BOLLYWOOD DILIP KUMAR’S LIFE IN WORDS COMMUNITY CHIVUKULA OUT OF CONGRESSIONAL RACE
SPORTS THE INDIAN WHO RUNS US SOCCER
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VOL. XVII NO. 51
India in New York A GUIDE TO EVENTS AND ENTERTAINMENT FROM INDIA ABROAD FRIDAY, JUNE 13, 2014
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India in New York
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INDIA IN NEW YORK JUNE 13, 2014
Chivukula out of Congressional race GEORGE JOSEPH
ew Jersey Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula came in third with 22 percent of the votes (7,775) in the Democratic primary for New Jersey’s Congressional District 12. Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman won the primary with 42.6 percent votes (15,121) while state Senator Linda Greenstein got 28.1 percent votes (9,974). “I am disappointed with the results, but it was not unexpected,” Chivukula said. “The county party organizations except in Somerset did not support me. In spite of that I could get 22 percent of the votes, which is not a small thing.” Democrats voted in the primary to nominate a candidate to succeed outgoing United States Representative Rush Holt. Coleman will face Franklin Township physician Alieta Eck, who ran unopposed in the Republican primary election. Coleman, if elected, would become New Jersey’s first African-American Congresswoman. “We put our best efforts,” Chivukula said. “It was not because of the lack of efforts that we lost. It is difficult to win challenging the party establishment. Moreover the area has no history of electing Asian Americans.” As usual the Indian community — with
Sikhs observe Operation Blue Star anniversary
about 16,000 votes — did not come out to vote. A few thousand votes from the community would have changed the equation, Chivukula said. He was also unhappy that some Indians came forward to support Coleman openly. A letter circulated among Indian Americans said, ‘The election will have huge consequences for our Upendra Chivukula businesses and our community, and it is imperative that we all get out and vote for Bonnie. Throughout her time as an assemblywoman, she has been a friend to our community and a friend to small business. Bonnie’s time in public service has been defined by her work on behalf of civil rights for all. Bonnie has never wavered in her commitment to our community and small business owners throughout New Jersey and we are strongly encouraging you to vote for her. We support Bonnie Watson Coleman because she is right for our community, our businesses and our future and we know she will be an incredible advocate for all of New Jersey in Washington.’ The letter was signed by Jasal Amin, trustee, Asian American Retailers
Association; Jayesh Amin, trustee, Asian American Retailers Association; Chandrakant Patel, trustee, Indian Business Association; Dhiren Amin, president, Indian Business Association; Ifti Turab, executive board member, Pakistan American Council; Dilip Patel, vice president, Indo-American Cultural Society; Narendra Dalal, former president, Indo-American Pharmacy Society; Harshad Patel, committee member, Kadwa Patidar Cultural Association; G K Patel, former president, FISANA; Manher Shah, former trustee, India Culture Association for Central Jersey; and Venkatesh Pundi, committee member for Franklin Township Balaji Mandir. Chivukula said the results will not impact his future or work. He continues to be an assemblyman. “This is a journey we started. Losses are part of it,” Chivukula said. “Our community is not respected by the political forces as we do not go and vote.” He said he got majority votes in several towns. He is not much concerned about the support of the party establishment in the assembly election next year. Coleman’s home county of Mercer, as well as Plainfield in Union County, came out strong to help her win.
Sikhs march in the rally through the streets of New York. ikhs from across the nation organized a rally in New York, June 6, to mark the 30th “About 4,000 people marched through the streets of New anniversary of Operation Blue Star — in which heavily armed York City on a working day,” the SFJ’s attorney Gurpatwant separatist militants were flushed out of Amritsar’s Golden Singh Pannun said. “We want the international community to Temple in 1984 by the Indian Army. The rally, organized by Sikhs for Justice, began near India’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations on the 42nd Street and ended at 47th Street near the UN headquarters.
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INDIA IN NEW YORK JUNE 13, 2014
Vin Gopal named deputy vice chair of New Jersey Democratic State Committee GEORGE JOSEPH
in Gopal, chairman, Monmouth County Democrats, was last week named deputy vice chair of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee by its Chairman John Currie. He is one of the four people promoted to the influential position. The committee will advise Chairman Currie and Vice Chair Lizette Delgado-Polanco on a range of party affairs and serve as emissaries at regional events. ‘I am thrilled to name these four outstanding New Jersey Democrats as deputy vice chairs,’ Currie said. ‘I will look to them for guidance and support as the campaign season progresses. These individuals represent diverse interests and regions and they have all been leaders in their respective communities.’ Gopal is also running for a second term as Monmouth County Democrats chair. “A county chairman runs the political party, recruits and run candidates for council, mayor, county offices and legislative offices,” he told India Abroad. “He determines how funds get spent on political campaigns, etc. The past chairman, Victor Scudiery, served the post for 23 years.”
Gopal, 28, who was first elected to the post in 2012, is uncontested this time. The election was scheduled for June 10. “There are about 900 members made up of elected Democratic leaders, mayors and council members in the county. I am uncontested toward a second term after winning my first term two years ago with 73 percent of the vote,” he said. “I am not planning on higher office right now, but am focused on electing good government Democrats throughout the county.” Born in Neptune, New Jersey, Gopal is the son of Krishnan and Indu Gopal, both physicians who live in Monmouth County and work locally. He grew up in Freehold, where he served as a volunteer emergency medical technician during high school and college. He also served as a certified American Red Cross Instructor. He went to high school in Tinton Falls and earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Penn State University. Gopal owns and operates several small businesses throughout Monmouth County, including community newspapers and magazines. He was elected to a three-year-term as president of the Hazlet Business Owners Association in January of 2010. In 2011, Gopal contested unsuccessfully for the New Jersey State Assembly.
Kris Kolluri to oversee operations at New Jersey’s top public universities AZIZ HANIFFA
ris Kolluri, a former New Jersey senior government official, was appointed the new chief executive officer of the Rowan University/Rutgers-Camden board of governors. The appointment was approved by the board last month at a meeting at the Cooper Medical School of Rowan University. A resolution to formally solicit proposals from Rowan and RutgersCamden for a collaborative instructional and research initiative was also passed at the meeting. “Camden is well positioned to become the regional health sciences hub and my goal and the board’s mission is to leverage existing ‘eds and meds’ assets to spur innovation and economic growth,” Kolluri told India Abroad. “Crucial to these efforts will be the ready availability of unprecedented economic incentive programs enacted into law recently. I am honored to have the opportunity to work for the board to advance this mission.” Kolluri has over a decade of experience in the New Jersey government. He was the Commissioner of Transportation for the state from 2006 to 2008. He oversaw the consolidation of New Jersey’s primary transportation agencies, including 17,000
Kris Kolluri, right, with former New York deputy public advocate Reshma Saujani. employees and $2 billion in operating funds, to bring about operational efficiencies. He also served as the chief executive officer of the New Jersey School Development Agency and as Chief of Staff and Assistant Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Transportation. These stints were preceded by more than a decade of experience on Capitol Hill as a
senior Congressional staffer. ‘With so many high priorities facing the board — from developing an initial budget to creating a strategic plan for the future — we needed someone with the skills that Kris has in running efficient public agencies to direct our day-to-day operations and ensure our long-term success,’ Jack Collins, chair, board of governors, said. ‘Kris had been in discussion with Rutgers officials for
a position at the University and through their cooperation we were able to secure him as our chief executive officer.’ Rowan University is a state-designated public research institution with campuses in Glassboro, Camden and Stratford that just received a $3.05 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to develop innovative approaches that respond to the region’s emerging needs for access to afforadable and effective health care services. As the southernmost campus of Rutgers, New Jersey’s flagship public research university, Rutgers University-Camden enrols 6,350 students in 35 undergraduate and 18 graduate programs, including three doctoral program and South Jersey’s only law school. The Board’s resolution to solicit plans for a collaborative educational and research program enables Rowan and RutgersCamden to develop a formal proposal for the Board’s consideration. The two universities have been working on this initiative for some time in anticipation of the organization of the Board of Governors. The Rowan University/Rutgers-Camden board of governors was created by the New Jersey Medical and Health Sciences Education Restructuring Act, and the board’s mission is to encourage the development of curricula and programs at Rowan and Rutgers-Camden in the area of health sciences and to leverage the educational and research assets of the universities to support the growth of the area’s health care capacity and lead to regional economic growth and civic engagement.
INDIA IN NEW YORK JUNE 13, 2014
Drug trafficking case against Vikram Chatwal dismissed GEORGE JOSEPH
felony drug-trafficking charge against hotelier Vikram Chatwal was dismissed by the17th Circuit Court in Broward County, Florida, after he finished a one-year drug-rehabilitation program in New York City. Chatwal completed all three phases of the program, which included substance-abuse counseling and drug testing, and avoided a potential 20year prison sentence. ‘Vikram earnestly strove this past year to address addiction issues, and
thankfully the Broward County judicial system recognize that his arrest was not the product of criminal conduct, but rather the unfortunate medical by-product of substance dependency,’ Chatwal’s attorney, Mark Heller, told the New York Post. Chatwal, 41, was arrested last year at Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood Airport after Transport Security Administration agents caught him trying to board a plane with heroin, cocaine and prescription pills. Agents initially spotted 21 white pills in his carry-on luggage at a screening checkpoint. They later iden-
tified them as prescription pills, which Chatwal purchased illegally, he told investigators. The agents also discovered a small piece of white plastic wrap containing 5 grams of cocaine in his jacket pocket, police said. They conducted a full body search, finding 6 grams of heroin in wax paper found in the crotch of his pants, police said. They also recovered an eighth of an ounce of pot in a small plastic bag. After posting $13,000 bail, Chatwal was allowed to fly back to New York to attend his drug-treatment program under the close scrutiny of the Florida court.
