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Sen Luis Gutirrez
Gutierrez bill on visa reform introduced Details on page 36
New York Tamil Sangam helps adopt villages
VOL 15, No. 799
January 1, 2010
H-1B VISAS REACH CAP FIRST TIME
WASHINGTON: After months of muted response, applications for H-1B work visa to the US, popular among Indian professionals, have reached its Congress-mandated cap 65,000 with the last two months witnessing a spike in demand.
The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it has received sufficient number of applications to reach the mandated cap of 65,000 for working professionals for the fiscal ending September 30, 2010.
Former VC analyzes US war on terror Details on page 12
New features in 8th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Details on page 35
Details on page 4
Details on page 10
Pakistani court adjourns 26/11 hearing till Jan 6
'Jugaad' key to entrepreneurial success in India’
Details on page 4
Saeed won't be arrested, says Malik
Details on page 23
Details on page 5
When three Khans got together!
India Post wishes its readers a very happy and prosperous 2010
Details on page 26
US tells citizens to review travel to India
CONTENTS Bollywood ---------------------- 24-25
CHRISTMAS GIFTS: Christian devotees, dressed in Santa Claus outfits, present gifts to a Punjab Police officer as they take part in Christmas celebration procession in Amritsar on December 23
Classifieds --------------------- 44-47 Community Post -------------- 10-19 Date Book -------------------------- 48
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INDIA POST SURVEY firstname.lastname@example.org This week’s question
Will H1B visas number go up in 2010? Last week’s result
Do you believe Headley was double agent? YES 72%
Copenhagen saved from collapse: Obama WASHINGTON: With 'Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on his way to the airport' and the 'Chinese skipping negotiations', US President Barack Obama said here the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit was on the brink of a complete collapse, before he decided to take a chance to give it a final push.
"Rather than see a complete collapse in Copenhagen, in which nothing at all got done and would have been a huge backward step, at least we kind of held ground and there wasn't too much backsliding from where we were," Obama said.
Certified by “CIRCULATION VERIFICATION COUNCIL Readership 117,765”
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HealthScience Post --------- 22-23 Horoscope ------------------------- 20 Immigration Post ------------- 36-39 Life Style ----------------------- 26-28 Philosophy ------------------------- 49 Publisherís Diary ------------------ 3 Real Estate ------------------------ 21 Sports Post ------------------------ 43 TechBiz Post ------------------- 40-42 Travel & Hospitality Post ---- 29-32
January 1, 2010
January 1, 2010
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010. Just the sound of it makes you feel good, isn't it? I think it's the even number that does it for me. Unlike the last couple of years, the coming of the New Year this time somehow brings a lot of hope for me. Although 2010 may not be a dramatic year in terms of ending the war, booming the economy, restoring jobs, bringing in immediate climate change legislation or magically fixing the healthcare and immigration system in the country, it will definitely be the year when all action leading towards these very changes will be set in motion. I think I would just go by my gut feel and not by what the pundits say about anything from the stock markets, the housing market, rising inflation to the President's popularity ratings. So let's see: 2009 did not go out on a whimper altogether. It did put some confidence back into the economy, thus arresting the downward slide of the stock markets and the housing markets. The world economy in 2010 is expected to grow and in countries like the US and UK, jargon such as bank collapses, bankruptcies and bailouts might begin to fade out of the economic lexicon that had become the buzzwords of 2009. I don't trust the banks though. Like President Obama had said about them in frustration - they just don't get it. Wall Street will continue on its path of greed with scant introspection and zero respect of those on the Main Street. Small businesses I think will bounce back, creating jobs and thus becoming the engines for pushing the economy uphill. Further on a positive note - while one cannot wish away natural calamities, crime and corruption, or celebrity scandals - I think 2010 will bring about a definitive new world order, one that will challenge the supremacy of the developed countries while standing on the side of the developing countries. It is high time, the world found a new line of leadership. 2010 might just shape that. With happy tidings for a prosperous New Year, Cheers!
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Bollywood Early wedding? If talks are to be believed, Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor may make their way to the altar sooner than you think.
Cover Story: H-1B cap reached Applications for H-1B work visa to the US, popular among Indians, have reached the Congress-mandated cap of 65,000.
Community: Villages adopted
New York Tamil Sangam has joined hands with movie director Susi Ganeshan to help adopt villages in Tamil Nadu.
Immigration: Visa reform Bill A Bill in the Senate seeks to reform the US immigration laws with provisions that should please Indian aspirants.
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Three Khans The three Khans were under the same roof. Aamir met SRK and Salman. The shutterbugs went crazy.
Sports: Cricket camp International Cricket Coach Ian Pont will hold a special winter camp for cricketers in San Jose - the first such in Bay Area.
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Travel: Nal Sarovar Millions of migratory birds from Siberia migrate to Nal Sarovar Lake which is located 70 km. away from Ahmedabad.
January 1, 2010
H-1B visas reach cap first time WASHINGTON: After months of muted response, applications for H-1B work visa to the US, popular among Indian professionals, have reached its Congressmandated cap 65,000 with the last two months witnessing a spike in demand. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it has received sufficient number of applications to reach the mandated cap of 65,000 for working professionals for the fiscal ending September 30, 2010. "USCIS is hereby notifying the public that Dec 21, 2009 is the fi-
nal receipt date for new H-1B specialty occupation petitions requesting an employment start date in FY 2010," an official statement said. Once it started accepting H-1B
Thereafter it took nearly seven months to fill the rest of the 20,000 slots, a sizeable number of which, in fact, were received in the last few weeks. It is for the first time in several
USCIS has also received more than 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of persons exempt from the cap under the ‘advanced degree’ exemption petitions on April 1, the USCIS had received 45,000 applications till the middle of May.
years that the USCIS has announced that it has reached the cap at the fag end of December.
For the past several years, it was filled up in the first few days only and the USCIS had to resort to computerized draw of lots to determine the successful applicants. USCIS has also received more than 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of persons exempt from the cap under the "advanced degree" exemption.-PTI
Immigration reform Meanwhile, a comprehensive Bill that seeks to reform the U.S. immigration laws has been introduced in the Senate with four
key provisions that should make Indian H1-B and Green Card aspirants a happy lot. Congressman Luis Gutierrez (Rep.) introduced the Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America's Security and Prosperity Act of 2009 (CIRASAP) that includes provisions related to a longer transition for a laidoff H1-B worker, status quo on US Visa fees, granting of Green Card within one year of filing the I-485 and considering Visa for family members as a single visa from the quota. (Details on page 36)
Pakistani court adjourns 26/11 Copenhagen saved from collapse, claims Obama hearing till Jan 6
Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi
ISLAMABAD: A Pakistani anti-terror court adjourned till January 6 next year the proceedings against seven suspects, including LeT commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, charged with involvement in the Mumbai terror attacks even as a notice was issued to one of the defense lawyers. Anti-terror court Judge Malik Muhammad Akram Awan, who was not present in court due to some personal engagement, is yet to rule on four applications filed by the accused challenging their indictment and seeking their acquittal. It is expected that the judge will give his ruling on the applications at the next hearing as he has already heard arguments by prosecution and defense lawyers. Sources said one of the defense lawyers was issued a notice by the office of Judge Awan regarding the lawyer's contention that the judge had indicted the accused on the basis of charges that were framed and argued while the case was being heard by another judge. The notice pointed out that the records of the case are sealed and the lawyer could make such a claim only if he had accessed the
records. The notice also said that if the lawyer had accessed the sealed records, he had interfered in the working of the court. . The lawyer was asked to explain his position at the next hearing. The proceedings are being conducted in Rawalpindi's Adiala Jail for security reasons. The seven accused, Lakhvi, Zarar Shah, Abu al-Qama, Hamad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jamil Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younas Anjum were formally charged last month with planning and helping execute
the assault on India's financial hub. They had then pleaded not guilty. The accused have sought their acquittal on the ground that there is no probability of their conviction because there is insufficient evidence against them. The defense lawyers have also raised the issue of Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone terrorist arrested for the Mumbai attacks, making a complete retraction of his confession on participating in the assault. -PTI
WASHINGTON: With 'Indian agree on non-legally binding tarPrime Minister Manmohan Singh gets for all countries, not just the on his way to the airport' and the US, not just Europe, but also for 'Chinese skipping negotiations', China and India, which, projectUS President Barack Obama said ing forward, are going to be the here the Copenhagen Climate world's largest emitters. -PTI Change Summit was on the brink of a complete collapse, before he de- ‘It didn't move us the way we cided to take a chance need to. The science says that to give it a final push. "Rather than see a we have got to significantly complete collapse in Copenhagen, in which reduce emissions over the next nothing at all got done 40 years. There's nothing in the and would have been a huge backward step, at Copenhagen agreement that least we kind of held ensures that that happens’ ground and there wasn't too much backsliding from where we were," Obama said. "It didn't move us the way we need to. The science says that we have got to significantly reduce emissions over the next 40 years. There's nothing in the Copenhagen agreement that ensures that that happens," Obama said when asked about the Copenhagen Summit on Climate Change. "What did occur was that at a point where there was about to be complete breakdown, and the Prime Minister of India was heading to the airport and the Chinese representatives were essentially skipping negotiations, and everybody's screaming, what did happen was, cooler heads prevailed," he told US PBS television's Newshour program. "We were able to at least
January 1, 2010
Major Political drama unfolding in Pak: Holbrooke WASHINGTON: With Pakistan's Supreme Court scrapping a graft amnesty to President Asif Ali Zardari, the US envoy for the region has said a "major political drama" is unfolding there, even as he spoke of America's "dilemma" about fighting alQaeda and Taliban forces on Pakistani soil. "Even as we talk, there's a major political drama unfolding in Islamabad right now," Richard Holbrooke, the US Special Representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan, told Charlie Rose of the PBS news channel. "Well, it's a very complicated story, but in essence (then) President (Pervez) Musharraf and (PPP Chairperson) Benazir Bhutto cut a deal to suspend (corruption cases) -- they passed a decree called the National Reconciliation Ordnance (NRO) which gave amnesty to all members of Benazir Bhutto's party, including her husband (Zardari) and herself," he said. He noted that Pakistan's Supreme Court in the last few days has said that all the people -- over 8,000 -- who were given amnesty in graft cases were now open for re-prosecution. "So that involved several ministers, including ministers of Interior (Rehman Malik), Defense (Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar) who have now been told they can't leave the country," Holbrooke said.
"So a tremendous political drama is now unfolding that involves the (ruling) PPP, the opposition party (PML-N) of Nawaz Sharif ... the Pakistani military un-
der General (Ashfaq Parvez) Kayani, and the Supreme Court of Pakistan, plus public opinion. And how it's going to come out remains to be seen," he said. "But so far it (political drama in Pakistan) has had no effect on our national security interests, but it's something that we're watching very carefully," Holbrooke said. Arguing that in 11 months of the Obama administration, US regained popularity in Pakistan, he said "We are much more popular... and Secretary (of State Hillary) Clinton's trip had an immediate effect on public opinion."
"Are we where we should be? No. Are we getting better? Yes. Are we strengthening our public diplomacy, our public affairs programs? We have to, and we're doing that," he said. "And there will be a continuous stream of visitors to the region next year." Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture, will be going throughout in January on a very important trip to the region. "There's a couple of other trips in the works," he said. "And we are going to continue to work closely with Pakistan. It isn't easy but I need to stress ... that it is essential to our national security," Holbrooke said. He also said the US is facing a dilemma with respect to Pakistan as unlike Afghanistan it cannot send its troops there to fight alQaeda and Taliban and needs to find other means. "The dilemma is that the leadership of both al-Qaeda and Taliban is in a neighboring country (of Afghanistan) where our troops cannot fight. And therefore we have to find other means, working for the Pakistanis and other means, to deal with the groups...," he said. Holbrooke also made it clear that he is not an envoy for IndoPak ties, though he said he gives great importance to India in the region and constantly consults it on the Obama administration's AfPak policies. -PTI
No talks till Pak acts against 26/11 attackers: Tharoor NEW DELHI: Notwithstanding Pakistan's insistence on resumption of dialogue, India has made it clear that talks cannot take place till it shows seriousness about acting against perpetrators of 26/ 11 attacks and dismantling of terror infrastructure. "Our position has been very clear and consistent. We have asked Pakistan to take two steps one, to bring perpetrators of Mumbai attacks to justice and to ensure that terror structures in Pakistan used against our country should be dismantled," Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor told reporters here. "But we have not seen progress in either of these two steps. We would like them to take steps on these two fronts. Until that action takes place we are not in a position to resume composite dialogue," he said.
"We can certainly talk to Pakistan but then they should show us they are serious," the minister said. His comments came in response to the remarks by Pakistani High
Tharoor noted that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had made it very clear that if Pakistan takes the first step, India would meet it â€˜more than half wayâ€™ Commissioner Shahid Malik that India was not implementing the "agreement" reached at Sharm-elShaikh about delinking dialogue from action against terrorism.
Tharoor noted that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had made it very clear that if Pakistan takes the first step, India would meet it "more than half way". "That first step has not been taken yet," Tharoor said. "We want them to take action. We believe there is a great deal to be done. So far, Pakistan has not done it. Malik had contended that there was a "diplomatic vacuum" which would strengthen the extremist forces who are opposed to good relations between the two countries. Asked whether Pakistan's insistence on resumption of dialogue was an attempt to divert attention from its internal problems, Tharoor said, "We will not comment on Pakistan's internal problems. We wish them well, but no comments on its internal matters. -PTI
Saeed won't be arrested, says Malik ISLAMABAD: Jamaat-udDawah chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed is the subject of an investigation by Pakistani authorities but he will not be arrested till there is evidence against him, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said here. "We will not arrest him (Saeed) until we get evidence. I am not saying whether we have or don't have something (against him), it is a matter of investigation," Malik told reporters at the Islamabad Press Club.? "Hafiz Saeed is being investigated. If we get something, we will definitely arrest him but not on someone's say so," Malik said in response to a question on India's demand for Saeed's arrest for alleged involvement in planning and executing the Mumbai attacks. Malik also made it clear that Pakistani authorities would not arrest Saeed only because Ajmal
Amir Kasab, the lone terrorist captured during the Mumbai attacks, had given a statement against the JuD chief. ? "Give us the evidence. If we could arrest (Lashker-e-Taiba operations commander Zakiur Rehman) Lakhvi as the mastermind of (the Mumbai attack), we can also arrest him (Saeed)," he said. Saeed was placed under house arrest in December last year after the UN Security Council imposed restrictions on the JuD and its leaders in the wake of the Mumbai attacks that killed nearly 180 people. He was freed on the orders of the Lahore High Court earlier this year. Malik had claimed last year that the government had banned the JuD but it subsequently emerged during court hearings that no formal notification was ever issued to proscribe the group. -PTI
US tells citizens to review travel to India WASHINGTON: In view of the recent changes in visa regulations, the US has asked its citizens to review their travel plans to India as new rules might affect their plans. "The Department of State wishes to alert US citizens with Indian tourist visas about new regulations that may affect planned travel. Travelers are urged to review travel plans in light of these new regulations," US State Department said in its latest travel alert on India. This supplements its previous travel alerts on October 29 and December 9 and expires on January
21, 2010, the statement said. The State Department said foreign tourists departing India with visitor (T) visas will now receive a stamp in their passports at the port of departure that indicates that the bearer will not be allowed to re-enter India for two months, regardless of their length of stay or validity of the visa. Tourists who wish to return to India before the two month period has passed must visit an Indian Embassy, High Commission, or Consulate abroad to present their case for re-entry, and must provide documentation in support of the request, it said.- PTI
Musharraf says NRO was a 'mistake' ISLAMABAD: Former President Pervez Musharraf has described as a "mistake" his decision to promulgate the National Reconciliation Ordinance, a graft amnesty that was recently struck down by Pakistan's Supreme Court. The apex court last week declared the NRO void, sparking the worst political crisis since the Pakistan People's Party came to power in last year's general election. President Asif Ali Zardari and several close aides are among the over 8,000 people who benefited from the graft amnesty. "The one clarification that I will make is that I committed this mis-
take on the strong advice of the political leadership at that time who are now blatantly disowning connections with it. "My interest was only national, with absolutely no personal bias or agenda," Musharraf wrote on his page on the social networking website Facebook. Musharraf, who has been active on Facebook for the past few weeks and has over 60,000 fans, including hundreds from India, was responding to a question. The former military ruler took time off to respond to three questions from the public, including what compelled him to promulgate the NRO in October 2007.-PTI
January 1, 2010
Indians head-and-shoulders above other immigrants: Forbes WASHINGTON: Pepsico chief executive Indira Nooyi inevitably tops the list of what Forbes calls "Eight Indian-Flavored CEOs" who lead US corporations with revenues of at least $2 billion as the premier business magazine chronicles the rise of Indians in corporate ranks in America. "The chief executive of PepsiCo would be prominent no matter what. The fact that the current one - Indira Nooyi - is an Indian immigrant (and female, in case you've been living under a rock) makes her all the more noteworthy," it says. "It's not a surprise that we're seeing Indians rise in corporate ranks," Forbes quotes Richard Herman, co-author of a book on migrants to the US, Immigrant, Inc, as saying in an article. "Of all the immigrant groups coming in today, Indians are headand-shoulders above others, and this is partly because of their English language skills and also the advanced education that many of them are bringing to the US." "Despite these personal suc-
cess stories the number of immigrants who are leading corporate America, Indian or otherwise, is still a tiny fraction," according to Forbes. But, says Herman, "look at where the data was ten years ago and maybe it was zero or one [Indian then]." Future CEO candidates might
‘Of all the immigrant groups coming in today, Indians are head-and-shoulders above others, and this is partly because of their English language skills and also the advanced education’ want to look for a tough assignment in order to break through, he says. "Americans are having a tough time dealing with global di-
versity, Herman adds, " but just look at who was running the Tarp financial-rescue fund - Neel Kashkari"- an Indian-American who is now joining bond giant Pimco as a managing director." Of the featured eight, Nooyi, 53, says Herman, is part of a growing trend where US companies are being created, or led, by foreign-born individuals who bring in something special. Vikram Pandit, the embattled CEO of Citigroup, is the other prominent native Indian in the corner office. "Prior to joining the ailing bank he was president of Morgan Stanley's investment banking, fixed income and capital markets businesses and cofounded and was the chairman of a hedge fund, Old Lane Partners," Forbes notes. Third on the list is Kenya-born Francisco D'Souza heads Cognizant Technology Solutions, which outsources IT services for its Western world clients. D'Souza, 40, whose grandparents hailed from Goa in India,
joined the company in 1994 when it was founded and within three years had gone up the ranks to become director of North American operations. Next comes Shantanu Narayen, 46, at the helm at Adobe Systems. The diversified software company's flagship Internet video
Of the featured eight, Nooyi, 53, says Herman, is part of a growing trend where US companies are being created, or led, by foreign-born individuals who bring in something special tool is Flash. "At least one top boss of Indian descent is plotting a growth strategy," says Forbes of Quest Di-
Indiscipline in party will not be tolerated: Gadkari NEW DELHI: Taking over at a time when BJP has been facing a series of electoral debacles and factionalism, party president Nitin Gadkari has said indiscipline will not be tolerated and emphasized on continuing with Hindutva while criticising votebank appeasement politics. "We need to understand the spirit behind the term discipline. Indiscipline is not a subject for discussion but for execution. No indiscipline will be tolerated," Gadkari told reporters during his first interaction with the press. When asked about his future plans, including appointment of office-bearers who would form part of his team, Gadkari said performance and not proximity would be the criteria for it. "Since, I am from a management background, I always say that whether financial audit is done or not, performance audit is a must," he said, adding, an internal Performance Audit Mechanism would be devised to ensure good governance at every level where BJP is in power. Clarifying that a change of guard at the top does not mean a change in ideology, Gadkari said BJP's stand on Article 370 (special status to Jammu and Kashmir), Ram temple at Ayodhya and uniform Civil Code would continue. Criticizing appeasement politics for votebank, he said, "We believe in genuine secularism. Justice to all, appeasement of none. What
starts as appeasement of minorities becomes appeasement of terrorists". . Gadkari contended that he will appoint his team of office-bearers on the basis of their performance and was consulting state units to get their views. "I believe in decentralization of power. The officebearers should be like self-start engines who do not have to wait
for orders," he said. Insisting that Naxalism and terrorism had harmed the unity and security of the country, Gadkari said his party will extend all support to the government if it takes strong steps to deal with the menace. "We will definitely support the government if it takes strong steps in combating terrorism. We will not oppose for the sake of opposing," he said. The new BJP president said his priority was to build up the party for the long haul and strengthen
the NDA by winning over more allies. "My aim is to expand the organization in the next three years. Every political party thinks about the next election but we think in terms of the next century," he said. Indicating that BJP did not intend to change its policies, Gadkari defended Hindutva saying even the Supreme Court had contended
On a question on whether he wanted former BJP leaders like Uma Bharti and Govindacharya to come back to the party fold, Gadkari said, ‘We have not received any offer from them’ that it was not about a particular religion but a code of conduct. Putting to rest all the speculations about his getting lost in the woods in Delhi, which has several veteran leaders, he said, "In the last two days, I have experienced and I agree there are many senior leaders here. L K Advani and other leaders have assured they will stand behind me in support. I am not going to be pressurized." He said "bonafide mistakes" by workers were possible in politics but leaders were there to correct them.
Asked if he would be strict with the party cadre, Gadkari said, "I believe in taking firm decisions." Citing the crisis in BJP's Rajasthan unit, where former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and her bete noires - who are supported by RSS - have been fighting, the 52-year-old leader said he wanted to end internal squabbles in the party. "I asked (central) party leaders to cancel their appointments (to deal with the crisis). I spent six hours understanding the problem. I want to put a full stop to this. I want to end the problem in Rajasthan," he said. On a question on whether he wanted former BJP leaders like Uma Bharti and Govindacharya to come back to the party fold, Gadkari said, "We have not received any offer from them. If it comes, we will certainly consider." He refuted suggestions that RSS was interfering in the day to day affairs of the party. At the same time, Gadkari -- widely believed to be the RSS choice for the BJP's top post -- said he had not met a single party worker who wanted the party to cut off its links with the Sangh. Gadkari, who seemed to have done his homework well and was sure-footed on most issues, said he would set an example of not hankering after posts by not taking membership of either Houses of Parliament till he is party president.
agnostics' head Surya Mohapatra, fifth on the list. Mohapatra has raised $750 million from the capital markets for acquisitions. Also featured are Dinesh Paliwal of Harman International, Jai P. Nagarkatti of Sigma-Aldrich and Abhijit Talwalkar of LSI. Paliwal, a native of the city of the Taj Mahal, joined Harman, a sound-systems company in Stamford, Connecticut, as chief executive in 2007. Prior to that he spent 22 years at ABB Group and set up its operations in China and north Asia. Nagarkatti joined Sigma-Aldrich in 1976 as a development chemist, and after heading the company's scientific research business was appointed COO, in August 2004. Talwalkar was appointed chief executive of LSI of Milpitas, California, in May 2005. Earlier, he was at Intel's digital enterprise group. He joined Intel in 1993 after stints at Sequent Computer Systems (now part of IBM), Bipolar Integrated Technology Inc. and Lattice Semiconductor Inc.
Prince William 'almost run over' by truck LONDON: Prince William, the future king of Britain, was almost run over by a road sweeper truck as he spent a night sleeping on the streets of London in freezing temperatures to highlight the plight of the homeless. William, who is patron homeless charity Centrepoint, said he could not imagine what it must be like for those who sleep rough night after night. "I cannot, after one night, even begin to imagine what it must be like to sleep rough on London's streets night after night," William, who is next in line for the throne after his father Prince Charles, said. Seyi Obakin, chief executive of homeless charity who also spent the night outdoors with the 27year-old Prince, said the "hairiest moment", came when they were almost run over by a road sweeper. "One of the hairiest moments came when we were almost run over by a road sweeper which simply didn't see our small group huddled together, which just goes to show how vulnerable rough sleepers are," Obakin said. The prince's mother, princess Diana, who died in a Paris car crash in 1997, also supported Centrepoint. Centrepoint's work -- along with many other organizations -- in tackling these fundamental causes is desperately important if we are ever to end homelessness in this country," the Prince said.-PTI
January 1, 2010
Russia to commence flight tests of FGFA MOSCOW: Russia will soon flight-test the fifth generation fighter aircraft (FGFA), which is developed along with India, a senior cabinet member said here. "In the end of December-beginning of January, we are not making any New Year presents, but flight tests will start shortly," Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said. Under an agreement signed in October 2007, India has also joined Russia in the project based on Sukhoi's PAK FA project and the two nations are in negotiations to finalize the commercial contract for the deal. At least three prototypes of FGFA have been made by the KNAAPO aircraft plant in Komsomolsk-on-Amur and several Indian teams have visited the facility in the country's Far East near the Chinese border, sources
told PTI. The FGFA is to compete with the US F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II and the Russian Air Force plans to induct the futuris-
India, which wants a two-seater, lighter version of FGFA, would take part in the development of trainer version from the very beginning tic fighter from 2015. According to the local media the FGFA is to be equipped with the 'artificial intellect', advanced avionics and stealth capability.
With several mid-air refuellings it could cruise for hours at the supersonic speed. . India, which wants a twoseater, lighter version of FGFA, would take part in the development of trainer version from the very beginning. According to United Aircraft Corporation CEO Alexei Fyodorov, all the technological, financial and intellectual resources would be concentrated on the development of heavier version of the fighter at this juncture. He, however, said that many salient features of the fifth generation fighter aircraft, including phased-array radar capable of simultaneously engaging multiple targets have already been incorporated in the lighter MiG-35 medium multirole combat aircraft offered to India. -PTI
China tries leading dissident on subversion charge BEIJING: Leading Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo went on trial on subversion charges here, in a case criticized by rights groups and the West as politically motivated. The 53-year-old Liu, a writer who was previously jailed over the 1989 Tiananmen pro-democracy protests, has been charged with "inciting subversion of state power" after co-authoring a bold call for political reform last year. Western diplomats were denied
access to the half-day trial in a Beijing court after Washington and Brussels last week called for Liu's release, and some key dissidents said they were prevented from attending. If convicted, Liu -- who has already been detained for a year -faces a maximum of 15 years in prison. "His health was good. Of course he was able to testify, the court has rules and he is allowed
to testify. I don't want to get into what he said. Let's just say that he pleaded innocent," Ding said. Dozens of police officers ringed the courthouse as a handful of diplomats and Liu supporters gathered outside, some wearing yellow ribbons of solidarity. But the defendant's wife, Liu Xia, was prevented from attending the trial by police stationed outside her home, she told AFP by telephone. -AFP
AMBASSADOR PLAYS: Lauding the role of adoptions in forging social and cultural linkages between the United States and India, U.S. Ambassador to India Timothy J. Roemer visited the SOS orphanage in New Delhi. Here, Ambassador Roemer plays with children at the orphanage
Russia to help India build manned spaceship MOSCOW: Russia will help India build a domestic manned spaceship by 2020 sharing the technology used in developing Souyz spacecraft, a senior official said here. "The Indian side intends to use the experience of building the manned spaceship Soyuz to advance in building their own spaceship. We will build this spaceship on a similar technical scheme, but it will not resemble Soyuz," he said. Chief of the department of piloted programs of the federal space agency (Roskosmos) Alexei Krasnov told Itar-Tass news agency that the Soyuz is heavier and cannot be launched by a light Indian booster. "These plans are outlined until 2020," he said.
