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Indian wins top environmental award Details on page 39

HC rejects plea against Padma to Chatwal Details on page 8

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

VOL 15, No. 814

April 16, 2010

50¢

Periodical Postage

NATH SHOCKED BY U.S. COURT SUMMONS

SRIREKHA N. CHAKRAVARTY India Post News Service

NEW YORK: India's Minister for Roads and Highways Kamal Nath expressed surprise and said he was "appalled" at a sudden rise of protests against him by the Sikhs in the US for his alleged involvement in the 1984 Sikh riots in Delhi, India.

Murli Deora

'Iran-Pak-India pipeline will be business move’ Details on page 9

Minister Nath was in New York to meet with investors and to participate in the Global Construction Summit organized by McGraw Hill Construction, Apr 8. At a press conference at the Indian Consulate in New York on Apr 6, the minister said he was "surprised" when a reporter asked for his comments on the allegations as well as a civil suit filed against him in a US court. Details on page 6

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee with US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner in New Delhi

India, US launch Economic Partnership Details on page 38

Shoaib divorces Ayesha; set to marry Sania

‘BJP will capture power under Gadkari’

Details on page 6

Details on page 10

South California celebrates Baisakhi with piety

India, China to have hotline between PMs

Details on page 21

New book questions role of Omar Khalidi

Details on page 10 GOT IT: President Pratibha Devisingh Patil presenting the Padma Bhushan Award to New York hotelier Sant Singh Chatwal, at the Civil Investiture Ceremony-II, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi on April 7. (Report on page 8)

Bollywood ---------------------- 40-41 Classifieds --------------------- 49-51

Details on page 7

INDIA POST SURVEY survey@indiapost.com

DHS scraps nationality based profiling at airports India Post News Service

This week’s question

Should a US Court summon Indian minister? Last week’s result

Are you happy with Sania-Shoaib marriage? YES 77%

NO 23%

CONTENTS

NEW YORK: South Asian community groups have welcomed the new measures announced by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) with regard to aviation security whereby travelers would no longer be screened based on their country of origin. These new measure supersedes the three-month old

Community Post -------------- 12-25 Date Book -------------------------- 48 Edit Page --------------------------- 54

security policy aimed at heightened security procedures for travelers from 14 countries -- predominantly Muslim-majority countries -- to the United States. On April 2, DHS announced that new security protocols will be based on specific threat-based intelligence information, and will be applied to all passengers traveling to the United States.

HealthScience Post --------- 42-43

Details on page 44

TechBiz Post ------------------- 38-39

Horoscope ------------------------- 37 Immigration Post ------------- 44-46 Life Style ----------------------- 28-30 Philosophy ------------------------- 52 Publisherís Diary ------------------ 4 Real Estate ------------------------ 47 Travel & Hospitality Post ---- 31-34

Certified by “CIRCULATION VERIFICATION COUNCIL Readership 117,765”


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omehow, I am never convinced of its intentions when the United States sits on a moral high ground. When these country talks of child abuse in third world countries, it does not seem to remember that it is the largest consumer of child pornography; when it talks of exploitation of women in other countries, it forgets that it is the biggest market for human traffickers. The US has pushed several countries to open up their markets, yet, it was first to turn protectionist when its own economy went under. It talks of CO2 emissions in countries like India and China, while being the biggest emitter of carbon dioxide in the world. While it looks down upon poor nations for their unhygienic living conditions, it ignores the fact that it is the producer of the unhealthiest of foods that lead to all kinds of diseases in Americans. So now, when it is suddenly talking of a nuclear free world, I am reminded of the fact that it is has the biggest nuclear stockpile in the world, is the only country to ever use nuclear weapons, is the only one with nuclear, chemical, biological and radiological weapons, all of which combined can bring about that proverbial end of the world. Perhaps one should be happy that at least this is a beginning - of major countries of the world coming together to talk of nuclear security. But I think far from creating a nuclear free world, the initiative comes from the growing fear of the cursed weapons falling into the hands of terrorists. I'd like to believe President Obama's intentions though. But just as there is this huge mass of Americans that believe owning a gun is their birthright, there are those in this country who believe that stocking up the country's nuclear arsenal is a must to maintain its status as a super power. By the time you read this, the Global Nuclear Security Summit in Washington DC would have concluded. But as I write this, irrespective of the outcome of the Summit, I remain skeptical of a nuclear free world even in the far future.

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Cover Story: Court summons India's Minister for Roads and Highways Kamal Nath is shocked over a civil suit filed against him in a US court.

Community: Jan visits MAFS

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Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky shared with MAFS members the tremendous victory toward healthcare reform in US.

Screening scrapped South Asians have welcomed that travelers would no longer be screened based on their country of origin.

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Nath shocked by U.S. court summons SRIREKHA N. CHAKRAVARTY India Post News Service

NEW YORK: India's Minister for Roads and Highways Kamal Nath expressed surprise and said he was "appalled" at a sudden rise of protests against him by the Sikhs in the US for his alleged involvement in the 1984 Sikh riots in Delhi, India. Minister Nath was in New York to meet with investors and to participate in the Global Construction Summit organized by McGraw Hill Construction, Apr 8. At a press conference at the Indian Consulate in New York on Apr 6, the minister said he was "surprised" when a reporter asked for his comments on the allegations as well as a civil suit filed against him in a US court. Nath wondered if there was something "nefarious" behind the allegations since there have never been any charges against him in India in this regard. "I've never been charged in any case in any court of law for anything to do with the Sikh riots," he said. "I have been coming to the US at least three times a year for so many years and nobody has raised this issue. This (the riots) happened in 1984‌ there's nobody who stood up and said that he was a victim and that I was in any way connected with this," the minister said. Further, Nath said, "Last year I wasn't involved when I came (to New York) nobody raised this, year before last I wasn't involved, for the last 25 years I wasn't involved (but) suddenly in 2010 I get involved. Nobody ever charged me in India but if someone in the United States charges me for something that happened in India 25 years ago, then it makes me question the authenticity of it." The minister smiled when the reporter handed him a copy of the lawsuit during the press conference, but showed visible concern later as he tried to get more information from the reporter. A suit was filed by the USbased Sikh human rights advocacy group Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) and two Sikh individuals -- Jasbir Singh (who lost 24 members of his family in the said riots) and Mahinder Singh (who was two years old then and lost his father in the riots) -- in the United States District court for the Southern District of New York (docket 10 CV 2940) before Judge Sweet. The court has issued a summons and asked the minister to respond within 21 days. The SFJ accuses Minister Kamal Nath of human rights vio-

Minister Kamal Nath addressing a press conference at the Indian Consulate. Seated next to him is Consul General Prabhu Dayal

lations for being a leader in India's 1984 genocide of 3,000 Sikhs and the displacement of over 300,000 Sikhs. On November 1st 1984 Kamal Nath was a Member of Parliament and was witnessed leading an armed mob in which many of Sikhs were burnt alive during an attack on a Sikh temple in New Delhi, the organization alleges. According to SFJ attorney Gurpatwant Singh Pannun the lawsuit against Kamal Nath has been filed under the Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA) and the Torture Victim Protection Act (TVPA) "because of the failure of the Indian government to enforce human rights protections and hold violators accountable". "US law provides a remedy to victims of human rights violations that have been committed abroad and allows the victims to bring a lawsuit against the perpetrator in

It was normal court procedure for summons to be issued in any complaint that is filed and the index fee is paid, Batra explained. Whether the minister would have to respond or not depends on if he was served the summons legally, he said. The minister, meanwhile, told reporters at the press conference that he had no clue what the suit was all about and that he had not heard about it

the US Federal District Court," said attorney Pannun. "Despite several witnesses who saw Kamal Nath inciting and leading the mob, Nath has been successfully escaping justice under the Indian system for more than 25 years using his influence and position in the ruling Congress (I) party. The Sikh group said that they are acting now because they have given up hope for action to be taken in India. "We waited for all these years because commissions were being set up...there was hope but because of his position Kamal Nath has successfully avoided justice for 25 years," said Pannun. Asked for his opinion on whether such a case holds water, leading New York attorney Ravi Batra said under the US laws, a US court may entertain jurisdiction in cases filed against foreign

nationals for injuries that did not occur in the United States, only when that particular person felt aggrieved and could not go to the courts in the nation where the alleged injury took place. "In a complaint against a foreign national or foreign dignitary who is not a resident or citizen of the US, which dealt with facts that did not occur in the US, the normal principles of law amongst nations is that the US will not entertain jurisdiction," Batra explained. "The exception is if there is no other venue where that controversy could be adjudicated then the US can present an appropriate venue. If the facts were that a particular person felt aggrieved and they could not go to the courts of the nation where the alleged injury took place then and only then -fitting very specific disqualifiers-if the plaintiff was able to get over all those hurdles then the US may entertain jurisdiction." However, Batra said, "It is a very, very hard hurdle to fit and in the case of India no judgments are possible." It was normal court procedure for summons to be issued in any complaint that is filed and the index fee is paid, Batra explained. Whether the minister would have to respond or not depends on if he was served the summons legally, he said. The minister, meanwhile, told reporters at the press conference that he had no clue what the suit was all about and that he had not heard about it. Sikhs for Justice with the support of various Sikh organizations and Gurudwara Management Committees of the United States was to hold a "Justice Rally" against Kamal Nath's visit on April 8, outside McGraw Hill Auditorium, on New York City's Avenue of the Americas.

