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Traffic crossing named after Indian American Details on page 12

Health gaps among ethnic populations Details on page 24

What's in a name? Ask Rajeev Sharma Details on page 28

NEW YORK • WASHINGTON D.C. • CHICAGO • ATLANTA • CALIFORNIA

VOL 15, No. 811

April 2, 2010

50¢

Periodical Postage

NO COMMITMENT ON N-DEAL TO PAK

WASHINGTON: Pakistan has failed to get a clear commitment from the US on securing a civilian nuclear deal which it had been seeking from Washington in its upgraded strategic dialogue here. At the end of the first of two days of a high-level strategic dialogue between the two countries, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton merely said that the US would look into whatever issues the Pakistani delegation has raised

including the nuclear deal. "We have a broad agenda, with many complicated issues, like the one you referred to. Discussions are continuing. While I will not go into details of our bilateral conversation, we've said that we will listen to and engage with our Pakistani partners on whatever issues the delegation raises. Details on page 6

Sikh American graduates as US Army officer

Prasanth Goinaka

Indian student killed in Oklahoma City Details on page 14

Indians advised to opt for Entry Visa, PIO or OCI Details on page 42

Minister unveils next phase of US-India trade Details on page 21

India Post News Service

Saudi Arabia foils major terror bid Details on page 8

ISI pressurizing Indian terror suspects Details on page 6

INDIA POST SURVEY survey@indiapost.com This week’s question

Will US yield to Pak on N-deal? Last week’s result

Nirupama Rao presented robust case for India? YES 63%

NO 37%

NEW YORK: Captain Tejdeep Singh Rattan graduated from basic training at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio last week to become the first turbaned Sikh army officer to complete the training in over two decades. “I am overjoyed to serve my country, work with my fellow soldiers, and to have completed basic training,” said the 31-year old dentist. “Most importantly, in preparation for my work as a soldier, I was able to successfully complete all aspects of my initial training. I had an overwhelmingly positive experience. I am very thankful to the base command, Army leadership, and my fellow soldiers. I look forward to continuing to serve my country.” Details on page 11

Tax benefits for US middle class announced Details on page 21

CONTENTS Bollywood ---------------------- 38-39 Classifieds --------------------- 49-51 Community Post -------------- 11-20 Date Book -------------------------- 48 Edit Page --------------------------- 53 HealthScience Post --------- 24-27 Horoscope ------------------------- 46 Immigration Post ------------- 42-45 India ---------------------------------- 40 Life Style ----------------------- 28-30 Philosophy ------------------------- 52 Publisherís Diary ------------------ 4

WELL DONE: Major Gen. Russell J. Czerw, commander of the U.S. Army Medical Department Center and Fort Sam Houston Chief of the Army Dental Corps speaks with Captain Rattan about his accomplishment. Captain Kamaljeet Singh Kalsi, who will attend basic training this summer, looks on

Certified by “CIRCULATION VERIFICATION COUNCIL Readership 117,765”

Readers Write --------------------- 47 Real Estate ------------------------ 37 TechBiz Post ------------------- 21-23 Travel & Hospitality Post ---- 31-34


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t's getting increasingly frustrating to see the almost violent way the hardliners are reacting against the healthcare reform bill that has just been made into law. While it is obvious the forces that are working behind these outbursts of such an aggressive opposition to reform - the pharma, insurance and medical industry in general - acting with the Republicans as their front, what is becoming ridiculous are the reasons for their opposing the reform. There are those who are afraid that President Obama is converting the US into a socialist or communist state; then there are those that are angry that the new law encourages abortions; and those that are panicking that they might now actually have to go and get insurance; I have heard doctors whining that they might have to see more patients now because more people would be able to afford insurance. I can understand the desperation of the insurance companies because now their stranglehold over the American people will have to be loosened, but who are these "American people" that the Republicans keep harping are unhappy with the reform? Who are these "American people" that the television channels keep surveying to come up with high disapproval ratings? I simply do not see what is there to not understand when the law says people don't have to pay the corrupt insurance industry high premiums anymore; that they will not be denied insurance for pre-existing conditions; that their insurance would not be dropped if they became ill; that the unemployed and underemployed and small business owners would be able to afford insurance. The Republicans were okay when close to a trillion dollars was given away to the Wall Street giants that crippled the country's economy, but are ranting over the earmarking of a similar amount of money by the administration for providing healthcare to the common people. What will it take for the common American people see how they have become pawns in the death hold of the big corporations from the financial to insurance, pharma and food industry?

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After employing every trick to keep their affair under wraps, lovebirds Rani Mukerji and Aditya Chopra have owned up.

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Cover Story: US no to Pak Pakistan has failed to get a clear commitment from the US on securing a civilian nuclear deal.

Community: Sikh officer Capt. Tejdeep Singh Rattan has become the first turbaned Sikh army officer to complete the basic training in over two decades.

Health: Historic Bill The historic healthcare reform bill to expand coverage was signed into law by President Obama on March 23.

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Travel: Gangtok This small town, capital of Sikkim, with its rich flora, serene Buddhist mon asteries, wins over those in search of tranquility.

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No commitment on n-deal to Pak WASHINGTON: Pakistan has failed to get a clear commitment from the US on securing a civilian nuclear deal which it had been seeking from Washington in its upgraded strategic dialogue here. At the end of the first of two days of a high-level strategic dialogue between the two countries, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton merely said that the US would look into whatever issues the Pakistani delegation has raised including the nuclear deal. "We have a broad agenda, with many complicated issues, like the one you referred to. Discussions are continuing. While I will not go into details of our bilateral conversation, we've said that we will listen to and engage with our Pakistani partners on whatever issues the delegation raises. We're committed to helping Pakistan meet its real energy needs," she said. Clinton, who was speaking at a joint press conference with Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi at the end of the first day of talks, replied this

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) looks on as Pakistani Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi answers a question during a press briefing following their bilateral meeting at the Department of State in Washington, DC, on March 24

when asked by a journalist whether the US was prepared to discuss a civilian nuclear deal

with Pakistan. "I was pleased to inform the Foreign Minister (Qureshi) that

our goal is a multi-year security assistance package, including foreign military financing, based

upon identified mutual strategic objectives, which would further strengthen our long-term partnership with Pakistan," she said. "We of course will work closely with Congress to further develop this commitment," she said, adding the high-powered delegations from the two countries also discussed the importance of working on a multi-year basis with regard to resource planning. She also said the two countries will sign implementation agreements for three thermal power station rehabilitation projects that will provide more electricity to more people in Pakistan. Earlier in the day, Qureshi made a pitch for the civilian nuclear deal by seeking "non-discriminatory access to vital energy resources" as Pakistan struggles to overcome massive power cuts. Clinton said she is working together to ensure that Pakistanis have access to affordable and reliable power, which is essential to funding economic development. -PTI

India will have to revisit its Pak ISI pressurizing Indian terror suspects to launch attacks policy soon: Qureshi WASHINGTON: Pakistan has said India will have to "revisit" its policy on engagement with Islamabad "very soon", an apparent reference to the stalled dialogue between the two countries. "I am of the view that Pakistan has been willing to engage, and I am confident as -- you know, two years down the line, I am confident of this relationship. "I am confident that India will

have to revisit its policy and very soon," Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told reporters here during a joint press conference with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton following the US-Pak Strategic Dialogue. He was apparently referring to India's position that it would not resume composite dialogue with Pakistan until it takes concrete action against those who are responsible for terror attacks in In-

dia. And on Indo-US relationship, Qureshi said as far as India is concerned it is a sovereign country and has bilateral relations with Washington. "We respect that. But all we are saying (is) that those relations should not be at the cost of Pakistan, and we are very clear and I think you're (Clinton) very clear on that," the Foreign Minister said. -PTI

'US-Pak dialogue shouldn't affect Indo-US ties' ISLAMABAD: Contending that Pakistan and the US have a shared desire for stability in South Asia, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said their strategic dialogue should not affect the IndoAmerican ties. "As far as the Pakistan-US strategic dialogue is concerned, the US has good relations with India and we don't want those relations to be affected. We have our relations with the US and they have theirs," Gilani said. "As far as India is concerned, the whole world knows that we want good relations with our neighbors. We want regional stability and the US too desires regional stability and better relations between us and our neigh-

bors," he told reporters on the sidelines of an official function. Gilani was responding to a

Gilani said, ‘When we want better relations with our neighbors, how can it be possible that this aid will be diverted for other purposes? question on the impact of the Pakistan-US strategic dialogue on the regional situation.

Referring to the dialogue, he said Pakistan's "focus is on the war on terrorism and we have to keep focusing on that." Asked about India's reservations about Pakistan using American aid to boost its military, Gilani said, "When we want better relations with our neighbors, how can it be possible that this aid will be diverted for other purposes? "Economic assistance will be used for economics, and (aid from the) Coalition Support Fund will be used for defense (purposes)," he added. Pakistan's electricity shortage and crippling energy crisis was "priority number one" in the strategic dialogue with the US, he said. -PTI

NEW DELHI: Indian terror sus- monwealth Games scheduled later pects who are enjoying the pa- this year, the terror groups being tronage of Pakistan's ISI are be- provided all help by ISI are under ing pressurized to launch terror more pressure to launch attacks attacks in the country. but are jittery over busting of variOfficial sources said many ter- ous modules by police across the rorists who have been given pro- country. tection for quite a number of years They said the efforts are to have been asked to prove their launch an attack and try to project worth or face consequences. the country as unsafe before the This was revealed during inves- Games. They said the strategy tigations into the alleged plans of Sikh militant group Babbar Sources said that with CommonKhalsa International wealth Games scheduled later men to plant a bomb in the national capital this year, the terror groups being and Himachal provided all help by ISI are Pradesh. under more pressure to launch Sources said the men were being pro- attacks but are jittery over vided directions by busting of various modules by Pakistan-based Wadhwa Singh and police across the country Parminder Singh, who figure in dossier of wanted terror- would be to launch an attack ists passed to Pakistan recently. through various groups based "The men have been provided here rather than by those from cover for so long. There are no outside the country. free lunches in the world. They Incidentally, on March 17, hunhave to show their worth to enjoy dreds of armed militants includthe shelter of the ISI," a source ing top LeT commander Abdul said. Wahid Kashmiri and Hizb-ulHe said attempts are being Mujahideen chief Syed made by certain men to re-group Salahuddin had gathered in Kotli and launch attacks on country's town of Pakistan occupied Kashstability. mir (PoK) vowing to wage 'jihad' Sources said that with Com- against India. -PTI


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Trust deficit exists in Pak-US ties: Media ISLAMABAD: A trust deficit still haunts Pakistan's ties with the US which is not entirely convinced of this country's commitment to the war on terror, the media here said, seeking sustained efforts to build on bilateral strategic dialogue to achieve goals like getting a civil nuclear deal. Most Pakistani dailies described the upgraded US-Pak strategic dialogue as the start of a new phase in bilateral relations, though editorials in some newspapers cautioned that both countries will have to put in more hard work to tackle persisting suspicions and build closer cooperation. "There is still a trust deficit that has not been filled in completely. Washington is not entirely convinced that Pakistan is totally committed to the war against militancy," 'The News' daily said in an editorial titled 'Talking Points'. "There is also the issue of possible terrorist acquisition of nuclear weapons. No matter how far-fetched the scenario, it lives on in US minds. This will make the task of pushing any kind of deal involving nuclear technology

through US Congress all the (more) harder," the editorial said. Only when trust exists can progress be made and it appears Pakistan will need to concentrate on that vital first step while hoping for something more tangible from its mission in Washington, the editorial concluded.

‘There is still a trust deficit that has not been filled in completely. Washington is not entirely convinced that Pakistan is totally committed to the war against militancy’ The Daily Times, in its editorial, said: "Things looked even rosier when (US Secretary of State) Hillary Clinton emphasized on a long-term strategic relationship with Pakistan, a kind that resulted in a nuclear deal with India." It contended that a "major

change" had been observed in the US attitude towards Pakistan's nuclear program. The US had "moved to allay concerns" and expressed trust in Pakistan's capabilities to safeguard its nuclear installations, the editorial said. However, the Daily Times cautioned that the Pakistan-US relationship had "remained on a bumpy track throughout its history, with perception gaining strength in Pakistan that the US is a fair-weather friend. Noting that Clinton has warned that the dialogue cannot be expected to bring dividends "overnight," the newspaper said: "It will take sustained efforts and hard work to garner the desired results." If the two sides agree in principle on the issues being discussed in the strategic dialogue, Pakistan will be in a "better position to tackle militancy on its soil, which is severely hampering progress and having an adverse impact on the entire region," the editorial pointed out. Reports on the front pages of most dailies trumpeted the good

beginning made in the strategic dialogue. 'US, Pakistan take bumpy road to better ties' read the headline in 'The Frontier Post', while the 'Daily Times' headlined its report: "'New day' for US, Pakistan: Hillary." The news reports referred to the pledges made by the two

‘One can be an optimist and hope that the talks will yield some results this time round but in all probability promises will be made on some issues, including on nuclear cooperation, which will not see fruition’ sides to broaden ties and also the US decision to provide 125 million dollars for energy development in Pakistan. However, 'The Nation', which has been very critical of US policies towards Pakistan, said in an editorial titled 'Negative Starting Note' that the launch of the stra-

tegic dialogue "shows no promise of any major breakthrough for Pakistan vis-a-vis the US." "One can be an optimist and hope that the talks will yield some results this time round but in all probability promises will be made on some issues, including on nuclear cooperation, which will not see fruition - given not only the Obama administration's own proclivities but also the US process which includes Congressional approvals," the editorial said. It slammed Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi for adopting a "subservient tone" in his press statement with Clinton. It said that Clinton had "declared that things and perceptions cannot alter in a day, but forgot that Pakistan has been in the USled erroneous war on terror for almost a decade with debilitating results for the nation." "While it is too early to pass a comprehensive judgment on the dialogue, the beginning gave little indication that Pakistan will be assertive and restructure which so far has been a client-state relationship with the US," the editorial concluded. -PTI

Pak terror groups to step up 'jihad' against India ISLAMABAD: Pakistan-based terror groups, including the Lashker-e-Taiba and Hizb-ulMujahideen, have vowed to step up their 'jihad' to liberate Kashmir from India and asked Islamabad to adopt a concrete strategy for this purpose. The militant leaders pledged to strengthen their armed struggle and wage a jihad to "free" Jammu and Kashmir during a rally held in Kotli, a town in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Among the dozen speakers who addressed the gathering were top LeT commander Abdul Wahid

Kashmiri and Hizb-ul-Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin, who also heads the United Jihad Council, an umbrella organization of all the militant groups active in Kashmir. Leaders of the Jamaat-udDawa, declared a front for the LeT by the UN Security Council, also attended the rally. Kashmiri said the LeT will continue supporting the Kashmiri people "until they achieve freedom from India". In his address, Salahuddin said jihad is the "only way" to liberate Kashmir as "diplomacy, talks and negotiations" over the past few

decades "have not worked". "We reject talks between India and Pakistan as a hoax because dialogue can never lead to the freedom of Kashmir," said Salahuddin. "Therefore, we strongly believe that the Kashmir dispute can be settled only through jihad," he said. A resolution adopted at the rally said: "Jihad will continue until India ends its occupation of Kashmir." Salahuddin also accused Pakistan's former military ruler Pervez Musharraf of having stabbed the Kashmiris in the back

US envoy rushes to ensure Qureshi not body-scanned WASHINGTON: The extend to which the Obama Administration will go to humor Pakistan is highlighted by the fact that its envoy to UK drove four hours to Manchester to ensure that a zealous American airline security does not body-scan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi ahead of his arrival here. When Qureshi's commercial flight to the US stopped in

Manchester this week, American Ambassador in London, Louis B Susman, drove four hours to be there for the hour-long layover. Susman's mission was to "avoid any unpleasantness -- including the possibility that British-based US airline security might insist on body-scanning Qureshi -- that might start the US-Pakistan strategic dialogue in Washington off on the wrong foot," the Washington Post re-

ported. As Pakistan and the US struggle to overcome what both characterize as a mutual "trust deficit," the Obama Administration hopes that the upgraded strategic talks will consolidate the new partnership the President promised in exchange for Pakistan's cooperation in shutting down Taliban and al-Qaeda havens in that country, the paper said.-PTI

Syed Salahuddin (C), chairman of the 16-party United Jihad Council, who is also supreme commander of the hardline Hizbul Mujahedin group, is escorted by guards as he leaves a rally in the town of Kotli, some 80 kilometres (50 miles) southeast of Islamabad on March 23

when they were "nearing their freedom". About 5,000 people attended the rally in Kotli, located about 80 km from Islamabad. Militant groups based in PoK had maintained a low profile over the past few years. However, there has been a marked spurt in their activities in recent months. The rally was organized to mark Pakistan Day, the anniversary of the adoption in 1940 of the

Pakistan Resolution, which called for the creation of a separate country for the Muslims of the subcontinent. India has asked Pakistan to take action against LeT founder and JuD chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, who it has described as the mastermind behind the 2008 Mumbai attacks. Pakistan has maintained that there is no evidence that would allow it to prosecute Saeed.-PTI


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US Attorney General discusses Headley issue with Chidambaram India Post News Service

NEW DELHI: The US Attorney General March 20 discussed with the Union Home Minister, P. Chidambaram various aspects relating to the plea agreement between Headley and the US Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. In a statement issued here, Chidambaram said that the plea agreement should spur Pakistan to take action against all the conspirators of the 26.11 attacks. Following is the text of his statement. "Yesterday, at the media briefing, I tried to explain the import of the 'plea agreement' between David Coleman Headley and the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. Later in the evening, Mr. Eric Holder, Attorney General and Head of the Justice Department of the US Government, called me and we had a long conversation. I am happy to state that the conversation has clarified a number of aspects concerning the plea agreement. Mr Holder drew pointed attention to the following portion under the Chapter "Cooperation": Defendant agrees that, when directed by the United States Attorney's Office, he will fully and truthfully participate in any debriefings for the purpose of gathering intelligence or national security information. Defendant further agrees that, when directed by the United States Attorney's Office, he will fully and truthfully testify in any foreign judicial proceedings held in the United States

by way of deposition, video conferencing or letters rogatory. Defendant agrees to the postponement of his sentencing until after the conclusion of his cooperation." It is my understanding that India would be able to obtain access to David Coleman Headley to question him in a properly constituted judicial proceeding. Such judicial proceeding could be either

Defendant further agrees that, when directed by the United States Attorney's Office, he will fully and truthfully testify in any foreign judicial proceedings held in the United States by way of deposition, video conferencing or letters rogatory pre-trial or during an inquiry or trial. It is also my understanding that David Coleman Headley is obliged to cooperate fully and truthfully in such proceedings." Chidambaram further stated: "The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has already registered FIR No.4 dated 11.11.2009 against David Coleman Headley and Tahawwur Hussain Rana. I have today directed NIA and the

other Agencies concerned in the case to quickly prepare the documents necessary to start a judicial proceeding in which Indian Authorities could require David Coleman Headley to answer questions and/or to testify. There is another aspect of the "plea agreement" which is of enormous significance. The plea agreement is the most damning indictment of the role played by certain persons in Pakistan. In his plea agreement, David Coleman Headley has admitted to conspiring with LeT members A, B, C & D; he has admitted to meeting with and receiving instructions from them; he has admitted to attending training camps organized by the LeT on five separate occasions; he has admitted to meeting in Pakistan with various co-conspirators including but not limited to LeT members; and he has admitted to being privy to the attacks planned in Mumbai and the dispatch of a team of attackers by sea. Pakistan was in a state of denial for many months after the attacks of 26/11. Thereafter, grudgingly and bowing to the pressure applied by India through the dossiers and otherwise, Pakistan initiated proceedings against a few of the persons involved in the conspiracy, even while key conspirators are still at large. The "plea agreement" should spur Pakistan to take action against all the conspirators and bring them to justice. Nothing short of that will be acceptable to India or will satisfy world opinion."

Saudi Arabia foils major terror bid DUBAI: Saudi Arabian anti-ter- 51 Yemenis and a Somali, ror forces swooped down and Bangladeshi and an Eriterian nabusted heavily-armed cells of al- tional. One group consisted of Qaeda linked terrorists who were more than 100 insurgents, while planning to strike nation's oil in- two others were smaller. stallations and security establishThe Saudi anti-terror forces ments. stumbled on the terror cells folMore than 100 insurgents were lowing arrest of two suspected alarrested in raids carried out last Qaeda terrorists who tried to infilweek and the terror cells busted trate into the Kingdom, disguised comprised mostly Saudi and in burqa and carrying explosive Yemeni nationals, as well as residents of Somalia, Bangladesh and Eriteria, the interior min- More than 100 insurgents were istry said in a statement arrested in raids carried out read out over state tele- last week and the terror cells vision. busted comprised mostly Those rounded up included a Yemeni, Saudi and Yemeni nationals, whom Saudi security of- as well as residents of Somaficials described as belia, Bangladesh and Eriteria, ing a prominent member the interior ministry said in a of al-Qaeda. Armaments seized statement read out over included explosive belts state television used by suicide bombers, assault rifles, ammunition, computers, pre-paid mobile belts. The two were shot dead by SIM cards and documents, the Saudi guards. interior ministry said. "The strike by the terror cells Most of those arrested were was imminent," Saudi officials from the southern province of said. Saudi anti-terror forces have Jazan, near the border with Yemen, recently foiled several plots to aswhere Yemeni forces and al-Qaeda sassinate members of the ruling linked rebels and Shia groups al-Saud family. have been locked in fierce fights. Deputy interior minister Prince Saudi officials said those ap- Mohammad bin Nayef escaped a prehended comprised 47 Saudis, bid to kill him recently.-PTI

Pak women demonstrate outside UN India Post News Service

WOMENĂ­S MONTH: US Ambassador Timothy J Roemer and Mrs Roemer celebrate WomenĂ­s Month at their residence, Roosevelt House, by honoring the accomplishments of Indian women and their contributions to society. Guests at the function included Shahnaz Husain (to Mrs. RoemerĂ­s left), Ritu Kumar, Dr. Sudha Sood, Professor Veena Ravi Kumar and Dr. Yamini Krishnamurti.

Quetta and is being used as a sex slave by Pakistani Army. The organization urges the International Community to allow International Observer and Media to be freely allowed to visit Balochistan and Gilgit Baltistan and meet those families who family members are disappeared and

GENEVA: European Organization of Pakistani Minorities, an International Independent NGO working for the minority rights for Pakistani's organized a Peaceful prayer demonstration in front of the United Nations under the symbolic broken chair. The prayer was organized with a pres- The prayer was organized with ence of more than 100 a presence of more than 100 women from different women from different faiths who faiths who lit candles for the plight of Paki- lit candles for the plight of stani women, who Pakistani women, who have have been killed, raped, been killed, raped, and acid and acid attacked by attacked by Pakistani Army Pakistani Army. Their concerns was for the women of Baluchistan and Gilgit no police case is being registered Baltistan where women were ar- against them. The organization also pleads rested by army officials and taken to torture camps where these women to the United Nations for orgaare raped and used as sex slaves, nizing a Special Session on plight one such case is of Zarina Marri who of Pakistani Women in the Huis a 23 year school teacher from man Rights Council.


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India to write to US for getting Chidambaram says no turn around by US on access to Headley Headley's access NEW DELHI: The Home Ministry will soon write to the US Department of Justice seeking a date for having direct access to Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist David Headley, currently under American custody. In the letter, to be finalised in the next few days by Home Minister P Chidambaram and top officials, the Ministry will tell the American authorities that a team of Indian investigators was ready and it could visit the US once a confirmation is given.