President and Designer General of the Russian Aerospace Corporation Energia Vitaly Lopota said the corporation's specialists "possess all space technologies," which they can share with Indian partners. "With Roskosmos's appropriate support we will be able to reequip technically and increase the production of the spaceships Soyuz," he noted. New spaceships Soyuz can also be used for the spaceflights of first Indian astronauts. This issue has already been discussed with India, Krasnov said. "A flight of Indian astronauts aboard the Soyuz without a mission to the ISS was among the issues, which we discussed with Indian partners," he noted. -PTI
Efforts to woo back tourists to Swat in New Year PESHAWAR: To woo back former strongholds of the Taliban tourists to one time idyllic resort that were recently cleared by the called as the 'Switzerland of Paki- army. stan', Hotels in scenic Swat valAsharai contended that peace ley are offering a ten day free stay had been restored in Swat valley to visitors. and the festival will help revive Swat was a popular tourist des- tourism in the violence-hit tination till Taliban fighters led by Malakand division, which inMaulana Fazlullah took over the cludes Dir and Buner districts place two years ago launching a where the Taliban were active campaign to enforce Shariah or some months ago. Islamic law. The militants had turned Swat The militants issued diktats into a "slaughter house in the through guns, which scared away name of Islam" and tried to dethe tourists, robbing the resort of fame Pashtuns at the global level, much of its charm and attraction. Tourists stopped Tourists stopped flocking the flocking the region as region as militants militants beheaded security personnel, set up beheaded security their own courts and personnel, set up their own blasted hundreds of girls' schools, some of courts and blasted them renowned all over hundreds of girls' schools Pakistan. But with the Taliban evicted by the Army in a military Asharai said. campaign, the hotel owners hope "The people of Swat are peaceto be back on business. loving and hospitable and they At a seminar held at Madyan never supported the militants they resolved not to levy any throughout the period of unrest," charges for rooms from tourists he said. in the festivities for the new year The NWFP government is from January 1-10 to woo back pondering the issue of compenvisitors. sating hotel owners for damage Participants in the seminar also done to their properties by the decided to organize a 10-day tour- militants, he said. Syed Jaffar Shah, ism festival in Swat from January 1. a legislator from Kalam in Swat, North West Frontier Province said construction of the road linkMinister Ayub Khan Asharai said ing Kalam and Mingora, the main tourists will be provided fool- city in the valley, will begin soon. proof security during the festival Authorities will take every step to and events will be held in keep intact the glory of the scenic Madyan, Bahrain and Kalam, all valley, he said.-PTI
January 1, 2010
Unique ideas to face India's developmental challenges India Post News Service
NEW DELHI: Addressing some of the most complex development challenges of India like corruption, water usage and regional instability, the speakers at various sessions at Ideas India 2009, organised by the Aspen Institute India in New Delhi, deliberated on actionable solutions. Almost all hands went up among the audience when Moderator Amb Kishan Rana, Former Indian Ambassador to Germany, asked the central question of the session, "Has Corruption Become A Way of Life?" Most, however, earnestly believed that something could be done about the situation. Lord Meghnad Desai, Development Economist, urged the business community to take up political lobbying to simplify legislation, such that "the power to delay" that rests with administrators of laws and the mistrust between the Power and the Citizen is minimized. Mr Shaffi Mather, Social Entrepreneur & Lawyer explained his
initiative of a sustainable business model to fight corruption. Legislating Whistleblowing laws, making media aberrations such as paid slander a punishable offence and enabling anonymous reporting of bribery and corruption can also go a long way. Since fighting corruption as an individual is extremely
Since fighting corruption as an individual is extremely difficult, it was suggested to bring together likeminded people in a forum to collectively fight corruption difficult, it was suggested to bring together like-minded people in a forum to collectively fight corruption. The complex challenges in water usage and management were highlighted at the session on
"Why is India not following the water mantra of reduce, recycle, replenish?" While the rural poor are forced to buy unsafe water from the so called water mafia, the government subsidizes unclean water for urban areas. Following the failure of the State in providing potable water, business Funds are exploring the option of giving charge of local water bodies to local communities and developing business models around it. It is only through a Social Entrepreneurship and community involvement, assisted by a supportive institutional framework that solve water issues in India that encompass domestic, industrial, agriculture and ecological needs. Moderated by Gopal Srinivasan , Chairman and Managing Director, TVS Capital Funds Ltd, the distinguished session panellists included Mr Suresh Prabhu, Former Minister for Energy, Govt of India; Mr Nikhil Sawhney, Executive Director, Triveni Engineering and Industries Ltd.; Mr Varun Sahni, India Director, Acumen Fund and Mr
Indo-US relationship destined for newer heights India Post News Service
NEW DELHI: The bilateral relationship between India and the US has witnessed significant improvement in last few years and the two countries need to further deepen their engagement in areas such as health, education and training, and infrastructure cooperation among others. This was the broad consensus among the panelists at the session "A New Chapter in Indo-US relations: Undoing the Past?" at the Ideas India 2009 organized by Aspen Institute India from December 17-19. Panelists felt that the global economic slowdown may have reduced the focus of US administration towards further improving the Indo-US relationship. However, they expressed hope that an economic recovery in the US would further elevate their relationship to newer heights. The panelists identified climate change, non-proliferation and the Afghanistan-Pakistan policy of the US as potential irritants to a deeper India-US economic relationship. Speakers at the session felt that the increased focus on the ChinaUS relationship in recent times is a by-product of the current global economic slowdown, since the two countries are economically dependant on each other. The speakers at the session in-
cluded Mr. Sanjaya Baru, Editor, Business Standard; Mr. Sugata Bose, Gardiner Professor of History and Director, South Asia Initiative, Harvard University; Ms. Arundhati Ghose, Former Indian Ambassador to the United Nations; and Mr. Vijay Thadani, CEO, NIIT Ltd. Another parallel session on gender issues 'Changing Gender Stereotypes: can Patriarchal Mindsets Change?' attempted to
Speakers at the session felt that the increased focus on the China-US relationship in recent times is a by-product of the current global economic slowdown answer the question whether patriarchal mindset towards women was changing at a desired pace. Some panelists felt that the patriarchal system of family dictating social mores, societal relations, familial interactions and professional relations have indeed been changing over the past several decades. The changes have been seen in legal empowerment of women,
larger participation of women in jobs, greater number of women becoming successful entrepreneurs, widening of their representation in public policy and forum, recent judgments, etc. It was, however, pointed out that the journey to securing a society based on equality of men and women was still far from complete. Representation of women in overall socio-economic system is still very meager. One of the apt examples of this is that only 15% of the total entrepreneurs in the country are women, which compares unfavorably with many developed nations where it is around two-thirds. There is need to continue sustained efforts towards creating a system which is just and offers equal rights and opportunities to both men and women. While making efforts to improve the legal, judicial, social and economic system for women, stress will have to be placed on changing the mindset of men. Moderated by Mr Rajan Navani, Managing Director, Jetline Group, the panelists included Mr Gurcharan Das, author and management guru, Ms Ranjana Kumari, Director of Center for Social Research, Ms Lakshmi Venkatesan, Founding Trustee and Executive Vice President of Bharatiya Yuva Shakti Trust, and Ms Madhu Bala Nath, Regional Advisor, UNIFEM South Asia.
Manoj Kumar, CEO, Naandi Foundation. The consensus that emerged at the panel discussion on 'Explaining Instability In South Asia: A Legacy of Colonialism or Pangs of Rising Diverse Democracies' was that instability in South Asia has its roots in the varying perceptions
‘While the rural poor are forced to buy unsafe water from the so called water mafia, the government subsidizes unclean water for urban areas’ on nationalism, strong foreign policy, lack of leadership and good governance, and has little do with the region's colonial heritage. Citing the example of Sri Lanka, Prof Sumantra Bose of the London
School of Economics said that instability in the country had its origins in the majoritarian system that sought to deny equal rights to the Tamil minority. Come Carpentier, Convenor of the Editorial Board, World Affairs Journal, said that governments the world over were starting to make traditional systems an integral part of their polity. "While regional economic cooperation can be an antidote to instability, political credibility is the very basis for any stability," said Amb G Parthasarthy, Visiting Professor, Centre for Policy Research. Pointing to the inherently apolitical defence forces that India inherited from the British postIndependence, Vice-Admiral (retd) P S Das said that in India the civilian leadership had allied with the bureaucracy to create a credible government structure while in Pakistan and elsewhere the civilian leadership had joined hands with the army leadership, creating a leadership vacuum in the process.
Clean technologies can promote inclusive growth India Post News Service
technologies can play an instrumental role in promoting inclusive growth. India needs to undertake a full-fledged study evaluating direct as well as indirect costs. Mr. Shyamal Gupta, Chairman, TCE Consulting Engineers & Special Advisor – Tata International Ltd. explained that the efficiency of solar energy based technologies is on the rise and that in the next three years, it can meet 20-25% of India’s energy needs.
NEW DELHI: The session “Can Clean Energy Solve the Problem of Inclusive Growth in India?” at Ideas India 2009 organised by Aspen Institute India brought forth interesting ideas to develop and promote clean technologies, which could lead to sustainable and equitable growth. Moderator Mr. Tarun Das, President, Aspen Institute India appreciated industry initiatives such as those led by the Society of Indian Despite being among the Automobile Manufactur- lowest per capita emitters, ers (SIAM), CII Centre of Excellence of Sustainable India’s emissions intensity is Development and the among the highest in the CII-Sohrabji Godrej world, underscoring the scope Green Business Centre and stated that industry for emissions reductions efforts must be multiplied He also suggested greater R&D in promoting the use of clean technologies, especially among the for development of new solar technologies and transferring subsidies Small and Medium Enterprises. Mr. Jamshyd Godrej, Chairman from petroleum-based products Emeritus, Aspen Institute India and into the renewable energy sector, Chairman of the Board of Godrej & which would make them more effiBoyce Manufacturing Company cient, widely available and more afLimited, highlighted that despite fordable. Mr. Dilip Chenoy, Director Genbeing among the lowest per capita emitters, India’s emissions intensity eral, SIAM, said the right combinais among the highest in the world, tion of Pricing, Policy and Partnerunderscoring the scope for emis- ships is essential for clean energy to address inclusive growth and that sions reductions. Starting with power plants, in- the cost of green energy solutions dustrial efficiency, appliances, ve- must be built-in and the pricing of hicles and green buildings, clean services must be made to match.
January 1, 2010
Management of diversity India's contribution to world India Post News Service
NEW DELHI: "The world can learn from India's management of diversity with underlying consensus that we agree to disagree," felt Dr Shashi Tharoor, addressing the Ideas India 2009 organised by Aspen Institute India from 17-19 December in New Delhi. The session, themed 'Why the World Needs India and What Do They Expect from India?' was moderated by Mr Gautam Thapar, Chairman, Aspen Institute India, and CEO, Avantha Group. India is not a melting pot, but a 'thaali' where extraordinary multiplicities co-exist, said Dr Tharoor, Minister of State for External Affairs. Stating that India was at the center of four crucial global debates - bread versus freedom, centralization versus federalism, pluralism versus fundamentalism and globalization versus self-sufficiency - the Minister suggested that India's answers to these issues would be central to the world. India can contribute much to the world, he said. Its young people are a productive dynamic workforce provided the right actions are taken, while the size of its market is a potential engine for the global economy. In geopolitical terms, India is a part of the shift in
global power, being part of many different groups of nations. However, added Dr Tharoor, India still has huge challenges to overcome, including 'bijli, sadak, pani, kaam, kitab' and others. India has much
India is not a melting pot, but a 'thaali' where extraordinary multiplicities co-exist, said Dr Tharoor, Minister of State for External Affairs to offer the world in terms of soft power such as Bollywood, yoga, ayurveda, cuisine etc. but it needs to have confidence in itself. "If we free our creative energies, we can be hugely influential in the world of the 21st century," concluded Dr Tharoor. Prof CK Prahalad, Paul and Ruth Mc Cracken Distinguished University Professor of Strategy, Stephen M Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, presented the perspective of business and overseas corporates on India. Pointing out that there has been a change
in perspectives about India in the last 25 years, he said that earlier India was irrelevant to global business, but that the IT industry had highlighted the potential for arbitrage. Since 1995, there has been rapid evolution of thinking and multinational companies have realized that India has a large talent pool and a huge market. He said that MNCs have taken the lead in sectors such as telecom, vehicles, FMCG, and others, and have mobilized Indian talent in R&D and patent filing. Prof Prahalad added that the MNCs are experimenting with 'disruptive' business and innovation models in India which can be scaled up for other markets. Citing the experiment of Microsoft in supplying software services to small companies in Thirupur at very low costs, he said that although this may not generate revenues to begin with, it could be replicated in countries such as Brazil. Outsiders like Indian managers because of their 'can-do' attitude, dedication and commitment, enormous energy levels, and task-orientation. Indians have achieved world-class management of projects in sectors such as IT and pharma, he pointed out, but Indian companies too need to leverage the large talent pool for research.
New mantra for India Inc: Pani, Kitab aur Kaam India Post News Service
NEW DELHI: Drawing a new vision for India, Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor said that quest for quality should be the top priority that India Inc has to pursue with great passion and enthusiasm. Addressing the 17th Quality Summit organised by CII Institute of Quality here, Tharoor said there are three specific pursuits that India Inc has to closely shadow namely Noble cause for society, Good governance Quality solution to meet national problems. Admitting that the government is yet to meet Aam Admi's basic necessity of providing roti, kapada and maakan he asked the India Inc to pitch in to play an important role by partnering with government to ease this crucial societal requirement and further including issues pertaining to Pani, Kitab aur Kaam . He further said that India is not the same as it was two decades ago in the eyes of the western world. He asked Indian industries to seize the emerging global opportunities as the IT industry has
Strong fundamentals being second word for India, it has stood like a rock albeit minor contractions even at a time of the worst recession done and show that they can purse quality without government standing by in the way. Since the reforms were initiated India Inc. has traversed a long way
trudging on the path of best practices and not deviating from ethical values. Strong fundamentals being second word for India, it has stood like a rock albeit minor contractions even at a time of the worst recession where many industrial majors across the globe fell like cascading playing cards. With this solid shield as protective backdrop, experts feel that it is time India also begins to groom more quality leaders to take the nation to the next level of business excellence. As India now stands at the crossroads of reaching the pinnacle of Business excellence, a cautious approach is what the need of the hour is. And the onus now lies on the neo-age leaders. Addressing the industry captains former Media advisor to Prime Minister Mr Prem Shankar Jha called for enhancing the Quality of life. The four areas of action suggested by him to the industry included urban development, improving the social balance, taking care of unorganized sectors' needs and expectations and land management through equitable land acquisition.
Questions from the participative audience related to youth power and leadership. Dr Tharoor mentioned that Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh had suggested that India must 'respect the impa-
We must celebrate the success of professors, scientists and researchers,' he said, so that role models are supported tience of the young' and that 100 million new voters by the next general elections meant that a new
political reality has to be addressed. Prof Prahalad reiterated that 500 million youth must acquire monetized, world-class skills to participate in the economy. 'We must celebrate the success of professors, scientists and researchers,' he said, so that role models are supported. Mr Gautam Thapar set the context for the session by stating that Ideas India 2009 was a platform for eliciting views on how to do things differently. "We all have responsibilities in a democracy," he stressed, adding that we should not wait for government to initiate action. The conference covered issues of topical interest for India's development in 26 sessions, with a wide audience from different walks of life including students, academics, corporate leaders, and civil society, who generated a spectrum of fresh ideas.
Major disparity between urban and rural healthcare India Post News Service
Banerjee, Director General, CII. Currently the sector contributes about 6.1% to the GDP of the country, out of which the Government contribution is only1.1%.The sector has the potential to increase the GDP by 2-3 %, direct employment opportunities around 2 million, and positioning India as a Global Healthcare Destination. Hence, CII feels that government should create conducive environment and consider the following key enablers to enhance investments in the sector. • Accord Priority Status to Healthcare by extending Tax Holi-
NEW DELHI: Indian healthcare has shown a marked improvement over the years with striking improvements in some of the important healthcare indices. However, healthcare improvements in smaller cities and rural India have not kept pace with those in metros and bigger cities. There still continues to be a major disparity between urban and rural healthcare indices. On the other hand, India is fast emerging as a favored destination for clinical trials outsourcing and medical treatment keeping in view the value proposition offered by Indian There is an urgent need to add Healthcare providers. India's Healthcare In- 8,00,000 beds by 2012 with an frastructure is inadequate to meet the estimated capital outlay of US needs of delivery of $ 20 to 30 million per year for healthcare services. With just 1.5 beds, 0.5 the next decade physicians and 0.9 nurses per 1,000 people, the demand - supply gap in terms day benefits for hospitals and of Healthcare Infrastructure facili- medical/paramedical institutes, ties is enormous in the country. providing land at concessional There is an urgent need to add 8, rates & Healthcare financing by 00,000 beds by 2012 with an esti- IIFCL. • Leveraging Technology to mated capital outlay of US $ 20 to 30 million per year for the next de- reach out to masses by facilitating attractive environment for achievcade. "Conscious efforts aimed at ing localized production of cost efmaking healthcare universally ac- fective Equipment, Devices, and cessible through innovative Consumables. • Expand existing preventive modes and mechanisms of healthcare financing, by devising health programs to include and ways to integrate the private play- focus on Mandated Preventive ers through PPP models and stan- health checkups. • Timely reimbursement to Hosdardize healthcare delivery are essential to enhance healthcare de- pitals delivering Central and State livery in India", said Chandrajit Government Schemes.
Desi News Kusum Vyas pushes for Ram Sethu preservation KALYANI GIRI India Post News Service
HOUSTON: Kusum Vyas is outspoken, dedicated. Imbued with intense conviction about the various causes she supports, she throws herself heart and soul into creating awareness of them. Her interests run the diverse gamut from spearheading the Gulf of Mannar World Heritage Site Campaign that is pivotal to the preservation of the sacred Ram Sethu. Details on page 13
COMMUNITY ACROSS AMERICA
10 India Post
US Army to accommodate second Sikh
January 1, 2010
Details on page 17
NY Tamil Sangam helps adopt villages in India India Post News Service
Chance to get into mainstream political process SURI SWAMY
CHICAGO: Here is a chance for young Indian Americans to get into mainstream political process and education, says Madhu Patel, founding president of NRI Press Club. The Tenth Congressional District Democrats (Tenth Dems) has announced that it is accepting applications for spring and summer internships. Several of these interns have gone on to internships in Washington, to college majors in political science or law, or paid political and nonprofit positions locally and in Washington. Details on page 15
Rasa Heart and Soul from Kalapriya Center MOHAMMAD GHOUSE INDIA POST NEWS SERVICE
CHICAGO: Kalapriya, Center for Indian Performing Arts will present “Rasa Heart and Soul” a dance performance at the Hamlin Park Fieldhouse Theater in Chicago on February 19 and 26, 2010. Founder and artistic director Pranita Jain leads Kalapriya in its’ mission to celebrate the diverse cultures of India through dance and music that is rooted in Indian culture yet evolving and engaging to contemporary audience. Details on page 17
NEW YORK: New York Tamil Sangam has joined hands with movie director Susi Ganeshan's Kandaswami Foundation to help adopt villages in Tamil Nadu to provide basic amenities such as roads, street lights, repairs to dilapidated schools, drinking water and sewerage connection. At a function held recently at Hotel Madras Woodlands in Hicksville, Long Island, Ganeshan made a presentation of the foundation's plans to adopt at least 100 villages in 2010. Kanthaswami Foundation, a spin off from his latest Tamil box office hit Kanthaswami, set up by Susi Ganeshan has so far adopted 32 villages in Tamil Nadu providing the villagers roads, potable drinking water, repairs to schools and so on. R. Srinivasaraghavan, president of Savin Engineers, Pleasantville, Long Island, announced that he would adopt three villages and urged other members to give a helping hand to the foundation. More members expressed their willingness to adopt a village and said they would visit the villages and take a final call. Thanking the members of the Sangam for their spontaneous response, Susi Ganeshan, said it cost $5000 to adopt a village and to make a positive change in the life of people still wallowing in poverty. "We may see Benz and BMWs on the streets of Chennai and Coimbatore but villagers have no access to roads and have to trudge miles be it to attend schools or to deliver a baby. Their conditions are pitiable and need to be im-
Susi Ganeshan, sitting second from right and donor Srinivasaraghavan, sitting extreme right with members of NY Tamil Sangam.
proved," he said. "I come from a middle class family and did not have money to pay my college fees. I know the pain of poverty and the value of every rupee. I want to make a positive change in the lives of poor people and hence I created the
India are joining hands with him to make his dream come true. An engineer by profession and a graduate of the prestigious Madras Institute of Technology (MIT), Ganeshan was a former journalist at Ananda Vikatan and in that capacity had traveled ex-
‘I appeal to all associations in the US to follow our model to alleviate poverty and we are willing to work with you. We can take you on a tour of villages that are crying for basic amenities,’ he said trust to build schools, lay roads, and provide potable drinking water and sanitation. Its pathetic that even after 62 years of independence, Indian villages have remained the same with people wallowing in squalor and illiteracy," he said. Seeing his initiative, many corporates and philanthropists in
tensively in villages. His movie Kanthaswami was a roaring box office hit. The Tamil Nadu government has now come up with a matching grant rupee for rupee collected by the trust to improve the living conditions of villages. He plans to take the project to neighboring Andhra Pradesh with
his Telugu version of Kanthaswami. It has snowballed into a mass movement now. Ganeshan met with leaders of Indian community in the tri-state area to seek their support. "I appeal to all associations in the US to follow our model to alleviate poverty and we are willing to work with you. We can take you on a tour of villages that are crying for basic amenities," he said. The World Bank has appreciated the model and the trust has written to President Obama to donate even a small fraction of the Nobel Prize money to the foundation. Dr. Sundaram of New Jersey Tamil Sangam appreciated the efforts of Ganeshan. Prakaash M Swami, secretary of New York Tamil Sangam introduced Susi Ganeshan and Devaraj Vijayakumar, treasurer, proposed a vote of thanks.
Community Across America
January 1, 2010
Alsdorf Gallery Indian Art anniversary celebrated HARISH RAO
CHICAGO: The first anniversary of the Alsdorf Gallery Indian Art at the Art Institute of Chicago was celebrated in Chicago last week with a grand performance of Odissi dance presented by renowned dance troupes from India on December 12. Founded in 1879 as both a museum and school, the Art Institute of Chicago has begun hosting a special wing of Museum for Indian Art and Artifacts since 2008. The anniversary was celebrated last week and the occasion was taken to thank the Art Institute and one of the major donors, Mrs. Marylyn Alsdorf who donated over 400 pieces from her collection. The Art Institute opened at its present site on Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago in 1893. The collection of its museum now encompasses more than 5,000 years of human expression from cultures around the world,
and the school's graduate program is continually ranked as one of the best in the country. The Museum had a very small India gallery until December 2008. During the process of renovation and expansion of the Art Gallery, Consul General Ashok Kumar Attri encouraged the leadership at the Institute to provide a befitting place to Indian Civilization and Art. The Indian gallery now comprises some of the best collections of Indian art and artifacts. It has an exclusive wing which comprises primarily the private collection of Mrs. Maryln Alsdorf who donated over 400 pieces from her collection. The newly designed space contains 435 works, half of which are from the distinguished Alsdorf collection. Cont’d on page 13
The first anniversary celebration of Alsdorf Indian Art Gallery in Chicago (L- R) Indian CG Ashok Attri, his wife Ms Usha Kiran, Jim Cuno President Art Institute Chicago, Mrs. Marylyn Alsdorf who donated 400 pieces of art to the Institute, Tom Pritzker, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Art Institute of Chicago and his wife Mary Pritzker
SAFO endorses candidates for 2010 India Post News Service
NEW YORK: South Asians for Obama, the organization originally formed to rally the South Asian American community behind Barack Obama's presidential campaign last year, has renamed itself 'South Asians for Opportunity' (SAFO) to continue its commitment to positive grassroots change and in its new capacity, focus on supporting candidates for public office who are committed to advancement of the Indian American community. On SAFO's initial slate of endorsements are Raj Goyle, a Democratic candidate for US Congress
Kamala Harris, currently the District Attorney of San Francisco, is running for Attorney General of California. With decades of experience as a courtroom prosecutor, Kamala has fought on behalf of families and neighborhoods from Kansas 4th District; Kamala Harris (D), candidate for California Attorney General; Raja Krishnamoorthi (D), candidate for Illinois Comptroller; and Manan Trivedi (D), candidate for IS Congress from Pennsylvania 6th District. "Through their lives, careers and campaigns, each of these candidates represents the best ideals and values of our community, as well as a positive vision for our
future," says SAFO of the four candidates. Raj Goyle, currently a state representative from Wichita, Kansas, is running for US Congress. During Raj's time in the Kansas state house, he has never missed a vote and has worked across party lines to pursue common sense solutions for his constituents. Drawing on the example of his parents, he has and will continue to work to ensure every Kansan has an opportunity to live the American Dream. "If elected, I would be the first South Asian American member of Congress from Kansas and living proof that
someone who works hard and plays by the rules can succeed," says Goyle. Kamala Harris, currently the District Attorney of San Francisco, is running for Attorney General of California. With decades of experience as a courtroom prosecutor, Kamala has fought on behalf of families and neighborhoods, and as Attorney General she will make a priority of enforcing California's civil rights laws. "It will be my duty if elected to look at how issues such as predatory lending and environmental justice have a particular impact on specific communities like South
Asian families and implement swift, innovative solutions based on a deep knowledge of our varied demographic," says Harris. Raja Krishnamoorthi, former Deputy State Treasurer of Illinois, is running for Comptroller of Illinois. In a state political system short on transparency, Raja has built his campaign on a message of openness and accountability in the state contracting process and in being the financial watchdog for Illinois taxpayers. "I believe that as South Asian Americans, we have a duty to advance the ball that our parents have provided us and to engage in public
or community service as a means of giving back," says Krishnamoorthi. Manan Trivedi, a primary care physician and Iraq War Veteran, is running for US Congress. Through his experience, Manan has been on the front lines of the varied challenges facing our country - from fixing our health care system at home to caring for our troops both during and after their deployments. "By becoming a leader in Congress, I hope to demonstrate to all South Asian Americans that we can make a difference by getting involved in the civic life of America at all levels," says Trivedi.