Sikhs observe Operation Blue Star anniversary f PAGE 2 break its silence on the oppression of Sikhs in India.” The rally was led by Jatinder Singh Grewal, SFJ director on international policy from Canada, Avtar Singh Pannu, SFJ coordinator in New York, and Tajinder Kaur Nijjar, SFJ coordinator in Canada, among others. People carried billboards on referendum 2020, a movement launched by Sikhs For Justice. It asks the Sikh Diaspora to give their opinion about an independent country. Pannun said that the Sikh Diaspora referendum would be held and managed by
independent organizations and monitored by international non-governmental organizations and human rights activists. In 2020, polling will be held in major cities of North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Kenya and Middle Eastern Counties. “We are not asking for vote now. We are raising awareness and educating masses,” Pannun said. Addressing the Sikhs gathered before the UN, Karen Parker, UN expert on right to self determination and co-founder of Association of Humanitarian Lawyers, said the ‘right to self determination is an inalienable right of all the people and it cannot be taken away under any circumstances.’
The rally, organized by Sikhs for Justice, began near India’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations on the 42nd Street and ended at 47th Street near the UN headquarters.
INDIA IN NEW YORK JUNE 13, 2014
Reny Jose’s family still hopeful of his return GEORGE JOSEPH
saw Reny in my dream yesterday. He came back home and said sorry. I woke up and there was darkness around me,” said Jose George, the father of Rice University student Reny Jose, who has been missing since March 3 from Panama City Beach in Florida. George, an official with the New York State, said the family has not lost hope and believe that Reny, 21, is alive and safe. “If that hope was not in our hearts, we could not have moved on. He is somewhere and will come back home one day,” he added. George and his wife Shirley, also a state employee, have written a petition to US Attorney General Eric Holder and US Senator from New York Chuck Schumer. ‘We are pleading assistance from your office to seek help from the federal agencies (Federal Bureau of Investigation, US Coast Guard, Department of Justice) to search for Reny’s whereabouts as well as address issues related to Civil Right laws. We look forward to your support during our time of difficulty,’ the petition says. Over 7,000 people have signed the petition, George said. The family has engaged private investigators, but they could not go too far without the backing of law, George said. They had even offered a reward of $15,000 for information on his whereabouts ‘A missing person case never closes until they are found. We have not forgotten Reny Jose. His case remains open and we follow up any lead we get,’ Ruth Corley, spokesperson, Bay County Sheriff ’s office, told the News Herald. Reny, 21, an engineering student at Rice University in Texas, is a native of Latham, near Albany and an alumni of Shaker High School. Before graduation, Reny and 21 of his friends from Rice were visiting Florida to celebrate spring break. They arrived in Panama City Beach March 1 and were staying at a beach rental. Reny’s family has created a Facebook page, FIND RENY JOSE, to share information. Anyone who might have information can call 850-747-5079 or CrimeStoppers at 850-785TIPS (8477). The online petition can be found here: www.ipetitions.com/petition/petition-to-attorney-generaleric-h-holder-jr
SUMAN GUHA MOZUMDER
The Bay County Sheriff ’s Office was contacted at about 11:26 am March 4 by friends who reported that Reny was not seen from 7 pm the day before. He was wearing black athletic pants and a green sweater at the time, but his clothes and phone were discovered in a trash bin near the house. His wallet, with identification and credit cards, was found inside the rental home. The BCSO Air Unit used a helicopter to search the area. A diving team was engaged two days later. According to a police report, a friend told them that Jose had taken LSD, an illegal drug known to cause users to hallucinate and behave unpredictably, and spoken of committing suicide March 3. But George said his son did not take any illegal substances. He has many cousins and family around Albany and nobody ever noticed any problems with him. When the parents arrived in Panama City Beach, except four, all other friends had already left the place. The family is not happy with the police investigation. “It is highly unlikely that one person in a team of 22 went missing without being noticed by anyone else,” George noted.
Soccer coach charged in child pornography case ends life
uresh M Manjanath jumped to his death from a building in Jackson Heights, New York, about 1:30 am, June 1, less than 32 hours after being released from police custody in Illinois. Manjanath, 45, who volunteered with the Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow branch of the American Youth Soccer Organization, had been caught in an online sting, unaware the person he arranged to meet in Chicago was an
New Jersey engineer admits to stealing trade secrets from former employers
undercover investigator, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said in a news release. He was charged in Illinois’ Will County Circuit Court with four counts of dissemination of child pornography, a Class X felony punishable by six to 30 years in jail. Manjanath returned to New York after posting 10 percent of a $1 million bail and committed suicide. He is survived by a wife and two children. ‘Today, many crimes against children
start online. Child predators take advantage of the anonymity of the Internet to hide their true identity,’ Madigan said. ‘My high tech Crimes Bureau hunts down sex offenders lurking online to stop them before they victimize children.’ Since 2006, Madigan’s task force has been involved in 738 arrests of sexual predators. The task force has also provided Internet safety training and education to nearly 350,000 parents, teachers and students and over 17,000 law enforcement professionals.
etankumar Maniar, a New Jerseybased engineer, admitted to stealing trade secrets from two global medical technology companies where he worked previously. Maniar, 37, pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Joel A Pisano in a New Jersey federal court. He was charged with two counts of theft and attempted theft of trade secrets for his own economic benefit. Maniar, who formerly lived in Mahwah, NJ, has been in custody since his June 2013 arrest. According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court, he stole information from manufacturers of medical technologies C R Bard Inc. (Bard), based in Murray Hill, NJ, and Becton, Dickinson and Co (BD), based in Franklin Lakes, NJ. From November 2004 until his resignation January 22, 2011, Maniar worked as an engineer at Bard’s Salt Lake City facility and was responsible for developing molding processes and specifications for catheters, ports and other medical products. From February 2012 until his resignation May 24, 2013, he worked as a staff engineer at BD’s Franklin Lakes headquarters, where he helped manufacture pre-fillable syringes and pen injectors. US Attorney Paul J Fishman said that through his work at Bard and BD, Maniar was able to steal secret information related to the companies’ products, including Bard’s development of the first implantable port used for power injection of pharmaceutical drugs throughout the body. He also had access to secret information related to a self-administered disposable pen injector still under development by BD and not yet available for commercial sale. Maniar admitted he stole Bard and BD trade secrets that he kept after his resignation from those companies. He downloaded numerous files containing product information from his work computers onto multiple computer storage devices, including external hard drives and thumb drives. He also used his work e-mail accounts at Bard and BD to forward trade secrets to his personal e-mail accounts. June 3, 2013, after court-issued federal warrants, Federal Bureau of Investigation agents searched Maniar’s rental car and the New Jersey hotel room he stayed in while planning a move back to India. Agents seized — among other things — at least one hard drive containing Bard and BD trade secrets. Maniar is scheduled to be sentenced September 23.
INDIA IN NEW YORK JUNE 13, 2014
Nanubhai Education Foundation gala raises $60,000 Guests take to the dance floor on DJ Rekha’s tunes.
ver 300 people attended the 10th anniversary celebrations of the Nanubhai Education Foundation in New York recently. The event, which raised $60,000, recognized the organization’s commitment to transforming public education in rural India.
Actors Sakina Jaffrey, of House of Cards fame and Sheetal Sheth — best-known for her role opposite Albert Brooks in the film Looking for Comedy In The Muslim World — were present at the event along with filmmaker and photographer Indrani PalChaudhuri. Guests enjoyed cocktails and wine from Diageo and Wine 34, and hors d’oeuvres from Michelin Star restaurant Tulsi. DJ
Sheetal Sheth, second from left, and Sakina Jaffrey, to her left, with Nanubhai Education Foundation teachers. Rekha of Basement Bhangra brought the guests to the dance floor. ‘The support we received at the gala will allow Nanubhai to sponsor over 15 scholarships to young rural women to pursue higher education and complete a college degree,’ Nita Nehru, co-chair of the board foundation, said. ‘For the vast majority, they are the first of their family to go to college. This is a remarkable achievement
Nassau County Awards for six GEORGE JOSEPH
assau County Executive Edward P Mangano presented the Nassau County Awards to six people for their contributions, during the Indian American Night organized by the Indian American Forum in New York. The Indian American Night, a showcase of classical Indian music and folk dances from all regions of India, is part of 2014 summer concert series sponsored by Nassau County Department of Parks, Recreation and Museums.
