COMMUNITY FIFTH HOME INVASION IN CENTRAL NJ
‘THE WAY MODI’S CLEANING UP INDIA IS WRONG’
BOLLYWOOD RAJNIKANTH WAS NERVOUS, SAYS SONAKSHI www.rediff.com (Nasdaq: REDF)
VOL. XVIII NO. 24
India in New York A GUIDE TO EVENTS AND ENTERTAINMENT FROM INDIA ABROAD FRIDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2014
GREAT DIVIDE The Ferguson debate, in black, white, and brown
India in New York
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INDIA IN NEW YORK DECEMBER 5, 2014
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Fifth home invasion in Middlesex County since October 20 ARTHUR J PAIS
ontradicting the theories that armed gangs were breaking into Indian homes in New Jersey only during the festive the Diwali days, a fifth armed burglary occurred last week in Old Bridge, New Jersey. It was the fifth home invasion in Middlesex County, which has hundreds of Indian families. It followed a familiar pattern: Armed and masked men entering the house, tying up the residents, and stealing cash and jewelry. Like most of the previous burglary victims, the new victims have asked the police not to release their names for now. They are too traumatized to speak of the ordeal, others in the community said. Anyone with information should call their local police, or the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office The men broke into the home at at (732) 745-3439, or Detective John Marotta of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 7:20 pm November 28. The family 745- 3331. called the police at 8:51 pm, per the space to hide.” authorities. He guesses burglars would first inspect the neighborhood The police haven’t said the five incidents since October 20 before planning a home invasion. “We should be more vigilant, are related, and did not disclose the number of invaders, or more alert and let the police know of suspicious movement in whether anyone was injured in the latest incident. our localities,” he said. Weeks ago, some 200 South Asian family members turned ‘We need to catch these people,’ he said in a statement last up for a town-hall meeting called by the Edison police, week. ‘We’re confident that the law enforcement is up to that protesting loudly — and often heckling — the police ‘inaction.’ task and they’re putting all their resources behind catching No arrests have been made in any of the home invasions, these criminals.’ and the police are not offering clues to where the investigaPradip “Peter” Kothari, local businessman and community tions are going. activist who has been a vociferous critic of the police, said Officials have said that the FBI joining the investigation the latest attack sounds more alarm bells to the Indian comshows how seriously they take the epidemic of burglaries. munity. Some in the community say they understand the pressure ‘We are scared,’ Kothari told the local television channels and the police are facing, and hope there would be some arrests. newspapers. ‘People in power don’t understand.’ And some continue to be critical of law enforcement. Fear is widespread in the community, he said. ‘Somebody at Satish Poondi, legal adviser for the Iselin-based Indian some point is going to get hurt.’ Business Association, said that the group is focusing on eduSeveral recent home invasions — including one in cating people on keeping their homes and possessions safe. “It could start with keeping the bushes on your compound to Connecticut in which the victims were not Indian — have ended in homicides. the minimum,:” he said. “The burglars will have then less
Rajeev Bhambri Chief Operating Officer-US Media
Small victory for Aakash Dalal
ARTHUR J PAIS
akash Dalal, accused of conspiring to firebomb Jewish temples and facilities, won a small victory last week when an appeals court judge reversed the order of a lower court and declared that Dalal’s trial should be held in another county, and if it cannot be held outside the scheduled Bergen County court a new judge should be appointed. Dalal, 22, was charged in late 2012 for
anti-Semitic graffiti, aggravated arson of a synagogue in Rutherford and criminal mischief at a third synagogue. He also faces charges of conspiracy and intimidation. He is being held in solitary confinement for most of the day on a $4.5 million bail. He has been charged with directing a former school friend to carry out the attacks, which were attempted when he was away in New Hampshire helping the presidential candidate Ron Paul. US Senator Ron Paul was the most
critical of all Republican contenders of Israel. Aakash’s father, Adarsh Dalal, said though the new judgment is a “huge relief,” the fight will continue to have him released on bail. “We are not saying there should not be a trial,” Adarsh Dalal said, “though we are thoroughly convinced our son is not guilty of any of the charges. We are saying that reduce the bail, let him be out
INDIA IN NEW YORK DECEMBER 5, 2014
Immigration euphoria is overblown, overstated: Expert SUMAN GUHA MOZUMDER
uch of President Barack Obama’s immigration reform proposal remains vague and right now it is difficult to assess its impacts and implications, per Ron Hira, associate professor of public policy, Rochester Institute of Technology, New York. “The Senate and House will certainly weigh in with their interests, and passage of a comprehensive bill remains up in the air,” Hira, an expert in high-skill immigration, told India in New York. “There’s a lot of work to be done, on which there is not much consensus, and the details matter a lot.” Asked if legalizing the 11 million people in the shadows will help or hurt the United States economy, Hira said there are arguments on both sides, and probably both sides exaggerate the benefits and the costs. “I think that legalizing people already here and working is better for the labor market instead of having them work without papers,” Hira said. “On the other side, there’s concern that legalization could induce future flows.”
Professor Ron Hira The current euphoria is overblown and overstated, he said. “There are many pitfalls ahead in this
Small victory for Aakash Dalal f PAGE 2
and start the trial soon. We are middle class. We have exhausted our own savings and borrowed heavily from our family and friends to see him be declared innocent.” The reversal came when a three-judge panel last week said it made its decision when it learned from the prosecutors that they intend to offer evidence at trial that Aakash had threatened two Bergen County judges. ‘Not because we possess any doubt about the trial judge’s ability to fairly and impartially preside over this matter, but because, in the final analysis, “justice must satisfy the appearance of justice,” we reverse and remand,’ the judges wrote in a nine-page opinion. Defense attorney Brian Neary had failed some months ago in his attempt to get the the entire Bergen County judiciary to recuse from the case to avoid the appearance of impropriety and ensure a fair trial. In denying that request, Bergen County Superior Court
Judge Edward Jerejian had said defendants cannot be allowed to demand the disqualification of judges from cases merely by making threats against them. ‘That would be the crudest form of judge-shopping,’ Judge Jerejian had declared. The appeals court ruled in Aakash’s favor, saying he was entitled to ‘relief.’ ‘After carefully considering the circumstances,’ the panel said, ‘we conclude that a reasonable person would harbor such doubts despite our own confidence that the trial judge could fairly and impartially preside over this matter.’ Adarsh Dalal continues to visit his son in the prison every week. He says he discourages his wife from joining him. Though she seemed composed in two community events meant to drum up support for Aakash, Adarsh Dalal said she becomes uncontrollably upset over her son’s condition. “I go to see my son, praying all the time,” the father said. “Sometime the guards are very kind and I may get to spend extra 15 minutes, but there are times the guards go strictly by the book.”
process, especially the destination — citizenship or just legal status — and path for undocumented workers,” Hira said. “Also, a key issue will be whether the labor unions like the AFL-CIO and business groups like the US Chamber of Commerce can agree upon guest worker regulations (H-1B, L-1, workers). If they can’t come to some agreement then the politics for passage becomes more difficult.” Those in the US legally and waiting for their Green Cards will be covered to some extent thanks to the executive order, he admitted. But most of the focus has been on the undocumented, because it is the most contentious issue. “If the 11 million do get a path to citizenship, it will raise the obvious question about what to do with the backlogs not just in the employment-based Green Cards but also the family-based ones,” Hira said. “There are many South Asians in the family-based queues too. The question is will Americans be willing to have 15 or so million Green Cards granted in one fell swoop when we typically average 1 million Green Cards a year?” The professor has in the past called
Aakash Dalal in court
many times for H-1B reform, saying that it needs to include oversight through regular audits to ensure that employers are playing by the rules, and to close massive loopholes in the H-1B rules. The H-1B loopholes are still a problem, he said, and the President has basically only indicated that he believes that guest workers should only fill jobs where there are no Americans. “How that principle gets implemented remains to be seen,” Hira said. “And of course, America has a system with checks and balances where the head of state has limited power and Congress has quite a bit. As some like to say, the President proposes and Congress disposes. (US) Senator (Richard) Durbin, one of the gang of eight working on a bipartisan bill, has said that he would propose to close loopholes. Things still remain up in the air. We’ll have a better read on things as more Congressional hearings are held.” Will the President be able to pull off the miracle of sensible, comprehensive immigration reform? “Let’s hope so,” Hira said. “There’s only one thing that everyone agrees upon: The system is broken. Can policymakers adopt sensible reforms? Yes. Will they? It remains to be seen. The train is moving fast, but please remember that ‘Obamacare’ took a very long time to pass. The American political system is designed for gridlock. The easiest thing to do is to introduce a bill; the hardest thing is to get a bill passed.”
INDIA IN NEW YORK DECEMBER 5, 2014
Devesh Kapur underlines economic solution to caste problem A CORRESPONDENT
iscrimination is still prevalent and being a member of the lowest rung of the caste hierarchy is still a disadvantage in business, but the increasing numbers of Dalit millionaires is expected to soon change that mindset in India, said Devesh Kapoor, director, Center for the Advanced Study of India, and associate professor of political science, University of Pennsylvania. Kapur was speaking at the ninth episode of the Media India Lecture Series at the Indian consulate. Kapur’s latest book, Defying the Odds: The Rise of Dalit Entrepreneurs (co-authored with D Shyam Babu and Chandra Bhan Prasad), outlines the success stories of 21
Dalit entrepreneurs. Kapur outlined examples of the change in attitudes of the Dalit community, including a distinct absence of bitterness about past injustices. Dalits, Professor Kapur said, are more invested in a brighter future than lamenting the past. Given this positive attitude, and increased confidence, Dalit entrepreneurs can benefit from institutional economic changes that support their business, he added. Consul General Dnyaneshwar M Mulay opened the discussion and welcomed constructive dialogue between intellectuals, the private sector and the government for comprehensive and inclusive social and political change. The hour-long discussion and key note address was moderated by Laxman
Narasimhan, CEO, PepsiCo Latin America Foods. Kapur and co-authors conducted a survey of 20,000 Dalit households in Uttar Pradesh to compile data set about the status of economic and social growth in the community in independent India. They began their research by asking a simple, yet symbolic, question about commensality: Who you eat with and who sits at your table. They noted that caste-based segregation and discrimination has been deeply rooted in Indian lifestyles and behavior, and in the past there were very few instances of where the upper caste would dine with Dalits.
Professor Devesh Kapur, left, speaks at the event The Indian government and laws can prevent such discrimination to some extant, Kapur noted. Rather than emphasizing on reinforcing laws that prevent such private discrimination, the attention needs to be shifted on economic empowerment, which will gradually contribute to political and social changes, he argued. Narasimhan closed the discussion asking Kapur if the Indian media were racist, and if being a Dalit was the equivalent of being part of a segregated community in the US. Kapur concluded that discrimination in practice was still prevalent, but things will change with economic prosperity.