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Community Across America
January 1, 2010
MoU signed for Mother & Child Learning Center
Dr. Rohot Kumar Vasa demonstrating Resuscitation of new born baby with new simulator at Chanchalben Mafatlal Patel College of Nursing, Gandhi Nagar
MOHAMMAD GHOUSE India Post News Service
CHICAGO: A Chicago-based no profit body, Samvedana Foundation, USA reached yet another milestone in its saga of improving healthcare in India. The Foundation has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Foundation of Physicians for Pediatric & Perinatal Care (FPPPC), Chicago, Illinois to establish the Samvedana Mother & Child Care Learning Resource Center at Chanchalben Mafatlal Patel College of Nursing, Gandhi Nagar, and Gujarat, India. The MoU was signed in November. Even though India has made significant progress in the field of medicine and healthcare, infant mortality (1st year after birth) and neonatal mortality (1st month af-
ter birth) remained at a standstill for the last several years. In India the neonatal mortality was 34/1000 births and infant mortality was 55/ 1000 births according to the statistics available for the year 2005. In contrast, in the same year in USA the neonatal mortality was 4.5/1000 births. The Foundation of Physicians of Pediatric & Perinatal Care was established in 1980s in Chicago to improve Maternal/Child health in India by assisting Peri-natal programs that will reduce morbidity & mortality by improving the standard of clinical care through education, scientific activities and training. The Foundation is doing yeomen service in several States in India. Samvedana Foundation, USA in its short period of existence has taken up several healthcare projects in India starting with the
Mafat Patel, Director of Samvedana Foundation, USA cutting the ribbon at the inauguration of Samvedana Mother & Child Care Learning Resource Center on December 12
establishment of the Rajen Sarabhai Patel Burn Center, the
Since 2007, more than 50,000 high risk individuals with diabetes were screened for eye complications and more than 2000 people received laser treatment to prevent blindness state of the art facility at LG Hospital in Ahmedabad, teaming up with ICCHA Foundation to help
support programs to combat the devastation caused by HIV/AIDS in India and initiated Samvedana Diabetic Eye Care Project with the cooperation of Nagri Eye Hospital in Ahmedabad and World Diabetic Organization. Since 2007, more than 50,000 high risk individuals with diabetes were screened for eye complications and more than 2000 people received laser treatment to prevent blindness. Last year when Chanchalben Mafatlal Patel College of Nursing was established in Gandhi Nagar, the Samvedana Foundation funded setting up of library facility at the Institution. It also committed to the development of a multimedia educational resource center at the college. As part of this endeavor, the Foundation is pleased to announce the establishment of Samvedana Mother &
Child Care Learning Resource Center at the Nursing College in collaboration with the FPPPC, Chicago, Illinois. The Foundation will provide the facility and capital funds for procuring equipment. Voluntary Physicians from FPPPC will travel regularly to India to teach & train Physicians, Nurses and other healthcare personnel regarding resuscitation of new born babies and the care of mothers and infants. They will also train the instructors who in turn teach other healthcare workers in different parts of India. For this training program, the Foundation imported a state of the art PC enabled New Born Baby Resuscitation Simulator Manikin from Norway at a cost of US $22,900. Very few centers in USA have this latest model for training. This model is first of its kind available in India.
Former VC analyzes US war on terror India Post News Service
NEW YORK: Dr. Shah Manzoor Alam, former vice chancellor of Kashmir University and a leading scholar in his thoughtprovoking book, 'War on Terrorism or American Strategy for Global Dominance', says that although "distinguished scholars" have produced works on the Afghanistan-Iraq wars, none to his knowledge have analyzed the impact of this "catastrophic" war on Islam and on the Muslim world. Dr. Alam feels that his book provides the "missing Islamic perspective." The author critically examines the factors that motivated the United States to initiate action in the first place. "The defeat of the Taliban," he says, "was welcomed by Afghans but the United States and NATO forces missed an opportunity to win their hearts and minds when they shifted their focus from economic reconstruction in Afghanistan to military action." Dr. Alam goes on to critique the Bush
Dr. Shah Manzoor Alam, former Vice Chancellor of Kashmir University
administration's "Surge Strategy," and what the author calls "its disdain for diplomacy." He is particularly critical of the brutal treatment of prisoners of war, called "enemy combatants," in the detention centers of Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib, and Bagram
‘The defeat of the Taliban,’ he says, ‘was welcomed by Afghans but the United States and NATO forces missed an opportunity to win their hearts and minds when they shifted their focus from economic reconstruction in Afghanistan to military action’ which, according to Dr. Alam, "violates all international conventions and human values that America stands for." On balance, the author also unequivocally condemns Muslim Jihadists who kill innocent people. Calling for "flexibility" and a "change in
course" by the new American president because "the people of the world are crying out for peace," Dr. Alam's comprehensive, informative, and well-researched presentation is a must read for a new era of peace. The 400-plus page book is published by Vantage Press Inc and priced at $18.95. Dr. Alam earned his doctorate from Edinburgh University in Scotland and is a distinguished social scientist. He was dean of the faculty of social sciences and a founder director for Center for Area Studies, Indian Ocean Region as well as former professor and head of department of geography at Osmania University, Hyderabad. He was also visiting professor at University of Massey in New Zealand and Macquarie University in Australia. A scholarly author and an editor with numerous credits, Dr Alam is now a US citizen who resides in New Jersey where his interests include global warming, new astronomical findings, geopolitics and natural disasters.
January 1, 2010
Community Across America
India Post 13
Alsdorf Gallery Indian Art anniversary celebrated Contâ€™d from page 11
Opening soon after the Alsdorf Galleries, the new Galleries of Indian and Islamic Art contain later works of Indian art representative of pre-1947 India and also its Imperial Mughal and royal past. This is the largest display of Indian art and artifacts in the Western hemisphere. Art Institute is now also involved in propagating Indian art
hour-long performance. The afternoon ended with High Tea to the special invitees hosted by Tom Pritzker, Chairman of the Board of trustees of the Art Institute of Chicago and to honor Ms. Marilyn Alsdorf for donating her invaluable art pieces which adorn the Museum. Pritzker welcomed the guests and lavished praise on Marilyn Alsdorf for her enormous contribution to the Art Institute
Kusum Vyas pushes for Ram Sethu preservation at Climate Summits KALYANI GIRI India Post News Service
HOUSTON: Kusum Vyas is outspoken, dedicated. Imbued with intense conviction about the various causes she supports, she throws herself heart and soul into creating awareness of them. Her interests run the diverse gamut from spearheading the Gulf of Mannar World Heritage Site Campaign that is pivotal to the preservation of the sacred Ram Sethu, to raising funds for a troupe of blind dancers from India, to encouraging people to be more ecofriendly, and to saving the Asiatic lion and the gharial - two of the most critically endangered species on this planet from extinction. There's no doubt that she is genuine beyond reproach. Not once has she expected to personally gain anything other than the satisfaction of helping making a positive change. More often than not, she defrays costs out of her
L-R Shanaka Das, Kusum Vyas, HRH Prince Phillip & UN Sec Gen Ban Ki Moon
own pocket. Vulnerable, she is first to admit when having faith in the faithless has burned her. A familiar face in Houston, the past two months have been particularly hectic for Kusum Vyas. She's been to London and shaken hands with a bona fide prince, and dashed off to attend the COP 15 conference in Copenhagen. Her
appearances at these two events, both directed at safeguarding the planet, recently garnered Vyas international recognition. She was specially selected as one of seven speakers and the only Hindu delegate to address distinguished guests and world faith leaders at the "Many Heav-
A familiar face in Houston, the past two months have
Renowned Odissi dancer Sujata Mohapatra and her team performing at the Art Institute Chicago on Dec 12
and culture, through various programs. The Indian Council for Cultural Relations, New Delhi sponsored the noted Odissi dancer Sujata Mohapatra and her troupe of five members from India to participate in the anniversary celebrations of the Alsdolf Gallery of Indian Art. Associate Director of Performance Programs Mary Sue Glosser, in her welcome address thanked the Consul General of India to Chicago Ashok Kumar Attri, without whose cooperation this function would not have happened and also thanked him for organizing the visit of the Odissi dancers from India through the Indian Council for Cultural Relations. Ashok Kumar Attri expressed his gratitude to the Art Institute for providing a special wing at their premises. He also introduced Odissi dancer Sujata Mohapatra and briefed the guests about the special features of Odissi. Dr Madhuvanti Ghose, the Alsdorf Associate Curator at the Art Institute, explained about the Art and Artifacts in the Alsdorf wing. Sujata Mohapatra and her dance group of six members gave a spell binding performance to a gathering at the Fullerton Hall at the Art Institute. Pranita Jain of Kalapriya, Chicago explained the various nuances of the Odissi performance. The dance troupe was given a standing ovation after an
which has made it one of the best museums in this part of the world. He also mentioned that the Alsdorf gallery is located in the crossroad of the Art Institute and no visitor who enters the Art Institute from any
The Indian Council for Cultural Relations, New Delhi sponsored the noted Odissi dancer Sujata Mohapatra and her troupe of five members from India to participate in the anniversary celebrations of the Alsdolf Gallery of Indian Art entrance would ever miss it. James Cuno, President and Director of Art Institute also in his brief address praised Ms Marilyn Alsdorf to have made the event happen. Sujata Mohapatra and her group also performed on the 10th December, at the Spurlock Museum, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign at their Knight Auditorium before a culturally diverse audience of over 70 University of Illinois faculty members, students and general public. The group performed six distinct dance pieces with an introduction which lasted 90 minutes.
hectic for Kusum Vyas ens, One Earth" celebratory conference hosted by Prince Philip and co-sponsored by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC), a faith-based environmental organization co-founded by Prince Philip in 1995. With Dr Rajendra Pachauri in Copenhagen
Contâ€™d on page 16
Community Across America
January 1, 2010
Seniors enjoy Holiday Cheer in Chicagoland
New Indian American political action committee launched India Post News Service
SURENDRA ULLAL India Post News Service
CHICAGO: Senior citizens of Greencastle Senior Residence in Palatine, Illinois were treated to Holiday Cheer with gifts by Sikh Sangat Members of Chicago along with members of Asian American Seniors Association on Dec 16. A 42" Panasonic Plasma TV and Wii were donated along with goody bags for over 80 residents and staff. Indian samosas, tea and gajrela (carrot sweets) were delivered by New India Restaurant of Palatine. Thakar Singh Basati welcomed the audience. Ex- Mayor of Palatine Rita Mullins was special guest and addressed the gathering. She spoke about her association with the Sikh Community. Ginny Kaur Singh, Navraaz K Basati (Wu), Navreet K Heneghan, Shiobhan, Mehervaan recited the Shabad "Deh Shiva Var Mohe Ehai". Bhai Bhagat Singh played Tabla and Ginny K Singh played Sitar. S.Kulwant Singh, Ex President Sikh Religious Society Palatine and Co-founder Institute for Conflict and Peace Studies spoke about connection between Mind and Peace. Sibhan (6) and Mehervaan (4) did Irish Dance which was well appreciated by the audience. S Kuldip Singh Makkar, Ex Board member of Sikh Religious Society spoke about the importance of 5Ks in Sikh Religion. Prof Jaginder Singh Ramdev, Librarian (Retd) and Founder of Satkal Library Trust spoke about the resolution of conflict through peace. He said "No religion teaches violence. People
Two members of Sikh community demonstrating turban tying to an American lady volunteer during Holiday Cheer event
A 42" Panasonic Plasma TV and Wii were donated along with goody bags for over 80 residents and staff. Indian samosas, tea and gajrela (carrot sweets) were delivered by New India Restaurant of Palatine misuse Religion to create conflict". He gave examples of wars in Arab countries and Ire-
Indian Embassy approached on Ganges denigration issue HARISH RAO
CHICAGO: Indian Americans across USA, including prominent community activists from Chicagoland have decided to approach Embassy of India in Washington DC asking for contacting the United States Government to contact the right agency here to extract an apology from Fox News regarding its comments about India's holy river Ganges. The comments are deemed inappropriate and denigrating to Indian thoughts and culture. Glenn Beck, talking about India in December nine segment titled "This is the best America has to offer?" of his opinion show "The One Thing" on Fox News channel, said: "One big river they have there, that sounds like a disease. Come on it does. I mean if somebody said, I am sorry, you have a really bad case of Ganges." Bhavna Shinde of Forum for Hindu Awakening, in a communiqué to Ambassador Meera Shankar, wrote: Please take up this issue urgently with the appropriate authorities in the United States Government, urging
an apology from Fox News, its parent News Corporation and Glenn Beck, and assurances so that this unnecessary ridiculing of our faith and country does not happen in the future.
‘One big river they have there, that sounds like a disease. Come on it does. I mean if somebody said, I am sorry, you have a really bad case of Ganges’ Meanwhile, Rajan Zed, president of Universal Society of Hinduism, in a statement in Nevada (USA), said that the community was very upset with the remarks and the indifference of Fox News and its parent News Corporation to the issue despite protests. Cont’d on page 19
land. Turban tying was demonstrated using a white lady volunteer. Greeting cards with picture of Shri Harmandir Sahib were given to each attendee and were donated by Mandeep Kaur Gill. Money for the TV and goody bags was donated by Bhai Mohinder Singh, S Bhupinder S Hundal, S Kulwant Singh Hundal, S Kulddep Singh Makkar, S Narinderpal Singh Marwaha, Dr. Pardeep Singh Gill, S Irwinpreet Singh , Brar Sahib and some cash by others. Basati children donated Wii. S Sewa Singh Virdi, Scientist (Retd) lives at Greencastle, he thanked the volunteers, staff, donors and attendees.
NEW YORK: An Indian American group last month formally established the Republican Indian Committee (RIC) as a political action committee. The group has filed its incorporation papers in the State of Virginia. National Spokesman and one of the founding members, Dilip Paliath, commented, "Indian American Republicans have contributed to politicians for decades, but primarily as individuals. RIC is an effort to strengthen our ability to impact positively the communities where we live, work, and raise our families, by participating in the political process. It is no secret that there is strength in numbers." Paliath was the highest-ranking IndianAmerican in the administration of former Maryland Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. from 2003-2006, as one of Ehrlich's advisors, lobbyists, and attorneys. Puneet Ahluwalia, Virginia businessman and President of RIC's Virginia Chapter noted: "Government does not create jobs; businesses do. We hope to unite Indian American business leaders as one voice in support of lower taxes, streamlined regulation, and accelerated exports as the engine of American economic growth and prosperity." In the near future, RIC will be announcing additional events, along with the formation of various state chapters around the country.
New FIA body chalks out agenda, thanks media AQ SIDDIQUI India Post News Service
CHICAGO: The Federation of Indian Associations (FIA) in Chicago has new faces for the year 2010-2011. Sunny Gabhawala, the newly elected FIA president and Iftekhar Shareef, Vice President, hosted a "Thanksgiving" dinner for local media persons at Viceroy Restaurant on Devon Ave. Rajput Sher Mohammed, vice president, Subhash Bhatt vice President, Shahid Rizvi secretary were among others from the FIA's newly formed executive body present for the event. Iftekhar Shareef welcomed the media persons and introduced the visions and plans of FIA new body for the coming months. Sunny Gabhawala thanked the media for supporting FIA and keeping the Indian community with FIA throughout the year. He said FIA's new body will take over from outgoing president Dr Mohammed Hyder after the Re-
The New FIA team with President Sunny Gabhawala (fourth from left) standing
public Day Celebration event. As per the FIA tradition, the Republic Day Celebration will be organized by the outgoing FIA. The new executive body will then plan 2010 activities for Indian community in greater Chicago. He asked media to get Indian community involved in all FIA activities. Reacting to a question about the role of Indian Consul General Office in Indian community affairs, Sunny remarked that the present Consul General has kept
himself away from the Indian community. The matter of visa issuance to suspected terrorists must be investigated at high level, he said and added that there were reports that original records of applications were missing from ICG office. It is a matter of concern for all of us, he said. Sunny Gabhawala also requested members of Indian community to come forward and join in all Indian and FIA celebrations.
Community Across America
January 1, 2010
India Post 15
NY devotees donate ornaments to Washington temple India Post News Service
PETITION ON VISA RULES: Following the announcement of new visa rules by India, a delegation led by Narain Kataria, President, Indian American Intellectuals Forum, VP Arish Sahani, Ramesh Gathodia, Mohinder Singh Gulati and Nand Lal Ramsinghani called on Dr. A.M. Gondane, Dy. Consul General in New York, and submitted a memorandum addressed to P. Chidambaram, Home Minister of India requesting that India's new visa rules should not be applied to Pakistan-born Indian Americans. Dr. Gondane gave a patient hearing to the delegation and assured them that necessary action as deemed fit would be taken in the matter.
Chance to get into mainstream political process SURI SWAMY
CHICAGO: Here is a chance for young Indian Americans to get into mainstream political process and education, says Madhu Patel, founding president of NRI Press Club. The Tenth Congressional District Democrats (Tenth Dems) has announced that it is accepting applications for spring and summer internships. Several of these interns have gone on to internships in Washington, to college majors in political science or law, or paid political and nonprofit positions locally and in Washington. Tenth Dems is a grassroots political organization that helps elect Democrats to all levels of political office throughout the 10th Congressional District. The organization has had more than 2,000 volunteers helping Democratic candidates. Interns may do research, walk door-to-door with candidates, work in campaign offices, staff events and issue forums, and get to meet many political figures. In the past, they've helped at Tenth Dems events featuring former Presidential nominee George McGovern, as well as Presidential hopefuls Senators Evan Bayh of Indiana, Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, Howard Dean of Vermont, and Illinois' Barack Obama. The 10th Congressional District includes all of the North Shore from Wilmette through Waukegan and extends as far west as Libertyville, Vernon Hills, and Buffalo Grove in Lake County, and Wheeling, Arlington Heights and Palatine in Cook.
Applicants should be high school juniors or seniors, college students, or graduate or law students with a desire to help the Democratic Party. Computer skills are desired. Spring interns are expected to work a minimum of 12 hours per week, and summer interns should commit to 20. Interns with Web administration and/or
Interns may do research, walk doorto-door with candidates, work in campaign offices, staff events and issue forums, and get to meet many political figures. In the past, they've helped at Tenth Dems events featuring former Presidential nominee data skills will be preferred. Course credit is available with cooperating high schools and colleges. Acceptance into the Internship Program is selective and contingent upon an interview. Applicants are asked to submit a brief paragraph explaining why they want this internship, and a resume of their educational background and activities. Neither need be formal.
NEW YORK: A group of Lord Ayyappa devotees have donated gold-plated headgear and temple umbrellas made of pearls to Lord Ayyappan in Shiva Vishnu temple in Washington DC. These ornaments assume significance as they are made under the supervision of erstwhile King of Panthalam Sri Raja Verma in Kerala where Lord Ayyappa was believed to have been born and raised. The elephant that was specially brought for the kumbabhishekam of Maha Vallaba Ganapathy temple in Flushing
These ornaments were kept in pooja at the Ayyappan temple in Panthalam in Kerala and airlifted to New York, according to Sushil Kumar, president of New York Ayyappa Group and Saji Karunakaran, its secretary was decorated with the goldplated headgear as a mark of respect. These ornaments were kept in pooja at the Ayyappan temple in Panthalam in Kerala and airlifted to New York, according to Sushil Kumar, president of New York Ayyappa Group and Saji Karunakaran, its secretary. The ornaments are kept in the pooja at Washington temple and Easwaran Nambbodri, priest of Ayyappan sannidhi, performed special prayers to welcome the gift.
New York devotees with their offerings at Shiva Vishnu temple in Washington DC
He had earlier served as Mel Santhi of Ayyappan temple in Sabarimala in Kerala. The devotees from New York Kannan Krishnamurthy, Viswanathan, Radhakrishnan, Naga Deepan, Subramani, Ashok
and other devotes - who went to Washington to deliver the ornaments also went on a procession at the Shiva Vishnu temple with the ornaments and attended a special bhajan to commemorate the occasion.
PAPPAS HOSTS A HOLIDAY PARTY: Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas hosted a Holiday Party at her office in Chicago Downtown inviting several hundred persons from diverse ethnic and religious groups. In the picture, Maria Pappas welcomes Surinder Singh Bhatia to her Annual Holiday Party. Maria Pappa's Holiday Party has become a tradition in the Treasurer's Office at the Cook County Building in downtown Chicago. Guests viewed more than 80 Christmas trees decorated by different ethnic groups of Cook County and sang carols as the Treasurer played the keyboard.
Community Across America
January 1, 2010
TANA donates toys to needy children
TANA Toys for Tots India Post News Service
COMMUNITY HONOR: Sushma Thukral of Asian Food Products, Flushing, was among those recognized for her service to the community at a holiday party hosted by the Queens district Democratic Party led by District Leader Martha Flores-Vazquez, at Sheraton LaGuardia hotel, recently. In the picture are Frank Padavan, Grace Meng, Harinakshi Bangara, Sushma Thukral, Dilip Chauhan of BAPS, Peter Koo and K. Ram, community board member 7 of Flushing, Queens.
Hindu Temple elects office bearers for 2010 India Post News Service
CHICAGO: Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago held its annual elections on December 6 for filling the four trusteeships vacated this year because of the expiration of term limits. Voter interest in electing right people for these positions was evident from the fact that they lined up at the voting stations from the minute the polls were
open. When the counting of votes was done and the results were announced, the following four were declared elected Sridhara Tambarahalli, Sashi Kaveti from regular category and Tilak Marwaha and Dr. Vishwanatha Reddy from patron category. Later in the afternoon, the trustees met to elect the following office bearers for the year 2010. President - Bhima Reddy,
Vice President - Dr. Gopal Srinivasan, Secretary - Ms. Prasanna Reddy, Joint Secretary - Tilak Marwaha, Treasurer - Ms. Renuka Reddy, Joint Treasurer Sridhara Tambarahalli. This will be the second successive term for the president Bhima Reddy who appealed for unity and cooperation from the executive committee and promised a very distinctive year for the temple in 2010 for all activities.
DALLAS, TX: The Telugu Association of North America (TANA) donated toys and "Toys R US" gift certificates to more than 60 families through Irving Police Department on December 22. Irving Police and Fire department distributed these toys to the less fortunate kids in the city of Irving during Christmas festival. "When we started this program thirty years ago we had only 25 families, now it has grown to over 400 families. We select the names of families in need. On delivery day, we load up police cars, fire trucks, ambulances and volunteers cars to deliver these toys and food. We sincerely thank TANA for their generous contribution. If organizations like TANA won't come forward to help out these less fortunate children, they may not celebrate Christmas at all" said Greg Spivey, Police officer of the Irving City Police community services department.
"We sincerely thank Manjulata Kanneganti, Chairperson of TANA Women's Forum for coordinating this project successfully. Also, we sincerely appreciate all donors and TANTEX for their unconditional support for this "Toys for Tots" community outreach program" said, Prasad Thotakura, TANA Executive Vice-President.
‘When we started this program thirty years ago we had only 25 families, now it has grown to over 400’ Manju & Ram Yalamanchili; Manjulata & Chandra Kanneganti; Sitha & Kumar Daggubati; Satish Gogineni; Sirisha & Prasad Nallapati; Vinaya & Murali Vennam; Jyothi & Rajesh Veerapaneni; Swarupa & Prasad Thotakura have donated generously towards this community outreach project "Toys for Tots".
Kusum Vyas pushes for Ram Sethu preservation at Climate Summits Cont’d from page 13
Keynote speaker at the event was UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. UN Development Policy (UNDP) Bureau Director Olav Kjorven along with a plethora of religious and spiritual leaders from the diverse global faith communities and representatives of a wide range of environmentalists were in attendance. The celebration, widely covered by world media, was held November 2 - 4, 2009 at the historical Windsor Castle, home of Queen Elizabeth 11 and her consort Prince Phillip. Representatives of the leading religious institutions committed to more than 30 ambitious multi-year plans across the ninefaiths. The meet aimed strategically at nudging the world's politicians to put climate change at the top of the global agenda. An active and vocal environmentalist, Kusum Vyas was hand-selected by ARC Secretary-General Martin Palmer to elaborate on the Hindu Climate Change Plan, having had been impressed by her level of commitment to save the Earth's environment. At the Windsor function, Vyas inspired organizers and leaders alike with her depth of
knowledge and her passion not only for the preservation of the Gulf of Mannar, but her devotion for the living planet "I truly believe that inside each of us lies a wealth of power to learn how to live on Earth in ways that honor the web of life, each other, and future generations. It is
chair of the UN Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Following the Supreme Court of India's directive in 2007, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh instituted a six-member expert committee headed by Dr. Pachauri to look at an alternative alignment for the
An active and vocal environmentalist, Kusum Vyas was hand-selected by ARC Secretary-General Martin Palmer to elaborate on the Hindu Climate Change Plan, having had been impressed by her level of commitment to save the Earth's environment within our power to make the changes that show our respect for the earth that gives us sustenance," said Vyas. At a vegan luncheon hosted by Prince Phillip at Windsor Castle, Vyas got to meet with the prince. The Windsor summit preceded the COP 15 summit in Copenhagen that took place a month later which Vyas attended as a delegate. She met with Dr. Rajendra K. Pachauri,
Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project. With specific intent to reiterate that need, Vyas urged Dr. Pachauri to recognize the sacred, ecological and environmental importance of the Gulf of Mannar and to lend his support to the international campaign asking the Government of India to nominate the Gulf of Mannar as a World Heritage site. Dr. Pachauri promised to "do something".
While at Copenhagen, Vyas also held meetings with the UNDP and followed up on the proposal to form an international network of pilgrimage cities, a concept that was proposed at the Windsor meeting. Vyas has been nominated to be on the steering committee, a noteworthy achievement for a fearless crusader. Vyas was born in Nairobi and grew up in Kampala and was educated in the US. Vyas has long been the key organizer in bringing attention to the plight of the ecologically fragile and religiously significant Mannar Strait between India and Sri Lanka, the calving grounds for the whale populations of Bengal, which have been threatened by proposals for a ship canal. The canal was to have cut through Ram Sethu, which Hindus believe was created by Lord Rama to rescue his wife Sita. Vyas is founder of Living Planet Foundation and Esha Vasyam, both US based non-profit organizations and Energy and Environmental Management Research Institute (EEMRI), an international NGO in Kenya. Currently, Vyas is leading the efforts to have gharial exhibits at the Houston and London Zoos.
