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India in New York A GUIDE TO EVENTS AND ENTERTAINMENT FROM INDIA ABROAD FRIDAY, JUNE 6, 2014
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Inside the 9/11 Memorial Museum
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INDIA IN NEW YORK JUNE 6, 2014
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Mahatma Gandhi statue unveiled to the public in Secaucus ARTHUR J PAIS
lifesize statue of Mahatma Gandhi was inaugurated in Secaucus, a New Jersey, last week by spiritual leader Dada J P Vaswani, 95. After the stone-carved monument was unveiled to the public at the entrance of the Sadhu Vaswani Meditation Garden, Vaswani asked the audience to follow Gandhi’s action in fighting for not only the people but also the animals. The condition of slaughterhouses and mass killings of animals are so horrible, he asserted, that “the worst Nazi concentration camps would be ashamed of them. All kinds of human tyranny have to end.” Vaswani was almost lifted by the volunteers and taken to his seat, and is hunchbacked, but he exuded energy and passion in his speech. Gandhi, he said, was “not a narrow nationalist... Mahatma Gandhi was born in India, but he belonged to all of humanity.” The American Transcendalist and essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson, Vaswani said, was certainly not an Indian but the New England sage and scholar who studied the Hindu scriptures is much loved in India. “We consider him to be one of our own.” Over 500 people attended the dedication ceremony, including Congressman Bill Pascrell of New Jersey and Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard from Hawaii, city council members and interreligious leaders. It was sponsored by the
Humane Society of the US and the Sadhu Vaswani Center of New Jersey Among the anecdotes Vaswani narrated was one about a school boy who offered a shirtless Gandhi a shirt that the boy’s mother could knit. Gandhi said he would accept one only if she could make shirts for 350 million Indians, the population of the country at that time. Animal rights animated most of the discussion. Vaswani recalled his uncle Sadhu Vaswani as saying a time will come when meat eating would be considered murder. Wayne Pacelle, chief executive officer, Humane Society, spoke about the need to stop cruel treatment of animals slaughtered primarily to feed humans, as well the ill-treatment of farm animals and animals on the streets. He said people are not aware of the cruelty animals undergo on the farms and slaughterhouses as they are far removed from the visibility. “But we are connected economically and socially to these animals, even if we’re not the ones causing their pain and suffering and death,” he said. He said his organization has started several shelters for animals across India with the help of the Dalai Lama. One immediate mission was to solve the problem of street dogs. “We want to stop the killings of these dogs,” he said. The new statue, first of its kind for New Jersey, is installed in a park about an hour’s drive from Manhattan, which has a Gandhi statue of its own at Union Park. The Secaucus statue was handcrafted
The statue is at the entrance of the Sadhu Vaswani Meditation Garden.
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More than 500 people attended the inauguration
PHOTOGRAPHS: PARESH GANDHI
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INDIA IN NEW YORK JUNE 6, 2014
Congresswoman Gabbard visits New Jersey temple SUMAN GUHA MOZUMDER
nited States Representative Tulsi Gabbard (Democrat, Hawaii), the first Hindu Congresswoman, visited the Sri Krishna Vrundavana temple in Edison, New Jersey, May 31. Close to 200 devotees gave the her a rousing welcome and Gabbard, vice chair, Democratic National Committee, spent about 90 minutes at the temple. Gabbard was taken around the temple premises and a special aarti was performed by Yogeendra Bhat, the temple’s chief priest. Bhat presented the Congresswoman with a pocket-sized Bhagavad Gita, water from the Ganga, an Indian sari, and a book. “Gabbard was invited to the temple when the temple management learned that she was going to be in New Jersey,” Mahesh Harvu, a senior executive at Benjamin
Moore & Co in Montvale, New Jersey who is associated with the temple, told India in New York. “She was also very keen to come since it gave her the opportunity to interact with the local community.” Harvu reminded the audience at the temple that Congresswoman Gabbard was one of the only two woman war veterans in Congress, and that she took oath on the Bhagavad Gita. Gabbard shared snippets about her childhood in Hawaii, her tryst with the National Guard and her journey to Congress. She spoke about being brought up in a Catholic as well as Hindu household, and how the two faiths helped guide her journey, as also her beliefs in karma yoga and bhakti yoga. “The most remarkable thing about her address was that she scarcely referred to politics,” Harvu said. “She talked more
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, left, at the Sri Krishna Vrundavana temple in Edison, New Jersey, May 31. about religion and spirituality. There was a lot of enthusiasm about and interest among devotees in what she said.” Gabbard mentioned the election of India’s New Prime Minister Narendra
Modi, and said she plans to visit India next year in her capacity as a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. She also took questions from the audience.
Mahatma Gandhi statue unveiled to the public in Secaucus from a single piece of rock and gifted to the state of New Jersey from Secaucus residents Shantaben Maneklal, Raj Patel and Paul Patel, who are associated with the Swaminarayan Temple in Secaucus. Raj Patel and his wife Parul own a real-estate development company, and have lived in Secaucus for 25 years. “We want to give something to the town to make sure everyone remembers the work of Mahatma Gandhi because he gave so much to this world,” Raj Patel said. There was no indication of the discontent that Secaucus Mayor Michael Gonnelli said had emerged at some recent
council meetings and in local blog postings over the decision to place a statue to a non-American on public land. ‘It wasn’t a lot of people, but some people have voiced objection,’ Gonnelli had been quoted as saying. ‘No one is different in my eyes, and I’m sure no one is different in God’s eyes. I think most people do see that way.’ Congressman Pascrell saw Gandhi as a rebel whose strategy of satyagraha should inspire people everywhere to fight for a better society. “Don’t look to the Congress,” he said, “but look within yourselves.” He said people should not be afraid to be “politically incorrect” and “say the unfashionable” in the hope of bringing people together. He said a few years ago, when a Muslim was contesting
US Congressman Bill Prascell, sitting second from left, and US Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, sitting third from left, with spiritual leader Dada J P Vaswani, sitting on the right.
for a seat in the House of Representatives, people said it could not be done. “But today we have two Muslims in the House,” he said, adding that they had made the House more diverse. “Tulsi (the first Hindu-American Congresswoman) has made it even better.” Gabbard reminded the audience she had taken the oath in Congress on the Bhagvad Gita as it was the scripture that had given her “the greatest inspiration from my childhood.” The Gita as well as Gandhi’s work, she said, offered lesions with universal resonance. “The best way to find yourself,” she said, “is to lose yourself in the service of others.’ Vaswani said, “In the 21st century, animals will get their rights.”
A cultural program at the event
PHOTOGRAPHS: PARESH GANDHI
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INDIA IN NEW YORK JUNE 6, 2014
How India proved skeptics wrong again A CORRESPONDENT
ndia continues to defy many Western thinkers’ theories of nationhood and the recent election has proved the vibrancy of its democracy again, said Ashutosh Varshney, professor of political science at Brown University. He was speaking on ‘India’s improbable democracy: Its resilience and pitfalls,’ as part of the Media India 2014 Lecture Series at the Indian consulate in New York. The Bharatiya Janata Party got 168 million votes of the 541 million cast, he noted, while in the first Indian election held in 1952, the total number of voters was 81 million. He said he was in Varanasi during the closing days of the election and witnessed three road shows by Narendra Modi, Arvind Kejariwal and Rahul Gandhi. A quarter million people attended each road show. There was competitive mobilization of people, yet there was no violence, Varshney pointed out. Many Western political scientists had opined that democracy survives only on a high income level, he said, which is not true in the case of India. Pakistan started the democratic process at the same time as India yet failed, he said, and among poor countries only India remains a democracy. India has proved again, he said, that it is not impossible for a poor country to remain a democracy. In India, people may follow different religions but they converge in other
fields such as ethnicity, language, culture, history and more, he said, unlike Sri Lanka where the Tamils and Sinhalese are people are two different groups. They are different ethnically, language-wise and religion-wise. Conflicts in India, Varsheny said, were limited to a small area at all times and they were manageable. The nation never faced an existential anxiety even in 1990 when problems erupted in Kashmir, Punjab, and Assam — they affected only 3.5 percent of the population. Varshney pointed out that 19th century British political scientist J S Mill said no democracy is possible without a nation. If India cannot be a nation, it cannot be a democracy was his reasoning. John Strachey, another thinker, had termed India as a civilization like Europe with the same diversity. For Mark Twain, India with 80 languages could not be a nation as it violated the single language rule for being a nation. But Mahatma Gandhi showed the hyphenated Indian identity like Gujarati-Indian or BengaliIndian. He delinked language and religion too from nationhood. He said even the British need not leave the country and could live as part of the country. The expansive concept of nationhood was the contribution of the Mahatma, Varshney said, while Jawharlal Nehru was the father of the Indian democracy. For the success of the democratic system in India, Varshney said, four things helped: The Congress party, the institutionalization of elections, the primacy of the Constitution, and minority rights.