Sumitra Mahajan, speaker of the Indian Parliament’s lower House, the Lok Sabha, and Consul General Dnyaneshwar Mulay attended a gala dinner organized by the Society of Indo American Engineers and Architects, November 15. Mihir Patel, president, SIAEA, noted the opening of the organization’s Philadelphia chapter, and said chapters in Washington, DC and Chicago were in the pipeline. At the gala, achievers’ awards were given out to Abhay Wadhwa, Ahmed Shakir, Amil Patel, Mita Amin, Nayan Parikh, Nitin Patel, Sharon Lobo, Snehal Patel, and Sunil Bald. Alok Saksena and Manan Garg were given the Young & Under 40 awards, and 10 students of engineering and architecture were given scholarships of $2,000 each.
The Elmont, New York-based Indian American Kerala Center honored nine people at its recent 22nd annual awards banquet. Front row, from left, Dr Thomas Abraham, Baby Uralil (honored for community service), Suresh Nair (of Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, New York, honored for corporate leadership), Abraham Pannikottu (of the American Engineering Group, Akron, Ohio, awarded for engineering), Siby Vadakekkara (of Marlabs, New Jersey, honored for entrepreneurship), Thomas John Colacot (of Johnson Matthey Catalysis and Chiral Technologies in West Deptford, New Jersey, awarded for a0pplied sciences) Dr Gabriel Roy (of ONR Global, Fairfax, Virginia, honored for service to government), Dr Teresa Antony (off Woodmere, New York, honored with a special award), Dr Geeta Menon (of the NYU’s Leonard N Stern School of Business, honored for achievements in education), Sreedhar Menon, Dilip Varghese, and Gopalan Nair. Back row from left, E M Stephen, Varghese Ninan, James Thottam, John Vazhapallil, Shaji Babyjohn, G Mathai, Jayasankar Nair, Thambi Thalapppillil, John Paul, Sunny Kulathakal, Abraham Thomas, K V Varghese, Abraham Philip, Jimmy John, Manohar Thomas, and Alex Esthappan. Kollam Thelma (awardee, literature) could not attend the event.
Cover Story INDIA IN NEW YORK DECEMBER 5, 2014
A protest in New York City last week over the Ferguson grand jury decision to not indict Ferguson, Missouri Police Officer Darren Wilson for killing Michael Brown, 18, an unarmed black man.
As a polarized America debates over Ferguson, Arthur J Pais examines the delicate subject of where desis stand in the divide
or three days following the violent street protests, arson and looting in Ferguson, some 1,500 miles away from their New Jersey base, a handful of desi students stayed back in their rooms after class last week. As black leaders across the country were talking of creating a thousand peaceful protests, these desi students, like millions of Americans of all kinds of ethnic background, wondered if Ferguson-like destruction would visit the largely black Newark City nearby. They did not work in Newark, but their bus took them through the dangerous streets of Newark, where every other day there is a murder, to their workshops: gas stations, convenience stores, fast food joints, go go strip bars. “We are very dependent on this money, but our lives are more precious,” said one student who did not, like many
people quoted in this story, want to give his name as he is not authorized to work. “We don’t even let our people in India know how dangerous our lives are. Every night when the bus goes through dangerous part city we are at risk but the risk was really enormous last week.” Ferguson, a predominantly black city in the middle of America with a population of some 22,000 people, burned and bled when mobs furious with a grand jury decision to not send to trial a white police officer, Darren Wilson, who had shot and killed an unarmed 18-year-old black man, Michael Brown. Officer Wilson, who resigned from the police force last week, maintained that Brown had sought to grab his gun, while some eyewitnesses said Brown had put up his hands. Newspaper and television surveys showed most blacks
across the country believed their community leaders and a few leftist whites, whereas the whites in big numbers did not buy the complaints by the blacks. Anecdotally recording the views of Indian Americans in New York and New Jersey, we found many believed the white officer, even while some admitting that they had experienced prejudice and ill-treatment from police officers in New Jersey and other parts of the country. “But it was from white, Hispanic and black officers,” said a convenience store owner. A motel owner remembered how over two decades ago the black leader the Reverend Al Sharpton had championed a black teenager who claimed she had been gang
Cover Story INDIA IN NEW YORK DECEMBER 5, 2014
“These young people think of us as soft targets,” said one shop owner. “Many of our workers are not with work permits. So they become targets easily.” The blacks do not hesitate to say that Indians and other immigrants from the subcontinent just do not like them. “They don’t like, they diss us all the time,” said a black student at a busy mall in Queens. “We can’t get into their cabs, we are not really welcomed in their restaurants.” In Richmond Hill, many blacks from the Caribbean said they found it difficult to get houses for lease or rent from Indian houseowners. “Whether they are from India or Guyana, they have the same attitude towards us,” said a
Blurring the divide
f PAGE 5 raped by a group of white men on Long Island. The story created nationwide ripples, and many black and Hispanic leaders backed her. Months later it was discovered that she had fabricated it. “The loss of life in this case is tragic,” Hari, the motel owner, said. “But what is the larger truth here?” He did not understand why some Indian civil rights leaders were asking the Indian community to stand by the blacks in Ferguson. ‘South Asian Americans are natural allies in the fight against racist law enforcement practices, as we are no strangers to religious and racial profiling,’ Jaya Sundaresh, who has studied in American and Canadian universities and who is now in Chandigarh, wrote on Aerogram in an op-ed piece headlined: ‘South Asians and Ferguson: #StartTheConversation.’ ‘We all know someone who has been stopped by the cops one time too often, whose mosque is infiltrated by members of law enforcement, who gets harassed in public due to their religious headgear. Many of us are resigned to being stopped “randomly” when its time to board a flight or cross a border. We spend time wondering whether the authorities are keeping files on us or our family members.’ Others sought to differ. “The African Americans are perfectly capable of depending themselves,” said a desi motel owner in New Jersey. “These people have also hurt hundreds of Indian small store owners, cab drivers, students. The intellectuals in our community will turn a blind eye. They will not demand good behavior and family values from the blacks.” He also said Indians here were quite apathetic politically. “Even if it has to do with our own welfare, say like the series of armed robberies in Edison and New Bridge areas, we don’t join any protests. And now you expect us to join the blacks?” The protest rallies including one in New York where some five dozen people — mostly black — sought to disrupt the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade went on peacefully. But you did not see desis at these parades. Indian civil rights leader and community organizer Deepa Iyer, accompanied by a New York Arab leader, had visited Ferguson to meet with Indians and blacks, especially Indian businesses who were among hundreds of people of all races whose shops were looted and burned. Iyer wrote in mainstream publications like Huffington Post that she did not find racial tension in Ferguson; rather, many blacks had helped the destroyed shop owners to mop up and clean the stores. It had not become black versus brown issue. But many South Asian and Arab shop owners said the larger black community was helpless in dealing with a bunch of hooligans and shoplifters who made life hell for immigrants.
woman. “We have responsible jobs, we are solid middle class, but there is a ceiling against us.” Indians across the economic and social spectrum had different stories to tell. “Our cab drivers are robbed every day in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Harlem by blacks and Hispanics,” said limo driver B Singh. “Yellow cabs hesitate to go to black areas in the night, as those areas are dangerous even during the
merica learned that aerial bombardment is the only policy option in crisis. Itching to bomb Ferguson from the skies,’ New York Professor Vijay Prashad was quoted as saying to Aerogram. A week after the looting and anarchy in Ferguson, Missouri, protests and vigils continue — outside police precincts, in churches, at universities and high schools. In New York boroughs, many working-class Indians are marching for Michael Brown. DRUM (Desis Rising Up and Moving), representing low-income South Asians and Trinidadians, had organized its first rally in Jackson Heights, Queens, soon after Brown’s death. A number of undocumented people attended the rally, often loudly proclaiming how they had been ill-treated by the police and immigration officials. ‘We’ve seen what’s been going on in Ferguson and we’re really disturbed and hurt by it, because we feel what’s happening there is also something our people have been facing as well,’ Roksana Mun of DRUM was quoted by Queens publications as having said. Another undocumented young immigrant, Nayim, was quoted as saying, ‘I have been organizing to end deportations of immigrants, including my family’s, by saying “not one more.” Today we also say “not one more” to police killings in the black communities.’ The group wore T-shirts with drawings of open hands on the front and the names of Eric Garner, Shantel Davis, Amadou Diallo, Aiyana Jones and Ramarley Graham — all people killed by police — on the back. Many New York-based South Asian artists such as Vijay Iyer and stand up comedian Hari Kondabolu did not mince words.