The honorees were: Dr Surekha Patel, who practices nuclear medicine at Jacobi Medical Center, helped found Friends of ARCH (Action Research in Community Health Development), which helps provide basic preventive, curative and maternal health services to tribal populations in India. Ajay Batra, an engineer who works in the aerospace industry, and is actively involved in several community organizations. Bhupinder Kaur Thind, a social worker in Punjab. Sonia Bawa, a community worker and occupational therapist. She was the coordinator for the Punjabi Mela last year and the India Day Parade on Long Island. Sunita Sadhnani, creative director and founder, Glamorous Event Planners. Kirit Panchamia, a public accountant and community activist. He is the founder of the Herricks Indo-US Community.
Nassau County Executive Edward P Mangano, fifth from right, with the honorees.
and one that we all should be very proud of. By educating these 15 ladies, we are vastly improving not only their lives, but the lives of their future families as well.’ The Nanubhai Education Foundation has integrated an innovative program of English training, teaching techniques and classroom management skills to underfunded public schools in Gujarat.
Hema Malini brings Durga to New Jersey
Hema Malini as Durga during a performance.
eteran Bollywood actress and classical dancer Hema Malini is bringing her dance ballet Durga to the New Jersey Performing Arts Center June 21. The event is being organized by Rhythm Asia, in association with Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Share & Care Foundation, TV Asia and Tathaastu: So Be It Magazine. The dance ballet — based on the charitas (stories) from the Devi Mahatmya and also from the common folklore of Sati, Parvati, and Durga —will have 25 dancers and artists performing with Hema Malini. For more information call: (732) 6535353.
INDIA IN NEW YORK JUNE 13, 2014
From left, Sakhi's Executive Director Tiloma Jayasinghe, Development Manager Sohini Das, Vice President of Marketing at PepsiCo North America Ann Mukherjee, and Ana Oliveira, president, New York Women's Foundation.
Asian Sakhi for South 5 years. tes 2 women celebra reports Arthur J Pais
ADVOCATES of CHANGE A
man associated with a Hindu temple in Queens had not heard of Sakhi, but when he was told the organization had been started by a few women to help the victims of domestic abuse, he shook his head vigorously, saying, “Not in our community. Indians are very peaceful people.” “Are these women divorced? Are they the kind of women who cannot get husbands?” a woman next to him asked. A few others said, the women must be Bangladeshis and Pakistanis. They were told there were women from New Delhi and other Indian cities. Some were victimized because their husbands’ families were asking for more dowry while others were punished because they could not bear sons. Sakhi for South Asian women, which recently marked its 25th anniversary with a fundraising gala that grossed over $400,000, kept growing despite the cynicism. Founded in 1989 by five women — Anannya Bhattacharjee, Mallika Dutt, Tula Goenka, Geetanjali Misra, and Romita Shetty — Sakhi (meaning “woman friend”) was founded to help focus specifically on domestic violence against women. While there were many religious and cultural centers in existence at that time, according to the organization’s Web site, none specifically helped battered women from ‘Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and the South
Asian Diaspora (including the West Indies and Africa),’ so Sakhi was founded to fill that need. ‘After 25 years of working with and being an integral part of our community, we at Sakhi know that in order for families to be healthy and happy, violence and oppression must be eliminated at the heart and root of our communities,’ the Web site says. ‘Our vision of a society without domestic violence lies within the community’s ability to take ownership in the fight to end violence against women.’ “This is a historic moment for Sakhi. Since 1989, our year of founding, we have been upheld and supported by more people than we can ever name,” said Tiloma Jayasinghe, executive director, Sakhi. “While so much has changed over the years, in terms of programs, staff and events, the heart of what we do is still the same: support and empower New York City’s South Asian women to survive and thrive through the challenges of abuse, immigration, family, community and health. Then, and today our work is central to the needs of women.”
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Mallika Dutt, co-founder, Sakhi, is also the founder, president and chief executive officer of Breakthrough, a rights organization.
INDIA IN NEW YORK JUNE 13, 2014
‘I channel that pain into doing good for others’ Joya Dass recounts how growing up as a victim of domestic violence pushed her to help other women. Arthur J Pais listens in
ews anchor Joya Dass not only emceed the Sakhi 25th anniversary gala, but also spoke of her Indian-American family and how she had to fight her way out of the domestic and debilitating misery. ‘I grew up in a household where my father would physically assault my mother in front of the kids. I counted the days till I was out of the house.’ she said. ‘At the tender age of 11, I didn’t know much, but I knew anything had to be better than this. Gaining that freedom eventually, without my parents backing was really hard. But worth it.’ For the last 15 years, Dass has been reporting for Bloomberg TV, CNN and ABC. She is currently a business anchor with NY1 News and CNN. She also runs a segment of Hindi movie and music segment once a week for AVS. In November 2009, she also began directing and producing a social justice documentary First Sight. It tackles the issue of curable blindness in children in India and is her first feature-length film. It has been shown at a number of film festivals. ‘My mother and I are what social workers call primary and secondary survivors of domestic violence,’ Dass told Inspirational Ladies publication. ‘This year I’m shooting and directing a series of photo essays with three survivors who have come through the Sakhi program. I have tremendous respect for what this organization does to help women in crisis.’ Dass revealed how she came from a broken home. She revealed that she had not spoken to her father since 1999.
ADVOCATES of CHANGE
fits from the government, fight legal hurdles regarding immigration status and overcome language barriers. Sakhi volunteers, many of whom are lawyers, often accompany women to the courts or to interviews with the police and other city agencies. Dr Margaret Abraham, head of the sociology department at Hofstra University, who has been studying the impact of Sakhi on the society in the last few years, said some South Asians were unaware of the wrong in their own community. She added that she was concerned about ‘the myth of the model minority. “Any community that celebrates and takes pride in its achievements, cannot be really strong if it does not acknowledge and takes action against its social problems,” Abraham said. Her research and first hand experience has resulted in a book, Speaking the Unspeakable: Marital Violence Among
f PAGE 7 Red Baraat, the pioneering Brooklyn band, kicked off the event while Punchali Khanna Kumar’s award-winning dance company, Moksha Arts also performed at the event. Hundreds of women in the New York area — many of them well-educated, but crippled by domestic tyranny — have sought Sakhi’s help in the last 25 years. While the issue of domestic violence continues to be somewhat a taboo, Sakhi has been able to help many of these women deal with court systems, seek proper bene-
‘My mother and I have a touch-and-go relationship. My brother has been incarcerated in federal prison for the last ten years,’ she said. ‘Admittedly, I walk around with a gap in my heart, wondering what it would be like to have a supportive family enveloping me. Experts say the best way to alleviate pain is to help others. I channel some of that pain into doing good for others.’ Dass co-founded LadyDrinks, a women’s networking initiative, about a year-and-a-half ago. ‘I don’t believe women build best practices and realize synergies in one meeting,’ she mused. ‘It takes several. So I work hard each month to make each event special and unique. For example, January LadyDrinks was a poker night where women learned important negotiation and strategy skills through the game of Poker.’ Dass is not new to Sakhi. Years ago, she emceed a Sakhi gala at Chelsea Piers. Through the process, she says she got ‘valuable counseling to integrate the trauma of domestic violence into my story.’ ‘I’ve learned that counseling women and getting them outside their comfort zones is sometimes the biggest hurdle,’ she reflected. ‘Sakhi has created a safe space, populated with folks who understand the hurdles a South Asian woman faces. For that I value what the organization does.’ At the Sakhi gala, she recalled her own fight to get over the hurdles that her restrictive upbringing put before her. As a kid in a small Pennsylvania town, there were a lot of ‘nos’ leveled at her she wrote in the Huffington Post. ‘No. You can’t wear that mini-skirt. No. You can’t date boys. No. You can’t become a journalist. No was a word laden with a lot of negatives and they washed over me regularly like an Indian monsoon,’ she wrote. But Dass persisted and successfully resisted following the traditional careers for Indians: doctors. lawyers, engineers. ‘My constant plaint of wanting to become journalist fell only on deaf ears and a tight, dismissive smile,’ she added. There were many naysayers in the professional world and she had to fight them, too, she recalled. But she was made of tougher stuff and a strong determination. Dass kept persisting, taking the message of her success to the media and bringing it to the Sakhi gala.
Red Baraat ushers in the crowd to the evening’s main program.
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INDIA IN NEW YORK JUNE 13, 2014
‘I have seen people help just by a word of kindness or a moment of attention’
ARTHUR J PAIS
rmi Basu works some 10,000 miles away in Kolkata, but she declared in New York recently that her New Light organization and Sakhi were fighting for the same thing: empowering women. Basu, whose organization supports women and girls in the red-light district of Kolkata, was one of the honorees at the People Who Inspire Us Sakhi gala in New York. Sakhi also honored Ana Oliveira, president and chief executive officer, New York
Urmi Basu, whose New Light organization supports women and girls in the red-light district of Kolkata, was one of the honorees at the People Who Inspire Us Sakhi gala in New York.