Shoaib divorces Ayesha; set to marry Sania KARACHI: Shoaib Malik's sudden decision to divorce the woman he disowned all along left everyone stunned but the Pakistan cricketer, now set to marry Indian tennis star Sania Mirza, said it was the most "amicable" thing to do in a situation that was "beyond reasoning". Shoaib divorced Ayesha Siddiqui despite insisting previously that he was never married to the Hyderabad girl, who claimed that he dumped her because of her weight problems. The divorce followed days of mudslinging in which Ayesha even filed an FIR against Shoaib

Sania Mirza with Shoaib Malik

accusing him of fraud and criminal intimidation. Relieved that the controversy was finally over, Shoaib said, "I would like to firstly thank Allah almighty and all of you as media

and the entire nation of Pakistan in supporting me and giving me the strength to face all what has been witnessed." "I am no one to judge what is wrong or what is right as the one

above knows the truth. I have done what was the best amicable thing to do as it was getting beyond reasoning as each day unfolded," Shoaib added in a statement released by his agent. The 28-year-old all-rounder, who had earlier claimed that Ayesha duped him into a telephonic nikah by sending photos of some other woman, also sought forgiveness for any hurt he might have caused during the row. "I have realized that media is part of my family, and request all of you to pray for me and Sania as we are embarking on a beautiful journey of marriage.-PTI


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Omar Khalidi - the man driving India's policy toward its Muslim minorities MOORTHY MUTHUSWAMY PHD

O

mar Khalidi is the lead organizer of the much-anticipated India workshop at MIT (on April 9-10, 2010). The workshop is titled "Group Violence, Terrorism, and Impunity -- Challenges to Secularism and Rule of Law in India." In my recent book Defeating Political Islam: The New Cold War (Prometheus Books, 2009) I have analyzed Dr. Khalidi's writings on Indian Muslims. My book gives an unprecedented look at jihad in India. It was favorably reviewed in the Washington Times. Omar Khalidi has the job title of Reference Librarian at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA. He grew up in India, and was brought up in a Muslim family. Omar Khalidi obtained his doctorate in 1994 from the University of Wales in Islamic studies. He has published a number of books on Indian Muslims through Indian publishing houses. In my view, the thrust of Omar Khalidi's writings appear to advance the jihadist agenda in India without addressing the root cause of Muslim radicalism and backwardness. The forthcoming workshop too, I am afraid, is suggestive of promoting this nefarious agenda. Dr. Khalidi's sectarian history, contentious scholarship and his prominent role ought to handicap how the MIT workshop will be received. In my book I point out the following about Dr. Khalidi: "[H]is one-sided portrayal and selective use of data to favor his [Indian] Muslim community at the expense of others is notable for a scholar." Even prominent Indian Muslims have reservations on Dr. Khalidi's scholarship. In critiquing Dr. Khalidi's essay titled "Why India is NOT a Secular Country," Mohib Ahmad finds that "He [Dr. Khalidi] selectively picks and chooses dots to create an ugly picture and then present it as the reality." Colonel Anil Athale, a distinguished retired officer of Indian armed forces who heads a Punebased Think Tank says that "seeing Dr. Khalidi's intention, I and my colleagues refused any cooperation. But he obviously has won over Sachar [Committee -- established at the behest of Ahmed Patel, Political Secretary to Sonia Gandhi, to provide reservation and other preferences for Indian Muslims] and [Congress] party. We ought to smell a rat when the Sachar Committee approvingly quotes from Khalidi's book and makes it as the basis for its 'work.'

Moorthy Muthuswamy

‘In his writings (Khalidi) has consistently portrayed Indian Muslims as being victimized, attacked, and discriminated, while saying little or nothing about the ongoing jihad in South Asia’ From pages 109 through 111 of my book, I have discussed Dr. Khalidi's work in detail: In his writings, [Khalidi] he has consistently portrayed Indian

Muslims as being victimized, attacked, and discriminated, while saying little or nothing about the ongoing jihad in South Asia -which includes massive nonMuslim ethnic cleansing conducted with the active support of Muslims. Khalidi clearly understands the need to reach out to non-Muslim Indians and to create a feeling of guilt about the dismal state of Indian Muslims in order to extract unfair concessions that would eventually doom these non-Muslims. Khalidi is a proponent of reconfiguring districts in many Indian states to create "compact Muslim zones" where Muslim culture and rights could be "safeguarded." It doesn't matter to him, as some have pointed out, that India has more than safeguarded Muslim interests at a constitutional level, even at the expense of social cohesiveness and national security. Looking at this suggestion from a jihadist angle is revealing: Khalidi is devising new ways by which Muslims can achieve political power within certain areas in a secular and democratic India. This is a clever ploy. As pointed out earlier, in every Muslim-majority area of South Asia, including ones within India, non-Muslims have been marginalized and ethnically cleansed in a massive way. Also, once Muslims in these regions achieve power, the regions have become jihad bases for fur-

ther destabilizing India. Khalidi published a book in 2005 titled Muslims in Indian Economy. This book discusses the shortcomings of Muslims in India -- the lack of proportional representation in government, private jobs, law enforcement agencies, the armed forces, and education, as well as the prevalence of poverty and illiteracy. The blame was squarely placed on the majority Hindu community and the government. An objective analysis would have concluded otherwise: most Indian Muslim problems, including the ones under discussion, are self-

Omar Khalidi

inflicted. Besides, most Indian Muslims appear to be under the spell of extremists. Since India is currently being targeted by neighboring Islamic nations for conquest, and as these nations are finding ready recruits among Indian Muslims, no sane government could afford the luxury of proportional representation of Muslims in law enforcement and in the

armed forces. The ruling [Manmohan Singhled] regime established a committee headed by retired justice Rajinder Sachar to produce a report largely based upon Khalidi's work. Not surprisingly, the Sachar Committee, stocked with Muslims and led by Rajinder Sachar, who has supported the ceding of Muslim-majority Kashmir from India through "self-determination," called for a sweeping and far-reaching system of giveaways allotted to Muslims, from preferred student admissions in Indian elite schools to job allotments. The committee called for allotting an increased number of loans to Muslims and for evaluating the contents of schools texts, presumably to ensure that Muslims and Islam are portrayed in the best manner possible and to make the unbelievers least prepared to counter jihad. On one of the most important national interest issues, that of Kashmir, Sachar's views are similar to that of Pakistan's and many other Indian Islamists. That the ruling Singh regime would convene a commission consisting of individuals who may neither have national interests at heart nor are likely to have neutral (and therefore, objective) outlook toward Muslims should be noted. {The writer is a US-based nuclear physicist and author of the new book 'Defeating Political Islam: The New Cold War'}

Chinese agents hack into India's secret documents NEW YORK: Major Indian missile and armament systems may have been compromised as Chinese hackers have reportedly broken into top secret files of the Indian Defense Ministry and embassies around the world. Among the systems leaked out could be Shakti, the just introduced advanced artillery combat and control system of the Indian Army and the country's new mobile missile defense system called the Iron Dome. A new report called 'Shadow in the Clouds' by Canadian and American researchers based at the University of Toronto has said that a spy operation called 'Shadow Network' based out of China has tapped into top secret files of the Indian government. In the investigations conducted over eight months, the report claimed that systematic cyber espionage was carried out from servers located in China that

"compromised" government, business, academic and other computer network systems in India. The report finds that Indian government related entities, both in India and throughout the world, had been thoroughly compromised.

from the Offices of the Dalai Lama and agencies of the Indian national security establishment," the report said. "Data containing sensitive information on citizens of numerous third-party countries, as well as personal, financial, and business

In the investigations conducted over eight months, the report claimed that systematic cyber espionage was carried out from servers located in China that "compromised" government, business, academic and other computer network systems in India These included computers at Indian embassies in Belgium, Serbia, Germany, Italy, Kuwait, the United States, Zimbabwe, and the High Commissions of India in Cyprus and the United Kingdom. "These include documents

information, were also exfiltrated and recovered during the course of the investigation," it said. "Recovery and analysis of exfiltrated data, including one document that appears to be encrypted diplomatic correspon-

dence, two documents marked "SECRET", six as "RESTRICTED", and five as "CONFIDENTIAL". These documents are identified as belonging to the Indian government," it added. These documents contain sensitive information taken from a member of the National Security Council Secretariat concerning secret assessments of India's security situation in the states of Assam, Manipur, Nagaland and Tripura, as well as concerning the Naxalites and Maoists. In addition, they contain confidential information taken from Indian embassies regarding India's international relations with and assessments of activities in West Africa, Russia/Commonwealth of Independent States and the Middle East, as well as visa applications, passport office circulars and diplomatic correspondence.-PTI


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Chatwal, Ilaiyaraaja, Karthikeyan receive Padma awards NEW DELHI: NRI hotelier Sant Singh Chatwal, music composer Ilaiyaraaja and top businessman Vindi Banga were conferred the Padma Bhushan awards by President Pratibha Patil in New Delhi on April 7. Sachin Tendulkar's 'guru' Ramakant Achrekar, boxer Vijender Singh, leading actor of yesteryears Rekha, sound technician and Oscar award winner Resul Pookutty and ace car racer Narain Karthikeyan were among those conferred with the Padma Shri at a glittering ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhawan. The entire Ashoka Hall reverberated with applause as actor Saif Ali Khan walked up to the President to receive his Padma Shri at the function attended by Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other guests. Flashbulbs popped at Khan and his companion actor Kareena Kapoor as they walked in together to attend the ceremony. Noted Mridangam exponent Umayalpuram K Sivaraman, former RBI Governor Y V Reddy and nonagenarian artiste Zohra Sehgal were honoured with the Padma Vibhushan, the country's second

highest civilian awards. Painter Akbar Padamsee, former Cabinet Secretary and now Member in the Planning Commission B K Chaturvedi, educationists Moosa Raza, Anil Bordia and Gian Prakash Chopra were honoured with the Padma Bhushan.

The entire Ashoka Hall reverberated with applause as actor Saif Ali Khan walked up to the President to receive his Padma Shri award at the function Chatwal, whose selection for the award had triggered a controversy, was seen seated in the last row of the awardees almost behind a battery of lensmen. Other Padma Bhushan awardees were: cardiologist B M Hegde, nuclear scientist Bikash Sinha, historian Bipin Chandra, kathak exponent Kumudini Lakhia, panchavadya exponent Kuzhur Narayana Marar, versatile artiste

Mallika Sarabhai, banker N Vaghul, eye specialist Noshir Minoo Shroff, music composer Shrinivas Khale, sarangi player Ustad Sultan Khan and Ayurveda practitioner E T Narayanan Mooss. Ghulam Mohammad Mir, who played a key role in fighting terrorism in Kashmir valley and in the release Rubaiya Sayeed, the then Home Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed's daughter from militants, was honoured with the Padma Shri. Former Vice Chancellor of Kashmir University Hamidi Kashmiri, social workers Sudha Kaul, Sudhir Parikh, Kurian John Melamparambil and Kranti Shah received the Padma Shri. Noted surgeon K S Gopinath, geologist V P Dimri, educationists Romuald D'Souza and Y G Rajalakshmi Parthasarathy and Sadiq-ur-Rahman Kidwai, trustee of the Ghalib Institute received the Padma Shri. Other awardees were: Lal Bahadur Singh Chauhan, Ranganathan 'Indira' Parthasarathy, Sheldon Pollock (all literature), Guru Mayadhar Raut (Odissi dance), Rajkumar Achouba Singh (Manipuri dance), and nuclear scientist Pucadyil Ittoop John.