Desi celebs who have spoken up about Ferguson include the stand-up comedian Hari Kondabolu,left, and jazz pianist Vijay Iyer. ‘Watching cops in Ferguson firing tear gas at peaceful protesters & can’t believe the footage is not in black & white,’ Kondabolu tweeted. ‘This is happening NOW.’ In another tweet, he wrote: ‘We say we send soldiers abroad to protect freedom. Then, I see cops shooting tear gas at protesters. Should we send troops to Ferguson?’ Leftist Indian students at more than 20 major universities have joined the protests, often connecting Ferguson to capitalism and militarism. Raghav Sharma, of University of Pittsburgh Students for Justice in Palestine, connected Ferguson and Palestine’s struggles through the munitions manufacturer Combined Tactical Systems Inc in Jamestown, Pennsylvania, which sold tear gas to be used against protesters in Ferguson, Palestine, Turkey, and Egypt. ‘All oppression carries within it the seeds of its own demise,’ Sharma was quoted as saying in the
leftist publication Liberation. ‘No wall can withstand the weight of mass resistance, and all it takes to tear down the wall is the realization that it’s happened before, and it’ll happen again.’ President Barack Obama requested $263 million to improve police training, pay for body cameras and restore trust in the police. Many desis, even those were not inclined to march in solidarity for Michael Brown, welcomed Obama’s assurance that the Justice Department will work on improving police relations with minorities. “When he says minorities, I hope he means all minorities,” said M Mahesh, a techie. “Here in New Jersey, in places like Edison, the police behave as if our lives really don’t matter. They pull us off the road for the slightest traffic violation but they have yet to arrest anyone in (nearly) half-dozen burglaries and severe racial graffiti over our buildings.” — Arthur J Pais
Cover Story INDIA IN NEW YORK DECEMBER 5, 2014
f PAGE 6 day, and then we are called racists.” When Professor Prabjhot Singh, a turbaned Sikh, was beaten up by a group of teenagers in the more prosperous part of Harlem, black and Sikh community leaders had called a meeting which emphasized the opposition of anyone creating an us versus them controversy. “We are all in this fight against injustice by the white society which creates unruly black men and women,” said one speaker. Desi cab drivers and small convenience shop owners, who often work in the evenings behind bulletproof glass in parts of Brooklyn, Harlem and the Bronx, dismiss such sentiments as an irresponsible liberal agenda. “Ask those college kids to drive a cab on a rainy night just for one day,” said a cab driver. “Ask them to manage my store just for one hour on a Saturday night or the day a football game is going on nearby.” Indian storeowners, especially the elderly who know a smattering of English, are highly vulnerable. They run small convenience stores in crime-ridden pockets of inner cities and small towns in every state. “Who would think an elderly woman can become the target of vile teenagers who would rob her at gun point?” a New Jersey convenience store asked. “These people have no conscience. They will even rob their own grandmothers.” Word has also spread that immigrant store managers
Fault lines often do not report the robberies because they think the police will not care beyond filing a report. Of course, many Indians are aware of the terrible results of slavery, denial of franchise, the terrible economic imbalance in the country that created economic and social ghettos for blacks. They are also aware that immigrants who arrived in America after the 1970s have benefited from the civil rights fight waged by blacks, and how the organizations such as Small Business Bureau — created to help blacks and other disfranchised minorities — also helped Indian immigrants, particularly the future motel owners who had fled oppressive regimes in Uganda and Kenya. The threat of widespread violence in protests in other
cities might have passed but many civil rights leaders especially in the black communities warn the danger is very much in the corner. ‘It’s not just in Ferguson, Missouri,’ Harvard Professor Charles Ogletree said on NBC’s Meet the Press. ‘There’s a racial divide in America that’s not going to end with Trayvon Martin being killed (in Florida by a vigilante), with Michael Brown being killed, or with the 12-year-old (Tamir Rice) being killed by police (in Ohio). It’s not going to end at all.’ Dr. Ben Carson and Sherrilyn Ifill of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund said that an in-depth look at police training and tactics would be necessary to facilitate any change. ‘There are a lot of things that we can probably talk about, for instance, police being equipped with cameras,’ Carson said. ‘Eighty-five percent of these things would be stopped.’ M C Leslie, a banker from Chennai and father of two teenage girls, said if at all the Indian community is involved in the fight with African Americans, the Indians had a responsibility to rein in bad social behavior among the blacks and boost the family values. “You give $1 to an immigrant, most likely he will double it in a few months but a minority person whose families have been here for several centuries quite likely will blow it up,” he said. He has several African-American friends. “Even they are afraid of violence in their own communities.” He also admitted his daughters could go to a public university which means they will be surrounded by a multicultural student community and faculty. “There will be blacks and Hispanics,” he whispered. “What if they will date one of them? What if they want to marry a black or a Hispanic? I have started telling them, Remember you will be marrying into a family. What if your husband’s family is dysfunctional?” Iyer, who till recently headed South Asian Americans Leading Together, wrote in the leftist magazine, The Nation, ‘Latinos, Asian and Arab Americans are no strangers to police violence and profiling based on skin color, accent, language, immigration status and faith.’ While calling for different groups to come together to reform racist and discriminatory police forces, Iyer also said it is primarily a struggle that has to be led by its own people. ‘African Americans in Ferguson,’ she wrote, ‘must remain the primary voices and decision-makers calling for action to address the murder of Michael Brown.’ A police officer detains a demonstrator protesting outside of Macy’s at Herald Square during the Black Friday shopping day in New York City, November 28. BRENDAN MCDERMID/REUTERS
Arthur at the Theater
INDIA IN NEW YORK DECEMBER 5, 2014
You can double up with laughter
nnaleigh Ashford, who earned a Tony nomination for her role as a shoe-factory worker in the smash Broadway musical Kinky Boots, has yet another career-defining role in the hit comedy You Can’t Take It With You. She holds her own — as an aspiring but hapless ballerina — surrounded by one of the best casts in any Broadway show. And it is a howlingly funny and admirably acted show, led by James Earl Jones as the patriarch of a dysfunctional New York family who refuses to pay taxes and collects snakes as a serious hobby. The show, which is the revival of a Pulitzer Prize win-
ner first produced over three decades ago, has extended runs until February 22. Ashford became hugely recognizable from her work on the television hit Masters of Sex, season 2 of which finished airing in September. Though this is her first play, the 29-year-old says she hears plenty of music in it. ‘I don’t have to warm up to a high C every night which is kind of a nice break,’ she told The Wall Street Journal. ‘…But it is such a treat to do a play — sometimes it takes those of us who start out in musicals a little longer to be trusted to come in and do a play, so I’m just so grateful that I’ve gotten the opportunity.’
Among the many compellingly interesting stories in the play directed by Scott Ellis is one about a young woman from a financially pinched, eccentric but lovable family and a young man from a rich, conservative family who want to marry each other.. Alice Sycamore (Rose Byrne, the rich friend in the hit movie Bridesmaids) is a practical gal, but she has to deal with her nearly demented universe every day. Mother Penelope (Kristine Nielsen, of the hit Broadway show Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike) writes plays and paints. She knows she is awful but won’t admit it. Alice’s father Paul (Mark Linn-Baker) makes fireworks in the basement and her sister (Annaleigh Ashford) is an endless embarrassment. She takes ballet lessons from a wild-eyed Russian refugee (Reg Rogers) who adds his own eccentricities and gloomy thoughts to the proceedings. Alice is reluctant for Tony Kirby (Fran Kranz), the son of a Wall Street banker, to meet his future inlaws. To make things worse, his straight-laced parents (Byron Jennings, Johanna Day) and he drop by a day early, thanks to a misunderstanding. In those 15 sublime minutes, You Can’t Take It With You soars even higher. At the end of the show, give yourself a few extra minutes to overcome the ache in your stomach. Soon you will be out in the wintry cold with, a warm heart and memories to last a very long time. You Can’t Take It With You Longacre Theater Through Feb. 22
Still poignant after all these wars Ben Schnetzer, Raviv Ullman, Bill Pullman, and Holly Hunter in a scene from Sticks and Bones.
early 43 years after it startled, disturbed, angered but also made Americans think of the wages of war during the last months of Vietnam, David Rabe’s Tony-winning Sticks and Bones produces a mesmerizing effect at the New Group The Pershing Square Signature Center. Running through December 14, this volatile show — with big name artists such as Holly Hunter, Bill Pullman, and Ben Schnetzer — offers stories and insights that can resonate with Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans. Diector Scott Elliott has handled his superb cast, especially Pullman, with a delicate touch as he unfolds the story of an average American family in denial pulled apart by the return of a son from Vietnam. Ozzie (Pullman, one of the most underrated treasures in theater) and his wife Harriet (Hunter) are overjoyed o see their eldest son David (Schnetzer) again, but the furies that haunt and menace David begin to overwhelm them and their happy-golucky younger son Rick. Richard Chamberlain plays Father Donald, a priest who does not understand the sad situation in the family.
A scene from the hilarious You Can’t Take It With You.
But it is in the twisted patriarch Ozzie — who has become paranoid and a scary bigot — that we experience the most ten-
sion. This is arguably Pullman’s — who was acclaimed for his work in Edward Albee’s play The Goat or Who Is Sylvia? —
best on a live stage. And Hunter, as his unhappy wife who is obsessed with food, is also a surprise. These two artists elevate everything admirable in this dark comedy as they become more and more nervous in dealing with their disabled son. Among the many things you will wonder in the play is how a seemingly loving family can become hateful in the presence of a disabled child, and how judgmental outsiders can make those fears worse. The success of this show, and the fact that most reviewers have welcomed it with great enthusiasm, shows that serious theater can indeed thrive in New York amidst the flossy musicals and often shallow plays. And it becomes even more intimately touching and provocative in the smaller space at its current off-Broadway outing. Sticks and Bones Pershing Square Signature Center, 480 West 42nd Street, Clinton; (212) 279-4200, thenewgroup.org
INDIA IN NEW YORK DECEMBER 5, 2014
he first time I met V Kalyanam, Mahatma Gandhi’s personal secretary, was in 1997. He was healthier and fitter then. Today, at 93, he is frail and walks with the help of a stick. But even today, his inexhaustible energy and fetish for cleanliness have not waned. His day starts at 3 am with a cup of coffee which he makes himself. From that moment onwards, he spends all his time cleaning the house, the apartment premises, and tending to the plants in his garden and terrace. His daily routine also included sweeping the road early in the morning, but with age catching up with him, he has abandoned it for the last one year. But he is angry these days; angry because, he says, Indians have no respect for cleanliness and discipline. That is why he decided to write to the prime minister appreciating his Swachh Bharat (Clean India) campaign, but he also warned Narendra Modi that success in the mission is difficult. For the first time, a leader in India is talking about cleanliness... I have been talking about cleanliness from 1948. I joined Gandhi’s Sevagram Ashram because of my love for cleanliness. My hobby is cleaning. I treat the broomstick as my God. I don’t go to temples, churches or mosques. Did you join Gandhi because you were inspired by his idea of cleanliness? No, I was inspired by Englishmen who were my neighbors in Shimla, where I was born, and in Delhi where I grew up and worked. I had seen Englishmen, coming back from work, put on the cleaning dress and start working in the garden. I joined Gandhi because he was very clean. He himself had said, ‘The British, whatever their faults, had one cardinal virtue. They maintained cleanliness and compelled observance of all laws. I have learnt the laws of cleanliness from the Englishmen.’ From the day Gandhi died, every day of my life has been spent cleaning my premises. I spend 12 hours a day sweeping; I have a garden in the apartment, a vegetable garden on the terrace to tend and clean. I used to clean the road at 5 am, but I don’t do it regularly now as I am not able to walk properly. Cleaning fills my stomach; sometimes, I even go without food for three days. If everything is clean, I feel I had a good meal. Do you think Modi’s Swachh Bharat