Women’s Foundation. “On a global scale the problem of prostitution is so complex and huge that I would be completely overwhelmed if I think about it,” Basu, who has been running New Light for nearly 14 years, said. “I choose to reduce the aperture of my vision and concentrate my energy only on things that I can do.” Basu is also known for her appearance in
the film Half the Sky, based on a book written by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. New Light provides over 200 children of sex workers with education, health care and nutritional support, as well as the opportunity to live free of abuse, violence and stigma. In addition to running shelters for chil-
dren, the agency founded with just $ 200 also aims to stop the trafficking of young girls into sex trade and to provide care to those suffering from HIV/AIDS. It is the grass root nature of New Light that best underscores Basu’s conviction about helping others. Although many believe money is the only way to help, she said she knows otherwise. ‘I have seen people help just by a word of kindness or a moment of attention,’ Basu wrote on her Web site. ‘In a larger context we can move governments and authority by raising a voice and taking an active interest in our communities’ A sociologist by training, Basu credits her parents with teaching her to cultivate courage and to be a compassionate agent of change. Her father, a physician in the Kolkata neighborhood of Batanagar, was a relentless worker for peace, justice and communal harmony. Neighbors in their small community looked to him as a friend, confidante and source of support, she said. The family led a comfortable middle-class life until 1971, when clashes between Maoists and the government nearly destroyed everything they had. Nine year old Urmi watched as her parents stepped forward to rescue a young man whose life was being threatened by a rival political gang. The rescue was successful, but the family faced the threat of retribution. Soon after Urmi’s father was injured and their home and his clinic were burned down. “It was a horrific moment for all of us,” she recalled. Community leaders urged Urmi’s family to move to a safer place. Her parents, however refused and continued to work with young people in the community, teaching tolerance and compassion. Over times, their efforts were rewarded. ‘When the young people who had attacked our home and knifed my father came to ask for forgiveness,’ she said. ‘is kindness and compassion touched and changed their lives forever.’ After finishing her graduate work in sociology, Basu studied social work, specializing in criminology and correctional administration. This, she said, was “extremely important and left a very deep impact and influence on the work that I do today.” After working at a number of organizations, including those working with street children and women in isolated rural areas, Basu said she felt the need to do “something where I could see my work impacting the lives of people” and used her own savings to found New Light. She cited two lesson gained from the experience, both of which guide her work today. “There exists only one nanosecond between dead and alive and none of us knows when that moment is. So instead of being concerned about what is going to happen, we must open our mind and live life without fear of death,” Basu said. “Second, every act of violence can be overcome with tolerance and compassion….. Peace is the greatest power we have.”
Cover Story INDIA IN NEW YORK JUNE 13, 2014
ADVOCATES of CHANGE
Ranjit Tinaikar, one of the event co-chairs.
Sadika Chowdhury, right, a survivor of domestic violence at Sakhi, and her daughter Caritas Doha.
Performers from the Moksha Arts Company.
f PAGE 8 South Asian Immigrants in the United States, published by Rutgers University Press in 2000. In the book she explained how immigration issues, cultural assumptions, and unfamiliarity with American social, legal, economic, and other institutional systems, coupled with stereotyping, make women especially vulnerable to domestic violence. Most importantly she let readers hear the voices of abused South Asian women, who were caught in the vortex of domestic violence. The book also focused on the pivotal role South Asian organizations played in helping these women escape abusive relationships. Sakhi’s anniversary gala also let over 400 people hear the voices of some of the women who had empowered themselves through the organization. Robina Niaz, a previous Sakhi Board member and Founder of Turning Point for Women and Families, migrated to New York in 1990, after getting married and came into a situation she did not expect or anticipate. Her husband was a dishonest man who lied to her about many aspects of his life. She hired a lawyer who turned out to be abusive as well. Instead of helping her achieve her goals, he tried to push her into a settlement with her husband that would be beneficial to him, Niaz wrote as part of the ‘Inspiring Sakhi’ series. ‘During this time I met one of Sakhi’s board members, an attorney,’ she added.‘Although unable to get me free legal assistance, she helped me understand my case, guided me and connected me with Queens Women’s Network, a group that helped displaced home makers. While my divorce case was pending, I was invited to speak with Sakhi’s support group members. I volunteered my time, shared my story and challenges I faced and the lessons I had learned. The idea was to reassure other women that they were not alone and there was light at the end of the tunnel.’ She added that her case was eventually settled and while the amount she received was meager, she was grateful for getting her life back. ‘I moved into a rented apartment without any furniture and remember sleeping on the carpeted floor, finally feeling free. I knew no one could kick me out and held onto my faith. The beauty of faith and spirituality is that it steers you through life’s biggest challenges,’ Niaz added. ‘As I settled into my new life, I thought about the many friends I made at Sakhi, and many were struggling to find their way. I often wondered that if I, with a graduate degree, a decade of work and travel experience, fluency in English and unconditional family support (even though they were in Pakistan), faced so many challenges how difficult it must be for women at Sakhi who didn’t have these advantages.’ Niaz took up an entry level job at Victims Services (now Safe Horizon), got trained in domestic violence and immigration counseling and rape crisis intervention. ‘With a full time job I continued to volunteer at Sakhi and joined its board in 1994 and continued for 12 years’, she said.
INDIA IN NEW YORK JUNE 13, 2014
Amitabh Bachchan tells Subhash K Jha about his daily soap debut
Big B in small screen soap A
mitabh Bachchan will be seen in a television soap for the first time later this month. The drama series Yudh, directed by Anurag Kashyap, also features Sarika, Kay Kay Menon and Nawazuddin Siddiqui. It will air on Sony TV. The soap is set in the corporate world and Bachchan’s character Yudhisthir struggles to balance his personal and professional lives. Tell us about Yudh. Yudh is the name of the character I play, Yudhisthir. But there is a yudh (war) in his life too, which he battles with on many
fronts. What made you choose this series? I had wished to do a television serial some day. Endemol (producers of the show) came up with this project. I liked it and then we set about building a team and getting down to constructing it. What do you think of the standard of other fiction shows on Indian television? I am no judge, the audience is. The ones that garner good ratings are obviously the ones that must come in the category of good. I suppose they set the standards. Will we get to see you do something different on television as compared to what you’ve done in films?
I cannot say, you will have to judge it when it airs. The basics are the same, no matter what medium we actors are acting. That is how you shall see this serial as well. But (director) Anurag Kashyap and the team have tried to present it differently from what has been coming in the category of soaps and serials. Do you watch any television? Do you think the content on Indian television has shown a healthy growth over the years? Yes, I do watch TV and yes, the growth of television in India is by far the greatest in the world. With about 800 channels currently operative, it’s perhaps larger than the entire volume of global channels put
together. Television in India has overtaken the returns of cinema three fold, and this within a spate of the last 10-15 years. Compared to a 100 year film industry, this must be looked upon as a healthy growth. You proved to be a game-changer on television with Kaun Banega Crorepati. What can we expect from Yudh? I am no game-changer, nor do I ever aspire to be one. I just want to do my stipulated work. The audiences will decide the fate of Yudh. Would you say that Yudh is a new phase in your career? Phases in a person’s life need deeper thought, consideration and comment. Television is just another aspect of a profession I already practice. This fresh attempt is another project. Let us not give it so much importance.
‘People will now see my nerdy, goofy side’ RAJUL HEGDE
T Sunny Leone during the launch of MTV Splitsvilla season 7. The show premieres June 14.
he 7th season of MTV Splitsvilla is all set to sizzle with Sunny Leone and VJ Nikhil Chinappa hosting the show together. “People will get to see a nerdy, goofy side of me. They always perceive me as sexy, but I’m not only that,” Sunny said. “Hosting and acting are two different things. You have to be quick on your feet when hosting. You have to answer quickly and even ask questions quickly. You also have to be a good listener to be a good host.” She added that the show will have a new format this year, with with around 20 girls wooing and vying for the attention of seven male celebrities.
Sunny said that her life has changed for the better after the success of Ragini MMS 2. “I wasn’t expecting it to do as well as it did. I can’t thank my fans enough for watching Ragini MMS 2 and making it such a success,” she added. Now film offers are pouring in. “I don’t know what to do. I am in shock. One movie can change your life so much. I generally read the synopsis and if I like it, I read the screenplay. And if I like the screenplay then we move forward,” she said. Sunny revealed that she had been working on her Hindi too. “My crew speaks only in Hindi and everybody around me keeps correcting my Hindi. I speak only Hindi to my staff,” she added.
PHOTOGRAPHS: PRADEEP BANDEKAR
INDIA IN NEW YORK JUNE 13, 2014
Sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan arrives for the book launch with son Ayaan Ali Khan.
Aamir Khan and Amitabh Bachchan launch Dilip Kumar's biography Substance and Shadow as Dharmendra and Saira Banu look on. Bollywood's biggest stars and veterans attended the do.
Filmmaker Subhash Ghai and veteran screenwriter Salim Khan.
ALL THAT GLITTERS
A PEEK INTO THE WEEKâ€™S GLITZIEST TINSEL TOWN EVENTS
Aamir Khan with wife Kiran Rao, center, and mother Zeenat Hussain.
Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group Chairman Anil Ambani with wife Tina and mother Kokilaben. Veteran actress Vyjayanthimala
From left, Dr Sriram Nene with wife Madhuri Dixit, Priyanka Chopra and Javed Akhtar at the event.