Appeal filed against capital punishment to 17 Indians DUBAI: An appeal has been filed on behalf of 17 Indians, who were recently sentenced to death by a Sharjah court for killing a Pakistani national and injuring three of his compatriots, an Indian official said. The appeal was filed in a Sharjah Court of Appeals, India's Consul-General Sanjay Verma said. The Consulate had earlier said that they have hired a Dubaibased law firm, Mohamed Salman Advocates and Legal Consultants, to represent the Indians. Earlier a lawyer, Bindu Suresh Chettur, who met the convicts on behalf of the law firm, said the men maintained their innocence. "I visited all of them at the jail

and they signed the papers," he said. Consulate officials had met all 17 Indians earlier this week and said that they were in good health. The convicted, 16 from the Punjab and one from Haryana, were recently found guilty by the Sharjah Shariah Court of killing a Pakistani national and injuring three of his compatriots allegedly during a clash over an illegal alcohol business in January 2009. About 50 people were involved in the attack, in which the Pakistani man was beaten to death with metal bars. While others were let off due to lack of evidence, the men on death row are accused of being the gang leaders. -PTI

HC rejects plea against Padma Bhushan to Chatwal NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has dismissed a petition challenging Center's decision to confer Padma Bhushan on NRI hotelier Sant Singh Chatwal. A Bench headed by acting Chief Justice Madan B Lokur, after going through the original documents placed before it by the Additional Solicitor General P P Malhotra, found no substance in the allegation that proper procedure was not followed in the case of Chatwal. The High Court had on March 25 asked the petitioner, S K Shah, to show by furnishing documents as to where has the selection committee failed to meet the guidelines while considering Chatwal's name for the prestigious award. Appearing for the Government, Additional Solicitor General had submitted that following a Supreme Court ruling, a high-level committee was constituted to consider every aspect of all applicants before finalizing their names. "You cannot level wild allegations. There is a report of the committee which has already considered all the aspects...," the bench

had said. Shah, appearing in person, had alleged that Chatwal was involved in various economic offences. The petitioner had earlier sought a direction to the Centre to rescind the decision to confer

the award on Chatwal on various grounds, including his alleged involvement in several cases. Besides Chatwal, the Centre and CBI were also respondents in the Public Interest Litigation. -PTI

President Pratibha Devisingh Patil presenting the Padma Shri Award to Saif Ali Khan Pataudi, at the Civil Investiture Ceremony-II

President Pratibha Devisingh Patil with the awardees, at the Civil Investiture Ceremony-II, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi on April 7


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'Iran-Pak-India pipeline will be a business decision' SRIREKHA N. CHAKRAVARTY India Post News Service

NEW YORK: The decision to go ahead with the Iran-PakistanIndia oil pipeline project would basically be a business decision and not a political one, was the categorical assertion from S. Sundaresan, Secretary to India's Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas. Speaking at a press conference, which was also addressed by the Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Murli Deora, at the Indian Consulate in New York on Apr 1, Sundaresan said the tripartite discussions have been going on for sometime and clarified that all politics must be left aside in the matter. Deora and a high-powered delegation from India's oil and natural gas industry including R.S. Sharma, Chairman of Oil & Natural Gas Commission (ONGC); B.M. Bansal, MD, Indian Oil Corporation; and R.S. Butola, MD of ONGC Videsh, were in New York on their way back from Cancun, Mexico, where they attended the International Energy Forum, in which 66 countries had participated. The primary theme of the conference was to address the issues of volatility in oil prices. The pipeline issue came to forefront of news recently when it was reported that Iran and Pakistan have gone ahead and signed a pact on the project leaving India out. Explaining the status of the discussions on the matter, Sundaresan said, "The last trilateral meeting we had was sometime in 2007. Ultimately this pipeline project can progress if the gas is available at reasonable rates at the India-Pakistan border; it is not an investment out of our (government) budget-it's an investment to be made by Indian Oil Corporation and Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL). So basically it's going to be a business decision at the end of the day." Further Sundaresan said that in 2007, India had objected to a new price formula that Iran wanted India to consider. "There has to be discussion between India and Pakistan before India discusses this matter with Iran on the price issue. Secondly, the cost of delivering gas at the India-Pakistan border (should be such that) we would have to pay for the gas only when it reached us. Currently we are taking the risk of taking the gas through Pakistan on our shoulders. These are matters to be discussed and we are continuing our discussions." In response to further queries on the issue from India Post, Sundaresan said the discussions did not mean that India would ul-

Indiaís Minister for Petroelum Murli Deora at a press conference in New York, with Petroleum Secretary S Sundaresan (right) and Consul General Prabhu Dayal

timately be part of the project. "I never said we are going to be part of the project. We are continuing the discussions, so let's see. All security concerns will also be discussed. We are only having a dialogue; we are not saying we are going to be part of the pipeline."

‘The last trilateral meeting we had was sometime in 2007. Ultimately this pipeline project can progress if the gas is available at reasonable rates at the India-Pakistan border; it is not an investment out of our (government) budget-it's an investment to be made by Indian Oil Corporation and GAIL’ Asked whether it was not a waste of time discussing an issue when the ultimate aim was not to be part of the project, Sundaresan said, "We have large imports of oil from Iran so this (the pipeline) is one of the issues that we discuss-it is not the only issue." Pressed whether India's equation with Iran would change if the

US-initiated sanctions against Iran would eventually be imposed, Sundaresan said, "We have to examine it in a very legal way." Giving an overview of the Indian oil sector during the press conference, Sundaresan said last year was pretty significant for the country in terms of production. "We have a refinery coming up every year. We are also moving aggressively on our overseas oil production, which will soon be 8 million tones per annum, accounting for 22 percent of the country's production," he said. ONGC Videsh, the overseas arm of ONGC plans to spend $10 billion on acquiring assets abroad over the next five years, according to Butola. Interestingly, India is now exporting almost 40 million tones of petroleum products, making petroleum products the largest merchandize export - overtaking gems & jewelry which so far accounted for the largest Indian exports. "With all the additional capacity being added, the annual (petroleum product) export will be more than 100 million tones," said Sundaresan. "This is really stupendous considering the fact that we are dependent on import of crude oil - almost 80% of our crude is imported from abroad. But now we will be exporting petroleum products to most advanced

countries including the US." India is also going on an aggressive program of building gas pipelines. "Pipelines will increase from 9000 km to 18000 km; natural gas which is available only in the western parts of the country will also reach southern and eastern

Interestingly, India is now exporting almost 40 million tones of petroleum products, making petroleum products the largest merchandize export - overtaking gems & jewelry which so far accounted for the largest Indian exports parts of the country," said Sundaresan. Sundaresan said there was "precious little India can do" on the price of petrol. "The question should really be addressed to the oil producers and those countries where trading takes place," he said. "We have been expressing our concerns time and again ever

since the great volatility in the market in 2008. We put on the table the fact that excessive speculation in the futures market is totally unrealistic and not good and has to be controlled. The US Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the regulators including in the UK have taken steps to increase margins and put certain restrictions on financial traders; and as there is more transparency in production details of the OPEC countries we do hope extreme volatility is not there any more. In fact at the Cancun conference the producers showed they were also concerned about this. We hope that at least there is consciousness that it cannot continue." On the question of the use of biofuels, Sundaresan said the government of India has a conscious policy in this regard. "We already have in place a policy where 5% of our petrol has to be blended with ethanol. But then there is the whole problem of implementing it effectively because it depends on the crop of sugar which is cyclical." India had started the biofuels program in 2006, which ran successfully for two years, but suffered a setback owing to a crash in sugar production in the last year and half. "So, the whole program is being reassessed," Sundaresan said. "But the issue is whether we should really pay a high price and procure ethanol at the cost of the alcohol and sugar industry. So we are taking a decision on whether to pursue this program." In terms of promoting use of hybrid cars, he said the costs involved are not relevant at this juncture for the country which is into production of $5,000 cars. That is our priority," he underscored. Following the press conference was a reception in honor of Minister Deora and his delegation hosted by Consul General Prabhu Dayal. Present on the occasion was parliamentarian and leader of the Communist Party of India Marxist, Sitaram Yechury who was in New York to deliver a lecture at the Columbia University.

ED likely to probe IM terrorists on terror funding NEW DELHI: Enforcement Directorate is likely to start investigations into the terror funding routes of Indian Mujahideen terrorists arrested by the police. Official sources said the Directorate is considering interrogation of alleged IM terrorists arrested by Delhi and Utter Pradesh police

for terror financing. They said the ED will seek information from the chargesheet filed by the Delhi Police against certain IM suspects. Based on the information provided, ED will probe the funding routes under various sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

"We share the information collected during our probe with various agencies. If and when the ED asks for information, we will completely cooperate with them," a senior official of Delhi Police's antiterrorism unit Special Cell said. The Directorate is currently probing funding sources of a

number of terror suspects and has registered over 25 cases across India on charges of money laundering and has also frozen many bank accounts. The government had last year amended the PMLA, giving ED the powers to freeze funds associated with terrorist outfits. -PTI


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India, China to have hotline between PMs BEIJING: India and China have signed an agreement to establish a hotline between Prime Ministers of the two countries, as External Affairs Minister S M Krishna and his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi resolved to take the bilateral relationship to new heights. The agreement, under which dedicated phone lines will be set up in the Prime Minister's office of the two countries, was signed by Krishna and Yang after their talks here. This would enable Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao to hold direct conversations whenever they want. This is the first time in recent years that India has established a dedicated hotline facility with any country. During the over an hour-long meeting, the two countries also decided to strengthen their cooperation in regional forums and on addressing issues like global financial crisis and climate change. After the meeting, Krishna said the establishment of hotline facility showed how close "India and China were with each other." "This has been one of the highlights of my visit and it is fitting that the two countries were able to do it during the celebrations of 60th year of establishment of diplomatic relations," he told reporters. The decision to establish the hotline was reached during a meeting between Singh and Chinese President Hu Jintao in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg in June last year. Asked whether the issue of stapled visas were taken up during the meeting with Yang,

Krishna said: "All issues concerning bilateral ties were discussed." He is understood to have conveyed India's concerns over Kashmiris being issued stapled visas by the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi. The issue of 21 Indians being held in China on charges of diamond smuggling is also understood to have been

After the meeting, Krishna said the establishment of hotline facility showed how close "India and China were with each other. ‘This has been one of the highlights of my visit and it is fitting that the two countries were able to do it during the celebrations of 60th year of establishment of diplomatic relations’ he told reporters raised. Earlier, Krishna met the families of 21 Indians, who have been charged with diamond smuggling in China, and assured them that he will raise the issue during his meetings with the top Chinese leadership. While 20 Indians have been charged with diamond smuggling, one has been charged with money laundering. However, Yang refused to go into the details of his talks with

Krishna when asked whether the issue of stapled visas were discussed. "I am not going into the details," he said adding that both the countries should focus on common interests. "I am sure that this relationship will go forward." Yang said Chinese President Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will meet on the sidelines of the Brazil-Russia-India-China (BRIC) summit in Brazil this month and work together to contribute to its success. "We are very much looking forward to make major contribution to make the BRIC summit successful," he said. Krishna said the trade between India and China will touch USD 60 billion this year and the issue of trade deficit with China is being discussed. He said the discussions between him and Yang were "purposeful and indeed satisfying." "We want to have continued, sustained and cordial relations with China. That has been one of the priorities of India's foreign policy. That purpose has been served by my visit to Beijing," he said. "We want to have cordial and friendly ties and lift the bilateral relations to a new level of strategic cooperation and partnership." Yang said Krishna's visit is "very important" as it is taking place in the 60th of year of establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. "We have had very good discussions covering broad range of issues. We believe that the relations should be viewed from a strategic vantage point and from long term interest.-PTI

BJP wrests Bangalore City Corporation from Congress BANGALORE: The ruling BJP in Karnataka has captured the Bangalore city corporation for the first time, wresting the civic body from Congress in a fiercely contested polls held last week. Of the 198 wards in the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) which went to polls on March 28, BJP captured 101, gaining clear majority. The party is likely to further consolidate its position as results from 18 wards were awaited. Congress won 61 and JD-S 13 while independents got five.