From left, Akbar Noman, Maya Chadda, Consul General Dnyaneshwar M Mulay, Ashutosh Varshney, Sudhir Parikh, and Aftab Seth at the event.
Rajasthan month at consulate
Nehru believed that the poor knew what is best for them, Varshney said, and everyone was given the right to vote. The elections were largely fair. In America, the African Americans and the women got the right to vote only at a later stage. Before that America was ruled by governments elected by just about 40 percent of its population. The integrity and fairness of elections were questioned in the 1980s, but the status was restored in the 1990s, he pointed out. Maya Chadha, professor of political science, William Paterson University, New Jersey, was the moderator. Consul General Dnyaneshwar M Mulay introduced the speakers.
he Indian consulate will celebrate the culture of an Indian state every month, Consul General Dnyaneshwar M Mulay has announced. The first month, June, will celebrate Rajasthan. The consulate will be decorated with Rajasthani art forms, and through the month will host programs focusing on the desert state. “This will bring more awareness about the states and participation from the people of the state,” Consul General Mulay said. Mulay also said that the consulate has defeudalized its system to invite people to its functions. Now people can check the consulate the Web site and can request to participate in events. There is no need for an invite. The consulate will accommodate as many people as space allows.
Children’s Hope honors Madhur and Sakina Jaffrey A CORRESPONDENT
t its spring luncheon held at Water’s Edge in Long Island City, Queens, Children’s Hope India presented the CHI Woman of Distinction Awards to culinary authority and actress Madhur Jaffrey and her daughter, the actress Sakina Jaffrey (House of Cards). Madhur, an advisory board member of Children’s Hope, spoke about her long career in food and cinema, the challenges of balancing family and career in a new country, and the increased opportunities for the next generation. Sakina spoke about the new opportunities for young Indian-Americans, and the power of education. ‘I have no doubt that at some point every one of you has had to reach back to your education to validate your ticket in life,’ Sakina said. ‘It’s a securi- Sakina (fifth from left) and Madhur Jaffrey (sixth from left) at the event ty blanket that not everyone enjoys. But by giving time, The event also raised $25,000 for children in the city’s energy and money to places like Children’s Hope, we can homeless shelters. extend that opportunity to others. We can help launch that Dina Pahlajani, CHI board member, talked movingly essential journey of validation for the children who most about the cause of homeless children in New York City, who need it.’ number over 22,700 and shuttle between school in the day
and shelters at night. Children’s Hope is working with city organizations to identify how the funds raised from the luncheon can best be used to improve their lives. The New York luncheon was organized by the CHI benefit committee comprising Babita Advani, Milan Devjani, Aarti Kamat, Maneesha Sani, and Madhulika Shroff. It was coordinated by Jharna Jaisinghani of Artistic Affairs. The cultural program included performances by singer Perry Walia and DJ Suheil Jagtiani. The sponsors were Arvind and Perry Walia, Patel Brothers, Singh Hospitality, Sani Family Foundation, Mathrani Family Foundation, Sanjana and Vijay Samtani, Rahul Kadakia (Christies), Kamat and Ramnani Families. Children’s Hope India is a volunteer organization of Indian women professionals in New York that has been raising funds for children’s health and education since 1992. It supports over 20 projects across several major cities in India reaching out to over 200,000 children per year. www.childrenshopeindia.org
INDIA IN NEW YORK JUNE 6, 2014
Connecticut dentist’s license suspended after patient dies A CORRESPONDENT
onnecticut dental regulators have suspended the license of Dr Rashmi Patel of Torrington after allegations that a patient in his care undergoing bone grafts and extraction of teeth had died. Patel faces a hearing before the Connecticut State Dental Commission June 18. His lawyer Michael Kogut said his client denies the allegations of sub-standard care. The patient, Judith Gan, 64, of Ellington, died at Bay State Medical Center in Springfield, February 17. According to a four-count statement of charges filed against Patel before the Dental Commission, he failed to ‘properly respond to her oxygen desaturation and/or respiratory distress and/or cardiopulmonary distress’.
Records indicated Patel intended to do 20 extractions. The patient had medical and cardiac problems, inspectors with the state Department of Public Health said. Patel ignored the deteriorating condition and did not respond when changes in her oxygen levels and vital signs were reported to him by the dental assistants, according to the Hartford Courant. During the procedure, the low-oxygen alarm reportedly went off repeatedly and the patient was making gurgling sounds before she stopped breathing. ‘The assistant begged (Patel) to stop working, and finally ran out and called 911, but the patient had already flat-lined,’ the DPH inspectors reported, per the Courant. The health department began an investigation after receiving an anonymous com-
Professor Somasundaran appointed to environment agency board
he Environmental Protection Agency has appointed Columbia Professor P Somasundaran to its Board of Scientific Counselors. He will chair the combined BOSC subcommittees for ‘chemical safety for sustainability and human health risk assessment research program.’ The committee advices and gives recommendations on sciP Somasundaran ence and engineering research programs, research management practices among others. P Somasundaran is a pioneer in academic and research areas in several fields. A member of the faculty of Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science since 1970, he was named the first La von Duddleson Krumb Professor in 1983 and was one of the youngest members to be elected in 1985 to the National Academy of Engineering. “Looking back, I feel amazed and humbled,” he had told India in New York earlier. “Coming from a middle-class Indian family in a remote village from which nobody had even gone to a college at that time, I could not even have dreamed that I would reach this far.” He came to the US as a graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley on a scholarship. He was awarded India’s civilian honor the Padma Shri in 2010, and received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 1990.
plaint. The DPH inspectors also reported that Patel failed to properly gauge the duration of the procedure or of the anesthesia; failed to accurately determine how many extractions and implants were necessary, and never properly identified a method for monitoring the patient while she was under anesthesia. Two months before this, another patient faced problems and had to be taken to Bay State Medical Center with ‘grossly diminished breath sounds’ and a ‘compromised airway.’ That patient survived. The investigation also charged that on various occasions, Patel improperly delegated to a dental assistant or hygienist the induction of nitrous oxide or Midazolam to a patient, as well as the monitoring of a patient’s response to conscious sedation.
In 2011, Doreen Jasonis sued Patel for malpractice after her mouth and teeth were damaged in a reconstructive procedure. The jury awarded her $442,000. Patel’s lawyers filed an appeal, and both sides settled out of court. Kogut said the current investigation is flawed. ‘Patel is highly skilled and respected in the field of sedation dentistry,’ the lawyer was quoted as saying. ‘The record is clear that these allegations and what has been reported are not founded in accuracy or fact, even to the point that this arbitrary action was taken against Dr Patel before the cause of death was determined. The Department of Public Health has again acted outside its limitations.’ Patel’s Enfield and Torrington offices remain open, said Kogut.
