4th SunSunday held accomattowntwo locations Prakash Miryala MD) of this isHoly located Chinmaya (Ragini ence the unique benefits career that earned him 12 military Zenobia Panthaki upon completing theVivekananda, training panied her husband on his postingshonors. to 281-499-3347. many smallprogram cantonment works of5thSwami 4thMission Sunday; Mother Gospel, Sunday. Swamiswish of Ramakrishna Order visitat to Sarada’s conduct tra is Heritage continuously chanted. Week- or Road, Sugar Land, TX 77498. ends: 8-11 AM & Classes 4-7 PM, Weekday. Call 713-991-1557 or 281(North Houston: 12127 Louetta Rd, Sri and Radha Krishna Prabha, 10353 Synott Road, Sugar ends: transmission. Workshops onships panied husband on his postings to many small cantonment allher over India and became involved with running welfaretownproGospel, 5thfor Sunday. Swamis of Ramakrishna Order visit conduct to retreats contribute future students. lectures. www.houstonvedanta. org or 281-584-0488. 8-11 AM 4-7PM. PM,Weekly WeekNew members may tovisit the days: 7-8 AM &&6-7 261-4603. Hindu Temple of Preksha Meditation Ashirwad’s Heritage Classes in Houston; South Houston: 246 Fluor ships all Indiawives and became involved running welfare proTX desk 77498. New members Heartfulness relaxation and medi-grams forover soldiers’ and children; she with has run the Army School, retreats and lectures. org orbetween 281-584-0488. Instruction inTemple Vipassanawww.houstonvedanta. medita- Land, days: 7-8 AM &and 6-7 PM. Weekly welcome 8 a.m. “Gopa Kuteeram” children’s heriTelugu Christian Fellowship New facilities of JVB Preksha the Woodlands Katy, Cypress Sugar Land Daniel Dr, Suga Land, from 3:00 grams for soldiers’ wives and children; she has run the Army School, and Telugu worked forChristian the World Bank for 28 years until retirement in 2012. pm to desk be- tage tationKuteeram” are held weekly throughout Onisthe auspicious occasion of may tion given in ten-day retreats. Durga Bari “Gopa children’s heri- Meditation - Temple 8:45visit a.m.the or welcome 10:15 a.m.-11:30 classes and Srimad Fellowship Center. ClassesBank for for7601 S.5:30 Forest Gate Dr, in for kids 4 to 18 yrs meditation, and worked for the World 28 years until retirement 2012. classes pm. Sai Education The book has received over 60 positive reviews. ToSpiritual quote: “From Nav Ratri, thetemple Temple Durga Bari 8 a.m. orMon. 10:15 Bhagavatam Houston, including Saturdays at 11 Visit tage classes and Srimad Durga Bari iswill openhave from 9tween toTemple 11Visit a.m. and- 8:45 4 to 7a.m. p.m. a.m. www.chin mayahousmeets every third Saturday of the classes. Call 281Yoga and Meditation under guidThe Woodlands, TX 77382 Yoga, slokas, stories from scripThe book has received over 60 positive reviews. To quote: “From beginning to end this delightful narrative simply races along, providing for children; study circle for adults. Mata Ji Ki Chauki & Akhand a.m. http://www. am at India House. Call Web: www. schedules/schsiri.” Bari temple to 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. Mon. 402-6585; Bhagavatam classes. 281thruDurga Sat. Sandhya aartiisatopen 6:30from p.m.9a.m.-11:30 Temple closes 7top.m. Sunday month at Triumph Church, 10555 or callat4Visit Bharati Sutaria visit ance by Samani jisthis and discoursTemple Hours tures, Vishnu Sahasranam, bhabeginning to end delightful narrative simply races along, providing an intimate, witty and scintillating story of a superhero “ Sam’s huRamayan Path. Mata Ji Ki ChauService programs food distribution & orSunday contact (Global; Email: houston. At thru Sat.Nirankari Sandhya aarti Temple closes at 7 p.m. Sant Mission 402-6585; visit W.14102 Airport Blvd.,Road Stafford TX special from 9 a.m. to at7 6:30 p.m.p.m. Puja services - Priest Bishnupada 281.933.0233. Organization forfun Divinity). Schiller (off Weekdays: jans, competitions and activi- es. an intimate, witty and scintillating story of a superhero “ Sam’s humanism, his notations on official files, his colorful language and his ki by Mahant Ravi Shanker