In addition to 198 corporators, a total of 52 elected members -- MPs, MLAs and MLCs - have voting rights in mayoral polls. BJP has 31 of these 52 members, including 17 MLAs in BBMP jurisdiction, the Congress has 10 MLAs and the JD-S one. "We don't need a better example than this, that if you do good work, development work, people will bless you", an elated Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa told reporters, adding the citizens have given a reply to those engaged in "criticism and com-

mentary" on the functioning of BJP in the state. However, opposition Congress and JD-S said the ruling party always enjoyed advantage in local body elections. Karnataka Congress Chief R V Deshpande said in such elections, legislators use influence and charged BJP with misusing power. Elections to BBMP were held for the first time after 100 wards were expanded to 198 by merging seven city municipal councils, one town municipal council and 111 villages. -PTI

BJP will capture power under Gadkari's leadership: Tripathi India Post News Service

NEW YORK: The role played by Bharatiya Janata Party in paving way for the passage of US-India civilian nuclear deal can't be undermined and ignored, said Vani Tripathi, national secretary of BJP in New York last week. Tripathi, who is a model, television and theater artiste, said it was former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee who cemented the ties between the two nations and also worked assiduously on the civil nuclear deal. "The BJP was never against the deal per se but only cautioned against certain provisions that may affect Indian interests. The BJP also salutes all the Indian-Americans who stood with the government in making the deal come through," she said. The bill for reserving 33 percent parliamentary seats for women was the brain child of the BJP, she said. "Our party, which always feels women should play a leading role in the development of the nation, had introduced the bill when in power. But certain forces prevented it then. Now the BJP supported the bill whole heartedly forgetting the differences with the Congress Party as we feel this is in the best interest of the nation," she said. Tripathi was among the 12 young politicians from South and Central Asian countries invited by the US State Department to visit the US and interact with young politicians and also study the political system of the US. She was in New York to meet with leaders of the Overseas Friends of BJP. On the appointment of Nitin Gadkari as BJP President, Tripathi said Gadkari was a proven leader of the party and in the government in Maharashtra and would take the party to new heights under his stewardship. "I have seen his management style of functioning and organizational skills. He is a man in a hurry and will bring back the glory to the party. His style would be different as he wants to involve more youth, women and deprived sections of the community in building the party," she said. Rubbishing that BJP is a spent force and written off from Indian politics, Tripathi said BJP is the only credible opposition that can give a tough fight to the Congress. "It's a cadre based party and unlike other parties not top heavy with so many so called leaders. Discipline is the byword here." The Indian delegation she was part of interacted with groups specializing in preventing women's

abuse, interacted with policy analysts, senior officials of the State Department and US-AID. The delegation visited Reno, Nevada; Pensacola, Florida; Washington DC and New York during their twoweek whirlwind tour. The delegation met with the founders of Vital Voices that is making an impact on the life of less-fortunate women and observed its rehabilitation programs. They also met with office holders of National Democratic Institute that is planning to set up a branch in India soon. Tripathi, being a film and theater personality, did meet the senior faculty of the television and film institute in New York and also prominent personalities in the field of art, theater and entertainment.

Vani Tripathi

Tripathi was an actor-teacher in National School of Drama's Theatre in Education Company and has done prominent roles in plays written by Anton Chekov, Peter Shafeer, Tenesse Williams, Arthur miller, Greek tragedies like Electra. She has done more than 50 plays and written and directed several plays for children. Tripathi has acted in Omero, a Franco-Italian production featured at the Cannes film festival; Dushman, a Mahesh Bhatt production directed by Tanuja Chandra; Chalte-Chalte, a Shah Rukh Khan production directed by Aziz Mirza; Phir bhi dil hai Hindustani, an Aziz Mirza film and Disha an independent film to name a few. She made an independent documentary on the Andaman and an acknowledged wildlife conservator having traveled all over India and around the globe. She worked on several BBC projects on the subject. She is a model, a freelance journalist and an advocate for empowering women and children. Tripathi was chosen as Asia society's 21 young leaders of the globe.


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'LeT aims to target India's political establishment' WASHINGTON: Warning that India's transportation, economic infrastructure and political establishment are on the LeT's radar, a US Defense Department think tank has said the terror outfit still enjoys funding from ISI and is also assisted by the Karachi-based DCompany of Dawood Ibrahim. The LeT, though having a close relationship with al-Qaeda, will continue to evolve into a distinctive, South Asia-centric terrorist actor in its own right while still receiving aid from fringe elements in Pakistan's security and intelligence apparatus and elsewhere, the Strategic Studies Institute of the US Army War College said. This will not only allow LeT to continue to plan future Mumbaistyle terrorist attacks in India from safe havens in Pakistan, but will also enable it to guide and assist the predominantly indigenous Indian Mujahideen (IM), it said. Authored by Ryan Clarke, the 117-page report 'Lashkar-I-Taiba: The Fallacy of Subservient Proxies and the Future of Islamist Ter-

rorism in India' gives the first-ofits kind detailed analysis of the outfit. The report said the troubling fact is that the LeT has upgraded

The LeT, though having a close relationship with al-Qaeda, will continue to evolve into a distinctive, South Asia-centric terrorist actor in its own right while still receiving aid from fringe elements in Pakistan its activities and has begun to operate throughout India and will likely target transportation and economic infrastructure and the political establishment as opposed to Indian security forces exclusively. "It has also adopted new meth-

ods of destabilization such as recruiting from India's troubled northeast and smuggling militants into India by sea, a serious infringement on India's sovereignty," it said. "Despite being a proscribed outfit, LeT still enjoys funding from ISI and through donations from a wide range of domestic and overseas sympathizers, including Indian Muslims. Further, after capitalizing on the 2005 earthquake, LeT has been able to re-establish some of its fund-raising activities within Pakistan," the report said, despite repeated Pakistani claims that its spy agency is no longer aiding LeT. The LeT is also assisted by the Karachi-based D-Company in its fund-raising activities through the illegal hawala network. "D-Company has well-established smuggling routes in the region, access to materiel, a partnership with LeT, and depends on ISI for refuge in Pakistan," the report said. -PTI

Indian investigators to soon get access to Headley: FBI CHICAGO: Indian investigators would soon get access to terror suspect David Headley as US authorities are working out logistics of where and when they can question the Pakistani-American in connection with the Mumbai attacks, an FBI official said here. "In the plea agreement, Headley did agree to meet with Indian authorities. I think right now we are just trying to work out the logistics and scheduling of that," a Chicago FBI spokesman told PTI here. A request has been made by Indian authorities to question 49year-old Headley, he said, adding that the interrogation is expected to happen soon. The FBI's involvement in the case is to facilitate the interview that Headley agreed to cooperate with and "I am sure that will happen in the near future," he said. As to who all would be present along with Headley when he is being interrogated, he said "all that is something that is going to be worked out". "Headley has retained counsel, that counsel is still representing him and obviously he is a party to all of this. I think that is one of the things that are being worked out with him and his attorney and all

the other people who know of this. Who is going to participate in the interview, where is it going to be done, when is it going to be done, lot of questions need to be answered," he said. India is expected to get access to Headley within 30 days of sending a letter of request, which is being prepared. US Ambassador Timothy J Roemer told Indian

Home Minister P Chidambaram in New Delhi that the issue of access to Headley was being dealt with at the highest level in the Obama administration. India has been seeking access to Headley, a Pakistani- origin American, to unravel details of his activities regarding the 26/11 attacks and plans for further strikes in this country. -PTI

SCULPTING ENVOY: US ambassador Timothy J Roemer during an April 8 visit to Bhubaneswar, Orissa, paid tribute to the regionĂ­s rich legacy of traditional stone carving. The Ambassador tried his hand at the craft, under the watchful eye of distinguished sculptor Sudarshan Sahoo

Govt to bring anti-torture law to ratify UN Convention NEW DELHI: The government will bring an anti-torture law to ratify a UN Convention against torture and other cruel and inhuman treatment or punishment. "The Union Cabinet approved a proposal to introduce the Prevention of Torture Bill, 2010 in the Parliament," Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni told reporters here. This is a step towards ratifica-

NSG airbase for quick response becomes operational NEW DELHI: In order to reduce the response time of NSG commandos in case of a terror strike or a hijack attempt, the government has operationalised an airbase near the IGI airport here. A crack commando team of the elite force has been stationed and is ready to undertake operations from the complex spread over five acres of land located on the periphery of the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) on National Highway-8. The complex was inaugurated by Union Home Minister P Chidambaram. The NSG's response time during the 26/11 Mumbai attacks --

while moving from the national capital to the western metropolis -- came under criticism after which the government finalized a number of plans like creation of four hubs for deploying the specially trained men in minimum possible time. The complex has been named 'Sudarshan'-- the NSG symbol signifying the mythological 'Chakra' of Lord Krishna which destroys the enemy and comes back-would house and facilitate quick mobilization of the counter terrorist task force of NSG commandos enabling them to be airborne in minimum possible time. The unit, comprising 50-60

commandos on a 24X7 basis, will only have to open a door and enter the tarmac of the IGI airport in case of a terror attack or a hijack attempt. The commando squad is armed with weaponry like MP5's, glock pistols and devices for aircraft intervention. Basic infrastructural facilities like single living accommodation, office block among others are already in place and construction of training and firing enclosures are also in the offing. The Airports Authority of India had handed over the land to the National Security Guard (NSG) in April last year. -PTI

tion of the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment of Punishment adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 9, 1975. India had signed the Convention in October, 1997. "After a lot of deliberation on the issue, it was decided to bring a piece of 'stand alone' legislation so that the Convention could be ratified. Accordingly, a draft Bill, namely the Prevention of Torture Bill, 2009 was drafted," Soni said. Ratification of the Convention requires enabling legislation having provisions that would be necessary to give effect to the Articles of the Convention. Although some provisions exist in the Indian Penal Code, they neither define "torture" as clearly as in Article 1 of the Convention nor make it criminal as called for by Article 4. For ratification of the Convention, therefore, the domestic laws of the country would require to be brought in tune with the provisions of the Convention. This would necessitate either amendment of the existing laws such as IPC or bringing in a new piece of legislation. The matter was examined at length in consultation with the Law Commission of India and the then Attorney General of India.-PTI


Desi News 'Borderless music' proves a big hit KRISHNA RAJ

CHICAGO: The trio in the entertainment business for the past two and half decades - Babu Patel, Nick Patel and Mayur Patel - has been spiced up with the addition of young and dynamic Bhavesh Patel. The foursome now has been attempting to do what many in the past considered moonshine -promoting "Borderless Music" between Indian and Pakistani music lovers and fans in this area.