Former NYC comptroller contests from desi-heavy district
ormer New York City comptroller John Liu, who is contesting as state senator from District 11 in Queens, has been endorsed by Queens County Democrats and several unions. He faces incumbent Senator Tony Avella in the Democratic primary in September. The district has a large presence of Indians in places like Flushing, Bellerose, Floral Park. “In the State Senate I will tirelessly fight for a real minimum wage, rights for working people, women’s equality and resources for public schools, transportation and health care,” Liu told India in New York. The County Democrats unanimously endorsed Liu John Liu, right, speaks at a memorial event for the victims of the Oak Creek, Wisconsin, gurdwara. after Avella joined the New the incredible support we are receiving from our brothers York state Senate’s Independent Democratic Conference, a and sisters in the labor movement,” Liu said. breakaway faction of Senate Democrats who share majoriHe has already picked up the endorsement of the New ty control of the chamber with Republicans, according York City Coalition of Operating Engineers, which repreexecutive secretary Michael Reich. sents 18,000 crane and heavy equipment operators (Locals ‘I believe that John Liu will not only be a breath of fresh 14 and 15); stationary engineers (Locals 30 and 94); air, but a viable candidate for this position,’ Reich said. school custodians (Local 891); and New York City building Avella, who has represented the district since 2011, said he is proud of his record fighting for the working class res- inspectors (Local 211). Liu also earned the endorsement of the New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council, AFL-CIO idents of Queens. ‘I work for the people I represent — not (HTC) with 50,000-plus workers and retirees. for the Queens party bosses or political insiders,’ he said. Liu was the first Asian American to win legislative office Citing Liu’s effective leadership as a true progressive in New York and the first to win citywide office. Democrat, the United Food and Commercial Workers Liu emigrated from Taiwan at age 5 and was educated in Union Local 1500, New York State’s largest grocery workNew York public schools. He lives in Flushing with his ers union with 23,000 members, endorsed him. wife Jenny and their son Joey. “As we begin this campaign in earnest, I am humbled by
INDIA IN NEW YORK JUNE 6, 2014
The day the world stopped turning, frozen in time
The 9/11 Memorial Musuem is a must-visit for all New Yorkers, says Aseem Chhabra
here were you on the morning of September 11, 2001? That is a question I am often asked, especially by people who live outside New York City. For the record I was in the city, doing mundane daily stuff, until the two hijacked planes hit the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. No other event has possible changed our lives in such a dramatic way. I thought about that morning as I walked through the hallways and the intense exhibits of the 9/11 Memorial Museum. Located right in the heart of Ground Zero — often we were told that we walking on what would have been the plaza between the two towers; or where the north or south towers stood — it is a very important and rather well put together exhibit. It is also deeply sad. No one will leave the museum without tears in their eyes. Perhaps the most harrowing part of the museum is the central Historical Exhibition, which follows the events of the day. The level of details the curators have put together is very impressive — from the two planes, American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 hitting the north and south towers of the World Trade Center, to the attack on Pentagon and the plane crash in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. There are audio, video and other forms
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An image of one of the original World Trade Center Towers is displayed in the window of the 9/11 Memorial Museum pavilion during the dedication ceremony at the National September 11 Memorial Museum in New York, May 15.
President Barack Obama, former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, First Lady Michelle Obama, former President Bill Clinton and his wife, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, at the National September 11 Memorial Museum in New York, May 15.
INDIA IN NEW YORK JUNE 6, 2014
Snapshots from the museum. The level of detail is astounding,
PHOTOGRAPHS: ASEEM CHHABRA
The opening of the 9/11 Memorial Museum led to some controversies, including the fact that there is a museum gift shop with some tacky stuff.
The day the world stopped turning, frozen in time f PAGE 6 of documents that take the viewer through the events of the morning, from early television reports, to the towers collapsing, people running for shelter, followed by columns of dust and smoke. And there are so many stories of heroism and people’s struggles through the morning. The hardest part for me was to listen to messages occupants of the two buildings left on their home answering machines. A husband in the south tower leaves a message for his wife before 9 am and then shortly afterwards. At both times he says “I will talk to you soon.”
There are quotes on the walls from people who were expressing their shock at the situation. “I could not believe what I was seeing... Everything was falling from the sky. Fireballs. Pieces of building, smoke, horrible gray dust, luggage, shoes,” an evacuee from 101st floor of the south tower is quoted as saying. There is an announcement from a subway saying due to a plane crash in the World Trade Center, the train will stop at 34th Street. Other quotes read: “It was like having a mountain fall on you!” “Thank god I made it home safely.” “I am thankful to be alive. Please say a prayer for peace!” We are shown artifacts that fell from the towers — floppy discs, wallets, keys, other personal items. A bicycle rack next to the towers has been preserved just as it was found. Only one bicycle in the rack was later claimed. Owners of other bicycles never came forward. It is presumed that they must have died on that day. It is harrowing, and very disturbing, but it is also remarkable given the level of details we are exposed to. I also found the security cam videos of the hijackers at the airport frightening to watch. They went about the security check in the most non-
chalant manner. Later in the same exhibit, there is a section dedicated to the rescue and the recovery operation. That is equally sad. In between the viewer is taken into a room where we are given the context of the Twin Towers in American popular culture — from film posters that featured the towers (New York Stories, The Secret of My Success and Working Girl), to gifts and other chachkies. Walking through the museum earlier, we saw a fire engine and a huge television antenna that were destroyed by the falling debris. And there are several giant beams of steel recovered from the two towers. Perhaps the most emotionally difficult section of the museum is the In Memoriam room: Four corridors with images of 2,977 individuals who were killed on September 11 and also the six who died in the previous terrorist attack of 1993. The photographs are listed alphabetically, and it is easy to locate people if you are looking for them. Quite by chance I saw the photograph of Mohammed Salman Hamdani, the Pakistani American who went missing on that day and was initially called one of the terrorists by security agencies. And I
found the picture of Jupiter Yambem — my Manipuri friend from Jawaharlal Nehru University. In the center of the section is a room where images of the dead are projected on the wall, along with their friends and families remembering them. A wife talks about the time when she met her late husband at a bar; a man who loved John Travolta; and a senior executive who gave her assistant half a day off to watch the Yankees in the World Series. It is a very calming quiet room with a glass floor, benches to sit on and reflect. But it is hard not to walk out feeling emotional as you see good, normal people who died that morning performing their regular tasks. The opening of the 9/11 Memorial Museum led to some controversies, including the fact that there is a museum gift shop with some tacky stuff. And others have complained that the museum’s $24 entry fee is very expensive. But despite the controversies, the museum is an important addition to New York City’s historical space. And all New Yorkers should visit it, to be reminded of how our lives were permanently altered by that morning’s events.
Cover Story INDIA IN NEW YORK JUNE 6, 2014
Inside the 9/11 Museum
Clockwise from top: The foundation hall, a destroyed North Tower antenna, and the Chelsea Jeans storefront that is part of the Historical Exhibition
PHOTOGRAPHS: JIN LEE
WE WONĂŠT FORGET
Cover Story INDIA IN NEW YORK JUNE 6, 2014
Clocwise from left: Destroyed beams from the North Tower; laptop of Ramzi Yousef, one of the main perpetrators of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing; handwritten notes of the 9/11 victims; the flight paths of the hijacked planes; a destroyed bike rack; part of the fuselage of one of the planes
PHOTOGRAPHS: JIN LEE
INDIA IN NEW YORK JUNE 6, 2014
From debuting with Salman Khan to acting opposite Rajinikanth Sonakshi Sinha has a roster of co-stars that is the envy of Bollywood. The actress in conversation with Patcy N