Department of Justice will have to take permission from the Chicago court, which is hearing Headley's case, about India's request to have his direct access. Special Secretary (Internal Secretary) U K Bansal met Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium and discussed with him about the options available before Indian investigators to question Headley under the plea bargain agreement between him and the American government. Sources said investigators believe that access to Headley can Sources said investigators believe be obtained only through legal that access to Headley can be channels as he is under the cusobtained only through legal channels tody of court, which functions under the US law. as he is under the custody of court, Under the plea bargain, India which functions under the US can have access to the terrorist law.Under the plea bargain, India by deposition, video conferencing can have access to the terrorist by or through Letters Rogatory. Sources said India will like to exdeposition, video conferencing plore all the three. or through Letters Rogatory Headley had pleaded guilty to all the 12 terror charges of conTop government sources said the Na- spiracy involving bombing public places tional Investigation Agency (NIA), prob- in India, murdering and maiming persons ing the case of the 49-year-old terrorist who and providing material support to foreign has admitted to plotting the audacious terrorist plots and Pakistan-based LeT beMumbai terror attack, will file the charge sides aiding and abetting the murder of six sheet against him only after having a direct US citizens in the 26/11 attacks that killed access to him. 166 people. Headley was arrested by the According to the American law, the US FBI in October last year. -PTI

US, UK should pressurize Pak to close terror camps: Chidambaram LONDON: Pakistan's "friends" like the India faces the threat from Pakistan-based US and the UK should put "pressure" on it terrorists. to close the terrorist camps operating in "Once you allow these terror groups to that country, Home Minister P train, recruit and be able to build capacity Chidambaram said, adding terror training to strike, they can strike in India, they can must come to en end. strike in UK, they can strike in Denmark as In an interview to BBC, he lamented that they were planning out of the Karachi the civilian government in Pakistan has not project", he said. moved towards reining in the ISI and likened Pak-based terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba to al- Chidambaram, who was on an offiQaeda. cial visit here, said things would be Chidambaram, who was on an better ‘if there is a truly civilian govofficial visit here, said things ernment in Pakistan which can rein in would be better "if there is a truly civilian government in Pakistan the ISI and direct the army and the ISI which can rein in the ISI and di- to move in and dismantle their terror rect the army and the ISI to move infrastructure’. ‘The camps must be in and dismantle their terror infra- closed. Training must come structure". to an end", he said’ "The camps must be closed. Training must come to an end", he said. "No country is truly safe....Don't think To a question whether he has seen any that India alone is under threat. Every counmovement in that direction in Pakistan, try is under threat from these groups and Chidambaram replied "nothing so far". the Lashkar-e-Taiba today is like the alAsked what he believed would persuade Qaeda, a multi-country group". Pakistan to do that, he said, "the UK, the About his reading of what happened in US know the answer to that question bet- Pune, Chidambaram said, "Pune was a case ter. Certainly, we have not been able to per- where it slipped through the cracks. suade Pakistan. It is Pakistan's friends, Pune was a target. There was specific mutual friends, who would have to bring intelligence shared by the Central governpressure on Pakistan." ment with the Maharashtra police and the Chidambaram said it would be "naive" government. The area, Koregaon park was for Western countries to think that only under a security cover.-PTI

LONDON: Home Minister P was not taking cognisance of Roemer's reChidambaram has said that he does not marks and would be sending its investigathink there has been a "turn around" by tors to the US at the earliest. "I think we are the US on the issue of Indian investigators going ahead and we are not really taking getting direct access to Pakistani-Ameri- cognisance of the US ambassador's recan LeT operative marks," he said. David Headley. 49-year-old "No, I don't think Headley had so," he shot back pleaded guilty to all when asked the 12 terror whether there was charges of cona turn around by spiracy involving the US after its enbombing public voy in New Delhi places in India, Timothy J Roemer murdering and said that "no decimaiming persons sion on direct acand providing macess for India to terial support to forDavid Headley has eign terrorist plots P Chidambaram been made." and Pakistan"... If you reflect based LeT besides more carefully that sentence (of Roemer) aiding and abetting the murder of six US no way (it) contradicts what the US Attor- citizens in the 26/11 attacks that killed 166 ney General (Eric Holder) has told me," people. Chidambaram, who is here on an official Following discussion with Holder, visit, told a TV news channel. Chidambaram had directed National Intelli"It is my understanding that India would gence Agency and other agencies conbe able to obtain access to Headley to ques- cerned in the case to quickly prepare docution him in a properly-constituted judicial ments necessary to start a judicial proceedproceeding. Such judicial proceeding could ing in which Indian authorities could rebe pre-trial or during an inquiry or trial," quire Headley to answer questions and to the Home Minister had said in a statement testify. after a telephonic talk with Holder. India is likely to send a team of investiHome Secretary G K Pillai said that India gators in April to question Headley. -PTI


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Navy on aggressive acquisition; Husain, Bawa set a new high at Sotheby auction plans to have fighter planes NEW DELHI: Indian Navy plans to take up aggressive acquisition programs in aviation including induction of fighter planes and multi-role helicopters for its fleet, its Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma has said. "We are acquiring our ships, aircraft and submarines in accordance with the Navy's current Maritime Capability Perspective Plan. There are presently 40 ships and submarines on order," Verma said. He said in addition, Navy has aggressive acquisition programs in aviation including induction of Mig 29K, the acquisition of Boeing P8I MPA aircraft, additional Kamov 31 helicopters and new multi-role helicopters. "We would also by then have our indigenous strategic submarine force fully operationalised," the Chief of Naval Staff said in an interview to recently published 'Manas Defense Year Book'. "The linking of all our platforms through ongoing efforts in data linking will realize the creation of a truly network centric force that is tomorrow ready. In sum by 2020,

I see a modern and powerful Navy with a large indigenous component, manned by a highly techsavvy manpower ready to meet the transformational changes," Verma said. To a question on expanding reach of Chinese Navy in Indian

‘In sum by 2020, I see a modern and powerful Navy with a large indigenous component, manned by a highly tech-savvy manpower ready to meet the transformational changes,’ Verma said Ocean, he said the force views it with respect and not in confrontational terms. "We appreciate that the economy of China, like that of India, is highly growth-oriented and, consequently, highly dependent

upon energy. Thus, to sustain her economic growth, China -- like India -- must rely increasingly upon external sources of energy and raw materials. "The principal sources of supply for both countries, lie either in the Indian Ocean, or (they) must travel across the Indian Ocean... Indian Navy views the PLA (People's Liberation Army) Navy with respect and does not see it in confrontational terms," he said. Verma said as for the expanding reach of the PLA Navy impacting India's security, "we must remember every nation has the right to establish friendly and beneficial relations with others, in accordance with its own national interests. "We have confidence in our own national and maritime capabilities not to feel threatened by any country's legitimate relations with another," he said adding that the Navy is constantly working at capability enhancement and capacity building in pursuance of the country's strategic requirements and doctrinal necessities. PTI

NEW YORK: A 1955 untitled painting by M F Husain was sold for USD 1,058,500, the highest price of the day and over five times of what was estimated at an auction here. Indian artist Majit Bawa's untitled painting sold for USD 602,500, double the pre-sale high estimate of USD 200/300,000). "We are delighted to have set a new world record price for a work by Manjit Bawa at auction; the USD 602,500 price achieved was far above our pre sale expectations," said Zara Porter Hill, International Head of Indian Art at Sotheby's. "It is by far the most important work by Manjit Bawa to have appeared at auction in the past 10 years and it attracted interest from all around the world," she added. Bawa, a painter from Punjab, died in 2008, at the age of 67, from a stroke following nearly three years in coma. The painting depicts a person standing on two galloping white horses against a rich red backdrop. The new record was set at the Indian and South East Asian Art

auction in New York where Sotheby's sold 74 Modern Indian paintings for USD 5.4 million. "A staggering 97 per cent sold by value rate," Sotheby officials said. Tyeb Mehta's 1959 untitled painting from the Emanuel Schlesinger Collection fetched USD 566,000 (est. USD 100/ 120,000) and Syed Haider Raza's two paintings sold for over USD 300,000 including L'inconnu which fetched UAD 458,500 (est. USD 120/180,000). "The USD 1,058,500 fetched for a highly important untitled painting from 1955 by M F Husain was a stunning success as was the Schlesinger Collection where all the works sold, totaling USD 921,650 against an estimate of USD 237/352, 000," Hill said. "These results again show the appetite for good quality works with distinguished provenance offered at attractive estimates," she added. Raza, 88, was born in Madhya Pradesh but spent a great deal of his life in France. He was awarded the Prix de la Critique in Paris in 1956. -PTI


Desi News Traffic intersection named after Indian American India Post News Service

NEW YORK: A traffic intersection in Staten Island, NY has been named posthumously in honor of Dr. Jitendra Sukhadia, a pediatrician, community leader and philanthropist who passed away two years ago. On March 21, in the presence of family, friends, colleagues and members of City Council of Staten Island, the intersection of 'Arden' & 'Amboy' Avenues was named "Dr Jitendra Sukhadia Crossing", as a tribute to his exceptional humanitarian work.

COMMUNITY ACROSS AMERICA

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300 attend BAPS third annual women's conference at Chino Hills

April 2, 2010

Details on page 17

Sikh American graduates as US Army officer

Details on page 12

NJ group plans mega event to teach Hindi in Atlanta India Post News Service

NEW JERSEY: Yuva Hindi Sansthan, a New Jersey based organization, will hold a two week Hindi language learning and cultural program for middle school students in Atlanta, GA from June 19 to 28. Making this announcement at a recently held community awareness event in Mountainside, NJ, Manju Tiwari, an Atlanta based Hindi teacher and coordinator of the language and cultural camp appealed to the Indian American community. Details on page 15

Hindu Service enters third year at Nevada India Post News Service

NEW YORK: Hindu Baccalaureate Service (Dikshant Utsav), held for the first time in Western USA at prestigious University of Nevada-Reno (UNR) in May 2008, enters its third year next month. Organized by acclaimed IndoAmerican leader Rajan Zed in collaboration with Indian Student Organization of UNR, it will bless graduating class in the traditional Hindu style according to ancient scriptures, complete with applying tilak (religious mark) on the foreheads of graduates. Details on page 16

Members of the local San Antonio Sangat joined Captain Rattan's friends and family in celebrating his graduation. The occasion is a momentous step forward for Sikhs to be allowed employment in all arenas in the United States

After completing his final year of dental school, Tejdeep Singh Rattan joined the US Army Officer Basic Course. Here he speaks to Media after graduation

India Post News Service

Last April, he submitted a request to the Army asking that he be allowed to maintain his turban and beard while serving the Army. This past December, the Army granted his request for accommodation. "We are pleased to learn that Tejdeep's experience demonstrates that Sikh service in the US Army meets military necessity,"

NEW YORK: Captain Tejdeep Singh Rattan graduated from basic training at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio last week to become the first turbaned Sikh army officer to complete the training in over two decades. "I am overjoyed to serve my country, work with my fellow soldiers, and to have completed basic training," said the 31-year old dentist. "Most importantly, in preparation for my work as a soldier, I was able to successfully complete all aspects of my initial training. I had an overwhelmingly positive experience. I am very thankful to the base command, Army leadership, and my fellow soldiers. I look forward to continuing to serve my country." In 1981, the Army banned "conspicuous" religious articles of faith for its service members. This included a ban on Sikh turbans and

unshorn hair in the Army. However, it made an exception in the case of Captain Rattan and granted his request to complete his training as an officer. However, the general policy disallowing Sikhs from maintaining their articles of faith in the military still remains in effect. Captain Rattan was recruited to join the Army's Health Professions

In preparation for my work as a soldier, I was able to successfully complete all aspects of my initial training. I had an overwhelmingly positive experience Scholarship Program several years ago. He maintained his turban throughout his dental education. Nevertheless, after completing his education, he was told that he must remove his religiously mandated turban and unshorn hair before he began active duty.

said Harsimran Kaur, Legal Director, Sikh Coalition, the Sikh advocacy group that had pursued Rattan's case with the US Army. "Turbaned Sikhs previously served the United States' military with distinction in every major armed conflict over the past 100

years. While it is unfortunate that Sikhs were excluded from the military for the past two decades, I hope we will soon turn a page and restore Sikh service in the US military. Sikhs freely serve in the militaries of Great Britain, Canada and India, and as United Nations Peacekeepers. Whether through Tejdeep's experience here in Fort Sam Houston or through the experience of hundreds of thousands of Sikh soldiers in militaries throughout the world, we know Sikhs are capable soldiers. We look forward to the day when the US Army again welcomes the service of all Sikhs." Sikhs and other soldiers of faith were part of the army before the 1981 rule change disallowing the wearing of religious articles of faith. There are six Sikh Americans who have served or continue to serve in the US Army with their turbans and unshorn beards. These six men are: Cont’d on page 13


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Traffic intersection named after Indian American India Post News Service

NEW YORK: A traffic intersection in Staten Island, NY has been named posthumously in honor of Dr. Jitendra Sukhadia, a pediatrician, community leader and philanthropist who passed away two

years ago. On March 21, in the presence of family, friends, colleagues and members of City Council of Staten Island, the intersection of 'Arden' & 'Amboy' Avenues was named "Dr Jitendra Sukhadia Crossing", as a tribute to his exceptional humanitarian work. Dr. Sukhadia had, through his

profession and community service had touched countless lives, especially in Staten Island which was his home for more than three decades. This event was graced by Councilman Vincent Ignicio, NJ Assembly Member Upendra Chivukula and scores of Indian dignitaries from various organizations. In the words of Dr. Sukhadia's wife, Dr.

This event was graced by Councilman Vincent Ignicio, NJ Assembly Member Upendra Chivukula and scores of Indian dignitaries from various organizations

Ila Sukhadia, the street naming ceremony was a fitting homage by the people of Staten Island to immortalize his ideals. Speaking on the occasion, Councilman Ignicio said, "Dr. Sukhadia was not only an exemplary citizen of our community who lived an American Dream but also an inspiration for what we all can be." Dr Ryan McMahon, a

colleague and President of Medical Staff at Richmand Hill Med Center, while praising Dr. Sukhadia's professionalism said, "Jitendra was a guide, a mentor to every one at the hospital and always resorted to long term solutions for medical complexities rather than short term." Cont’d on page 16

Hurt by economic crisis, MAFS sends SOS to community

MAFS seniors with MAFS staff members.

RAMESH SOPARAWALA & SURESH BODIWALA India Post News Service

CHICAGO: The economic crisis that the country has been facing for the past couple of years has now begun engulfing a community oriented organization like Metropolitan Asian Family Services (MAFS) that fears a drastic cut in its services to seniors and other home makers unless timely aid is forthcoming from the concerned authorities or the public at large. Painting a grim picture of the situation, Ms Santosh Kumar, executive director MAFS, strongly pitched for community support - short term and long term - that would help her organization not only to sail through the looming crisis but would enable it to get over roadblocks in the future as well. Addressing a well attended ethnic Indian news media here, she said that "the USA in general and

the State of Illinois in particular are going through very challenging times due to one of the worst recessions since great depression of 1939. This has resulted in a sharp decrease in revenue in face of rising health and long term care cost, high unemployment rate and shrinking business. The State finances are in dire straits. "Immigrant families with ailing seniors to support with linguistic and cultural barriers are facing bigger economic and emotional hardships in this economic downturn. For the past many years, MAFS has been foremost in helping these most disadvantaged in the Diaspora by providing numerous supporting services like home assistance for daily living, assistance for needy seniors, providing transportation, hot meals, adult education, adult entertainment immigration help and many other services. " MAFS, she pointed out, was reimbursed 70% of the total ex-

panse in the form of grant from the State of Illinois. Remainder 30 % of fund was raised by MAFS through annual fund raising activity and donation by individuals and corporate donors. This year the state has been lagging behind in payment of money to MAFS and other organizations. Its payments are held up for the past five months. This is further aggravated by other factor in form of a reduction in State grant from 70% to 40%. MAFS also finds to its dismay that the donations from individuals and corporations have plummeted too in the light of eco-

Pramod Kumar and board members made an announcement that a special fundraising event is scheduled on Saturday, May 22 at 6 pm nomic slide down. All these factors have combined to put MAFS in an unprecedented crisis as it has a continual obligation to meet its overheads - salaries to employees, payments of rent, utilities, vendors etc "But we are not crying wolf or are angling for a cut down in services to seniors and needy in our community. But to put it mildly, the options are fast dwindling unless community rises to the occasion and helps us out," she ob-

served. "We have to make our community aware of this problem faced by MAFS. Like Jewish, Greek, and Chinese communities, our community needs to be acquainted with the need for long term liberal help to continue our undertaking to help our own elderly. This is a trying time. With help from our friends and community members we would like to continue providing services so that our seniors should feel stress free safe, secure, healthy and happy", she added. She also urged to bring consciousness among our community and individuals to set aside a cer-

There was also a discussion about the 2010 Census. Santosh Kumar urged Indian community to fill out the form to be counted which should help organizations like MAFS to receive appropriate state contribution. She also emphasized that illegal immigrants should also fill out this form without any fear, as the census organization is strictly prohibited to share the provided information with any other governmental organization, including immigration and local law enforcement. "The information provided in the census form will be strictly confidential by law", she said.

MAFS meets Indian Press at its HQ on Western Ave. (L-R) Dr. Firdaus Jafri (President MAFS), Mrs. Santosh Kumar (Executive Director MAFS), Shahida Khan (Joint Secretary), and Nalini Goyal

tain percentage of his/her total assets to MAFS to help it achieve self sufficiency of and in turn enable it to render all possible help to seniors. Other novel ways to contribute without any change in his/her life style was also brought to the attention of the media. Dr. Firdaus Jafri and other members of Trustee Board also passionately urged the community to remember to include MAFS in their Estate Plan and Will.

Pramod Kumar and board members made an announcement that a special fundraising event is scheduled on Saturday, May 22 at 6 pm at 1032 E. Ogden Ave, Naperville, a Chicago suburb. He requested the community to support MAFS during this trying time by purchasing the tickets and attending the event. Nalini Goyal, another trustee too made a fervent plea to help MAFS raise sizeable funds during this event.


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Sikh American graduates as US Army officer Cont’d from page 11

• Bhagat Singh Thind, who was recruited in 1918 by the US Army to fight in World War I. Months later, he was promoted to the rank of an Acting Sergeant. Although Sikhs at that time were officially referred to as "Hindoo", Bhagat Singh kept all articles of his faith, competently completing all duties of a soldier. Bhagat Singh received an honorable discharge on December 16th, 1918 with a character designation of "excellent". • Colonel Gopal Singh Khalsa, who joined the US Army in 1976 as a Private, and served in the Special Forces Unit for 10 years on Parachute Status, as a Battalion Commander overseeing an 800person intelligence group, and also received a Meritorious Service Medal with Silver Oak Leaf Cluster Award, amongst many other honors. He is a graduate of the Army Officer Candidate School in Georgia, and was inducted into the Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame

in 2004. Colonel Khalsa currently remains in the reserve command, and has therefore served in the US Army for 33 years. • Colonel Arjinderpal Singh Sekhon, a medical doctor, served in the army from 1984 to 2009. During his 25 years of commissioned service, Colonel Sekhon was stationed in multiple cities around the country. During the First Persian Gulf War, he was called to active duty and served stateside as a doctor at the United States Army Hospital in California. He rose through the ranks to Colonel and was given a Battalion Commander position through which he oversaw a unit of 600700 soldiers. Before ending his career, he was decorated with various awards including a Presidential Unit Citation, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, and an Army Flight Surgeon Badge. • Colonel G.B. Singh enlisted as a dentist in the US Army in 1979 and served until 2007. During his 28 year tenure, he was awarded several honors including the (A)

Standing side by side with his fellow soldiers, Captain Tejdeep Singh Rattan chants the U.S. Army's creed, with his articles of faith intact, during graduation ceremonies for his Officer's Basic Training.

Although Sikhs at that time were officially referred to as "Hindoo", Bhagat Singh kept all articles of his faith, competently completing all duties of a soldier

Prefix, the highest award a medical professional can receive while in the US Army. Colonel Singh was stationed in several areas in the U.S. as well as Korea. • Sergeant Sevak Singh Kroesen enlisted in the US Army reserves in 1976 and was attached to the Signal Company, 11th Special Forces Group after which he successfully completed airborne

(paratrooper) and Radio Teletype Transmission Operator training. He then completed his Special Forces Qualification Courses and became a Special Forces Communications Sergeant. Sergeant Kroesen subsequently completed schools, training, and missions around the world all with honor and distinction. He was honorably discharged from active duty in 1991. • Army Sergeant Kirnbir Grewal served in the US Army from 19771984. He entered the Army as a Private and left at the E6 level as a Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Non-Commissioned Officer (Staff Sergeant). While in Germany, he taught companies how to survive a nuclear and biological warfare attack using protective gear. • Major Parbhur Singh Brar is an ophthalmologist who served in the US from December 1978 to October 1981. He was commissioned as a Reserve Officer, but then moved to Active Duty and was stationed at Ft. Eustis in Newport News, Virginia.


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Indian student killed in Oklahoma City ASHWIN PATEL

Air India participates in Chicago Travel Show AQ SIDDIQUI India Post News Service

OKLAHOMA: Prasanth Goinaka, a 28-year old MBA student, was killed in a store robbery in Oklahoma City in Oklahoma State on Sunday, March 20 around 7.15 pm. Prasanth completed his undergraduate degree from St. Thomas College, Hyderabad (Dilsukh Nagar area), came to Sunnyvale, California just two months ago and joined International Technological University (ITU) to pursue MBA

Prasanth completed his undergraduate degree from St. Thomas College, Hyderabad (Dilsukh Nagar area), came to Sunnyvale, California just two months ago and joined International Technological University (ITU) to pursue MBA degree degree. He went to Oklahoma City three days ago to explore some job opportunities and found a parttime job in one of the convenience stores. Two men walked in to the store as customers, stole the cash from the cash register and gunned down Prasanth. Oklahoma City Police are investigating.

Prasanth Goinaka

TANA Executive Vice President, Prasad Thotakura is in constant touch with the parents of Prasanth, Oklahoma City police department, the Chief Medical Officer and the Indian Consulate authorities and making necessary arrangements to send the deceased to the parents as early as possible. TANA President Jayaram Komati and Secretary Mohan Nannapaneni expressed their deepest condolences to the family of Prasanth and assured them that TANA would make all efforts to expedite the process. Komati requested the community to donate generously towards this cause by using this link and also mention "Prasanth memorial" when donating. https:// www.tana.org/donate/ Prasanth is survived by his parents and a sister. Prasanth's father Rajayya Goinaka works as a senior Asst. in AP Medical Department in Hyderabad.

Seniors Assn. visits Dr Pritam Singh

India Post News Service

AURORA: Members of AASA (Asian American Seniors Association) visited Dr. Pritam Singh, a well known Sikh scholar, at his residence in Aurora, a north side Chicago suburb, and presented him with one dozen red roses. Ninety two years old Dr. Singh, who is credited with numerous articles and books on Sikh religion, had suffered a mild stroke recently but has recovered well. A professor back home as well as here, he used to do explanation of Sikh scriptures at Palatine Gurdwara

Sahib. His wife Dr Mrs. Jasbir Kaur is a retired professor too and was President of Sikh Religious Society of Chicago at one time. An activist in Gurdwara reform movement, he was also jailed for freedom of India movement. AASA offered prayers for Dr. Singh's long life and the well being of his family. He has taken part in many AASA meetings and enjoyed valuable discussions about literary and historical discussions at AASA meetings. AASA members meet every Wednesday at 5pm at Palatine Gurdwara Sahib 1280 Winnetka Rd.

CHICAGO: Informative flyers and leaflets were distributed at Air India stall at Chicago Tribune sponsored Travel Adventure Show held on Saturday-Sunday at Donald E. Convention Center near Rosemont, Chicago. The largest ever show exclusive for travelers to world destinations attracted hundreds of visi-

The most competitive fares from Chicago to Frankfurt now attract Europe travelers to Air India for the comfort of non-stop flight. Many European travelers were seen taking information from the Air India stall at the show tors for two days. The participants - both airlines and travel agents exhibited their services for tourists from Chicago. Jude Crasto, Manager Air India Chicago and District Sales Manager Katherine Thorat person-

Midwest Air India chief Jude Crasto (third from right) and Catherine Thorat (right) with artists participating in Cultural Show at Travel Expo

ally supervised the Air India stall at the show. Air India operates daily non-stop flights from Chicago to Frankfurt and to all destinations in India. The most competitive fares from Chicago to Frankfurt now attract Europe travelers to Air India for the comfort of non-stop flight. Many European travelers were seen taking information from the Air India stall at the show. The Travel & Adventure Show, the largest trade and consumer travel show in the Chicago market included more than 250 exhibitors

from Australia to Korea to the beaches of Florida, travel agents and cruise operators. Maharaja Cruise from Chicago Desi community also made its presence in the show. The show provided an opportunity to visitors to learn to scuba dive, ride a camel, see cultural performances from around the world and book a vacation at discounted rates right on the show floor. Cultural programs comprising of traditional Indian dances by local artists were presented in front of Air India stall of the show.

Sanskrit mantras to open Alaska Senate & House MEGHA PANDYA

JUNEAU: Both Alaska State Senate and House of Representatives in Juneau (USA) will open with Hindu prayers for the first time on April 9. Alaska Senate has 20 members with Gary Stevens as the President, while House of Representatives has 40 members with Mike Chenault as the Speaker. Lonely Planet describes Alaska as "Big, beautiful and wildly bountiful" and its Mount McKinley is the highest mountain peak in North America. Rajan Zed, a Hindu activist, will read the opening prayers from ancient Sanskrit scriptures before Senators and Representatives on this day. After Sanskrit delivery, he will then read the English translation of the prayers. Sanskrit is considered a sacred language in Hinduism and is the root language of Indo-European languages. Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, will recite from Rig-Veda, the oldest scripture of the world still in common use, dated from around 1,500 BCE, besides lines from

Upanishads and Bhagavad-Gita (Song of the Lord), both ancient

Rajan Zed who will read Sanskrit Mantras at Alaska Assembly

Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, will recite from Rig-Veda, the oldest scripture of the world still in common use Hindu scriptures. He plans to start and end the prayer with "Om", the

mystical syllable containing the universe, which in Hinduism is used to introduce and conclude religious work. Reciting from Brahadaranyakopanishad, Rajan Zed plans to say "Asato ma sad gamaya, Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya, Mrtyor mamrtam gamaya", which roughly translates as "Lead us from the unreal to the Real, from darkness to Light, and from death to Immortality." Reciting from Bhagavad-Gita, he proposes to urge State Senators and Representatives to keep the welfare of others always in mind. Rajan Zed is one of the panelists for "On Faith", a prestigious interactive conversation on religion produced jointly by Newsweek and washingtonpost.com. He has been awarded "World Interfaith Leader Award" by National Association of Interchurch and Interfaith Families. Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksha (liberation) is its ultimate goal.


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NJ group plans mega event to teach Hindi in Atlanta India Post News Service

NEW JERSEY: Yuva Hindi Sansthan, a New Jersey based organization, will hold a two week Hindi language learning and cultural program for middle school students in Atlanta, GA from June 19 to 28. Making this announcement at a recently held community awareness event in Mountainside, NJ, Manju Tiwari, an Atlanta based Hindi teacher and coordinator of the language and cultural camp appealed to the

heritage language among youngsters and members of the older generation. "Starting with Georgia, our goal is to campaign for introducing Hindi in the public school curriculum all over USA," said Tiwari adding that the Indian American community must work unitedly to inspire and encourage the younger generation to learn and use our heritage culture, especially when the US government had publicly announced its intention to include Hindi in the school curriculum.

Searson said that Kean University will hold a two-week summer Hindi camp from May 24 to June 5, during which students will learn to communicate in Hindi Indian American community of New Jersey to support the program which aimed at preserving and promoting the heritage language among the younger generation. Yuva Hindi Sansthan (YHS) strives to create opportunities to improve the communicative capacity of youngsters in Hindi through youth-centered workshops, meetings, cultural events, and other educational, academic and community-oriented activities. YHS is working to improve positive attitudes toward the preservation of the

Echoing the sentiments of Tiwari, New Jersey Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula underscored the importance of learning a heritage language in USA. "Hindi is spoken by more than a billion people around the world. It is the national language of India and listed by the US government as a strategic language. It is our duty and responsibility to work for motivating people for learning Hindi irrespective of which language we speak at home," he commented. On behalf of New Jersey Assembly

Holi celebrations by Bihar Cultural Association SURESH SHAH

Akshaj Kumar, Shreelekha Mohanty, Mohan Pallakal, and Gopi Jagarlamundi

CHICAGO: Holi celebrations hosted by Bihar Cultural Association of North America (BCANA) and enlivened by M3 Orchestra on Saturday, March 13 turned out to be a huge success. The skillful music provided by the M3 orchestra made for a perfect accompaniment to the masterful singing by the singers. Shreelekha Mohanty roused the audience to the dance floor with her melodious waltzinspiring Asha Bhonsle hit songs and Ajai Kumar enticed the audience to burn the dance floor with his rendition of popular Holi songs. Mohan Palakkal brought the freshness of the latest melodies to life while Ashok Menon provided a perfect counter balance with his impeccable delivery of golden Rafi numbers.