INDIA IN NEW YORK JUNE 13, 2014
Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa
is all show, no reality
Meet the Jhalak Dhikhhla Jaa 7 contestants
British singer, model and VJ, Sophie Choudry is a trained dancer and has done several item numbers in films, like Shootout At Wadala and Heyy Babyy.
t’s not what I expected, that’s for sure. Madhuri Dixit, Akshay Kumar, Karan Johar, Alia Bhatt and various (mostly weak) dancers were all in attendance during the two-night marathon Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa opening ceremony on Colors last weekend, but none of those folks could be singled out as the star of the show. In what I’m assuming is a switch for reality programming, the star wasn’t a person at all, but a character. Kiku Sharda, a hefty comedian who also plays Constable Mulayam Singh Gulgule on a sitcom called FIR, dresses up in drag as a girl called Palak for the variety entertainment show Comedy Nights With Kapil. Essentially a rotund version of, as far as I can tell, Kajol from Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Palak is a boisterous girl oblivious to her own obnoxiousness, with catchphrases like “talk to the hand.” Palak thinks she’s stunning, Palak thinks she can “rock” everything, and Palak is man-crazy. Sharda is an amusing, quick-witted performer, but this is comedy at its broadest: as the nearly-naked Chinaman said in The Hangover, “It’s funny because he’s fat.” Alas, not just does the channel flog an old joke to death, it puts lipstick on the casket and pretends its real. Thus, in an incredibly inane act of self-promotion, Palak is an official participant in Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa 7, and going by the amount of airtime spent watching a heavyset man play a feisty girl, I wager she’s likely to win the show. The show is peculiar in itself. Contestants perform dances which are so elaborate “in concept” that some of them aren’t even performed on stage — instead taking place on, say, a distant lake. None of it feels like a live event, though the most inadvertently hilarious thing about the show was watching a pair of chubby dancers squirm — as they sat amid fellow performers — still wearing their skintight glittercovered bodysuits. A fun performance came from television actor Ashish Sharma, who performed some weird but entertaining Mortal Kombat moves aided by holograms. But the show’s standout performer is a young dancer called Shakti Mohan who, trying her feet at ballet (set to sufi music, naturally), was quite impressive. None of the others come close. The worst? It’s hard to choose from VJ Andy wearing goblin ears, Sophie Chaudhry making bizarre faces, and Sukhwinder Singh bringing a microphone and forgetting that this is a show about dancing. Which, to be fair, seems like an honest mistake, given that a big chunk of the episode was devoted to cricketer Sreesanth tossing tennis balls for Akshay Kumar to hit. Also, Alia Bhatt sang. Egad. It doesn’t even attempt to look like a live stage show. Performers who are supposed to take the stage are shown clapping in their seats (for themselves), costumes
PAGE 17 g
Kritika Kamra, popular for her shows Kitani Mohabbat Hai and Kuch Toh Log Kahanege, is not new to dance reality shows. She has already participated in STAR Plus’s Zara Nachke Dikha. Mouni Roy, currently seen as Sati in Devon Ke Dev...Mahadev, first became popular as Krishna Tulsi in Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi.
VJ-turned-actor Purab Kohli has films like Rock On!! and Shaadi Ke Side Effects to his credit. Puja Banerjee is known for her role as Parvati in Devon Ke Dev...Mahadev.
Madhuri Dixit during a press conference for Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa 7. The actress has shed her Indian avatar for a more western look on this season of the show.
Model-turned-actor Karan Tacker became famous after his stint in Ek Hazzaron Mein Meri Behna Hai.
Kiku Sharda has won over fans with his stint as Palak on Comedy Nights with Kapil.
India in New York June 13, 2014
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India in New York June 13, 2014
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INDIA IN NEW YORK JUNE 13, 2014
Tabu teams up with Meghna Gulzar
abu’s association with the poet-filmmaker Gulzar goes a long way. The actress, who considers him a fatherfigure, had starred in his last two directorial ventures Maachis and Hu-tu-tu. She also played the lead in Gulzar’s daughter Meghna Gulzar’s directorial debut Filhaal. Now, Tabu has teamed up with Meghna on her new film Talwar. Based on the Arushi Talwar murder case,
the film also stars Irrfan Khan and Sohum Shah (of Ship Of Theseus fame). Apparently, Gulzar has suggested the film’s title. A source close to the family said, “It’s a family tradition. Meghna wants Gulzarsaab to select all her films’ titles.”
Top Chef Canada cancelled
Tabu. Inset, Meghna Gulzar.
Lisa Ray had been hosting the show since 2011.
fter four successful seasons, The Food Network has cancelled its hit show Top Chef Canada. Actress Lisa Ray, who hosted the cooking reality show, shared a picture
and tweeted: ‘We’re packing up our knives after 4 super seasons, thanks to all who tuned into @TopChefCanada, its been a fun ride for this culinary voyeur.’
Baby boom A
fter her fantastic comeback in the Hindi films with English Vinglish, Sridevi is all set to return to her Tamil roots. The actress will be staring in a fantasy Tamil film, which will be dubbed in Hindi. Directed by Chimbu Devan, the film will also star Tamil superstar Vijay and Kannada actor Sudeep. “Yes, she is doing a film with the Tamil star Vijay. That’s all I can reveal at the moment,”Sridevi’s husband Boney Kapoor said. In this fantasy caper, Sridevi plays a princess.
Imran Khan’s wife Avantika Malik delivered a baby girl in the early hours of June 9 at a Mumbai hospital.
Sridevi returns to her roots
Riteish Deshmukh and Genelia D’ Souza are expecting their first child. Riteish confirmed the news in an interview to the The Times of India. ‘Yes, she is pregnant and we are looking forward to the baby and are very excited about it,’ he told the newspaper. Genelia showed off her baby bump at the launch of her husband’s Marathi film Lal Bhari.
INDIA IN NEW YORK JUNE 13, 2014
Meet the Jhalak Dhikhhla Jaa 7 contestants
Ashish Sharma, known for his performance in the soap Rangrasiya on Colors, has also starred in Dibanker Banerjee’s Love Sex Aur Dhokha.
From left, Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa host Ranvir Shorey with Varun Dhawan, Kiku Sharma as Palak and Alia Bhatt during the premiere episode of the show.
Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa is all show, no reality
some of the edge off the inanity. Dixit, it must be said, is looking like a million bucks. She dazzled in a gold dress, and, when she finally took the stage, scorched things up significantly with a Dhoom Macha Le performance that was hotter than anyone anticipated, honestly. But sexy as it was, it wasn’t worth sitting through three hours of assorted tripe — most of which was awarded a 9/10 by the judges. Nothing really is. Just watch the Dixit song on the Internet and let the show be. Unless you’re all set for Palak Dikhhla Jaa.
f PAGE 13 are changed in the blink of an edit, and none of the criticism comes close to being real. Simon Cowell would be ashamed. Following each performance, the judges weigh in, pretty much in unison. Choreographer Remo tries to appear technical and classify the dances into genres but says things like “yeh electric style dance hai” — which, while daft, seems reasonable if you consider that 90 percent of the dances are touchyfeely samba/salsa variants climaxing in women flaunting the blingy lycra bloomers under their dresses. The otherwise eloquent Karan Johar embarrasses himself by tossing out so many adjectives I bet he’s bored out of his skull, in effusive autopilot and utterly unaware of what he’s saying. Madhuri Dixit, god bless her soul, says things like “you’re killing it.” But that grin takes
VJ Andy found fame when he choreographed the hit music video Kaliyon Ka Chaman. He has styled films like Ghajini, Tashan and Bachna Ae Haseeno. He was a popular contestant in the 7th season of the reality show Bigg Boss.
Shakti Mohan has won Zee TV’s Dance India Dance Season 2 and has also featured in item numbers in Tees Maar Khan and Rowdy Rathore.
Akshat Singh first impressed the judges of India’s Got Talent on Colors TV with his dance moves. He was also invited to the Ellen DeGeneres Show .
Sukwinder gained international fame with his Oscar-winning song Jai Ho from the film Slumdog Millionaire.
Former cricketer S Sreesanth has put the Indian Premier League spot-fixing controversy behind him to participate in the show. From left, Karan Johar; Madhuri Dixit; Raj Nayak, chief executive officer, Colors; Remo Fernandes and Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa producer Myleeta Aga.
Health INDIA IN NEW YORK JUNE 13, 2014
In yoga, sunbathing during dawn is hugely recommended. Standing before the rising sun, with eyes closed, feeling the soft touch of the dawning sun's rays on the body is the first step. To increase its effect, so that eyesight is also positively affected, spread your feet about two feet apart, keep arms loosely hanging beside the body and swing the body lightly. Doing 25 to 50 swings in this fashion early in the morning is said to preserve overall health. In case one misses the morning sun bath, it is recommended to catch up during the evening, just before sunset. The softer rays of the dawn and pre-sunset are safest from ultraviolet rays, which are said to be carcinogenic and implicated in skin cancers. The ideal period of sunbathing for the light skinned should be less and longer for the darker skinned because the latter have melanin in the skin, a pigment that protects them from damage from the sun. Thus, the duration should be between seven to 20 minutes of the soft sunlight, which must be ideally avoided during the peak hours from 11 am to 4 pm.