‘The way Modi is cleaning up India is wrong’ V Kalyanam, Mahatma Gandhi’s personal secretary, tells Shobha Warrier that a few celebrities posing with brooms is not the way to cleanliness
V Kalyanam cleans a Chennai street. initiative will make India clean? No. That is what I wrote in my mail to him. I wrote, ‘You may not succeed, but I wish you all luck.’ Why do you feel so? The way he is doing it is wrong. What you have to do is make the person who has to clean, do it. You should make every household responsible for its surroundings. The (municipal) corporation is responsible for the main roads. It is the corporation’s, panchayat’s (village council) and municipality’s duty to clean the roads. Look at the roads here. Does the corporation do its duty? Only Modi is doing something somewhere in Delhi. Unless Modi takes stringent steps, he will not succeed. His steps have to be dictatorial! What should he do? He must give the responsibility to some
PHOTOGRAPHS: SREERAM SELVARAJ
people. Let him hand over Chennai to me. I will show him how this dirty city can be cleaned. But I must be given powers. If someone from an apartment throws garbage onto the road, I will stop water supply to the apartment but he should not go to court for that. I have no time to run behind such cases; I have better things to do. Why do you say only dictatorship will work in India, a democratic country? Did Gandhi succeed in uniting Hindus and Muslims, eradicating untouchability, stopping lotteries, racing and drinking? He wanted prohibition but who has listened to his words? Here, the government is selling liquor to people. Now, they no longer are singing Gandhi’s praise; they have forgotten him completely. In your letter, you addressed Narendra Modi as ‘No-Nonsense Prime Minister’.... That is because he doesn’t want all this nonsense. But he will have to work hard to achieve all this. At present, he is asking people to partici-
pate in the cleanliness drive through the involvement of celebrities. What do you say about it? What are these celebrities doing? Taking pictures with a broom in their hands. They don’t even know how to hold it properly. It is only for photographs that they hold a broom; nothing else. Anil Ambani should ask his people to keep his office clean; he need not stand with a broom in his hand. That is not his job. But Ambani should be made responsible for the cleanliness of his office and its surroundings. Similarly, principals of all schools and colleges should be made responsible. Principals should be taken to task if the premises are dirty because it is his duty to make those responsible do the work, and it is not his duty to sweep the college premises. You should understand the difference. Like they do in foreign countries, cleaning the streets should be done at night; from 11 pm to 4 am. One place in India which I found spotlessly clean was Baba Ramdev’s ashram. That is how the entire country should be. Are you hopeful of your mission succeeding? Modi has asked for five years to implement his ideas. Let’s see. Unless he uses his power to make people work, he will not succeed. He may cry himself hoarse, but he will not succeed. When Gandhi failed after trying so much, how is Modi going to succeed? In our country, people do not have a sense of discipline. A multimillionaire staying here throws cigarette butts onto the yard all the time, which I clean. Still he does it without any shame. In your letter to Modi, you have written that you are to cleanliness what Sachin Tendulkar is to cricket and Viswanathan Anand to chess. And that their records may break but not yours.... I am very confident that nobody will beat my record in cleaning. I have been cleaning from the age of 8; for the last 85 years! They say cleanliness is next to God, but I say godliness is next to cleanliness. I have no faith in God; I have faith only in cleanliness. Do you pray or worship? I don’t believe in religion and I don’t belong to any religion. I don’t go to any temple. Let the God come to my place and see me! I worship only work, and I will tell you what I worship. Every morning I start my prayers at 3 by writing Sree Rama Jayam, Allahu Akbar, and Jesus. I started writing this after I went to see a friend soon after Gandhi’s death. I waited for him in his room as he was taking a shower then. When he came back, I started talking. He asked me to keep quiet in sign language and started writing Sree Rama Jayam in a note book. From the next day, I started writing my prayers, but improved upon it by adding Jesus and Allah. That was because I was with Gandhi.
INDIA IN NEW YORK DECEMBER 5, 2014
‘RAJINIKANTH WAS NERVOUS ABOUT WORKING WITH ME’ Sonakshi Sinha talks about Rajinikanth, and her next film Action Jackson. Sonil Dedhia listens in
onakshi Sinha, who has three movies — Action Jackson, Lingaa, and Tevar — releasing back to back, says she has mastered the art of working on multiple movies simultaneously. You have three releases in the next two months. I get very excited before my films. This time it’s going to be all the more fun with the promotions of three films. Thankfully, I am not shooting for any film now, so I have planned the promotional activities in such a way that I am able to give time to all the films. You recently blasted Kamaal R Khan on Twitter for his derogatory comments about you. You don’t see me react that way every day. I felt there was something very weird about it that got such a strong reaction from me. KRK has been doing this since a long time. He has spoken a lot of rubbish in the past and I had ignored that,
Sonakshi Sinha, above, in Action Jackson and left, with Rajinikanth in Lingaa. and him. I guess I woke up on the wrong side of the bed and he had it from me. He deserves a smack more often for all the things he has been saying all the time. Tell us about sharing screen space with superstar Rajinikanth in Lingaa.
It was a fantastic experience. I could not have asked for a better start to my career in the South industry. It was amazing to work with people who made me feel right at home. The director was impressed with the way I spoke the language. I give all the credit to (directors) Prabhu Dheva and A R Murugadoss. Everyone knows how big a star Rajini Sir is. People worship him across the globe, but as a person, I am yet to meet someone as humble and down to earth as him. In spite of his stardom, he is the simplest man in this industry. He is perhaps the only star who hasn’t changed a bit. He’s known me ever since I was a kid and he is a family friend. My father and he have been friends for years. More than me, the pressure was on him to make sure nothing wrong happened to me. I was very nervous on the first day of the shoot. Later I came to know that he was more nervous about working with me! When I told him I was really nervous, he said, ‘You are my friend’s daughter so I’m all the more nervous to work with you.’ That broke the ice. There are two other actresses in Action Jackson (Yami Gautam and Manasvi Mamgai). All three roles are different. This is the first time I have done a multi-starrer; all the other films have been solo leads. I think I have made a mark in Bollywood. I don’t need to be insecure about the fact that I am sharing space with two other actresses. In the entire premise of the film, everyone fits into their roles nicely. It’s a very entertaining film and I loved being part of it. I did this film because of Ajay Devgn and Prabhu Dheva. Action Jackson is much 10like the potboilers you have done earlier. Don’t you get tired of doing the same thing? It is a typical Prabhu Dheva film, full of entertainment and masala. When I was offered the film, Prabhu Sir told me he is looking for someone who has good comic timing. This film gave me an opportunity to play a character overloaded with comedy. Prabhu Dheva has a unique sense of style. Rowdy Rathore is completely different from Action Jackson. You silenced your critics with your performance in Lootera but most films you do are masala entertainers. Is box-office success more important to you? I have lost count of the number of films starring me that have earned Rs 1 billion at the box office. It does not matter to me. I never think about it while signing a film. I choose to do films that I enjoy watching. I should find the script interesting. When I am reading the script, I ask myself: would I like to watch this film or not? If the answer is yes, I agree to do the film. Do you prefer to act in a critically acclaimed film like Lootera or commercial films like Action Jackson? Films are meant to entertain as many people as they can. If my film reaches more and more people it makes me happy. So of course, commercially successful films make me happy. But if people appreciated my work in Lootera, that too makes me happy. Can we see you doing a full-fledged woman-oriented film some day? Definitely. In fact, the next film I am doing is a fullfledged action film with A R Murgadoss where I will be doing all the action. I am looking forward to that. I will start shooting for the film soon.
INDIA IN NEW YORK DECEMBER 5, 2014
‘Medha Jalota was beautiful and very charming’
few years ago, I went to New Jersey to interview Medha Gujral Jalota. She was with her ghazal singer husband Anup Jalota, who had a concert in the hotel where I met them. The trip had actually been planned to get Medha a kidney transplant. A donor had been found in India. He was a cousin of Anupji, but doctors in New York had said he was not a perfect match. There was disappointment, but Medha, who had been living with two collapsed kidneys and new heart that she received a few years earlier, seemed strong willed. She had the desire to live and she wanted to speak to the Indian-American community through India Abroad — to see if anyone was willing to donate their kidney, in case there was a perfect match. November 25 morning, I was sitting in a movie theatre at the International Film Festival of India in Goa when I got a message from my brother in the Maldives. He wrote that Medha had passed away. I opened Facebook on my phone and there was a message from my childhood friend and Medha’s cousin Atul Sikand: ‘My precious and beautiful cousin Medha Gujral Jalota is no more.’ My heart sank reading Atul’s words. I had tears in my eyes. I knew Medha was in a hospital in Westchester County just outside New York City awaiting a second heart transplant and then also a kidney transplant. Her condition was very serious. Medha had been so alive, smiling in the pictures she posted on Facebook and the comments she left on my profile page. I did not think she would leave us so soon. She was a beautiful soul with so much life. And she was only 59. I went to the same school as Medha. She was two years senior to me in Delhi’s Modern School. She was beautiful and very charming. As it often happens in schools, I was in awe of her and some of her friends. They were smarter than me, cool, hip and I never had the courage to approach this group. After I finished school, I joined Delhi’s Ruchika Theatre Group, made mostly of former Modern School students. Medha was also a part of the group. Even then, I was shy in her presence. I remember the time she started dating Shekhar Kapur. He was Dev Anand’s dashing young nephew and would come Anup Jalota with on his motorcycle to pick her up his wife Medha. from rehearsals.
Aseem Chhabra pays tribute to ghazal star Anup Jalota’s wife, who died in New York last week
Later, the two were married. Even though that marriage ended in divorce, the two remained friends. November 24 afternoon, Shekhar and I briefly spoke about Medha at the Film Bazaar in Goa. I showed him whatever information I could find about her on Facebook —reading out to him messages written by Medha’s younger sister Eeda and Anupji’s cousin Radhika Tandon, who lives in New Jersey. Shekhar wrote a touching tribute to Medha on Twitter, calling her the ‘bravest person’ he knew and adding ‘You showed that life can be lived and loved despite all odds.’ I reconnected with Medha in the recent years, as she made frequent visits to New York. She had my number and would always call. I did see her a few times during those visits, but I regret that I did not see her more often. I saw her and Anupji once in Delhi. Despite her difficult medical condition, Medha looked radiant, poised. She had a real presence. And I saw how caring and loving Anupji was with her. I never met their son Aryaman, but Medha was proud of him. Earlier this summer, she wrote to me on Facebook that she did not know I had graduated from Columbia University. In the same comment, she proudly told me that Aryaman had been admitted to Princeton. A common friend had said since Medha was housebound, she spent a lot of time on Facebook, sending text messages and being on the phone. I think many of her friends felt really connected to her because of that. I can spend hours re-reading the comments that she left on my Facebook wall. Two weeks ago, I was in Delhi’s Chandini Chowk where I ate a plate of Dahi Bhalla. And as I always do, I posted a picture on Facebook. The next morning, I saw a comment from Medha. Even though she was in hospital, she wanted to know where in New York she could get Dahi Bhalla like the one in my picture. I responded by saying that Dahi Bhallas were available in the South Indian restaurants in the Curry Hill area in Manhattan, and I promised I would get a plate when I came to visit her. ‘Yay!!’ she wrote. ‘Would love that! When’re you back?’ I wrote I would be back December 3 and she liked that comment. But she did not wait.