The M3's orchestrated performance was led by Amit Kumar on keyboard providing a solid base fundamental to the show, Ken D'Souza on guitar providing the perfect cords and bass for each song, and Gopi Jagarlamudi on dholak bringing forth the folksy percussion that is the real essence of Holi. Ten year old Akshaj Kumar, son of Amit Kumar, brilliantly played the drums depicting a level of maturity beyond his tender age. Anchoring the musical ensemble, Rachana Nair was instrumental in creating a lively and interactive environment in which the audience felt as much a part of the musical show as the performers. The colorful and fun-filled evening was closed with a vote of thanks by the President of BCANA, Punyadeo Sharma.

YHS Community Awareness Meeting March 21

Chivukula presented a proclamation supporting the mission of Yuva Hindi Sansthan. Dr. Michael Searson, Director, School of Global Studies and Innovation, Kean University, Union, New Jersey, outlined various programs that his institution launched to promote global education. "We are very much interested in working with the Indian American community for starting successful programs that would enrich the cultural experience of our students. A number of foreign language programs are already running at Kean that allow students to learn and explore other cultures." Searson said that Kean University will hold a two-week summer Hindi camp from May 24 to June 5, during which students will learn to communicate in Hindi. "We will not charge any fee for the program and plan to offer an iPod or a Flip Video Camera as an

added incentive to continue practicing the language. The participants will learn about future opportunities to travel to India and further study of Hindi in the Himalayas," he said. Extending his support for the cause of promoting Hindi, Dr. Sudhir Parikh, publisher of News India Times group of publications informed the audience that he was planning to start the publication of a Hindi newspaper in New Jersey. The event was hosted by Dr. Harmesh Mittal, owner of Raagini restaurant. For information about enrollment to Atlanta Summer Hindi camp Manju Tiwari can be reached by email: msrtiwari@gmail.com, and for information about enrollment to Kean Summer Hindi Camp, Ashok Ojha, Program Director may be contacted at: aojha2003@yahoo.com


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India Post

Community Across America

April 2, 2010

www.indiapost.com

Hindu Baccalaureate Service enters third year at University of Nevada India Post News Service

NEW YORK: Hindu Baccalaureate Service (Dikshant Utsav), held for the first time in Western USA at prestigious University of Nevada-Reno (UNR) in May 2008, enters its third year next month. Organized by acclaimed IndoAmerican leader Rajan Zed in collaboration with Indian Student Organization of UNR, it will bless graduating class in the traditional Hindu style according to ancient scriptures, complete with applying tilak (religious mark) on the foreheads of graduates. Besides keynote address by a Hindu monk, it will also include blessing prayers by Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish, Baha'i, Tao, Confucian and Native American religious leaders. Well known musician Jim Eaglesmith will chant a kirtan number in Sanskrit with audience following him in the chant. Starting with 'Gayatri Mantra' (the most sacred verse from oldest scripture Rig-Veda dated around 1,500 BCE) recitation by Rajan Zed and traditional lamp lighting before the statue of goddess Saraswati, patron of learning

and the arts; it will include blessing the upcoming graduates with wisdom from Vedas, Upanishads and Bhagavad-Gita-all ancient Hindu scriptures. Special certificates will be given to graduates on the occasion with the parting advice as -satyam vada (speak the truth), dharma

Besides keynote address by a Hindu monk, it will also include blessing prayers by Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish, Baha'i, Tao, Confucian and Native American religious leader chara (practice righteousness), matrudevo bhava (treat your mother with great respect), pitrudevo bhava (treat your father with great respect), etc. Washoe County issued a special Resolution to mark the significance of First Annual Hindu Baccalaureate Service of UNR. Next

such Service will be held on April 11 at UNR. Various religious, political, and educational leaders of Nevada are expected to attend this Service. Education in Hindu tradition has been deep rooted; Zed says and adds that after many important universities in ancient India, like Taxila, Nalanda, Sarnath, Amaravati, Banaras, Kanchi and Ujjain; great Indian universities also flourished in medieval period, like Odantapura (745 AD), Vikramasila (810 AD), Somapura (480 AD), Jagaddala (1090 AD). The purpose of this Baccalaureate Service is to root the graduating class in divine spiritual and cultural tradition so that they have a spiritually meaningful life in addition to material success, Zed stresses. The flagship institution of the state established in 1864, UNR is one of the top 120 universities in America for funded research, which spans issues relating to the environment, renewable energy resources, the life sciences and plasma physics. The University competes in 19 men's and women's sports. Dr. Milton D. Glick is the President.

Traffic intersection named after Indian American Cont’d from page 12

Dr. Sukhadia was a past president of New York area Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America for several years and locally spearheaded all its charitable activities. He was also a board member of All India Movement (AIM for Sewa) for eradication of illiteracy in India's tribal areas and a recipient of several awards and honors in the US and India.

Holi celebration at Indo-American Center ANUPAMA PATEL

L-R: Rohit Maniar, a director, greeting members of audience at IAC, Garba by senior citizens at Holi celebration

CHICAGO: Over 125 members of Indian community including Hindu, Muslim and Christians joined Holi celebrations for color, fun and fair at Indo American Center in Chicago recently. The event was organized and coordinated by Gita Chawla. The event kicked off with music and thereafter Master of Ceremony, Govindbhai Limbachia, who emceed the program invited Jay Luthra, Executive Director and Board Directors Ranjeet Ganguli, Rohit Maniar. They extended greetings to all the seniors on behalf of the center. Later Sarla Shah and Prakash Varma related brief stories about Holi. The brief speeches were followed by cultural program that was enjoyed by the audience thoroughly. Sabera Syed, Poria Mahipal, Sudha Baxi , Mir Ali,, Nikhat, Raseem Alavi, Sarla Shah sang songs. Naresh Shah sang ghazal. Jaikrishan Patel, Quadari Mohammad presented jokes and

Govindbahi Limbachia sang Holi Rango ka Tyohar. Some seniors, Kantaben Limbachia, Snehalata ben Shah, Zubeda, Haseena, Sudha Baxi, Geeta Shah and Sarla Shah, participated in Garba with gorgeous outfits. It lasted for two and half hours followed by sumptuous luncheon. Everybody joined in an open dance floor. Music by Shiv Chawla from Dhamaka DJ also helped for various activities of the program. Mrs. Chawla who is the Seniors' Program Coordinator of the program thanked all the community members for their colorful presence and co-operation. She appreciated Javanika Parikh and Yamini Chokshi who prepared most delicious food, Bharatiben Patel who volunteered and cooperated in making phone calls, Kemal Huric for keeping the Center and Chirag Shah who made a movie and took pictures of the whole ceremony.

India's 'One Crazy Ride' makes it to Wisconsin Festival SURESH SHAH

CHICAGO: Indian documentary film 'One Crazy Ride' will be screened at the 12th edition of the Wisconsin Film Festival, said to be the largest campus-based festival in USA. The 2010 Wisconsin Film Festival will run from Wednesday, April 14 through Sunday, April 18 in Madison. Organized by University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Festival presents a broad range of independent American and world cinema (narrative, documentary, experimental, shorts), restorations and revivals, and locally made pictures. Meg Hamel is the festival director while Allen Ebert is operations director. Directed by Gaurav Jani, 87 minutes long "One Crazy Ride" is about a motorcycle expedition on uncharted roads across the Himalayan state of Arunachal Pradesh, situated in North-East India. But more than an expedition, it's a film on friendship, camaraderie and the

"never say die" attitude of five motorcyclists in the face of unforgiving terrain. Shot in the same format as "Riding Solo To The Top Of The World" with no back-up vehicle or film crew, in parts of India hardly seen, filmed or explored, the documentary captures the interactions and experiences of the

A scene form 'One Crazy Ride'

riders who are trying to chart a route, which according to everyone does not exist. Produced by Dirt Track Productions, its music is provided by Ved Nair while Kishore Jadhav is the editor. Gaurav Jani had made 'Riding Solo to the Top of the World' about a solo motorcycle trip through the remote mountains of India in 2006.


Community/California

April 2, 2010

India Post 17

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Cal News Competition winning kids made excellent speeches

300 attend BAPS third annual women's conference at Chino Hills

India Post News Service

SANTA ANA, CA: On March 13 over 50 students participated in the Sri Hemkunt Foundation Speech Competition for Santa Ana Gurudwara area. The purpose of this exercise is to give the children (and their parents) an opportunity to learn Sikh history and philosophy, and to hone their public speaking skills. According to the Santa Ana Center Coordinator, Dr. Ginny Chawla, the participants gave excellent speeches, both in Punjabi and English in five different age groups, ranging from six to twenty five years, on a variety of topics. The prizes were awarded by Dr. Wadhwa, president of the Santa Ana Gurudwara and Mrs. Dhillon, principal of GNCA School. Many members of the Sangat volunteered to make this a huge success, and about 150 people graced the occasion.

India Post News Service

CHINO HILLS, CA: On March 20, the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Hindu Mandir, Chino Hills celebrated the 3rd annual BAPS Women's Conference. Over 300 women from the surrounding communities of Chino Hills, CA gathered to share experiences and draw

butions they have made in the world. BAPS is a current member of the UN's Economic and Social Council. The theme of the conference, "Nurturing Families, Shaping Communities," provided a forum for attendees to discuss the educational and environmental impact created by the global community

‘It doesn't require a

Details on page 18

professional to nurture

Rajasthan Assn celebrates Holi in Sunnyvale

health, anyone can create an impact by communicating,

India Post News Service

SUNNYVALE, CA: The Rajasthan Association of North America (RANA) celebrated Holi Festival at Baylands Park, in Sunnyvale, CA on March 6. The celebration featured 11 items of authentic Rajasthani food including Halwa, Gatte, Tipore and Thandai. The celebration was a big success as the number of attendees rose to 1000. The price structure was very reasonable, just $5 for members and $8 for non-members.

helping, and taking an active role in the

inspiration from the positive impact of women in their local communities. This conference is in recognition of women's accomplishments and cultural, economic and social achievements in their community.

of women through their roles in family and society. The theme draws inspiration from BAPS' core values of nurturing individuals and creating stronger families. The distinguished speakers in today's conference discussed how women

Riverside Temple celebrates Spring with Ugadi program VICTORIA TRUVER

Details on page 20

can be an inspiration to others." Dr Jeanne Black, the manager of health policy research at CedarSinai Medical Center, spoke of promoting healthy behavior through helping the society, environment, low-income communities and civic engagement. She emphasized the importance of an individual's impact in their society. She encouraged the delegates in the conference to participate in their local communities by volunteering in medical clinics and health centers. She stated. "It doesn't require a professional to nurture health, anyone can create an impact by communicating, helping, and taking an active role in the community." Addressing the topic of nurturing the environment, Mrs. Marley Klaus, director of communications in media for the California Endow-

community’

Details on page 19

RIVERSIDE: The Ugadi program at Riverside's Shri Lakshmi Narayan Mandir began with Ganesh Puja followed by the recitation of Lakshmi and Vishnu Sahasranama and Mahishasura Mahini Stotra. The highlight of the day was the cultural program in which regions celebrating Ugadi were represented. Eleven-year-old Swati Balaji, representing Tamil Nadu, gavea speech on the Tamil New Year's Day and sang a Murugan bhajan.

fornia State Assemblyman Kurt Hagman of the 60th district, also presented BAPS with an additional proclamation in recognition of the organization's humanitarian achievements. Grace Hagman, field representative of San Bernadino County Supervisor Gary Ovitt, also presented BAPS with a proclamation honoring the organization of their charitable involvement in the local Chino Hills community. Dr. Tracy Shamas, PhD in in-

Women serve as positive role models and have strong influences toward their family and society. International Women's day (IWD), acknowledged worldwide, is a global day in celebration of women. IWD was commemorated by the United Nations to recognize women and the important contri-

nurture one's education, health, environment and spirituality. The event commenced with California State Assemblywoman of the 61st district, Norma J Torres who presented the women of BAPS with a proclamation commemorating their efforts in nurturing families and shaping communities. Cali-

dustrial and organizational psychology, discussed the power of education. She emphasized how learning is a life-long process that can enhance the pleasures of everyday living. She stressed that "our perceptions and beliefs will shape our image and behavior." Therefore by thinking in a positive manner, one can influence others to think positively as well. She encouraged the delegates that learning should never cease and everyone should set out to meet the goals one has set for oneself. She lastly stated, "As a mother, sister, and woman in the community we are always talking about the negative, but if we talk about the positive it will create a ripple effect, and by doing so all women

ment, discussed the need of building healthy communities. For this to be achieved, she advised how the community needs to take action to help make California a healthier environment for all. She spoke of how "there is power when families get together with organizations to create changes in the environment. Cont’d on page 20


18

Community/California

India Post

April 2, 2010

www.indiapost.com

Competition winning kids made excellent speeches

Grand Baisakhi Day celebrations planned in LA India Post News Service

Dr. Ginny Kaur

Malika Dhillon India Post News Service

SANTA ANA, CA: On March 13 over 50 students participated in the Sri Hemkunt Foundation Speech Competition for Santa Ana Gurudwara area. The purpose of this

Divneet

Dr Chadha

exercise is to give the children (and their parents) an opportunity to learn Sikh history and philosophy, and to hone their public

Nadar

groups, ranging from six to twenty five years, on a variety of topics. The prizes were awarded by Dr. Wadhwa, president of the Santa Ana Gurudwara and Mrs. Dhillon, principal of GNCA School. Many members of the Sangat volunteered

Wadhwa Harjap

speaking skills. According to the Santa Ana Center Coordinator, Dr. Ginny Chawla, the participants gave excellent speeches, both in Punjabi and English in five different age

Viraj Chugh

to make this a huge success, and about 150 people graced the occasion. According to Dr. Arinder Chadha, the zonal convener for Southern Orange County, the winners (first position only) from all centers, including Walnut, Buena Park, San Diego, and Santa Ana will compete at the zonal finals to be held on May 22 at Santa Ana Gurudwara. Following are the winners (1st position) from each category from Santa Ana, who will be competing in the zonal level: Group 1 (Ages 6-8) Malika Kaur Nindra Group 2 (Ages 9-11) Harjap Kaur Group 3 (Ages 12-14) Harnadar Singh Anand Group 4 (Ages 15-17) Veeraj Singh Chugh Group 5 (Ages 18-25) Divneet Kaur Wadhwa

LOS ANGELES: Baisakhi Day is celebrated each year in the Sikh Community of Southern California with an exquisite Kirtan Darbar and royal Nagar Kirtan. Baisakhi Day commemorates the day in 1699 when the 10th of the Sikh Gurus, Guru Gobind Singh Ji, established the Khalsa Panth; a society dedicated to Purity of Spirit. This day is most dear to Sikhs around the world because it is the day when the code of conduct of a Sikh (the Rehit Marayada) was established and mandated those who considered themselves Khalsa (Pure) to live by this defined code and lifestyle. The most prominent of these definitions of lifestyle remains the commitment for every Sikh to live with uncut hair, living as Akal Purkh created each individual. And to add to the grace and dignity of this practice, Guru Gobind Singh Ji directed that all Sikhs wear turbans, which represents royalty and distinction. During those times in history only the Rajas, those of the highest caste were allowed to don pagaree (turbans). However, Guru Gobind Singh Ji sought to emphasize and highlight the dignity of each human and the spirit which rules supreme in every heart and soul and as such he characterized his Sikhs as Lions, Singhs for men and Princesses, Kaurs for women. This year the Sikh community of Southern California will host its annual Baisakhi Day Celebration at the Los Angeles Convention Center, on Sunday, April 4 from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. This year's theme, "Khalsa Mero Satigur Poora", Khalsa is my Perfect True Guru is befitting the beginning of a new decade. The program is a collaborative effort of service and participation from many of the Gurdwaras from Southern California. The day's events begin with a special Asa di Var Kirtan program, performed by Bhai Kultar Singh Jetha, son of Bhai Awtar Singh of Sis Ganj Wale, beginning at 4:00 a.m. at Guru Ram Das Ashram, Los Angeles. This kirtan is followed by a motorcycle police escort of Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji and a caravan of sangat-member cars to the Los Angeles Convention Center at 7:00 a.m. The kirtan program at the

Convention Center will commence with the Jaap Sahib Bani of Guru Gobind Singh Ji sung to music by the Guru Ram Das Ashram Kirtan Jetha beginning at 8:00 a.m. There will be performances by the children's groups of the various Gurdwaras. Then the Sadh Sangat will enjoy further the Kirtan presented by the many Ragi Jethas from many of the gurdwaras from Southern California. The guest kirtanee will be Bhai Kultar Singh and Jetha at 1:00 p.m. followed by a 5Ragi Jetha Presentation under the direction of Prof. Ranjit Singh of Bhai Mardana Academy. Principal Dayal Singh, famous

This year the Sikh community of Southern California will host its annual Baisakhi Day Celebration at the Los Angeles Convention Center, on Sunday, April 4 from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. This year's theme, "Khalsa Mero Satigur Poora", Khalsa is my Perfect True Guru is befitting the beginning of a new decade professor of Raag and author of Gurmat Sangeet Sagar may also be in attendance that day. Guru ka Langar, a community vegetarian meal will be served throughout the day beginning at 8:00 a.m. and continuing through 5:00 p.m. The Kirtan Darbar will be followed by a 2 mile Nagar Kirtan Parade beginning at 3 p.m. The parade will feature many decorative floats with special themes representing Sikh history, faith and culture. Many delicious treats will be served during and after the parade. The Sikh Dharma Guru Ram Das Ashram Community will also be hosting an Amrit Sanchar ceremony for all individuals interested in renewing their Khalsa vows and commitment to live as Khalsa. This will be held at Guru Ram Das Ashram, Saturday, April 3.

Assemblyman Jim Silva endorses Harry Sidhu India Post News Service

ANAHEIM, CA: Former Orange County Supervisor and current California Assemblyman Jim Silva has announced his endorsement of Mayor Pro Tem Harry Sidhu for Orange County 4th District Supervisor. Silva is the latest in a long string of influential Orange County leaders to endorse Harry Sidhu for the open Supervisor seat. "Like me, Harry Sidhu believes government must protect and pro-

mote the free market, and that's why I support him," said Assemblyman Silva. "As a business owner himself, Harry knows the hardships that government can often impose on small businesses. That's why Harry has been tireless in his efforts to ensure that government works hand-in-hand with business owners to make it easier to build and grow a business in Orange County. He is the right candidate for the job, and I am proud to support him." Assemblyman Silva served on

‘I am honored to have Assemblyman Jim Silva's endorsement support," stated Mayor Pro Tem Harry Sidhu’ the Board of Supervisors from 1995 to 2006. He joins Board of Supervisors Chair Janet Nguyen and Vice Chair Bill Campbell,

along with, Board of Equalization Member Michelle Steel, Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle, the California Republican Assembly, and Republican National Committeeman Shawn Steel, among dozens of others, in supporting Harry Sidhu for Supervisor. "I am honored to have Assemblyman Jim Silva's endorsement support," stated Mayor Pro Tem Harry Sidhu. "We share the same conservative principles." Mayor Pro Tem Harry Sidhu was first elected to the Anaheim

City Council in 2004 and was overwhelmingly re-elected to a second term in 2008. On the council, he quickly established a reputation as a tough-minded advocate for streamlined, efficient government and as a champion of small business. Harry also ensured the protection of property rights through the successful passage of a City Charter Amendment prohibiting eminent domain abuse. As a local business owner, he employs over 120 people with sales of close to $5 million a year.


April 2, 2010

Community/California

India Post 19

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Rajasthan Assn celebrates Holi in Sunnyvale India Post News Service

SUNNYVALE, CA: The Rajasthan Association of North America (RANA) celebrated Holi Festival at Baylands Park, in Sunnyvale, CA on March 6. The celebration featured 11 items of authentic Rajasthani food including Halwa, Gatte, Tipore and Thandai. The celebration was a big success as the number of attendees rose to 1000. The price structure was very reasonable, just $5 for members and $8 for non-members. People enjoyed Rajasthani and Holi songs and music featured by DJ Shem, who did a fantastic job of keeping the crowd dancing nonstop beyond the 3 pm closing time. This was further enhanced by Dhol played by Bay Area's famous Dhol player Lal Singh Bhatti. When the number of participants reached 1000, the committee members poured a bucket full of ice and water on RANA President Lalit Mathur to credit him for its success. Lalit Mathur, President of

The same people also purchased the groceries, paper products, chafing dishes and all the decoration materials. These people worked the night before and the morning of March 6 to assure that all items were being cooked according to taste. Nothing was left to chance. Former President Raj Nathawat assured that the food

RANA thanked the success to the great spirit of the volunteers making the working committee. The committee was meeting every week to prepare for this. The Website Managers Deepak Sisodia, Sunita Singh and Ravi Srivastava did a fantastic job of reaching out to all.

is delivered hot to the site and served hot. Anup Singh assured to have gas cylinders for this purpose. He made sure there were enough stoves to keep the food warm. The food serving volunteers included Dr. Vanila Singh, Dr. Sangeeta Singh, Dr. Sunita Singh, Garima Srivastava, Deepak

People enjoyed Rajasthani and Holi songs and music featured by DJ Shem, who did a fantastic job of keeping the crowd dancing non-stop beyond the 3 pm closing time. This was further enhanced by Dhol played by Bay Area's famous Dhol player Lal Singh Bhatti Sunita Singh designed the beautiful flyer, different from all previous years. Ravi Srivastava was available 24x7 to assist people in logging in and buying the tickets on line. The food menu was decided by the committee consisting of Leela Mathur, Sunita Singh, Deepak Sisodia and Vanila Singh.

Sisodia, Meghna Bhandari, Pinky Jain, Nelu Bhandari, Chetna Nathawat, Pratibha Sisodia, Jyoti Baid, Sharmila Ranka, Raj Nathawat, Nirmal Jain among many others. Young children program was managed by Megha Jain, who had water balloons for the kids to play

and it went with a big success keeping the kids busy as the parents enjoyed the Holi music Dholak and DJ. Nirmal Jain made sure that everyone had hot tea as soon as people entered the site, especially in the early morning hours. The

site management was done by the team of former Presidents Vinod Jain, Vikram Bhandari & Sanjay Bhandari. They also served Thandai and provided Gulal & Water Guns. Site reservation and decoration was done by Ravi Srivastava &

Vinod Jain. Sanjay Sharma built the Entry Arch. The registration desk was managed by Anil Ranka and was helped by Nirmal Baid, Nikunj Mehta, Mukesh Mathur, Megha Jain, Dr. Vanila Singh, Dr Narendra Bhandari & Indira Bhandari.


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Community/California

India Post

April 2, 2010

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Riverside Temple celebrates Spring with Ugadi program VICTORIA TRUVER

L - R: President Bhoodev Tiwari Program Coordinator Sumathi Shaker Festivals Committee Chair Hema Nakka

RIVERSIDE: The Ugadi program at Riverside's Shri Lakshmi Narayan Mandir began with Ganesh Puja followed by the reci-

sister Archana, spoke on the meaning of Ugadi. Selena Shanbag explained the significance of Gudi Padwa in

300 devotees enjoyed the cultural program

tation of Lakshmi and Vishnu Sahasranama and Mahishasura Mahini Stotra. The highlight of the day was the cultural program in which regions celebrating Ugadi were represented. Eleven-year-old Swati Balaji, representing Tamil Nadu, gavea speech on the Tamil New Year's Day and sang a Murugan bhajan. The Gowda family consisted of father Prakash on tabla and daughters Shivali (13) vocals and Sanjita (12) on harmonium. They sang a traditional Karnataka song. Neha Ganta, followed by her very young

Maharashtra. Three generations of one family, including grandfather Bhalchandra Gupte, mother Kanchan Patankar and daughter Amisha Patankar sang a Maharashtrian song by Tukaram followed by a duet by Kanchan and Amisha. The audience of 300 were enchanted when the youngest participant, 2-year-old Muskaan Sammi, recited a short poem. Suhasini Ramakrishna enacted the story of King Bali and Vishnu avatar Vamana in her accomplished Bharatnatyam performance. The

Three generations of one family (l to r) Bhalchandra Gupte, Kanchan Patankar and Amisha Patankar sing a song from Maharashtra

final number was a dance, choreographed by Ragini Iyer and performed by Vaibhavi Shah (age 9), Sony Das (10), Kony Das (10) and Shriya Samudrala (10.) After each performance gifts were awarded to the participants by Program Coordinator Sumathi

The audience of 300 were enchanted when the youngest participant, 2-year-old Muskaan Sammi, recited a short poem. Suhasini Ramakrishna enacted the story of King Bali and Vishnu avatar Vamana in her accomplished Bharatnatyam performance Shaker, Festivals Committee Chair Hema Nakka and Mandir President Bhoodev Tiwari. The ladies who cooked the traditional Ugadi foods for Maha Prasad were asked to come forward to be thanked. The

cultural program concluded with announcements, aarti and maha prasad. Ugadi marks the New Year for regions in South India which include Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu. In the Kannada, Kashmiri and Sindh

Suhasini Ramakrishna performs Bharatnatyam

juice, honey sugar and other ingredients with a mixture of six tastes ranging from sweet to bitter. The inner significance of this preparation indicates that life is a mixture of good and bad, joy and sorrow and all of them have to be treated alike. All experiences

Everyone recited Lakshmi and Vishnu Sahasranama

regions the New Year falls on the same day - the first day of the month of Chaitra, heralding the advent of spring and the beginning of the lunar calendar. The unique traditional firstdish-of-the-day, Ugadi Pachadi is made from Neem flowers, mango

should be treated with equanimity. Everyone should make a resolve that they will face calmly whatever happens in this year, accepting it with good grace. Rise above sorrow and happiness, success and failure. This is the primary message of Ugadi.

BAPS hosts third annual women's conference Cont’d from page 17

This can be made possible by an individual's effort by working with the community to help battle the effects of poor infrastructure in the cities, increased pollution, and growing obesity rates in children." The last speaker of the evening, Mrs. Sejal PatelDaswani, spoke of nurturing spirituality in one's life. Mrs. PatelDaswani is a long time member of BAPS and has over 10 years of experience in corporate strategy,

marketing and policy, and has served CEOs and head of businesses in the financial services, technology and healthcare sectors. She emphasized the power that a spiritual community plays to nurture the individual, and stated, "At Mandir, I was given an extended family with numerous uncles and aunts. They helped me, took care of me, mentored me, and nurtured me." The model for nurturing global change begins with the individual, which branches to family, and then grows into the commu-

nity. Within the community it is important for one to find mentors that will inspire and encourage one to succeed in life and be a motivation to others. Roma Patel, BAPS public relations volunteer, concluded with remarks on the growth of BAPS in the past 100 years. The evening concluded with dinner and an opportunity for the delegates to network with one another. Attendees left inspired and empowered, ready to implement the message of the conference in their own lives.