Puri. food drives; nursing home visits, tutorBharati 281.933.0233 special from 9 a.m. toholds 7 p.m. services - Priest Bishnupada 77477 at 6:30 and p.m.Westpark Join us for7:30 a AM - 9:30 AM (Global Organization for Divinity). Goswami 281-597-8100 Temple is located atSutaria 13944 Schiller Rd (offfor ties. Sant Nirankari Mission its Puja Vedanta Society Hwy 6 bethis Bellaire Adult meditation classes.Cell: manism, notations on official files, hisingcolorful language andSanjay his Gupta doodling”. on Friday April 08,congregation start- isCall at8.30 schools etc. Contact Goswami 281-597-8100 Temple located at 13944 Rd (off Register time of praise, worship and felmore information. 713-929-0040. Hwy 6 bet. Bellaire &2016 Westpark). Ganesh Mandal at 713-797Vedanta Society ofSchiller Greater Housweekly spiritual 77082). Tel 281-596-9642. 5:30 PMis -dedicated PM to the men in at www.ashirwadaSaumyakasi Sivalaya doodling”. This book, with over 200 photographs, ing 07:30PM onwards. Akhand (North) 832-687-6766 or Sondip Mathur lowship.  Worship is in English.  Hwy 6 bet. Bellaire & Westpark). Call Ganesh Mandal at 713-797Vedanta LinditaSociety Drive (77083) Heritage Classes281on9057 every/ 832-423-8541. Sunday at India House ton, 14809 Patanjali Yogpeeth Aartidefending @is7:30 PM Saumyakasi Sivalaya or SriSivalaya Ravula This book, with over 200 photographs, dedicated to the men in Sri Saumyakasi is louniform who have laid down their lives their country and to Ramayan Path starting Saturday Vedanta For information call Chris Gantela 9057 / 832-423-8541. (South) 832-215-8675 www.sairegion10. everyofSunday Society Greater from Hous- 995-0930. Ashirwad’s Heritage Classes inuniform Yogawho Classes every Sat/Sun 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. followed has classes Saturday and The Sunday SriatSaumyakasi Sivalaya10353 is lo- Free havehave laid down theirGurlives defending their country to Chinmaya Prabha, their281-344-0707, widows who alsoVijay sacrificed so much. book will and be on April 09, 2016 at 5:00PM on- ton, or Rev. org.- 1:30 10:30 a.m. Lindita to 12:30 p.m. on cated 14809 Drive (77083) at Arya Samaj from 8 am to 9:30 Katy, Cypress and Sugar Land for bywards community meals. All are wel8:30 AM PM Hare Krishna Dham Shiv Shakti Mandir cated atRoad, Chinmaya Prabha, theirrala who have also sacrificed so much. The book will be on Sugar Land,10353 TX sale atwidows the discounted price of $35, and autographed by the authors. A until Sunday April 10, Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, 1st Synott 281-997-0757. Sadhu Vaswani Center a.m. Call Anil 281-579-9433. classesOpen every Sunday kids Temple 4Road, tooriginal 18 timings: yrs -Vedic meditation, Yoga, Aarti at 12:00 PM Shiv Shakti Mandir come. For 7:00 further information, call6640has Houston’s temple, Synott Sugar Land, TX sale atSri theGuruvayurappan discounted ofTemple $35, and autographed byWar the authors. Sanatan Shiv Shakti Mandir, Harwin. daily 7 a.m.Gita, tofrom 8 77478. Monday to major portion of the price royalty will be donated to the WoundedA 2016 PM. Prasad Will & 3rd Sunday; Bhagavad Sadhu Vaswani Center of Houston holds For other free classes, call Indra a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Gospel slokas, from scriptures, 5:30 PM -Welfare 8:30 PMAssn. ISKCON ofstories Houston. AtMonday 1320 Wto Foundation Rajserved Bhala atmajor (281) 980-2825. Sanatan Shiv Shakti Path. Mandir, Harwin. Open daily 7 engagea.m. to 8 Friday: 77478. Temple timings: major portion of the royalty will be donated to the War Wounded p.m. Allafter festivals, as well as 10:30 birthdays, naam karan, 9:00 AM 12:00 Noon and of India and the War Widows of India. Ramayan For6640 Hours: Mon to Fri 6 a.m. -8 a.m. 2nd Sunday; on works of Swami 281-537-0018. For Yoga/Herbal regular Satsang on 3rd Aarti @ 7:30 PM; Assn. of Thursday Sri Ramakrishna, 1st &engage3rd SunVishnu Sahasranam, bhajans, 34th (77018). Darshan Samaj Satsang p.m.Arya Allinformation major festivals, asCall well asofbirthdays, naam