INDIA IN NEW YORK DECEMBER 5, 2014
Richa Chadha is Pooja Bhatt’s Cabaret girl
Lupita Nyong’o in Mira Nair’s next
e had told you about actress Lupita Nyong’o’s connection with Mira Nair — she studied at the Maisha Lab in Uganda, a film school established by the filmmaker. In a chat with Yahoo!’s Katie Couric on the sidelines of Glamour’s Woman of the Year event, the duo elaborated on the connection. ‘When I first met the man I fell desperately in love with: Mahmood (Mamdani, a Columbia University professor) my husband, he came into the room with Peter Nyong’o, who is Lupita’s father,’ Nair revealed. ‘So, I met Peter and the love of my life at the same moment. And, as a result of us being together now for 25 years, I inherited with gratitude and great enjoyment, Lupita’s family, and therefore Lupita.’ ‘When I was an undergrad I was planning to focus on film,’ Lupita said. ‘I was home for the summer, and I was talking to my parents about my interest in film, and my dad said, “You know what? I have a friend who’s married to a director.” I said, “Who?” And he said, “Her name is Mira Nair.” I was just like, “Daddy... Mira Nair is a big deal. How could you not have told me that you have connections with Mira Nair?” I made him call Mahmood up and introduce me to Mira.’ But what was even more interesting in that Yahoo! video was a blink-and-you-miss line from Nair’s introduction of Lupita, who is the Glamour Woman of the Year, at the event. She introduced the actress as the star of her next movie, Queen Of Katwe. All we can tell you right now is that the film is based on the real life story of Ugandan chess prodigy Phiona Mutesi, but stay tuned for more.
icha Chadha has been selected to play the title role in Pooja Bhatt’s new film Cabaret. Bhatt has been searching for a strong, sexy actress for the past two years, and nearly zeroed in on a newcomer. But no, she has opted for Richa. “It was a close call,” Pooja says. “I was contemplating a newcomer for the part, and nearly went for it. But then, I realized it was too much to expect a newcomer to deliver what the character required.” Not only is the girl in the title role required to perform the traditional cabaret, she must also be a topnotch dramatic actress. “It’s a very difficult role,” Pooja says. “Richa’s face kept returning to my mind. When I mentioned her for the role, some people told me she was too desi, to much of a Delhi girl. But I feel the sensuous side of Richa is ready to be tapped. So I asked her to meet me.” Richa drove down from the airport to Pooja’s residence straight from the Los Cabos Film Festival in Mexico. “I told her I want her to do Cabaret,” Pooja says. “Richa knows she will have to work very hard to get a cabaret dancer’s body-language right.” Pooja has asked her brother Rahul Bhatt to train Richa. “Rahul is a fitness trainer. He will put Richa under a strict regime and make her slog to look the part.” Gulshan Devaiah will co-star in the film, and it will be directed by veteran ad-maker Kaustav Narayan Niyogi. “I’ve been asking Kaustav to direct a film for years,” she says. “He’s finally doing it. I can see the crackling chem-
ast week’s release Zid is a remake of the 2011 German film called The Good Neighbor but it has a lot erotic content that wasn’t seen in the original. Director Vivek Agnihotri, who is currently shooting his new film Junooniyat in Kashmir, is livid about his name still not being detached from the project. “Anubhav Sinha (producer) came to me with the proposal to remake the German film,” Agnihotri says. “Three
A still from Zid.
istry between Richa and Gulshan.” Gulshan and Richa starred in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Goliyon Ki Raas Leela Ram Leela though they did not have many scenes together. Pooja has also cast old friends Deepak Tijori and Mukul Dev. – Subhash K Jha
‘They shot erotic content in Zid behind my back’ directors had already left the project. Anubhav, who is an old friend, was distressed. He asked me to step in and I couldn’t say no.” Agnihotri adds, “I finished the first schedule. When I returned, I got to know that they had shot erotic con-
tent behind my back. I was horrified. If you see The Good Neighbor, there is no room for erotica. The protagonists don’t even meet in the original story. How can they make love?” The director apparently tried to reason with Anubhav Sinha but to no avail. “He told me that the minute the erotic content was announced, Zid was sold to the distributors because my erotic thriller The Hate Story was a hit,” he says. “I have nothing against shooting erotica but it has to be part of the story. Sex and nudity are not a part of The Good Neighbor. How can they be a part of the remake?” Agnihotri suspects the steamy scenes have been shot only for the teaser trailers. “I don’t know how or when Mannara and Karanvir Sharma shot these scenes,” he says. “But this is not the film I was asked to make, and I don’t want any part of it. I spoke up about this only because they have refused to remove my name from the credits.” – Subhash K Jha
India in New York December 5, 2014
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INDIA IN NEW YORK DECEMBER 5, 2014
Deven Verma passes away at 78 eteran Bollywood actor Deven Verma passed away December 2 in Pune due to kidney failure. V He was 78. The actor had worked in 149 films and was known for his comic timing in movies such as Angoor, Khatta Meetha and Verma had won three Filmfare awards: In 1976 for Chori Mera Kaam, in 1979 for Chor Ke Ghar Chor, and in 1983 for Angoor. He was last seen on the silver screen in the 2003 film Calcutta Mail. REUBEN NV
Karan Johar to direct Aishwarya Rai Bachchan ishwarya Rai Bachchan, who will make her movie comeback after a A four-year sabbatical with Sanjay
Gupta’s Jazbaa, has already signed another film. Titled Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, the movie will be directed by Karan Johar and also star Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma. Dharma Productions made an official announcement on Twitter: ‘Here’s the big news! @karanjohar to direct Aishwarya, Ranbir and Anushka in Ae Dil Hai Mushkil. To be released on June 3, 2016.’ This is the first time that Karan Johar will direct Aishwarya.
Akshay Kumar to play magician PC Sorcar?
atest film industry grapevine suggests that Akshay Kumar, who has taken to working with experimenL tal scripts, will play famous magician PC Sorcar in his
next. According to reports, Gulaab Gang helmer Soumik Sen was keen to make a biopic on the late magician and had approached the actor to play the titular character. Sen, who has reportedly got the go-ahead from Sorcar’s son to make the film, was keen to cast an Alister in the lead role. Let’s wait and watch if Akshay Kumar’s magician act on screen translates into a success at the box office.
Baby boy for Riteish, Genelia The director had earlier offered her Kuch Kuch Hota Hai but she turned it down, as she had been shooting for Shankar’s Jeans. Ae Dil Hai Mushkil will be shot in New York, London, Paris and Delhi.
Deshmukh and his wife Genelia D’Souza welcomed a baby boy, November 25. RTheiteish happy father tweeted, ‘It’s a BBBOOOOYYYYYY!!!!!!!!’ After a long courtship, the couple tied the knot in February 2012, with a church wedding and a Maharashtrian-style wedding. Both actors started their careers with the romantic film Tujhe Meri Kasam in 2003.
When Gauahar was slapped for wearing ‘skimpy clothes’ ctor and model Gauahar Khan was allegedly slapped by a 24-year-old man who was in the audience of a singing show A she was hosting in Mumbai, November 30.
The police have detained the suspect, Akil Malik. Police sources said Malik said he ‘disapproved’ of the actor wearing a short skirt. According to the police, the incident took place during the final episode of the show at studio number 9. ‘A preliminary probe has revealed that someone from the audience started teasing Khan to which she protested,’ a police officer said. ‘An argument ensued between Gauahar and the man who was teasing her. Things turned ugly when the man suddenly slapped the actor.’
INDIA IN NEW YORK DECEMBER 5, 2014
Haute cuisine Lip-smacking but healthy recipes, created especially for the couture queens
1 tsp oil 1 tsp green chutney ½ tsp fresh coriander leaves, chopped
eauty pageants involve diets and long, rigorous workouts. Dr Muffazal Lakdawala, founder of Center of Obesity and Diabetes Support, with his team, Jason Johal and Carlyne Remedios, worked with the 15 Miss Diva 2014 contestants in Mumbai and whipped them into shape. Fitness trainer Jason Johal made the girls sweat it out in the gym and Carlyne Remedios, a senior nutritionist with the center, worked closely with chef Paul Kinny of Mumbai’s Palladium Hotel, and tossed up a mean but healthy feast.
METHOD Grind ginger, garlic and green chillies into a paste and marinate the chicken cubes in it for an hour. Heat oil in a pan and sauté chicken cubes till done. Add cumin powder, Chat masala and check seasoning. Mix sliced onions and carrot strips. To make kathi rolls, head ½ tsp of oil on a tawa and lightly heat the Rotis. Smear each Roti with 1 tsp of green chutney, place six to eight pieces of cooked chicken and sprinkle with green chillies and coriander leaves. Spread a spoonful of onion and carrot mixture on the Roti and sprinkle salt. Roll the Roti tightly over the stuffing and serve.
Spicy and Tangy Scrambled Tofu
INGREDIENTS 1 cup tofu/ egg whites/ cottage cheese or paneer, crumbled 1 small onion, chopped 3-4 garlic cloves, chopped Black pepper, freshly-ground Salt to taste Veggies, chopped (optional) 1 tbsp olive oil
METHOD Mix the ragi flour, rice flour, onions, coriander, yogurt, green chilly, salt and water in a bowl and mix well to make a batter of pouring consistency. Keep aside to ferment for 2 hours. For the tempering, heat oil in a small non-stick pan and add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Let them crackle. Add the curry leaves and asafetida and sauté for a few seconds. Pour this tempering over the batter. Mix well. Pour a spoonful of the batter onto the pan each and cook them on both the sides using 1/4 tsp of oil.
Oats Soya Milk Pancakes INGREDIENTS ½ cup all purpose flour or maida ½ cup rolled oats 1 tsp honey
Chicken Kathi Roll
PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY: PALLADIUM HOTEL, MUMBAI
METHOD Heat oil in a frying pan. Add chopped onion and garlic to the oil, and the veggies. Add the egg whites/tofu/paneer. Mix well. Add pepper and salt. Serve hot with a whole grain toast. You can also serve with hash brown and boiled asparagus.