Chromatherapy involving alternative treatment is related to yoga and naturopathy. It believes in the effect of the sun’s rays on the body and uses the seven colors from natural light for treating diseases of the mind and body. While skeptics still wonder if it is placebo effect, those who believe that sunlight and life are naturally twined have no doubts. The VIBGYOR colors are violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange and red. Each is said to impact a particular chakra in the body. Red, the lowermost, is believed to impact the reproductive system, kidneys. On the emotional front, it is associated with all feelings that deal with the survival instinct, such as fear and anger. Its location is the base of the spine. Orange affects the pelvic region, associated with sensuality and creation. Its associated with the urogenital system. The third, at the navel, is yellow, associated with the digestive tract and all feel-
Soak up the sun Shameem Akthar on the benefits of sunlight and how much is too much ings dealing the sense of ‘I’ or ego. Green, at the heart center, is associated with love on the emotional front and the heart and immune system, on the physical front. Blue, at the throat, is associated with expression and organs associated with that. At the eyebrow is indigo, associated with intuition, the pineal gland and eyes. Violet, at the crown, is the highest one dealing with spiritual expansion. Its physical association is the nervous system and the master glands. To deal with a particular imbalance in any of the above chakras, chromatherapists recommend drinking water, which has been kept in glass containers of that color and placed in sunlight for a particular length of time. Perhaps chromatherapy is not so far-fetched after all: Today interior decorators use a lot of such information for creating living and working spaces. Some examples are red for entertainment (bars or restaurants), blue for banks and green for hospitals.
Dr Robert Svoboda has an interesting observation about sunlight in his book Prakriti. He points out how one is able to consume more alcohol at night rather than day. This, he believes, could have to do with the connection between melatonin, the pineal gland hormone, sunlight and one’s sense of the self. ‘A high melatonin level, particularly when due to insufficient exposure to light, may actually aggravate alcoholism. When the pineal is properly stimulated by light, it reduces egotism; in the darkness the pineal stimulates selfishness. Since ojas is produced by sacrifice, light promotes the production of ojas; darkness because it encourages self-indulgence, retards ojas production.’ He defines ojas as a ‘hormone like substance. It produces the person’s aura, transmits energy from mind to body and controls immunity.’
Crystal and gemstone therapy uses gemstones for healing, based on the philosophy of chakras and energy centers. Healing crystals of appropriate colors are placed at the
appropriate centers to invite healing within the body. For instance, blue gemstones like larimar may be placed at the throat while meditating in a supine position for voice problems or communication issues. The most powerful crystal in healing is the sphatik or transparent crystal because it is believed to contain within it the seven colors. Elixirs, made by soaking a particular stone in water overnight, is also used in certain treatments. In crystal therapy, the pale blue angelite is used to cool the system devastated by the sun or burnt by it. For sunstroke, the gentle green of chrysoprase is used.
Natural light innaturopathy
In naturopathy, sunlight is a great cure-all. However, while undergoing sunbathing as therapy, you need to acclimatize to it gradually. This involves slowly exposing body parts to the early morning sun, keeping the rest of body covered with cloth. The head is normally kept covered throughout. The time is increased gradually, taking a few days to slowly increase it from five to 10 or 20 minutes. It is used as therapy in those with acute skin diseases, circulatory problems or weak bones. However, it must be avoided in acute conditions of any sickness, including fever. Rest is recommended before and after a sunbath, and meals are to be avoided before and after sunbath. If any reaction sets in, the practice must be discontinued or be introduced in an even more phased fashion. Naturopathy treatment using sun rays are very cautious because it believes that the seven colors from the solar spectrum have a powerful effect on the human body and must be introduced as per an individual’s need for therapy. Shameem Akthar is a yogacharya trained with the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center. Catch Shameem's yoga tips on http://jaisivananda.blogspot.com Disclaimer: This column shares the columnist's passion for alternative therapies which are ideally learned under the guidance of an expert
oo much of it is a bad thing; too little spells disaster. As always in such cases, there are debates and studies that praise it, express doubt about its efficacy or discuss its dangers in hushed tones. But alternative therapies have a seasoned, reasonable approach towards when and how to take in the goodness of sunlight. Leading a life cloistered from sunlight can cause serious ailments, including gum disease, inflammation, seasonal affective disorder — a form of clinical depression caused by seasonal fluctuations that usher in darkness or lack of sunlight. Sun rays are said to improve the production of vitamin D, needed to prevent cellular damage, maintain eyesight, sustain efficient breathing and preserve bone health. It is also important for circulatory health, and lack of it has been implicated in hypertension. Since there is a known link between sunlight and the pineal gland, it is found that those who work in artificial sunlight or not exposed to sufficient sunlight can suffer from insomnia or irregular sleep patterns. This link must also be what is known to cause premature aging in those who deny themselves sunlight, since the pineal gland is associated with the growth hormone, linked with aging. The most common association, of course, is the link between vitamin D and bone health. That is often the reason why vitamin D supplementation is recommended for women whose hormonal yo-yos makes them vulnerable to bone-related ailments, osteoporosis, etc. However, studies indicate that supplementation contain a version of vitamin D, which may not be so compatible to overall health and can cause toxicity in excess. Vitamin D from natural light is found to be the ideal form that does not reach toxic levels so drastically.
INDIA IN NEW YORK JUNE 13, 2014
The colorful dreams of
JIMMY RIZVI He chose to establish two very different businesses, both of which he helms successfully. Text and Photograph: Paresh Gandhi
s a student in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, Jimmy Rizvi never dreamt that one day he would run two businesses in America. Or that each business would be diametrically different from the other. Fourteen years ago, Jimmy came to the United States to complete his post-graduation from Syracuse University. In 2008, he earned a diploma in entertainment management. These two diverse streams of education were the foundation on which he built his life in America. In fact, the concert promotion bug had bitten him in India itself. “I was involved in social, cultural and entertainment gatherings during my high school and college. I worked with friends on shows in India with Remo Fernandes. We even did a Salman Khan show with GS Entertainment,” he says. It was a passion that pursued Jimmy to the US. “I learnt about the US market through sheer observation. Once I got the hang of things, I thought of producing shows.” That’s how ARIZ was born. The idea, he says, was to streamline the effort needed to manage and enhance on the growing needs of the South Asian community internationally. “Currently, a lot of South Asian events are taking place around North America,” says Jimmy. “However, very few are organized, managed and executed professionally and successfully.” With ARIZ, Jimmy hopes to serve this need. Jimmy also heads an IT consulting company that manages financial and IT-based projects. His client list, he says, includes Morgan Stanley, Ameriprise Financial and
Bank of America. Juggling these two businesses, with their varied demands, has not been easy. While the financial world is more structured with defined work timings, producing or promoting concerts requires 24 x 7 of time and attention. But Jimmy says he enjoys the challenge. “Working on South Asian concerts appeals to my creative side. Personally speaking, I like that part the most. Also, you get to work with different sets of people and artistes, which makes it more exciting,” he says. His project management skills from his IT side kicks in when it comes to managing such shows from inception to execution. “I am fortunate have some good people working with me; that helps,” he says proudly. In fact, he says, the entry of “young blood like him” in recent years has made the concert business even more challenging. “Gone are the days when you could produce a show in ‘auto pilot’ mode. Since the arrival of various South Asian television channels, people are updated on the movies, songs, artists, playback singers, etc. They are now choosy and follow only the artists they like, so it’s imperative to know the pulse of your audience.” It has, says Jimmy, been a good ride so far even as he looks forward to the future. “I like the opportunities this country offers everyone. It has challenged me to constantly grow in a competitive environment, to stay on my toes and to keep moving forward.” America, he says, taught him to step outside his comfort zone. “When I came here, I had no family to fall back on.
It was a huge challenge to leave behind the cushy life we lead in India and come to the US on your own. Like everyone who has taken this decision, I too faced difficulties and challenges in order to settle down in this country.” He misses his family in India – his mother Suraiya, who takes painting and gardening classes, but has retired now and his elder brothers, Asim and Arafat, both retired Indian Army officers. “One heads the India HR operations for a US-based corporation from Silicon Valley, while the other heads the foreign exchange sales desk for ICICI Bank in Karnataka. My younger sister Asma is currently doing her MBA in India,” he says proudly. A touch of nostalgia creeps in when he talks about his late father Zakir Ali Rizvi, an additional district magistrate. “He was just 51 years old when he succumbed to a severe heart attack.” He would like both his family, and his community, to be proud of him. “The Indian-American community is very tight-knit and well established in North America. We are one of the most educated and affluent minority groups comprising entrepreneurs, doctors, engineers, lawyers, etc. There is huge potential for American businesses to tap our community for marketing and advertising purposes,” he says. Which is why, 10 years from now, he’d like to see himself as a successful entrepreneur in the hospitality and entertainment business. “There have been many small achievements in my life,” he says modestly, “but the best is yet to come.”
The Week That Was
INDIA IN NEW YORK JUNE 13, 2014
COURTESY PRESS INFORMATION BUREAU, GOVERNTMENT OF INDIA
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi, June 9.
Stapled visas are a goodwill gesture, says Chinese foreign minister
The stapled visas China has been giving residents of Arunachal Pradesh is a ‘goodwill gesture,’ visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in New Delhi, June 9. Yi, who met Indian President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj on his two-day visit, added, ‘If this is acceptable to Indian side, it could be continued in the future as it does not undermine or compromise our respective positions on the border question and we will be able to address the question of these people.’