karan, Friday: 9:00 AM - Daily 12:00 Noon and Foundation of India and p.m. the War Widows Welfare India. of the ment and other ceremonies. Virat Mehta 713-278-9099 or 5:00 -St. 8:00 PM Saturday and Sunfurther please callPandit and 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 WeekVivekananda, 4th Sunday; Holy products, call Shekhar 281-242month and daily Arti at 7.30 p.m. Call Contact 832-585--0001 & Arati Times: 4.30 7activities. day; Bhagavad Gita, 2nd Sunday; competitions and fun Weekly Satsang every ment Havan and other ceremonies. Call Pandit Mehta 713-278-9099 or day: 5:00 - 8:00 PMPM Saturday and Sun- families Hardik Raval 361-243-6539 for puja or Virat other ceremonies. 8:30-2:00 anda.m, 5:00 -a.m, 8:00 temple at 281-933-8100 or Sunvisit endsWeb: & Holidays: 6 a.m. to noon who believe in Veerashaiva dharma (Basava dharma). Monthly Mother Sarada’s Gospel, 5th 5000. or 281-463-0379 or e.mail ramolaj@aol. 8.30 a.m, 12 noon, 4.30 p.m, 7 onorworks of Swami Vivekananda, day: Adult meditation classes. Hardik Raval for other ceremonies. daywww.SRKT.Org. from 10 a.m.361-243-6539 to 12 noon. isDAV 8:30-2:00 and 5:00 -Register 8:00 Mahamane Call BhartiPM Sutaria 281-568families who believe Veerashaiva dharma (Basava and 5:00program p.m. toinfor 8:30 p.m.and BhaTemple lo-puja prayer discussion on dharma). Vachana Monthly Sahitya Sunday. Swamis of Ramakrishna PM. and p.m, 9 p.m. Sunday Festival: com Sunday; Holy Mother Sarada’s 1690 at Swaminarayan PM. Call Bharti Sutaria832-541281-568- or Sanskriti School Sundays 10 a.m. 4th or Jay Deshmukh ‘The Universe Within’ jans by Saturdays p.m. tovsnahous 8 and p.m.; Mahamane program7Contact: for prayer discussion on Vachana Sahitya cated 11625 Beechnut Street. followed Prasada. orTemple Jagadeesh Order visit to conduct retreats 5.30 Sathya Sai centers pm to Deshmukh 7.30 p.m. Weekly Halyal Gaudiya Math Hindu Satsang at Shree Swami1690 or Jay 832-5415th Sunday. Swamis of Universe Within’ Sri Ravula 281-995-0930. Sundays 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. Special 0059 or visit www.saum followed by Prasada. Contact: vsnahous or Jagadeesh to 12Sant noon. - Havan, Hindi 832-744-4166. Sahaj Marg is a ‘The natural andand simpleGospel, system of heart-centered mediNirankari Mission and lectures. www.houstonve- Gita classes for adults; call 281- Sunday program held at two loSri Hindu GovindajiTemple, Gaudiya under Matha at 16628 narayan 0059 or www.saum poojas (weekends and holidays) Order visit to con- Harevisit Krishna Dham Halyal 832-744-4166. Naitik Shiksha classes. DAV MonSahaj is a practice natural and simple system meditation andMarg spiritual thatits helpsRamakrishna one realize the utimate potential Sant Nirankari Mission holds danta. orgoforheart-centered 281-584-0488. cations (North(Annaprasam) Houston: 12127 433-1635 or harekrishnadham @ Shree NarNarayan Dev Gadi ka- 77084. Kieth Harrow Blvd., Houston Choroon for kids, duct retreats and lectures. www. Houston’s original Vedic temple, tation and spiritual thatis helps one realize the utimate potential tessori School for The agespractice 2 to 7 years. Mar Thoma Church within oneself. meditation available to anyone who wishes to weekly spiritual congregation Durga Bari Temple Louetta Rd, Houston; South Thulabharam, Vahana Pooja, Nilupur. Opens daily from 7 a.m. Satsang Sundays 5 to 7 pm. Mantra mediGandhi Library Thoma Church houstonvedanta. org 281-584ISKCON of Houston. At 1320 W within meditation is available to anyone who wishes to practice. Weekly meditation sessions heldBari throughout theor Houston on everyoneself. SundayThe at India House Call Arti Khanna 281-759-3286. Trinity Mar Thoma Church every Sunday at 5810 Almeda Genoa Durga temple is open from Houston: 246 FluorMar Daniel Dr, Houston Namadwaar rapara. Temple is located at 11620 to 12:30 p.m. and from 4 p.m. Gandhi Library tation, kirtan, Sanatan Dharma practice. Weekly sessions throughout Houston 0488. St. (77018). Daily Darshan area. Email: meditate_ 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 folMahatma Gandhi Library Book & Free Yoga classes onmeditation Sat.p.m. Sanskrit Mar Thoma Church every Sunday at 5810 Almeda Rd.Trinity Sunday School at3:00 9:15 a.m.toMalayalam service at 9:30 a.m. Genoa on 1st classes. 