Tech News Agreement for sale of African ops to Bharti soon: Zain KUWAIT/NEW DELHI: Confirming clinching of the USD 10.7 billion mega deal for sale of its African assets to Bharti Airtel, Kuwait Based Zain has said that due diligence has been completed and agreements between the two would be signed soon. "The Board of Directors of Zain met in Kuwait to review the latest development and negotiations. The due diligence process has been completed and that the parties are finalizing definite agreements, which are expected to be signed soon," Kuwait firm said in a statement.

TechBiz 21 India Post

www.indiapost.com

April 2, 2010

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oogle Inc, the internet search engine, in a shocking move announced that it has stopped censoring the results for its China search engine followed by the visitors to the China centric website being redirected to the Hong Kong version of Google. At the official Google Blog David Drummond, SVP, Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer writes, "We have stopped censoring our search servicesGoogle Search, Google News, and Google Images-on Google.cn. Users visiting Google.cn are now being redirected to Google.com.hk, where we are offering uncensored search in simplified Chinese, specifically designed for users in mainland China and delivered via our servers in Hong Kong."

he government agency in India, Press Information Bureau (PIB) will soon be shifting its work area to a new world-class press centre that is expected to come up by the end of 2012. The PIB said in an announcement that it has signed a contract with National Building Construction Corporation (NBCC) Ltd. for the construction of a new National Press Centre in New Delhi. To be prepared at an estimated cost of Rs 60 crores, the new National Press Centre (NPC) will be a world class Press Centre with state of the art press conference hall, media briefing rooms, a large work area and lounge for the press, editing and other professional facilities, library etc.

mutually beneficial nature of the US-India commercial relationship. "Just as our strategic partnership has matured and grown, IndoUS trade and investment has increased dramatically over the past 20 years," Sharma noted. "We now seek collaboration focused on investment in India's manufacturing sector and the build-out of the country's infrastructure, shaping the country into a world-class

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Minister unveils next phase of US-India partnership

Convergence India 2010 in full swing grand and ecstatic view welcomes you after making an entry to the Convergence India 2010, which is going on its full swing in halls 18th and 11th at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. The fair is one of its kinds in the South Asian Region. The dominance of Chinese, South Korean, Taiwanese companies and players in the event can be felt instantly and easily. Under the tag line of "Digital Convergence…Empowering a billion lives", Convergence India 2010 is the 18th edition of the event and received a warm welcome from the visitors, trade associations, media people, industry players from Telecom and IT domain and regulatory bodies.

PIB to have world-class press centre

gies will spur economic growth in both countries. These companies will become more integrated into the global supply chain in the years to come and infuse new capital and energy into the US-India partnership." Somers also added, "Further opening of India's retail sector will modernize India's farm-to-market supply chain. Such productivity will become India's Second Green Revolution."

During his visit to Washington DC, Minister Sharma met his counterpart the United States Trade Representative (USTR) Ambassador Ron Kirk, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economic Affairs Michael Froman Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Anand Sharma meeting the US Trade Representative, Ron Kirk, in Washington on March 17. India Post News Service

NEW YORK: India's Union Minister for Commerce & Industry Anand Sharma March 18, vigorously invited members of the US-India Business Council (USIBC) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) to invest in

India's burgeoning manufacturing sector. In anticipation of President Obama's visit to India later this year - the sixth-ever US Presidential visit to India - Minister Sharma called upon the private sectors of both countries to establish partnerships and commence new ventures that will demonstrate the

manufacturing hub," he added. Underscoring the many opportunities for mutual and inclusive growth, USIBC President Ron Somers noted, "The next phase of the trade and investment relationship will feature the innovations of the Small and Medium Enterprise sectors in India and the US, where fresh ideas and technolo-

During his visit to Washington DC, Minister Sharma met his counterpart the United States Trade Representative (USTR) Ambassador Ron Kirk, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economic Affairs Michael Froman. Cont’d on page 22

More tax benefits for middle class announced India Post News Service

NEW YORK: With the 2010 tax filing season underway, Vice President Joe Biden, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman on March 22 announced that average tax refunds are up nearly 10 percent this year, due in large part to the significant new tax benefits available under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act), and reminded taxpayers that they can collect on those benefits this year as they file their 2009 tax returns. To help taxpayers see for themselves exactly how they can benefit from Recovery Act tax credits and collect every dollar owed when they file this tax season, the White House has launched a new interactive Tax Savings Tool available at www.WhiteHouse.gov/

Recovery. "The big guys know all the credits and deductions to claim during tax season, but we want middle class families to know just how much is out there for them this year thanks to the Recovery Act - and how to take advantage of it," said

During these tough economic times, Recovery Act tax cuts are helping hard-hit middle class families. This year's tax refund puts more money in the pockets of families across the country, and gives them incentives to make energysaving home improvements, pur-

To help taxpayers see for themselves exactly how they can benefit from Recovery Act tax credits and collect every dollar owed when they file this tax season, the White House has launched a new interactive Tax Savings Tool Vice President Biden. "From help with college expenses to credits for cost-saving, energy-efficiency home improvements, these Recovery Act tax credits not only provide some needed relief for working Americans, but also help them invest in their families' futures."

chase a new vehicle or buy a home. Those purchases are helping to jumpstart the economy and provide more clean energy, manufacturing and construction jobs for working families right here in the U.S. The Recovery Act's nearly $300 billion in tax benefits are help-

ing to rebuild the long-term strength of the economy, while helping middle class families get back on firm financial footing. According to early data from the IRS, the average income tax refund is up more than $260 - a 9.6 percent increase over last year which is due in large part to the Recovery Act. The average refund through March 12, 2010, is $3,036, which is an increase of $266 compared to the same time a year ago. This is a sign that people are taking advantage of the Recovery Act tax savings this year. However, data show that less than half of the overall expected returns have been filed. The Obama Administration wants to make sure that taxpayers are aware of the new Recovery Act benefits they are eligible for this year. Cont’d on page 22


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Five awards for Indian marketing scholar India Post News Service

ATLANTA, GA: V. Kumar, executive director of the Center for Excellence in Brand and Customer Management at Georgia State University's J. Mack Robinson College of Business, has received five awards recognizing his stature as a marketing scholar. Known as VK in his field, his awards include a first-of-its-kind research grant from Google and global marketing consultancy WPP, best article awards from the Journal of Marketing and the Journal of Retailing, and the Bharat Gaurav and Hind Rattan Awards for excelling in his field. These latest accomplishments follow his record-shattering achievement of 2009 when VK, who holds the Richard and Susan Lenny Distinguished Chair in Marketing, won his third and fourth Lifetime Achievement Awards from the American Marketing Association. No other individual has ever received more than two such awards in the history of the organization. Robinson College Dean H. Fenwick Huss said, "VK's research has made a dramatic difference in the field of marketing and has helped many companies achieve new levels of profitability. We are proud of his success and the recognition it brings to the Robinson College of Business and Georgia State University." Research Awards A proposal by Kumar and two coauthors (one of whom is VK's doctoral student, Vikram Bhaskaran) won the Google & WPP Marketing Research Award-a new program that funds research about the influence of online media on consumer behavior, attitudes and decision making. His proposal for a field study in India to measure total customer value through purchases and word-of-mouth referrals is one of only 11 submissions to land a grant in the international competition. In addition to the Google/WPP award, VK was lead author on articles that received

the top awards given annually by the Journal of Marketing and the Journal of Retailing. A paper by Kumar and coauthor Denish Shah, who is assistant director of the Center for Excellence in Brand and Customer Marketing, won the 2009 Marketing Science Institute/H. Paul Root Award. The award, given by the editorial board of the Journal of Marketing, recognizes an article that makes a significant contribution to advanc-

Known as VK in his field, his awards include a firstof-its-kind research grant from Google and global marketing consultancy WPP, best article awards from the Journal of Marketing and the Journal of Retailing, and the Bharat Gaurav and Hind Rattan Awards for excelling in his field ing the practice of marketing. VK is one of only two authors to win the MSI/ H. Paul Root Award three times. The article presents a metric linking marketing performance to market capitalization. VK also received the 2010 William R. Davidson Award from the editorial board of the Journal of Retailing. Research considered for the Davidson Award must have been published two years earlier to assess its impact on retail practice and research. The 2008 article by Kumar and his coauthors

identified factors that drive cross-buying and the impact of such factors. Making India Proud In recognition of contributions to his field that make his native country proud, VK recently was awarded the highest honors bestowed by two of India's most prestigious organizations: the Indian International Friendship Society (IIFS) and the Non-Resident Indian (NRI) Welfare Society of India. From IIFS Kumar received the 2010 Bharat Gaurav (Pride of India) Award, which recognizes the achievements of non-resident Indians for distinguished leadership and performance in their respective fields. VK's significant contributions to society earned him the 2010 Hind Rattan (Jewel of India) Award from the NRI Welfare Society of India. V. Kumar is prominent within academic and business circles for his substantive and methodological contributions to the theory and practice of marketing including his pioneering concept of Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), which demonstrates the business case for: • Managing customers instead of products • Focusing on the most profitable-not the most loyal-customers • Basing marketing decisions on forward-looking metrics instead of backwardlooking ones Prolific in output, VK ranks among the world's top five marketing scholars. He has published more than 150 articles and books including Managing Customers for Profit: Strategies to Increase Profits and Build Loyalty (Wharton School Publishing, 2008) which has been translated into Italian, Japanese, Macedonian, Mandarin and Spanish and is now in its second printing. Firms that have adopted CLV and other marketing models developed by VK and his team that have reported growths in profit by doing so include IBM, Prudential and Procter & Gamble.

Minister unveils next phase of US, India partnership Cont’d from page 21

Sharma and Kirk also addressed a meeting of the reconstituted Private Sector Advisory Group (PSAG) to the Trade Policy Forum. The members of the PSAG were tasked to work as implementing partners for initiatives undertaken by the Trade Policy Forum, including the new small business initiative. In the meeting with Kirk, Sharma discussed a wide-range of issues pertaining to bilateral trade and investment relations. They also touched on the Doha Round of WTO talks. Sharma spoke about the ben-

In the meeting with US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, the two Ministers discussed cooperation in the field of agriculture that could be leveraged to strengthen agricultural productivity, and promote agro based industry in India efits of commencing negotiations on a Totalization Agreement. Due to the absence of such an agreement, Indian companies in the US were making double payments of social security, without getting any benefits. He also raised the issues of visas for Indian professionals, restrictive trade measures and the need for reform of US export controls to promote high technology trade between India and the US. In the meeting with US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, the two Ministers discussed cooperation in the field of agriculture that could be leveraged to strengthen agricultural productivity, and promote agro based industry in India.

More tax benefits for middle class announced Cont’d from page 21

The new interactive Tax Savings Tool was launched to alert taxpayers to the more than a dozen tax benefits available to them under the Recovery Act. Administration officials will hold a series of events across the country leading up to the April 15th tax filing deadline to help educate taxpayers on the Recovery Act benefits available to them when they file their taxes this year. Taxpayers can collect more than a dozen 2009 Recovery Act tax benefits when they file their 2009 tax returns, including: Making Work Pay - Ninety-five percent of working families are receiving the Recovery Act's Making Work Pay tax credit of $400 for an individual or $800 for married couples filing jointly in their paychecks in 2009 - and will continue

to in 2010. Taxpayers whose withholding in 2009 did not provide the full amount of the credit they are due will get the additional amount when they file their 2009 tax return. Even though most taxpayers received the benefit of this credit in their paychecks from adjusted tax withholding by their employers, they still need to claim this credit on their tax returns (i.e., Form 1040 or 1040A). Up to $2,500 in College Expenses - Families and students are eligible for up to $2,500 in tax savings under the American Opportunity Credit as well as enhanced benefits under 529 college savings plans, which help families and students pay for college expenses. More parents and students are eligible for a tax credit of up to $2,500 to pay for college expenses and can claim the credit annually for four years instead of two. Students

can now use a 529 plan to pay for computer technology, adding this to the list of traditional college ex-

Taxpayers are eligible for up to $1,500 in tax credits for making some energy-efficiency improvement to their homes such as adding insulation and installing energy efficient windows penses (tuition, books, etc.) that can be paid for by a 529 plan. Up to $8,000 for Purchase of

First Home - Homebuyers can get a credit of up to $8,000 for first homes purchased by April 30, 2010 under the First Time Homebuyer tax credit. Long-time residents who don't qualify as first-time homebuyers and those with incomes of up to $145,000 for an individual and $245,000 for joint filers are also eligible for a reduced credit. Taxpayers are eligible for up to $1,500 in tax credits for making some energy-efficiency improvement to their homes such as adding insulation and installing energy efficient windows. Money Back for New Vehicle Purchases - Taxpayers can deduct the state and local sales taxes they paid for new vehicles purchased from Feb. 17, 2009 through Dec. 31, 2009 under the vehicle sales tax deduction. In states that don't have a sales tax, some other taxes

or fees paid may be deducted. Expanded Family Tax Credits Moderate income families with children may be eligible for an increase in the Earned Income Tax Credit and the additional Child Tax Credit. The Recovery Act increased the credit for families with three or more children, bringing the maximum amount to $5,657. More families will be able to take advantage of the child tax credit under the Recovery Act, which reduced the minimum amount of earned income used to calculate the additional child tax credit to $3,000 from $12,550. Up to $2,400 in Unemployment Benefits Tax Free in 2009 - Unemployment benefits are normally taxable, but the Recovery Act made the first $2,400 of unemployment benefits received in 2009 tax free.


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India has weathered the economic crisis NEW DELHI: The Asia Society's 20th Asian Corporate Conference, co-organized by The Wall Street Journal and The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), commenced with a speech at the Taj Palace from Dr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman of India's Planning Commission. Dr. Ahluwalia, who is tasked with presiding over India's economic transformation as it adapts to the "new normal" in the postcrisis world, noted that the country withstood the global crisis and grew 7% in 2009, and has officially announced a goal of 9% growth in 2010. During his speech, he outlined the government's plans for meeting this goal as well as other challenges that India will face in 2010. Dr. Ahluwalia first looked to the region as a whole. The Asian recovery has been difficult to ignore, and has shifted Indian focus toward regional integration. Recent policy, such as the free trade agreement between India and ASEAN, the Southeast Asian regional bloc, reflects this shift.

He also remarked that while India remains open to the world at large, it will primarily focus on Asia as the region most likely to experience rapid growth. Within India, unofficial projections for 2010 are for 8.5 per cent, lower than the official target of 9 per cent but less pessimistic than the IMF, which forecasts 8 per cent. To meet this goal, India will

that lower export growth can be balanced by greater investment, especially investment into infrastructure. One of strengths of India's economy is its focus on "inclusive growth". For example, consumer companies have identified that during the crisis, sales in rural and small towns continued to grow. In addition, there are nu-

Dr. Ahluwalia first looked to the region as a whole. The Asian recovery has been difficult to ignore, and has shifted Indian focus toward regional integration. Recent policy, such as the free trade agreement between India and ASEAN, the Southeast Asian regional bloc, reflects this shift have to make up for decreased external demand due to a weaker global economy. Dr. Aluwalhia, was optimistic that India would be able to post strong overall growth despite lack of export growth. His optimism in India's post crisis projections was supported by the fact that India's previous growth was driven in large part by domestic demand, and

merous schemes, such as the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA), which aims at raising land productivity, and does so more effectively than many give it credit for. Another of India's key assets is its dynamic private sector, and the government has been increasingly effective at unleashing it. Previously, dynamism was

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largely targeted at avoiding controls, but freer rein in the past 10 years has proven that India has a private sector that can compete with foreign imports, and perhaps eventually make a footprint abroad. Infrastructure and public investment therefore, will be targeted at areas which are not attractive to the private sector, such as rural electrification and better roads. But much infrastructure does not need to be done at all by the public sector- it can be accomplished with private investment and with public-private partnerships. Such infrastructure development is possible- the most impressive example of which has been in telecommunications. Dr Ahluwalia, downplayed the deficit, which though it remains significant, is again on its way down. Year by year gradual reductions of 1% or so will put India on

the road to fiscal responsibility policy. Dr. Ahluwalia pointed out that, in the old days, India's high debt-to-GDP ratio was an outlier, but that today, most countries have high debt-to-GDP ratios, and that as long as India continues to grow at 7 to 8 percent, it is safe. India's 2010 strategy will rely on increasing foreign investment which will not only directly stimulate the economy, but in addition, will also help India cover its balance of payments deficit. As the 2nd fastest growing economy in the world, it will have less difficulty to overcome a weaker fiscal position. Dr. Ahluwalia ended by characterizing India's current position in the global economy. "We are growing our economy and creating demand, while elsewhere there is a deficiency of growth. We are good global citizens."


„ Health

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Health law will make calorie counts hard to ignore

WASHINGTON: Calorie counts will be impossible for many restaurants to hide and harder for consumers to ignore under a provision tucked into the health care overhaul. The new law will require more than 200,000 chain restaurants to put calorie counts on menus, menu boards and drive-throughs. It will apply to any restaurant with 20 or more locations, superseding a growing number of state and city laws. The idea is to make sure customers see calorie information as they are ordering. Many restaurants may currently post nutritional information in a hallway, on a hamburger wrapper or online. The law will require them to list calorie counts next to each menu item.-AP

„ Utah County to take look at death certificate fees PROVO, Utah: The Utah County Board of Health has agreed to give families more information online about how to file death certificates. The board also agreed that in September, it will revisit fees charged to file certificates to see whether they cover the actual costs of processing them. While a law that said only funeral directors can file death certificates was repealed in 2009, county health departments can assess fees for handling filings from family members. The fees range from as low as $25 in Salt Lake County during weekdays to a $300 flat fee charged by the Southwest Public Health Department. -AP

„ Ariz. officials cite fiscal bind from US mandate

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PHOENIX: A controversial decision by Arizona lawmakers to eliminate a health insurance program for poor children puts it at risk of losing billions of dollars in federal Medicaid funding under the historic health care bill approved by Congress. Details on page 27

Healthcare reform bill is now an American law India Post News Service

NEW YORK: The historic healthcare reform bill was signed into law by President Obama on March 23. Sifting through the chafe and simplifying what the law means, Nancy-Ann DeParle Director, White House Office of Health Reform released the highlights of the key benefits that will expand and strengthen coverage: • From this year, children with pre-existing conditions can no longer be denied health insurance coverage. Once the new health insurance exchanges begin in the coming years, pre-existing condition discrimination will become a thing of the past for everyone. • This year, health care plans will allow young people to remain on their parents' insurance policy up until their 26th birthday. • This year, insurance companies will be banned from dropping people from coverage when they get sick, and they will be banned from implementing lifetime caps on coverage. This year, restrictive annual limits on coverage will be banned for certain plans. Under health insurance reform, Ameri-

US President Barack Obama, surrounded by lawmakers, signs the healthcare insurance reform legislation during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, March 23. Obama signed into law sweeping reforms that will for the first time ensure health care coverage for almost every American

cans will be ensured access to the care they need. • This year, adults who are uninsured because of pre-existing conditions will have access to affordable insurance through a temporary subsidized high-risk pool. • In the next fiscal year, the bill increases funding for community

health centers, so they can treat nearly double the number of patients over the next five years. • This year, an independent commission will also be established to advise on how best to build the health care workforce and increase the number of nurses, doctors and other professionals to meet our country's

needs. Going forward, the government will provide $1.5 billion in funding to support the next generation of doctors, nurses and other primary care practitioners -on top of a $500 million investment from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Cont’d on page 25

Health disparities among ethnic populations India Post News Service

PHOENIX: Arizona officials say the state could be in a fiscal bind for several years as a result of the federal health care overhaul. They say Arizona may have to wait several years for increases in federal funding to kick in, but be required to maintain costly Medicaid services in the meantime. Officials say it appears Arizona must maintain a children's health program scheduled to be eliminated in June to help balance the recently approved new state new budget. And they say so-called ``maintenance of effort'' requirements also may block the budget's planned dropping of 310,000 people from Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System coverage in January. -AP

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KidsCare repeal said to jeopardize Ariz. funding

NEW YORK: Although Asian Americans have long been portrayed as a "model minority" with few major problems, data released online March 18 in the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH) reveal that distinct groups of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (AA and NHPI) differ widely in death and disease rates, including from breast cancer and other conditions such as heart disease, and stand to benefit strongly from culturally appropriate care. In the first issue of a major health journal devoted to AA and NHPI populations, data show striking disparities. For instance,

some Asian-born women in the United States suffer death rates from breast cancer up to four times as high as their US-born counterparts. Other studies show that culturally appropriate care would dramatically lower rates of lung,

shape the health care agenda for our populations," said Kathy Lim Ko, president and CEO of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF). "Aggregated data across ethnic groups masks serious health problems. Cancer often goes

'Large minority groups in the United States have benefited from in-depth health surveys, but such data are largely unavailable for Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders' colorectal, cervical and liver cancers among distinct populations. The special issue was supported by Health Through Action, a partnership between APIAHF and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. "Information, not ignorance, must

unrecognized and under treated. We must move beyond generalities to address the real health needs in diverse communities," she said. The problem has taken a serious toll on groups such as Native Hawaiians. As author Stephen Stafford

at the Montefiore Medical Center in New York points out, while Asian American adults as a group are 50 percent less likely to die from heart disease than non-Hispanic White adults, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are about 40 percent more likely to be diagnosed with heart disease than Whites. "Large minority groups in the United States have benefited from in-depth health surveys, but such data are largely unavailable for Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders and the numerous, widely varying ethnic groups that are collectively termed Asian Americans," said US Representative Judy Chu (D-CA). Cont’d on page 27


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Healthcare reform bill is now an American law Cont’d from page 24

Health insurance reform will also curb some of the worst insurance industry practices and strengthen consumer protections: • This year, this bill creates a new, independent appeals process that ensures consumers in new private plans have access to an effective process to appeal decisions made by their insurer. • This year, discrimination based on salary will be outlawed. New group health plans will be prohibited from establishing any eligibility rules for health care coverage that discriminate in favor of higherwage employees. • Beginning this fiscal year, this bill provides funding to states to help establish offices of health insurance consumer assistance in order to help individuals in the process of filing complaints or appeals against insurance companies. • Starting January 1, 2011, insurers in the individual and small group market will be required to spend 80 percent of their premium

dollars on medical services. Insurers in the large group market will be required to spend 85 percent of their premium dollars on medical services. Any insurers who don't meet those thresholds will be required to provide rebates to their policyholders.

Insurers in the individual and small group market will be required to spend 80 percent of their premium dollars on medical services • Starting in 2011, this bill helps states require insurance companies to submit justification for requested premium increases. Any company with excessive or unjustified premium increases may not be able to participate in the new health insurance exchanges. Reform immediately begins to

lower health care costs for American families and small businesses: • This year, small businesses that choose to offer coverage will begin to receive tax credits of up to 35 percent of premiums to help make employee coverage more affordable. • This year, new private plans will be required to provide free preventive care: no co-payments and no deductibles for preventive services. And beginning January 1, 2011, Medicare will do the same. • This year, this bill will provide help for early retirees by creating a temporary re-insurance program to help offset the costs of expensive premiums for employers and retirees age 55-64. • This year, this bill starts to close the Medicare Part D 'donut hole' by providing a $250 rebate to Medicare beneficiaries who hit the gap in prescription drug coverage. And beginning in 2011, the bill institutes a 50% discount on prescription drugs in the 'donut hole.'

Calif. GOP Senate candidates slam health care bill WASHINGTON: The three Republicans seeking to replace California Sen. Barbara Boxer have condemned the federal legislation seeking to expand health insurance coverage, setting up another key difference between the eventual primary winner and the Democratic incumbent in November. Two of the candidates - former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina and state Assemblyman Chuck DeVore - said they will work to repeal the reforms if elected. Former congressman Tom Campbell did not go that far but made clear he would seek major changes. Boxer, who is seeking a fourth term, voted for the legislation when it passed the Senate in December. She has defended the changes in the law by saying they will expand coverage to tens of millions while reducing the deficit. But DeVore said in a conference call with reporters that he believes passage of the health bill will be the Democrats' undoing in the 2010 elections, causing them to lose control of Congress and leaving Obama destined to be a oneterm president. In most respects, the candi-

dates seem to cite the same concerns about the bill, casting it as a ``government takeover'' of the health care system, though DeVore said he was making those concerns known months ago, while his rivals are ``Johnny and Jane come lately'' in their opposition. Fiorina held a telephone conference with whoever wanted to join in to hear her talk about the

Boxer, who is seeking a fourth term, voted for the legislation when it passed the Senate in December. She has defended the changes in the law issue. ``I will do everything in my power to repeal this government takeover,'' she announced earlier in the day. Campbell said the Supreme Court has never upheld a mandate like the one that would require people to buy health insurance. He predicted it would be deemed unconstitutional. -AP


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KidsCare repeal said to jeopardize Ariz. funding PHOENIX: A controversial decision by Arizona lawmakers to eliminate a health insurance program for poor children puts it at risk of losing billions of dollars in federal Medicaid funding under the historic health care bill approved by Congress. Arizona became the first state to eliminate its Children's Health Insurance Program, removing an estimated 38,000 kids from the rolls starting in June in a budget-cutting move by Gov. Jan Brewer and the Republican-led Legislature. State officials said the move could have devastating consequences because of the health insurance plan in Washington. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Phoenix, told Brewer and House Speaker Kirk Adams in separate letters that eliminating the state's KidsCare program on June 15 would violate a ``maintenance of effort'' requirement of the Senate

health care overhaul bill approved by Congress. The state's Medicaid program, the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, now provides coverage to approximately 1.3 million Arizonans. Monica Coury, an AHCCCS assistant director, confirmed that the overhaul bill requires Arizona to keep its current eligibility intact and hinges all of the state's federal funding for Medicaid on it. ``That's what the language says,'' Coury said. Arizona expects to receive nearly $7 billion in the current fiscal year, according to the legislative budget office. ``I cannot believe that this Republican legislature would be willing to forfeit every federal Medicaid dollar that Arizona receives, once they understand the implications of doing so,'' said Sinema, the House Democrats' assistant leader and their point person on

health-care funding. ``Arizona cannot afford to give up that care.'' Earlier, Brewer spokesman Paul Senseman said state officials were trying to determine the implications and requirements of the federal health care legislation, but

Arizona became the first state to eliminate its Children's Health Insurance Program, removing an estimated 38,000 kids from the rolls said there was a potential for a ``gigantic hole'' in the state budget. However, federal officials ``haven't made any threats to us yet'' to cut off funding, Senseman said. Adams, R-Mesa, said legislative analysts were reviewing the

Grant to boost clinical trial recruitment of minorities India Post News Service

SACRAMENTO, CA: In its ongoing commitment to reduce the cancer burden on underserved groups, UC Davis Cancer Center will help lead a national effort to increase minority recruitment in cancer clinical trials. As part of a major grant from the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities, UC Davis will lead the western region in a fivecenter effort to assess existing approaches to minority clinical-trials accrual and then to develop models that can be used by other cancer centers nationwide. The $3.8 million, 18-month grant initiative by the National Institutes of Health, authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will be led by the University of Minnesota's Masonic Cancer Center. In addition to UC Davis, other regional partners are Johns Hopkins University, the University of Alabama at Birmingham and University of Texas M.D. Anderson. Entitled EMPaCT (Enabling Minority Participation in Clinical Trials), the project will address the relative lack of minority representation in clinical trials for new therapies to treat cancer. For their part, UC Davis researchers plan to engage the UC Davis Clinical and Translational Science Center, which helps train medical and graduate students, as well as clini-

cal-trials researchers from outside the institution. "We are committed to reducing cancer health disparities and to increasing minority participation in clinical trials," said UC Davis Cancer Center Director Ralph deVere White. "And we are committed to working with the very best in the country to find both short-term and long-term answers." Moon Chen, professor in the UC Davis Division of Hematology and

The project will address the relative lack of minority representation in clinical trials for new therapies to treat cancer Oncology, and EMPaCT regional principal investigator, explained that only when minorities take part in clinical trials can researchers find the best therapies for those patients. "If we want to achieve the goal of customized therapy, we need to know a lot about how people are different, so we can tailor therapy to the individual's specific genetic metabolic makeup," he said. Working cooperatively, the five cancer centers have formed an executive committee that will assess existing efforts to accrue minorities into trials and determine ways to improve them.