INGREDIENTS 1 whole wheat flour Roti 75 gram boneless chicken breasts ½ inch piece ginger 1-2 cloves garlic 1 green chilly, chopped Salt to taste
INGREDIENTS ½ cup red millet or ragi flour ¼ cup rice flour ½ onions, finely chopped 1 tsp coriander, chopped ¼ cup low-fat yogurt ½ green chilly, finely chopped Salt to taste ½ tsp oil for tempering and cooking ¼ tsp mustard seeds ¼ tsp cumin seeds 2-3 curry leaves Asafetida, a pinch
¼ tsp cinnamon Salt to taste ¼ tsp baking powder ¼ tsp baking soda ½ tsp Canola oil 1 tsp lemon juice or vinegar ½ cup soy milk
½ tsp cumin powder ½ tsp Chat masala ½ medium-sized onion, sliced ½ medium-sized carrot, cut into thick strips
METHOD Put 1 tsp of lemon juice or vinegar in 1/2 cup measure and fill cup with soy milk. Set aside. Measure all of the dry ingredients into a bowl and mix together with a spoon. Pour in the oil, and the soured soy milk. Stir until just mixed. If not thin enough for pancake batter, stir in up to 1/4 cup more of soy milk (or water). Make the pancakes on the nonstick pan.
Aseem in Delhi
INDIA IN NEW YORK DECEMBER 5, 2014
Food-loose in the Indian capital A
tul Sikand is my childhood friend from Modern School. He is a real foodie. He lives in Gurgoan, and from there he runs a very popular blog, Sikandalous Cuisine, and also the Delhi Gourmet Club, where members get to experience many of Delhi’s eateries. One of the things he does often in Delhi is to go with a team of members to look for the best places serving Indian foods – Chole Bhatura, Chaat, Kulfi, etc. So last week, I did a mini food walk with Atul in Karol Bagh, the shopping capital of West Delhi. We took the metro from Rajiv Chowk and hopped onto a rickshaw to Karol Bagh’s main shopping strip. It was around noon when we stopped at Standard Burfee. It was still early for them to make Chole Bhatura, so we opted for Puri Chole. The inside of the puris were layered with light masala, which added a nice, subtle, spicy taste to the ball of fried flour. Then after a walk where we looked for shops that sold the best Mathri and Pakoras, we headed to Roshan Di Kulfi, one of the best-known and very affordable eateries in all of Delhi. We ordered Roshan’s famous Chole Bhatura, followed by Papri Chaat, Allu Tikki, and topped it with Kulfi and Faluda. It was an amazing meal, fresh, delicious, filling and of course very inexpensive as well. By the end of the meal we were so full, that it made sense to walk — at least part of the way — to the metro station. Chole Bhature, from Roshan Di Kulfi
Scenes from Delhi’s pride parade.
ost cities around the world celebrate the LGBT month in the summer in June to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall Inn riots in New York City. But June is an exceptionally hot month in Delhi, so the city’s LGBT community marks the occasion on the last Sunday of November. So on the final weekend of my extended trip to India, I marched with friends and strangers in Delhi’s Queer Parade. We started at Barakhamba Road in Rajiv Chowk (I still prefer the old name Connaught Place). There were a couple of thousand people — mostly young men and women — many not covering their faces. As the parade progressed along Tolstoy Marg, people spread out, with groups breaking into spontaneous dancing and slogan shouting. Among the slogans — most reflecting the Indian Supreme Court’s decision to reinstate Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which effectively makes homosexuality illegal in India – were: “Hamein Chahiye Azadi (We want freedom),” “Hum Apna Adhikar Mangte, Nahin Kisi Se Bheek Mangte (We are asking for our rights, not alms),” and “I Am Gay, That’s OK.” It was a happy crowd that energized the streets around Connaught Place, as Delhi’s police force — including many female cops — and many bystanders watched. Section 377 may have outlawed gay sex, but this group of marchers felt very free to express their sexuality or to support their friends and family members who are part of the LGBT community.
ast Thursday I went with a group of my film journalist friends to Old Delhi’s Delite cinema for two back-to-back press screenings. We watched a political spoof, Zed-Plus, with Adil Hussain as a helpless man who gets entangled in political intrigues, and Ungli, a very cynical and badly written story about a group of vigilantes who believe in taking charge of law and order since the police is shown to be very ineffective. While some of the issues that Ungli raises may be important, but it is a dangerous film as well since it justifies individual citizens taking the law into their hands. And by the end of the film the Ungli Gang, as they are called in the film, even get a stamp of approval from the police. I do not know how it will do at the box office — the reviews were mostly bad — but I wish films like Ungli were not made. The film apart, the long afternoon was a lot of fun, with a lot of laughs and free food from Delite’s concession stand — coffee, popcorn, and even large Samosas.
India in New York December 5, 2014
OBAMA TAKES EXECUTIVE ACTION ON IMMIGRATION by Cyrus D. Mehta*
Shortly after the mid-term elections, President Barack Obama initiated several executive actions on immigration. As outlined in a series of Department of Homeland Security memoranda, the executive actions include, among other things: • Supporting high-skilled business and workers. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will take a number of administrative actions to better enable U.S. businesses to hire and retain highly skilled foreign-born workers and strengthen and expand opportunities for students to gain on-the-job training. For example, DHS notes, "because our immigration system suffers from extremely long waits for green cards, we will amend current regulations and make other administrative changes to provide needed flexibility to workers with approved employment-based green card petitions." Some of the actions called for in the memo include: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) working with the Department of State (DOS) to improve the system for determining when immigrant visas are available to applicants during the fiscal year. DOS has agreed to modify its visa bulletin system "to more simply and reliably make such determinations," and the memo states an expectation that USCIS will revise its current regulations "to reflect and complement these proposed modifications." - USCIS considering "amending its regulations to ensure that approved, long-standing visa petitions remain valid in certain cases where [beneficiaries] seek to change jobs or employers." - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) developing regulations for notice and comment to expand the degree programs eligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT) and to extend the time period and use of OPT for foreign STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) students and graduates. - USCIS issuing guidance or regulations to clarify the standard for granting a national interest waiver green card, with the aim of promoting its greater use. - USCIS proposing a program allowing parole status, on a case-by-case basis, to inventors, researchers, and founders of start-up enterprises who may not yet qualify for national interest waivers but "who have been awarded substantial U.S. investor financing or otherwise hold the promise of innovation and job creation through the development of new technologies or the pursuit of cutting-edge research." The regulation will include income and resource thresholds. - USCIS issuing a policy memorandum to provide "clear, consolidated guidance" on the meaning of "specialized knowledge" in adjudicating L-1B petitions. - USCIS issuing a policy memorandum providing guidance on worker portability, specifically with respect to what constitutes a "same or similar" job, with a goal of removing "unnecessary restrictions" on "natural career progression." The memo explaining these actions is available at http://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/14_1120_memo_business_actions.pdf. • Enforcement efforts, including commissioning three Joint Task Forces. Joint Task Force East, Joint Task Force West, and Joint Task Force Investigations. All three will incorporate elements of the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Joint Task Force East will be responsible for the southern maritime border and approaches. Joint Task Force West will be responsible for the southern land border and the West Coast. Joint Task Force Investigations will focus on investigations in support of the geographic Task Forces. The overarching goals of the Southern Border and Approaches Campaign, of which the Joint Task Forces are a part, will be to enforce immigration laws and interdict individuals seeking to enter the U.S. without authorization; degrade international criminal organizations; and decrease the threat of terrorism. The memo explaining these actions is available at http://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/14_1120_memo_southern_border_campaign_plan.pdf. • Ending the Secure Communities program and replacing it with the Priority Enforcement Program, and prioritizing criminal offenses for arrest, detention, and removal. The memos explaining these actions are available at http://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/14_1120_memo_prosecutorial_discretion.pdf and http://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/14_1120_memo_secure_communities.pdf. • Expanding Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) to encompass a broader class of children. DACA eligibility had been limited to those who were under 31 years of age on June 15, 2012, who entered the United States before June 15, 2007, and who were under 16 years old when they entered. DACA eligibility will be expanded to cover all undocumented immigrants who entered the United States before the age of 16, and not just those born after June 15, 1981. The entry date will be adjusted from June 15, 2007 to January 1, 2010. The relief (including work authorization) will now last for three years rather than two. The memo explaining this action is available at http://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/14_1120_memo_deferred_action.pdf. • Extending eligibility for deferred action to parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents. This new program, called Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA), will include individuals who (i) are not removal priorities under the new policy, (ii) have been in the United States at least five years, (iii) have children who on the date of the announcement (November 20, 2014) were U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents, and (iv) present no other factors that would make a grant of deferred action inappropriate. These individuals will be assessed for eligibility for deferred action on a case-by-case basis. They may then apply for work authorization, provided they pay a fee. Each individual will undergo a background check of relevant national security and criminal databases, including DHS and FBI databases. The memo explaining this action is available at http://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/14_1120_memo_deferred_action.pdf. • Expanding I-601A provisional waivers to spouses and children of lawful permanent residents. The provisional waiver program DHS announced in January 2013 for undocumented spouses and children of U.S. citizens will be expanded to include the spouses and children of lawful permanent residents, as well as the adult children of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents. At the same time, the administration will further clarify the "extreme hardship" standard that must be met to obtain the waiver. The memo explaining this action is available at http://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/14_1120_memo_i601a_waiver.pdf. • Revising parole rules. DHS will begin rulemaking to identify the conditions under which "talented entrepreneurs" should be paroled into the United States, on the ground that their entry would yield a "significant public economic benefit." DHS will also support the military and its recruitment efforts by working with the Department of Defense to address the availability of parole-inplace and deferred action to spouses, parents, and children of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents who seek to enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces. DHS will also issue guidance to clarify that when anyone is given advance parole to leave the United States, including those who obtain deferred action, they will not be considered to have departed. Undocumented aliens generally trigger a 3- or 10-year bar to returning to the United States when they depart. The memos explaining these actions are available at http://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/14_1120_memo_business_actions.pdf (entrepreneurs), http://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/14_1120_memo_parole_in_place.pdf (parole-in-place and deferred action), and http://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/14_1120_memo_arrabally.pdf (advance parole). President Obama also issued a memorandum directing the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security, in consultation with other federal agencies, to develop recommendations for improving the U.S. visa system. The recommendations will be developed in consultation with "business people, labor leaders, universities, and other stakeholders." The recommendations will be geared toward streamlining and improving the legal immigration system—including immigrant and non-immigrant visa processing—"with a focus on reforms that reduce government costs, improve services for applicants, reduce burdens on employers, and combat waste, fraud, and abuse in the system." In consultation with stakeholders with relevant expertise in immigration law, they will also develop recommendations "to ensure that administrative policies, practices, and systems use all of the immigrant visa numbers that the Congress provides for and intends to be issued, consistent with demand." In consultation with technology experts inside and outside the government, they will develop recommendations "for modernizing the information technology infrastructure underlying the visa processing system, with a goal of reducing redundant systems, improving the experience of applicants, and enabling better public and congressional oversight of the system." President Obama also announced that he is establishing a White House Task Force on New Americans, an interagency effort "to identify and support state and local efforts at integration that are working and to consider how to expand and replicate successful models." The Task Force, which will engage with community, business, and faith leaders, as well as state and local elected officials, "will help determine additional steps the federal government can take to ensure its programs and policies are serving diverse communities that include new Americans." Among other things, the Task Force will submit an "Integration Plan" to President Obama, which will include an assessment of the members' agencies with respect to integration efforts, and recommendations. The Task Force will also identify and disseminate best practices at the state and local level, collect and disseminate data on immigrant integration, and provide technical assistance. A letter transmitted by 136 law professors to the White House on November 20, 2014, and updated on November 25, supports President Obama's legal authority to expand the DACA program and to establish the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) program. It is available at https://pennstatelaw.psu.edu/sites/default/files/documents/pdfs/Immigrants/executive-actionlaw-prof-letter.pdf. President Obama also issued an "immigration blueprint," outlined in "Building a 21st Century Immigration System," which includes additional proposals. The blueprint is available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/rss_viewer/immigration_blueprint.pdf. The memoranda summarized above, along with the White House address announcing the actions and related USCIS and ICE info, are available at http://www.dhs.gov/immigration-action. Additional memoranda are available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/11/21/presidential-memorandum-modernizing-and-streamlining-us-immigrant-visa-s (modernizing and streamlining the U.S. visa system) and http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/11/21/presidential-memorandum-creating-welcoming-communities-and-fullyintegra (establishing the White House Task Force on New Americans).