January 1, 2010
India Post 17
US Army to accommodate second Sikh India Post News Service
he U. S. Army has announced that it will accept a second Sikh recruit, Captain Tejdeep Singh Rattan, with his Sikh identity intact. Captain Rattan, a military dentist, had refused to remove his dastaar or shave his hair as a condition of joining the military. On Vaisakhi 2009, the Sikh Coalition launched a campaign calling on the Army to accept all Sikhs, including Captain Kamaljeet Singh Kalsi and Captain Tejdeep Singh Rattan into the military. The Army announced that Captain Kamaljeet Singh would be allowed to serve earlier this fall. The U.S. Army's acceptance of Captain Tejdeep Singh and Captain Kamaljeet Singh marks the first time in 23 years that
the Army will accept Sikh recruits who maintain their articles of faith. While the Sikh Coalition whole heartedly applauded the Army's action, it remained concerned that Captain Tejdeep
The individual accommodations for Captain Tejdeep Singh and Captain Kamaljeet Singh have significant implications for Sikh employees. The Army is America's largest and most
While the Sikh Coalition whole heartedly applauded the Army's action, it remained concerned that Captain Tejdeep Singh and Captain Kamaljeet Singh received individual accommodations to Army policy. There has not yet been a change to the overall policy excluding Sikhs from service Singh and Captain Kamaljeet Singh received individual accommodations to Army policy. There has not yet been a change to the overall policy excluding Sikhs from service.
prominent employer. Ending discrimination in the United States Army sends a message to all other employers, both private and public, that discrimination against Sikhs who maintain their articles
of faith is not acceptable. Though Sikhs have approached several police and sheriff's departments for jobs, they are often told that if Sikhs cannot serve as US soldiers, they cannot serve as police officers either. Most importantly, over the long-term, equal participation of Sikhs in all of society's institutions, including the Army, will go a long way towards reducing the prejudice Sikhs often face in schools and on the streets. Over the coming year, with the community's active support and in collaboration with other Sikh organizations, the Coalition will continue to work with the US Army to ensure all Sikhs may serve without individual exemptions. It said, "We are encouraged that the Army has expressed its willingness to review its general policy of excluding Sikhs from service."
Fun and festive winter activities Appeal to be counted on April 1 - Census 2010 at the Zoo WADEHENDERSON
India Post News Service
President, Leadership Conference on Civil Rights
LOS ANGELES: For the first time ever, you can skate your way into the holidays at the Los Angeles Zoo! On December 11, a skating rink was added to the holiday celebrations already in full swing at the L.A. Zoo! The Zoo invites everyone to enjoy a session of skating fun (for a nominal fee) on the eco-friendly "hybridice" skat-
At just $5 a session, the skating rink is a welcome addition to the Zoo's annual holiday celebration, Reindeer Romp, where patrons can visit Santa's reindeer and enjoy other festive activities ing rink. At just $5 a session, the skating rink is a welcome addition to the Zoo's annual holiday celebration, Reindeer Romp, where patrons can visit Santa's reindeer and enjoy other festive activities through January 3, 2010! For kids to have a wild time during their winter break, they can be sent to L.A. Zoo's Winter ZooCamp! Running daily from
December 28, 2009 through January 1, 2010, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., children ages four through nine can go ape over the Zoo's exciting animals! ZooCamp is filled with fun and educational activities like viewing animal feedings. Youngsters can also participate in crafts, games,
activities and tours that explore concepts about and inspire care for animals and the natural world. Kids can be enrolled for the entire week or for individual days. For those working parents, they can also enroll their children in extended care hours in the morning and evening.
n about 100 days, on April 1, the 2010 Census - the nationwide head count required by the Constitution - begins. And it is critical for Asian Americans, a community likely to be missed due to language barriers or fear of the government, to be counted. But the once-in-a-decade census is critical to the well-being of Asian- American families and children. Why? Because the census takes a snapshot of the nation's population, and with that count determines how to distribute more than $400 billion per year in federal funds to pay for schools, health care, roads, and other services. At a time when unemployment is at its highest since the 1980s, when the mortgage crisis is resulting in a growing wave of foreclosures, and when local governments are being forced to cut funding for education and other vital public services, the flow of federal funds to our communities, schools, and children are crucial. Many people in the Asian community did not participate in past censuses, because they didn't understand why the government was asking for information about their households, because they worried that the information might be used against them, or because they weren't aware that they could get a census form in languages
other than English. Such concerns are understandable. But by law, individual census information is safe and confidential. No one - not your landlord, not the immigration authorities, not law enforcement, not even the president of the United States - has access to your census data.
Many people in the Asian community did not participate in past censuses, because they didn't understand why the government was asking for information about their households, because they worried that the information might be used against them If English is not your first language, census forms are available in six languages - English, Spanish, Chinese (simplified), Korean, Russian and Vietnamese. You can also request a form in one of the five non-English languages via toll-free numbers that will be available closer to April 1, 2010. Contâ€™d on page 18
January 1, 2010
Korean churches partner with the 2010 census India Post News Service
ith Census Day ap proaching on April 1, 2010, Korean Churches for Community Development (KCCD), a nonprofit faith-based organization serving the AsianAmerican community, is partnering with the U.S. Census Bureau to educate and encourage its members and the greater Asian community to participate in the census and complete their census forms. “KCCD is pleased to support the upcoming 2010 Census,” said Hyepin Im, founder and president of KCCD. “We understand the importance and benefits it has on our communities. We are working with our local and regional partners, as well as our board members, to ensure a complete count of our communities for the 2010 Census.” “We are proud to partner with Korean Churches for Community Development for this upcoming census,” said Robert Groves, director of the U.S. Census Bureau. “As a trusted voice in the community, Ms. Im and KCCD will be integral in helping us reach the Asian-American population and in reassuring participants that all of their information is safe.” As part of its ongoing efforts, KCCD plans to connect with more
than 4,000 churches and faithbased leaders across the country to provide information about the census, actively relay key census messages at speaking engagements and community events, and to partner with local television programs to discuss the 2010 Census. In addition, KCCD will develop and provide communities with culturally and language-appropriate information to complement those developed by the Census Bureau. “It is critical that our commu-
‘KCCD is pleased to support the upcoming 2010 Census,” said Hyepin Im, founder and president of KCCD’ nity is accurately represented in the upcoming census so we receive the federal funding dollars that we deserve,” Im said. “Approximately half of the Asian population is foreign-born and many do not realize the importance of the census or that their information is confidential. We look forward to educating our communities about the census, as well as supporting a complete count of the Asian-American population.”
Jump in verbal harassment and discrimination of Muslims India Post News Service
LOS ANGELES: The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CA) announced annual report shows an increase in the total number of verbal harassment and employment discrimination incidents, but a decrease in passenger profiling in 2008.
It also examines the use of Islamophobic rhetoric in last year's presidential election and highlights a number of issues of concern to the American Muslim community, including watch lists, surveillance of mosques etc The report titled "The Status of Muslim Civil Rights, California 2009" - the only annual study of its kind - offers a summary of incidents and experiences of antiMuslim violence, discrimination and harassment reported to the group during the 2008 calendar year. It also examines the use of
Muslims condemn Graham's rhetoric on Islam India Post News Service
LOS ANGELES: On Dec. 10, on CNN, Franklin Graham - son of famous evangelist Billy Graham - defended his controversial post-9/11 comments in which he called Islam an evil and wicked religion. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA has condemned Graham's incorrect statements, which expressed his hatred and willful ignorance of the Islamic faith. Graham falsely claims that "true Islam cannot be practiced in this country. You can't beat your wife. You cannot murder your children if you think they've committed adultery or something like that, which they do practice in these other countries." Instead of acknowledging the peaceful Muslims who do not prescribe to any extremist ideals, Graham asserts that such people aren't truly Muslims. He continued to voice this jaundiced view
by stating that such Muslims "would like to get out of Islam" but cannot do so due to fear of being killed.
Graham previously exposed his ignorance and malice towards Islam when he declared ‘The god of Islam is not the same God of the Christian or the JudeoChristian faith. It is a different god, and I believe Islam is a very evil and a very wicked religion’ The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community finds it deplorable for a perceived leader within the Christian faith to have such an
erroneous understanding of Islam and would make such incorrect and hateful statements. Graham previously exposed his ignorance and malice towards Islam when he declared "The god of Islam is not the same God of the Christian or the Judeo-Christian faith. It is a different god, and I believe Islam is a very evil and a very wicked religion." Graham's attempt to discredit Islam through fear tactics and false, divisive accusations is appalling. "The Islamic faith is one of peace and tolerance. Reverend Graham has a false and uninformed view of the Islamic faith as practiced by millions of individuals in the US and beyond" said Nasim Rehmatullah, VP of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA. "As Muslims who believe in the Messiah we invite Rev. Graham to review our doctrine and our action (www.alislam.org) to learn the true Islam and become truly informed.
Islamophobic rhetoric in last year's presidential election and highlights a number of issues of concern to the American Muslim community, including watch lists, surveillance of mosques and new FBI guidelines that allow religious and ethnic profiling. In California, a total of 480 incident reports were received, which represents a 13 percent decrease over the previous year (553 reports received in 2007). Across the nation, California along with eight other states and the D.C. office accounted for 79 percent of all incidents reported to CAIR in 2008. CAIR offices nationwide processed a total of 2,728 incidents in 2008. That figure represents a three percent increase in reported cases from 2007 (2,652 reports) and an 11 percent increase over cases reported in 2006 (2,467 reports). According to CAIR-CA's study: • The number of civil rights complaints in the category of legal/immigration issues marked the largest percentage of all cases reported to CAIR-CA, at 29 percent. However, there was also a 35 percent decrease in this category from the previous year, 2007. • In 2008, there was a reported decrease in the categories of hate mail/propaganda/internet as well as passenger profiling in California. Nationally, however, alleged hate mail/propaganda/internet abuse was the most common type of complaint reported and showed a 38 percent jump from 2007. • Compared to 2007, complaints in the areas of verbal harassment, employment discrimination, and the denial of religious accommodation represented the highest increases-at 41 percent, 19 percent, and 12 percent respectively. "Although we are pleased to see a decline in the number of immigration and legal complaints reported to our office-thanks to community education and improved government policy-we re-
main concerned about the pervasive anti-Muslim climate in our country, fueled by a fringe racist minority," said Affad Shaikh, civil rights manager for CAIR-Greater Los Angeles Area. Shaikh said the report also offers recommendations such as urging elected officials and community leaders to speak out more forcefully against Islamophobia and anti-Muslim incidents, encouraging employers to institute sensitivity trainings to ensure that religious practices of all Americans are reasonably accommodated, and encouraging Congressional inquiries and Inspector general's reports to be further utilized to ensure that Americans' civil rights are respected and protected. Recommendations for the
Shaikh said the report also offers recommendations such as urging elected officials and community leaders to speak out more forcefully against Islamophobia and anti-Muslim incidents American Muslim community include timely reporting of antiMuslim incidents, community empowerment through civic engagement and continued outreach to local and national law enforcement agencies. CAIR began documenting antiMuslim incidents following the 1995 attack on the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, when some commentators initially blamed Muslims for the bombing. Before the real perpetrators were identified, Muslims nationwide were targeted in bias incidents.
Appeal to be counted on April 1 - Census 2010 Cont’d from page 17
By taking just ten minutes to fill out and return the census form that will be mailed to our homes in March 2010, each one of us who is counted will represent about $12,000 in federal funds over the course of 10 years to go toward
the education of our children, the building of roads and hospitals, and other vital services. Asian Americans can't afford to be undercounted and risk missing out on these resources. Each of us can and must do our part to make sure our communities are counted.
January 1, 2010
Community Across America
India Post 19
Rasa Heart and Soul from Kalapriya Center MOHAMMAD GHOUSE INDIA POST NEWS SERVICE
CHICAGO: Kalapriya, Center for Indian Performing Arts will present “Rasa Heart and Soul” a dance performance at the Hamlin Park Fieldhouse Theater in Chicago on February 19 and 26, 2010. Founder and artistic director Pranita Jain leads Kalapriya in its’ mission to celebrate the diverse
India that blends several styles of classical Indian dance including Bharata Natyam. The dances are set to original music from Indian artists such as renowned Carnatic vocalist Sudha Raghurama from New Delhi and violinist Mysore Nagaraj from Bangalore. The Kalapriya dancers will express the timelessness of love in a series of dances created to embody Rasa.
Cont’d from page 14
Through the mirror of Indian dance and music, the Kalapriya dancers reflect on the essence of “Rasa” or true love. “Rasa Heart and Soul” features original choreography by Kalapriya’s Pranita Jain and Suparna Venkatesh of Bangalore cultures of India through dance and music that is rooted in Indian culture yet evolving and engaging to contemporary audience. True love touches the heart and permeates the soul. Through the mirror of Indian dance and music, the Kalapriya dancers reflect on the essence of “Rasa” or true love. “Rasa Heart and Soul” features original choreography by Kalapriya’s Pranita Jain and Suparna Venkatesh of Bangalore,
Kalapriya will present “Rasa Heart and Soul” at Hamlin Park Fieldhouse Theater in Chicago on Friday, February 19 and 26, 2010 at 7:30pm. The theater is located at 3035 N. Hoyne in Chicago. This program is a part of The Chicago Moving Company Performance Project. The Chicago Moving Company is an Arts Partner with the Chicago Park District in residence at Hamlin Park. Kalapriya is partially sup-
Indian Embassy approached on Ganges issue
A scene from Rasa Heart and Soul to be performed by Kalapriya Center for Indian Performing Arts- Pic William Frederking
ported by grants from The Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, The Alphawood Foundation, The Polk Bros. Foundation and a City Arts Program 1 grant from the City of
Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, The Joyce Foundation and John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation International Connections Fund and Arts Work Fund for Organizational Development and The Chicago Community Trust.
Ganges was holy to one billion Hindus world over, including about 2.3 million in USA, and they revere it, and such remarks were very painful to the devotees. Rajan Zed, urged Fox and its owner News Corporation to be more sensitive when handling faith related subjects, as television was a forceful medium. He asked News Corporation Chairman Rupert Murdoch, Fox Chairman Roger Ailes and Glenn Beck to issue a statement on this matter. It is believed that bath in the sacred Ganges purifies one of all sin, and its water if taken daily confers immortality. It finds mention in Rig-Veda; the oldest scripture of the world still in common use, dated from around 1,500 BCE. Kumbh Mela, starting next month, will see an expected influx of about 100 million people from world over coming to take a dip in Ganges. News Corporation is a diversified global media company with operations in film, television, cable, satellite broadcast, integrated marketing, newspapers and information services, book publishing, etc., and assets of about $55 billion. Fox News is reportedly available to about 102 million households.
January 1, 2010
ARIES Mar 21-Apr 20 You will be very much determined to implement your plans and get quick results from other side. Recent developments will give you satisfaction and peace of mind. You will receive a big check ion the mail. You will be getting ready to meet competition head on. You will be calling few old friends and relatives living overseas.
LEO Jul 23-Aug 22 You will hear the news you had been waiting for. It will not only boost your morals but bring energy back in the body. You may receive verbal assurance about the contract. You may make some last minute change in your plans because of weather. You will make full use of extra time on hand and enjoy life with family.
SAGITTARIUS Nov 23-Dec 22
January 1 to January 7
Tough stand will get many works done. You will be making few important decisions about career. Gamble will pay off and big rewards are just around the corner. You will ear name and respect in professional world. Do not ignore health issue bothering you lately. You will do some charity work and may visit a holy place.
Readers Write... www.indiapost.com
Gadkari eminently qualified to be BJP chief
n behalf of the Indian American Intellectuals Forum (IAIF), I convey my heartiest congratulations to Nitin Gadkari on his elevation as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president. Nitin Gadkari is immensely qualified to hold the post of the President of the BJP because he is a visionary of sweeping ideas and innovative approach, a performer par excellence, an able administrator who believes in attaining results. He is an iconic leader who will be a great inspiration for the party workers. Unlike the Congress Party which derives its sustenance and legitimacy from the Gandhi Family (Jawahar Lal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi), the BJP derives its inspiration from its democratic structure, Indian philosophical traditions and cul-
ture. In the Congress Party, only pliable sycophants and subservient people can expect positions of power and pelf. But in the BJP anyone believing in the time honored Bharatiya ethos and values and with truly nationalistic spirit can attain the highest post in the party. That an ordinary person like Nitin Gadkari should be promoted to the exalted position of BJP president is a great tribute to the democratic setup of the party. A huge responsibility has been given to this relatively young man to steer the ship of BJP and India clear of sharks and shoals in the 21st Century. At the moment, the BJP is in disarray. Nitin Gadkari has to prove that the BJP is the party with a difference, a party which will be a unifying nationalistic force. Narain Kataria President
Disclaimer :- India Post does not endorse opinions expressed in the letters.
TAURUS Apr 21-May 20 Some thing long overdue will come this week. You will also hear some encouraging news at work. An important issue pending with a government agency will clear soon. Financially things will stay little tight for some more time. Keep an eye on nicotine and caffeine intake. You will take care of papers gathering dust on your table.
VIRGO Aug 23-Sept 22 You will try to relax as much possible before jumping onto a major project this week. A long distance business trip is in the air. Financially you will continue to do well and have some in the pipeline also. Spouse may not keep well and need to see a doctor. You will benefit from some one living on east coast or in east direction.
CAPRICORN Dec 23-Jan 19 Life will continue to march towards positive from now and on. Planets are changing your mind towards materialism and making you very ambitious. You will start an exciting relationship. You will be spending some money on close family members. Some one opposing you in the past will try to make peace, ignore them.
GEMINI May 21-Jun 20 Answers you are looking outside lies within yourself. You will be seriously looking for ways to improve revenues. A new business partnership is on the horizon. There will be big improvement in ongoing overseas projects. You will also participate in religious ceremony this week. You will make changes in diet and cut down on spicy food.
LIBRA Sept 23-Oct 22 You will be in touch with a government agency to seek some important information. You will be writing many important letters and hope to get quick response. Change in financial strategy will save a lot in long run. A colleague will try to drag you into unnecessary argument. You will plan an interesting road trip with family.
AQUARIUS Jan 20-Feb 18 You will learn from past experience and become more mature and wise. You will benefit from new people who recently entered your life. Spouse will be little shaky and nervous. Soon you will be leaving for an important business trip. Wait will be over and soon you will receive clearance from a government agency also.
CANCER Jun 21-Jul 22 Avoid getting involved in legal battle if possible. You will continue to enjoy company of visitors and plan several short trips to nearby places. There will be considerable improvements on career front. You will be in touch with old friends for obtaining some important information. You may also visit a holy place with family.
SCORPIO Oct 23-Nov 22 You will be confidant that you can deal with new situation. Earlier commitments can bring you under financial pressure. Many people will benefit from your expertise and you will see new faces at business. You may be thinking of replacing an old vehicle in near future. Business meetings will go very well and results will come soon.
PISCES Feb 19-Mar 20 Expect some favorable changes in career soon. You will be assigned an important task with added authority and benefits. A child may be under the influence of weather and may need lots of rest. You will be calling many old friends and may also visit one of them this week. Expenses will stay under control and you will save some too.
Mumbai rated 2nd most promising
ccording to the 'Emerging Trends in Real Estate Asia Pacific 2010 report' released recently, India's Financial Capital Mumbai was ranked second only to Shanghai as the most promising development market. "Development has increased there in all property sectors, but construction of affordable housing is particularly strong, as the government continues to lower mortgages and the middle class is being offered "good-quality, honest accommodations," said the Report brought out jointly by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. Interestingly included under the sub head 'Markets to Watch', the predictions are based heavily on projections for strong activity in China and India. "I think there are buying opportunities for some time," states one investor quoted in the report.
Banks focus on home loan segment
oth state-owned and private banks are ensuring their presence in this segment through attractive interest rates. The ratio of mortgage to gross domestic product (GDP) in India has remained low at 7%, as against 12% for China, 41% for Hong-Kong and at least 80% for most developed countries, thus providing potential for further growth in the housing sector during the coming years. While housing finance companies (HFCs), which are regulated by National Housing Board (a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Reserve Bank of India, or RBI), were pre-dominantly catering to mortgage needs over the past few years, banks too have started increasing their exposure to real estate, especially home loans. This is evident from the fact that the market share of HFCs has decreased from approximately 65% in FY01 to around 55% today.
21 India Post
January 1, 2010
DB Group to build 9 hotels across India
B Hospitality, part of the Mumbai- based real estate developer DB Group, will invest around Rs 5,500 crore to build nine hotels across India by 2014, a top company official said. "We plan to have a minimum of 12 properties by 2014. We plan to set up nine more hotels by then at an investment of Rs 5,500-crore," DB Hospitality's CEO Julian Groom told PTI here. The company has three properties-Le Royal Meridien in Mumbai, Le Meridien in Ahmedabad and one property in Rajasthan, currently shut down for refurbishment.
Are you the reason your home won't sell? MARILYN KENNEDY MELIA
any home sellers are losing money ... precisely because they're determined not to lose money. So why won't your home sell? One reason homes are languishing on the market is because owners are suffering from "sunk cost fallacy" observes Ohio State University economist John Kagel. A condition recognized not by physicians, but rather by behavioral finance experts, this fallacy describes the reluctance people have to selling for less than they've paid or put into a home, even when hanging on, waiting for the right price, will ultimately prove costly. It can be hard to shake this faulty logic, even when homeowners' income has dropped precipitously or they're living off a limited amount of money, like a severance package, says financial planner William Suplee of Structured Asset Management, in Paoli, Pa. Here are questions to determine whether you could benefit by losing money on a home sale: Will you slash your housing costs with a move? Owners under financial pressure who could find relief on their monthly cash flow by moving to a lower-cost home that they either buy or rent are the ones grappling with the sunk cost fallacy. Suplee tries to help owners get clear view of their best option by preparing spreadsheets that lay out the costs of different living arrangements. Don't forget all the ancillary ex-
penses, like commuting costs, that go along with a particular housing choice, adds Lexington, Ky., financial planner D. Scott Neal. Laying out the annual costs of staying in a home that cost his client $800,000 several years ago was the only way to convince her that she would soon deplete her savings if she stayed put, says Rapid City, S.D., financial planner Rick Kahler.
Recognizing that conditions dictate selling at a loss doesn't mean that you're ready to accept any offer, however. Indeed, experts stress that the only way to proceed confidently with selling at a loss is to thoroughly research the housing market in your area. Ask your agent to provide lots of recent prices on sales of comparable homes. In some states,
The pain of loss is softened, somewhat, he adds, because she can buy a home that is also valued less than it was several years ago
Even though she'd probably sell for about $300,000 less than she paid, the monthly outlay was unsustainable, Kahler says. The pain of loss is softened, somewhat, he adds, because she can buy a home that is also valued less than it was several years ago. And, the recently passed tax credit of up to $6,500 for repeat buyers under certain income levels also applies to many in this position. Do you know what's a realistic price?
agents can also provide very recent sales data by getting the prices of homes under contract, says John Huggins, president of Coldwell Banker Legacy Real Estate Group, in Bowling Green, Ky. Home sellers can also ask to tour other properties for sales to get an idea of how their home compares with other properties being offered at various price levels, he says. Homeowners who owe more in mortgage than they can likely net in a sale have to investigate
whether they'll have to add in their own cash to pay off the loan, or whether the mortgage lender will agree to accept a lower amount. In cases where owners have to pay out of pocket to sell, that outlay could alter the advantage of moving, says Neal. Going against the natural inclination to avoid loss means that you've analyzed the cost of holding the property and are reasonably confident prices won't spring back up. The National Association of Realtors forecasts home prices nationwide will end 2010 up just under 4 percent from the end of this year. Moody's Economy.com predicts prices will stabilize in mid2010, but there will be no appreciation. Economy.com's housing economist Celia Chen expects some middle and higher-end housing at risk for further decline next year, and thinks that some homeowners will not see prices return to what they paid for at least several years. Real estate trends are local, adds Huggins. He advises looking at prices for similar homes in your area and gauging demand against inventories.
Low-density housing gaining popularity
ow-density housing, with homes set out spaciously amid sprawling green spaces, is growing increasingly popular and real estate developers such as the Jaypee Group, Fire Capital Fund and Vipul are wooing buyers with a number of such niche projects. Low-density housing projects have an average of only 10-20 dwelling units acre and are priced a premium compared to group housing, which can average around 35-40 units on an acre. Manish Kumar, head of strategic consulting for North India at global real estate consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj (JLLM), says that the residential real estate market is seeing low-
density housing gaining in popularity for two reasons-speed of delivery and lower risk for the developer. Since the development com-
The project has three independent gated communities, each with its own exclusive facilities prises low-rise, low-density development with major concentration on development of basic infrastructure, the speed of delivery is much faster compared to highdensity development. This en-
ables developers to complete more projects in a given time-frame. Moreover, since there are no costintensive construction activities involved, the developer is always carrying a much lower risk," he says. Property developer Vipul is coming up with its 'Vipul Tatvam' villas in Gurgaon, a project which has just 255 villas spread over 50 acres. Homes are priced between Rs 2.2 cr and Rs 6 cr. The developer claims to have already sold over 60% of the high-end villas. The project has three independent gated communities, each with its own exclusive facilities. There is more room for green spaces and more areas are also allocated for community activities.
Food stamp applications okayed after lawsuit
AUSTIN: The day after a group sued the state over delays in the processing of food stamp applications, the Health and Human Services Commission finished approving the applications for the seven families named as plaintiffs. But a lawyer from Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Robert Doggett, says that the approvals don't mean the fight is over because thousands of other applicants are still waiting. A spokeswoman for the commission tells the Austin AmericanStatesman that Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Tom Suehs has offered to meet with the families to apologize and get their input on improving the system. The lawsuit was filed in state district court in Travis County on behalf of the seven families and two nonprofits. -AP
HHS ends probe into transfer of young patients CONCORD, NH: The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services has finished investigating a policy that allows young children with mental illness to be transferred to a state hospital unit that serves teenagers and adults. Advocates for children have questioned whether the policy harmed two boys ages 6 and 12 who spent parts of two nights in the adult unit last week under a policy that allows such transfers if the number of patients at the Philbrook Center for children drops below four. Health and Human Services Commissioner Nick Toumpas told New Hampshire Public Radio that he didn't know anything about the transfer until he read about it in the newspaper. -AP
Swine flu vaccine offered at 3 Chicago-area malls CHICAGO: Cook County public health officials are offering swine flu vaccinations at three malls in Chicago's south suburbs, where flu hospitalization rates are high but vaccination rates are low. Stephen Martin, CEO of the Cook County Department of Public Health, says the mall clinics allow residents to protect their families against the swine flu while getting their holiday shopping done. Free vaccinations are being offered to anyone over six months of age on select days through the end of the year. -AP
Health Science 22
January 1, 2010
More Ariz. students changing majors with economy PRESCOTT, Ariz.: Yavapai College student Marley Slaughter changed her major from accounting to nursing. Details on page 23
She battled cancer five times MEMPHIS, Tenn.: Katie Johnson, a vivacious real estate agent who has battled cancer five times and is currently battling seven tumors, finds inspiration in her mantra, Romans 8:28. ``I've always turned it over to God,'' she said. ``It's just going to be him and me.'' Johnson, 57, president of DeSoto County Business Women, is currently battling neuroendocrine cancer. She has tumors in her liver, behind a kidney and on her left adrenal gland (her right one was removed in 2006). She took her last chemotherapy two months ago but no more will do any good. She is using traditional and homeopathic methods to combat the cancers and stay strong, to live life well. ``I've always turned it over to God,'' she said. ``It's just going to be Him and me. Either way, he'll heal me here or he'll heal me in heaven. In the meantime, I have His work to do.'' His work, she said, is encouraging others living with cancer and spreading sunshine. After her second cancer diagnosis and news of full remission in September 2001, she sent balloons to patients receiving treatments at Memphis Cancer Center.