Chen, who also is associate director of Population Research & Cancer Disparities at UC Davis, said that some of the challenges for cancer physicians are language and cultural barriers, which, studies have shown, can perpetuate the misperception that participation in a clinical trial is coercive, punitive or dangerously uncertain for the patient. Research at UC Davis has found that mass-media campaigns and use of the Internet do little to influence a patient's decision about whether to join a clinical trial. Chen said assessment work for EMPaCT at UC Davis will focus more on the role of the physicians, research nurses and others in the accrual process. Debora Paterniti, associate adjunct professor in internal medicine and sociology, will determine barriers to accrual and ways to mitigate those barriers so that accrual rates of minorities and others go up. She plans to develop and distribute physician questionnaires and to shadow physicians as they communicate with patients and other physicians about clinical-trials enrollment. Once all of the participating cancer centers have completed their assessments, cancer center leaders will share their findings and recommendations and develop consensus on several evidence-based accrual models that can be used by other cancer centers nationwide.

federal health overhaul legislation's requirements and that he did not immediately know whether Sinema was correct. Sinema released copies of emails in which federal officials said over the weekend that the health care overhaul legislation requires a state to maintain current programs, including a CHIP, to remain eligible for Medicaid funding. Sinema and other House Democrats want Adams, R-Mesa, to permit late legislation to expand the state sales tax to raise the $22 million needed to keep KidsCare. The Democrats suggested applying the tax to retail sales of extended warrants on products such as televisions. Apart from the KidsCare elimination, a separate funding cut included in the state budget signed by Brewer would drop 310,000 people from AHCCCS coverage in January unless new federal funding is provided.

Brewer had urged the state's congressional delegation to vote against the overhaul, complaining that the Senate bill would inflate costs to the already financially struggling state. However, a last-minute change provided Arizona and 11 other states with additional funding under the federal legislation because their Medicaid programs were more generous. U.S. Rep. Harry Mitchell, D-Ariz., said the increased funding ``was a critical factor'' in his decision to vote for the bill. According to a chart released by Sinema, the new federal funding for three years starting in 2014 will pay 100 percent of Arizona's costs for people newly eligible for coverage, with the reimbursement level dropping to 90 percent by 2010. The state now receives reimbursements ranging from 66 percent to 75 percent. -AP

Heller urges NV AG to sue over health reform CARSON CITY, Nev.: Rep. Dean Heller, R-Nev., joined Gov. Jim Gibbons in urging the state attorney general to sue the federal government over health reform, while one GOP U.S. Senate hopeful announced an effort to fight the law with a ballot initiative. In a letter to Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, Heller echoed concerns that the bill will create unfunded mandates and questioned the constitutionality of requiring everyone to obtain health insurance. ``A law is not simply justified by its intentions. Congress must

honor states' rights and the equality of each citizen,'' Heller wrote. Immediately after the president signed the bill, attorneys general of at least 13 states filed suit to block its implementation. Gibbons renewed his call for Masto, who is a Democrat, to sue the federal government, and said his administration would act on its own if she declines. Masto said her office is conducting a legal analysis of the law. ``It is one thing to simply say, 'let's sue'; it is another thing to have a legal basis to support such litigation,'' she said. -AP

Health disparities among ethnic populations Cont’d from page 24

"It's time for health data regarding our populations to enter the 21st Century." Since 2000, the Asian American population has grown by more than 23 percent, making it the fastest growing racial group in the country. In the same time period, the Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander community, which is almost a million strong, has grown by more than 13 percent. If these rapid growth trends continue, AA and NHPIs are expected to number well over 35 million by 2050. Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders trace

their heritage to more than 50 countries and to dozens of distinct ethnic groups, speaking a multitude of languages. "We know that income, education, access to health care, and language barriers all influence health," said Dr. Gail C. Christopher, vice president for programs at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. "Raising awareness of these issues and the lack of data, particularly for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders, is instrumental to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation's focus on increasing health equity for vulnerable children and families across the country."


SRIREKHA N. CHAKRAVARTY India Post News Service

NEW YORK: For all those who rely on the stars and planets to chart their destiny, the next time you consult an astrologer, here's some advice: Do not leave your brains behind when you meet him. A small tag to that advice is: Remember, wearing rings, birth stones, lucky colors or adding extra letters to your name WILL NOT change your life! This valuable piece of advice comes from well-known numerologist Rajeev Sharma. A native of Delhi, India and currently based in the UK, Sharma travels frequently to the US for consultations and his greatest concern is how easily Indians living abroad get conned by so called astrologers who insist on giving long distance (telephone) consultations and charge thousands of dollars on credit cards.

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"There are corrupt persons everywhere," Sharma told India Post in a conversation during his recent visit to New Jersey. "In India at least they fear being beaten up if caught, but here they don't even fear that… so they insist on giving you distant sittings; insist on giving phone consultations and charge huge amounts of money for quick fixes." So Sharma cautions, "Whenever you go to consult an astrologer or a numerologist don't leave your brains behind. Be alert, ask questions, be inquisitive, do not simply accept everything they say and see that they genuinely convince you. Use your common sense." Sharma, who has been practicing numerology for the last 25 years, says numerology is an exact science unlike the other methods of reading an individual's life or predicting future. "There is no scope for probability in this," he says. "Numbers, by their very nature, are exact." Having developed an interest in this science at the age of 15, Sharma developed intuitive powers to augment his predictions more accurately by simply studying people. "I have taught myself," he says. "People were my books; I studied them to hone my

April 2, 2010

skills and not by reading up books on numerology. I researched extensively by studying people, their gestures, expressions, reactions and lives in general and developed my intuitive skills. The results are there to see when they come back to share their happiness with me when my predictions come true." Sharma's first major and important prediction was when while in the UK, he predicted the marriage of cricketer Imran Khan with Jemima Goldsmith. "At that time I was interviewed by all major media there." And then there were other celebrity predictions like the second term victory at the polls, of British Prime Minister Tony Blair; and in India, the marriage of actress Aishwarya Rai and more recently, the victory of President Obama in Nov 2008 elections - all of which he had made way before they actually happened. But predicting celebrity future is not his gig, he assures. "For me predicting the future of VIPs or celebrities is less interesting than that of normal people because I can gauge the happiness in the ordinary people I help out with my predictions," he says.

What's in a name? Ask numerologist Rajeev Sharma

Rajeev Sharma

Cont’d on page 30

IPL storms British market with Mandira as anchor India Post News Service

NEW DELHI: The Indian Premier League (IPL) has taken the British market by storm on ITV. Backed by effervescent programming anchored by our very own Mandira Bedi, ITV seems to have broken all records in viewership of sports programming in England. Sources say that the first few days have beaten last years all time record. ITV's IPL ratings have gone 5 times over and the projection is its ratings will be 10 times over last year, apart from the regular programming on other channels; IPL clearly has emerged as a top sporting extravaganza on British television. James MacLeod from ITV had to say this on the overwhelmed response from viewers "We're delighted with the viewing figures for the IPL so far. The ratings for ITV4's coverage have been around seven or eight times those achieved by Setanta last year, and we're delighted to be bringing the competition to a wider audience." Mandira could not hide her excitement when she heard this and said "To be accepted and to be a part of something which is so overwhelming is like a dream come true. I hope we continue to entertain and bring all the excitement of the IPL as it happens".

Back here in India Lalit Modi also expressed immense satisfaction on the way IPL has been accepted by the British audience. Modi said "ITV beats Sky Sports over the weekend in number of viewers. This is great going. The ITV numbers are double that of rugby league. This is huge by all imaginations. UK figures for viewership on ITV already 10 times that of last year. This is just fantastic news."

Mandira said, ‘To be accepted and to be a part of something which is so overwhelming is like a dream come true. I hope we continue to entertain and bring all the excitement of the IPL as it happens’ The biggest winner, it seems have been Mandira and ITV. While ITV has officially stated on their website "The Indian Premier League's decision to go free view in the UK on ITV's digital terrestrial channel ITV4 has paid off handsomely. The IPL's debut on ITV4 has been declared a hit, according to ratings figures. Mandira is already a household name in England"


April 2, 2010

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Celebrities light up Elite Asian Awards India Global 2009 Rashi Stephens; Babu Subramaniam-Director of NBC's "ER," "Outsourced" an Indian American-themed pilot on NBC; international salsa dancer Giju John; singer Jasmine Sandlas; and music producer Mixman Shawn. After the red carpet, guests were treated

The competition was tough, filled with charming, highenergy and vibrant dance performances. Priyanka Shingwekar, an 8 year old from Fremont, was the winner of the Junior category (ages 6-13) Mr winners with Kimi, Elveera, Faran India Post News Service

SAN FRANCISCO, CA: At the Star-studded Red Carpet Gala for Elite Asian Awards 2010, guests were seen arriving as early as 3pm at ICC, in the heart of Silicon Valley, to catch glimpses of the celebrities who were in town for the highly anticipated event. Presented by South Asia Magazine & JINmodels.com, the evening was produced by Jinnder Chohaan, CEO of South Asia Inc.

The prominent gala celebrated Asians with glamour, entertainment and celebrities. Bay Area residents got a rare chance to attend one of Jinnder's high profiled events, as most of her latest shows have been held in Los Angeles. The red carpet reception, with the celebrities, began at 6pm. Some of the celebrities were: Kiely Williams, actress & singer of Cheetah Girls pop group; Hollywood actor Faran Tahir "Star Trek"; Punjabi Actress Kimi Verma 'Mera Pind' 'Sat Sri Akal', Miss

to a delicious dinner by Bombay Garden Indian Restaurant. Kicking off the night was Sony Entertainment Television's "Boogie Woogie Chalo America" Northern California Dance Finals, presented by Aloha USA. The competition was tough, filled with charming, high-energy and vibrant dance performances. Priyanka Shingwekar, an 8 year old from Fremont, was the winner of the Junior category (ages 6-13). Priyanka danced to 'Aplam chaplam'. The winner of Senior category (ages 14-21) was Srishti Sharma, 21 of Milpitas, who danced to "Chaiya Chaiya" from movie 'Darshan'. Winners were announced and

Actor Faran Tahir crowns Farah Ghais Ms South Asia 2010 with Miss India Global 2009 Rashi Stephens

awarded by Cheetah Girls' singer/actress Kiely Williams. Both winners will now compete at the USA Finals in Chicago on April 5. Judges for the Boogie Woogie contest were international salsa dancer Giju John, Hindi novelist and actress Kamlesh Chauhan, entrepreneur and performer Rakesh Shah, and TV personality Papiha Nandy. Cont’d on page 30


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April 2, 2010

India Post www.indiapost.com

Rahman's concert to Celebrities light up Elite kick off in NY Asian Awards

India Post News Service

San Francisco and Houston. The three Northeast shows NEW YORK: In what is being promise to reach over 35,000 South promoted as this summer's must- Asian concert-goers, known for see concerts in the Northeast, Os- their usually vociferous appetite car and Grammy-winning musician for Bollywood entertainment. "The AR Rahman concerts are and composer A R Rahman is scheduled to embark on a highly- going to be a musical extravaganza, which concert-goers will reanticipated US tour in June 2010. The tour's first concert is member in a long-time for its origischeduled for June 11 at the nality and all-encompassing entertainment value," Nassau Coliseum in Shishir Misra of New York, followed Rushhi Majik said. by one at the BoardThe promoters walk Arena in Atlanof the Northeast tic City, NJ on June shows have 12 and moving to launched a fullyPatriot Center in Virfunctional website ginia on June 13. All (www.jaiho2010.com), three East coast replete with up-toconcerts are prodate information, moted by Virginiacontests and ticket based Rushhi A R Rahman buying options. Majik, a dynamic On his forthcoming tour, company specializing in high-energy South Asian events and en- Rahman will collaborate with creative director Amy Tinkham, tertainment. The "A.R. Rahman Jai Ho Con- known for creating live musical cert: The Journey Home World concerts for a variety of pop-muTour" is internationally produced sic icons including Britney by Deepak Gattani and Rapport Spears, the Backstreet Boys and Mariah Carey. The concert will be Productions. Other than the three East coast a theatrical experience that will shows, the US tour will travel to blend new technologies with over six major arenas and cities powerful dance arrangements and including Chicago, Los Angeles, acrobatics.

Cont’d from page 28

Sharma categorically trashes numerologists who advice people to change the way they write their name. "There are those who suggest adding extra letters to the spelling of your name for luck -that has absolutely no basis in numerology at all; there's absolutely no logic in it," he stresses. You may hear of filmmakers in Bollywood (like Ekta Kapoor or Karan Johar) who always name their films or TV serials starting with the letter 'K'. It doesn't have any numerological significance at all." "If a person's destiny was dependant on his/her name or the number of letters in their name, there wouldn't be anyone taking dole from the government today," he quips. "Such changes can only act as an ointment on a wound, but again not if the wound is deep. A name has its own limitations. Your destiny is set and your life course is pre-determined by the numbers you are born with and not by your name-- it can maybe bring about a one percent change in your future but nothing more." Numbers have always been significant in Hindu culture,

Cont’d from page 29

Another highlight of the gala's entertainment was Sahara One TV's Mr./Miss/Ms. South Asia 2010 critically acclaimed pageant, where South Asian beauties and hunks gave the audience a lot of excitement. The show can be seen on Sahara One TV that will be aired in over 25 countries. It will be aired as two separate shows on Sahara One TV -the first airing will be Miss South Asia 2010 and later Mr. & Ms. South Asia 2010. Celebrity judges for the pageant included Kiely Williams, actress/ singer of Cheetah Girls pop group; actor Faran Tahir ("Star Trek"); Punjabi actress Kimi Verma; acclaimed Indian dancer Radha (sister of Bollywood actress Rekha); writer-director Babu Subramaniam ("ER," and upcoming NBC pilot "Outsourced"); international salsa dancer Giju John; Miss India Global 2009 Rashi Stephens; singer Jasmine Sandlas; music producer Mixman Shawn; and Mrs. India Global 2009 Elveera Robello. This year's Elite Asian Awards recipients were Hollywood Actor Faran Tahir and Hollywood Director Babu Subramaniam. Punjabi actress Kimi Verma presented the award to Faran Tahir, the star of

box office hits such as "Star Trek" and "Iron Man" and TV shows "Monk" and "Lost". Actress/ Singer Kiely Williams presented the award to Babu Subramaniam, the director of NBC's ER, "Cheetah Girls: One World,", "Star Trek - The Next Generation,", and "Outsourced," an upcoming Indian American themed pilot for NBC.

A special performance by singer Jasmine Sandlas and her music producer Mixman Shawn was a hit with the crowd A special performance by singer Jasmine Sandlas and her music producer Mixman Shawn was a hit with the crowd. All the guests ended the evening dancing to DJ music by All-Pro Entertainment. The winners at Jinnder's StarStudded Red Carpet Gala: Elite Asian Award 2010 recipient: Hollywood Actor Faran Tahir Elite Asian Award 2010 recipient: Hollywood Director Babu Subramaniam

What's in a name? Sharma points out. Like in religious rituals there is a specific number of mantras and the number of times they are chanted or the number of times a deity's name is chanted during poojas, and so on. And so also in contemporary world, every individual is identified in the system by specific numbers like driving license number or a social security number, etc. Thus, an individual's destiny is tied to the combination or the sum value of their life numbers. Numerology, Sharma explains, is a far deeper science than people realize. "There is no one good number or bad number. It all depends on the combination of numbers in your life," he says. Importantly, numerology helps in finding suitable partners whether in business or in marriage, Sharma says. "It is very important that you should be compatible with your business partner as much as you need to be with a life partner because the people you

interact with intimately affect your life. You must check out the compatibility of at least the person you are going to marry. It is better to be safe than sorry because in our culture we believe that marriages are forever and not to be tried out by trial and error."

Girls born on the dates 2, 11, 20, 29, 6, 15, 24, 8, 17, and 26 are prone to ovarian cyst, lump in the breast or a weak immune system Significantly, in recent years, Sharma has come to link numbers to medical science and help people understand their health issues better. "I am trying to tie numerology with modern medical sciences," he explains. "My own research over the years has shown

me what kind of illnesses people born on certain dates may be prone to. For instance, girls born on the dates 2, 11, 20, 29, 6, 15, 24, 8, 17, and 26 are prone to ovarian cyst, lump in the breast or a weak immune system. Similarly, I have found that anyone born on Nov 10, 1961 or '71 or '81 is prone to migraine; those born on July 7, 1999 will have varicose veins; those born on May 5, 1965 will have stomach infection; April 4, 1964 will have extra sensitive spine or those born on Feb 2, 1962 will have extra sensitive skin." While he does not prescribe medicines (for not being a doctor), Sharma does suggest widely accepted dietary and exercise-related preventive measures and unlike common astrologers, does not mislead people by asking them to wear precious stones or conduct poojas to mitigate the 'evil' effects. "People have a lot of faith in these things-when they go to consult an astrologer or a numerolo-

Miss South Asia 2010: Taranum Bhatti Miss India Global 2010: Shweta Teckchandani Miss India North America 2010: Husna Momand Mr. South Asia 2010: Ankur Jaswal Mr. India Global 2010: Samil Patel Mr. India North America 2010: Dilpreet Virk Ms. South Asia 2010: Farah Ghais Ms. India Global 2010: Shraddha Joglekar Ms. India North America 2010: Juhi Jagiasi JIN models Miss Photogenic 2010: Taranum Bhatti JIN models Mr. Photogenic 2010: Sunny Tripathy JIN models Ms. Photogenic 2010: Shraddha Joglekar Sahara One's Miss People Choice 2010: Shweta Teckchandani Sahara One's Mr. People Choice 2010: Karan Panjabi Sahara One's Ms. People Choice 2010: Aart Nawani Shah Sony TV's Boogie Woogie Jr winner Bay Area: Priyanka Shingwekar Sony TV's Boogie Woogie Sr winner Bay Area: Srishti Sharma

gist they not only look for predictions of their future, they also look up to them as a guide or counsel," says Sharma. "My effort is always to instill positivity and give the person who comes to me with problems, hope by being a psychologist, counselor, guide and philosopher. Just as you need a good doctor to treat you of your illness, so also you need a good guide in the form of an astrologer to guide you properly in life." Despite his success, Sharma is humble enough to admit that his readings may not always be accurate. "I do not claim that my predictions are 100 percent accurate always. I may go wrong 2030 percent of the time. People should have a little patience along with faith in the numerologist because it may happen that he too is having difficulty in understanding your life situations, but that doesn't mean he doesn't know his subject." Whether one believes in these ancient sciences or not, Sharma does give one parting piece of advice for leading a good life. And that is: "Be in the company of positive people and keep faith in god."


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The entire Kanchenjunga range can be viewed from the town and, in fact, it is worshipped as a local deity

A

ll good things in life come in small packets and Gangtok is a good illustration. Be it the rich flora, the beautiful people, or the serene Buddhist monasteries, this small town, occupies an important position in the itinerary of tourists in search of tranquility from the humdrum of modern life. The eastern state of Sikkim lies couched between the borders of Nepal and Bhutan. Gangtok became the capital of the state in

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the 19th century and lies to the south of the district of East Sikkim. It is a hilly town and spreads down the western side of a long ridge flanking the Ranipul River. The entire Kanchenjunga range can be viewed from the town and, in fact, it is worshipped as a local deity. It is at a distance of 721 km from Calcutta, 584 km from Patna, 140 km from Darjeeling and 589 km from Guwahati. The town experiences a lot of rainfall throughout the year and temperatures are mild.

April 2, 2010

Tourist attractions: One of the oft-visited sites of Gangtok is the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology. It was built in 1958 and is a research center for Mahayana Buddhism and Tibetan culture. Besides being a museum of traditional and old artifacts, one can also buy Buddhist religious books and other objects of craft. Nearby is a gompa for young lamas. Cont’d on page 34


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California eyeing 2-fold jump in Indian tourists MUMBAI: Betting big on the growing Indian consumer market, US state California is looking lure more tourists and is targeting a twofold increase in in-bound tourists from India by 2020. California also expects India to be among its top five international in-bound source market by the end of next decade, a California tourism industry official said. "The Indian market is growing faster than any other international

in-bound market for California. We see a lot of synergy between the two. We would like to see the number of Indian tourists doubling by 2020," California Travel and Tourism Commission (CTTC) President and Chief Executive Officer Caroline Beteta told PTI here. In 2008, 1.79 lakh Indians visited California, she said, adding, "Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has said that we have to double the number of tour-

The Commission has also recently set up two offices in Delhi and Mumbai to help promote tourism in California, she said. According to a global consultancy report, the Indian consumer market is likely to grow four times by 2025, which is currently valued at USD 511 billion

ists out of India over the next 10 years." The CTTC is a non-profit organization with a mission to develop and maintain marketing programsin partnership with the state's travel industry. The Commission has also recently set up two offices in Delhi and Mumbai to help promote tourism in California, she said. According to a global consultancy report, the Indian consumer market is likely to grow four times by 2025, which is currently valued at USD 511 billion.. "We had about 1,79,000 travelers from India in 2008 and they represented USD 280 million spend-

ing. In 2011, we are expecting a 14.5 per cent growth in leisure tourism," Beteta said. By 2020, probably, India will be one of California's top five international in-bound source markets, she said. CTTC has recently tied-up with Sartha Marketing Consultants to help promote California as a unique tourism destination to travelers in India and strengthen California's relationship with local travel trade professionals. With the passage of the Tourism Promotion Act by the US Government, tourist-accessibility to the US is likely to become easier, she said. -PTI

'China to become largest tourist destination’

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BEIJING: China is expected to become world's numero uno tourist destination by 2015 beating countries like France, US and Spain which are at present more preferred by foreign visitors, a senior UN official has said. "China, as we predict, is going to become world's No 1 tourist destination by the year 2015," United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) secretary general Taleb Rifai has said. "China is now world's fourth largest destination when it comes to incoming tourists, and the rates of growth are moving so quickly that we think this is a realistic target," Rifai was quoted by Xinhua, China's official news agency. He noted that France currently is the country receiving the largest number of foreign tourists, at 80 million per year, followed by US and Spain, both at 60 million a year, while China receives about 48 million visitors annually. "China's tourism economy has moved incredibly in the last ten years. The number of incoming tourists rose from 8 million to 48 million. The potential of the growth is still big because of the size of China," Rifai said. Rifai said the global tourism industry is improving but challenges remain due to the weak economy. "The tourism industry is very much affected by the general economic situation, and for sure the general economic situation has started to turn around. But we cannot call it a full recovery at the moment," he said. Recent studies here said China's outbound tourism was also set to increase this year as about 54 million Chinese tourists were expected to set out of the country for various destinations abroad spending over USD six billion. -PTI


April 2, 2010

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Rare peninsular pronghorns born in LA Zoo India Post News Service

LOS ANGELES: The Los Angeles Zoo has announced the births of two rare Peninsular Pronghorn twins. The pair has been pulled for hand rearing in the Zoo's nursery to ensure that they are given every opportunity to thrive. On February 26, two Peninsular pronghorns, one male and one fe-

This birth is a great leap for conservation efforts of this critically endangered species because one of the two fawns is female; the first female born in the United States. Breeding efforts in the U.S. have been hindered due to a lack of females male, were born. This is the third pair of pronghorn twins born at the L.A. Zoo, the other pairs were born in March 2008 and March 2009. So far the L.A. Zoo is the only institution in the U.S. to breed this rare species. Native to Baja California Sur, Mexico, these graceful animals are mostly active at dawn and dusk.

Pronghorn

This birth is a great leap for conservation efforts of this critically endangered species because one of the two fawns is female; the first female born in the United States. Breeding efforts in the U.S. have been hindered due to a lack of females. "Before this pair, we had two sets of twins born here, all males," explains Curator of Mammals Jeff Holland. "The only way the Peninsular Pronghorn Recovery Project (PPRP) could keep moving forward is if we got a female fawn." Hunting, cattle ranching and agriculture have resulted in the significant decrease of this species. Newborn pronghorns take their first steps within 30 minutes

of birth. By the time they are four days old, they can outrun humans. After just a week, fawns can run faster than dogs and horseback riders over short distances. They are the second fastest land mammal and the fastest ungulate (hoofed mammal), clocking in at anywhere from 40 to 60 miles per hour. They can maintain this speed, without showing any sign of distress, for an hour or longer. Typically, a pronghorn mother will have one or two fawns weighing in at around seven or eight pounds. When they reach adulthood, pronghorns weigh up to 125 pounds and reach a height of 35 inches. The females are usually 10 to 25 percent smaller then males.