Pune: Techie killed over Facebook post Software professional Mohsin Sadiq Shaikh, 28, was bludgeoned to death allegedly by members of a radical Hindu outfit near Pune, June 8. The trigger for the attack were morphed, derogatory pictures of warrior king Shivaji
Tragedy in Himachal
The body of a student from the VNR Vignana Jyothi College of Engineering and Technology in Hyderabad is loaded onto an Indian Army helicopter in Mandi, Himachal Pradesh, June 9. At least 24 students and a professor were swept away by waters released from the Larji Dam, allegedly without warning, while the holidaying group of students was bathing in the Beas river. Five bodies have been found. and late Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray being posted on Facebook June 1. Angry activists of the Hindu Rashtra Sena went on rampage in Pune, Solapur, Kolhapur, and other parts of western Maharashtra, throwing stones at public
buses, private vehicles, shops and establishments. Shaikh, who was in no way connected with the posts, was attacked when he was returning home. The Pune police told The Hindustan Times that his alleged killers exchanged a mobile text that read, ‘Pahili wicket padli’ (The first wicket has fallen) immediately after the attack. Fourteen people have been arrested in connection with the murder.
Postal stamps on Narendra Modi
Delhi reels from record heat, power outages
A set of four postal stamps and a special cover on Prime Minister Narendra Modi conceptualized by a philatelist from Bihar has been issued by India’s department of posts. ‘I conceptualised the stamps and special cover to mark the ascendancy of Narendra Modi as the prime minister of India. It was a popular event and not only our own country, but the entire world was watching it with keen interest,’ philatelist Pradeep Jain said.
India’s Power Minister Piyush Goyal called for an emergency meeting with Delhi Liutenant Governor Najeeb Jung to discuss the ongoing power crisis as the capital continued to reel under an intense heat wave and persistent power cuts ranging from one to six hours for over a week after a devastating storm severely damaged major power transmission lines across the city.
Kathleen Stephens takes charge as interim US Ambassador Ambassador Kathleen Stephens arrived at the United States Embassy in New Delhi last week, to begin her tenure as the interim Chargé d’Affaires.
Cops held guilty in staged killing
June 6, a Central Bureau of Investigation court found 18 Uttarakhand policemen guilty of killing a 22-year-old management student in a staged gunfight in 2009 after labeling him as a criminal.
VIJAY MATHUR /REUTERS
PAGE 21 g
The Week That Was
INDIA IN NEW YORK JUNE 13, 2014
Mumbai gets its metro
f PAGE 20
Sumitra Mahajan, new Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan was elected Speaker of the 16th Lok Sabha June 6. She is the second woman presiding officer of the Lower House of India’s parliament, after her predecessor Meira Kumar. Mahajan, 71, the longest-serving Bharaitya Janata Party woman member of Parliament, was elected after a motion moved by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and seconded by BJP veteran Lal Krishna Advani was adopted by voice vote called by pro tem Speaker Kamal Nath.
Infighting in Aam Aadmi Party
Infighting in the Aam Aadmi Party came to the fore last week when prominent members like Shazia Ilmi, entrepreneur G R Gopinath and activist Anjali Damania resigned from the party. Damania— who unsuccessfully contested against former Bharatiya Janata Party president Nitin Gadkari from the Nagpur Lok Sabha seat — was later coaxed back into the party. But then leaders Manish Sisodia and Yogendra Yadav squared off in a public war of words.
Sushma Swaraj to visit Bangladesh
India’s new External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will undertake a three-day visit to Bangladesh from June 25. Swaraj, who will be the first senior Indian minister to travel to Dhaka since the change of guard in India, is expected to meet Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Foreign Minister A H Mahmood Ali. She is also likely to meet top opposition leader and Bangladesh Nationalist Party chairperson Khaleda Zia.
A metro train travels through a residential area in Mumbai, June 8. Mumbai’s first 7.08-mile metro corridor — Versova-Andheri-Ghakopar — service was opened for commuters June 8 after it was flagged off by Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan. Hasina was among the first foreign leaders to felicitate Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his party’s emphatic victory in the general elections and had urged him to make Bangladesh as the first foreign destination for an official visit.
Cop puts twist on badaun case, victims’ kin protest The family members of the two teenages girls who were allegedly gang-raped and hanged from a mango tree in
Badaun, Uttar Pradesh, sat in protest with hundreds of villagers after UP Deputy General of Police A L Banerjee told reporters that forensic reports had not confirmed the rape of one of the girls, and that the girls could have been victims of ‘honor killing’. The victims’ kin demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation probe. Meanwhile, UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav held a law and order review meeting in Lucknow with the district magistrates and superintendents of police of all 85 districts of the state even as Opposition leader Mayawati alleged the government is trying ti protect the Badaun rapists.
Operation Blue Star anniversary: Sword fight in Golden Temple
At least 12 people were injured in the Golden Temple complex in Amritsar when volunteers of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee and radical Sikh activists clashed, June 6, on the 30th anniversary of the Indian Army’s Operation Blue Star — in which heavily armed militants, led by separatist leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, were flushed out of temple in 1984.
MUNISH SHARMA /REUTERS
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Discover The New India Abroad
aka Singh Rana Wrestler Dalip with India’s The Great Khali Patil at President Pratibha May 6 Rashtrapati Bhavan,
Letters to the Editor .......................A4 ..........A44 People............................................ Immigration........................................... ................A38 Business........................................... ...........A32 Community........................................... .................M1 Magazine.......................................... ......................A46 Sports........................................... ...............A37 41 Events........................................... Pages: 56+12=68
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Sameer Ahuja helms Sports Museum of America May 16, 2008
GEORGE JOSEPH áåkÉïvçêâ forMichael Bloomberg York Mayor of America When New into the Sports Museum dream transform mally inaugurated Ahuja saw a May 7, Sameer multivibrant reality. first and only interactive, proved an The nation's museum experience before its media all-sports people lining the street from across the street instant hit, with entrance, just get in. The building to 26, Broadway Liberty ferry, Company, the Statue of Standard Oil housed the had earlier D Rockefeller. the street, so he on founded by John spent all night be the first visitor "One person could museum," to enter the Ahuja, the Delhi-born Chief the museum's and its Operating Officer Philip with co-founder Schwalb, said. cele"The museum sports. all brates sports, millions of There are sports. various fans for houses The museum is no them all. There anythis place like Ahuja where," a proud lives said. The museum he gives up to the billing more than Sameer Ahuja it: It houses movies and 20 original variAZIZ HANIFFA 1,100 photos, experience 600 artifacts, Visitors get to through áåt~ëÜáåÖíçåIa` within 19 galleries.related memorabilia, end up and and week showous sports, presentations, histories of Security last memof Homeland detailed interactive multimedia six foreign-born The Department studying the soldier, one of ceremony spending hours events. out cased an India-born at a special naturalization big-ticket sportsis unmissable: Tourists coming bers of the military, to Lady United States. a soldier in the US the of museum obeisance The for new citizens Sandeep Singh, 23, after paying Team, by 24-foot phoColor Guard of Battery Park Ludhiana-born in their tracks athInfantry Continentalto serve his adopted Liberty are stopped legend Babe Ruth, stories the desire Army's 3rd US names from "followed his tographs of baseball said he had terrorist attacks of 9/11." and other iconic 21 countries lete Jesse Owens sport. nation after the 26 men and women from by museum feet American of Allegiance square annals He was among the Oath of range of the 100,000 and Immigration The interior sports fan; seminal exhibits report who were administered US Citizenship the Sandeep Singh King's school Mall. is manna for director of the icon Billie Jean celebrating historic on these Scharfen, acting in the ceremony at the National from tennis had taken place of variJonathan 'Jock' memorabilia of the DHS, such an event part card through Page A8 US history that museums; the event was Service, an appendage third time in Recognition Week. It was only the bounded by the Smithsonian of Public Service are Page A8 the celebration grounds, which connected with ous activities
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Sports INDIA IN NEW YORK JUNE 13, 2014
The Indian who runs US soccer Columbia University Professor Sunil Gulati, President of the US Soccer Federation, speaks to Suman Guha Mozumder/India in New York about America's chances in the World Cup