9 toheld 11 a.m. and 4 to the 7 p.m. Mon. A 34th Land, from pm prayer house where the Hare Suga Ormandy St. (77035) Tel: 713to 8:30 p.m. Daily aarti at 7 a.m. Vedic Education and Hindi classes for area. Email: meditate_ Mahatma Gandhi Library Book by community All thru Sat. Sandhya Jain Society Arati Times: 4.30 a.m, 7ofa.m, Meets 2nd Sunday each8.30 Rd. Sunday atBible 9:15 a.m. Malayalam 9:30 a.m. on 1st & lowed Upanishad classes Tue.meals. 6-8 p.m. & 3rd Sunday. Adult class atguru9:30 a.m.service Englishatservice at 10:30 aarti at 6:30 Club: pm. SaiSchool Spiritual Education Rama Hare Krishna Maha- 5:30 729-8994 email: temple@ and 7 p.m. Saturday sabha from kids. Gita classes noon 1:30 Club: Meets 2nd Sunday of each are welcome. For further infor12:30 PM4.30 at Arya Samaj Jain Houston Adult BibleCall class713-991-1557 at 9:30 a.m. English service at 10:30pm Wed. a.m, 12 noon, p.m, 7 p.m, classes 9& 3rd a.m. onSunday. 2ndchildren; & 4th Sunday. or 281-261-4603. p.m. Society Templeofcloses at (JSH) 7 p.m.lo- month; At 14375 Schiller Rd. Heritage (bet West- Classes for study circle mantra is continuously chanted. 5p.m to 7 p.m. followed aarti Manas month; 12:30 PM at Arya Samaj mation, call Raj Bhala at (281) Hanuman Chalisa andby Ramcharit Greater Houston, 13475 Schiller a.m.adults. on 2nd & 4th Sunday. Call -713-991-1557 or 281-261-4603. cated at special 3905and Arc Street Houston p.m. Sunday 5.30 pm to Sunday from 9 Land a.m. to 7 Weekends: park Ashirwad’s & Bellaire Heritage off HwyHeritage 6). 281-in Katy, for Service programs Classes 8-11 Festival: AM & 4-7 PM, Preksha Meditation Classes Cypress Sugar for at 7 p.m. and Maha-Prasad (free Greater Houston, 13475 Schiller Sri &Guruvayurappan 980-2825. Rd. Join p.m. the discussion ofGita the great on Temple Tue. 7:30–8:30 p.m. p.m. Cypress Puja services - Priest BishTexas 77063 is open M-F from 7.30 classes foodJVB distribution food drives;Center 752-0100. 7-8 Weekly AM & 6-7 PM. Preksha Meditation Ashirwad’s Heritage Classes in Katy, and Sugar Land for Weekdays: dinner). Website www.issotx. Sri Guruvayurappan Temple Rd. Join the discussion of the great Arya Samaj Satsang man’s autobiography – The Story or 281-499-3347. nupada Goswami 281-597-8100 Hours: Mon to Fri 6 a.m. -8 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Week7:30 AM to 12 Noon and 4 to 7 Weekly for adults; 281-433-1635 nursing homeweekly visits,Meditation, tutoring Yoga conducts “Gopacall Kuteeram” chil- or org, phone (281) 530-2565. man’s autobiography – The Story Weekly Havan Satsang every Temple is located at 13944 Schil- of My Experiments with Truth. Hours: Mon to Fri 6 a.m. -8 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. WeekSwaminarayan Temple ends & Holidays: 6 a.m. to noon and 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Bhajans etc. Contact Sanjay harekrishnadham and Swadhyay sessions inside its Sanatan dren’s heritage classes and Sri- at schools Dharm of My Experiments with Truth. Sunday from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. ler Rd (off Hwy 6 bet. Bellaire & Call Manish Wani 713-829-6979. ends & Holidays: 6 a.m. to noon and 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Bhajans Saturdays 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Sundays 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. Special poojas Hindu Satsang at Shree SwaminaGupta (North) 832-687-6766 or Houston Namadwaar unique Pyramid hall under the mad Bhagavatam classes. Call DAV Sanskriti School Sundays Westpark). Call Ganesh Mandal Call Manish Wani 713-829-6979. Sondip 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, Mathur (South) 832-215rayan Hindu Temple, under Shree A prayer house the Hare auspicious guidance of Samani281-402-6585; visitwhere www.godi10 a.m. to noon. - of