Print on the balloons read: ``Keep your hope. It can happen.'' Hope is an essential element for cancer patients, she said, since cancer is commonly viewed as a life stealer. Johnson wants people to know they can live their lives around cancer. Her first cancer diagnosis was in September 1995. It was in her breast. She left real estate for awhile, had surgery and chemotherapy, and for
Dale, but new tests revealed she'd gone into full remission. For another five years, she was fine. In 2006, cancer returned. In extensive surgery that required some of her organs being taken out and replaced, her right adrenal gland was removed. After 100 stitches, 49 staples and six weeks, she was back at work. ``You learn to deal with whatever you have to deal with,'' she said. ``You don't use it as an excuse.''
In 2006, cancer returned. In extensive surgery that required some of her organs being taken out and replaced, her right adrenal gland was removed. After 100 stitches, 49 staples and six weeks, she was back at work five years she was fine. After returning to selling homes, she was diagnosed with cancer again in September 2000. She went through extensive radiation and chemotherapy but this time worked through the discomfort. ``Cancer doesn't have to be debilitating,'' Johnson said. ``You have to be determined.'' The prognosis wasn't good. She said her goodbyes, planned a ``last vacation'' with her husband,
She wanted to be back at work, back selling houses, to show her two children she was fine. As long as mom was at work, she was fine. Johnson discovered a lump in 2008. A tumor was on her thyroid, a common side effect of radiation. The tumor was removed and she returned to work in a week, but later that year she learned of the rarer cancer she now faces. While contemplating going away for treatment at Cancer Treat-
ment Center of America, she attended a concert at her church, Longview Heights Baptist. She wondered if going to the center, seeking out a site that would treat the whole patient, would be the right thing to do. That's when the musician announced he had a message for someone, but he didn't know who. ``God is waiting for you in Zion,'' he said. Johnson couldn't believe her ears. The treatment center is in Zion, Illinois. She thought at the time she was going there to be healed. She realized later it was to help encourage other cancer patients, like a forlorn-looking one she told while there, ``this isn't a death sentence. You can get through it.'' ``You can be an encouragement to your friends, to total strangers,'' Johnson said. ``That's what we're here for.'' Johnson said she has lived longer than the doctors expected her to live. That's her gift -- and seeing her daughter, Mary Beth, 22, get married. ``I thank God every day I'm here,'' Johnson said. ``My most important job has been being a mom.'' - AP
Abortion opponents watching Nelson on health care OMAHA, Neb.: Waiting at home for Nebraska's Ben Nelson is the following message: ``Merry Christmas and we thank you for your stance on pro-life issues so far, and we hope you continue to stand for what's morally correct.'' Matthew Grgurich left the message before attending a protest of health care legislation at the Democratic senator's office near the state capital. Grgurich and other anti-abortion activists were hoping Nelson would help kill sweeping health care legislation that would allow some coverage for abortions. But after marathon talks and at least three private conversations in the past 10 days with President Barack Obama, Nelson said he would support the legislation. He said he made his decision after winning fresh concessions to limit the availability of
abortions in insurance sold in newly created exchanges. ``I know this is hard for some of my colleagues to accept and I appreciate their right to disagree. But I would not have voted for this bill without these provisions,'' he said at a news conference in the Capitol.
Fahleson said. Grgurich and his family of registered independents have voted for Nelson for years almost solely because of his strong stance against abortion. ``If you don't respect life, you don't respect any other laws,'' Grgurich said.
Grgurich and his family of registered independents have voted for Nelson for years almost solely because of his strong stance against abortion. 'If you don't respect life, you don't respect any other laws,' Grgurich said Mark Fahleson, the chairman of Nebraska's Republican Party, predicted Nelson's support for the bill and its compromise on abortion would be the end of his political career. Americans are outraged by the legislation and ``they're going to punish politicians at the polls,''
A former insurance executive considered the most conservative Democrat in the Senate, the 69year-old Nelson had been under considerable pressure from others in his party to provide the 60th and deciding vote for Senate passage of sweeping health care legislation. But supporters say that will
pale in comparison to the heat he's likely to face at home for softening his position. ``He'd be toast,'' said Mary Jo Bousek, who joined Grgurich at the protest. ``I have friends who are Republicans who voted for him because they're very pro-life.'' Since his election to the Senate in 2000, Nelson has worked with Republicans on thorny issues such as taxes and judicial nominations. On his office wall is a framed yellow napkin, a memento of his negotiations with Vice President Dick Cheney over the Bush administration's 2001 tax cuts. Cheney wrote three numbers on the napkin, and the circled middle number led to the compromise Nelson helped forge when Congress later approved a $1.325 trillion tax cut. Cont’d on page 23
January 1, 2010
Health Science Post
More Ariz. students changing majors with economy PRESCOTT, Ariz.: Yavapai Col- cant opportunities to improve lege student Marley Slaughter both prosperity and overall qualchanged her major from account- ity of life. At the same time, the ing to nursing. perception is that Arizona is not In her third year at Yavapai Col- a great place to live for talented lege and technically a sophomore, young people. Slaughter decided to change her Prescott College junior Katie field of study because of the cur- Chapin's major is psychology. She rent state of Arizona's economy. is considering continuing her eduShe thinks her chances of finding cation after getting her bachelor's a job in the medical field are better degree by working toward a than in accounting. master's degree. With Arizona's Chapin said she unemployment rate Chapin said she wants to work with still at 9 percent or wants to work at-risk teens ``and more and its eco- with at-risk teens that requires a nomic recovery virmaster's degree.'' tually nonexistent, 'and that requires Staying in Slaughter's move to a master's school would also improve her marketallow Chapin to dedegree' ability is just one exlay paying back her ample of what colcollege loans. She lege students are doing to prepare thinks investing another three for life after graduation. years of study will pay off in the A recent Gallup Poll, ``The end. Arizona We Want,'' commis``There is a market for what I sioned by the Center for the Fu- want to do, for this field. Today, ture of Arizona, indicates that teens are more into drugs and Arizona residents think that Ari- more into gangs,'' she said. zona is not a great place for Prescott College senior Ian young college graduates. The re- Thompson from Houston, Texas, sults from the telephone portion is also a psychology major. Thof the poll indicate that citizens ompson plans to pursue a do think the state offers signifi- master's degree immediately af-
ter receiving his bachelor's degree this spring. Because of the current job market, Thompson thinks he will ``more likely land a job in information technology, my hobby, than what I've been studying.'' Thompson thinks that because of high interest rates it will take years to pay off his student loans.
``I'm concerned that I'll have to make a lot of sacrifices, such as high interest rates when I want to buy a car or a house,'' Thompson said. ``I think things will be difficult for years.'' Having nothing to ``fall back on'' has Honduran Hector Luque worried about repaying his loans.
The Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University senior moved his family to Prescott three years ago to attend school. He is studying global securities and intelligence. After graduation, Luque said he hopes to find a job in corporate security, which is a ``more specialized field.'' -AP
Abortion opponents watching Nelson on health care Contâ€™d on page 22
But abortion restrictions leave little room for compromise. The failure earlier this week of Nelson's amendment to tighten funding restrictions on abortion wasn't a good sign that his Senate colleagues understand how stridently he feels about the issue, said Frank Barrett, an Omaha attorney who worked with Nelson as a state insurance regulator in the 1960s and later as an executive at Central National Insurance Group. ``Let's say (Majority Leader Harry) Reid says to him, 'You know
you're not going to get anything for Nebraska if you don't come along' _ that would be the worst thing in the world to do,'' Barrett said. ``That's not going to sway him at all. As a matter of fact, it may stiffen him a little bit. I just think he thinks things out.'' Since his first election to statewide office in 1990 as governor, Nelson has consistently opposed abortion. He was running for the Senate in 2000 when the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated a 1997 Nebraska state ban _ signed into law by Nelson _ on the procedure that abortion opponents call par-
tial-birth abortion. During his last bid for re-election in 2006, Nelson received Nebraska Right to Life's sole endorsement over his Republican challenger. The executive director said Nelson had betrayed abortion opponents. ``There is no pro-life Nebraskan more devastated by Senator Nelson's actions than myself,'' said Julie Schmit-Albin. ``I have defended his record to Nebraskans and believed that he would stand on pro-life principles as he has on numerous occasions in the past.'' -AP
1 Mann Ka Radio - Radio
6 Shaam Ho Chali Hain - Radio
2 Zoobi Doobi - 3 Idiots
7 Pankhon Ko - Rocket Singh
3 Hichki Hichki - Paa
8 Aal Izz Well - 3 Idiots
4 Paisa - De Dana Dan
9 Tu Jaane Na - APKGK
5 Rasiya - Kurbaan
January 1, 2010
10 Sabse Peeche Hum Khade - AWK
f talks are to be believed, actors Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor may make their way to the altar sooner than you think. Yes, the actors themselves always maintained that they were at the peak of their careers and weren't in a hurry to tie the knot, but a sudden, informal revelation at a Jaipur function recently, has got people thinking otherwise. Apparently, Sharmila Tagore, it seems, whispered something to the effect of Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor getting married soon! However, when Saif was propped the question, he was non-admitting. He simply said that he knew that Kareena was the girl for him. He also said that he was happy and felt settled. Saif had gone on record to say, "I'm now looking forward to settling down with Kareena. O ur marriage will happen very shortly, as soon as we both have a little less work on hand and we can give the marriage quality time," he added. So, don't be surprised if you hear of yet another big fat Bollywood wedding soon enough, what with mommy Sharmila Tagore already discussing the plans.
ractically all actors have started their production house to make movies they believe in. Fardeen Khan's father, the late Feroz Khan, started F.K. Films years ago and had produced a string of movies, besides Qurbani, which was a smash hit. Now Fardeen is ready to follow in his father's footsteps and produce movies. Fardeen has decided to produce his first film, which will not be made under his father's banner. "I will start a different production house for this one. It's a comedy," Fardeen says his first independent project, but adds instantly, "I also plan to fulfill my father's dream of remaking Qurbani, which, of course, will be made under my father's banner." Incidentally, Fardeen has a fantastic track record when it comes to comedies. No Entry, Heyy Babyy, Life Partner and All The Best, comedies all, have been successes.
ollywood's dimpled beauty Preity Zinta, who promises to return to the silver screen with a big bang in the coming year, does not believe in attaining a "size zero" to rule the film industry or attract endorsements. The likes of Kareena Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra and Katrina Kaif may be becoming the new leading ladies of Bollywood, but Preity says she is in no pressure. "I think I have a different appeal. I was never a hot shot model. People always associated with me as a very normal, girl-next-door," said Preity. "And I don't think size zero is important. In my opinion it is more important to be healthy. Some people are naturally thin but then if you starve yourself to look size zero then it is really stupid. To become a total stick is not that cool," the actress said. "One should exercise. I have been exercising like crazy because I eat a lot. There is only one life you have and if you are not living for yourself than who are you living it for. So eat what you want and burn it. If you are happy from inside you lose weight quickly. You will look better and you'll glow," Preity said.
January 1, 2010
riyanka Chopra, one of the most sought after actresses in the Hindi film industry, says she is sacred of failure and that she reels under a 'flop' for a long time. "Failure is something that scares me a lot. And failure of a film not only disappoints me, it breaks my heart because I put in lot of efforts in all my films," Priyanka told reporters at the success party of Arindam Chaudhuri's book "Discover The Diamond In You" in Delhi. "Every time a film doesn't do well, I mourn for at least three weeks. It takes me really a long time to get out of it." Priyanka is impressed by Chaudhuri's book. "I think success is very important. In this concise book of only 59 pages, professor Chaudhuri has given a fantastic explanation on how in nine different ways one can make oneself a successful human being," said Priyanka.
e is among the few Bollywood actors who do not like to dis play their histrionics beyond the screen space. While he may have set the silver screen on fire with his looks many times before, but this time his good looks became a source of embarrassment. John Abraham, who is lying low these days, was the chief guest at a recent college event along with girlfriend and actress Bipasha Basu. According to an eyewitness account, "As soon as John made his entry along with Bipasha, the young crowd began to lose control. A string of requests followed, the most embarrassing one requesting John to remove his shirt and flex his muscles." Though, John remained as poised as he could during the entire event, but he was constantly being pestered with requests to show off his brawn. This left the actor a tad embarrassed since he never expected such requests to be made at the event. The eyewitness concludes, "Finally John and Bipasha left the venue feeling relaxed that they were far away from such embarrassing requests."
omeone as bold and spunky as Neha Dhupia can admit to being a flirt. The stunner plays a flirtatious seductress in Percept Pictures Company's 'Raat Gayi Baat Gayi' and for this role she didn't have to prepare much, as she is a natural flirt. It came naturally to her and she used the right body language without being over the top. Neha can give gyaan galore on flirting! As Neha admits, "I am a compulsive flirt and I can flirt with anything. Flirting is fun! Not just that it is also a basic instinct and a part of human nature." One of her friends vouches for her guru gyan on flirting tips on how a girl is a natural magnet, must have the air of confidence and flaunt her best asset.. Begin with exchanging admiring glances. Indulge in light-hearted flirtatious banter. She says, adding, "All this can do wonders to your selfesteem and brighten your day or evening."
MUMBAI: It was the mother of all premieres Bollywood is used to seeing every week. For one it was none other than perfectionist Aamir Khan's movie and secondly the who's who of Bollywood was attending. Aamir wore a handmade fabric suit during the 3 Idiots premiere said he was feeling nervous about the movie. He was being accompanied by wife Kiran Rao. Kareena Kapoor, the leading lady who is recovering from illness donned a sizzling saree looked confident about her latest flick. Sharman Joshi and Madhavan were at their cheerful best. Director Raj Kumar Hirani and Vidhu Vinod Chopra welcomed their guests at the Imax, Wadala in Mumbai. Amitabh Bachchan who had confirmed his presence at the premiere skipped the event at the last minute due to unavoidable circumstance.
The three Khans were under the same roof. Salman and Shahrukh who are fighting a Cold War have made it a point not to bump into each other. Aamir met SRK and Salman like bichhade hue saathi… The shutterbugs went frenzy over this rare congregation One moment the audience was waiting for was to see Aamir along with Shahrukh Khan and Salman Khan together. The three Khans were under the same roof. Salman and Shahrukh who are fighting a Cold War have made it a point not to bump into each other. Aamir met SRK and Salman like bichhade hue saathi… The shutterbugs went frenzy over this rare congregation. Shahrukh was heard saying "I have not come here to make friendship," He later added "I have no issues with anybody." On three Khans appearing together on screen SRK candidly replied "If we all have the dates and we all like the same story, maybe yes, maybe not." Sanjay Dutt and Arshad Warsi who had worked with Raj Kumar Hirani in
Aamir Khan and Salman Khan pose at the premiere of the film '3idiots'
January 1, 2010
Aamir Khan (R) and Shah Rukh Khan (L) pose with producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra (C) at the premiere of the film '3idiots' in Mumbai
Kareena Kapoor (2R) poses with fellow cast members (L/R) R. Madhavan, Aamir Khan and Sharman Joshi at the premiere of the film '3idiots' in Mumbai the Munnabhai series came for the old time's sake. Aamir's nephew Imran Khan,
the latest heartthrob of Bollywood, was present on the occasion with ladylove
Avantika. Kareena's beau Saif Ali Khan also attended the premier complete the Khan brigade. Other celebrities who attended the premiere included Dia Mirza, Genelia D'Souza, Javed Akhtar, Anil Kapoor, Randhir Kapoor, Vidya Balan, Prasoon Joshi, Sonu Nigam Randhir Kapoor too was there by his daughter's side, but occasionally we say. For we caught Bebo on Saifu's arm several times, matching her hot red saree
with that of his red Bandana… Aamir had worn a hand woven fabric suit which was designed by Sabyasachi Mukherjee. The actor took this event as a chance to show his support for the Chanderi weavers and promote the art of weaving. Vidya Balan later completed the Munnabhai team later on then the lady caught up with her Ishqiya co-star Arshad Warsi who came in with his wife Maria Goretti.
January 1, 2010
Khiladi caused stampede in Toronto B ollywood Khiladi Akshay Kumar did more than cause a stampede in Toronto where he went last week to be the Indian torch bearer for the 2010 Winter Olympics. The action star, who intends to auction the torch and give the proceeds to the Special Olympics, was subsequently invited to television studios to be on one of Canada's most powerful and influential talk shows - The Hour. Aired every night, The Hour covers politics, the arts, entertainment, the environment, human rights, sports and more. Its
The action star, who intends to auction the torch and give the proceeds to the Special Olympics host, George Stroumboulopoulos, is one of the most respected journalists in Canada and has interviewed many of the most influential and recognized people in the world from heads of state to rock stars. Naturally, Akshay with his huge fan following in Canada was the perfect choice as subject on the show that earlier featured Hollywood actors Matt Damon, Samuel L. Jackson, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Tom Cruise. The Khiladi is not saying what Stroumboulopoulos asked him, but the TV host is known more for flamboyance than any cut-and-thrust on air.
Akshay Kumar makes his way through a busy Yonge St during the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay December 17, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Chinese billionaires pine for love BEIJING: The country's economic boom over the last three decades may have generated a clutch of super-wealthy Chinese, but it has not guaranteed all of them love. Last Sunday, a privileged group of 21 single billionaires and 22 single women attended what state media called one of the Chinese capital's most expensive parties ever - a match-making ball with tick-
"It's very hard for billionaires to meet women they want to marry because they have been so career-oriented during the earlier stages of their lives," Golden Bachelor media director Xiao Pu said. "They use our agency to filter through suitable partners according to their physical appearance, personality, level of education, level of income and family background," she added. Some of the 22 ladies hoping to meet the bilSome of the 22 ladies hoping to meet lionaire of their dreams the billionaire of their dreams were also were also registered with the agency, while a registered with the agency, while a lucky few were scouted lucky few were scouted to attend for to attend for free by the free by the agency's â€˜love huntersâ€™, or agency's "love hunters", or won tickets at won tickets at beauty pageants beauty pageants sponsponsored by the agency sored by the agency. The newspaper said ets costing 100,000 yuan ($14,650) a that the bachelorettes, dressed in exquishead. ite ball gowns, sang, danced and even The 21 billionaires were all registered cooked their way into the lonely men's members of Golden Bachelors, a Shanghai- hearts during a talent show at the ball. based match-making agency dedicated to China's number of known dollar bilhelping wealthy Chinese men and women lionaire has now reached 130, higher find their potential better half, which also than any other country bar the United organized the event. States. -Agencies
Ailing Aamir makes a surprise stop at Jaipur doctor's home JAIPUR: On the run at the moment making surprise appearances to promote his upcoming film '3 Idiots', Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan made a visit to a doctor here in the middle of the night after falling sick. The 44-year-old actor was traveling from Ahmedabad to Jaipur by road when he complained of fever and decided to visit a doc-
tor in Jaipur at around 3am. "Aamir was at a running temperature suffering from viral and had a sore throat. He stayed for around half an hour, it was a surprise but my wife and I were very happy to see him. We discussed about his movies while sipping tea," Dr Punit Saxena, Associate Professor at the Sawai Man Singh Hospital told PTI. -PTI
January 1, 2010
India Post www.indiapost.com
ut of every five people in this world, one is a Mus lim. Since the advent of imposing of the faith in most parts of the world, right from the birth of Islam through Prophet Mohammed in the seventh century, Jihad, or Islam's sixth pillar, has been the most motivating factor among fundamentalists and much of this minority world community to spread Islam's influence through bloodbaths. H.N.Verma, in his book 'Jihad: A vendetta against humanity', has a deeper look into the perspectives and mentalities of people of the faith, and history and relevance of the holy Quran in the last fourteen centuries. The concept of 'Holy War' or 'War against Infidels' was the creation of Prophet Mohammed, who was a conqueror. To fulfil Allah's wishes, Mohammed started preaching monotheistic Islam to polytheistic peoples of Mecca, who initially kept away from it. On an attack on Muslims, when a Saad smote a Muslim with a camel's jawbone, Mohammed received Allah's message: "Fight them until there is no more persecution and the oppressors cease hostility and Allah alone is worshipped." This has been interpreted to mean that everyone in this world must be converted to Islam. There is no looking back since, although
Jihad: a directionless war means of Jihad have been both spiritual and peaceful on the one hand (Greater Jihad) and military on the other (Lower Jihad).
doom in the right progress of some communities, having given birth to brutal groups like Taliban. He says, "Terrorists are evil," and "all evils are stubborn unless eradicated". Light is thrown on controversial aspects of Islam as well, like its anti-woman laws, most of which are rules of the Sharia. However the sect of
hand, the Hindus played no part in resisting Muslim influence, becoming their easy victims and losing much of their wealth. It is an irony that today the realistic purpose of Jihad has changed. Forceful conversion to Islam is not possible on a large scale, thus the spreading of violence only works in bringing about human and material damage. The holy Quran makes no
The book is also critical of myths like the one that blood shed by Mujahideens will make Islam triumphant and martyrs will go to paradise. This myth has done immense harm to humanity
The author stresses that the incitation has no meaning whatsoever, for it has lost its sense of direction in a huge way. Particularly the propaganda of the Wahhabi sect of Islam in the 19th and 20th centuries, with emphasis on cleansing Islam through inhuman Sharia (Islamic law), has spelt
Sufism, in contrast, was a breath of fresh air. These mystics professed the Quran very uniquely, and spread peace and kindness. It must be mentioned that it was not just Muslims who committed atrocities in the name of Jihad. The Christians fighting in crusades, which aimed at recapturing lost lands, were no less cruel. Christian armies from eleventh to thirteenth centuries forcefully baptised peoples and engaged in violence. On the other
distinction between temporal and religious powers, but political ambitions of extremist organisations have eluded them, and rightly so. The immensely high motivation of sects of Muslims is what drives them on inspite of voluntary orthodoxy, backwardness and lack of modernity in lifestyle and otherwise. Al Qaida, especially, has been the pioneer and has established its links all over the world. They believe in the concept of Dar-ulIslam (House of Islam) and Darul-Herb (House of Enemy), and are
hell bent on forcing potential Islamist countries into ruthless Muslim domination, and purifying them. They have played catalysts in high unrest between countries like Greece and Turkey, Somalia and Ethiopia, Israel and Palestine, and Pakistan and India, entirely for this purpose. Al Qaida has been linked in many horrifying terrorist activities throughout the world. Nineeleven attacks, strikes on US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, attacking of USS Cole in Yemen (October 12, 2000), train bombings in Madrid (March 11, 2004) and London (July 7, 2005). Other major attacks by Muslim organisations have been the destroying of a nightclub in Bali, Indonesia in 2000, and the Twenty six-eleven Mumbai attacks. Although Arab influence in terrorism looks most potent, it must be mentioned that they are not alone. Groups like the LTTE, the Baader Meinhof Gang and Shoko Asahara's Aum Supreme Truth have proved no less effective and ruthless. The book is also critical of myths like the one that blood shed by Mujahideens will make Islam triumphant and martyrs will go to paradise. This myth has done immense harm to humanity. The book is a must read for those interested in knowing the mystery of Jihad, and solving the menace for the welfare of humanity.
Indian entries at the Berlin Film Festival SRK's airport detention, biggest shocker of 2009
India Post News Service
NEW YORK: The muchawaited Shah Rukh Khan-Kajol film My Name Is Khan and Dev Benegal's Road, Movie have been selected to be screened at the 60th annual Berlin International Film Festival Feb 11-21, 2010. The two Indian entries will screen at one of the oldest and most respected film festivals in the world and in a country that has a growing appetite for Indian cinema. Directed by Karan Johar and set in the United States, My Name is Khan will be released in theaters worldwide on February 12 on Valentine's Day weekend. Benegal's endearing tale of a young man who takes a traveling cinema truck on a life-changing journey across the sublime Indian landscape continues its successful festival run with its European premiere at the Berlin Festival following North America, Asia and the Middle East premieres. The presentation of Benegal's critically acclaimed feature in Berlin demonstrates its audience appeal following its world premiere in Toronto during September and subsequence crowd pleasing re-
A scene from ĂŤMy Name Is KhanĂ
ceptions in Tokyo and Doha. ROAD, MOVIE was co-produced by TIFC and Susan B. Landau (An Ideal Husband).and Academy Award nominee Ross Katz (Lost in Translation, In the Bedroom). Advisory to The Indian Film Company, CEO Sandeep Bhargava said, "We are delighted to bring this crowd pleasing film to Berlin. ROAD, MOVIE presents the
hopes and desires of the younger generation in India as well as revealing universal truths that we must all accept and embrace." Benegal's debut feature English, August (1994), was hailed as a landmark in contemporary Indian cinema and ignited a wave of independent Indian filmmaking. His second feature Split Wide Open premiered at the Venice International Film Festival in 1999.