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The Week That Was INDIA IN NEW YORK DECEMBER 5, 2014
Trinamool versus Amit Shah
Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Hornbill Festival at Kohima, in Nagaland, December 1.
The blast in a house that was a veritable bomb-making factory in Burdwan proved that West Bengal’s ruling party was handin-glove with terrorists, Amit Shah, the Bharatiya Janata Party president, declared at a rally in Kolkata last week. The Trinamool Congress hit back, with its parliamentarians December 1 holding up red diaries outside Parliament, and claiming that a diary found during the probe into the Sahara group of companies had Shah’s name in it.
Foul play suspected in Delhi church fire A fire broke out on the premises of a Catholic church in Delhi’s Tahirpura area December 1, leaving a substantial part of it glutted. The Christian community suspects foul play, and a police case has been registered.
Congress party leader A R Antulay dies Former Maharashtra chief minister and senior Congress party leader A R Antulay died in a Mumbai hospital, December 2.
Land-swapping deal with Bangladesh to stop infiltration: Modi Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi November 30 said the land-swap deal with Bangladesh was on, and that it will stop infiltration into India. In the run-up to the federal elections, Modi’s Bharatiya Janata party had objected to the deal, initiated by the previous, Congress party-led United Progressive Alliance government, saying it violated India’s Constitution. The prime minister, who was on a four-day visit to the northeast states, was addressing a large gathering at the Sarusajai National Games stadium in Guwahati, Assam. He was to address the country’s top police chiefs, dedicate a train line from Meghalaya to Assam, commission a power project in Tripura, and inaugurate a festival each in Nagaland and Manipur.
Untouchability still rife in India, caste survey finds More than one in four — 27 percent — of Indian households still practice untouchability, according to the Indian Human Development Survey conducted by the National Council of Applied Economic Research in 2011-2012. The other revelations of the largest pan-Indian, non-government household survey suggests that half of the Hindi heartland, every third Hindu, and 52 percent Brahmins still practice untouchability. West Bengal, the survey found, had the lowest percentage of the people practicing the social evil (which is also a criminal offense). Only 5.34 percent of Indian marriages are inter-caste,
the report added.
Student opposes girl’s harassment, killed Harshavardhan Rao, 19, was November 30 beaten to death allegedly when he objected to a senior in his Hyderabad private college harassing a girl. A murder case was registered with police and the accused is fugitive.
Economic growth slows to 5.3% India’s Gross Domestic Product growth slowed to 5.3 percent in the third quarter ending September as against 5.7 in the
previous quarter, per government data released last week. The manufacturing output grew 0.1 percent, compared with 3.5 percent a quarter earlier. India’s economic growth was below 5 percent in the last two financial years.
Maharashtra: ISIS recruit youth sent to NIA’s custody Arif Majeed, 23, a civil engineering student from Kalyan, Maharshtra, who had joined the terrorist outfit ISIS in Syria and was believed to have been killed there, was arrested November 28 by the National Investigation Agency in Mumbai. He was remanded in custody till December 8.
Maoists kill 13 troopers in Chhattisgarh Thirteen Central Reserve Police Force personnel, including two officers, were killed and an equal number injured in an ambush by Maoist guerrillas in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district, December 1. The attack, the second in 10 days in the same area, occurred in the dense forests of the south Bastar region when the security personnel were returning to their camp after a combing and area-domination operation.
The Week That Was
INDIA IN NEW YORK DECEMBER 5, 2014
Antulay, 85, served as the minority affairs minister in the Manmohan Singh cabinet in the United Progressive Alliance government’s first term.
Haryana: Girls thrash perverts Two college-going sisters thrashed men who were harassing them in a bus in Rohtak, Haryana, November 28. The other passengers did not come to the girls’ help, and a pregnant woman shot a video of the incident on her cellphone and later went to the police. The video went viral on social media, and the girls filed a police complaint. The men were arrested three days later. The Haryana government also announced the suspension of the bus driver and conductor. It will also honor the girls for their bravery.
Federal minister’s communal remark Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, a minister of state in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s council of ministers, sparked major controversy last week when she declared at a Delhi election rally that the people of the state have to choose between a government of ‘Ramzaadon’ (followers of Ram) or of ‘haramzaadon’ (bastards). A day later, she defiantly defended her remarks, saying ‘My statement was for those who don’t believe in Ram, who don’t believe in unity of country. It should not be given a communal twist.’
Army finds 9 guilty of killing Kashmiri teenagers The Indian Army November 27 found nine soldiers including a commanding officer guilty of killing two teenagers in Jammu and Kashmir’s Badgam district last month. The army had earlier admitted the teenagers’ car was fired upon because of ‘mistaken identity.’
Dalit sisters committed suicide, claims CBI The teenaged Dalit sisters who were found hanging from a tree in Badaun, Uttar Pradesh, in May committed suicide, the Central Bureau of Investigation last week said. The girls’ family had alleged rape and murder. Even as the CBI’s conclusions were met with outrage and disbelief, the investigating agency claimed one of the girls had a relationship with one of the accused, and that it becoming public had led to the sisters killing themselves.
Electronic visa scheme for 43 countries begins India November 27 launched electronic
30 years on… A girl, who suffers from hearing and speech disorders, at a Bhopal Medical Appeal rehabilitation center for children born with disabilities in Bhopal. December 3 marks 30 years of the Bhopal gas disaster, which continues to take its toll.
f PAGE 18
visa facility for visitors from 43 countries, including the United States, Brazil, Germany and Australia. Enabled by electronic travel authorization, the visa, which can be obtained in four simple steps, will be valid only for 30 days and cannot be extended. Also, one cannot apply for it for more than twice a year. It will be given to applicants whose ‘sole objective of visiting India is recreation, sight-seeing, casual visit to meet friends or relatives, short duration medical treatment or casual business visit,’ the ministry of tourism said. The cities where Visa-on-Arrival will be issued include Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram.
week told Parliament. In 2011-2012, 13 aircraft were lost, six each in 2012-2013 and 2013-2014, and five in 2014 so far, costing the nation Rs 11.615 billion ($187.702 million).
Election Commission denies discovering fake voters in Varanasi Denying media reports that it had discovered 311,057 fake voters in Varanasi, the Election Commission of India last week said there were 647,000 repeated names in the voter list. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had won the Varanasi Lok Sabha seat by a margin of 371,784 votes.
Big rise in registration of crimes against women
‘SBI funding Adani Group smacks of crony capitalism’
The number of total registered cases against women in Delhi and the National Capital Region in 2013 nearly doubled to 21,887 from 12,288 in 2012, according to the federal home ministry. Rape cases more than doubled during the same time period. Experts felt the spikes can be attributed to enactment of the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013, which makes non-registration of cases by the police a criminal offence. Meanwhile, the nonprofit Praja Foundation said in its annual report that rape cases have increased by 47 percent and molestation cases have gone up by 52 percent in Mumbai year on year. Proactive policing was cited as a reason for the spurt.
Trinamool Congress Member of Parliament Derek O’Brien last week raised in the Rajya Sabha the issue of the State Bank of India sanctioning a $1 billion loan to the Adani Group’s coal project in Australia, saying the decision smacks of crony capitalism. ‘This gentleman was with the prime minister every day during Modi’s visit to Australia, which gives a bad impression,’ Brien said without naming Gautam Adani. The SBI committed itself to sanction the loan, O’Brien said, over a breakfast meeting where Modi, Adani and the governmentrun bank’s chair person were present. Five global banks had declined to fund the project earlier due to decline in coal mining in Australia, and environmental issues, O’Brien said.
30 aircraft crashes in three years: Defense minister Thirty Indian Air Force aircraft crashed in the last three years due to human error and technical defects, India’s Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar last
Vadra’s firms made 600% profit: Report Congress party President Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra made profit of up
to 600 percent within three years of investment in real estate in Rajasthan through his three companies, The Indian Express reported last week. Vadra’s firms sold land in 2012 at three to seven times the price they bought it for in 2009-2010, the newspaper said quoting official records, and bought land in the same areas at 2009-2010 rates.
Rajapaksa credits Modi’s foreign policy for fishermen’s release In an interview to The Hindu, Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa last week said he would credit Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s foreign policy for Colombo’s decision to release five Tamil Nadu fishermen on death row. ‘Since he has come to power, Modi has opened out to the relationship with Sri Lanka,’ Rajapaksa said. ‘It is his foreign policy and his outreach that led to my decision.’
Delhi: Vehicles older than 15 years banned Noting that air pollution in India’s capital is getting worse every day, the National Green Tribunal November 27 passed an order that all petrol and diesel vehicles older than 15 years would not be permitted to ply on New Delhi roads.
Supreme Court to govt: Consider German The Supreme Court November 28 asked the federal government to consider continuing the German language at Kendriya Vidyalayas for the present academic session. India’s Education Minister had two weeks ago decided that German should not be taught as a third language in the government-run schools.