Havan, West Indian Religious Organiza(weekends and holidays) Choroon (Annaprasam) for kids, at 713-797-9057 / 832-423-8541. Thulabharam, Vahana Pooja, Nirapara. Temple is located at 11620 8675 LotNew for12Sale off Kalyani Hwy in Sodhpur, NarNarayan Dev Gadi kalupur. jis, and runs special events and Gauri Siddhivinayak (Global Organization Rama Hare Krishna Maha-mantra classes will start in January, 2017. HindiLot and Naitik Shiksha classes. tion email: called Sanatan Dharm Thulabharam, Vahana Pooja, Nirapara. Temple is located at7 Maha 11620 Shiv Mandir Ormandy StVaswani (77035) Tel: 713-729-8994 temple@ for Sale off of Kalyani HwyShakti in Sodhpur, programs like I-Choose, MeditaSiddhivinayak Opens daily from a.m. to 12:30 Sadhu Center forGauri Divinity). is continuously chanted. WeekWest Bengal. 1 bhiga or 20 Kathas with 2300 Sq. DAV MontessoriLimited School forseats, ages Register Sabha Branch # 377 is located Temple Ormandy St (77035) Tel: 713-729-8994 email: temple@ Sanatan Shiv Shakti Mandir, now’ tion Camps and Gyanshala proSadhu Vaswani Center of Housp.m. and from 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saumyakasi Sivalaya Bengal. 1 bhiga or 20Architectural Kathas with 2300 Sq. ends: 8-11 AM & 4-7 PM, Weekbungalow half built. plans Temple 2 West to ft. 7 years. Call Arti Khanna at 26100 Tina Lane, Katy, TX 6640 Harwin. Open daily 7 SriDarshan from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Preksha Meditation gram for children ages 4-14 yrs. ton holds regular Satsang on 3rd Saumyakasi Sivalaya is loDaily aarti at 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. days: 7-8 from AM & 6-7 PM. Weekly ft. bungalow half built. Architectural 281-759-3286. Freeavailable. Yoga classes 77494. Durga Mata PoojaforisYoga held to 8 p.m. All plans major festi- daily. Darshan 7Prabha, a.m. toas 8 well p.m. Thursday Preksha Meditation All major festivals Rs.a.m. 90 lakhs. JVBfacilities is located at and 14102 Schiller New of JVB Preksha Meditation Center. Classes of the month daily cated at Chinmaya 10353 Saturday sabha from 5p.m to 7 “Gopa Kuteeram” children’s heri- Rd. Houston 77082. Every Tueson Sat. Sanskrit & UpanishadRs.vals, every jis Friday from 7 pmAt to14102 9.30 well asatbirthdays, naam as daily. All major festivals as well available. 90 as lakhs. birthdays, naam karan, engageNew facilities of JVB Preksha Meditation Center. Classes for Yoga and Meditation under guidance by Samani and discourses. Arti at 7.30 p.m. Call 281-463Synott Road, Sugar Land, TX Please contact Shilpi Saha p.m. followed by aarti at 7 p.m. classes andkaran, Srimad Bhaga- day, 9:30am-11:30am, Samaniji classes Tue. 6-8 p.m. At 14375 karan, engagement and other cer- ment pm. and Contact Ram- Sharma @ astage birthdays, naam engageand other ceremonies. Call and Meditation under guidance Samani jis and discourses. At (free 14102 Schiller Road (off Hwy 6 bet by Bellaire Westpark 77082). Tel 0379 or e.mail Please contact Shilpi Saha at 77478. Temple timings: Monday and Maha-Prasad or 832-647-9433 vatam classes. Call 281-402-6585; Schiller Rd. (bet Westpark & Bel- emonies. 713-412-9985 Call Pandit Virat Mehta Pandit ment and other ceremonies. Call has pravachan all6adults inter- and Westpark - 77082). Teldinner). Pradip Pandya 832-466Schiller Road (off for Hwy bet Bellaire 281-596-9642. to Friday: 9 a.m.12 Noon and 5 or 832-647-9433 visitforPradip (Global ested in learning about Jainism. Website laire off Hwy 6). 281-752-0100. 713-278-9099 or Hardik Raval 9868 Pandit Pandya 832-466puja Saturday and otherand ceremop.m. - 8 p.m. Sun- 281-596-9642. Phone (281) 530-2565. Organization for other Divinity). Every Wednesday there is Swad9868 for5645 puja and ceremonies. At Hillcroft 701, day: 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. andSte 5 p.m. Patanjali Yogpeeth Exciting Summer Camp Sanatan Dharm Sivalaya hyay class fromPatanjali 7-9pm and every AtSaumyakasi 5645 Hillcroft Ste281701, Houston, TX 77036. Yogpeeth -nies. 8 p.m. Call Bharti Sutaria Free Yoga Classes every Sat/Sun at Arya Samaj from 8 am to 9:30 Maha Sabha Sri Saumyakasi Sivalaya is832located Thursday from 9:30-11am there Houston, TX 77036. 