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So Cal celebrates Baisakhi with piety, enthusiasm & melodious kirtan

April 16, 2010

Details on page 21

US Rep Jan Schakowsky visits MAFS, lauds healthcare SURESH BODIWALA

Details on page 14

Classical Indian dances at Global Beats Stage SURESH BODIWALA

CHICAGO: Natraj Dance Academy staged a wonderful performance for the Travel and Adventure Show's Global Beats Stage, organized last month by the Chicago Tribune at the Donald Stephen Convention Center in Rosemont, a north side suburb of Chicago. The Global Beats Stage showcased dances and music from all parts of the world. Natraj Dance Academy performed for more than an hour representing dances from India, performing in three classical dance styles. Details on page 17

Raja upbeat despite failed bid for Lt. Gov SURESH SHAH

CHICAGO: On March 27, a delegation of 30 Indo-American Democratic Organization members including Dr. Ashish Sen, vice president, Ranjit Ganguly, founderpresident and Dr. Bapu Arekapudi, former president, accompanied Raja Krishnamoorthi, one of the 16 finalists for the Democratic candidate for Illinois Lieutenant Governor, to the Illinois Democratic Party Central committee meeting held in Springfield. Details on page 20

MAFS welcomes Congresswoman Jan Schakowski (from left) Usha Kamaria (President of Indian Community Niles Township), Mrs. Santosh Kumar (Executive Director of Metropolitan Asian Family Services), Jan Schakowsky (Congresswomen of 9th District), Nalini Goyal (Board Member), Pramod Kumar (Treasurer)

CHICAGO: Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky along with Leslie Combs, Director, Ninth Congressional District, visited the Metropolitan Asian Family Service (MAFS) center in Niles to share with MAFS members and patrons the tremendous victory toward healthcare reform in US. They assured South Asian, Indian, Pakistani and other community members that her office is always available for any help and clarification. They also pitched strongly for participation in the 2010 Census. After a warm welcome by Mrs. Santosh Kumar, Executive Director of MAFS, Pramod Kumar, and the staff members, Schakowsky stated that it is a big change for our country as everybody could get a chance to get health insurance now. She assured all that this healthcare reform bill makes Medicare stronger and better; it helps to

pay for prescription drugs and senior citizens do not need to pay copayments. She strongly believes that this is just the beginning. Encouraging seniors, Schakowsky and Mrs. Kumar asked everyone to turn in their

Senior citizens from MAFS

gration status. She emphasized that the information on the Census form is confidential, and pointed out that there is fine of $250,000 and five years in jail if any agency or anyone shares information with anyone from the Census forms. Schakowsky thanked MAFS and praised it to be the most important organization serving the

She assured all that this healthcare reform bill makes Medicare stronger and better; it helps to pay for prescription drugs and senior citizens do not need to pay co-payments. She strongly believes that this is just the beginning 2010 Census forms promptly since the government's distribution of billions of dollars for schools, senior centers, roads, bridges, public transportation etc. depends on how many people are in the particular community. They assured everyone that no one should be afraid to fill out census form, regardless of their immi-

community with exceptional work and leadership. She mentioned that we are all partners working towards the same goal - to make sure that all the problems people in the community face are recognized and solved, and to ensure the welfare of the Asians, South Asians and the Indian community.

Leslie Combs works closely with the Federal Government and manages neighborhood offices in Chicago and Evanston to assist in public issues like immigration, medicare, federal grants, social security, public housing, postal issues etc. The office website www.Schakowsky.house.gov has neighborhood office hours and convenient locations and times where her staff will be to assist in given issues. Nalini Goyal, an MAFS office bearer, shared her own experience, saying that Combs assisted her in reaching out to the US Consulate in India and received the help she needed when her husband passed away in India a few months ago. Usha Kamaria, the Niles Township President, also had a good report about Schakowsky's office. She had a similar story to share about an old person who surrendered his US green card. When he wanted to come to US for his son's wedding from Kuwait, he was refused visa. Cont’d on page 13


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April 16, 2010

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Indian chemicals delegation visits Illinois

Healing thru music by Sri Ganapathi Swami

S.K.MENON

MADHU PATEL

CHICAGO: A Sixteen member Indian del- their programs and policies at this meeting. egation led by Bijoy Chatterjee, Federal Sec- They also gave in-depth briefing on the retary, Department of Chemicals and Fertil- government policy on Petroleum, Chemicals izers, visited Chicago March 24-25. Other & Petrochemicals Investment (PCPIR) from members of the delegation included senior the perspective of the National & State Govofficials from his department, Governments ernments as well as business and industry. of Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Gujarat and Under PCPIR, which was launched three Kolkata, besides representatives of some years ago, integrated investment regions of the Fortune 500 companies of India viz., have been established in Andhra Pradesh, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation and In- Gujarat, West Bengal. Orissa PCPIR is in dian Oil. final stages. Each PCPIR comprises 250 sq. Indian Consulate in Chicago organized kms or more area and together they have an interactive session with the Illinois Of- been designed to get new investment of fice of Trade and Investments at the State several tens of billions of dollars. With the office for the visiting delegation in coordi- state-of-the art infrastructure and existing nation with the Chemical Industry Council of Illinois. Ms Mary Roberts, Managing Director led the Illinois Trade office delegation and the Illinois Chemical Industry Council was represented by Ms Lisa Frede, Director, Regulatory Affairs. Leading Chemical and Pharmaceutical companies of Illinois viz., Abbott Laboratories, CF Trading, Stepan, Nalco, Seeler Industries, UOP, Great lakes wareNandini Chakravorty, CEO West Bengal Industrial Devt.Corpn, house corporation etc., also Neel Kamal Darbari, Joint Secretary, Deptt. of Chemicals, CG participated. Ashok Kumar Attri, Bijoy Chatterjee, Secretary, Deptt. of ChemiTerry LaRocca, Interna- cals and Tarun Kanti Mishra, Chief Secretary, Govt. of Orissa. tional Trade Specialist gave The person in between the two ladies - with beard is Mr Terry a brief overview of the Illinois LaRaccoa, International Trade Specialist, Illinois Trade Office economy and Ms Lisa Frede presented a comprehensive Chemical indus- energy and petrochemical industries, try profile of Illinois. Indian CG Ashok PCPIRs have already succeeded in attractKumar Attri, in his address thanked the Illi- ing multi billion dollar investments in each nois Trade office for receiving the Indian region. delegation and promoting India-US Midwest Rajan Kohli, Advisor of Federation of trade. He also appreciated the Illinois Trade Indian Chambers of Commerce and Indusoffice for maintaining their own office in New try invited the Illinois Chemical Industries Delhi to deepen cooperation between Illi- to participate at the India Chem 2010 to be nois and India. held on 28/29 October 2010 in Mumbai. He The leader of the Indian delegation Bijoy mentioned that a delegation from Illinois Chatterjee introduced the Indian delegation Trade office has been participating in the to the Illinois Trade office and to the Illinois last two India Chem events and encouraged industry representatives and gave a broad more such Illinois companies to participate profile of the growth story of Indian in the event. economy in the last few years. He highA luncheon meeting was also held at the lighted the potentials for more growth and residence of CG Ashok Kumar Attri to enthe government policy on the Petroleum, able the participants to follow up on the Chemical and Petrochemical Investment discussions. The delegation left for HousRegion. He also talked about the participa- ton to participate at the Bay Area Economic tion of the four Indian states whose repre- Partnership meeting and the 35th Annual sentative form part of the delegation. meeting of National Petrochemical and ReIndividual State and Public Sector Units finery Association of USA (NPRA) at San dealing in Petrochemicals also presented Antonio, Texas.

CHICAGO: Sri Ganapathi Sachchidananda Swamiji of Mysore, India gave a great stage performance last week thru a 'Healing and Meditation,' concert at the Elgin Community Center in Chicago. In the concert, Sri Swamiji played Ayurvedic healing ragas on an electronic synthesizer accompanied by musicians Sri Ganapathi Sachchidananda Swami's healing thru music concert on Indian classical instruments. Several important personalities for universal welfare. Yoga and healing music from across the United States and other Swamiji is famous for his mystical powparts of the world were present to experiers to heal people through his spiritual muence this wonderful opportunity. sic. He has earlier performed on several other Sri Swamiji, the Pontiff of Avadhoota musical concerts in India, United States, Datta Peetham in Mysore, has established Europe, Canada and other countries. His many monasteries (ashrams) and has folmusic is devotional and used for spiritual lowers all around the world spreading the energy transmission. Listening to his 'Healmessage of universal peace. Swamiji also ing and Meditation' music was melodicalsupports several social projects and has set medicinal experience prescribed for all ailup hospitals and schools in India to help ments and conditions. "The music therapy the poor and needy. In Trinidad, he has inis combined with Ayurveda, psychology, stalled an 85 feet Lord Hanuman statue, the tallest one outside India, in the ashram there. gemenotherapy, mantra, and astrology," Sri Swamiji has recently started building says Swamiji. Cont’d on page 16 another Hanuman temple in Frisco, Texas

US Rep Jan Schakowsky visits MAFS, lauds healthcare Cont’d from page 12

Kamaria, with the help of Schakowsky and Combs, helped this gentleman to come and attend his son's wedding. Schakowsky visited India on a trip with President Bill Clinton in 2000 and was pleased about the hospitality they received in India. A few years later, in 2004, she went to Bangalore, India to attend a

conference of the business community. She received an incredible welcome then too. She considers India as a major economic force in the world on the cutting edge of technology and new innovations. At the end, she mentioned that she is a part of the caucus for developing relations between India and America. She is hoping to go back to India again soon.