NEW DELHI: The year 2009 was not so happening for Bollywood with big budget flops and few surprise hits. But the never-ending list of shockers more than made up for the box office drought with 'Badshah of Bollywood' Shahrukh Khan's US airport fiasco taking the top slot. India was ushering in its 62nd independence year, but the news which flashed across all news channels was the detention of Bollywood superstar at Newark airport which left the actor "angry" and "humiliated". Eminent personalities from all walks of life reacted sharply to the incident with an angry Ambika Soni, Information and Broadcasting Minister, advocating a tit for tat for Americans. The film industry termed it as "shocking", "disgraceful" and "madness".-PTI
Eminent personalities from all walks of life reacted sharply to the incident with an angry Ambika Soni, Information and Broadcasting Minister, advocating a tit for tat for Americans
am writing this after a close encounter with one of nature's miracles. I have just returned after spending a day with millions of migratory birds from Siberia, who migrate to Nal Sarovar Lake which is located 70 km. away from Ahmedabad. I woke up at 4:00 a.m. to drive to the lake in order to sight more of our feathered friends, who prefer to venture out of their nests at dawn and dusk. I chose an open boat and set off to the innermost corners of the lake, as the first rays of light brighten the sky. Nature rewards patience and after an hour long wait
January 1, 2010
Air-show in action
A large group of flamingoes sighted at close quarters
isitors from Siberia
Close encounter with Nature's miracle at Nal Sarovar Lake
at the centre of the lake, one can see a delightful formation of migratory birds at the far end of the horizon Birds like the white stork, Brahmany duck and Saras crane can be easily sighted here. Groups of avocets, heron curlews, pelicans, swallows, eagles, pigeons, spoonbills, flamingos and jacanas can be found all around the lake. There are no motorised boats at Nal Sarovar and paddling slowly over the placid waters of this translucent lake is an extremely de-stressing experience. As the boat makes its way to the interiors of this giant lake, one can see several species of birds resting on the tree-tops, or taking off into the skies in formation. As one flock takes off into the skies, one can see another group, gliding down to land. The most beautiful sight at Nal Sarovar, is to watch a large flock of pink necked flamingos, huddling together to provide a picture postcard view. One can see several birds taking a dip in the waters, as if purifying themselves before they make their flight. Most of these migratory birds have flown several thou-
sand miles, landing in Nal Sarovar from early December till late February. While, some of the birds like the Brahminy duck arrive here from Northern Tibet, others have reached here from Nor-
trance forming experience. The synchronicity in their flight and the even distance they keep away from one another gives an illusion as if each bird is tied to the other by invisible strings. They seem to be
Another squadron takes to the air
The sound of the birds is extremely musical to the ears and one can shut one's eyes and identify the bird based on its call. Also, one has to spend time in the interiors of the lake, trying to spot the smaller, more elusive birds way, Siberia, Northern China and Denmark! It's incredible to even estimate, how these migratory birds land up at Nal Sarovar every winter without fail. Watching these birds in full flight is a
guided by a divine force. If you want to experience the power of our Creator, one can just watch these feathered friends! As the morning turns into noon, more and more birds start emerging from their
nests and hover around the boat. A few of the more adventurous birds even plonk themselves on the edge of the boat. It is quite a challenge identifying the species of bird seen, as the number and variety of birds are many. Also many of the birds resemble each other and an expert ornithologist may also find it difficult to zero in on the exact name of the bird sighted. The sound of the birds is extremely musical to the ears and one can shut one's eyes and identify the bird based on its call. Also, one has to spend time in the interiors of the lake, trying to spot the smaller, more elusive birds. Watching hundreds of flamingos fly over one's head is a once in a lifetime experience. One group is followed by another in a never ending cascade. Its time to be in the present and absorb this soulful experience. It can take almost five hours of slow paddling to cover the interiors of this giant lake to get the opportunity to watch these foreign visitors at close quarters. These birds are extremely sensitive to sounds and one has to paddle in pin drop silence. A small whisper is enough to scatter a flock of birds resting in the waters. Contâ€™d on page 30
Travel & Hospitality Post
January 1, 2010
Visitors from Siberia Cont’d from page 29
The forest department officials and local boatmen at Nal Sarovar are extremely friendly and helpful. They ensure that every visitor to the lake has a close encounter with a few of the migratory birds. The sheer number of birds If You are looking For the BEST & the MOST AUTHENTIC VEGETARIAN RESTAURANT IN TOWNCome to One and Only One Place
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sighted at Nal Sarovar is a satisfying experience. The most touching part of the boat ride was to watch the local birds like sparrows, kites, pigeons and crows living in harmony with the foreign visitors. There are no fights for territorial or air dominance. The locals let the visitors have complete
autonomy during their stay in India. The visitors always leave after a brief stay during the coldest part of winter. The local villagers from the villages around Nal Sarovar provide the birdwatchers with neera (a sweet drink taken from the palm tree), millet rotis and roasted potatoes. As the noon fades into dusk, the sounds of the birds rise to a crescendo and many of the birds start returning to their nesting places around the lake. Watching the sun-set over the waters is picturesque. Boating in the dark under a moonlit night while watching the starlit sky is another magical experience at Nal Sarovar. It is interesting to note that almost all of these migratory birds move in teams. If a single bird loses its way from the formation, other birds quickly fall behind and help the lost bird find its way.
The local villagers from the villages around Nal Sarovar provide the birdwatchers with neera (a sweet drink taken from the palm tree), millet rotis and roasted potatoes. As the noon fades into dusk, the sounds of the birds rise to a crescendo and many of the birds start returning to their nesting places around the lake Each bird remains at the same distance from its neighbour, always a little to one side of the left or right wing of the bird in front. They generally fly at a speed of around 40 miles an hour, so, assuming no wind, a bird will cover the 6000 miles to India in about 150 hours of non-stop flight, enabled to do this by flying in formation. As each bird flaps its wings, it creates an 'uplift' for the bird immediately following. By flying in a 'V' formation, the whole flock has at least 71 per cent greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own. The birds flying in formation honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed. Murli Menon (author of ZeNLP-the power to succeed and "ZeNLP-the power to relax is a stress management consultant based in India.
January 1, 2010
Travel & Hospitality Post www.indiapost.com
Poothatta on tourist map of Kerala KOCHI: Far from the madding crowd, Poothatta, a sleepy island village near here, is fast gaining attention on the tourist map of Kerala as an ideal location for backwater tourism. Kerala Voyages, which is promoting the place, has developed tailor made backwater packages for the tourists, who arrive here in cruise vessels or for short breaks, says its Managing Director, George Scaria. Alapuzha and Kumarakkom are over exploited. So, it was decided to promote this island village, which would give a real village experience to the visitors, Scaria said. The aim is to leverage on the National Geographic Branding of Kerala Backwaters. National Geographic Traveller in its latest issue had listed placid backwaters of Kerala as one of the 133 'World's Greatest Places.'
Kerala Backwaters is ranked 23rd, well ahead of the world famous Taj Mahal. The Kerala Voyages, launched this product fo-
International tourists are taken on a half a day trip to the island. They are shown the manner in which toddy is tapped, process of making coir and traditional fishing methods cussing on the backwater village, three months ago and the result has been overwhelming, Scaria said.
International tourists are taken on a half a day trip to the island. They are shown the manner in which toddy is tapped, process of making coir and traditional fishing methods. Tourists are then taken to a farm house where a typical Kerala lunch with 'Karimeen' a spicy fish delicacy cooked wrapped in a banana leaf, is served to the visitors. The aim was promote exclusively the village experience, says Scaria. For tourists, who come mainly from Europe, a visit to this village is a unique experience. A naturalist travels in the boat with the tourists to give details about the various village experiences. The people of the village have been appointed as rowers, Scaria said. A meal in all programs has been included to share the culinary specialities of the areas as well. -PTI
Scheme for training youth in hospitality sector NEW DELHI: The Government here has launched a scheme aimed at grooming youngsters in the hospitality sector and to meet an acute shortage of skilled manpower. There is an acute shortage of trained manpower in the hospitality sector, said Tourism Minister Kumari Selja while launching the 'Hunar se Rozgar' program to train cooks and waiters. The program was launched under the scheme of Capacity
Building for Service Providers (CBSP). Under this program, training is imparted to those applicants who display the will to make a career in hospitality sector but lack the requisite basic skills. "Our institutes have received tremendous response for this program and the successful candidates are now finding appropriate placements in the hotels and restaurants," she said. The Minister said "we are now
witnessing revival of the global economy and it is believed that the worst is now behind us. Tourism in India is also experiencing good times with a great spurt in in-bound and domestic arrivals. The challenge is now is to increase seat capacity and rooms on offer." Currently there is a demand for two lakh trained manpower in hospitality sector while there are only 12,000 trained personnel available in a year. -PTI
Travel & Hospitality Post
Abu Dhabi tourism promotion in India DUBAI: Abu Dhabi plans to participate for the first time in tourism fairs in emerging economies like India to woo travellers to the emirate. Abu Dhabi's Tourism Authority (ADTA), which manages and promotes the emirate's tourism industry, will step up its destination international promotional program in 2010. The Authority is to mount destination pavilions at 20 overseas fairs next year with first-time participation in exhibitions in the emerging markets of India, Malaysia and Spain, WAM the Emirates news agency reported. ADTA's 2010 International Promotions Program spans 11 countries including India's SATTE to be held in January. "India is already proving to be a significant market for Abu Dhabi with 44,991 of its nationals staying in hotels throughout the emirate in the first nine months of this year, accounting for almost 4 per cent of hotel guests during that period," Mubarak Al Nuaimi, ADTA's international promotions manager said. "Nonetheless, our research
shows that market awareness of Abu Dhabi as a tourism destination is still relatively limited, especially among the rapidly-expanding middle-upper income classes and we are looking to address this gap," he added. "Trade and consumer shows are important tools for destinations and the products within to
ADTA's 2010 International Promotions Program spans 11 countries including India's SATTE to be held in January disseminate their offers, engage with in-market distribution partners and ultimately to generate business" Al Nuaimi said. The country's non-stop air links to Malaysia have recently been enhanced with the launch of five flights a week from Kuala Lumpur by Air Asia X, which enables Abu Dhabi to tap into its vast Asia-Pacific network. -PTI
January 1, 2010
J&K holds potential for pilgrim tourism: CM
JAMMU: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has highlighted the potential of pilgrim tourism in the state, saying that about 80 lakh devotees yearly visit Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine alone. "If we are able to attract only ten percent of this pilgrim influx to other places in Jammu and Kashmir it will give considerable boost to tourism sector," he said while chairing a meeting of Katra Development Authority (KDA) here. Abdullah, who is also chairman of the KDA, said the development of Katra, the base camp to the cave shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi, should be designed according to futuristic needs of the town. Deputy Chief Minister Tara
Chand, also the Vice Chairman of KDA, called for a holistic approach
The concessions include free entry tickets in Tulip Garden, SPS Museum, Zabarwan Park and Nagin Club in Srinagar, besides concessions on Gandola riding tickets at world famous ski resort at Gulmarg in the development of Katra, saying the importance of the pilgrim town was becoming more signifi-
cant with the increase in the number of pilgrims to the holy shrine. Meanwhile, the state government offered certain concessions to such Vaishno Devi pilgrims who would extend their tour to the other places in the Kashmir valley. The concessions include free entry tickets in Tulip Garden, SPS Museum, Zabarwan Park and Nagin Club in Srinagar, besides concessions on Gandola riding tickets at world famous ski resort at Gulmarg. This was announced by Minister for Tourism and Culture Nawang Rigzin Jora, while interacting with the representatives of various Tour and Travel Associations of the state. -PTI
Omar for protection of water bodies JAMMU: Highlighting the role of development authorities in upgrading tourist facilities and showcasing state's natural beauty at national and international level, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said that government has underlined integrated development of tourism as a focused area. "We have launched a multi-pronged strategy
to encourage large scale inflow of tourists from within and outside the country," he added. Chairing the first meeting of Surinsar-Mansar Development Authority here, Omar, who is also the chairman of the authority, said besides prevention of environment and green wealth, water bodies and wetlands require added attention for beautification and management. -PTI
Dalai Lama to inaugurate seminar on Buddhism VADODARA: Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama will inaugurate a three-day international conference on 'Buddhist Heritage' beginning here from January 15. "The purpose of the conference is to promote tourism in the state and highlight Buddhist related places located in the state," Vice-Chancellor (VC) of Maharaja Sayajirao University, Baroda, Ramesh Goyal told PTI here. About 500 research papers, both from country and abroad, will be presented at the seminar which is to be presided over by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. Chief Ministers of Sikkim and Uttaranchal, several ambassadors and researchers will attend the conference, he said. The three-day event will promote Buddhist tourism sites in Gujarat from where Buddha's belongings were excavated, the VC added. "The Department of Archaeology and Ancient History of the university had un-
earthed Lord Buddha's ashes during an excavation drive in Devni Mori site near Shamlaji several years ago," Goyal said. It was this department which had found objects related to Buddha and they will be displayed in exhibitions from January 15 to 18, he added. Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and Tourism Minister Jaynarayan Vyas have taken keen interest in promoting Buddhist tourism in the state, Goyal said. The seminar will be attended by around 400 lamas, and 500 delegates from USA, Japan, UK, Sri Lanka and other parts of the world. Exiled Tibetan Prime Minister Samdhong Rinpoche and other well-known personalities will attend the conference. Cultural troupes from Himachal Pradesh and the Faculty of Performing Arts of Baroda University will make presentations on the occasion, Goyal said. This will be the Dalai Lama's third visit to the city. -PTI
Ensure security of tourists, says Minister JAIPUR: Union Minister for Tourism Kumari Selja has asked the hotel industry here to ensure strict security arrangements for the safety of the tourists. The minister was here at the unveiling of an international trophy awarded consecutively for the third time to Hotel Raj Palace. Expressing concerns about garbage lit-
tered all over the tourist spots in the country, Selja called upon people and civic bodies to ensure cleanliness which would maintain sustainability of the tourist spots. Hotel Raj Palace was awarded the World's Leading Luxury Heritage Hotel award for the third consecutive time by World Travel Awards. -PTI
January 1, 2010
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Ex-CM accused of backing Rathore in Ruchika case
CHANDIGARH: Father of Ruchika Girihotra, who was molested by former Haryana DGP S P S Rathore in 1990 and later committed suicide, has accused former chief minister Om Prakash Chautala of providing wholehearted support to the convict during his tenure. "We have been moving here and there for the last 19 years. He (Rathore) has been following us and harassing us. He was the DGP. Whom to complain? The chief minister was backing him wholeheartedly. (Om Prakash) Chautala was the chief minister," S C Girihotra told reporters. He also accused former chief minister Bhajan Lal of not doing much in the case to bring the perpetrator to book. -PTI
Chidambaram for radical changes in Home Ministry NEW DELHI: Proposing a "bold, thorough and radical restructuring" of his ministry that includes bifurcation, Home Minister P Chidambaram has unveiled a blueprint to tackle terrorism and said the new National Centre for Counter Terrorism will be set up by next year. Presenting a road map "A New Architecture for India's Security", Chidambaram said given the imperatives and the challenges of the times, "a division of the current functions of the Ministry of Home Affairs is unavoidable." The NCTC tasks involve preventing a terror strike, containing an attack and effectively responding to it. -PTI
Modi's law on compulsory voting fails to enthuse EC NEW DELHI: Narendra Modi government's law to make voting compulsory in local body polls in Gujarat has failed to make a cut with the Election Commission which says extending the idea across the country is "impracticable". "Such proposals had come up for discussion in the Commission on many occasions earlier. For India, it is full of difficulties. We also consider that democracy and compulsion do not go hand-inhand," Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi said. Pointing out that 40 per cent of the 714 million voters do not vote, he said people not coming out to exercise their franchise was a matter of concern to the Commission. -PTI
India News 35
Parliament nod for free air travel to Ministers' relatives NEW DELHI: From now on, Ministers will be able to take "any number of companions or relatives" along by air for free with Parliament giving nod to a bill providing for such facilities to them. The Salaries and Allowances of Ministers (Amendment) Bill was approved by the Rajya Sabha without discussion. It was passed by the Lok Sabha on December 18, also without discussion. -PTI
January 1, 2010
New features in 8th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas India Post News Service
NEW DELHI: The 8th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) Convention will be held at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi, from 7-9 January 2010. Organised by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA), in partnership with the Government of NCT of Delhi and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), this flagship event of MOIA would be returning to New Delhi, after a gap of one year, for the fifth time. In keeping with the established practice, the Convention will be inaugurated by the Prime Minister of India on 8th January. President of India will deliver the valedictory address on 9th January. She would also confer Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards-2010 on distinguished PIOs/NRIs. PBD Conventions traditionally provide a platform for exchange of views and networking to the Persons of Indian Origin settled all over the world on matters of common interest and concern to them. Such Conventions have helped the Government of India to better understand and appreciate the expectations of the overseas Indian community from the land of their ancestors and more importantly, acknowledge the important role played by them in India's efforts to acquire its rightful place in the comity of nations, as also in their adopted countries, whether for the Diaspora or national development. Among the decisions taken by the Government of India as a result of the wider consultations held at these Conventions, are the formulation of the Overseas Citizenship of India scheme, establishment of Overseas Indian Facilitation Centre, conceptualisation of PIO/NRI University, formation of Prime Minister's Global Advisory
Union Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs, Vayalar Ravi addressing a Press Conference on 8th Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas (PBD)-2010, in New Delhi on December 23
Council of People of Indian Origin, setting up of the India Development Foundation, enabling professionals who are Overseas Citizens of India to practice in India and the launching of the Global Indian Network of Knowledge (Global-INK). The Pravasi Bharatiya Divas has a few new features: For the first time, the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas will be web-cast in an interactive mode on the
Bhagwati of Columbia University will be delivering the first talk on 'India: The Role of the Diaspora' from 1630 hrs to 1730 hrs on 8th January, 2010. Two seminars on 'Nanotechnology' and on 'Property-rated issues of the overseas Indian community' are also being held as pre-conference events. The nanotechnology seminar will bring together scientists, technologists, policy-makers and en-
For the first time, the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas will be web-cast in an interactive mode on the MOIA website moia.gov.in, as well as on the Ministry's e-magazine 'Pravasi Bharatiya' through our website www.overseasindian.in MOIA website (www.moia.gov.in), as well as on the Ministry's e-magazine 'Pravasi Bharatiya' through our website (www.overseasindian.in). This will enable overseas Indians from across the world to not only witness the proceedings of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention, session-by-session, but also interact with the Ministry and express their opinion and views. An annual 'Distinguished Global Indian Oration-series' is being launched. Professor Jagdish
trepreneurs from India and abroad on a common platform. The focus of the seminar will be on applications of nanotechnology in agriculture, energy and healthcare. The seminar on 'Propertyrated issues of the overseas Indian community' will discuss institutional arrangements to safeguard the properties of overseas Indians in India, as well as the modalities for credible investment avenues in real estate sector. The 8th PBD Convention will
have three plenary sessions. In the first plenary session the delegates will have an opportunity to interact with some key Cabinet Ministers from India, who will expound on Government of India's policies on subjects like economic recovery, good governance, technology & innovation and infrastructure development. This session will seek to articulate the role that the Diaspora can play in India's race to join the league of developed world. The second plenary session would have a panel of PIO Ministers which will seek to explore how the Diaspora could work towards strengthening the symbiotic relationship between India and the Diaspora, as also India's relations with the country of their residence. This session will deliberate on the issues of concern to overseas Indians residing in different regions. The third plenary session would have Chief Ministers from 14 States and one Dy. Chief Minister (Punjab), who will focus the role the Diaspora can play in 'Skill Development' an area of critical importance, given forecasts that India is likely to be confronted with significant skill-gaps in a couple of decades if we do not act now.
Confession before Magistrate was not voluntary: Kasab MUMBAI: Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving terrorist of 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks told the court that police forced him to confess before the magistrate in February this year. Kasab -- whose statement is being recorded by the special court -- alleged that the crime
branch had threatened to give him electric shocks if he did not confess before the magistrate, therefore he gave the confession. Also, he said, "I did not tell the police anything about Kuber boat and the dead body found on the boat." The terrorists had hijacked Kuber on their way to Mumbai.
"I have never seen Kuber boat; crime branch and FBI had showed me pictures of Kuber and my clothes and articles seized from the boat. These articles must belong to either fishermen or smugglers. The AK 47 rifle may belong to the police and it is not mine." An I-card recovered from his
trouser pocket was shown to Kasab in the court, but he refused to identify himself. "It's not me. Trousers are not mine, I was wearing leather pants," he stated. Similarly, about the money seized from him, he said it was not his money. -PTI
In Brief LA police chief to continue immigration policy LOS ANGELES: Los Angeles' new police chief says he will continue a decades-old department policy that prevents officers from stopping people only to investigate their immigration status. Chief Charlie Beck said he does not think his department should be the primary enforcer of immigration laws. He says this would harm community relations and discourage illegal immigrants from reporting crimes to police. So-called Special Order 40 has been in place since 1979. A 2007 legal challenge by officers who support checking immigrant status was thrown out last year. Officers still alert immigration officials if a suspect is a gang member who has been previously deported, or if a suspect is arrested for a felony or multiple misdemeanors. -AP
3 arrested for human smuggling in Fontana FONTANA, Calif.: Three people have been arrested in an alleged human trafficking scheme after a kidnapped man was freed by police in San Bernardino County. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says a husband, his wife and the wife's father were arrested in Fontana on suspicion of human smuggling. Officials are not releasing the suspects' names because no formal charges have been filed. The arrests were made during a sting to free an immigrant whose wife said he was being held for ransom. Officers recovered several thousands of dollars and records of smuggling fee payments. -AP
Census working to reach new immigrants DENVER: The US Census has begun efforts to reach new immigrants in Colorado and make sure that homeless people are counted. Officials say some of the outreach includes co-sponsoring an immigration rally last year and making their presence known with water bottles at a Greeley vigil for immigrants detained in a raid three years ago. Census workers are also going to Ramadan events to reach Somali immigrants and working to get interpreters for refugees from Bhutan and Burma. Census officials say in some cases the new immigrants may be afraid of the census because they were kicked out of their home country by their government. -AP
January 1, 2010
NJ woman posed as immigration agent NEWARK, NJ: Federal prosecutors say a New Jersey woman posing as a federal immigration agent defrauded dozens of undocumented immigrants who wanted to legalize their status. -AP
Senator Gutierrez (R) introduces Comprehensive Visa Reform Bill JOSE CHENNIKARRA
CHICAGO: A comprehensive Bill that seeks to reform the U.S. immigration laws has been introduced in the Senate with four key provisions that should make Indian H1-B and Green Card aspirants a happy lot. Congressman Luis Gutierrez (Rep.) introduced the Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America's Security and Prosperity Act of 2009 (CIRASAP) that includes provisions related to a longer transition for a laid-off H1-B worker, status quo on US Visa fees, granting of Green Card within one year of filing the I-485 and considering Visa for family members as a single visa from the quota. The CIRASAP has found broad-based support from a diverse coalition of Americans that include members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the Congressional Black Caucus, the Caucus supporting the Asia-Pacific Americans, and the Congressional Progressive Caucus. From the Indian perspective, the North American Association of IT Professionals (NAAIIP) was at the forefront of the movement that raised several issues concerning immigrant tech workers from the Indian shores. "We drew the attention of America, including its lawmakers to some of these prob-
stream US. "Indian H1-B workers who are laid off get just one day to leave the country, which often results in huge financial losses due to non-availability of time to settle house related issues. Moreover, their children lose out on academic years. When we brought this up
lems as most of them weren't even aware of it," says Shoji Mathews, an IT professional and businessman who heads the NAAIIP as its President. The NAAIIP has been working behind the scenes with other Asian Associations to create awareness on some of the lacunae in the immigration laws that adversely impact tech workers. The group conducted several awareness events throughout the United States and is today the only Indian body that has managed to influence a major policy making effort in main-
‘Indian H1-B workers who are laid off get just one day to leave the country, which often results in huge financial losses due to non-availability of time to settle house related issues’ before US lawmakers, some of them were astounded that such a law existed," says Mathews who runs an IT venture. The NAAIIP had sought five major changes of which four have been accepted, says a visibly elated Mathews who believes that this success should prompt other Indian associations to push harder for immigration reforms. The new Bill introduced by Congressman Gutierrez includes the following provisions: 1. Providing Green Card after one year of filing the I-485
2. Considering entire family as one Visa unit in the Visa quota for Indians 3. Retain H1-B Visa fee at the existing level of $1,500 The sixty-day transition period is not part of the Bill in its current form, but the NAAIPP President is meeting Congressman Gutierrez in January to get this crucial provision incorporated. Mathews terms this as the "first real step to fix a broker immigration system" and says he foresees an exciting step towards achieving major reforms in the immigration system. The NAAIIP, which made every effort to bring together the pan-Asian American communities together on immigration issues, has now set its sights on hosting several more events and action forums in the coming months to support the cause of immigrants. On his part, Mathews cohosted an Asian American Town Hall Meeting on Immigration Reform with Congressman Jan Schakowsky (R), US Senator Roland Burris and other representatives. He has also sponsored a forum for H1-B visa holders to identify any issues and ensuring that their voices are heard by the people who matter. NAAIIP has Chapters in Washington DC, Riverside, California, Houston, Texas, New Jersey, New York, Chicago and Schaumberg.
Right of a corporation to petition for H-1B visa CORA-ANN V. PESTAINA
previously wrote an article, 'Further AAO support for the right of a corporation to petition for its owner for an H-1B visa', (www.cyrusmehta.com, dated June 20, 2008), expressing optimism for then new persuasive authority in the form a nonprecedent decision from the Administrative Appeals Office ("AAO") that highlighted the legal separation between a petitioning entity, a graphic design firm, and the beneficiary/ owner, which sought to employ the beneficiary/owner in H-1B
status as a graphic designer. It seemed that such clear and logical guidance would provide a smoother path toward future H1B approvals where the benefi-
that the USCIS has begun to routinely deny these types of cases with a great deal of vigor citing the lack of an employer-employee relationship.
The USCIS has begun to routinely deny these types of cases with a great deal of vigor citing the lack of an employer-employee relationship ciary owns the petitioning entity. Despite this AAO decision and a few sporadic approvals, we have been hearing from others
It is well established that a corporation is a separate and distinct legal entity from its owners and stockholders. See Matter of M, 8
I&N Dec. 24, 50 (BIA 1958, AG 1958); Matter of Aphrodite Investments Limited, 17 I&N Dec. 530 (Comm.1980); and Matter of Tessel, 17 I&N Dec. 631 (Act. Assoc. Comm. 1980). As such, a corporation, even if it is owned and operated by a single person, may hire that person, and the parties will be in an employeremployee relationship. The beneficiary will not be self-employed, but rather, will be employed by the corporation, a separate legal entity from the beneficiary. Cont’d on page 39
January 1, 2010
Obama and Congress: at the crossroads of immigration reform
s it ever "the right time" to pass immigration reform and a path to legalization? Using the issue merely to score political points has been the norm for decades, among detractors and some proponents alike. President Barack Obama is the latest political figure to attempt a comprehensive fix to the immigration system-or at least, he promised to do so in 2008, in the heat of the presidential campaign. As January 20, 2010 rolls around-marking the end of his first year in office-Obama has not passed immigration reform, but his defenders predict that by that time the stirrings of the immigration debate will have started in the Senate. "In this country people have always made excuses for delaying justice. But they're excuses for inaction. The fact is that the president of the United States (Barack Obama) came to office in large part because he supports wholesale reform of the (immigration) system. It's time for these politicians to turn their promises into reality," Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) told MaribelHastings.com and Reform Immigration For America before introducing the bill H.R. 4321, presented to the House this week to stimulate immigration reform. A complicated year The Obama administration has had a difficult first year: the economic crisis, an unemployment rate of over 10%, and bitter debates over healthcare reform and the war in Afghanistan. Nonetheless, Obama reiterated his commitment to the immigrant community at various points throughout 2009. In June he held a meeting with over 30 members of Congress in both parties. In August, he met with advocacy groups. In November, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano made the promise official: "The first part of 2010, we will see legislation beginning to move." And recently, Hilda Solis, Secretary of Labor, linked immigration
reform to economic recovery, pointing out that legalizing workers would generate more income tax revenue for the federal budget. "The tax contribution from 12 million (undocumented immigrants) could represent a trillion dollars," Solis declared in a speech at the Center for American Progress (CAP). The Senate In June 2007, when the last attempt to pass comprehensive immigration reform failed, only 12 Republican senators voted in favor of the bipartisan bill. Among Democrats, 15 Senators voted against the bill, and one abstained. For 2010, leadership on immigration reform among Democrats is in the hands of Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), chair of the Im-
The Republicans face a dilemma: pander to nativists to secure the votes of the far right, or support immigration reform to avoid losing the Latino vote forever migration Subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The circumstances he faces are different from those of two years ago. Immigration reform's most vocal champion in the Senate, Edward Kennedy, has died. Two Hispanic Senators, Democrat Ken Salazar and Republican Mel Martinez, have left the Senate. On the Republican side, the terrain has also shifted. Senator John McCain led Republican efforts supporting reform before the 2008 presidential election, during which he felt pressure from restrictionist elements within his party-and which he ultimately lost. He faces reelection next year. Republican leadership on the issue lies with Senator Lindsey
Graham (R-SC), who has infuriated ultraconservatives by supporting immigration reform. He has rebuked his critics by noting that there is a difference between being conservative and being blinded by ideology. The Republicans face a dilemma: pander to nativists to secure the votes of the far right, or support immigration reform to avoid losing the Latino vote forever. Meanwhile, Democrats are challenged to find Republican support to compensate for the votes they will lose among conservative and moderate Democrats who currently, as in 2007, do not support reform. Despite all this, debate on the bill is expected to begin in the Senate, where Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)-who faces a tough reelection battle in 2010-will make sure the issue is on the legislative calendar. Schumer, an astute politician who understands that winning elections requires showing results, expects to introduce a bill in January. Karl Rove, a key advisor to George W. Bush, wanted to solidify Bush's support among Latinos after the 2004 elections by passing immigration reform, but the anti-immigrant wing of his party prevailed. Schumer and others want to solidify and increase Latino support for Obama and the Democrats, and they understand that fulfilling their promise of reform is one way of accomplishing this. A total of 34 Senate seats will be in play in the November 2010 elections. The House of Representatives In the House of Representatives, Rep. Gutierrez is the standard-bearer for immigration reform, but the bill was officially introduced on Tuesday by his Democratic colleague, Solomón Ortiz. The liberal bill was introduced to put pressure on Congress and the White House, and to ensure a seat at the table for its supporters during negotiations over the final bill.