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Special package for honeymoon couples SHIMLA: The Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (HPTDC) has announced a special package for honeymoon couples visiting the hill state. As per the package, a special discount of 30 per cent would be given to newly-weds staying in HPTDC hotels at famous destinations like Shimla, Chamba, Dharamsala and Chail in Solan, an official release here said.In addition to the special discount, the facility of deluxe buses for local sight seeing including meals for three days will also be provided by the HPTDC, it added. -PTI


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Gangtok: View the entire Kanchenjunga range from the town Cont’d from page 31

The Tsuk-La-Khang or Royal Chapel is the main place of worship and assembly for the Buddhists and is huge repertoire of religious relics. It is open during the Losar festival. Another important monastery is the Enchey Gompa and is worth a visit during the festival season of January to February. Adjacent to the Namgyal Institute is the Orchid Sanctuary, which is the home of some 500 varieties of orchids. There is a larger orchid sanctuary called Orchidarium, off the main road to Rangpo. Near White Hall, there is

Sikkim Legislative Assembly in Gangtok. Fog is common in Gangtok.

a Flower Exhibition Center and seasonal flowers, bonsai and orchids are a delight to the eyes.

Kanchenjunga, the world's third-tallest peak, is visible from Gangtok.

From April to June and September to November, one can come here. Places around: Located at a

of the Kagyupa order of Tibetan Buddhism. It is a very famous site and devotees often flock to it throughout the year. Located at a

Adjacent to the Namgyal Institute is the Orchid Sanctuary, which is the home of some 500 varieties of orchids. There is a larger orchid sanctuary called Orchidarium, off the main road to Rangpo. Near White Hall, there is a Flower Exhibition Center and seasonal flowers, bonsai and orchids are a delight to the eyes

The Himalayan Black Bear seen here in the Himalayan Zoological Park.

distance of 24 km from Gangtok is Rumtek Gompa, which is a rich monastery and abode of the head

distance of 35 km towards the northeast of Gangtok is the Tsongo or Changu Lake. Special

permits are required to visit this picturesque locale. Fairs & festivals: Several festivals are celebrated in Gangtok and its adjoining areas. The Buddhist festival of Bumchu is held in the Tashiding Gompa during January. The festival of Chaam is held in Enchey Gompa during JanuaryFebruary and is marked by dancing. Kagyat Dance is a mask dance held every month at Gangtok, Pemayangtse and Phodong. Losar marks the Tibetan New Year and is celebrated during February-March at Pemayangtse and Rumtek. Tse Chu is a Buddhist dance held in May at Rumtek. Saga Dawa, held in Gangtok during May, and Drukpa Teshi, celebrated statewide during July, mark Buddha's first teaching. Phang Lhabsol is a mask dance celebrated statewide during August. Dasain, celebrated statewide during September-October, is marked by gift swapping and animal sacrifice. How to reach Road - The busiest route in and out of Sikkim is the road between Gangtok and Siliguri, also the nearest airport and railway station.

Assam plans for a KazirangaManas tourist circuit GUWAHATI: In order to woo more tourists, Assam government plans to create a tourist circuit comprising Kaziranga National Park and Manas Tiger Reserve at a cost of Rs 50 crore. The Centre has agreed to the proposal for the creation of the tourist circuit, officials said here. At present tourists find it difficult to include the Kaziranga forest and the Manas tiger reserve in their itinerary as the distance between the two is an energy-sapping 350 kms. They can, at best, visit only one spot at a time. Now, officials said, with the creation of the tourist circuit, tourists would be provided with food and lodging along the way as well as easy transportation facilities. Another spot being groomed for tourists is the picturesque hill station of Haflong in the North Cachar hills district. The project envisages development of eco-adventure tourism destinations along with a helipad. Also in the pipeline is a cultural heritage circuit covering Sarthebari, Patbausi, Barpeta, Konora, Bahbor and Sorbhog which are distinguished by their ethnic footprint. The government's efforts will be supplemented by the construction of a five-star hotel in Guwahati, the city's first, by the Tatas, the foundation stone of which was recently laid by Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi in the presence of Tata group chairman

Ratan Tata. Two more five-star hotels are under consideration while the Centre has already sanctioned a national level institute of hotel management at Jorhat and a food-craft institute in Samuguri of Nagaon district which are expected to be operational in the current financial year. Another major project the state has undertaken at a cost of approximately Rs 45 crore is the creation of rest room and other tourist facilities along national highways.

Another spot being groomed for tourists is the picturesque hill station of Haflong in the North Cachar hills district. The project envisages development of eco-adventure tourism destinations along with a helipad The project will encompass national highways number 31, 37 and 52 in the first phase. The government has planned to launch a massive promotional campaign both at the domestic and international level in 2010-11 through the electronic media. Noted Assamese film director Jahnu Barua has been entrusted with the task of developing the theme of the campaign, they said. -PTI


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Realty Tidbits

Most of DLF's luxury flats sold within 2 days

Real Estate

D

LF, the country's Biggest Realtor, has sold three-fourths of its upscale flats in central Delhi at Rs 4 crore apiece within two days of launch in a sign that demand for such properties is alive and well despite the drift towards affordable housing. DLF had launched the third and final phase of 150 flats - each measuring 3,000 sq ft or more - of Capital Greens near Moti Nagar. A DLF spokesman confirmed the sale. "The company has received an overwhelming response," he said. The rush for DLF flats is further evidence that the Indian realty sector's recovery is real and gathering pace after the sharp spurt in demand for affordable houses in recent months.

„ Parsvnath to sell BEST land at Kurla

P

arsvnath Developers, the New Delhi-based realtor, is close to signing a deal with a local developer for its BEST land at Kurla for Rs 307 crore, sources involved with the deal said. Parsvnath had received development rights in 2007 for the land, which included constructing of a fully-equipped bus depot, staff housing and buildings for commercial utilization. Sources said that Mumbai based Kanakia Spaces is a close contender for the tract of land in Kurla and the final closure of the deal would happen by March-end. Property consultants Jones Lang LaSalle are advisors to the deal. Vishal Doshi, the spokesperson of Kanakia Spaces, did not deny the development.

„ Unitech to de-merge noncore business

U

nitech Ltd, the second-largest real estate developer in the country, is looking to demerge its non-core businesses in order to focus only on real estate, a source familiar with the development said. The company's nonrealty businesses include construction, special economic zones (SEZs), power, telecom and hotels. The company plans to unlock value through private equity investment or outright sale, the source said. Details such as valuation or the interested companies could not be ascertained immediately and a Unitech spokesperson declined to comment.

37 India Post

www.indiapost.com

April 2, 2010

DLF gets ready for DAL listing

D

LF has completed the merger of Caraf Builders & Construction, which owns investment trust DLF Assets Ltd (DAL), with another offshoot DLF Cyber City, a move India's biggest realtor says is logical to listing DAL on the Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX). A company spokesman confirmed the development while two senior executives involved in the listing process said DAL, set up to acquire properties from DLF and other developers for leasing out to third parties, is likely to be listed on SGX in the first quarter of 2010-11.

Developers eye business from setup of foreign universities

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onstruction companies and real estate developers smell an opportunity when foreign universities are allowed to set up campuses in India. The Union Cabinet okayed the Foreign Educational Institutions (Regulation of Entry and Operation) Bill. Once cleared by the Parliament, it will enable foreign universities to do so. Construction companies like Ahluwalia Contracts expect business to double from the institutional segment once foreign universities start setting up campuses. Ahluwalia has set up university campuses for Amity University across the country and campuses for JK School in Jaipur, and NIFT and NCERT in Delhi. Shobhit Uppal, deputy managing director, Ahluwalia Contracts, feels these hopes are early but hopes to increase his share of the institutional market once foreign universities do set up campuses. The company also participates in the ongoing expansion of IIT campuses, and will also be eyeing the new Indian School of Business to come up at Mohali, near Chandigarh. More than construction com-

panies, it is some niche developers like HCC and SEZ Sri City who see an opportunity by roping in big institutions in their developments. HCC, which is developing a township called Lavasa near Pune, has roped in Oxford University and Ecole Hoteliere, a premier Swiss hotel management school. Sri City, an SEZ 65 km northwest of Chennai, across the bor-

big demand driver. They are focused on creating education clusters, where universities could come up. In the US, there are many 'knowledge corridors', such as the area around Boston which has lots of universities, research institutions, and industry-academic linkages. Once you have a university, it fosters research institutions and

Construction companies like Ahluwalia Contracts expect business to double from the institutional segment once foreign universities start setting up campuses der with Andhra Pradesh, is also trying to rope in big names. The idea: once you have a big name like MIT, you could leverage it to attract others and sell them office, residential, and retail space. Developers could make money on the system they create around the institution. Soumyajit Roy, Assistant Vice President (marketing), Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj, said developers realize that education could be a

start-ups. Sri City, with over 5,000 acres, is stressing on education as a driver to attract manufacturing units. It is hoping to leverage Chennai's positioning as a manufacturing hub. For instance, if you have an engineering industry, you could have a focused research chair devoted to a particular industry, such as logistics or mobile applications, say experts. Once you have a known university like Oxford or Wharton in

your eco-system, it will be easier for a developer to rope in, say, a Google, IBM or Microsoft, which can relate easily to these names. It would allow companies to access research and talent and understand how to work together. ''The whole idea is to brand, give them an incentive to set up base here, and create the right eco-system for it to thrive,'' said an expert. "Developers who have a land bank outside metros and can provide an environment which is campus-oriented could offer good options for universities," said M S Jagan, consultant, Sri City. If the bill is cleared by March, he expects at least 10-11 colleges and universities to get into action mode and set up campuses in two to three years. There are 130 foreign institutions who have some kind of alliances with Indian institutions. Anshuman Magazine, CMD, CB Richard Ellis, however, feels universities are unlikely to rush to set up campuses here. "Universities will be excited about the opportunity but will adopt a waitand-watch attitude to ensure they don't take a rash decision,"' added Roy.

Global hotel chains investing in India

I

ndian hospitality industry has become an attractive invest ment destination for global hospitality companies. Many global hotel chains plan to enter India and some that are already present in the country are keen on expansion. The companies are betting big

According to industry estimates, there are around 40 international hotels, which are expected to be operational in the country in the next 3 years. These global chains are now entering the full range-upper scale, mid-scale, economy and budget. "India is more profitable for global hospi-

US-based MGM Mirage Hospitality, Amari from Thailand, Fairmont Raffles Hotels, Golden Tulip Hotels, Movenpick Hotels and Resorts, Corinthia Hotels group from Europe are among the chains that are set to come to India on shortage of hotel rooms in the country. US-based MGM Mirage Hospitality, Amari from Thailand, Fairmont Raffles Hotels, Golden Tulip Hotels, Movenpick Hotels and Resorts, Corinthia Hotels group from Europe are among the chains that are set to come to India.

tality firms then the international market. There is huge demandsupply gap which offers huge opportunities for international firms," said Kaushik Vardharajan of HVS Hospitality Services. According to HVS, an EBIDTA margin of 40-50 % in India as com-

pared to 20% back at home is attracting global hospitality firm to set up presence in the Indian subcontinent. Thailand-based Amari Hotels has entered into a joint venture with Mandeep S Lamba, to launch Amari India. It will foray into India with the signing of its first property in Delhi by April

2010, which will be operational in 2011. Amari is scouting for expansion opportunities in the Indian metro and tier-II cities and plans to operate seven hotels and resorts within the next 5-7 years. For the same, locations and developers have been identified in Delhi, Mumbai and Goa.


1 RI Ka Dhaga Re - Well Done Abba

6 Meri Aashaon Ki - Right Yaaa Wrong

2 Tu Gandi - Love Sex Aur Dhokha

7 Waqt Ne Jo Bij Boyaa - Sadiyaan

3 TBHYRS - Sadiyaan

8 Ajnabee Ehsaas Ko - DDKKM

4 AHBB - Shaapit

9 Aao Seene Se Lag Ke - M v/s M

5 O Janeman - Tum Milo Toh Sahi

38

India Post

www.indiapost.com

April 2, 2010

10 Dont Know What To Do - Housefull

A

fter employing every trick in the book to keep their relationship under wraps, love birds Rani Mukerji and Aditya Chopra have finally lifted the veil off their romantic alliance. The duo that has often lambasted the media for 'link-up' rumors was seen getting up, close and personal at a recent party organized by Karan Johar to celebrate the birthday of his mother Hiroo Johar. Going hand-in-hand, the twosome looked very much like a couple in love. Organized at a South Mumbai hotel, the party that was a very low-key affair saw the dusky bong siren walk in with her beau Aditya holding hands. Confirming the news, a source said, "Rani and Adi came in together and looked very much a couple. They walked in just before midnight and sat down for dinner next to each other. It's a clear public statement that Rani is indeed his girlfriend. It was quite unlike Adi, but he seemed quite relaxed as he chatted with the other guests." "Forget being seen with Rani, Adi doesn't like to be seen in public even by himself. He has been dating Rani for nearly three years now but never has he made a public appearance with her by his side," adds the source.

K

angna Ranaut, who turned 23, feels that the shelf life of Bollywood heroines has shrunk to around six years. "Bollywood plays by its own rules. It is never about your talent here. It is always about which hero is romancing you on screen. I'm super-confident about my talent but if you judge me only by which heroes I'm working with, then you may argue that I'm not even in the race. However, as far as I'm concerned, my career has gained momentum. And, I'm making the niche I need to," says the National Award winning actress. But at the same time, Kangna laments she's got no personal life. "I believe that if one has to have emotional growth then he/she needs a personal life. I'm currently single and not about to mingle. In this mad race for stardom, I sometimes feel I'm missing out on what I would say are life's essential moments. I'm not in a relationship but the thought is always there at the back of my head. I wonder if lack of a personal life will stunt my growth as a person. But these are fleeting thoughts. As I hop from studio to studio, my love life is put on the back-burner," she says. The actress admits that she may be 23 but in her head, she's as mature as a 45-year-old. And as she reflects on her life today, she realizes that her goal for the moment may be superstardom. But she sometimes fears she is chasing a hollow dream. "If I want to be actually enlightened, like I do, I need to set a larger goal for myself. I want to turn director someday, I need to make place for a permanent relationship. I need to look for the rainbow. Perhaps these are the things that will complete me. Who knows? But I'm looking."


Bollywood

April 2, 2010

India Post

39

www.indiapost.com

Bonded to 007 S

lumdog Millionaire" star Freida Pinto has been roped in to play the next Bond girl and her boyfriend Dev Patel is cool with seeing her "rolling around" with the super spy, says a report. The 24-year-old actress will be seen alongside Daniel Craig in the upcoming 007 movie, which is to be directed by Sam Mendes. It will be set in Afghanistan, contactmusic.com reported. "It will be a typically glamorous and raunchy role and Dev (Patel) has been joking to friends he is cool with seeing Freida rolling around with 007," said a source. Meanwhile, American actress Olivia Wilde is reportedly in talks to star as the second Bond girl in the 23rd outing of the spy franchise. "Sam (Mendes) has been talking about Bond for months now and is so excited about it. The project has been in the pipeline for months and Freida was always the dream Bond girl, but initially she was nervous about accepting it," said a source. "This is going to be the most ambitious 007 yet. Sam plans to reinvent the genre. Peter Morgan, who wrote 'The Queen', has penned the first draft of the script and it promises to be visually stunning."

Difficult Shahid

S

hahid Kapoor, who toned his body up quite a bit for Kaminey, seems to love that look of his and finds it perfect. His refusal to listen to first-time director Parmeet Sethi and choreographer Ahmed Khan on the sets of Yash Raj Films' Badmaash Company, his refusal to do retakes and his crabbiness have already been in the news for a while now. Just when one thought that he wouldn't create any more trouble for the film unit, Shahid had to be difficult again. While shooting for the movie's title song at MT Studios, Shahid refused to listen to the unit again. The song required him to wear a white vest in a pub but he showed his reluctance to do so. The team was bugged with the fact that Shahid knew beforehand that he was required to wear the vest. But when he reached the sets, he didn't want to wear it and gave the reasons that he hadn't been working out in the gym for a while because of his father, Pankaj Kapur's directorial debut, Mausam. His role in Mausam is that of a depressed man and he had to look convincing for it. Finally, director Parmeet Sethi had to arrange for a halfsleeved white t-shirt. Only then did Shahid agree to shoot.

D

S

he has completely revamped her looks and broken out of her shy and coy image, but for actress Amrita Rao, her "Main Hoon Na" co-star Sushmita Sen is the ultimate style icon and someone she has grown up in awe of. "According to me the most stylish person in Bollywood is none other than Sushmita Sen. I have grown up in awe of her since I was in school," Amrita said. "Apart from that, I closely interacted with her during the making of 'Main Hoon Na' where I realized that apart from her outer personality, fashion element and her dressing sense, she has this wonderful inner personality and confidence and for me it is her innate charm that makes her the style icon she is," she said.

Awesome icon

eepika Padukone, who's been linked to Farhan Akhtar, Shahid Kapoor and most recently liquor baron Vijay Mallya's son Siddharth, is unfazed by the rumors and says she has learnt to accept the fact that all this comes with the work she does. "It makes no difference to me because I know that I am leading a life I want. I understand that it comes with the work I do and I am fine with it. I am very happy with my life and the work I am doing," said Deepika, who was shooting for her new film "Break Ke Baad" opposite Imran Khan, in Delhi. A self-confessed fitness freak, Deepika feels that regular workouts, yoga, healthy eating and positive thinking is what makes her look fit. Unlike other Bollywood actresses, the 24-year-old doesn't believe in being size zero. "I don't think it is healthy to be size zero. The Indian body is not cut out to be size zero. It is always nice to look healthy," Padukone said. She also refuses to take the tag of being the lucky mascot for Mallya's IPL team Bangalore Royal Challengers. "I think if the team is playing well the credit should go to all the players. It is very unfair to say that I am the lucky mascot and give me the credit," she said.


„

Briefs

NIA permitted to probe larger conspiracy

KOCHI: The CBI Special court here has permitted the National Investigation Agency to probe the larger conspiracy in the case relating to recruitment of youths from Kerala for terrorist outfits in Kashmir. Accepting the NIA plea that further inquiry was needed as there was a larger conspiracy behind the recruitment of youths from the state, Judge S Vijaykumar has given the nod for further probe. The NIA, which is probing various terror related cases in Kerala, had stated that it wanted to investigate the conspiracy in the case beyond Kerala and to ascertain the funding of terrorist activities. Further probe was needed into the source of funds and training places, it submitted adding it had also some information about the presence of sleeper cells. -PTI

„ Nityananda files writ in Karnataka High Court BANGALORE: Self-styled godman Nityananda Swami, facing allegations of involvement in sleazy activities, has filed a writ petition before Karnataka High Court seeking quashing of cases filed against him by the Ramanagar district police. Nityananda, who is at large ever since the video clippings of his alleged sleaze activities involving an actress were telecast by private channels on May two, in his petition contended that he was innocent. The 32-year-old Nityananda, alias Rajasekharan, charged that one of his former disciples and driver Kurup Lenin had conspired to defame him and his Ashram by leveling such allegations. -PTI

„ Maria replaces Raghuvanshi as ATS chief MUMBAI: Additional Director General K P Raghuvanshi has been removed as the head of Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad, days after he was criticized by the Centre for disclosing some information following the arrest of two suspected terrorists here. He will be replaced by Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Rakesh Maria, a Home Department source said. "Raghuvanshi has been relieved of the responsibilities of the ATS chief. Joint Police Commissioner Maria will take over," the source said. -PTI

India News 40

India Post

www.indiapost.com

April 2, 2010

SC's interim relief to AP on Muslim reservation NEW DELHI: The Andhra Pradesh government has received a major boost with the Supreme Court, in an interim order, upholding the validity of four per cent reservation provided to backward members of Muslim community in the state. A bench of Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices J M Panchal and B S Chauhan, however, referred the issue to a Constitution bench to examine the validity of the impugned Act since it involved important issues of the Constitution. -PTI

BHU partners University of Houston in academic exchanges NIDHI SOPARAWALA India Post News Service

MUMBAI: India and USA are entering into collaboration in a number of fields and one area is education. Institute of Technology of Banaras Hindu University in Varanasi, one of the oldest and renowned educational facilities in central India, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for cooperation in instruction and academic exchange with the University of Houston, a public university in Texas (USA). This new relationship reportedly for the next five years would include joint education programs at the graduate level, exchange visits of scholars and faculty collaboration in research and technology. One of the salient fea-

tures of this new understanding is that the two institutions would offer dual degree programs in which degrees could be granted by both parties. Founded in 1916, Banaras Hindu University, which has about 20,000 students from 34

The Institute of Technology or IT-BHU is the engineering school of BHU in Varanasi. It is one of India's oldest and highest-ranked engineering colleges. Like the rest of BHU, it is a residential and coeducational institute The admission for undergradu-

This new relationship reportedly for the next five years would include joint education programs at the graduate level, exchange visits of scholars and faculty collaboration in research and technology nations, ranks among top in the country in academic and research output. Its objectives include "To promote the study of the Hindu Shastras", "to promote the building up of character in youth by religion and ethics as an integral part of education", etc.

ate students is through Indian Institutes of Technology - Joint Entrance Examination and for postgraduates is through Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE). The Institute has so far produced more than 22,000 B.Tech. graduates, 2700 M. Tech.

post graduates and 650 Ph.D. doctorates. Since its inception, the Institute of Technology, BHU has not only evolved to become a premier educational institution producing Graduates Technocrats and Entrepreneurs, but has remodeled itself into an educational beacon which provides versatile postgraduate training and conducts sophisticated research in Engineering and Technology. IT-BHU is now scheduled to become India's 16th IIT University of Houston, founded in 1927, has over 36,000 students from 137 countries, a Noble Prize winner on its faculty, offers only graduate program of the world in "Space Architecture", and boasts of over 3,500 CEOs and actors Dennis and Randy Quaid among its alumni.

Biking to spread Gandhi's message of peace NIDHI SOPARAWALA India Post News Service

NAVASARI: Two youth and one senior age from 32 to 51 years set a record biking 3940 kms from Tezu in Arunachal Pradesh to Koteshwar in Kutch in India last month in three days 12 hours and 10 minutes to

The trio involved were Shahid Syed (32) Piyush Shelat (36) Vishnubhai Mehta (51) who were flagged off from Gandhi Ashram in Ahmedabad spread Mahatma Gandhi's message of peace and love across the country. The trio involved were Shahid Syed (32) Piyush Shelat (36) Vishnubhai Mehta (51) who were flagged off from Gandhi Ashram in Ahmedabad. They covered many religious and his-

Three enthusiastic peace marchers traveled 4000 km to spread Gandhijiís message of peace across the country (L-R) State Police officer Waghela, Vishnubhai Patel, Syed Shahid, Police Supt S.S.Khanwawala and Pyush Shelat

toric places like Nepal's Pashupatinath temple, Ayodhya Ram Mandir, FatehPur Sikri and Haji Peer Dargah in Kutch. The event was organized by the Gadnhi World Peace Mission and

the main sponsor this time was Navasari based Syed Sadruddin Dargahwala Foundation. This group of three announced that their next mission is to travel to nine nations of Asia covering

Bhutan, Burma, Bangladesh, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Laos. They also plan to bike from New York to Los Angeles in the near future to help the family of survivors of 9/11 attack a few years ago.


April 2, 2010

www.indiapost.com

India Post 41


In Brief Ariz. House signals approval for immigration bill PHOENIX: The Arizona House gave preliminary approval to a proposal that would criminalize the presence of illegal immigrants in the state. Lawmakers didn't debate the bill's merits before endorsing the measure. The bill would make Arizona the only state to criminalize the presence of the state's estimated 460,000 illegal immigrants through an expansion of its trespassing law. It also bans soft immigration policies in police agencies and requires officers to try to determine people's immigration status when there's reasonable suspicion they are in the country illegally. A similar bill cleared the Senate in February and is expected to be heard by committee in the House. -AP

Arizona sheriff launches immigration sweep PHOENIX: The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office in Arizona has launched a countywide crime and immigration sweep that authorities say will focus on drop houses, drug violators and human smuggling vehicles. Four hundred deputies and volunteer posse members are taking part in the patrols. The sweep is Sheriff Joe Arpaio's 14th since early 2008. During the sweeps, deputies flood an area of a city in some cases heavily Latino areas to seek out traffic violators and arrest other alleged lawbreakers. Critics say Arpaio's deputies have racially profiled Hispanics. The sheriff says deputies approach people only when they have probable cause to believe people have committed crimes. -AP

Obama vows commitment to immigration reform WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama is reassuring immigration reform advocates that he is committed to working with Congress on a comprehensive bill to fix a ``broken immigration system.'' In a videotaped message presented on giant screens to thousands marching on the National Mall, Obama warned of the cost of inaction. He said problems with today's immigration system include families being torn apart, employers gaming the system and police officers struggling to keep communities safe. -AP

Immigration 42

India Post

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Calif. candidate pushes tough immigration stand LOS ANGELES: One of the Republicans seeking to become California's next governor is promising to end taxpayer-funded benefits for illegal immigrants in a TV commercial that blames liberals for “doing too much for too many.”