14

Community Across America

India Post

April 16, 2010

www.indiapost.com

Texas students learning Hindi in all earnestness MEGHA PANDYA

Prasad Thotakura, Ambassador Meera Shankar, Bhavani Parpi and Dr. Gene Buinger of HEB ISD

DALLAS, TX: Indian Consul General Sanjiv Arora stressed the need and importance of learning Hindi language and encouraged students at Central Junior High School in Euless, a suburb of Fort Worth, to learn it well, especially in this fast globalization. He was paying a visit to the School recently and participated in an interactive session with Hindi learning students of Hurst-EulessBedford ISD. He congratulated HEB ISD superintendent Dr. Gene Buinger, Superintendent of HEB ISD and his staff for introducing Hindi for Junior High School students. CGI assured that he would

School. Ambassador Shankar congratulated Dr. Buinger and pledged her full support to the program. Prasad Thotakura said "It is very important to develop excellent communication skills in Hindi including reading, writing and speaking since Hindi is second widely spoken language in the world. Now, 35 out of every 100 people in the world are either of Indian or Chinese origin". "The International Business Initiative or IBI is a unique program offered to 7th and 8th grade students at Central Junior High School in Euless City. This program will help to bridge gaps be-

'Borderless music' proves a big hit KRISHNA RAJ

CHICAGO: The trio in the entertainment business for the past two and half decades - Babu Patel, Nick Patel and Mayur Patel - has been spiced up with the addition of young and dynamic Bhavesh Patel. The foursome now has been attempting to do what many in the past considered moonshine -promoting "Borderless Music" between Indian and Pakistani music lovers and fans in this area. Babu Patel backed by his son Bhavesh has taken a visionary lead in announcing a series of stage performances presenting top notch artists from the two countries - India and Pakistan - to the delight of members of Indians and Pakistanis here. The Mixology Music show had its launch on March 26 at Odium Expo Center. The performance christened The Impact was a run-

Shreya Ghoshal

Hindi Day at Central Junior High School, Eules, TX. Sitting (L-R) Bhavani Parpia, a guest, Todd Smith (TX State Rep), Dr. Gene Buinger, HEB ISD Superintendent, Indian CG Sanjiv Arora, Jonathan James, School Principal, Prasad Thotakura, Sanjay Anand, a School official and Prabhala Srirangam, Hindi teacher. Standing behind are students and guests.

extend all needed help to make this program successful. In his turn, Dr Buinger thanked CGI Arora for coming to Central Junior High School and Prasad Thotakura, Texas State Coordinator, Indian American Friendship Council (IAFC) for making this event possible and supporting Hindi language courses for the last two years. Dr. Buinger also thanked his staff members for their dedication in teaching Hindi. Earlier, Dr. Buinger, Bhavani Parpia and Prasad Thotakura met Indian Ambassador to USA Meera Shankar and briefed her about the progress of Hindi courses at the

tween cultures, contribute to international diplomacy, promote national security. Mastery of an Asian language will open doors to the best universities and great job opportunities" said Bhavani Parpia, IBI coordinator. Besides, Dr. Buinger, Todd Smith, Texas House of Representatives, Prasad Thotakura, Texas State Coordinator for IndianAmerican Friendship Council, Jonathan James, Principal Central Junior High School, Bhavani Parpia, Coordinator, International Business Initiative and Prabhala Srirangam, Hindi Teacher attended the Hindi Day event.

away success, judging not only from the number of fans attending the show but also from the quality of music and entertainment that was provided. The show featured the Pakistan fame Atif Aslam and the Indian Hollywood fame singer Shreya Ghosal with accompanying violinist Deepak Pandit, another budding singer Jankee Parekh and a host of dancers. "There was not a single moment that the audience would want to leave the auditorium," said PK Mishra, a music lover attending the event. Talking to this paper after the performance Bhavesh Patel said that they were delighted and enlightened at the huge response from both Indian and Pakistani community members and this has emboldened them to go further in this direction. The next would be Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, the son of legendary Pakistani singer Nusrat Ali Fateh Khan, who will be performing at Pickwick Theater in Park

Impact dancers

Ridge on May 2 this year. "This timeless melodies presentation from Khan Gharana is already heading for a bit hit, probably bigger than The Impact, if huge inquires that we have been receiving all around from Chicagoland and neighboring

impact on Chicagoans with the first half of the show's highlight being the Bollywood diva Shreya Ghosal who had barely turned 26 in March. She was a rage with the audience as she churned out one after one her singing tops like

The Impact had a long lasting impact on Chicagoans with the first half of the show's highlight being the Bollywood diva Shreya Ghosal who had barely turned 26 in March. She was a rage with the audience as she churned out one after one her singing tops

Jankee Pandit

States are any indication. It will be a full house performance", he said beaming with pride. The third in line, said Babu Patel, is also a beautiful mix of top notch artists from Indian sub continent and they are Bollywood fame music directors Shankar Mahadeven, Ehsaan Noorani and Loy Mendonsa. The show is slated for Friday July 23 at a top venue

"Salam-E-Ishque, Tujh Mein Rab Dikhta Hai, Om Shanti and culminating with Dola Re dola. The last swayed the audience who gave huge applause and swarmed to the podium to have a glimpse of her. It was Atif's turn in the second half and he did not disappoint. He proved that he is the master in his field with a sizzling rendering of Doorie, Woh Limaye and his private but hugely popular hits. The members of the audience - some of Atif Aslam them could not control themselves - and started dancing on the floor. Violinist Deepak Pandit proved to be a rage with his solo rendering at the start and was greeted with "re(to be announced) in Chicagoland. peat" applause. So also impressive Some of their famous works in- was the upcoming singer Jankee cludes scores for movies such as Parekh. Dancers too coming out Mission Kashmir (2000), Dil Chahta with Bollywood style perforHai (2001), Kal Ho Naa Ho mances were highly entertaining (2003),Bunty Aur Babli (2005) , and one would not like to miss a Taare Zameen Par (2007), Rock on!! "single moment of this wonderful (2008) and My Name is Khan(2010). entertainment", in the words of PK The Impact had a long lasting Mishra, a banker.


Community Across America

April 16, 2010

www.indiapost.com

Site survey for Gandhi statue in Dallas MEGHA PANDYA

DALLAS TX: Over 100 delegates from more than 50 different organizations of Indian origin gathered at Dallas convention Center under the auspices of Indian American Friendship Council (IAFC) and India Association of North Texas (IANT) for a review of the progress made for establishing Gandhi Statue in Dallas. Taiyab Kundawala, Secretary IAFC mentioned in his opening address about the efforts of various organizations including IANT, in starting the project and observed that "we have moved closer in achieving our dream." Niranjan Patel, President, IANT requested the attendees to actively partici-

Ram Navmi at Vedic Day Care Center KRISHNA VINOD

Members of Gandhi Statue Steering Committee.

the Dallas landscape to have the 9 foot statue of Mahatma Gandhi in downtown Dallas near the City Hall. He showed the artist rendering of the statue and surroundings as well as the letter of approval from the Dallas Convention Cen-

This nine-member steering committee represented by IAFC and IANT along with the eleven working committees represented by the participating organizations will provide a comprehensive structure for the execution of the project pate in this noble cause. Taiyab introduced Prasad Thotakura, IAFC and Presidentelect, who walked the audience through an excellent PowerPoint presentation regarding the concept, salient features and steps going forward. He mentioned that with over 100,000 strong Indian Diaspora, it is a fitting tribute to

India Post 15

ter with land allocation. He also announced the steering committee which consists of Prasad Thotakura (Chairman), Atul Khara, Dilip Patel, Jack Godhwani, Shabnam Modgil, Taiyab Kundawala, Piyush (Pete) Patel and Rao Kalvala. This nine-member steering committee represented by IAFC

and IANT along with the eleven working committees represented by the participating organizations will provide a comprehensive structure for the execution of the project. The nine-member advisory committee represents leaders from various local business and government organizations from the mainstream. Nirmal Nilvi, a successful businessman reiterated the importance of this prestigious project and requested all attendees to donate generously in cash and kind. Ms. Pauline Medrano, Deputy Mayor, Pro Tem, City of Dallas was the guest of honor. She said that the central location like Convention Center has an easy access to thousands of visitors. This with supplementation of water, illumination and subtle music will bring great number of tourists together, she said. Cont’d on page 18

Vedic Day Care Center children performing during Ram Navmi celebrations

CHICAGO: Ram Navmi, an Indian festival, was celebrated here with fanfare and enthusiasm at the Vedic Day Care Center, a preschool and kindergarten educational facility. Close to 100 people attended the program. The children of the Vedic Day Care Center recited Bhagavad Gita slokas, sang nursery songs and performed folk dances. One of the highlights of this exhilarating display put on by the children was a play based on Lord Ram's pastime along with a drama based on Lord Krishna's pastime as well. The director of the Center, Vrashabh Das, briefly enlightened

the crowd on the progress of the facility and gave a lecture on the significance of Ram Navmi. Ms. Kamlesh Saini, the chief guest, spoke about how great a job Vrashabh Das was doing by educating young children about their culture and heritage. The Day Care Center was also really appreciative of the generous donations made by the parents of the children, who were honored, to show the gratitude of the Day Care. Amongst the many that financially supported the Center are Ashok Patel, Dr. J. Agrawal, Dr. Devika, Dr. C.M. Modi, Yogesh Deva, Suresh Jani, Rajesh Patel, Shri and Smt Jayaesh Sukhadia and Kamlesh Saini.

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16

Community Across America

India Post

April 16, 2010

www.indiapost.com

Hanuman Jayanti pledge of 100 million Ram Naams JODH SINGH RAAWAT

Hanuman Puja in progress

CHICAGO: Hanuman Jayanti, the birthday of Lord Hanuman was celebrated on the day of full moon - Chaitra Shukla Poornima - March 30 with great religious fervor in Ramalaya Auditorium of HTGC, Chicago by Sri Upasana. Sri Upasana, a non profit organization which conducts monthly Sundarkand recitations and other religious services to devotees from Chicagoland and other States with goal of promoting integration of rituality with spirituality, had decided to celebrate Lord Hanuman's birthday in a unique way by offering a collective 20 million "Ram" Naams from devotees worldwide. The pledge was made just couple months back at the Sundarkand recitation with Lord Hanuman's inspiration. Devotees of the Hindu community all over the world responded very positively and joined spontaneously in this spiritual journey. The word spread through publicity in newspapers, emails, radio talk shows and word of mouth. With the help of media, thousands of people got connected to Sri Upasana and pledged to chant and contribute certain number of Ram-Naams to from one thousand to one million, per individual or group. Along with the individual pledge, group chanting was also organized at devotees' homes and temple or other activities such

Devotees putting on Hanuman masks to be part of Ram Sena

as Yoga camps. It was truly an international event as devotees from different States and cities of USA like Chicago, New York, TexasNagadoches, Houston, and from countries like UK, Mauritius, Trinidad & Tobago participated. Also present were devotees from Indian States of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Maharasthra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka. The target of 20 million Ram-Naams was exceeded before the

tees felt peace and bliss while chanting Ram Naam and reaching towards their goal. Many were unaware of the potential of doing such sankalp and they thanked Sri Upasana for such spiritual project. Sarita and Jagdish Sharma helped to keep account of Ram Naam Sankalp. On the Chaitra Poornima day devotees poured in large numbers at 10 am for Abhishekam and Pooja with Hanuman Chalisa and Ram dhun which continued till midday. The next big ceremony began at 5