ne of the busiest actresses in Bollywood today, Sonakshi Sinha turned 27 June 2. Between promoting Holiday, which releases June 6, and shooting for Lingaa with Rajinikanh, Action Jackson with Ajay Devgn and Tevar with Arjun Kapoor, she speaks to India in New York about this phase of her life. Tell us about Holiday. I play a college girl, who is interested in sports — tennis, basketball, volleyball, judo and boxing. I look like Laila Ali in the film. I have always wanted to braid my hair and use this look somewhere. When I understood that I would have a proper boxing match in a boxing ring, I decided on the braided look for that scene. Do you do any action in the film? I will be doing a few stunts. I play a match in an inter-college boxing championship and also other sports. What challenges did you face playing a sports person? This was the easiest role for me because I played lots of sports in school and college. I played volleyball, tennis, basketball and swimming. I was a goal keeper in football. I would take part in shot put and discus throw. Didn’t you want to become a sports person? I wanted to become one but unfortunately I was very overweight. I am a Gemini so my interest level drops very quickly. I would play a sport for some time and when I became good in it I would leave it and learn something new. So I can play many sports but I have not gone very far in any one sport. Since you lose interest so easily, will you also lose interest in acting? The beauty about acting is that with every new film I play a different character. So I don’t get bored at all. You are also doing horse riding in this film... I learnt horse riding when I was a kid — from the age of 10 to 14. My aunt is into horse business and horse riding, and her children are professional riders. The day she told me that she will make me a professional rider, I gave up horse riding. You have lost a lot of weight…. Whenever someone says something negative about me, I can turn it around and make it positive. I did not lose weight because I was criticized. I lost weight for myself. When I decided I wanted a new look, I worked hard for it. I wanted to be fitter. What is you fitness regime? Consistency and regularity is the key to any change that you want to bring in yourself. When I came home tired after shoots I would avoid going to the gym. I thought that the day’s work was equal to a workout. But now, no matter how tired I am or how late I come back from a shoot, I make sure that I work out for at least half an hour to one hour in the gym. That regularity in my life has made such a big difference that the results are showing… I am a foodie so I can’t eat boiled, steamed vegetables. I eat normal food and I work out. Who according to you has the best body in Bollywood? Among the actresses, Katrina Kaif, and among actors, Akshay Kumar has an athletic body and the undisputed king of Bollywood, Salman Khan has the best body. This is your third film with Akshay Kumar. Has he brought about any changes in you as an actress? It just gets better and better with each film that we do together. Our working rapport has been very good from
THE STAR OF THE SUPERSTARS the very first film we worked in together. We are always on time so our producers and directors don’t have any problems with us. This is A R Murgadoss’s second Hindi film after Ghajini. What was it like working with him? I was very happy working with him. I have not watched the film yet, but Ghajini, his first Hindi film, was such a nice film. He is a fantastic director. He has a different style of working. He is very serious and intense. He comes on the sets with a fixed notion; he has already decided what kind of shot he wants and what kind of acting and performance he wants. And he knows how to get that from his actors. There is no improvisation, no last moment changes? No... Maybe very rarely. He knows exactly what he wants so he doesn’t leave much scope for improvisation. He knows what will look good on screen and what will suit the situation, he is an absolute perfectionist. You have started shooting for Lingaa. It’s been fantastic. I couldn’t have asked for a better debut in Tamil cinema. Like my debut in Hindi films was with a superstar, Salman Khan, so I am debuting in Tamil with superstar Rajinikanth. How was your experience of working with Rajinikanth? Rajinikanth is an amazing person to work with. Jitne bade star hain, utne he humble hain (His humility equals his fame). He is very professional, and he talks to everybody so nicely. What was the first working day like? On the first day on the sets I went to him and said, ‘Rajini sir it is such an honor to be working with you. I will be honest, I am a little nervous also.’ He told me, ‘Why are you nervous? I should be nervous as you are a friend’s daughter.’ That conversation broke the ice… The role is such that there is nothing that he would feel uncomfortable doing or I would feel uncomfortable doing. Was language a problem in the film? No, not at all. I am good with accents and languages. I have not learnt Tamil, but because I have worked with so many South Indian directors over here, I know the basic
tone of the Tamil language. I would be prompted in Tamil and I would just repeat that in the same flow. Sometimes somebody would stand with a cue card and I would read my lines. What differences did you see between the two industries? I think the work happens quicker there. The units are also pretty concise and to the point. Here there are a lot of additional people, too many people on one set, and maybe that slows it down. Are you open to more South Indian films? Yes, of course, I am going to work in many more South Indian films. I’ve been getting lots of offers since Dabangg but my Hindi films have kept me busy. I wanted to make a foray into South films because creatively they are so rich and they make such wonderful films. I wanted to experience this new world. Lingaa is a wonderful film based in the present and in the 1940s. I wanted to be part of that magical world. I just couldn’t say no. Are you a Rajinikanth fan? I did not grow up watching too many of his films. I saw Hum as a kid and watched it over and over again. Who are the South Indian superstars you would like to work with? I want to work in good films with good content no matter who is in it. But I would like to work with Mahesh Babu, Ravi Teja, Suriya to name a few. When are you going to do a film like Lootera once again? I am waiting for a film like Lootera, but of course I have to feel very strongly about it. When Lootera was given to me I felt like that role was written for me and no one else can do this role. If I don’t get the same feeling I will not do a film just because everybody is telling me to do it or because it’s a trend. What is Tevar’s progress? Tevar is shaping up fantastic. I just saw rushes of the film and it’s looking very nice. It is very well shot. It’s our director Amit Sharma’s first feature film. He has done wonderful ads before this. He is fantastic. Are you seeing Shahid Kapoor? No, I am very much single.
INDIA IN NEW YORK JUNE 6, 2014
Rani Mukerji, who tied the knot recently, made her first official appearance as Mrs Aditya Chopra at the launch of Yash Raj’s cinema-inspired clothing line Diva’ni. Dressed in a fiery red outfit, the actress arrived hand-in-hand with mother-in-law Pamela Chopra.
Actress Alia Bhatt
ALL THAT GLITTERS
Actress Parineeti Chopra
Filmmaker Kiran Rao with her mother-in-law Zeenat Hussain
A PEEK INTO THE WEEK’S GLITZIEST TINSEL TOWN EVENTS
Actor Arjun Kapoor PHOTOGRAPHS: PRADEEP BANDEKAR
Choreographer Vaibhavi Merchant, a close friend of the new Mrs Aditya Chopra
Bollywood INDIA IN NEW YORK JUNE 6, 2014
Estranged star couple Kalki Koechlin and Anurag Kashyap were spotted together at the screening. Kashyap co-hosted the premiere with Women in Film and Television India.
Director Sajid Khan, third from left, with the cast of Humshakals at a press conference in Mumbai. From left, actors Chunky Pandey, Ram Kapoor, Tamannah, Saif Ali Khan, Esha Gupta and Riteish Deshmukh. The movie releases June 20.
Actress Nimrat Kaur, right, and India-born Canadian filmmaker Nisha Pahuja at the premiere of the latter’s documentary film The World Before Her in Mumbai. The World Before Her explores the complex and conflicting environment for young girls in India by profiling two young women — Ruhi, who aspires to become Miss India, and Prachi Trivedi, a militant Hindu nationalist with the Durga Vahini — participating in two very different types of training camps.
Chitrashi Rawat, Tanya Abrol, Arya Menon, Shilpa Shukla, and Seena Azmi from the cast of Chak De! India.
Bobby Jasoos trailer launch Vidya Balan, the star of the film, third from right with her family — from left father P R Balan, niece Ira, sister Priya, mother Saraswathy, and nephew Ruhaan.
Dia Mirza with fiancé Sahil Sangha at the trailer launch of Bobby Jasoos in Mumbai. The couple is producing the film.
India in New York June 6, 2014
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India in New York June 6, 2014
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India in New York June 6, 2014
INDIA IN NEW YORK JUNE 6, 2014
From Yusuf Khan to Dilip Kumar
Bengali filmmaker Anjan Das dies
ctor Dilip Kumar’s bitter break up with actress Madhubala; his wedding to actress A Saira Banu; his meeting with Devika Rani, the
boss of Bombay Talkies, when she offered him his first role — details about all this and more will be revealed when the veteran Bollywood star’s biography is launched June 9. Dilip saab has said Dilip Kumar: The Substance and the Shadow, written by Udaya Tara Nayar, will set the record straight about his life and career. Nayar says, “The book’s title was suggested by Dilipsaab. The ‘substance’ refers to the actual person behind the legend and the ‘shadow’ is the mythical image that has come to surround his persona.” The long-awaited biography will trace Dilip Kumar’s life from birth.
ational Award-winning filmmaker Anjan Das passed N away June 2, family sources said.
The sexagenarian died at a hospital where he was being treated COURTESY: IMAGINE INDIA FILM FESTIVAL for liver cancer. His 2006 film Faltu had won Anjan Das the National Award for the best feature film on welfare. A poignant tale on refugees, it was based on Syed Mustafa Siraj’s story Ranir Ghater Brittanto. His 2004 film Iti Srikanta (Yours truly, Srikanta) had bagged the National Award for Best Audiography. Most of his films were adapted from literature. The director had won international critical acclaim for his films Saanjhbatir Rupkathara (Strokes And Silhouettes), Jara Brishtitey Bhije Chilo (Drenched in the ...rain), and Achin Pakhi.
A fight on her hands Dilip Kumar The biography will be released in the presence of the top actors of the industry like Amitabh Bachchan and Aamir Khan. Lata Mangeshkar, who will release the book, may also sing a few lines of Dilip Kumar’s favorite song, Allah Tero Naam. “Whenever he got restless, Dilipsaab would ring up Lataji and ask her to sing this song. She would always oblige him. Lataji visited Dilipsaab recently. He immediately recognized her and exclaimed, ‘Meri chhoti behen mujhse milne aye hai. (My younger sister has come to visit me)’” At the book release, Lataji and Madhuri Dixit will light the inaugural diya while Shaan and Javed Ali will sing a medley of Dilip Kumar’s hits, arranged by composer Lalit Pundit. Aamir will recite a poem written by Prasoon Joshi and Bachchan is expected to speak on his regard for the Thespian. Another highlight of the evening will be an audio-visual showing never-seen before intimate moments of the Thespian’s life with his family. “It’s been a 10-year journey to put together the authorized biography of Dilip Kumar,” Nayar says. “We have finally done it. It couldn’t have happened without his and Sairaji’s active support. They helped me piece together the life of a man, who is not just the greatest actor in the country but also a father-figure for me.” Stay tuned. — Subhash K Jha
riyanka Chopra has now got a legal battle on her P hands. After it was revealed
that a biopic was being made on her former manager, Prakash Jaju, and that her exboyfriend Aseem Merchant was producing the film, the actress sent a legal to Merchant and a copy to Jaju to stop the film. Priyanka’s notice has reportedly said that though the film is being called Jaju’s biopic, the promotions so far have referred to her. Considering her fallout with Jaju in 2008 had led to him being arrested, the jitters are in no way surprising.