Sports INDIA IN NEW YORK DECEMBER 5, 2014
Srinivasan needs to disprove conflict of interest, says court I
N Srinivasan, center, is the Indian cricket board's president in exile.
‘Make Mudgal report public’
ihar Cricket Association secretary Aditya Verma, the petitioner in the Indian Premier League spot-fixing case, December 1 termed the efforts by the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s to shield its former president Narayanaswami Srinivasan and other involved officials in the ongoing case as ‘unfortunate.’ Justice Mudgal’s report should be made public, Verma demanded, ‘so that everybody can know who is tainting this great sport.’ He added, ‘Being a petitioner I am hurt. The BCCI December 1 submitted manufactured documents to the Supreme Court, I am sure of it. They are trying to save Srinivasan by hook or by crook. In the next hearing, I will ask the court to make the report available in public domain.’
‘Today he has got a chance to prove to the hilt that all allegations are false as he had acted with speed on knowing about the alleged involvement of his son-in-law (Gurunath Meiyappan) in the IPL-6 scandal,’ he said. Sibal added the allegation of cover up against Srinivasan was wrong as the day Meiyappan was arrested (May 24, 2013 in Mumbai), the BCCI lodged a complaint against India Cements Ltd, the company in which Meiyappan is a managing director, and which owns Chennai Super Kings. The BCCI, in its working committee meeting May 28, 2013, had set up a three-member commission comprising two retired judges as independent members and one from the board with Srinivasan asking the board to proceed against Meiyappan, who was a CSK official, Sibal said.
ndia’s Supreme Court December 1 put the onus on Narayanaswami Srinivasan, the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s president in exile, to prove that there was no conflict of interest involving him that came in the way of a probe into the scam of sixth edition of the Indian Premiere League. The court also took strong exception to Srinivasan’s counsel ‘repeatedly’ naming Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the proceedings. ‘He is not a party here,’ a bench comprising Justices T S Thakur and F M I Kalifulla said. ‘Don’t attribute it to a person who is not represented here.’ Srinivasan’s counsel, former Indian minister Kapil Sibal, was stressing that a BCCI panel set up to probe the scam was constituted on the suggestion of Jaitley, who was of the view that the inquiry should be free from BCCI’s interference. Sibal said the issue of Jaitley’s view was reflected in the record and later referred to in the minutes of the May 28, 2013 BCCI working committee meeting. The bench proceeded with the hearing, saying, ‘If you mention name, you have to mention the context, because he (Jaitley) is not represented.’ Since the major part of the hearing was on the issue of conflict of interest involving Srinivasan, the bench said, ‘We have a different opinion on the conflict of interest issue. You have to lift the veil.’ Sibal argued that there was no finding either by the Justice Mukul Mudgal Committee or the Bombay high court against Srinivisan on the conflict of interest issue. ‘Even if you lift the veil, you will not find anything on conflict of interest and they (rivals) only want him to be removed (from BCCI),’ Sibal said. Responding to his contentions, the bench said it is up to Srinivasan to ‘demonstrate’ that there was no conflict of interest, as the question has arisen on admitted facts. Sibal said at no point of time was Srinivasan given an opportunity either before the Mudgal Committee or the high court to address the issue of conflict of interest. The issue of conflict of interest was neither in the pleadings before the high court nor in the terms of reference of the Mudgal Committee and it was raised only in the apex court, he said. ‘They only want to remove him. They are not espousing the cause of cricket. They are espousing something else,’ Sibal said while countering allegations leveled by the Cricket Association of Bihar and its secretary, Aditya Verma, against Srinivasan. Sibal commenced his arguments by saying that Srinivasan has been publicly vilified and held guilty.
He added there was a suggestion in this regard from Jaitley, who was of the view that there should not be interference by the board into the probe. The bench showered questions on the appointment of the commission, and even observed, ‘Was it on the concurrence of the BCCI president?’ ‘Who was at the helm of the working committee meeting? Who was heading the meeting?’ When it was told that the commission was not in place before the scandal, the bench observed, ‘Do you constitute the commission depending upon the people in the complaint? You don’t have a prior commission. So, for different complaints, there would be different commissions.’ The next hearing is scheduled for December 8.
Sports INDIA IN NEW YORK DECEMBER 5, 2014
Ricky Ponting consoles Simon Katich at St Vincent's hospital.
MATT KING/GETTY IMAGES
Flags fly at half mast at the Sydney Cricket Ground November 28, following Philip Hughes’s death.
ICC says clampdown on bouncers unlikely despite Hughes’s demise
nternational Cricket Council chief executive David Richardson revealed that a clampdown down on bouncers was unlikely despite the passing of Australian batsman Phillip Hughes, November 27. Richardson said the ICC needed to try and keep their perspective, in light of moving further to restrict the use of the bouncer. He said that it’s a bit early to determine, but the
initial reaction was that that’s unlikely, Sport24 reported. Richardson also said people had died by being struck on the heart before, adding that he didn’t think cricketers need to over-react, but do what they could. Current regulations permit two bouncers per over in Test matches and One Day Internationals and one per over in Twenty20 cricket.
Hughes was wearing a helmet when he was struck, but the ball delivered by Sean Abbott hit him on back of the neck, just underneath the head guard. Former Australia wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist said bouncers were all part of the game but modifications could be made to helmets. He said they could extend the helmet a little bit further down the back of the neck.
CHRIS HYDE/GETTY IMAGES
Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke breaks down.
ricket Australia and the Board of Control for Cricket in India have decided that the first Test between the two countries will be held in Adelaide from December 9. The four-match series’ schedule was revised December 1 in the wake of Australian batsman Phillip Hughes’s tragic onfield death in a domestic match, which left the Australian team distraught. The second Test will be played in Brisbane December 17, the third in Melbourne December 26, and the last one has been scheduled to be played in Sydney January 6, the BCCI said. Hughes’s funeral was to be held in his hometown of Macksville in northern New South Wales, December 3. The entire Australian team, Indian captain Virat Kohli, India coach Duncan Fletcher and team director Ravi Shastri was to attend it. A two-day tour game featuring a Cricket Australia XI was canceled last week, but India might get an opportunity to play a practice match later this week. The tourists were due to fly to Brisbane December 1, but put off their traveling plans until the venue and dates for the first Test were confirmed. ‘The Indian side will remain in Adelaide until details for the first Test have been confirmed,’ CA had tweeted earlier. Australian players were left in mourning after Hughes lost his life two days after he was struck in the head by a short-pitched delivery in a first class game at the Sydney Cricket Ground last week.
JOOSEP MARTINSON/GETTY IMAGES
India to remain in Adelaide, first Test rescheduled to Dec 9
A tribulte to Hughes.
Sports INDIA IN NEW YORK DECEMBER 5, 2014
FC Goa climb to second spot COURTESY: INDIAN SUPER LEAGUE
C Goa registered their third win on the trot at home as they drubbed NorthEast United FC 3-0 to jump to second place in the Hero Indian Super League at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, December 1. Kerala Blasters FC suffered their first defeat on home side after losing 0-1 to Chennaiyin FC in an encounter in Kochi, November 30. Bruno Pelissari’s 87th minute solo effort was enough to separate the two sides. Atletico de Kolkata’s erratic run in away games continued as a spirited Pune City FC held them to a 1-1 draw in an 11th round encounter of the ISL in Pune, November 29. Skipper Hans Mulder scored a breathtaking goal, before Mads Junker, Gustavo Santos and Manish Bhargav added to the tally to propel Delhi Dynamos to a crushing 4-1 win over Mumbai City FC in a match in New Delhi, November 28. NorthEast United pumped in
Miroslav Slepicka of FC Goa has a go at the goal in a match against NorthEast United FC, December 1. three first half goals in a rampaging show to drub table toppers Chennaiyin FC 3-0 in an absorbing match to keep their hopes of a semi-final berth alive in Guwahati, November 27. Substitute Miroslav Slepicka scored a brace as FC Goa thrashed Kerala Blasters 3-0, November 26. Delhi Dynamos FC registered their second victory in the ongo-
ing ISL when they beat hosts NorthEast United FC 2-1 in a keenly-contested match in Guwahati, November 24. Chennaiyin FC produced a clinical performance and pumped in goals in the second half to thrash Mumbai City FC 3-0 at the DY Patil Stadium, November 23. FC Goa earned three crucial points as they romped to a 2-0 victory against FC Pune City at
the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Goa, November 22. Atletico de Kolkata were robbed a point due to poor refereeing as regular captain Luis Garcia’s injury time equalizer was disallowed by assistant referee as hosts Kerala Blasters recorded a 2-1 win in a 10th round encounter of the ISL, November 21. Chennaiyin FC produced a
crushing performance to beat Pune City FC 3-1 in an ISL match, November 19. Luis Garcia fired in a stunning header in the second-half to help Atletico de Kolkata end their four-match winless run by registering a 1-0 win over NorthEast United FC in their return leg ISL fixture at the Vivekananda Yuva Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata, November 18.
‘Yes, it is difficult to be a Sania Mirza in this country’
xplaining the difficulties she faced during her career as a sportswoman, tennis ace Sania Mirza said it is difficult to be a Sania Mirza in this country and called for an urgent need to bring about a cultural change, the Press Trust of India reported. ‘I think a lot of controversies that I had faced in my career was because I am a woman,’ she said. ‘Had I been a man, I could have avoided some of those.’ Sania November 25 was made the United Nations Women’s goodwill ambassador for the South Asian region. She joined the campaign to end violence against women and girls and also raise awareness on gender equality. ‘I think for more women to come into sports (in India), the culture needs to be changed,’ she said. ‘The government is getting involved and I guess that is going to change a lot of things. Our current Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal supports women sports a lot and I have personally seen it.’ ‘I am happy that the government is also opening up and speaking about the gender inequality that is present in our society. And the fact that they are trying to do
something about it, speaks volume about it.’ ‘We need a cultural change and I hope media takes the responsibility, too. Media has the biggest voice, they can and should make a difference,’ she added. Sania said she has vowed to take up the most important battle ‘I might face off the field. ‘Gender equality is something we all advocate,’ she said. ‘Some speak about it, some don’t. I have chosen to speak about it. I hope one day everyone will say that we are equal and women are not treated as objects. I will try and do everything I can to bring about a change.’ Stating that the mentality of not just men but women is also needed to undergo a major transformation for a country to achieve gender equality, Sania said, ‘Women’s safety is something that has been going on. Women face discrimination. They are treated like animals and it is not right. The thinking needs to be changed. Mentality needs to be changed.’ ‘Men must understand that women also go out to do their work just as they do. But even women have to realize their own worth.’
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