Devotees of the Hindu community all over the world responded very positively and joined spontaneously in this spiritual journey set time with the participation of more than 300 devotees. Chhota Hanuman "Munish Kaistha" was very helpful to contact devotees from India and Sai group with 71 lakh Ram Naams. The best thing about the pledge was that you could chant the Lord's name "Ram" anytime, anywhere while doing daily activities such as working, driving, cooking or walking, silently or loudly, individually or in group. For first time in their life many devo-

pm with the Parikrama -going around Rama Temple- joined by men women and children of all ages some even on crutches and wheel chairs with chanting " Shri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram". Lord Hanuman was placed on a colorful Chowki and carried by devotees one by one while doing Parikrama and going to Yagyashala. The Hanuman Yagya with purnahuti was performed under the supervision of HTGC priest Ram Prasad Shastri and the

help of community priest Satish Bhagwat. On reaching Ramalaya auditorium group recitation of Sundarkand of Tulasi Ramayana - a story of Hanuman's journey to Sri Lanka to find Sita- was done by Suryakant Khapekar, Munish, J. Singh Rawat, Anju Savsani, Raj Goel and Brij Sharma. It was accompanied in music by Rashikbhai Patel and Raj Savsani on tabla & Jayantibhai Patel and Raj Sanghavi on khadtal-manjira. Hanuman bhajans and Ram Naam dhun were chanted by Kamala (Biji) Chopra to please Lord Hanuman at the end of Sundarkand. At 8 pm Bal Hanuman's jhoola sewa took place followed by aartis and distribution of the prasad- pure vegetarian satvik meal donated by Alok Suri of Shree Restaurant- Westmont & India HouseSchaumburg. As majority of devotees had imbibed Ram Naam in their daily activities and wanted to continue, a new pledge with bigger number - 100 million collective "Ram" Naam to be started from now onward till next year's Hanuman Jayanti celebration was taken spontaneously for individual and community peace, prosperity and spiritual upliftment. Sri Upasana has invited all devotees to participate individually as well as in groups for Ram Naam chanting.

Healing thru music by Sri Ganapathi Swami Cont’d from page 13

The ages old system of NadaChikitsa (healing through music) has found its revival through Sri Swamiji's intense research and practice into the relationship of music and health. Conceptualized as "Music for Healing and Meditation," the therapeutic aspects of music occupy a very important place in the overall scheme of health-care services at the Holistic Health Centre. A special unit known as Music Therapy Research Center has been created in Mysore to transmit the research experience of Sri Swamiji to medical doctors belonging to various schools of medicine and also to impart training to them in the use of music for therapeutic purposes.

Music therapy has proved to be very effective in the following diseases /ailments: 1. Migraine and tension headaches. 2. Insomnia and other sleep disorders. 3. Reduction in pain due to surgical procedures and labor. 4. Stress related emotional disorders including depression and anxiety. 5. Dermatological disorders including psoriasis & neurodormatitis. 6. Improvement in memory, alertness concentration and other cognitive functions. 7. Improvement in diabetes control. 8. Lowering of blood pressure. 9. Wide varieties of conditions ranging from common cold to cancer and HIV. Each melody has been inspired through Raga Ragini Vidya, an ancient tradition revived by Swamiji. From the endless combi-

nation of possibilities, he creates music that affects various naadis (energy channels) and awakens

Swamiji is a versatile genius. His knowledge of herbs and medicinal plants, of stones of various shades of color and qualities and of underground water resources is amazing the prana (life force) energy pulsating within each of us. Asked if there was any scientific approach in his music therapy,

he came out with an emphatic "yes". He said there is a close relationship between music and ailments. "Ancient books and musical instruments have brought out the relationship. A lot of research has been carried out and the results have proved the same." Swamiji gave the example of an engineer Krishna Swamy, a devotee, who had lost his voice and had nervous problems. He got cured through music. In reply to a question to Sri Swamiji on how he would spread his message to the common people Swamiji said, "The message is spread through radio and television". The free ring tones are distributed from the web and people can download the same. Even the telephone booths are used to spreading the message. In

Zurich, Switzerland the soothing ringtones are installed in all public phones. This music soothes the mind." Sri Swamiji says: "Music is my language, music is my expression, and music is my religion." Swamiji is a versatile genius. His knowledge of herbs and medicinal plants, of stones of various shades of color and qualities and of underground water resources is amazing. Hundreds of thousands of devotees have benefited by Swamiji's knowledge. A unique feature about Swamiji's worship is that all devotees can participate in the ceremonies, whether Hindus, Christians or others. Swamiji's expertise in music and his using it to cure many an ailment has attracted attention all over the world.


Community Across America

April 16, 2010

India Post 17

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Classical Indian dances at Global Beats Stage SURESH BODIWALA

CHICAGO: Natraj Dance Academy staged a wonderful performance for the Travel and Adventure Show's Global Beats Stage, organized last month by the Chicago Tribune at the Donald Stephen Convention Center in Rosemont, a north side suburb of Chicago. The Global Beats Stage showcased dances and music from all parts of the world. Natraj Dance Academy performed for more than an hour representing dances from India, performing in three classical dance styles. The program began with a prayer dance in the Bharatanatyam style. The prayer dance, "Pranamu Pratidin Hey Natarajan" was a unique prayer to Lord Shiva performed by Leena Daniel and Roshni Doshi. They performed the dance with precision and grace much to the enjoyment of the audience. The next dance was Tali Tharangam a fascinating dance performed by Anupama Lukose and Jasmin Pillai with candle lights. The dancers began with plates and lights in their hands. In the second part, they balanced a pot of water on their head and in the third part they danced on the rim of a brass plate and executed several rhythmic variations thereby showing their mastery over

Kuchipudi style dance

rhythm. The next dance, Mandooka Sabdam in the Kuchipudi style, was performed by Kajal Chokshi, Malathi Narnur, Meghana Moodabagil, Shaina George, Shareen George and Taniya Tomy. The dancers explained and demonstrated the meaning of the dance before performing it. Mandooka Sabdam means the sound of the frogs. According to Indian legend these frogs witnessed the divine power of Indian god and protector of the Universe, Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu rescued his devotee Gajendra, the elephant from the clutches of the evil crocodile, killing the crocodile with his powerful weapon known as 'the Chakra'. The fight between the elephant Gajendra and the crocodile was depicted with great precision by Kajal Chokshi and Malati Narnur.

Prayer dance

Papa Bhaya Haranam, the next item was in the Mohiniattam style. The Mohiniattam style of dance is from the state of Kerala in South India. Mohini means an enchantress. This form of dance is noted

Lord Ganesh is described as a poet who surrounds himself with flowers and tender leaves, he is praised by sages and grants eternal bliss to all for its graceful and sensuous movements with soft footwork. The first reference to Mohiniattam is found in the 16th Century. Papa Bhaya Haranam is a dance in

Asian American Heritage Month in NEIU MOHAMMED GHOUSE

CHICAGO: Students of Northeastern Il- highlights include a screening and live dislinois University celebrated, with zeal and cussion with Chicago-based students who zest, their fifteenth annual Asian-American are volunteering in Bhopal, India where one Heritage Conference "Human Rights; From of the worst industrial disasters occurred Dialogue to Action," from March 31 to April, 25 years ago, presentations on globaliza1 at its Chicago facility tion, climate change and environmental jusRohit Joshi, a committee member for heritage conferences, said that Northeastern Illinois University holds such conferences every month to develop academic skills of the students and prepare them for global citizenship. Sharon K. Hass, President, NEIU, Murrell J. H. Duster, Dean of Academic Development, Yasmin Ranney, Assistant Dean of Academic Development and the committee, also mentioned that these conferences help student to Amit Sachdev, Chicago Tribune, Judy Wang, CLTV&WGN-TV, Rohit foster respect, understand- Joshi, committee member NEIU and Lily Jo Kim, former news anchor ing and appreciation of many cultures that tice and the celebration on Nowruz, the Iraare part of this and help them campus to nian New Year. These conferences are to help promote pursue higher education. At the Asian American Heritage Confer- awareness of the conditions concerning ence the emphasis is for students to know Asia and create some cultural interaction, about the significant contributions of especially with Aikido demonstrations Asians and Asian-Americans to cultural through the Japanese Cultural Center and scene of the country. The conference fo- Korean crafts to keep people informed. Cont’d on page 23 cuses on the mainstream society also. Some

praise of Lord Ganesh. The elephant faced Lord Ganesh removes misery and showers prosperity on all his followers. Lord Ganesh is described as a poet who surrounds himself with flowers and tender leaves, he is praised by sages and grants eternal bliss to all. This Mohiniattam dance was performed by Anne Lakayil, Emmy Mathew and Jane Lakayil. The fifth dance was Natanam Seyum on Lord Shiva, the God of dance in Bharatanatyam style. The gestures of Lord Shiva's dance representing the five activities of creation, protection, destruction, embodiment and release were performed in this dance. Lord Shiva, the cosmic dancer performs his divine dance to destroy a weary Universe and to prepare Lord Brahma to start the process of creation. This dance was performed by Akshaya Prabakaran,

Balancing the pot

Avani Patel, Deeksha Peesu and Sakthi Shanmugasundaram. The final item was Shabdam in Bharatanatyam style. Dance movements were combined with facial expressions in this dance. The shabdam was on Lord Subramania, the son of Lord Shiva who is described as being born with dancing bells on his feet and having a majestic walk. He rides on a blue peacock and he is the favorite child of the people. This dance in Ragamalika and talam misrachapu was performed by Aishwarya Venkatachalam, Priya Shanker, Sonya Patel and Sumhita Anant. Natraj Dance Academy is one of the leading Indian classical dance schools in Chicago area. It was established in 1983 by Vijayalakshmi Shetty for promoting and preserving Indian heritage and culture.


Community Across America India Association celebrates Spring Festival St. Louis Yoga Camp focused on youth

18

April 16, 2010

India Post

www.indiapost.com

ASHWIN PATEL

ASWHIN PATEL

Yoga class in progress Entertainment program by adults and youth

ST. LOUIS: India Association of St. Louis (IAS) hosted Spring Festival for the year 2010 on Tuesday March 27. The event was attended by over 400 St. Louis residents. Children and adults in two age groups participated in the sports competition and the winners were awarded certificates. Two of the local organizations had set up their stalls for selling tickets of their upcoming programs. Later in the evening a colorful entertainment program was organized in which over 100 children and dozens of adults performed dances, songs, skit and stand-up comedy. There were as many as 24 different entertainment items in

the cultural program that kept the audience spell bound for about three hours. The show included dances like traditional Indian classical, semi-classical, dance-drama, folk, Bollywood and hip-hop performed by professionally trained artists as well as amateur enthusiasts from the region. India Association of St. Louis was the first Indian organization formed in the region in late 1960s by a few Indians serving in various professions. Since inception, it has grown in its membership, with as high as 800 at one time. With the advent of increased Indian population over the years, several regional associations that cater to and preserve individual

Indian states have been formed. However, India Association holds considerable popularity and serves as an umbrella organization which draws members of various other organizations to celebrate national events such as, Republic Day, Holi (Spring Festival), India's Independence Day (Mela), Diwali (India Night) and also New Year's Eve. Its current president is Dr. Girdhar Sharma. Its various activities are coordinated by a nine member Board of Directors and several volunteers. All the functions of IAS are hosted at Mahatma Gandhi Cultural Center which is managed by it own independent body of Board of Directors.