April 2, 2010

Details on page 45

Thousands rally in DC for immigration reform WASHINGTON: Tens of thousands of people turned out on Washington's National Mall on March 21 to support the Obama administration in its next big battle, a renewed effort to overhaul U.S. immigration laws. Speaking by video to the crowd, President Obama said he would do "everything in my power" to get a bipartisan deal within the year. "You know as well as I do that this won't be easy, and it won't happen overnight," Obama said. "But if we work together across ethnic, state and party lines, we can build a future worthy of our history as a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws." Obama's appearance was followed by comments from Gustavo Torres, executive director of the Baltimore-based immigrant advocacy group CASA de Maryland. Torres told the crowd, "Mr. President, we are going to hold you accountable." Though overshadowed by the historic debate on health care taking place in the nearby halls of

Covered by a large US flag, protestors participate in a "March For America" demonstration calling for immigration reform on the National Mall March 21 in Washington, DC. According to the organizers of the 'March for America' hundreds of groups from almost every state are taking part to march for immigration reform from the National Mall to RFK Stadium

Congress, Sunday's rally set the stage for a revival of efforts to reshape U.S. immigration law. The issue has been largely sidelined since a similar push by the Bush

administration failed in 2007. "You are a spectacular sight," Ali Noorani, chairman of the coalition that organized the demonstration, told the crowd. Noorani said the rally

had drawn more than 150,000 people "from across the country, and we are demanding comprehensive immigration reform now." Cont’d on page 44

Indians advised to opt for Entry Visa, PIO or OCI status AQ SIDDIQUI India Post News Service

CHICAGO: Shaheen Ghori, an Indian American who traveled on a British Airways flight from Chicago to Hyderabad via London, was denied boarding at Heathrow Airport for Hyderabad bound flight as the British Airways staff noticed she had traveled to India five week before and a recent ordinance requires all Indian Americans to obtain waiver from the Indian Consulate if traveling to India within 60 days from the earlier trip. Shaheen was asked to go to Indian Consulate London and obtain waiver to continue her journey. The lady passenger traveling alone was stranded for a day in London due to sheer ignorance of the issue. Most Indian Americans opt for multiple 10-year tourist visa, a general category meant for all foreigners

traveling to India. The reason, it cost less than the multiple five years Entry Visa meant only for Indian Americans. The Tourist Visa, however has a new restriction imposed by the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India. The new rule, now posted on Chicago Indian Consulate website, stipulates

required within 14 days of arrival". Replying to queries by this reporter, a senior officer at Chicago Indian Consulate advised Indian Americans to go for PIO - Person of Indian Origin card or better apply for the Overseas Citizens of India status (OCI), if you feel the cost of five- year multiple Entry Visa is too high. While PIO card is

There should be a gap of at least 2 months between two visits to India on a Tourist Visa. In case of requirement to visit the country within two months, permission should be sought that, "There should be a gap of at least 2 months between two visits to India on a Tourist Visa. In case of requirement to visit the country within two months, permission should be sought from the Head of Mission concerned indicating the specific reasons for another visit within a short period. In all such cases, registration would be

issued within a week, OCI procedure takes up to eight weeks. The fee for PIO card is $365 and it can be easily converted to OCI card for a fee of $25 only. Many Indian Americans are not aware of the new regulation that prohibits a second visit to India within less than two months. The restriction has resulted in denied

boarding to many such travelers to India who had an earlier visited within two months. There are hundreds of Indian American businessmen who travel frequently on Tourist Visa. The Chicago Indian Consulate has assigned an out source agency to do the visa processing in Chicago. A complete list of 'requirements' is specified on www.chicago.indianconsulate.com. A new requirement even for renewal of an expired visa stipulates that applicant must prove the Indian origin either by producing the birth certificate or copy of old surrendered Indian passport. The Indian Consulate official explained that people expect the consulate to link 10 years old records. All consulate needs to renew an old visa is the copy of Indian passport and this is the requirement by Government of India, said the consulate official.


Immigration Post

April 2, 2010

Halcyon days in H-1B visa processing CYRUS D. MEHTA

(Continued from last week) r. Aytes' guidance on determining the em ployer of an H-1B petition, based on who pays the alien's salary, was so much simpler and consistent with real world economic reality and tax law. An Op-Ed in last Sunday's NY Times drawing attention to Section 1706 (especially after the plane crash by a computer programmer pilot into the IRS building in Austin), which specifically requires people in the IT consulting industry to be treated as employees and not as independent contractors, and excludes computer programmers from the safe harbor Form 1099 requirement under Section 560 of the IRC. The Neufeld Memo assumes, in contradiction of Section 1706, that H-1B programmers are not considered employees of the IT staffing firm, when Congress specifically directed them to be treated as such, at least for tax purposes, under 1706. Moreover, in a letter dated October 23, 2003 to Lynn Shotwell, Efren Hernandez III, then Director, Business and Trade Branch of USCIS recognized that if a new LCA was obtained as a result of a change in work location after the H-1B petition was filed, an amendment to the H-1B petition was not required. It is noted that the Neufeld Memo also contradicts DOL regulations that allow an H-1B worker to be placed for 30 or 60 days without the need to obtain a new LCA. 20 C.F.R. ยง 655.735(c).

M

All this points out to the fact that an employer who assigns employees at third party sites, contrary to the Neufeld Memo, need not determine the location of every job site when filing the H-1B petition. When a management consulting firm that may either use employees in-house to work on various client projects, or station its employees at client sites for extended periods of time, files H-1B

We demand that USCIS immediately withdraw the Neufeld Memo and to revert back to the halcyon days of Mr. Aytes' 1995 guidance. The Neufeld Memo not only hurts the competitiveness of US business but also jeopardizes the status of H-1B workers petitions on behalf of prospective employees, it is not expected that such a firm will pinpoint every client engagement in which an H-1B employee may be involved and every client site at which an H-1B employee may be stationed. Similarly, when a law firm that may use associates in-house to handle various client matters, or station associates at client corporations for extended periods of time, files an H-

1B petition, it is not expected that such a firm will pinpoint every client engagement in which an H-1B employee may be involved, and every client site at which an H-1B employee may be stationed. The rules do not differ for IT consulting firms in this respect simply because its business is software development and consulting rather than management consulting or the practice of law. And in the event of a lag between work assignments, INA 212(n)(2)(C)(vii) and 20 C.F.R. ยง655.731(c)(7)(i) prohibit an employer from "benching" and must continue to pay the required wage. Congress contemplated time lags between assignments, and enacted a law that required the employer to pay during the unproductive period. We demand that USCIS immediately withdraw the Neufeld Memo and to revert back to the halcyon days of Mr. Aytes' 1995 guidance. The Neufeld Memo not only hurts the competitiveness of U.S. business but also jeopardizes the status of H-1B workers who are waiting endlessly for the green card. If there were no backlogs in the EB quotas, they would be permanent residents by now and would not be needlessly harassed by the Neufeld Memo when applying for the next round of H-1B extensions. * Cyrus D Mehta, may be contacted at 212-425-0555 or info@cyrusmehta.com

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Immigration Post

India Post

April 2, 2010

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Trial of Indian surgeon labelled Lawmakers reviving bill to cut immigrant pensions 'Dr Death' opens in Oz court MELBOURNE: Indian-born American doctor Jayant Patel, facing accusations of botching operations and causing death of three patients, has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter charges at a court in Brisbane in Australia. Extradited to Australia from the US, the 59-year-old doctor replied "Not guilty, your honour" as judge John Byrne read out three charges of manslaughter and a charge of injuring another patient in a crowded courtroom in the presence of his wife Kishori, also a doctor. Patel's high-profile trial comes more than 25 years after questions were raised about his surgical competence to carry out major operations at Bundaberg hospital in Queensland between 2003 and 2005. He faces life imprisonment if convicted. Patel, labelled 'Dr Death' by the media, was charged by the prosecution of performing a series of unnecessarily and poorly executed surgeries including a botched operation he performed after misdiagnosing cancer. Large number of Patel's former patients and others turned out to watch the beginning of the trial in which up to 160 witnesses, most of them doctors and nurse, are expected to testify during the 10 week hearing being broadcast live in the Bundaberg court house. Patel was originally charged on

more than dozen counts but is being tried only for three counts of manslaughter and one count of causing bodily harm. The prosecution charged that Patel had repeatedly performed surgeries that he had been banned from undertaking in US, from where he was extradited in 2008. Patel faced complaints of his competency since the early 1980s when he practised in US. In 1984, he was fined by a New York health

Prosecutor Ross Martin described a series of botched and unnecessary operations performed by Patel that allegedly resulted in the deaths of the three patients and the harming of Vowles officials and placed on probation for three years for failing to examine patients before operations. Shifting later to Portland Oregon, he was banned from undertaking liver and pancreatic surgeries at the Kaiser Permanente hospital. Patel moved to Bundaberg hospital in Australia in 2003. But two years later, he resigned and left for US after accusations of his competence were raised against

him in the state parliament. The court heard prosecution charges that Patel had wrongly removed a patient's healthy bowel, leaving him with a permanent colostomy bag, according to media reports here. Patel is accused of manslaughter of Mervyn John Morris, James Edward Phillips and Gerry Kemps. Opening the Crown case, prosecutor Ross Martin described a series of botched and unnecessary operations performed by Patel that allegedly resulted in the deaths of the three patients and the harming of Vowles. Instead of performing a total biopsy on a polyp discovered in the man's bowel, Patel decided to wholly remove what was left of the healthy organ. This left Vowles needing a colostomy bag and Martin described the operation as "useless and devastating. Martin also told the court of operations on Morris, Kemps and Phillips - after which all three died in hospital. In the case of Morris, 75, Patel allegedly wrongly decided to remove part of the patient's bowel. Three weeks after the operation, Morris died, on June 14, 2003. Phillips, 46, was in end-stage renal failure. He was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer in April 2003, and the prosecution alleges that Patel wrongly decided to conduct a major operation on Phillips at the Bundaberg Hospital. -PTI

DENVER: Colorado lawmakers are reviving a bill to cut state pensions to some legal immigrants, saying they need the money to help balance the budget. The proposal would save the state an estimated $24 million next year but this time the budget stakes are higher. Minority Republicans are threatening to withhold support for a bigger budget balancing bill if lawmakers don't consider the cut to the old age pension fund first. Last week, budget committee chairman Rep. Jack Pommer, DBoulder, asked the House to kill his pension bill out of frustration after a series of proposed changes ate away at the savings. He said that the committee decided to reintroduce a similar bill. Currently, legal immigrants are eligible to collect a retirement benefit of up to $699 a month even if they're being supported by the person who promised to support them financially when they emigrated. Citizens receiving financial support from someone else aren't eligible for a pension. Under the proposal, immigrants whose sponsors are able to support them would lose their pensions. Those whose sponsors can no longer take care of them would keep their pensions. Budget committee member Sen. Moe Keller, D-Wheat Ridge, said the committee would have revived the bill without the Republican pressure because of the savings to the state. However, she acknowledged that the GOP has the

power to block a bill to take $43 million in tobacco tax money if lawmakers don't pass the pension bill. In a letter to the budget committee Republicans said lawmakers should change pension eligibility before it considers cutting the $43 million from programs such as preventing and treating breast and cervical cancer and heart and lung disease.

Currently, legal immigrants are eligible to collect a retirement benefit of up to $699 a month even if they're being supported by the person who promised to support them financially when they emigrated Lawmakers raided that fund last year to balance the budget after declaring a fiscal emergency. The budget committee wants to do that again this year but declaring an emergency requires a two-thirds vote so majority Democrats would need at least three Republicans to vote with them in order to spend the money on general government expenses rather than health care. Senate Minority Leader Josh Penry said Republicans would support declaring the fiscal emergency if lawmakers pass the pension bill. -AP

Thousands rally in DC for immigration reform Cont’d from page 42

Noorani's figure could not be verified immediately. The crowd packed more than two blocks of the Mall between the Capitol and the Washington Monument. Then-President George W. Bush supported a bipartisan effort to overhaul U.S. immigration laws four years ago, proposing to set up a path to legal status for the estimated 11 million people in the United States without authorization. But those measures were criticized as establishing amnesty for illegal immigrants, and legislation Bush supported died with a Senate filibuster -- one led by members of his own party but joined by more than a dozen Democrats. The event followed last week's publication of a new plan backed by Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, RSouth Carolina. The plan would create a "tough but fair" path to

that plan at the earliest possible opportunity. Obama's push on immigration also helped secure a key vote for his health care bill. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Illinois, announced his

Obama called the senators' plans promising and said it should be the basis for moving forward. He called on Congress to act on that plan at the earliest possible opportunity Protestors carry signs during an immigration reform demonstration March 24 in San Francisco, California. More than 2,000 protestors staged a demonstration outside of US Sen. Dianne Feinstein's (D-CA) office calling on the US Senate to fix the broken immigration system

legalization, as well as a temporary worker program and tighter border controls, the sponsors

wrote in a Washington Post opinion piece Friday. Obama called the senators'

plans promising and said it should be the basis for moving forward. He called on Congress to act on

support for the bill after receiving a commitment to move forward on immigration "as soon as possible." "The wait is over. The time is now," Gutierrez told the rally. "We're ready to turn our hope into victory."-Agencies


Immigration Post

April 2, 2010

India Post

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Calif. candidate pushes tough immigration stand ``We all know California is heading right over a cliff,'' Poizner says in the ad, as a car teeters and then falls off a precipice. ``Politicians have lacked the guts to tackle the problem.'' “How did this happen?'' he asks. ``Years of liberal failure doing too much for too many.''

Whitman has said she opposes cutting off health care or education for children who have come to the country illegally In seeking to differentiate himself from Whitman, Poizner has argued he's more conservative and has promised to take on an issue that has bedeviled the state for years. Population estimates vary, but it's believed that 2 million to 3

million illegal immigrants live in California. Whitman has said she opposes cutting off health care or education for children who have come to the country illegally, and she has accused Poizner of changing positions on illegal immigration in recent years. Poizner's remarks have echoed the 1994 debate over Proposition 187, which denied publicly funded social services to illegal immigrants. A federal court later found the law's provisions unconstitutional. Though 16 years ago, fallout from that dispute still looms large anytime politics and immigration collide in California. Polls show most Hispanics in California vote Democratic, and then-Republican Gov. Pete Wilson's support for Proposition 187 was widely blamed for alienating many Latinos from the GOP. -AP

Officer testifies in NY hate-crime case RIVERHEAD, NY: An Ecuadorean immigrant was found lying in a pool of blood in an alley near where he was believed stabbed by a group of teenagers, a police officer testified. Suffolk County Police Officer Frank Munsch testified at the trial of Jeffrey Conroy, 19, who has pleaded not guilty to murder and manslaughter as a hate crime in the November 2008 killing of Marcelo Lucero. Munsch said the trail of blood began in a parking lot of the Patchogue train station and went down an alley where the 37-year-old Lucero was found under a van. ``He was lying in a pool of blood. He had trouble breathing. He was pale and his hands and feet were shaking,'' the officer testified. Conroy is the only one of seven teens arrested in the kill-

ing to be charged with murder because authorities allege he was the person who plunged a knife into Lucero's chest.

Four of Conroy's friends from Patchogue-Medford High School have pleaded guilty to hate crime-related charges and agreed to testify against him Prosecutors contend the killing was the culmination of a campaign of violence against Hispanics on eastern Long Island. The U.S. Justice Department is currently investigating police responses to hate crimes in the community, which

has seen a large influx of Hispanics over the last decade. An emergency medical technician testified that it took about 40 minutes from the time the first 911 call was received about the stabbing until Lucero reached a nearby hospital. He died there shortly afterward. Defense attorney William Keahon has suggested that Lucero might have survived if emergency response had been faster. Four of Conroy's friends from Patchogue-Medford High School have pleaded guilty to hate crime-related charges and agreed to testify against him. They face prison terms of perhaps 10 years or more. State Supreme Court Justice Robert Doyle will decide their sentences after Conroy's trial. The trial is expected to last six to eight weeks.-AP

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LOS ANGELES: One of the Republicans seeking to become California's next governor is promising to end taxpayer-funded benefits for illegal immigrants in a TV commercial that blames liberals for ``doing too much for too many.'' The 30-second ad by Steve Poizner appears tailored to appeal to conservatives who will dominate at the ballot box in the state Republican primary in June. But Poizner, the state insurance commissioner, risks turning off Hispanics who make up about a third of the state's population and are a growing force in California politics. The ad is Poizner's latest bid to gain notice in a race in which he trails GOP rival Meg Whitman by a wide margin in polls. Poizner wants to end state funding for non-emergency medical care for illegal immigrants and block illegal immigrants from receiving in-state tuition at state universities.


46

Horoscope

India Post

April 2, 2010

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ARIES Mar 21-Apr 20 Things happening around will make you little nervous. Relax and try to enjoy with family and friends. Worrying about future is not going to help. Someone close will make plans to travel overseas this summer. An old friend will come to meet you on a short notice and give you some good advice. All business meetings will go well.

LEO Jul 23-Aug 22 You may have to do lots of juggling in order to meet your financial commitments. Business will not pick up as anticipated. Do not allow anybody to take advantage of your good nature and generosity. Contract you had been waiting for, is in the mail on its way to you. Some one you know for long will boost your moral and encourage you.

SAGITTARIUS

April 2 to April 8

Nov 23-Dec 22 You may take a short break from busy schedule and take a short trip with family to a nice place. Financially you will continue to be comfortable. It is going to be a very favorable week for people looking for a change in career. An old friend will call to seek your advice on an important matter. Stocks can get extra money.

Govt rules out OBC quota in Women's Reservation Bill BANGALORE: Union Law Minister M Veerappa Moily has ruled out providing reservation for Other Backward Castes in the Women's Reservation Bill, saying data on OBCs is not available at the national level. Moily said there would be no change in the bill compared to that passed in the Rajya Sabha and exuded confidence that it would get through the Lok Sabha also in April. "There is no provision in the Constitution to provide for OBC reservation, particularly for political reservation, even though for employment and education, reservation is provided," he told reporters here. Moily said census on OBCs was not pursued since 1931. "So unless these data are available, it is not possible to pick up who's OBC and who's not OBC." He opined that if Parliament passed the bill with amendment providing OBC quota in the women's legislation, the court would strike it down

"from day one". Asked about Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav's comment that only women belonging to affluent class would get the

Moily said there would be no change in the bill compared to that passed in the Rajya Sabha and exuded confidence that it would get through the Lok Sabha also in April benefit of the bill, he said a "similar argument" was aired when 73rd and 74th Constitution amendment bill providing reservation for women in Panchayat Raj institutions was enacted. -PTI

TAURUS Apr 21-May 20 Results not coming on time may cause slight frustration in mind. This is not the right time to give up or feel depressed as big success is just around the corner. You will spend an evening in company of famous and successful people. Pressure at work will reduce and you will patiently wait for boss to call you and discuss about an important project.

VIRGO Aug 23-Sept 22 You will be working on a new product. People will show an interest in our creative ideas by making few inquiries. Money wise you will do slightly better and have some in pipeline too. Someone in family will make plans to travel long distance this summer. A child not doing well in the past will be on right track from now and on.

CAPRICORN Dec 23-Jan 19 You will comfortably meet all financial commitments and still have some money left. You may also receive some kind of clearance from a government agency. A long distance trip will take final shape. You will hear few encouraging news at work as well as within the family. Idea of buying a newer model will cross your mind.

GEMINI May 21-Jun 20 You will meet all commitments and still have some leftover. Business will continue to grow but at a slow pace. Mind will lean towards spirituality and you may start devoting little time towards prayers. You will get a chance to talk and spend some time together with rich and famous people. You may go for an interview with a government official.

LIBRA Sept 23-Oct 22 Favorable planets will ease off the tension and most of your attempts will be successful. Knowledge acquired at this point will change the course of your life towards the end of this year. You will quickly recover from minor illness also. Avoid colleague who is always irritated. Money wise you will continue to do well.

AQUARIUS Jan 20-Feb 18 Mind will be slight restless as growth will be slow. Your advice will be well taken and change somebody's life. You will start to pay little more attention to health and cut down on many things. Stocks recently purchased will appreciate considerably. Some one short in height and going bald will be helpful and give useful tips.

CANCER Jun 21-Jul 22 You will contribute to a charity. Money wise things will start brightening up. Money on hold will finally get released and this time you will be more cautious with it. You will be working with an interesting person on an important project. You may need minor medication to tackle a health issue developed lately and try to relax more.

SCORPIO Oct 23-Nov 22 Mind will be full of some bright ideas and you will be looking for the right opportunity to implement at least few of them. Money will come and disappear fast. You may discuss with other family members about a short pleasure trip during summer. You will be doing lots of work in or around your home in spare time and may buy some plants.

PISCES Feb 19-Mar 20 Money wise it will be a favorable week. Deals you had been working on will materialize and you may receive a check in form of part payment. Your work will make you known in professional circle. Some of you may be moved to a better place. You will have hard time making up your mind to buy a property. Children will be source of happiness.


Readers Write...

April 2, 2010

India Post 47

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Sikhs should invest in filmmakers to preserve heritage

A

recent letter expressed disgust at the worldwide apathy concerning the death of Sikhs in Pakistan. This was compared to the massive media attention paid to a single individual, Daniel Pearl, who was killed by Muslim extremists in Pakistan. I am not sure why we are surprised at this apathy. It is normal for Sikhs to be ignored. On the other hand, Daniel Pearl was a Jew. Jews give hugely and generously to documentary film artists and writers, to promote their causes, maintain their identities, point out injustices and atrocities, and keep their histories alive. Jews do this while also working to feed their families and send their children to med school or law school, and also deal with all the complicated logistics of life in modern America. Are Sikhs too greedy to give in the way Jews do, to artists, writers, and filmmakers? I know from personal experience that Sikhs are actually very generous. But they give to giant ostentatious gurudwara, massively expensive buildings which are used only about 10% of the time. My own gurudwara cost $6,000,000. That sum could fund many documentary films of one hour length, about or for or by Sikhs. Can you imagine the worldwide impact on Sikhi, thru these documentary films? But there is no Sikh community in the world, that has shifted their cultural investment portfolio, from Gurdwaras, to filmmakers or other media artists. Consequently, we as Sikhs, the most visually identifiable minority community in the world, suffer from an almost total lack of recognition by others. Worse still, fellow Sikhs have very

little knowledge of modern role models, heroes, events, movements, and other news related to Sikhi. The vacuum of Sikh media leads me to ask a rather shocking question: "Do we Sikhs around the world, actually know much about each other?" To my dismay, the answer may well be "No, we do not. We remain ignorant of each other, and of our own history." The Punjabi language is disappearing. Let us not fool ourselves. Sikh kids in Delhi speak Hindi. They are ashamed of Punjabi, insulting Punjabi-speakers as "Piandu," or "village hicks." How many Sikhs do you know who are totally fluent in Punjabi? Without language, a culture is in jeopardy of disappearing. Without history, the same thing can occur. Is Sikh history only confined to a study of the gurus? What about the Partition? Or Maharajah Ranjit Singh? Or the massacres of 1984? Who is the guardian of these Sikh events? The guardian of similar Jewish events, are the filmmakers, writers, playwrights, song writers, and academic experts of Judaism. There works rejuvenate, preserve, enliven, and strengthen, the Jewish community worldwide. Turn on an American TV and see how long before a program by, for or about Jews appears. Every day, every hour, everywhere. This is an impressive achievement. The above hardly exist, in the Sikh Diaspora, and in India itself. Blaming ourselves for apathy and ignorance and even Sikh injustice, is a common Sikh hobby, I have noticed. What I have NOT noticed, is a shift from such complaining and self-punishment, to action inspired by an optimistic view that

"we CAN do it." By that I mean, we CAN invest in Sikh media creators, by supporting them financially rather than building yet another gurudwara. The Japanese samurai have a motto: "Never complain; never explain." Yet that is what we modern Sikh warrior-saints do: We complain about inaction, and we constantly explain about who we are, because people have no media knowledge of us. I suggest we adopt Nike's famous motto: "Just do it." I personally have limited funds, but have financially supported the making of two Sikh documentaries by the Hollywood filmmaker Michael Singh. His brilliant film "Prisoner's Song," won "Best Film of the Festival" at the Toronto Spinning Wheel Film Festival in September, 2009. Harbinder Singh Rana of Birmingham, provided Michael with a speaking fee of one thousand pounds sterling, to bring his film and speak before an audience at London's War Museum. And The Singh Twins, world-famous artists and themselves successful filmmakers, have given Michael $5,000 to support his projects. Another example of Sikhs actually funding filmmakers, is Paul Johar and his uncle Teji Bindra, who funded a documentary about Sikh pilots. How many Sikhs are there who could follow these examples of philanthropic generosity and support? Answer: millions of Sikhs. Sikhs boast about being one of the world's most successful minorities. Of course we can do more to support such artists and cultural gatekeepers. I know for a fact that for 30 years, Michael Singh has been unable to per-

suade wealthy philanthropic Sikh businessmen to put their dollars where their mouth is, when it comes to telling an important Sikh story. He is 75% through making the first ever eye-witness account of the massacres of 1984. He was there, in a massacre, and helped to house some 30 Sikh women and children for three days near Rakab Ganj. He requires another $100,000 to finish his film. Who will step up and contribute? I hope this letter inspires people to contact him, through your newspaper. Now, Michael is only one of many Sikh filmmakers in the Diaspora and in India, who could provide fantastic cultural returns for the investment made by donors. Filmmaking requires tens of thousands of man-hours. Until such filmmakers are given the chance to hire crews and make a professional product and spread the word about Sikhs, please don't be surprised if the injustices against Sikhs continues, and if people don't care. I am calling upon Sikhs everywhere to change their thinking, to abandon complaining and blaming themselves, and to pick up a pen or use their credit card to help support filmmakers and other Sikh artist who are trying to preserve our precious heritage that is slipping away. The result will be that those who wish to inflict injustices on Sikhs will think twice. Young Sikhs will know their own history and culture, and non-Sikhs will come to know more about us and our exceptionally admirable religion and way of life. If such support is not in line with the guru's directions on living a wholesome and good life, nothing is. Bicky Singh

Nityananda scandal terrible slur on India's gurus

N

ityananda's sex scandal real or conspired, is a terrible slur on India's distinguished institution of enlightened Hindu Gurus such as Vyasa, Bhardwaj, Vashisth, Nanak, Ramdas and Gargi to name a few. These Gurus did not go around with begging bowls to collect money for building ashrams, schools, orphanages, temples or hospitals. The Guru and his wife (Gurupatni) often ran "Gurukulams" - residential schools where children from the royal families as well as children of paupers came to get free education. What we are witnessing now is a 21st century trend of

globetrotting, jet set Gurus. This is a new phenomena and it is entirely out of line with traditional Hindu practices. In fact there is nothing Hindu about these fake Gurus except the saffron clothes they wear to fool the gullible. These Gurus have managed to create millions of followers. And a good number of them including Swami Nityananda have become millionaires, which contradicts their image as people who are supposed to avoid the material world. The main message these Gurus give to their followers is to shun the material world while the private lives of the Gurus themselves are anything but non-materialistic! In fact, a great

many of them lead lives of unimaginable luxury and material comforts. Their "ashrams" are ostentatious examples of extravagant comforts of the Gurus and at times their immediate family members which according to tradition they are supposed to give up when they assume sanyaas (renunciation). And since none of these Gurus earn a single penny through gainful employment, their luxurious lifestyle is sustained through donations made by their followers. Many of them travel only first class or business class! All this paid for with money collected in the names of cows, orphans and

widows! What is even more mind boggling is that once these Gurus take the money, there is hardly any accounting or feedback given to the donors about where and how the money is spent. There are no progress report, no accountability and no transparency. In fact, it may prove to be dangerous to ask for accounting as was demonstrated by the Swadhaya case where a devotee started to ask uncomfortable questions regarding where the funds were being spent. The poor fellow paid with his life! How the tax authorities both in India and abroad allow such blatant abuses is beyond compre-