Karisma Kapoor with her children Samaira and Kiaan. Inset, Sunjay Kapur.
Closing a chapter fter years spent estranged, actress Karisma Kapoor and her husband Sunjay Kapur, a DelhiA based industrialist, filed for divorce by mutual con-
sent at a family court in Mumbai May 31. They filed after a hearing in court May 22 and several more hours of discussion May 31 — at which Karisma’s sister Kareena and brother-in-law Saif Ali Khan were also present. The last discussion reportedly revolved around access to their kids Samaira, 9, and Kiaan Raj, 4. While Karisma will have custody, they agreed to give the kids substantial time with each parent. Karisma and Sunjay got married in September, 2003. Samaira was born in 2005 and Kiaan in 2010. Karisma moved back to Mumbai with her children soon after that and has been there ever since.
Bollywood’s love affair with cricket continues… ollywood’s love affair with cricket has been a long one. And there has reportedly been an addition to the league of love B stories including those of Sharmila Tagore-Mansoor Ali Khan
Pataudi, Sangeeta Bijlani-Mohammad Azharuddin, and Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli (unconfirmed by them so far). Actress Shruti Hassan, actor Kamal Haasan’s daughter, is reportedly in a relationship with cricketer Suresh Raina. They were introduced at a party last year by common friends. Shruti was earlier in a relationship with Rang De Basanti star Siddharth, while Raina was rumored to be dating former Indian lawmaker Praful Patel’s daughter Poorna.
INDIA IN NEW YORK JUNE 6, 2014
Remo to re-launch Salman Yusuff Khan
ancer-choreographer Salman Yusuff Khan, who starred in his mentor Remo D’Souza’s dance D film ABCD, will not be seen in the film’s sequel. Instead,
Salman will be launched as a leading man in Remo’s next production. “Salman is going to be launched as a hero in a film to be produced by me. It’s a dance-action film, to be directed by Shakir Ali Khan,” reveals Remo. Salman, whose association with Remo goes back to his days as a contestant on Dance India Dance, is busy preparing for the big launch and apparently Remo has instructed him not to appear in any more dance reality shows on television. — Subhash K Jha
Salman Yusuff Khan
Suicide or injury? ctress Swastika Mukherjee has been the talk of the West Bengal film industry ever since she was hospitalized with A injuries to her arm and wrist late last month. Though her sister
Ajopa denied all claims about the injuries being a suicide attempt, the industry continues to be abuzz with rumors. Swastika, who has been cast opposite Sushant Singh Rajput in Dibakar Banerjee’s next film, was taken to a hospital in Kolkata with glass shards lodged in her forearm and wrist. Soon after that police picked up filmmaker Suman Mukhopadyay — said to be in a relationship with Swastika — for interrogation, further fuelling rumors of a suicide bid. He told the IndoAsian News Service, ‘While several versions of the incident are doing the rounds, for me it was an accident and the good thing is COURTESY: FACEBOOK.COM/PAGES/SWASTIKA-MUKHERJEE she is now out of danSwastika Mukherjee ger. I was interrogated on a lot of issues by various officers. I had to spend around 23 hours at the police station and was told by my lawyers that I may be arrested. They also made me sign an arrest memo, but later decided not to arrest me.’ Ajopa tweeted that Swastika had sustained a ‘small injury’ to her left hand and head due to an accident at her friend’s place.’ Swastika later tweeted, ‘THANQ media,so called ‘friends’ & foes fr turning evrything DIRTY, DIRTY as it can get. roller coaster ride fr 7days. I am fully VACCINATED.’
A Dickensian scene
First look at Fitoor. Director Abhishek Kapoor, standing at the back, with the cast — from left, Aditya Roy Kapoor, Rekha and Katrina Kaif. The film, to release in 2015, is an adaptation of Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations.
Kochadaiiyaan, again ochadaiiyaan may have opened to mixed reports, but Murali K Manohar, the co-producer of the
A scene from Kochadaiiyaan
Rajinikanth starrer, has revealed that there might by sequel. The film had used 3D motion-capture technique, a new technology in India. While Tamil and Telugu audiences took to the new format or the star power of Rajinikanth the Hindi film audience didn’t respond to it. ‘We did what we could, given restrictions of time and budget. I agree we could have done a lot better. We will work much harder on the sequel to Kochadaiiyaan,’ a Mumbai tabloid quoted him as saying.
The Intouchables goes Hindi ilmmaker Karan Johar’s banner Dharma Productions and Guneet Monga’s Sikhya Entertainment will coproduce the official Hindi remake of the popular French film The Intouchables. Both producers posted the F announcement on Twitter, adding that Mohit Suri would direct it.
The Intouchables, released in 2011, was about the friendship between a rich quadriplegic man and his live-in caretaker.
india in new york jUne 6, 2014
Nothing aam about these Mango recipes to make the most of summer
Mamidikaya Pachadi (Mamidikaya Thokku) By n mUrali This is more like an instant pickle/chutney made with raw mangoes.
1 cup raw mango, chopped 1 tsp red chili, powder 1 garlic pod, skin peeled ¼ tsp jeera-methi powder, roasted Salt to taste A pinch of turmeric ½ tsp dry coconut powder For seasoning
Mambazha Pulissery By manjUla nair The Mambazha Pulissery is a staple among Keralites. The sweet, tangy and spicy flavor makes it a popular curry among young kids and the old alike.
2 to 4 ripe mangoes 1 cup yoghurt (preferably a bit sour) 1 cup coconut 1 tsp cumin seeds 1 tsp red chili powder 3-4 green chilies 2 to 3 red chilies ½ tsp turmeric
1 tsp oil for seasoning ½ tsp cumin and mustard seeds 10 curry leaves
Boil mango pieces, cook until tender. Let the mixture cool. Mix all the ingredients (except mango pieces and seasoning ingredients) and grind coarsely. Add mango pieces and grind coarsely. Taste will be retained only when grounded coarsely. In a pan heat some oil and add cumin and mustard seeds. Add curry leaves. Pour it over the mango mixture. Serve with rice.
Mamidikaya Pachadi Chenna and Kachcha Aam-er Paturi
1 tsp mustard seeds 4 to 5 curry leaves 1 tsp fenugreek seeds, powdered (optional) Salt to taste Sugar (optional) 2 tsp coconut oil
Clean the mangoes well and chop them into 1-inch pieces (preferably with the skin). Peel if the skin is too thick or looks inedible. Be sure to leave some pulp around the seed when you chop. Do not discard the seed. In a grinder, add coconut, cumin seeds and green chilies and grind to a fine paste. Beat the yoghurt well to avoid lumps and keep it aside. Heat a deep bottom pan, pour two cups of water and add the cut mangoes along with the seed. Add salt, turmeric powder and chili powder and let it boil. When it comes to a boil, add the ground paste of coconut and mix well. When it boils, switch off the flame. Now add the yoghurt and stir well. Check for salt and consistency. If the gravy is too thick, add a cup of boiled water and salt as per taste. Add sugar if the mangoes are not very sweet. In another pan, heat some oil. Add mustard seeds and powdered fenugreek seeds. Sauté well. When they splutter, add curry leaves and red chili. Empty this over the main Mambazha curry. Pulissery Pour a spoonful of coconut oil atop and serve hot with rice or roti.
Chenna and Kachcha Aam-er Paturi By Urmi
1 cup chenna (home-made paneer or cottage cheese) ½ raw mango, peeled and shredded 1 and ½ tsp mustard oil 1 tsp turmeric (or as per taste) 1 tsp red chili powder (less if you want it less spicy) 1 cup shredded coconut Salt as per taste Sugar as per taste 4 green chili
Mix all the ingredients in a microwave safe bowl. You may sprinkle some water to soften the blend. Microwave for up to seven minutes. Serve it hot with rice.