occupies such a key role in the sport is a true teshead of the World Cup kicking off in Sao tament to his longtime commitment to the game Paolo, Brazil, June 12, one Indian and provides our country with a voice in some of American waiting agog for the games to the key issues and opportunities affecting the begin is Columbia University Professor Sunil game,’ he was quoted as saying by Columbia Gulati, president of the US Soccer Federation. University. Indian Americans, especially those from West Gulati fell in love with soccer early in his life. It Bengal, Kerala or Goa, the states where football started as it does for many— just as a player. is most popular, have, of course, been always While he was in his teens, he also became a referexcited about the World Cup, but few have conee and a coach and even an administrator. tributed so much for soccer’s improvement and “In some ways the administration path is upside popularization in the US than the 54-year-old down since so many people get involved because professor of economics. their kids play. In some ways my kids started playGulati, also a member of FIFA's Executive ing because of my love for the game — I know Committee, left for Brazil last week and will be they are both passionate. was also attracted to the there until July 14. “The first ten days here are international aspect of the game and really got filled mostly with meetings, at both the CONhooked when I spent a semester abroad in CACAF (Confederation of North, Central England during my undergraduate days,” Gulati American and Caribbean Association Football) recalled. and FIFA levels as well the Congresses for both The United States’ 23-player roster for the organizations. Things change when the US World Cup has already been announced. Gulati team arrives June 9 and my focus starts to shift would not comment on the team's prospective sharply to the games themselves. While I will performance, except saying that perhaps with the attend many games in different venues, for me exception of Brazil, the first goal of every team is the US games are the centerpiece of the event,” about getting through group play. Gulati told India in New York in an e-mail “In our case, we are in a very difficult group, but interview from Brazil. we are optimistic. We start with that — plan on After earning two master’s degrees in ecoadvancing – and then it’s a knock out competition nomics from Columbia, Gulati taught from where everything is possible. I can assure you our 1986 to 1990 in the economics department and coaches and players never step onto the field the School of International and Public Affairs. thinking about anything other than a win,” he said. After college, while running a national team How does he juggle between soccer and ecodevelopment camp, Gulati told the then presinomics? dent of the US Soccer Federation, Werner “There is some cross over between my two pasFricker, that the national team program had sions — teaching economics and soccer— but genproblems. erally they are distinct. Certainly my training in Fricker, Gulati recalled, asked him to send a economics shapes the way I think about many note, but not a 17-page memo. Gulati sent issues, whether they be the use of statistical techFricker exactly a 17-page memo and that memo niques to analyze problems, or in considering cost earned him an invitation to improve the probenefit as part of the decision making process or gram and ultimately put him in a small group always thing about things ‘at the margin',” he said that crafted the successful US bid to host the “The more obvious examples run in the opposite World Cup in 1994. PARESH GANDHI direction since I teach a sports economics seminar “Look, we’ve made a lot of progress over the Sunil Gulati, president, US Soccer, right, accepts the India Abroad Youth Achiever 2007 at Columbia College and in the last two years have last 25 years —7 straight World Cups, a profesAward on behalf of tennis ace Somdev Dev Burman. taught a course in the management and economics sional league that will have 21 teams next year of professional sports at the Columbia Business with average attendance of 18k+, multiple socSchool,” he said. in 1996. cer specific stadiums, better TV ratings than we’ve ever Gulati's sports economics seminar is so popular that one According to MLS, 2013 average attendance at games had, more US-based tickets buyers for the World Cup year some students camped out for 40 hours to secure a was 18,725 – higher than that of the NBA or NHL. than the next three countries combined (excluding host spot in the class. In a course he teaches at the business How excited is he about June 12 when the World Cup country Brazil) — and we take great pride in those school, Gulati touches on issues he currently faces at the kicks off? achievements,” Gulati said. US Soccer Federation. The World Cup, Gulati said, is an extraordinary event “We recognize, however, that soccer is a sport that is While he understands that not every student is a sports for many reasons. “But when you are connected to a team, played seriously by 200+ countries and we still have a way buff, he sometimes uses sport for examples. ‘If I'm teachit’s perhaps different emotions at different times. As an to go to get to the level of Brazil, Argentina, Germany, and ing about cartels, I might use an American sports league FIFA executive committee member, I can say that the so on. However, if the next 25 years can replicate the sucinstead of OPEC,’ Gulati, who was born in India and World Cup begins on June 12 in Sao Paolo and that is cess of the last 25, I’ll be a very happy guy and the timing when the excitement starts. As US Soccer Federation pres- raised in Connecticut, was quoted as saying by the univer(when the US can win the World Cup) will be a lot clearsity. ident, the event starts in Natal June 16 against Ghana. er!,” the Allahabad-born professor told this corresponDoes he like soccer more than economics and whether That is when the nerves set in!” he said. dent.. given a chance he would like to be in soccer fulltime or Many have hailed Gulati for promotion of soccer in the The 1994 World Cup, he said, provided the momentum teach economics? US. needed to start Major League Soccer, the top professional The professor was non-committal. Don Garber, MLS commissioner, feels Sunil Gulati is men’s soccer league in North America. Gulati was one of “Why would i choose? I’ve got the best of both worlds — simply one of the most important and influential people the founding members of MLS, served as deputy commisI get to do both on a full time basis!” in the world of soccer today. ‘The fact that an American sioner and has watched interest grow since its first season
INDIA IN NEW YORK JUNE 13, 2014
Boys practice in front of murals of soccer stars at a playground in Chennai June 3. The FIFA World Cup begins June 12 when hosts Brazil meet Croatia.
Ole Ola! Fifa World Cup fever grips India
Workers sew flags at a workshop in Kolkata.
RUPAK DE CHOWDHURI /REUTERS
A confectioner puts finishing touches to a replica of the World Cup trophy.
RUPAK DE CHOWDHURI /REUTERS RUPAK DE CHOWDHURI /REUTERS
A Brazilian flag is fixed on sweets at a shop in Kolkata.
INDIA IN NEW YORK JUNE 13, 2014
Tendulkar’s soccer team to be called Kerala Blasters T
he Indian Super League soccer tournament’s Kochi team, which is coowned by cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, has been named Kerala Blasters. The name was announced by Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy after his meeting with the cricket icon in Thiruvananthapuram last week. Tendulkar also accepted Chandy’s request to be the goodwill ambassador of India’s National Games, to be held in Kerala in January-February 2015. The India batting great, who was given a rousing reception at the airport and government secretariat, also called on Opposition Leader V S Achuthanandan, seeking support in his efforts to promote soccer. After meeting Chandy in his chamber, a beaming Tendulkar said he was ‘overwhelmed and speechless’ at the love and affection showered on him by Keralites. On the team’s name, he said: ‘People call me Master Blaster... One can say there is possibly an association.’ He added, ‘I grew up playing cricket... Very few people knew that I enjoy other sports like hockey, football (soccer) and badminton.’ He said the Indian Super League would prove to be a big a boost for Indian football. Tendulkar said that as a Rajya Sabha member, he had submitted to the human resources development ministry his vision on promotion of sports and he would continue to pursue it. ‘With collective and positive efforts we are sure the results will be good,’ he said. Chandy said the team owners have offered to impart training in soccer to 125,000 students in the state. Tendulkar also visited the home ground of the team at Jawahar Lal Nehru stadium, where a huge crowd of admirers gathered to greet the cricket icon. He visited the Sachin Pavilion at the stadium, which houses rare memorabilia of the master blaster, including an autographed white jersey and an autographed bat of Mumbai Indians. The pavilion was inaugurated in November last year by Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Sania Mirza of India and Cara Black of Zimbabwe celebrate
ndian tennis player Sania Mirza rose to a career-best ranking of World No 6 in doubles in the new tennis rankings released June 9. Courtesy a quarter-finals appearance at the Roland Garros, Sania earned 430 ranking points along with partner Cara Black to jump eight places in the ranking charts. Sania and Cara had lost to eventual champions Shuai Peng and Su-Wei Hsieh. ‘When I started the season this year in January, one of my goals was to better my career-best world ranking,’ Sania told the Press Trust of India from Birmingham, United Kingdom, where she is gearing up for the grass court season leading to the Wimbledon championships. ‘I am happy to have achieved this today.’
MICHAEL DODGE/GETTY IMAGES
Sachin Tendulkar during an Indian team's training session in 2011.
DANIEL BEREHULAK/GETTY IMAGES
SANIA ACHIEVES CAREER-BEST RANKING
Sania’s father and coach Imran Mirza told PTI, ‘Sania has played very consistently this season and has been rewarded. I believe she has the potential to go further.’ India’s number one singles player Ankita Raina also achieved her career-best rank, 262, with a jump of 28 places. Ankita had ended runner-up at a $25,000 event in Indonesia to earn 30 points. In the ATP rankings, Somdev Devvarman dropped out of the top-100 as he lost 23 places to be 119 in the singles chart. He had made a first round exit at the French Open. In the doubles, out of action Leander Paes continued to be India’s highest ranked player at number 13. Rohan Bopanna was next best at number 17.
Aussies crush India in hockey World Cup
ndia suffered a humiliating 0-4 defeat to defending champions Australia in their final group league encounter of the FIH men’s hockey World Cup, in The Hague, the Netherlands, June 9. The Aussies built a four-goal lead in the first 22 minutes before the Indians re-grouped and denied their fancied opponents more goals. Kieran Govers opened the scoring with a field goal in the third minute. It was followed by three penalty-corner strikes — two by Chris Ciriello (16th and 22nd minute) and one by Jeremy Hayward (20th minute). The victory helped Australia top Group A with maximum 15 points from five successive victo-
ries. The Aussies are gunning for another crack at the title as a gift to their coach Ric Charlesworth, who will retire later this year. India finished their five pool matches with four points, gained from a victory over Malaysia and a draw with Spain. The result of the SpainMalaysia match was to determimine whether India finish fourth or fifth in the group. Spain have two points from four matches, while Malaysia have lost all their four games. A draw or a Malaysian victory would help India finish fourth in the group, and then play-off for the seventh and eighth spots. A Spanish victory would relegate India to fifth in the group, making them play for the ninth and 10th positions.
India in New York June 13, 2014
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India in New York June 13, 2014
Published on Jun 11, 2014
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