568-1690 or Jay Deshmukh Yoga every for Sat/Sun at Arya Samaj from 8Indra am to2819:30 a.m.Free Call AnilClasses 281-579-9433. For other free classes, call Where Your Opinion Counts West Indian Religious Organizais special Yoga class Ladies at Chinmaya Prabha, 10353 Syn-a.m. Call Anil 281-579-9433. For other free classes, call Indra 281Veerashaiva Samaja 541-0059 or visit www.saum 537-0018. For Yoga/Herbal products, call Shekhar 281-242-5000. Web: Where Your Opinion Counts only. Upcoming events include tion called Sanatan Dharm Maha Veerashaiva ott Road, Sugar Land, TX 77478. VSNA Houston isSamaja a group of 537-0018. For Yoga/Herbal products, call Shekhar 281-242-5000. Web: KGOL 1480 AM • Saturdays 4 to 6 p.m. and Nov.12th, Monthly Preksha MediSabha Branch # 377 is located at Temple timings: isMonday VSNA Houston a and Listen to Open Forum on KGOL 1480 AMprograms • Saturdays to 6 p.m. tation Camp from 9am-12pm unGauri Siddhivinayak Temple Informative with4 doctors, 26100 Tina Lane, Katy, TX 77494. day: 9 a.m.- 12 Noon and 5 p.m. in Houston.with doctors, guidance Darshan 7 a.m. 8 p.m.8:30 der Samanijis Informative programs WANT TO HOST followed YOUR SUMMER Durga CAMP? Mata Pooja is held every 8 p.m. from Saturday andtoSunday: lawyers, politicians and other by potluck lunch. Call Seema Jain Friday daily. 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Demonetization: Will India win the war against corruption?

By BHAMY V. SHENOY November 8, 2016 will go down in India’s history as a red-letter day when the nation started the long awaited war against corruption by scrapping high denomination notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000. This war can be compared to Mahabharat war. On the ethical side there are the modern age Pandavas mostly consisting of the general public led by Modi. Kauravas led by corrupt politicians are those business men who have amassed crores of black money, terrorists who have printed or have access to fake currency, and bureaucrats and politicians who have illgotten wealth by using their official power or high level connections. Kauravas are helped by a tiny minority of economists, political leaders and TV and print journalists who have managed to be critical of the way war is being fought. Arvind Kejriwal who came to power as Chief Minister of Delhi by promising to root out corruption has declared that supporting demonetization is an anti-national activity. What an irony!  It is not difficult to understand the reason for the political leaders belonging to opposition to have come together to fight against demonetization. They  are likely to be the biggest losers. They will not have access to black money now to win elections. They have to start accumulating black money again with new currency notes and by that time they may lose power.  But the most amazing fact is that despite facing inconveniences, general public has lent full support to PM Modi in his fight against corruption.  India has thousands of economists and hundreds of universities teaching economics. Still there are hardly any credible studies analyzing the short and long term impact of demonetization. Even what little analysis has been done is based on western economic thinking and models which is not relevant to India’s cash driven economy. Also analysis is often influenced by whether one likes PM Modi or not. Even a leader like Arun Shouri who has always been objective in his analysis of India’s developmental issues seem to have lost his objectivity.  This is India’s third attempt to demonetize to fight corruption. During the first in 1946 Rs 1000, Rs 5000 and Rs 10000 notes were demonetized. The second one was in 1978 by the Janata government. Both failed to achieve the desired goals. Other countries like Zaire, Soviet Union, Myanmar, Ghana, Nigeria, etc  have attempted to demonetize their currency to reduce black money. They have also failed.