India in New York June 6, 2014
IMMIGRATION NEWS WORK AUTHORIZATION FOR SOME H-4 SPOUSES LIBERATES THEM FROM THE TYRANNY OF PRIORITY DATES – PART TWO By Gary Endelman* and Cyrus D. Mehta** (continued from last week’s article) The proposed rule also resolves another uncertainty. H-4 spouses who were able to file an I-485 adjustment of status application for permanent residency could always apply for work authorization by virtue of filing the I-485 pursuant to 8 CFR 274a.12(c)(9). What was not clear is whether such H-4 spouses forfeited their right to remain in H-4 status if they engaged in work pursuant to an employment authorization under 8 CFR 274a.12(c)(9) while their I-485 applications remained pending. The proposed rule in footnote 13 appears to suggest that they did not violate their status. The rule will create 8 CFR 274a.12(c)(26) as a basis for H-4 spouses to apply for work authorization, and suggests that H-4 spouses who previously availed of work authorization under 274a.12(c)(9) can also avail of work authorization under 274a.12(c)(26). If the spouse lost H-4 status by engaging in employment pursuant to 274a.12(c)(9), it would not be possible for the H-4 spouse to now take advantage of new 274a.12(c)(26). As with the H-1B itself, the proposed H-4 rule recognizes and diffuses the tension between the constraints of nonimmigrant visa categories, such as the H-1B which is employer-specific or the H-4 that hitherto was not allowed to sustain employment, and the adjustment of status provision in INA Section 245 that grants open market employment. Many advocates feel that the rule did not go far enough and could have granted work authorization for all H-4 spouses without condition. After all, the L-1 and E visas, allow dependent spouses to apply for work authorization immediately upon being admitted under those statuses. On the other hand, the authorization to grant spouses of L and E nonimmigrants work authorization stems from Congress, although J-2 spouses who do not support the principal J-1 exchange visitor work solely through regulation Congress has not specifically authorized work authorization for H-4 spouses, although there is authority in the INS, as discussed, which still provides such authority to the DHS. While this is fair criticism, the Administration also faces withering opposition from anti-immigration advocates, including the likes of Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA), who question whether there is any authority at all to grant work authorization. Hence, the middle ground to grant work authorization benefits to H-4 spouses who are already on the pathway to permanent residence but are caught up in the backlogs. The proposed rule also acknowledges that this ameliorative measure is consistent with AC 21, which was enacted so that the principal H-1B spouses could continue to remain in the United States beyond the sixth year, and thus avoid disruption to US employers. Limiting work authorization to H-4 spouses who are on the pathway to green cards can also more easily insulate such a rule from challenges in federal court. Still, even under this logic, it would be preferable if H-4 spouses are able to apply for work authorization as soon as a labor certification is filed on behalf of the principal spouse. There is no need to pre-condition the grant of employment authorization upon the approval of the I-140 petition, given the delays in the PERM labor certification process, which can take two years if the application is subject to an audit or to supervised recruitment. The rule also recognizes that an H-4 can apply for employment when a labor certification is filed, but only when it is used to obtain an H-1B extension beyond the six years under AC 21. It is illogical to only allow the H-4 to apply for a work permit when the principal spouse relies on the labor certification to seek an extension beyond six years, and not otherwise. Furthermore, while the majority of H-1B visa holders may be sponsored by employers through I-140 petitions, some H-4 spouses may also be sponsored by prospective employers in their own right. H-4 spouses who are directly sponsored by employers under an I-140 petition should also be allowed to apply for employment authorization. And why limit this to only I-140s? Some H-1Bs or H-4s are also sponsored by qualifying family members through an I-130 petition. They too are Americans in waiting. Finally, children in H-4 status have been left out and do not have the ability to apply for work authorization. Children of L-1 and E-1 visa holders are also not allowed to work, although children of J-1 visa holders can work. On the other hand, H-4 children can obtain work authorization benefits if they switch to F-1 student visa status. We continue to call upon Congress to enact comprehensive immigration reform, including the expansion of H-1B visa numbers. Any administrative initiative, however meaningful or positive, and this one is both, is, by its very nature, both tentative and subject to reversal. Only an INA worthy of the many difficult but exciting challenges that America must confront and master in the 21st century can provide the nation with the vision that it needs and deserves. Yet, until that happy day comes, the USCIS can and must do justice with the law that we all have. That is what has finally happened with H-4 spousal employment. Not a full and complete step certainly, but a stride forward towards a better day. Something else needs to be said before we go. What we in the United States are dealing with is a global battle for talent. More than any other single immigration issue, the H-1B visa debate highlights the growing and inexorable importance of a skilled entrepreneurial class with superb expertise and a commitment not to company or country, but to their own careers and the technologies on which they are based. They have true international mobility and, like superstar professional athletes, will go to those places where they are paid most handsomely and given a full and rich opportunity to create. We are no longer the only game in town. The debate over the H-1B is, at its core, an argument over whether the United States will continue to embrace this culture, thus reinforcing its competitive dominance in it, or turn away and shrink from the competition and the benefits that await. No decision on H quotas can or should be made separate and apart from an answer to a far more fundamental question: How can we, as a nation, attract and retain that on which our prosperity most directly depends, namely a productive, diverse, stable and highly educated work force irrespective of nationality and do so without sacrificing the dreams and aspirations of our own people whose protection is the first duty and only sure justification for the continuance of that democracy on which all else rests? This is the very heart of the H-1B maze. An immigration system that restricts the importation of human capital hurts American competitiveness every bit as much as high tariffs or artificial subsidies. In each case, the controlled but predictable flow of capital across national boundaries is the lubricant of economic activity. Preserving the H-1B as an instrument of job creation for Americans while enhancing the ability of foreign professionals to make our cause their own is an essential and irresistible component of comprehensive immigration reform. Allowing some, though not all, H-4 spouses to work is a key step in this direction. The DHS estimates that 100,600 H-4 spouses will apply for work authorization in the first year and 35,900 will initially apply in subsequent years. For those concerned about the impact on the US labor market, these H-4 spouses would in any event be able to work once the principal H-1B spouse applied for adjustment of status. They will also be able to contribute to the US economy, and the incentive provided to them will also encourage the H-1B spouse to stay on in the United States. We have every good hope that is will lead to ever more confident strides in the days to come. It is in the very nature of reform in the liberal tradition for progress to be incremental. If the Chinese maxim that “the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,” retains its power to teach, as we believe it surely does, we who legitimately want much more than the H-4 spousal regulation offers should not, even for a single moment, divert our eyes from the very real progress that has now been taken. (Guest writer Gary Endelman is the Senior Counsel of FosterQuan)
The Law Firm of Cyrus D. Mehta & Associates, PLLC
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The Week That Was
INDIA IN NEW YORK JUNE 6, 2014
1993 Mumbai blasts: Apex court puts on hold execution of Yakub Memon India’s Supreme Court June 2 ordered a stay on the execution of Yakub Abdul Razak Memon, the lone convict in the 1993 Mumbai serial bomb blasts case whose death penalty was upheld by the apex court in March 2012. Memon had moved court for commutation of his capital punishment to life imprisonment after the President rejected his mercy petition two weeks ago. Both Memon and Mohd Arif alias Ashfaq — who was awarded death penalty in the Red Fort attack case of 2000 — have sought commutation of death penalties on similar grounds. Their contention is that they served 14 years in jail, which is equivalent in general terms to a life sentence, and hence, could not now be executed following the death penalty awarded by the courts. Memon’s petition also claimed the Indian President not appropriately consider his incarceration for nearly 20 years while the case was pending.
Telangana Chief Minister Kalvakuntla Chandrashekar Rao waves to supporters after his swearing-in ceremony in Hyderabad, June 2.
Cops grill man for 5 hours over anti-Modi Facebook post Devu Chodankar, a ship building professional against whom a police report was filed in Goa for anti-Narendra Modi Facebook posts, was questioned by the Goa police’s cyber crime cell for five hours June 2. Chodankar has not been arrested, but his laptop, internet dongle, and hard disk have been confiscated by the police. After the interrorgation, Chodankar said he had ‘deep respect’ for the Constitution of India and thanked ‘civil society and the people of India for supporting me.’ Earlier, his anticipatory bail plea was rejected by a court.
Shiv Sena activists go on rampage over Facebook posts Angry activists of the Shiv Sena threw stones at public buses, private vehicles, shops and establishments in Pune, Solapur, Kolhapur, and other parts of western Maharashtra June 1 over what they said were derogatory Facebook posts pertaining to Chhatrapati Shivaji and the late Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray.
Book on sexual violence in Ahmedabad riots ‘set aside’ A book on violence against women in communal riots in Ahmedabad has been ‘set aside’ by its publishers after they received a letter from Dina Nath Batra, whose lawsuit led to the pulping of Wendy Doniger’s book on Hinduism. The Indian Express reports that Orient Blackswan, publisher of the recent book Communalism and Sexual Violence: Ahmedabad Since 1969, told its author, Rhodes Scholar Dr
Telangana is India’s 29th state
(lead with pics pls) Telangana Rashtra Samithi chief K Chandrashekhar Rao took oath as the chief minister of Telangana, India’s newest state, June 2. The TRS had earlier won the mandate by winning 62 of the 119 seats in the newly formed Telangana state assembly. Eleven ministers took oath in Chief Minister KCR’s cabinet. ‘We will work together and ensure development of Telangana,’ the chief minister said after being sworn in. ‘There is no animosity with the Center and we have no problem with Narendra Modi. We realize the importance of working together with the Center as we are a new state and need assistance from all quarters.’ Prime Minister Modi congratulated KCR and assured him of full help in taking the newly created state forward. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister-elect N Chandrababu Naidu — who is to be sworn-in June 8 — skipped KCR’s swearing-in.