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Western states allow illegal immigrant licenses HONOLULU: The four states that still allow illegal immigrants to get driver's licenses have escaped running afoul of a national identification law because its implementation was delayed. Hawaii, New Mexico, Washington and Utah are the only states that don't ban illegal immigrants from getting driver's licenses. In all, 46 states and territories haven't fulfilled the national ID law's mandates, which require driver's licenses to have security enhancements and be issued to people who can prove they're legally in the United States. If Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano hadn't extended the Dec. 31 deadline for states to
comply with the REAL ID law, existing driver's licenses may not have been valid forms of identification to clear airport security in noncompliant states. ``This extension is necessary because implementing REAL ID is simply not practical,'' said Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii. ``Rather than punishing states and American citizens through onerous travel restrictions, the secretary wisely extended Congress' opportunity to do away with the failed REAL ID program.'' Akaka is pushing for a separate national ID bill called PASS ID that doesn't cost states as much money and better protects privacy rights, he said. He's hoping Congress will replace REAL ID with
PASS ID before the new May 10, 2011, deadline. Many states oppose REAL ID because the federal government didn't provide much money for its
Akaka is pushing for a separate national ID bill called PASS ID that doesn't cost states as much money implementation, and its security requirements were considered too burdensome, said Melissa Savage, who tracks REAL ID response for the National Conference of State
Haitian woman reaches settlement in ICE lawsuit MIAMI: US immigration officials have paid $47,500 to a Haitian woman who was denied treatment for uterine fibroid tumors while she was held in immigration custody for seven months in Florida, her attorneys said. The woman, identified only as ``Rosemarie M.'' in court documents for privacy reasons, had suffered from daily bleeding and pain for months before ICE detained her in April. Medical records provided to ICE showed that she needed surgery, but detention medical staff trivialized her complaints and denied her access to her doctors' records, said Tania Galloni, an attorney at the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center.
FIAC sued U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Glades County sheriff and Armor Correctional Health Services on her behalf in September. The lawsuit alleged deliberate indifference to a serious medical need. The woman underwent surgery Dec. 1. She was released from ICE custody on Dec. 11 after reaching a settlement with ICE. The federal agency agreed to pay her $47,500 in damages and attorneys' fees, and in exchange she agreed to drop the lawsuit, her attorneys said. ICE also stopped deportation proceedings against her. She will not be detained as she seeks a visa granted to victims of violent crime
in the U.S., said Galloni, who would not offer details about the pending application. ``In light of all the facts and circumstances of this case, ICE has determined that it is appropriate to release Rosemarie M. to pursue any relief that may be available to her,'' ICE spokeswoman Nicole Navas said. The 40-year-old Miami woman left Haiti for the U.S. in the mid1990s. Her condition was diagnosed in the summer of 2008 while she served a sentence on a felony theft conviction at a Homestead jail, where she was held until she was released into ICE custody. Contâ€™d on page 39
Legislatures. ``If they're not in compliance, citizens would have driver's licenses that technically wouldn't allow them to board airplanes,'' she said. ``The predominant feeling in the states was that REAL ID was likely to go away, so they didn't act.'' Hawaii, New Mexico and Washington don't require proof that motorists are in the United States legally before giving them driver's licenses or ID cards. Utah has a twotiered system that grants illegal immigrants permission to drive with cards that can't be used as ID. As recently as four years ago, illegal immigrants could obtain
driver's licenses in 10 states. States like Hawaii haven't changed their driver's license laws because they had other priorities during the economic downturn, said House Majority Leader Blake Oshiro. Hawaii will reconsider ID legislation this spring. ``Those issues have taken a back seat,'' said Oshiro, D-AieaHalawa. ``It just kind of fell off the radar screen. It didn't seem like a highly critical issue.'' The other states didn't prevent illegal immigrants from getting driver's licenses because of concerns that it would be politically unpopular or that they wouldn't be able to get auto insurance. -AP
Obama and Congress: at the crossroads of immigration reform Contâ€™d from page 37
Now as in 2007, Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, has reiterated that while she supports the elusive prospect of reform, the Senate must act first. But the House of Representatives is itself a complex organism representing various tendencies, particularly among Speaker Pelosi's own House Democrats. The anti-immigrant faction can count on the votes of the 93 members of the Immigration Reform Caucus (IRC), founded by Republican ex-Congressman Tom Tancredo, which counts six Democrats among its ranks. Among the 52 members of the Blue Dog Caucus-conservative Democrats-in the House, 26 have supported measures against undocumented immigrants. The pro-immigrant faction could include the membership of
Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC). Immigration reform could also gain the support of a majority of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) and Congressional Black Caucus (CBC). The elections In November 2010, however, all 435 members of the House will face re-election. For Democratic congressmen, the straightforward choice will be to back their promises or fail the Hispanic voters who voted in record numbers in 2008including some who voted for Democrats with the expectation that they would make comprehensive immigration reform a reality. Rafael Prieto Zartha collaborated on this article. Maribel Hastings is a Senior Advisor at America's Voice.
January 1, 2010
Right of a corporation to petition for H-1B visa Cont’d from page 36
Additional support for the premise that a Petitioner's sole owner can be the same person as the Beneficiary can be found in Matter of X, File No. SRC 98 101 50785, (AAO, August 1999), reported in 5:2 immigration Bulletin, 89-90 (Matthew Bender Jan. 15, 2000) citing Matter of Aphrodite. The regulations define a U.S. employer at 8 C.F.R. §214.2(h) (4) (ii) as a person, firm, corporation, contractor, or other association or organization in the United States which: 1. Engages a person to work within the United States; 2. Has an employer-employee relationship with respect to employees under this part, as indicated by the fact that it may hire, pay, fire, supervise or otherwise control the work of any such employee. In its denials of cases involving a beneficiary/owner, the USCIS conveniently disregards AAO decisions by stating that it is not bound by such unpublished decisions. While the USCIS acknowledges the regulation at 8 C.F.R. §214.2(h) (4) (ii), it states that the term "employee" is not specifically defined by statute or regulations for purposes of the H-1B classification. The typical H-1B denial will go on to state that the U.S. Supreme Court has determined
that where a federal statute fails to clearly define the term "employee, " courts should conclude "that Congress intended to describe the conventional masterservant relationship as understood by common-law agency doctrine." See Nationwide Mutual Ins. Co. v Darden, 503 U.S. 318, 322 - 323 (1992).
The USCIS conveniently disregards AAO decisions by stating that it is not bound by such unpublished decisions Following Darden, the USCIS will consider Petitioner's right to control the manner and means by which the product is accomplished; the skill required; the source of the instrumentalities and tools; the location of the work; the duration of the relationship between the parties; whether the hiring party has a right to assign additional work to the hired party; the extent of the hired party's discretion over when and how long to work; the method of payment; the hired party's role in hiring and firing assistants; whether the work
is part of the regular business of the hiring party; whether the hiring party is in business; the provision of employee benefits; and the tax treatment of the hired party. In Darden, the Supreme Court considered the distinction between an employee and an independent contractor within the context of a dispute concerning eligibility for retirement benefits under ERISA. Darden dealt specifically with the ERISA statute's circular definition of the term "employee" defining it as "any individual employed by an employer." Because this definition was unhelpful, the Supreme Court construed the term "employee" in the ERISA context to incorporate common law agency criteria. The H-1B statute at INA § 101(a) (15) (H) (i) (b) does not include the term "employee." The term "employee" appears in the H-1B regulations. The regulations, at 8 C.F.R. § 214.2(h) (4) (ii) clearly define the necessary employer-employee relationship for the admission of a temporary employee in H-1B status. Hence, the holding of Darden is not applicable to H-1B adjudications. (To be continued) * Cyrus D Mehta, may be contacted at 212-425-0555 or email@example.com
Haitian woman reaches settlement in ICE lawsuit Cont’d from page 38
She had been receiving treatment and doctors recommended surgery, but she was detained, then transferred in May to the Glades County Detention Center, before they could operate, Galloni said. ``Coming into ICE custody, Rosemarie had medical records that showed she was sick and she needed surgery,'' Galloni said. ``She told anybody who would listen to her that she was sick and needed help.'' Instead of scheduling the surgery, detention medical staff provided basic care such as Tylenol for pain and iron for blood loss, authorized diagnostic tests and denied her access to a lawyer during medical appointments, according to the lawsuit. An immigration judge alerted FIAC to the woman's case in June. That month, detention officials denied the woman access to her
medical records, saying the documents were confidential and she had no safe place to keep them, according to the lawsuit. Dora Schriro, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano's detention adviser at the time, told FIAC on Aug. 27 that the woman would be examined by a surgeon and that any treatment the doctor recommended would be immediately authorized, according to the lawsuit. The woman was examined Sept. 2 and the doctor recommended surgery ``as soon as possible,'' according to the lawsuit states. But the surgery was not scheduled. On Nov. 19, US District Judge John E. Steele ordered ICE and detention center staff to provide the medically recommended treatment ``without further delay.'' The woman was admitted to a hospital on Nov. 30 and had surgery the next day.
Earlier this year, FIAC and Human Rights Watch issued separate reports concluding that U.S. immigration authorities routinely delay, deny or botch medical care for detained immigrants in poorly equipped facilities nationwide. The reports blamed the problems on unskilled or indifferent staff, overcrowding, bureaucratic red tape, language barriers and limited services available to ICE detainees. ``This case shows that seriously ill detainees like Rosemarie simply should not be detained pending resolution of their civil, immigration cases,'' Galloni said. In October, Napolitano and ICE director John Morton said providing ``sound medical care'' was one of the core principles guiding efforts to overhaul the detention system. Within six months, ICE would implement a medical classification system to support detainees with ``unique medical or mental health needs,'' officials
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Tech News MNP put-off for three months
he Mobile Number Portability (MNP) service, which was expected to reach the metros of India by January 2010, now heads towards uncertainty. The facility that allows the mobile phone users to retain their numbers while making a shift in the operator was slated to be implemented from January 1, 2010, in metros and large circles. For the rest of the country, the users were expected to have access to facility from April. But post a review meeting, between the Department of Telecom (DoT), Telecom Regulatory and the mobile operators, the implementation of MNP has been put off for around three to six months.
AP unveils Media Port, file-based video news delivery
he Associated Press (AP) has introduced a new file-based video news delivery service - "AP Media Port". This new service offers broadcast customers with a modern delivery platform that easily integrates with the digital newsroom production systems. The AP Media Port provides the customers with the feature to receive video news stories as separate digital files that will be dispatched to the client as soon as each story is ready. With this, the clients have been relieved from the process of recording stories from AP's Global Video Wire feed based on a 24-hour bulletin schedule.
NewTek releases portable live production system
40 India Post
January 1, 2010
Digicable outsourcing agreement with IBM
igicable, a leading cable and broadband distribution company in the India has tied-up with the information technology (IT) major International Business Machines Corp (IBM) in a strategic outsourcing agreement. The deal has been agreed upon for a period of 10-years and has an estimated value of around Rs 380 crore. As part of this outsourcing agreement, IBM will be facilitating Digicable's plans of integration of the digital media content delivery and value added services applications with its core business technologies and processes.
'Jugaad' key to entrepreneurial success in India: Survey SRIREKHA N. CHAKRAVARTY India Post News service
NEW YORK: Bureaucracy and corruption are the two major threats to India's growth and sustainability, according to a latest survey of Indian entrepreneurs conducted by the Legatum Institute. The survey on what Indian entrepreneurs think about India's economy, the possibilities it affords and the hindrances to continued prosperity concludes that many of those surveyed felt India's growth and sustainability are threatened by bureaucracy and corruption which require too much energy to be spent on circumventing problems rather than on productive activity. This report is the inaugural edition of the Legatum Institute's Survey of Entrepreneurs: India, a series of detailed online surveys of entrepreneurs and senior managers of Indian enterprises. It surveys 2357 individuals, nearly 1100 of whom own their own business. More than 700 are senior managers of existing enterprises, and
another group of nearly 500 individuals are aspiring entrepreneurs. It is one of the largest surveys of entrepreneurs in the world. The survey, which was conducted by YouGov between August and October 2009, allows us to "get inside the mind" of India's enterprising class and yields insights important for business leaders, educators, investors, policymakers, and the media. The primary conclusion of the
provisation required to get around, or deal with, prohibitive rules and institutions - which India's entrepreneurs seem to embody. Survey respondents have had both a lot of experience with "jugaad" and with dealing with systemic barriers such as corrupt practices and suffocating bureaucracies. The two are certainly related, the survey finds. Commercializing innovation in environ-
The primary conclusion of the survey shows that India's economic future is energetic, growing impressively and creating positive effects beyond immediate economic benefits survey shows that India's economic future is energetic, growing impressively and creating positive effects beyond immediate economic benefits. Interestingly, the survey found the institutionalization of what is colloquially known in Indian business as "Jugaad" - a Hindi word which denotes ingenuity and im-
ments marked by stifling, rulebound agencies or corrupt practices, or both, frequently requires an additional repository of innovation beyond what is required in more efficient, less corrupt societies; in India that repository is jugaad. Nearly half (49 percent) of respondents said jugaad was "very
important" to their success as entrepreneurs. Another 31 percent responded "somewhat important", and only 13 percent said "neither important nor unimportant". A miniscule 4 percent said it was either somewhat or very unimportant. Jugaad is more important to younger than older entrepreneurs, and most important to those running companies with fewer than 50 employees, those with revenues between 5 million and 100 million rupees (USD 108,000 and USD 2,163,000), those growing at rates above 50 percent, and those between 4 and 10 years old. Of 18 to 34 year olds, 51percent said jugaad was very important, compared to 38 percent of people over 55 years old. Of those running companies with annual revenues between 5 million and 100 million rupees (USD 108,000 and USD 2,163,000), 58 percent said jugaad was very important, compared to 33 percent of those running companies earning more than 1 billion rupees (USD 21,629,000) annually. Contâ€™d on page 41
Citi-Anchin Indian Initiative celebrates first year
ewTek Inc. aims to redefine portable live production with the release of its new TriCaster TCXD300 HD portable live production system. TriCaster TCXD300 comes across as a offering from NewTek with benefits that include HD and SD live multi-camera switching, full HD streaming, live HD virtual sets, HD titling, HD digital disk recording, HD editing, audio mixing, efficient workflow, multiple effects layers and much more. "Customers can now produce network-quality HD or SD output, access unprecedented effects and layering capabilities, and take advantage of the most powerful virtual set technology available," said Andrew Cross, executive vice president, engineering, NewTek.
Kuldeepak Acharya, Anchin; Kishore Bhasin, Fuji Novel; Ali Hirji, Citibank India Post News Service
NEW YORK: The Citi-Anchin Indian Initiative celebrated its first anniversary on Dec 9 at an event hosted by Anchin at their offices in New York. The Initiative is a consortium of financial and busi-
ness advisors dedicated to promoting growth for middle market Indian-American businesses. Established in 2008, the Initiative is part of Citi Commercial Banking's "One-Citi India Initiative," a marketing platform developed to service the banking needs of the In-
Glen Celentano, Citibank; Devika Kewalramani, Moses & Singer; Ali Hirji,
dian Business Community in the United States, in partnership with Anchin, one of the largest and fastest-growing accounting firms in the country, providing a wide range of traditional and non-traditional advisory services. In spite of the snow and rain
earlier in the day, over 100 Indian businesspeople attended the event, representing middle market business owners, financial officers and consultants from as far away as Pennsylvania and Virginia. Contâ€™d on page 41
January 1, 2010
India's capacity for innovation Citi-Anchin Indian Initiative celebrates first year driving growth Contâ€™d from page 40
India Post News Service
NEW DELHI: CII organized an exclusive interaction with Lord Peter Mandelson, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, UK focusing on areas India and UK could collaborate in Manufacturing and Engineering sector. "There are many facets of India's relationship with UK in respect of history, language, culture, values, democracy and the rule of law. But our future engagement will be about collaborating in science and research, joint ventures in high value, high technologybased synergies drawn from both countries and innovation will provide this spark, the agenda", said Lord Mandelson while addressing Indian entrepreneurs in New Delhi. Building India's first century infrastructure; technological demands of modern defense and low carbon energy generation, including nuclear engineering and design were new areas of opportunities where engineers and manufacturer of both India and UK could explore and create positive ben-
Britain's First Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Peter Mandelson (L) with Mentor and Chairman Emeritus Fortis Healthcare, Harpal Singh (2L) Chairman Eicher, S. Sandilya and President NASSCOM, Som Mitaal (R) during an interaction business meeting in New Delhi on December 22
efits for both sides. Lord Mandelson observed that Tata's investment in the Jaguar and Land Rover brands had woken Britain up to the growing strength of Indian manufacturing. Lord Mandelson emphasized the need to work closely on education, both in the university and the vocational sphere. There are almost 250 partnerships in India
between UK universities and institutions and it may grow by 10folds in the next 5 years. Lord Mandelson also informed that 2500 UK entrepreneurs would get support of UK government for searching Indian partners to share their technology and know-how in sectors like infrastructure, automotive, life sciences and energy. Contâ€™d on page 42
'Jugaad' key to entrepreneurial success in India: Survey Contâ€™d from page 40
It appears that jugaad is most important not to enterprises that are very new and small or very large and established, but to enterprises that are fairly new and ascendant. Economic Optimism The future looks good. When asked a standard "right track/ wrong track" question, 84 percent of those surveyed said they believed India is headed in the right direction, and 87 percent say they believe India will be in a stronger economic position in 5 years. 92 percent of respondents say that Indian society is more welcoming of entrepreneurs than it was 10 years ago. Social Capital, Family, Networks Family is Indian entrepreneurs' invaluable asset in more ways than one. Entrepreneurs believe that their enterprising spirit comes from family more than any other source. 48 percent used family funds to launch their enterprise, and 31 percent say it was the main source of financing. Nearly a quarter of entrepreneurs say the main factor that en-
abled them to get their business started was knowing other entrepreneurs. This was equally as important as access to finance. Dealing with Barriers to Entrepreneurship Government is good for business - and also very bad. Government bureaucracy is also cited as
When asked a standard "right track/ wrong track" question, 84 percent of those surveyed said they believed India is headed in the right direction one of the 3 main reasons businesses fail in India. Corruption, corruption, corruption 40 percent of respondents have been pressured to pay a bribe, and 93 percent say corruption is a problem, with 56 percent saying it is so
serious that it hurts business in India. Motivation, Inspiration, and Opportunity 42 percent of entrepreneurs said being their own boss was the primary reason they chose their path, compared to 23 percent who say they did it for the money. 54 percent of respondents say the social impact of their enterprise is a main reason for what they do. And when asked what the biggest effect of their business is beyond creating value and satisfying customers, 31 percent say the professional growth of their employees, and 29 percent say improving the quality of life in their communities. Small, new companies and large, older companies have a stronger "social conscience" than middletier companies that have been around for 5 to 10 years. The Legatum Institute is a globally-focused, independent, nonpartisan organization that researches and promotes economic and social prosperity, individual liberty, and security in both advanced and developing countries. The Institute's Survey of Entrepreneurs: India was published on December 14, 2009.
The celebration was the third event held by the Citi-Anchin Indian Initiative. At the event, Kuldeepak Acharya, an Accounting Services Partner at Anchin, focused on the needs of middle market businesses during difficult economic times. Ali Hirji, Vice President at Citibank and Acharya lauded the contributions of the Initiative's Board of Directors in making all three events successful, and in particular, identified the contributions of Moses & Singer, AXA, ASB Communications, Hodgson Russ, Kelley Drye, and the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce. The first event, held in April of this year, was a charitable fund raiser for
the March of Dimes. The second event, held in June at Citibank's offices in midtown Manhattan, featured a panel discussion about state and local government incentives for Indian owned and operated companies.
The first event, held in April of this year, was a charitable fund raiser for the March of Dimes The Citi-Anchin Indian Initiative is already at work planning future events and outreach programs in 2010 to benefit more Indian Middle Market companies and their owners in the Tri-State area.
January 1, 2010
Cable-DTH -HITS: complementary and supplementary
he spotlight of Focus 2009 was on the Direct-to-Home (DTH) sector in a technical session with the representatives from the leading DTH players in the Indian market Dish TV and Airtel DTH on the same panel. The panel comprised of Mr Rajesh Khattar, President Dish TV; Ajai Puri, Director & CEO, Airtel DTH; Mr Alan Dishington, GM, NDS India and Mr. Mohit Ralhan, Head- Media Baring Private Equity Partners Ltd. The session was moderated by Ms Roop Sharma, President, Cable Operators Federation of India (COFI). The session revolved around the growth
of the DTH market in India, the hurdles faced by the operators for implementation of the technology, ARPUs, FDI norms, taxation.
(HITS) to emerge as a competition for the DTH market. The operators on the panel mentioned
The significance of the DTH platform remains that it is a wireless technology and has reach in the remotest areas where the traditional cable lines cannot reach. DTH is creating a new market for itself" Besides, there were questions that talked about the competition of the DTH operators with the cable industry as well as the possibility of the Headend-in-The-Sky
that the cost of operation of the DTH platform is comparatively higher in the Indian region; while, the taxation policy creates additional burden on the operator's part.
Ajai Puri from Airtel remarked, "DTH is a platform that encourages digitalization of the television viewing in the nation. The significance of the DTH platform remains that it is a wireless technology and has reach in the remotest areas where the traditional cable lines cannot reach. DTH is creating a new market for itself." "We don't have competition with either the cable industry or the soon to emerge HITS platform. Moreover, the technologies; DTH-cable-HITS are complementary and supplementary to each other. Around 40% of DTH subscribers come from where cable was not available.
Google's shopping list: Yelp, DocVerse and Trulia
he giant "G" is on a shop ping spree, as the reports and rumor spread around suggest. Starting with, a report with The New York Times informs that the internet search giant is currently in discussions to acquire the local business review site Yelp. The size of the deal is tipped to be more than US $500 million. If the deal materializes, Google would be able to capture the local markets directly strengthening its position. Yelp was founded in 2004 and has dominance in the market for reviews of local businesses and ads in major metros across the US, Canada, UK and Ireland. Furthermore, Google is closing acquisition of DocVerse for supposed purchase price of around $25 million, reports TechCrunch. DocVerse is a service that offers the users with collaboration platform for the Microsoft Office documents. The company was founded in 2007 by Microsoft veterans Shan Sinha and Alex DeNeui. If Google completes the acquisition, the competition in the Office space will be intensified, especially with Microsoft Office 2010 slated for release. Well, more to the acquisitions,
Google is also eying to buy San Francisco online real estate upstart Trulia. According to a report by Kara Swisher of All Things D the Trulia's estimated valuation ranges between $150 million and $200 million.
The size of the deal is tipped to be more than US $500 million. If the deal materializes, Google would be able to capture the local markets directly strengthening its position. Yelp was founded in 2004 and has dominance in the market for reviews of local businesses and ads in major metros across the US, Canada, UK and Ireland Google has been acquiring around one or two firms almost every month recently, in order firm its standing in various verticals. With the news of more lined up, the question remains which one next?
India's capacity for innovation driving growth Contâ€™d from page 41
Mr Harpal Singh, Chairman CII Northern Region and Mentor & Chairman Emeritus of Fortis Healthcare Ltd in his welcome address said that UK is among India's top FDI sources and it provides liberal environment for Indian entrepreneurs to invest in UK. He suggested mutual recognition of standards and asked for UK's assistance to meet quality
and SPS norms. The chairman emphasized on development of innovative solutions, improvisation of technology to increase production, linking of engineering universities, institutions to support technology-based knowledge and undertaking capacity building projects including energy efficient technology as the way forward for India-UK bilateral relations.