There are some countries like Turkey, Indonesia, and Mexico which have demonetized their currency because of the falling value of their currencies and not to reduce corruption like India.   So far no country seems to have succeeded in stopping black money generation by adapting the strategy of demonetization. More than likely India will also face a similar situation. This does not imply that what the government has done is wrong. India may not root out corruption totally, but it will lay out a strong foundation to reduce rampant corruption if it implements demonetization strategy followed by  Modi’s determination to improve governance.  Out of Rs. 17.5 lakh crore worth of notes in circulation currently, Rs. 14.5 lakh crore were (84%) high denomination notes which have been demonetized now. In ten days about Rs. five lakh crores have been deposited. More than likely before the expiry of depositing the old notes by December 31st, only about 50 to 60% of demonetized notes may get deposited in the banks. That will result in a wiping out significant amount of black money which will result in reducing price for assets like real estate and gold.  On the other hand if most of the high denomination notes get deposited and there is no proper follow up of those who have deposited, then demonetization will be a total failure. Even while follow up is taken up aggressively, and selective prosecution is implemented then also demonetization should be considered as a failure. After all IT department itself is not well known for honesty. In the changed currency regime, IT department officials could be lured with new notes by the corrupt to avoid paying the penalty of 200% taxes owed.   Government has also declared that they will also go after benami real estate who had monetized their ill-gotten wealth and if they succeed as they seem to be with demonetization, ill-gotten real estate will also be taken over by the government. This requires tremendous improvement in governance which is not likely even under the leadership of Modi.  Even those who are complimenting the government for the demonetization strategy are surprised by the replacement of Rs 1000 notes by a higher denomination note of Rs 2000. The latest development now is that there will be Rs 1000 note in addition to Rs 2000 note. Only if the government is able to implement the circulation of high denomination notes (Rs 500, Rs1000 and Rs 2000) to say less than 15% to 20% of to-

tal circulation (considerably less than current level of 84%) and promote cashless society then it makes some sense. According to some published reports (one of them by BBC) India is overwhelmingly a cash economy with 90% of all transactions taking place that way. Since smaller denomination notes are used for transactions and  bigger denomination notes for storing value, government could have easily stopped the printing of Rs 1000 and Rs 2000 notes.  By restricting circulation of high denomination notes, government will compel people to use payment system like PayTM (even taxi drivers and small business people have started to accept such payments), credit/ debit cards, bank cheques, etc. Such a cashless society will result in less generation of black money. Government besides the implementation of the bold move of demonetization should encourage the process of moving towards cashless society. In developed economies money supply accounts for less than 4% whereas in India, it accounts for more than 14%.  During wars, one cannot escape a lot of inconvenience and people learn to manage with them. In fact if people had not rushed to the banks soon after the declaration of demonetization, there would have been no long lines. These lines started to disappear after few days. Also during wars, media does not publish stories to frighten people. Media has self censorship to instill optimism in the public to support the government.  Unfortunately in this war against corruption, media has done just the opposite. They have tried to sensationalize the stories of the impact of demonetization and overstated the inconvenience. It is a miracle that when such a large change like demonetization was implemented in a complex economy, people have put up with the inconvenience and there has been relatively very little unrest in the banks. Instead of highlighting such a miracle , media has concentrated on trivial conveniences like families suffering while celebrating weddings, tourists not able to buy luxury goods, etc because of lack of notes.  On the other hand the media has not put enough pressure

on the political system on how Janardhan Reddy could spend crores on the wedding of his daughter. How did he manage to get required amount of notes to spend lavishly?. If Modi government does

not move against Janardhan Reddy and also does not question the former CM, Yeddyurappa for attending the wedding, it would certainly lose credibility in launching the war against corruption.




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