Megha Kumar, that the book needs ‘comprehensive assessment’ and should be set aside ‘for the present’. Batra’s lawyer, per the Express, had written to Orient Blackswan in April, ‘complaining that another book published by them and in print for more than 10 years, the popular textbook Plassey to Partition: A History of Modern India by Sekhar Bandopadhyay, was defamatory and derogatory
India’s new Rural Development Minister Gopinath Munde dies after car crash
India’s new Rural Development Minister Gopinath Munde, the Other Backward Classes face in the Bharatiya Janata Party in Maharashtra, died of shock and cardiac arrest suffered during a road accident early morning June 3. Munde, 64, a debutant cabinet minister, was on his way to the New Delhi airport when his car was hit by another vehicle. Munde’s secretary S Nair said the minister was in shock after the accident and apparently suffered a massive heart attack. Munde, a brother-in-law of slain BJP leader Pramod Mahajan, hailed from a poor family in the backward Marathwada region and was brought into politics by the late BJP leader Vasantrao Bhagwat, who also groomed several other leaders including Mahajan. Munde played a crucial role in cobbling the alliance of the Republican Party of India, Swabhimani Shetkari Paksh and the Rashtriya Samaj Paksh with the Shiv Sena-BJP in Maharashtra.
to the’ Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. ‘In the light of that notice, Orient Blackswan wrote, a “pre-release assessment of books that might attract similar reactions” was being undertaken... The publisher cited worries of legal proceedings and also of exposing “staff and families” of authors and publishers to “the risk of violence, endangering their life and safety”.’
Modi government’s first decision: Team to probe black money In one of it first moves, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government May 26 constituted a Special Investigative Team to unearth black money. The SIT will be headed by former Supreme Court judge M B Shah and will include the revenue secretary, Central Bureau of Investigation and Intelligence Bureau directors, Enforcement Directorate officials, and Reserve Bank of India’s deputy governor. Former Supreme Court judge Arijit Pasayat will be the vice chairman of the panel. The Supreme Court had last week granted the government one week to constitute the SIT for monitoring of all black money cases.
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The Week That Was
INDIA IN NEW YORK JUNE 6, 2014
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The strange case of Smriti Irani There was much hullabaloo last week over the educational qualifications of Smriti Irani, the youngest minister in the newly sworn-in Union Council of Ministers, who is in charge of human resource development. According to Irani’s affidavit filed with the Election Commission of India in 2004, she holds a bachelor’s degree in arts from the Delhi University (School of Correspondence). She passed out in 1996, says the declaration signed by her. In the recent 2014 election affidavit with the Election Commission, Irani claimed she only completed the first year of her bachelor’s degree.
Family of rape accused beats up victim’s mother The mother of a rape victim was allegedly beaten up in Etawah, Uttar Pradesh, by family members of one of men who had allegedly raped the girl. The mother had refused to withdraw the police case against her daughter’s alleged rapists, Sunny and Umesh. A case has been registered against Sunny’s father Basant Yadav and two members of the family.
Muslims not minority, says minister On her very first day in office, Minority Affairs minister Najma Heptullah — the only Muslim member of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Council of Ministers — sparked a huge controversy. Asked how her government proposed to take Muslim welfare forward, she said, ‘Muslims are not minorities. Parsis are. We have to see how we can help them so that their numbers don’t diminish.’
Lucknow police use a water cannon on supporters of the Bharatiya Janata Party to stop them from moving towards the office of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, June 2, during a protest against the rape and hanging of two girls.
Sisters gang-raped, hanged in Uttar Pradesh Two Dalit sisters aged 14 and 15 were gang-raped and later hanged from a tree in Uttar Pradesh’s Badaun district, May 26. State authorities May 30 sacked and arrested two police constables — Chhatrapal Yadav and Sarvesh Yadav — and five others in connection with the horrific crime, and the police arrested another accused. The police used water cannons on Bharatiya Janata Party activists, who took to the streets of Lucknow demanding the ouster of the Samajwadi Party state government and clamping down of President’s Rule in the state. Congress party leader Rahul Gandhi visited the family. Over the weekend four cases of sexual violnce against women were reported from Meerut, Firozpur, Fatehpur and Bareilly. In Bareilly a 22-year-old woman was killed after her attackers forced her to drink acid.
Mukul Rohatgi to be attorney general of India Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi will be the new attorney general of India following change in the government at the Centre. The eminent Supreme Court lawyer, who has defended the Gujarat state government in a number of riots cases, will take over from G E Vahanvati. As the 14th attorney general of India, Rohatgi said his top priority would be to ‘streamline litigation in the Supreme Court. I will see that the superior courts are not flooded with frivolous and petty litigation.’
Congress party chooses South leader as Lok Sabha leader In a surprise decision, the Congress party June 1 named Mallikarjun Kharge, the former railway minister, as its leader in the Lok Sabha, the lower House of India’s Parliament, ending speculation that Rahul Gandhi may
take up the responsibility. It remains to be seen whether Rahul becomes the Leader of the Opposition. Since the Congress party is 10 members short of the required number, the new Speaker will take a decision on whether the Congress party gets the Leader of the Opposition slot. Kharge beat senior leaders Kamal Nath and M Veerappa Moily to bag the post because he is seen to be a clean, non-controversial and very senior member from the South, from where the Congress won the majority of its 44 members in the Lok Sabha.
Kerala Congress party man suspended for calling Rahul ‘joker’ Former Kerala minister T H Mustafa was May 29 suspended from the Congress party for calling Rahul Gandhi a ‘joker’ and saying that the party vice president should be removed if he does not resign in the backdrop of the party’s debacle in the federal election.
Modi gives up Vadodara, retains Varanasi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi quit his Vadodara Lok Sabha seat, choosing to retain Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, where the Bharatiya Janata Party recorded a landslide victory bagging 71 of the 80 seats in the recent elections. ‘Will always remain grateful to people of Vadodara,’ the prime minister tweeted. ‘I assure people of Vadodara I will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that Vadodara’s development scales newer heights in the years to come.’
Delhi court orders Kejriwal’s release after he furnishes bail bond A Delhi court May 27 ordered the release of Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal from Tihar Jail after he furnished the bail bond — which he had earlier refused to — in a criminal defamation complaint filed against him by Bharatiya Janata Party leader and new Indian Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari.