Sports Track Sachin, Sourav receive lifetime Railway passes KOLKATA: Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly were presented lifetime golden family passes by Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee for their achievement and contribution to Indian cricket. Presenting the AC-first class passes, Banerjee congratulated the duo for their achievements in Indian as well as international cricket. She hoped that Tendulkar would win many more laurels for the country. The function was organized by Bhowanipore Club to felicitate its football team for reaching the first division. Footballers were felicitated by Tendulkar on behalf of the club. He presented shawls to former Olympian footballer P K Banerjee, cricketers Shyam Sundar Mitra and P B Dutta. -PTI
International triathlon meet in Goa MUMBAI: The first India International Triathlon meet, offering USD 30,000 in prize money, will be held in Goa on February 14 next year and the top attraction is Belinda Granger of Australia. Besides the 38-year-old Belinda, who is a 11-time ironman distance champion (winner of a series of longdistance triathlon races organized by the World Triathlon Corporation), five other international triathletes would take part in the event, said Chandaradev Bhagat, CEO of organizers Grey Matter Entertainment, at a press conference here. Around 200 Indian participants, mainly from the armed forces, would be taking part in the event which is to be run on the Olympic Games format - a 1.5-km open sea swim, 40-km bicycle ride and 5-km run. -PTI
SPORTS 43 India Post
Delhi CWG risks failure in many areas: COCOM
January 1, 2010
NEW DELHI: The capital's preparation for the 2010 Commonwealth Games has picked up the pace over the last two months but the October 3-14 multi-discipline event still risks failure, according to the CGF Coordination Commission (COCOM). Chaired by Commonwealth Games Federation Treasurer Austin Sealy, the COCOM visited the capital from December 14-16 and made public their report on Delhi's preparation. -PTI
Dish Network announces First Bay Area Cricket Camp pitcher with six Major League Teams in 1987. Clocking speeds around 100 mph, he attracted interest from the Philadelphia Phillies. He is the only modern professional cricketer to play in a professional baseball match. A certified international cricket coach, Ian worked with Essex in United Kingdom for 3 years as the club's bowling coach. He was also Assistant Head Coach to The
India Post News Service
NEW YORK: International Cricket Coach Ian Pont will hold a special winter camp for cricketers in San Jose - the first such camp in the Bay Area. DreamCricket Academy is presenting the camp in association with Bay Area cricket leagues including the California Cricket Academy. The Dish Network Cricket Camp will focus on developing bowling skills of Bay Area cricketers. Bowling, akin to pitching in baseball, is a specialized skill. Ian Pont is a highly regarded fast bowling coach, who has built a reputation working with international players such as Darren Gough, Dale Steyn and Andre Nel. Registrations are currently being accepted by the DreamCricket Academy for the roughly 30 spots that are open for the camp that will be held at the MVP Arena in San Jose between December 28th, 2009 and January 3rd, 2010. Cricketers will be separated into Under-15 and Over-15 age categories. Ian will also conduct Private 1-to1 coaching and a Coach-theCoach workshop. Ian Pont played first class cricket for Nottinghamshire and Essex and overseas cricket for South African side Natal during
The advantages in training with a worldclass coach are not only in learning advanced skills but also in the opportunities that lie ahead
the 1980's. In addition to his many bowling feats, he is also known for fielding and throwing skills. He has the second longest recorded throw of all time - a mammoth 138 yards (126.18m) or 414 feet - set in Cape Town. Ian had professional baseball trials as a
Netherlands, helping take the Dutch to the 2007 ICC World Cup in the West Indies. Ian is currently the Head Coach to the International Cricket Camp, Potchefstroom, South Africa, which features world-class coaches like Corrie Van Zyl, Gary Kirsten, Graeme Pollock and Jimmy Cook. Ian is a major proponent of using advanced biomechanics and quantitative analysis in cricket training. Dale Steyn, the South
African fast bowler who bowls over 90 MPH, recently said, "Ian is the first and only coach to ever focus on speed and accuracy." Talking about the camp, Kranthi Bayya, CEO of DreamCricket.com said: "In 2009, USA has shown the world that it has a lot of talented cricketers. At DreamCricket, it is our endeavor to bring world-class coaching opportunities to America's aspiring cricketers. "We are grateful to Dish Network for their support of our camp. It really helps us make the camp affordable and we hope Bay Area cricketers will take advantage of what we have put together." "The advantages in training with a world-class coach are not only in learning advanced skills but also in the opportunities that lie ahead," Bayya said, adding that Ian Pont is always on the lookout for new talent as he conducts his camps. DreamCricket Academy players Rushi Amin and Nomi Iftikar were spotted by Ian from Summer Camp 2008 and were offered a chance to play in cricket in England. Another DreamCricket Academy youngster Cameron Mirza has received a Gray Nicolls equipment sponsorship, and has played overseas under the careful guidance of his mentor Ian Pont.
Somdev, Sania and Yuki make 2009 memorable for India Mahendra Singh Dhoni receives Padma award RANCHI: Team India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni here received the Padma Sri award from government officials here after missing the opportunity to take it from President Pratibha Patil earlier this year. "Thanks," Dhoni said with a big smile as he took the medal and citation from Jharkhand Chief Secretary, Shiv Basant at the state secretariat. Dhoni could not receive the Padma award from Patil in New Delhi in April this year. -PTI
NEW DELHI: Somdev Devvarman was the main protagonist in a stunning tale of success as Indian tennis savored some great and rare moments in 2009, a year which promised to change the face of the game in the country. From junior stage to the highest level of the game, India had its moments of ecstasy and exultation as Somdev, Sania Mirza, Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi and teenager Yuki Bhambri all contributed to the success story. Somdev gave India a new identity on the Tour by excelling in singles and old warhorses Paes and Bhupathi proved they are still a force to reckon with in doubles by winning three more
Grand Slams. Sania Mirza continued adding firsts to her name as she became India's first female tennis player to win a Grand Slam title when she triumphed at the Australian Open along with compatriot Bhupathi in the mixed doubles event in January. From a junior Grand Slam title to a berth in the Davis Cup World Group, achievements were recorded throughout the year, bringing a lot of relief for the game in India. And it all started with the sensational arrival of Somdev on the big stage in the first month of the year when the US Collegiate champion created ripples by reaching the final of the Chennai Open, India's only ATP event.
When he mowed down the bigwigs like former world number one Carlos Moya and world number 25 Ivo Karlovic, it became crystal clear that the winds of change had started blowing in the Indian tennis. He jumped to world number 126 in ATP ranking from 204 and with him Indian tennis also took a giant leap forward. Somdev did not win any title but his fearless game, sheer professionalism and audacity won him many an admirer and made him the new poster boy of the Indian tennis. Suddenly in a week's gap, from a mere participant he was seen as a contender on the Tour though a prolonged lull followed after his stellar Chennai Open show.
Every time he stepped on the court people expected him to win but the Assamese took his own time to grow and adjust to the challenges of the extremely difficult Tour. More than anything, Somdev had belief that he belonged to the league of big boys and just substantiated it when he avenged his Chennai Open final defeat against Marin Cilic by beating the Croat at Legg Mason Tennis Classic. He had to wait till the last Major of the year to make his debut at a Grand Slam and his entry into the singles main draw of the US Open ended India's seven-year long wait to see a player competing at that stage. -PTI
January 1, 2010
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India Post 45
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January 1, 2010
NEW YORK Upcoming
NEW JERSEY Upcoming
NORTHERN CALIFORNIA Upcoming
Sat Jan 2
Sun Jan 3
Sat Jan 9
Sat Jan 9
• Empire Saturdays
• Hiking Meditation
• Kirtilals - Diamonds and Jewelry
• Hindi - English bilingual story time
Venue: Empire Hotel Rooftop, 44 W 63rd St, New York Time: 10pm Contact: 212-802-8268
Venue: I.M.U., 1418 W Howard St, Chicago, Illinois Time: 6am Contact: 773-262-1468
Venue: Embassy Suites, 121 Centennial Avenue, Piscataway, NJ Time: 11am to 6pm Contact: 732-980-0500
Venue: Dr. King Library, Children's Room., 150 E. San Fernando St, San José , CA Time: 4pm 4:30pm Contact: (408) 808-2183
Sat Jan 2
Thurs Jan 7
Sat Jan 16
Sat Jan 9
• New Year Eve
• South Asia seminar featuring George Pati
• Sankrant Celebrations
• Vocal Concert with Siddharth Sriram
Venue: Lisha Kill Middle School, 68 Waterman Ave, Albany, New York Time: 5:30pm Contact: email@example.com
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Venue: Sangati Center, 3049 22nd Street, San Francisco, California Time: 8pm
Sat Jan 9 Sat Jan 2
• Thyagaraja Aradhana
• Suite Saturday
Venue: Sri Venkateswara Swami Temple, 1145 W. Sullivan Road, Aurora, Illinois Contact: (630) 844-2252
Venue: Rm.Fifty5, 210 W 55th St, New York City Time: 10pm Contact: 212-802-8268
Sun Jan 10 Fri Jan 23 • Dance Pe Chance
Sat Jan 16
• Life is a Gift; Living an Art
• Mata ki Chowki
Venue: Performing Arts Center, 108 Stirling Rd, Warren, NJ Time: 6pm Contact: 732-369-6626 Highlights: Dance Pe Chance Competition from Rab Ne Bana De Jodi, competition how it changes lives!
Venue: Chinmaya Mission, 11 S. 80 Route 83, Willowbrook, Illinois Contact: (630)-654-3370
Sat Jan 30
Fri Jan 15 Venue: PREM PRAKASH TEMPLE, 180 Burgher Ave, Staten Island, New York Time: 6pm to 1pm Contact: 718-351-0483
Sat Jan 16 • Miss International Pageant with Priyanka Chopra Venue: Colden Center, 65-30 Kissena Blvd, Flushing, NY Time: 7pm Contact: 718-200-9311
Sat Jan 16 • Miss International Pageant with Priyanka Chopra
• Open MIC Karaoke
WASHINGTON DC Upcoming Fri Jan 1 • New Year Celebrations Venue: Sri Venkateswara Lotus Temple, 12501 Braddock Road, Fairfax, Virginia Time: 6am to 9pm Contact: 703-815-4850
Venue: Colden Center, 65-30 Kissena Blvd, Flushing, NY Time: 7pm Contact: 718-200-9311
Fri Jan 23
Fri Jan 22
Venue: Quince Orchard High School, 15800 Quince Orchard Road, North Potomac, Maryland, WDC Time: 8:30pm to 10pm Contact: 301-983-0142
• Yaatra Venue: Joyce SoHo, 155 Mercer Street, New York City Time: 8pm Contact: (301) 469-8529
• Sanskriti Saraswati Puja
Fri Jan 29 • Art of Living Course
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Venue: Art of Living Center, 9502 Claychin Court, Burke, Virginia, WDC Contact: 703-644-1615 Highlights: The Art of Living Course gives participants the practical knowledge and techniques to unlock their deepest potential and bring fullness to life.
• Ashtavakra Gita Venue: Art of Living Santa Clara Center, 2370A Walsh Ave, Santa Clara, California Time: 7pm Contact: 408-480-4493 Highlights: The Ashtavakra Gita documents the unveiling of the highest knowledge from a saint to a wise king many thousands of years ago. H. H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar shows how, in simple steps, King Janaka is taken to deeper levels of understanding and how we can apply this knowledge to our own lives.
Venue: Marathi Vishwa Community Center, 143 State Route 35, Laurence Harbor, New Jersey Time: 2pm 6pm Contact: 732 438 6867
Wed Jan. 6
Sat March 27
• Marathi Vishwa-Vasantotsav 2010
Tues Jan. 12
Venue: Crosroads Middle School- South, 195 Major Road, Monmouth Junction, New Jersey Time: 3pm to 8pm Contact: 732-355-9844
• Kip Fulbeck: "What Next for Identity in a Multicultural Society?"
• Ise Lyfe "What Next for Hip-Hop and Social Justice?"
Thurs Jan. 21
Sat March 27
• Julia Moulden: "What Next for our Work and our World?"
• 2010 Spring Festival
Venue: Ocean Township High School, Ocean, New Jersey Time: 3pm to 9pm Contact: 732-801-4694
Wed Jan. 27
Sat May 29
Time: 7pm Venue: Saint Mary's College of California, Soda Center Activity Center, 1928 St. Mary's Rd, Moraga, CA Contact: 925-631-4222
• Vishwa Marathi Natya Sammelan Venue: Raritan Center, New Jersey Convention Center, 97 Sunfield Avenue, Edison, New Jersey Highlights: The VMNS will be hosted and executed by the US branch of ABMNP, led by Dr. Meena Nerurkar and her team. It will have an attendance of some V.V.I.P.s in the entertainment industry, about 200 top notch artists from Maharashtra, the chief minister of Maharashtra and government representatives.
• Robin Sukhadia: "What Next for Global Cinema, Politics and Culture?
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA Upcoming Every 4th Sat every Month • Durga Mata Ka Jagaran Venue: 2335 S. Diamond Bar Boulevard, DBC Center, Diamond Bar, CA Time: 6:30pm Contact: 909-519-1579, 626-810-2345
Every Sat (start from Sat Aug 8) • Gurukul Classes for Children Venue: Sindhu Center, South California Time: 2pm to 4pm Contact: 818-541-1754 & 909-576-1114 Highlights: Children between the ages of 5 and 18. Children will be taught the Fundamentals of Hinduism, Prayers, Shlokas, Bhajans and Values of our culture.
Thurs Nov 26, 2009 to Sat Jan 3, 2010 • Celebrate the Holidays at LA Zooís Reindeer Romp Venue: Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens 5333 Zoo Drive, LA Time: 10am to 4pm Contact: 323-644-4200 Highlights: The LA Zoo kicks off the Holiday season with the activities for the entire family at Reindeer Romp. Kids of all ages can get close to these beautiful creatures.
Sat Jan 9, 2010 • Where's the Green? Cleantech and Money! Venue: California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA Time: 8am Contact: 626-395-5759
Sun Jan 17, 2010 • Celebrate National Service Day Venue: M.A. Center, 10200 Crow Canyon Rd, Castro Valley, CA Time: 2:30pm to 5pm Contact: http://dayofservice2010.eventbrite.com Highlights: hands-on ecological activities hosted by the Amrita Bala Kendra. Kids learn to plant and nurture trees with expert guidance with adult eco-volunteers. Bring your friends and family for a great way to start off the New Year 2010
January 1, 2010
Page Sponsored by Sahanis • Control of flow of thoughts Now that we have learned about what kind of thoughts flow through our heads, can we change the flow? Is it possible to manipulate the thoughts? Can we control the flow of thoughts? We believe that it is possible. It is possible to change the flow. As we are, thoughts control our existence. Thoughts (Mind) is the master. It is possible to change the control.
(Cont'd from last week) • Knowing yourself e are what we think. It is important to know ourselves before we can think of having a change. Thoughts are flowing like waves. What thoughts are going to flow through my head is important to know. We all talk about positive thoughts. No body needs to tell me that. Yet, every one is telling every one else the same thing, "Have positive thoughts." When the crunch happens, negative thoughts flow in uninterrupted and positive thoughts stay outside. How do we change this flow? The first exercise deals with this aspect, knowing yourself.
DR KRISHNA BHATTA
One place I find most useful for any meditative exercise is temples or churches. The vibrations are more conducive to help you get to deeper levels
It is possible to become the master of thoughts. Practice is the key. • Have a break from thoughts We have not known thoughtlessness. We have not known an existence without mind. We keep on thinking when we are awake. We dream when we are asleep. Mind keeps on minding. It is possible to get to no-mind. It is possible to be without thoughts.
doing this exercise. I use flight time for this exercise as well. You can do it on a break in office too. One place I find most useful for any meditative exercise is temples or churches. The vibrations are more conducive to help you get to deeper levels of any meditative exercise in these situations. • Posture: Sitting position is preferable.
fore going to sleep. Again a quiet surrounding is preferable. • Important It is important to remember that the exercises are just exercises. This is not a way to live life. Once practiced, life may change. But these exercises are meant for the period of exercises only. It is not a 'should be' proposition. To be continued
instructions. I listened nervously to the anticipatory hum of the insects. Getting into bed, I threw a propitiatory prayer in their general direction. A half hour later, I coughed pretentiously to attract my guru's attention. I thought I would go mad with the bites and especially the singing drone as the mosquitoes celebrated bloodthirsty rites. No responsive stir from Master; I approached him cautiously. He was not breathing. This was my
ist! My poor nose!" Master's voice was shaky with laughter. "Why don't you go to bed? Is the whole world going to change for you? Change yourself: be rid of the mosquito consciousness." Meekly I returned to my bed. Not one insect ventured near. I realized that my guru had previously agreed to the curtains only to please me; he had no fear of mosquitoes. His yogic power was such that he either could will them not to
automatically raised an avenging hand. Reprieve from impending execution! An opportune memory came to me of one of Patanjali's yoga aphorisms-that on ahimsa (harmlessness). "Why didn't you finish the job?" "Master! Do you advocate taking life?" "No; but the deathblow already had been struck in your mind." "I don't understand." "Patanjali's meaning was the removal of desire to kill." Sri Yukteswar had found my mental processes an open book. "This world is inconveniently arranged for a literal practice of ahimsa. Man may be compelled to exterminate harmful creatures. He is not under similar compulsion to feel anger or animosity. All forms of life have equal right to the air of maya. “The saint who uncovers the secret of creation will be in harmony with its countless bewildering expressions. All men may approach that understanding who curb the inner passion for destruction." Excerpted from Autobiography of a Yogi. The 117th birth anniversary of Paramhamsa Yogananda will be celebrated on January 2
Ahimsa means the removal of desire to kill Man may be compelled to exterminate harmful creatures. He is not under similar PARAMHANSA YOGANANDA
"Buy yourself a curtain, and also one for me." He laughed and added, "If you buy only one, for yourself, all mosquitoes will concentrate on me!" I was more than thankful to comply. Every night that I spent in Serampore, my guru would ask me to arrange the bedtime curtains. The mosquitoes one evening were especially virulent. But Master failed to issue his usual
Straight back and neck alignment has minimal gravity effect. A back support may be desirable. Sitting on a non-conducting surface is energy preservation. Eyes closed and one palm over the other palm is also keeping the energy from going out. The same posture in future can be used for meditation. If sitting on the ground is not practical, a chair will do. This exercise can also be practiced lying down just be-
Meditative exercise for thought management
y early months with Sri Yukteswar culminated in a useful lesson"How to Outwit a Mosquito." At home my family always used protective curtains at night. I was dismayed to discover that in the Serampore hermitage this prudent custom was honored in the breach. Yet the insects were in full residency; I was bitten from head to foot. My guru took pity on me.
This step will be discussed in future. Here we will mention the exercises for the first two components. • Space and time: You need to set aside at least half an hour for this exercise. You can find your own timing. It is always better to keep same space and time for any meditative exercise. I call it a meditative exercise because this exercise makes meditation easier. However, any time and any space are better than not
compulsion to feel anger or animosity first observation of him in the yogic trance; it filled me with fright. "His heart must have failed!" I placed a mirror under his nose; no breath-vapor appeared. To make doubly certain, for minutes I closed his mouth and nostrils with my fingers. His body was cold and motionless. In a daze, I turned toward the door to summon help. "So! A budding experimental-
bite, or could escape to an inner invulnerability. The instructive mosquitoes served for another early lesson at the ashram. It was the gentle hour of dusk. My guru was matchlessly interpreting the ancient texts. At his feet, I was in perfect peace. A rude mosquito entered the idyl and competed for my attention. As it dug a poisonous hypodermic needle into my thigh, I
Suffering should therefore be welcomed. Never does the soft moonlight appear more soothing than after the scorching heat of a summer day. -Anandamoyi Ma Ordinary love is selfish, darkly rooted in desires and satisfactions. Divine love is without condition, without boundary, without change. The flux of the human heart is gone forever at the transfixing touch of pure love. -Sri Yukteswar You hate someone whom you really wish to love, but whom you cannot love. Perhaps he himself prevents you. That is a disguised form of love. -Sri Chinmoy I have learned so much from God that I can no longer call myself a Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim, a Buddhist, a Jew. The Truth has shared so much of Itself with me that I can no longer call myself a man, a woman, an angel, or even pure Soul. -Hafiz To listen to some devout people, one would imagine that God never laughs. -Sri Aurobindo Austerity, pilgrimage, repetition of the Mantra, charity, and whatever else is sacred, cannot improve that perfection which springs from even a modicum of realization. -Udhava Gita Be not too hasty either with praise or blame; speak always as though you were giving evidence before the judgement-seat of the Gods. -Seneca
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January 1, 2010
Advantages of 'Sundarji nuclear doctrine' ALI AHMED
eterrence theory has understandably been im ported into South Asia with the onset of nuclearization in the late eighties. It, having contributed to keeping the Cold War 'cold', has much to offer on how the nuclear equation is to be managed. Simply put deterrence posits making a credible threat of nuclear retaliation to ensure that the enemy desists from using nuclear weapons in first place. Official Indian nuclear doctrine has predicated deterrence on assured nuclear retaliation that promises to be 'massive' to enemy first use. This is a controversial extension of the promise of inflicting 'unacceptable damage' that had been suggested by the earlier Draft Nuclear Doctrine. Unacceptable damage does not require 'massive' numbers, when 'sufficient' would do. Both, 'massive' nuclear retaliation and infliction of 'unacceptable damage' have been queried by this author in earlier contributions here ('The illogic of massive punitive retaliation' and 'The illogic of 'unacceptable damage'). It is only fair that an alternative be suggested. This article makes such an attempt. The doctrinal options for India that practices No First Use are: 'massive' nuclear retaliation as currently posited; infliction of 'unacceptable damage' with 'sufficient' numbers as in the Draft Nuclear Doctrine; 'flexible' nuclear retaliation depending on nature of enemy first use, desired effects and demands of in-conflict deterrence; and lastly, ending a nuclear exchange at the lowest possible level. As argued earlier, inflicting 'unacceptable damage' on the enemy without also degrading his means of retaliation could result in receiving like 'unacceptable damage' in its counter strike. In conflict, deterrence would have it that the power to destroy the enemy with the remainder of one's arsenal would deter his infliction of unacceptable damage on us. Such self-deterrence in the enemy after receiving 'unacceptable' levels of damage is wishful. Since a counter of like proportions is virtually assured, and would be unacceptable to us also, it makes sense not to get into a position of receiving such a counter strike. This means our retaliatory strike should not be of the order as to provoke a counter that inflicts 'unacceptable damage'. 'Flexible' nuclear retaliation, implying a measured retaliatory strike, suggests itself as a suitable
option. It is permissive of a wider range of options than strikes causing 'unacceptable' levels of damage. The problem with this is that there is no guarantee against escalation and termination of exchange(s). It is here that the less-discussed 'Sundarji doctrine' has advantages. This requires termination of the exchange(s) at the lowest levels of escalation. It explicitly states the intent not to escalate by promising to remain at the lowest level and promising to end the exchange earliest. This gives incentives to the enemy to stay at the lower end himself and not to go in for fur-
In case of Pakistan being the nuclear adversary, internal communal harmony may not withstand the strain of misplaced perceptions and those taking political advantage of the situation. Thus, even if the enemy is 'finished', 'India' as we know it, would also cease to exist. Receipt of 'unacceptable damage' would be equivalent to shocks administered by Timur, Nadir Shah and Abdali in history. Lastly, provinces that have borne the impact of an 'unacceptable damage' in the form of loss of an urban centre would be miffed. The balance of ethnicities and communities that is India in reality
It has repeatedly been demonstrated that India's disaster response mechanisms are weak. While these will strengthen over time, Cold War experience indicates that protection through anti missile defenses and shelters etcetera is an expensive chimera
ther exchanges, hoping to give us similar incentives. This is at variance with deterrence philosophy that is instead a competition in showing resolve and willingness to face even 'unacceptable' punishment. Such a doctrine makes better sense for India. Firstly, India, just as its putative nuclear adversaries, has vulnerabilities that aggravate 'unacceptable damage'. It would not be able to cope with the aftermath, even if emergency is invoked. It has repeatedly been demonstrated that India's disaster response mechanisms are weak. While these will strengthen over time, Cold War experience indicates that protection through anti missile defenses and shelters etcetera is an expensive chimera. Secondly, the poor would suffer more, especially the long term impact. Unprecedented breakdown of order, in multiples of the Partition experience, would occur. India though powerful, is also a 'weak' state. The verities of national life, as we know it, will be challenged. The impact on polity could be a lurch towards the Right and authoritarianism.
would be upset. Appraisal of the changed local balance would be likely to make the groups effected disillusioned enough to reopen sovereignty issues. In deterrence theory, self-deterrence occurs due to such negative prognostications. Therefore, theory has it that political 'resolve' has to be cultivated and demonstrated. Doing so reinforces deterrence. But consideration as to the response when deterrence for some reason or other has broken down, requires moving away from the promise of inflicting punishment to preserving oneself from unacceptable punishment. In this light, the Sundarji doctrine recommends itself. It would help preserve India, even while sparing the nuclear opponent the temerity to break the nuclear taboo. Its expectation that nuclear escalation can be avoided needs debate. Measures that need to be instituted for its success, such strategic dialogue in a permanent nuclear risk reduction and management mechanism, can then be emplaced. The writer is a Security Analyst
India Post Talk what, to whom?
akistan High Commissioner to India Shahid Malik has expressed regrets that India and Pakistan are not talking. He feels that if a dialogue was initiated and no progress was made, even that is some progress! India's Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor gave the standard response that no dialogue with Pakistan was possible till the nuclear-armed neighbor prosecutes the 26/11 accused and dismantles the infrastructure of terror. For the sake of argument let us assume that a dialogue is initiated. With whom does India talk to in Pakistan? With President Asif Ali Zardari? He doesn't seem to wield much power and is president only in name. His own views on Kashmir and peace with India are anathema to the establishment. After the striking down of the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO), his own hold on presidency is in peril. He has differences with his own prime minister who wants to take over some of his powers. Then should India talk to Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani? He also doesn't have full control over his own government's functioning. The NRO has handicapped some of his ministers. He has all the time to look over his shoulder towards the Army which has time and again destabilized governments and ruled Pakistan under martial law for most of Pakistan's existence. The image of the Army has suffered a great deal because of the Musharraf era misrule. But it still calls the shots and is engaged in fighting the Taliban which can make government functioning impossible. For its own security the government needs the Army help. And can the Prime Minister talk to India without the Army's nod? Then should India talk to the Pakistani Army? That is a physical impossibility because in its present state the Pak Army doesn't wield political power, however powerful it may be behind the scenes. This Army continues to smart from a number of defeats to India in conventional wars and would not like to let go any covert opportunity to harm India. It is the creator and nurturer of the Taliban and the jihadi organizations and would love an opportunity to once again launch a spectacular attack in India through its proxies so as to divert attention and disengage from the war it is fighting against its own progenies, imposed upon it by the US. So will General Ashfaq Pervez Kiyani talk to India? He is the one who ordered warjets over Lahore to frighten its own citizens and create a war hysteria after India threatened to launch an attack after 26/11. Still, let us assume that India and Pakistan begin to talk, something that the US establishment doesn't tire of suggesting. What shall they talk on? India shall insist that Pakistan punish the perpetrators of 26/11 and dismantle the terror infrastructure which is still intact and in fact being reorganized in Pakistan occupied Kashmir. And what shall Pakistan want to talk? Straightway it will demand, "Let's talk Kashmir!" For a successful dialogue between two countries to proceed, an agreed agenda has to be arrived at. Is that ever possible? India says talk Mumbai and Pakistan says talk Kashmir! An unofficial dialogue is always taking place between the two countries through the media. In this age and reach of technology, a comment in India draws a response from Pakistan and vice versa. The Pakistani leadership is in disarray and mired in existentialist problems. The civic society is unwilling to let go of the mindset that violence is a legitimate means to secure one's interests. Like a Frankenstein, this approach has rebounded on Pakistan but still its elite clings to the hope that it will one day help to humiliate India!
January 1, 2010
India Post 51
52 India Post
January 1, 2010
Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt, Riteish Deshmukh and Jacqueline Fernandez
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Published on Dec 28, 2009