Disclaimer :- India Post does not endorse opinions expressed in the letters.

hension. Swami Nityanand's sex scandal may be only be the tip of the iceberg. Countless abuses probably continue to go on in other ashrams and the blame for letting these abuses continue rests squarely on the shoulders of the donors who give blindly. Please Hindus, Wake up. Open your eyes. Educate yourselves about Hindu scriptures and learn about the virtues of a true Guru. Don't be fooled by charlatans and the fraudsters who use religion to milk the gullible of their hard earned money. Pradip Sinh Sisodia Via E-mail


Datebook

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April 2, 2010

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NEW YORK Upcoming Fri April 2 • Amjad Ali Khan: Master of Sarod Venue: Miller Theatre at Columbia University, 2960 Broadway (at 116th Street), New York Contact: 917-971-7510

Sat April 10 • Naach Revolution Venue: Hindu Temple, 143 - 07 Holly Ave, Flushing, New York Time: 7pm to 10pm Contact: 732-763-0118

Sat May 1 • Dancing STAR ka Damaka Venue: Shreenath Enterprise Inc, 220-15, 92 ave queens village, New York Time: 7pm Contact: 347-513-8526

NEW JERSEY Upcoming

ILLINOIS Upcoming Sun April 4 • Boogie Woogie U.S. Finals 2010 Venue: The Meadows Club, 2950 W. Golf Rd., Rolling Meadows, Illinois Time: 5:30pm to 10pm Contact: (815)404-3803

Wed April 7 • Celebrating 90 Years Of Ravi Shankar Event Venue: Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St., Chicago, Illinois Time: 6pm to 11pm Contact: 312-744-6630

Sat April 10 • Rangla Punjab 2010 Venue: Lane Technical High School, 2501 W Addison St, Chicago, Illinois Time: 7pm Contact: (847) 359-5PCS

WASHINGTON DC Upcoming

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Fri April 2

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• The Essence of All Advice

Venue: New Jersey Exhibition And Convention Center, Raritan Center, 97 Sunfield Avenue, Edison, New Jersey Time: 11am to 9pm Contact: 609-240-2350

Venue: Hare Krishna Temple, Potomac, Maryland, 20854 Contact: 301-299-2100

Sun April 4 • Ahankar (Ego) Venue: Knights of Columbus Hall, 116 Grand St, Iselin, New Jersey Time: 10am to 11:30am Contact: 732-207-7592

Fri April 9 • Garam Masala Club Venue: Hoilday Inn, 3050 Woodbridge Ave, Edison, New Jersey Time: 7pm Contact: 732-407-7676

Fri April 9 • The Art of Living Yoga and Meditation Course Venue: Ashburn, Virginia Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm Contact: 703-723-8181

Wed April 14 • Asha for Education-DC Marathon Program 2010 Venue: David Hodgkins House, GWU (George Washington Univ), 609 21st St., NW, Washington Time: 6:30pm to 7:30pm Contact: 301-221-4364

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA Upcoming Sat March 27 • Marathi play - MaNaSanStha - Marathi Natyat Sangeetache Sthan Venue: Cal State University East Bay (Hayward State) Theater, 25800 Carlos Bee Blvd, Hayward, California Time: 2:30pm to 5:30pm Contact: 408-263-9914

Sat April 3 • Mahatma Moses Comedy Tour Venue: SFCC Clubhouse, 414 Mason St, 5th Floor, San Francisco, California Time: 7pm to 8:30pm Contact: 415-676-1371

Sat April 3 • An Evening of Nepali Music, Dance and Food Venue: Jewish Community Center, 1414 Walnut Street, Berkeley, CA, 94709 Time: 6pm to 9pm Contact: 510-525-3535 Highlights: Listen to the exotic sounds of Nepali music and dance, enjoy delicious food and help us improve the lives of these kids.

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 Thursday evening • Pranayam, Meditation & Healing Venue: 18743, Pioneer Blvd, Suite Artesia, CA 90702 Time: 6:30pm to 8:30pm Contact: (949)235-2960

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 April 15 to Sat April 17 • Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Visiting LA: Art of Living Venue: Art of Living Foundation LA Center, 948, W Adams Blvd, LA Time: 10am to 12:30pm & 3pm to 5pm Contact: 310-820-9429 & http://us.artofliving.org/losangeles Highlights: Sanskrit shlokas, be immersed in the grace, meditate and support the new legacy this building brings. Many of you know what a gift his commentary on the Ashtavakra Gita has been for us.

Sat, April 10 • Santa Cruz Venue: United Church of Christ, First Congregational Church, 900 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060 Time: 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Contact: 800-475-2369


Classifieds

April 2, 2010

India Post 49

www.indiapost.com

MATRIMONIALS BRIDEGROOM WANTED

Parents looking for a groom for their beautiful daughter, American Citizen, 31years, 5'3" tall, Caste No Bar. Please send your picture and biodata to P.O.Box # 342, India Post 29274 Union City Blvd.,

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Well Settled in California,

PUNJABI FAMILY INVITES CORRESPODENCE FOR THEIR WORKING DAUGHTER 28 YRS OF AGE, 5'6". SEEKING US RAISED WORKING BOY. SEND RESPONSE TO RSOUGU@YAHOO.COM OR CALL AT 714-234-4921

PUNJABI SIKH PARENTS INVITE CORRESPONDENCE FROM WELL ESTABLISHED FAMILIES FOR DAUGHTER, 24 YRS, BEAUTIFUL, SLIM, 5’3", MASTERS-HUMAN GENETICS, LIVING IN INDIA. PROFESSIONALS PREFERRED. PLEASE SEND BIODATA WITH PICTURE. gundeepsingh8@gmail.com PH:562-201-1130

Punjabi Khatri parents looking for a suitable professional match for their beautiful daughter,

and well educated. Kindly respond with photo and biodata to P.O.Box # 340, India Post, 29274 Union City Blvd., Union City, CA - 94587, USA.

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with Bio data and Photo

for interview.

permit Trying for H-1B Visa Brother Dentist in India. Father & Mother in USA

42, youthful, handsome, PhD, professor in prestigious university, IIT undergrad, Brahmin, vegetarian, US citizen, divorcee never lived together, seeks partner below 36, Indian values, caring, PhD, MD, professionals, bio/photo details must.sunjupe@gmail.com Brahmin boy, ( from welleducated family of engineers ) 27 yrs, 5'10",very attractive personality ,from top-tier MBA + B-Tech from US, born/bred in India, US citizen, worked as Sr. consultant in Big four, great sense of humor, respectful in line with Indian culture seeks attractive match willing to settle in SF bay. Caste no bar. Please contact asharmacalishaadi@gmail.com

Notice is hereby given that sealed competitive bids will be accepted in the office of the GSA-Purchasing Department, County of Alameda, 1401 Lakeside Drive, Suite 907, Oakland, CA 94612 NETWORKING/NORTH COUNTY BIDDERS CONFERENCE RFP #900728 for Personal Hygiene Products, Tuesday, April 6, 2010, 10:00 a.m. ñ Lakeside Plaza Building, 1401 Lakeside Drive, Room 1107, 11th Floor, Oakland, CA NETWORKING/SOUTH COUNTY BIDDERS CONFERENCE RFP #900728 for Personal Hygiene Products, Wednesday, April 7, 2010, 2:00 p.m. ñ Dublin Public Library, The Program Room, Dublin, CA Responses Due by 2:00 pm on May 5, 2010 County Contact : Jennifer Chan Ngo (510) 208-9604 or via email: jennifer.ngo@acgov.org Attendance at Networking Conference is Non-mandatory. Specifications and bid copies regarding the above may be obtained at the Alameda County GSA Current Contracting Opportunities Internet website at www.acgov.org. 4/2/10 CNS-1817345#

Notice is hereby given that sealed competitive bids will be accepted in the office of the GSA-Purchasing Department, County of Alameda, 1401 Lakeside Drive, Suite 907, Oakland, CA 94612 NETWORKING/NORTH COUNTY BIDDERS CONFERENCE RFP/ SOQ #900679 for Alameda County Dispute Resolution Program, Thursday, March 25, 2010, 10:00 a.m. ñ Lakeside Plaza Building, 1401 Lakeside Drive, Room 201, 2nd Floor, Oakland, CA NETWORKING/SOUTH COUNTY BIDDERS CONFERENCE RFP/ SOQ #900679 for Alameda County Dispute Resolution Program, Friday, March 26, 2010, 2:00 p.m. ñ Fremont Main Library, Fukaya Room A, Fremont, CA Responses Due by 2:00 pm on April 14, 2010 County Contact : Jennifer Chan Ngo (510) 208-9604 or via email: jennifer.ngo@acgov.org Attendance at Networking Conference is Non-mandatory. Specifications and bid copies regarding the above may be obtained at the Alameda County GSA Current Contracting Opportunities Internet website at www.acgov.org. 4/2/10 CNS-1818405#


50

Classifieds

India Post

April 2, 2010

www.indiapost.com

NAME CHANGE

RESTAURANT HELP WANTED

IN CLEVELAND Upscale Indian Cuisine (Inchin’s Bamboo Garden- Tadka) In Cleveland Ohio is looking for Professional servers Good compensation Call

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Classifieds

April 2, 2010

India Post 51

www.indiapost.com

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Philosophy

52 India Post

April 2, 2010

www.indiapost.com

Page Sponsored by Sahanis DR RALPH F WILSON

I

don't belong here. I really don't. Paradise is the last place I expected to end up after all I've done. Let me tell you my story. I am -- I was -- an armed robber, I guess you'd call it. Me and Jake and the others would live in caves in the Judean hills near the road from Jerusalem to Jericho. We made our living by violence. Brandishing a strong staff would usually do the trick. Threatening people with a beating and they'd give up without much of a fight. But I've been known to break a few bones in my day, God forgive me. The first time I meet Jesus is when I am invited to a party in his honor in Jericho at the home of a rich tax collector named Zacchaeus. I am introduced, we shake hands, and Jesus looks me in the eye for a long moment. He can see right into me, who I am, every crime I have ever committed. Then he smiles this big friendly smile. "You know," he says, "there's forgiveness for you in my Kingdom. How about it?" I drop my eyes, say something non-committal, and shuffle away. The next day I'm in the crowd, hanging on every word he says. Jesus is talking about his Kingdom, comparing it to a mustard seed, calling it the Kingdom of Heaven. I want so much to go up to him after he has finished and take him up on that forgiveness thing, but I just can't bring myself to do it. I wish I had. It isn't much later when me and my friend Jake -- the guy on the third cross -- get caught by a Roman patrol. The others run off, but they catch us,

beat us silly, drag us into Jerusalem, and throw us in prison. No mercy for the likes of us. And so it happens that on the same day that they crucify Jesus, they crucify me and Jake -- one of us on his left, the other on his right. This ain't no normal crucifixion. Mobs of people are there just because of Jesus. Self-righteous Pharisees are swaggering and mocking. "If you're some

we deserve, but he ain't done nothing wrong." Jake quiets down and the Pharisees lose interest. But I can't get Jericho out of my mind. I can't forget Jesus' eyes, his words, his invitation. And so I call over to him, though it's getting hard to breathe and talking makes it that much harder. "Jesus!" I say. He turns his head towards me. "Jesus, I was there in Jericho. I met you at a party at Zacchaeus' house. Re-

be with God. In a few hours, maybe less, he will be vindicated. He will reign in that Kingdom he told us about. "Jesus," I call again, quieter now. He opens his eyes. They are the same eyes, the same piercing, loving, honest eyes. "Jesus," I say, "when you come into your Kingdom, would you remember me?" His words are labored, his lips parched, but I can still hear him pretty well. "Truly, I say to you...."

The thief on the other Cross Good Friday will be observed on April 2. This fictional Good Friday monologue is based on the account in Luke 23:32-43. ‘We're getting exactly what we deserve, but he ain't done nothing wrong,’ he said pointing to Jesus

Albrecht Durer, ìThe Good Thiefî (1505), watercolor, Albertina Graphic Collection, Vienna

kind of messiah," one sneers, "come on down from that cross. If you're a savior, save yourself - if you can!" Jake begins cat-calling, too, if you can imagine that. I yell over at him, "You miserable thug, don't you have any fear of God? Can't you see that we're going to die just like he is? Show a little decency! We're getting exactly what

member?" He looks at me for a moment and then nods his head just a little. He does remember. "I never forgot what you said. I wanted to say yes, but just couldn't. And now look at me -look at us!" He is in bad shape -- exhausted, in excruciating pain, back oozing, breath labored. He isn't going to last long. I can see that. But somehow I can see beyond all that. He was the Messiah, is the Messiah, no matter what those priests and Romans and Pharisees have done to him. And when he dies, he will

His voice cracks, then is stronger for a moment. "Truly, this very day you will be with me in Paradise." His eyes droop. He is fading quickly now. But I believe him. I do! That's what gets me through those next few hours until they break my legs to kill me. I do believe him! And then I find myself here in heaven, in Paradise. I sure don't deserve to be here, but here I am anyway. I guess that's what a man like me gets when the King himself grants a pardon. Full forgiveness. Pretty amazing, don't you think?

Dharma-Himsa equally noble as Ahimsa SWAMI CHINMAYANANDA

P

ersonally, I am no advocate of violence. But violence, too, has its rightful place in life, life does not preclude death. The average Indian has been molded into a particular national mentality of quixotic tolerance. His attitude is shaped into its distinct pattern by the ideologies and moralities preached in our national literature. No single work in our classics has gained such a wide influence on our people as the Bhagawad Gita: and in, this century, no other single message had such a universal appeal to our countrymen as the single line, "Ahimsa Paramo Dharmah" -- "Non - Violence is the greatest Dharma."

This line in its over - emphasis, has sapped both initiative and energy in our millions, and, instead of making us all irresistible moral giants, we have been reduced to poltroons and cowards. And banking on this cowardly resignation

liant ideologists! Let us for a moment go to the original sacred verse and investigate the significances of the moral precept: Ahimsa Paramo Dharmah. This is the opening line of a stanza, and the very next line reads:

There are certain dire moments in the life of individuals, as of nations, when we will have to meet force with force in order that justice be done of the majority, a handful of fanatics have been perpetrating crimes which even the most barbarous cave dwellers would have avenged. To clothe our weaknesses, we attribute to them glorious names and purposefully persuade ourselves to believe that they are bril-

Dharma himsaa tathaiva cha. "So too is all righteous violence." Indeed, non-violence is the supreme policy to be adopted by man to foster enduring peace in the world; but there are certain dire moments in the life of individuals, as of nations, when we will have

to meet force with force in order that justice be done. To every individual his mother, wife and children are the nearest dependents and to guard their honor and life is the unavoidable first moral duty of each head of the family. This is an obligation whether the victim be a member of the majority or of the minority class within a country, province or city. By the over-emphasis laid on non-violence we have come to witness the pathetic situation of today, when thousands, in cowardly fear take to precipitate flight, leaving their innocent children to be butchered and their unarmed helpless women to be dishonored or converted or killed.

If you begin to understand what you are without trying to change it, then what you are undergoes a transformation. -J.Krishnamurti Be patient. The path of selfdiscipline that leads to Godrealization is not an easy path: obstacles and sufferings are on the path; the latter you must bear, and the former overcome -- all by His help. His help comes only through concentration. Repetition of God's name helps concentration. -Swami Ramdas God is without form, without quality as well as with form and quality. Watch and see with what endless variety of beautiful forms He plays the play of his maya with Himself alone. -Anandamayi Ma There is a magnet in your heart that will attract true friends. That magnet is unselfishness, thinking of others first... when you learn to live for others, they will live for you. Paramahansa Yogananda A happy life must be to a great extent a quiet life, for it is only in an atmosphere of quiet that true joy dare live. -Bertrand Russell Do not say, 'It is morning,' and dismiss it with a name of yesterday. See it for the first time as a newborn child that has no name. -Rabindranath Tagore All significant truths are private truths. As they become public they cease to become truths; they become facts, or at best, part of the public character; or at worst, catchwords. -T.S. Eliot

You Insure all your Valuables, all are replaceable except YOU! So Insure yourself FIRST. Call Sahanis, (Arish, Priya or Shiv) for your Insurance needs 718- 271- 0453. Serving for last 35 yrs


Edit Page

April 2, 2010

India Post

53

www.indiapost.com

India plans satellite for reconnaissance RADHAKRISHNA RAO

A

fter hinting at developing the cutting edge technology required for realizing the building blocks of an anti satellite device, India's state owned Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) has unveiled a plan to build and launch a high performance electronic intelligence satellite capable of monitoring trouble spots along its international borders. In particular, Indian defense forces will be in a position to obtain a fairly good "intelligence picture" of build up across the border in China and Pakistan by courtesy of this exclusive reconnaissance spacecraft. Indeed, the massive "intelligence failure" before and during the short lived 1999 Kargil skirmish with Pakistan highlighted the need for a dedicated spy satellite system at the disposal of the Indian defense forces. While the payload of this satellite is to be developed by the Hyderabad based Defense Electronics Research Laboratory (DLRL), a constituent of DRDO, the satellite bus and launch support would be provided by ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization). DRDO is in talks with ISRO to take this project of national importance forward to its logical conclusion. According to G. Boopahty, Director of DLRL, the satellite would be equipped with sensors to pick up conversations and detect espionage activities. The Rs1000million satellite is planned to be launched into a 500kms orbit by means of the fourstage space workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota island on India's eastern coast. Incidentally, most of the spy and surveillance satellites are placed into near earth and middle earth orbits. "The spacecraft should be ready for launch by 2014" said Bhoppathy. He drove home the point by saying that "the focus is now space and we have to equip ourselves for electronic warfare from space too." He also revealed that the proposed satellite will be more powerful than the current genre IRS series of earth observation satellites being operated by ISRO. As pointed out by sources in DRDO, the electronic intelligence system onboard this satellite would help keep an eye on hostile satellites besides intercepting and jamming

satphone communications. At the moment, Indian defense forces don't have a dedicated satellite system for surveillance, reconnaissance and intelligence gathering. Of course, all three wings of the services are in a position to access the constellation of communications and earth observation satellites belonging to ISRO. With everything going as planned, the Indian navy hopes to get its first exclusive satellite sometime later this year. Last year, Indian Defense Minister AK Antony had informed that the Indian Navy will get a dedicated satellite system for reliable, robust and foolproof communications in 2010. The satellite, codenamed Gsat-7, is being built by ISRO for launch later this year. While Indian navy sources

As envisaged now the Indian defense forces could easily use RISAT-II data to keep a tab on troops build up along India's borders with China and Pakistan. In particular, RISAT-IIs revisit capability of four to five days is considered advantageous in the dynamic monitoring of the developments of strategic importance have confirmed the launch of this satellite, ISRO continues to maintain its silence. Being a civilian space agency, the ISRO, has no mandate to give a "strategic edge" to its satellite development program. Meanwhile, the Indian defense forces would stand to benefit from the upcoming launch of Cartosat2B which will feature an earth imaging system of less than one meter resolution. The Cartosat-2B is poised for launch by means of PSLV during the first half of this year. Cartosat series of satellites are built and

launched by ISRO though officially meant for cartographic purposes including urban planning and infrastructure development could effective serve as a dual use system. Of course, the Cartosatseries falls short of the 10-15 cm resolution featured by the best of the current genre military satellites. The TES (Technology Experiment Satellite) launched by ISRO in 2001 with its one meter resolution is capable of distinguishing objects and details on earth as small as one square km and has been perceived to be India's unofficial reconnaissance satellite. The TES data has helped the United States with high resolution imageries for its counter terrorism operations in the aftermath of 9/11. However, the launch of 300-kg RISAT-II satellite-realized by ISRO in association with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI)-in April 2009 has been viewed as a response to the insecurity complex generated by the 26/11 Mumbai attack by Pakistan trained terrorists. This all weather microwave earth imaging satellite equipped with Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) is capable of collecting data under conditions of darkness, clouds, haze and dust storm. The Indian earth observation satellites launched so far by ISRO were passive systems in that they were equipped to collect data only under the conditions of brightness. Though ISRO describes RISAT-II as a civilian space system meant to enhance India's capability in earth observation with special reference to floods, landslides, cyclones and disaster management, strategic analysts drive home the point that Indian defense forces could easily exploit the potentials of RISAT-II to boost their intelligence gathering capability in a big way. For earth observation and surveillance are considered the two faces of the same coin. As envisaged now the Indian defense forces could easily use RISAT-II data to keep a tab on troops build up along India's borders with China and Pakistan. In particular, RISAT-IIs revisit capability of four to five days is considered advantageous in the dynamic monitoring of the developments of strategic importance. Added to that the highly agile RISAT-II can be maneuvered to change its viewing angle as per the requirements of its users. The writer is a freelancer based in Bangalore. Courtesy IPCS

India Post Karzai woos China

W

ith the US signaling its intention to withdraw from Afghanistan and with India and Pakistan trying to checkmate each other out, Afghanistan is on way to falling into reluctant Chinese arms. President Hamid Karzai's visit to Beijing underlines his new diplomacy to chart out an independent course in foreign policy so far hamstrung by American pressures. The US itself may not be averse to an increasing Chinese role in Afghanistan to lighten its own burden but China has so far shown an interest only in helping to rebuild the war-torn nation than in military involvement. Karzai has often declared that he wants to emulate "America's democracy and China's economic success." However in international affairs democratic America has acted more like a bully. President Bush had no patience with UN or the world community's approval when he launched unilateral attacks on Afghanistan and later Iraq. Chinese scholars say a cautious Beijing would want at the minimum a solid UN political mandate before it agrees to join the international security forces in Afghanistan. US officials have repeatedly expressed their displeasure with Karzai who was considered a chum of the previous US President, George Bush. They blame him for his corrupt administration and his way of deal making with discredited Afghan warlords. During the Presidential election they had openly sided with his opponent, Abdullah Abdullah. Sensing his isolation, Karzai has now decided to branch out on his own. He has opened talks with sections of the Taliban and wants them to be part of his government. He was confident enough at the recent London Conference to announce a separate plan for engaging the Taliban. It is a different matter that his talks with Taliban leadership were nipped in the bud by the alarmed Pakistan army which arrested Karzai's main interlocutor with the Taliban, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar in Karachi recently. Karzai has now chosen to woo the Chinese to come to his aid both financially and politically. He has included a large number of Afghan businessmen in his delegation. China also takes a keen interest in Afghanistan's natural resources. Three years ago, a Chinese group put a record US$3 billion into the Aynak copper mine, one of the biggest in the world. It has also been assisting Afghanistan in construction of schools, hospitals, roads and waterworks. However the Chinese are wary on political involvement in the internal affairs of Afghanistan due to a militant Islamist threat in its western regions bordering central Asia. At a series of international conferences on Afghanistan in Moscow, London and Turkey, China emphasized that "military means did not offer a fundamental solution to the Afghanistan issue." That seems to be more akin to India's line which finds itself ignored regarding vital developments in its neighborhood more due to Pakistan's intransigence. Pakistani bloggers have been writing in glee how a "frightened" India ran from Afghanistan with "its tail between its legs" after a LeT led attack on Indians in Kabul. India decided to take more security precautions for its people in Afghanistan but as indicated by Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao after her talks with US leaders that there will be no scaling down of India's peaceful operations in Afghanistan. During its talks with US leadership, Pakistan has been stressing for a role in deciding the future of Afghanistan which means cutting off Indian influence. But if one goes by opinion polls, ordinary Afghans deeply resent Pakistan's interventions and this might make it much harder for the US to accede to Pakistan's blackmail.


54 India Post

www.indiapost.com

April 2, 2010

Announcing Air India’s All-INDIA service from Chicago Experience a new generation of aircraft. All of Air India’s flights from the U.S. operate with new, state-of-the-art Boeing 777s. From the six foot-plus flat beds in First and Executive Classes to the generous seat pitch in Economy Class, these luxurious aircraft offer a whole new dimension of comfort. On board our 777s you will also enjoy outstanding Indian cuisine and a large selection of current Indian films, music, and reading materials. And our gracious, multi-lingual flight attendants will see to all your needs.

Our new, direct flights to Mumbai put virtually all of India within easy reach. Flights depart daily from O’Hare International Airport, make a brief stop in Frankfurt, and continue to Mumbai and Hyderabad. From Mumbai, Air India offers seamless connections to over 40 cities in India – including same-terminal connections to Bangalore, Chennai, Kochi, and other major locations. And in Frankfurt, you can also connect to our daily flights to Delhi and Ahmedabad. No other airline makes getting from Chicago to your destination in India easier and more convenient. For details and reservations, see your travel agent, or call 1-800-223-7776.

Have you tried the new Air India? www.airindia.in


April 2, 2010

www.indiapost.com

India Post 55


56 India Post

April 2, 2010

www.indiapost.com

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XFINITY VOICE International Calling Plan

Carefree Minutes® Worldwide 300 ADD CAREFREE MINUTES® WORLDWIDE 300

14

$

95

per month

• Get 300 minutes/month • Call 100 countries • It all adds up to just pennies a minute!

Get 300 minutes a month to reach all the countries you call the most including: India

United Kingdom

France

Russia

Pakistan

Australia

Spain

Brazil

Plus many more—100 countries in all! Find a complete list at: www.comcast.com/internationalcalling

Namaste, simplicity and crystal-clear calls. • Bye bye, calling cards and annoying PINs • Au Revoir, unexpected long distance charges • Adiós prepaid card dropped calls

Add Carefree Minutes® Worldwide 300 to XFINITY Voice. 1.800.417.8218 www.comcast.com/internationalcalling Limited to Carefree Minutes ® Worldwide 300. XFINITY Service not available in all areas. Requires subscription to XFINITY Voice service at regular rates. Pricing subject to change. Equipment, installation, taxes, the Regulatory Recovery Fee and other applicable charges extra. $29.95 activation fee applies to XFINITY Voice service. Carefree Minutes® pricing applies to direct-dialed calls from home to locations included in the plan (except mobile numbers, operator services and directory assistance). Unused minutes do not roll over to the following month. Service (including 911/emergency service) may not function after an extended power outage. EMTA required ($5/month). Call for restrictions and complete details. Comcast © 2010. All rights reserved.

IndiaPost-04-02-2010  

Voice of Indian Worldwide

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