India in New York June 6, 2014
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Sports/Indian Premier League INDIA IN NEW YORK JUNE 6, 2014
Kolkata hold nerve, clinch IPL title
The Kolkata Knight Riders with the Indian Premier League trophy innings, hitting Karanveer over extra-cover. Pandey continued playing a free-flowing innings in company of Yusuf Pathan, who hit a couple of big sixes over long-on and extra cover off Karanveer Singh. He followed them with two huge sixes off Lakshmipathy Balaji. Pathan's bravado ended when he tried to hit Karanveer for his fifth six and was caught by Glenn Maxwell on the boundary line, but by then KKR were very much in charge. Pandey's lusty blows kept them in the game as they needed only 58 off the last six overs. Shakib Al Hasan (12) was run-out as George Bailey was again inspirational in the field. Ryan ten Doeschate (2) was Karanveer's third victim, David Miller taking the catch at the long-on boundary. Pandey, who was hitting sixes and boundaries at will, was finally out when he tried to hit Karanveer against the turn and gave a dolly to Bailey. Earlier, Saha played a career-defining innings; his magnificent century propeled the Kings to a competitive 199 for Wriddhiman Sahaâ€™s blistering 115 off 55 balls went in vain
Manish Pandey during his knock of 94 from 50 balls
PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY: BCCI
anish Pandey played a blinder as Kolkata Knight Riders held their nerve to beat a spirited Kings XI Punjab by three wickets in an exhilarating summit clash and win the seventh edition of the Indian Premier League, in Bangalore, June 1. This is Kolkata's second IPL trophy. They join Chennai Super Kings as the only teams to win the tournament twice. Needing 200 to win the final, Piyush Chawla hit the most important 13 runs of his life, pulling Mitchell Johnson for a six off the last delivery of the penultimate over, before slashing Parvinder Awana over point, and running a victory lap as his delirious teammates joined him. If Wriddhiman Saha's 115 off 55 balls was pure joy to watch, Pandey's 94 off 50 balls was better than the best. He almost singlehandedly won the match for the Shah Rukh Khan-co-owned franchise. It was probably the most keenly-contested among the seven IPL finals. While Kings co-owner Preity Zinta found it difficult to suppress her nervous energy, Shah Rukh sat in the VIP stand like monk. The only time there was a reaction was when Chawla hit the final shot. He immediately embraced his daughter Suhana. Robin Uthappa (5) had an off-day. His uppish drive was smartly snapped by Akshar Patel at cover off Mitchell Johnson's delivery. Gautam Gambhir and Manish Pandey hit a flurry boundaries as KKR reached 59 for one at the end of the Powerplay. The KKR skipper looked in good nick with 23 off 16 balls before young leggie Karanveer Singh had him caught in the deep off David Miller, as the left-hander tried to give the charge by dancing down the track. Pandey, in the meantime, got the first six of the KKR
four after being put in to bat. Saha walked into the record books by being the first player to score a century in the IPL final. He was unbeaten on 115 off 55 balls, including 10 fours and eight sixes. Saha and Manan Vohra were swift yet brutal in their shot-making as they added a whopping 129 off 12 overs after Kings XI Punjab looked in a spot at 58 for two after the front 10. The back-10 got them as many as 141 runs thanks to the brilliant counter-attack by the Bengal stumper. Vohra, a surprise retention at the start of the season, scored 67 off 52 balls, including six fours and two sixes. He was lucky on 62 as Robin Uthappa collected the ball infront of the stumps while trying to stump him. But he was out trying to slog Chawla. The day belonged to Saha, who was in a mood to punish the spinners but played some equally good shots against the pacers, including a hook shot off Morne Morkel. Sunil Narine, who decided to give Test cricket a miss, was clobbered for 46 runs in his four overs. Saha completed his century off 49 balls, hitting Narine over long-on for a six, which Suryakumar yadav nearly caught. Virender Sehwag's (7) fans, who were expecting another swashbuckling innings, were left disappointed as the veteran didn't execute the pull-shot off a well-directed bouncer from Umesh Yadav. The resultant skier was taken by Gambhir standing at mid-off. Then there was a battle of wits between the skippers, which Gambhir won hands down. Rival skipper George Bailey promoted himself up the order, which prompted Gambhir to bring in Narine. The first delivery was a big offbreak as Bailey tried to play an ugly paddle shot shuffling across the line. He missed it, and the leg-stump was uprooted. Vohra on the other hand slog-swept Piyush Chawla over deep mid-wicket for a six while Saha also got into the groove with some singles. KKR initially bowled a tight line and the slowness of the pitch helped them before Saha cut loose.
Sports/Indian Premier League
INDIA IN NEW YORK JUNE 6, 2014
Wasim Akram reveals the secret of Kolkata’s success A ttributing Kolkata Knight Riders' second Indian Premier League title triumph to Gautam Gambhir's leadership skills, the team's bowling coach Wasim Akram said he is the best among all the IPL captains this season. ‘It means a lot to the team when the skipper is performing well,’ Akram told the IPL's official Web site. ‘It adds to the security and the self belief. He has led his troops very well. I believe he was the best captain in this IPL.’ Kings XI Punjab rode on an unbeaten 115 from Wriddhiman Saha to post 199 for four in 20 overs but Gambhir was never unnerved and backed his bowlers. And Akram was all praise for his captain's positivity. ‘...from the 11th to the 15th over of the KXIP innings, instead of looking for dot balls — which most captains do during that phase of the innings — he encouraged his bowlers to bowl for wickets,’ the Pakistani bowling great said about Gambhir. ‘That aggressive mindset and the belief he puts in his players makes him the best captain in the tournament.’ Akram credited teamwork for Kolkata’s triumph. ‘Our job is to keep things simple. We talk to the point and don't have long meetings. We just try to keep them relaxed and lend any assistance they need. That is the mantra that (Kolkata’s coach) Trevor Bayliss and I go by. The credit goes to the captain and his team. We are here
Wasim Akram, left, with Gautam Gambhir
just to support them.’ As Yusuf Pathan enjoyed his third IPL triumph — his first in the inaugural season with Rajasthan Royals — Akram celebrated his second title win. ‘It feels out of this world, but this time we're a lot calmer as well. The best thing about this team is that every mem-
ber is enjoying each other's success and company. The foreign players and the Indian boys are really close, and that's great to see as a mentor,’ Akram said. Kolkata were lying at the bottom half of the table with four consecutive losses early in the tournament but staged a sensational comeback to win nine games on the trot enroute to the title. Known to accommodate a lot of spinners in the team including Sunil Narine, Piyush CHawla and Shakib Al Hasan, KKR also boasted of a number of pacers this season including the likes of Morne Morkel, R Vinay Kumar and Umesh Yadav. ‘Yes, we've had a number of pace bowlers this year,’ Akram said. ‘They are all intelligent bowlers and hardworking cricketers. It has been special working with so many pacers who are all so different from one another. There's not much more you can ask as a coach.’ Robin Uthappa, the top run getter in IPL 7, has been a steady force behind the team’s triumph and Akram insists that promoting him as opener after the initial games was one of the moves that paid off. ‘This was a new team with new combinations, and it took us five-six games to get it right,’ Akram said. ‘We realized that this guy would be better opening the batting and he proved us right. He was consistency and class personified.’
Kolkata Knight Riders, SRK celebrate IPL triumph in style
Gambhir, who was retained by Kolkata Knight Riders ahead of the IPL auctions in February, started the tournament with three ducks in a row, but staged a remarkable turnaround to finish with 335 runs in 16 innings with three half-centuries. KKR co-owners Juhi Chawla and her husband Jay Mehta also joined the celebrations in the middle and posed with the team for pictures. ‘Either the cup is too big or my nose is. Either way the victory of my KKR boys is the biggest still. Love u. Get ready Kolkata we rule!!!!’ SRK wrote on Twitter following the victory. Shah Rukh Khan's daughter Suhana was also seen in the stands at the M Kolkata Knight Riders celebrate the IPL triumph with team co-owners Shah Rukh Khan and Juhi Chawla. Chinnaswamy stadium in flashy names but team work did it for us. I in ourselves and hard work done by the Bangalore cheering for her team KKR. told my children that Manish will do team management,’ he said. Later, Shah Rukh said he dedicated the something special. If I were choose my Shah Rukh hugged Kings XI Punjab cotriumph to his youngest son. team to play against any team in the final, owner Preity Zinta after the match and ‘dedicated this win to my little child congratulated her team for their consistent I wouldn't have chosen Preity's team. I AbRam and the hard work done by wished to win against any other team," he performances during the tournament. Gautam and his team. Thank you said. "We didn't have many big players and Bengalore and thank you IPL. We believed
PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY: BCCI
olkata Knight Riders celebrated their second Indian Premier League triumph in grand style following their three-wicket victory over Kings XI Punjab in the final in Bangalore, June 1. KKR co-owner Shah Rukh Khan was seen dancing around the ground as he celebrated the victory with all his players and the coaching staff. West Indian all-rounder Andre Russell led the celebrations as he showed off Gangnam Style moves to the delight of his team-mates. Set a huge target of 200 for victory, KKR won with three balls to spare after Piyush Chawla hit the winning boundary off Punjab pacer Parvinder Awana. Shah Rukh joined in the party and managed to convince Manish Pandey to show off his dancing skills. Pandey was named the man of the match for his splendid innings of 94 from 50 balls, having hit seven fours and six sixes, to lead KKR's charge with the bat. Robin Uthappa got the Orange Cap award for finishing as the highest run-getter in the tournament. KKR opener Uthappa led the way with the bat as he tallied 660 runs in the tournament at an average of 44 with five halfcenturies. It was also a special evening for KKR captain Gautam Gambhir, who recently made a comeback to the Indian Test squad for the forthcoming tour of England.
Sports/Indian Premier League
PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY: BCCI
INDIA IN NEW YORK JUNE 6, 2014
Andre Russell shows off Gangnam Style moves
Gautam Gambhir, right, and Robin Uthappa with the IPL trophy
Triumphant Knights Shah Rukh Khan shakes a leg with Manish Pandey as Juhi Chawla looks on from behind
Robin Uthappa got the Orange Cap award for the tournament’s highest run-getter.
Morne Morkel, left, Shah Rukh Khan and Robin Uthappa celebrate
Shah Rukh Khan hugs King’s XI Punjab owner Preity Zinta after the IPL final.
India in New York June 6, 2014
India in New York June 6, 2014
Published on Jun 4, 2014
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