ST. LOUIS: Gujarati Samaj of St Louis Free Yoga held a Yoga Camp at Gandhi Center in Ballwin here on March 20 and 21 with focus on increased youth participation The hall was full with 130 participants, including lot of youth taking active role. Sunil and Pooja Sharma conducted the Camp which they have been doing for the past two years. The first camp was in April 2009, followed by second one in October 2009. Both

Pranayam (breathing exercises) address all these problems. And the most important aspect of Yoga is to create positive attitude which in turns keeps the young participants off the problems of drugs, smoking and alcoholism. Some of the instant benefits are increase in energy level, sound sleep, freshness throughout the day. Participants start feeling the benefits from the first day. With a great experience of this Yoga

Yoga camp participants and volunteers

Rangavali competition

have been trained by Swami Ramdev and are certified as Yoga teachers by Patanjali Yogpeeth, Haridwar, India. Swami Ramdev is world's foremost authority on Yoga and Ayurveda. This Yoga camp was first of its kind focusing on the needs of youth group. Youth have numerous problems, physical and psychological. They are concerned about their height, weight as well as physiological issues of stress, anxiety, hormonal changes etc. Yoga and

Camp, the Gujarati Samaj is planning to organize much bigger camp for 300-500 people in October. The Yoga Camps have support from Indians and Americans in St. Louis. This camp had support of Priti Bhakta, Jiten Bhakta (Ex-president of Gujarati Samaj of St. Louis), Nimesh Bhakta, Tammy Patel (President, Bal Vihar), Harish Bhakta (President, Gujarati Samaj of St. Louis), Swaran Saxena (community volunteer), Nand Johri and other volunteers.

Site survey for Gandhi statue in Dallas Cont’d from page 15

Ms. Medrano inquired various activities of the project and pledged her full support for the timely completion of the project in the City Council deliberations. She hoped that this new project will bring the diverse populations of Dallas together and increase its character in the internationally known major cities arena. Following the meeting, all the attendees lead by Ms. Medrano walked to the front of the Convention Center, the site of the statue, along with her delegation. MVL Prasad, one of the main volunteers behind this project explained the

overall project, utilization of space, location of statue and its highlights, architectural and landscape plans etc. He explained the ways in which space can be optimized for artistic and architectural beauty and blending into the surroundings. Atul Khara, Chairman -Board of Trustees, IANT thanked all the attendees, volunteers, several members of media (who covered the event with video/photography) for making it a grand success. He offered special thanks to the staff and management of the Dallas Convention Center for providing an excellent meeting hall with a professional atmosphere.


Community Across America

April 16, 2010

India Post 19

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Pope urged to issue 'white paper' on sex scandal NAND KAPOOR

CHICAGO: Members of all faiths in the Indian American community here want Pope to urgently come up with a white paper on reportedly mushrooming global sex scandal engulfing the Roman Catholic Church, which they called "unprecedented and shocking". This authoritative paper should truthfully address the reported worldwide sexual abuse crisis the Church was facing; and then list the solutions, action program and

implementation schedule. A monitoring body should also be established for future. Rajan Zed, a community activist said that instead of church officials pointing fingers at the "hostile media", consumerism, and secularism; His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI should publicly acknowledge the reported past mistakes of the Church on this issue, apologize, and clarify his personal role in the crisis. He pointed out that stonewall-

Sikh children attend White House event

Sikhs from around the country participated in the White House's largest annual public event. Pictured are the community members who attended the morning activities. India Post News Service

WASHINGTON DC: The next generation of Sikh Americans attended the annual Easter Egg Roll at the White House. The Easter Egg Roll is the largest annual public event held at the White House and 2010 marks the first year Sikh children were specifically invited to join in the festivities. The Sikh Coalition provided 30 tickets from the White House to Sikh children and their parents who journeyed to the nation's capital from around the country, including California, Minnesota, Florida, New York City, New Jersey, Maryland, and the DC area, to represent the community. They partici-

Youth played with the 'ex-Presidents' who were all thumbs up for Sikhs at the White House

pated in a range of activities: an egg hunt, egg roll, sports, gardening, story telling, dance, healthy cooking, celebrity appearances and more. The attendees were able to participate in a White House tradition dating back over a century, to 1878. The Sikh Coalition said it recognizes the thoughtfulness and leadership of the Obama administration in hosting a national multicultural event that included Sikh families.

ing could not go on forever to handle such a big Church credibil-

He pointed out that stonewalling could not go on forever to handle such a big Church credibility crisis ity crisis. It was now time to abandon the institutional self-protec-

tion and embrace accountability and transparency. Vatican should come out of its bureaucratic web and reset its priorities and undertake complete reform. Mohammed Ghouse, another community activist, observed that it is opportune moment for the Vatican to become really serious and committed to cleanse the Church. As warnings were reportedly ignored in the past, it has now landed at Pope's doorstep, he adds. Madhu Patel, a community

activist in Chicagoland, endorsed the view expressed by others on this matter. Besides being very crucial to the moral credibility of Catholic hierarchy, this crisis had also eroded the faith of believers in religion in general and resulted in their falling confidence. Eyes of the world were at Vatican now to see how it handled this scandal as Roman Catholics at about 1.17 billion were the largest single religious group.


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Community Across America

April 16, 2010

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Raja upbeat despite failed bid for Lt. Gov SURESH SHAH

ZED AT METHODIST CHURCH: Rajan Zed, an Indian community activist representing Hindus, was one of the invitees and speakers at the Sparks United Methodist Church in Nevada (USA) over its Easter celebrations on April 4. In the picture, Zed (fourth from right) is seen with Pastor Dr. Thomas Butler (third from right) and other church members. Easter, the Feast of the Resurrection of Christ, is the greatest and oldest feast of Christianity.

CHICAGO: On March 27, a delegation of 30 Indo-American Democratic Organization members including Dr. Ashish Sen, vice president, Ranjit Ganguly, founder-president and Dr. Bapu Arekapudi, former president, accompanied Raja Krishnamoorthi, one of the 16 finalists for the Democratic candidate for Illinois Lieutenant Governor, to the Illinois Democratic Party Central committee meeting held in Springfield. State Party Chairman Michael Madigan presided over the meeting. In his speech, Krishnamoorthi asked committee members to create history by selecting the first South-Asian American and the first Indian-American as the candidate for a stateRaja Krishnamoorthi wide office.

Krishnamoorthi was nominated on the floor as one of the four candidates in the final selection process. He was placed third behind Shiela Simon and Illinois House Representative Art Turner in the final vote Krishnamoorthi was nominated on the floor as one of the four candidates in the final selection process. He was placed third behind Shiela Simon and Illinois House Representative Art Turner in the final vote. Later, in a luncheon meeting, Krishnamoorthi requested IADO members not to be disheartened by the setback at the Democratic Party Central Committee meeting. He asked IADO to continue its fight for a fair representation of Indo-American community in the political process.

Free Health Fair in St Louis ASHWIN PATEL

ST. LOUIS: The St. Louis Hindu Temple has announced organizing of a Free Health Fair on Saturday May 1 from 9 am to 2 pm in collaboration with Mahatma Gandhi Center and Indian Medical Council of St. Louis at Mahatma Gandhi Center. Following services will be offered to the community: • St Anthony's Medical Center sponsored blood test to screen cholesterol, triglyceride levels, blood glucose.(Must be fasting for at least 8 hrs. prior to blood test. • Screening of anemia. • PSA to screen for prostate problems. • Consultation, screening & education for diabetes, heart disease, allergy, pulmonology, cancer & mental health. Orthopedic consultation & Osteoporosis screening (bone Densitometry), • Dental screening & other basic health check up will be done by local Indian physicians. St Luke's Hospital Mammogram Van will be there on site from 8am - 1 pm. Mississippi Regional Blood Drive will collect blood. The South Asian Marrow Association of Recruiters will conduct Bone Marrow Drive.


Community/California

April 16, 2010

India Post 21

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Cal. News Colorado offered trade opportunities in India

So Cal celebrates Baisakhi with piety, enthusiasm & melodious kirtan

India Post News Service

SAN FRANCISCO: Consul General of India in San Francisco, Mrs. Susmita Gongulee Thomas, visited Denver on March 28-29 with the aim of strengthening Colorado's ties with India. She was accompanied by Kumar Tuhin, Consul for Political, Economic and Consular Affairs and Ashok K. Sinha, Consul for Community Affairs. Consul General Thomas discussed with Governor Bill Ritter ways and means for further strengthening bilateral cooperation and exchanges. She told Governor Ritter that rapid growth of Indian economy presented tremendous opportunities for Colorado companies, urging them to take advantage of the growing Indian market. Details on page 22

Appeal to Nithyananda to seek forgiveness India Post News Service

S

wami Nithyananda, who had quite a good following in the US, has resigned as the head of Nithyananda Dhyanapeetam and from all trusts following a sex scandal exposed on videos in Tamil Nadu, India. In view of the insult and embarrassment to his image, Maharishi Om, Founder of the Rejuvenation Yoga Institute of America and YogaUSA.com has appealed to Nithyananda to say sorry to all devotees and all sanyasis (monks) because "you are bringing a bad name to sanyasis and also a bad name for Hinduism."

The Dewan sahib

JS BEDI India Post News Service

LOS ANGELES: Baisakhi was celebrated with piety and enthusiasm here at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The day began early at 3-40 am with the recital of Japji Sahib at the Sri Guru Ram Das Ashram. This was followed by Asa Di Vaar by Bhai Kultar Singh of Gurdwara Sis Ganj Sahib, Delhi. Festivities at the Convention Center began with the Prakash of Sri Guru Granth Sahib at about 730 am, followed by Jaap Sahib by the Ashram Jatha. Shabad Kirtan began shortly thereafter. There were kids' jathas from all the So Cal gurdwaras, Ujjaldidar Memorial Foundation and all the local So Cal Raagi Jathas. It was melodious Kirtan by

There were the usual speeches and local politicians were presented Siropas. Bhai Sahiba Bibi Inderjeet Kaur and Siri Sikdar Sahiba Guru Amrit Kaur Khalsa congratulated the sangat on the occasion.

Siropas and certificates were also presented to Jagjit Singh Bains of Sir Speedy Tustin and Jesse Jaspal Singh for their service to

India Post News Service

ROSEMEAD, CA: Southern California Edison (SCE) and Southern California Gas Co. (The Gas Company) have teamed up during the continuing economic crisis to provide help for customers having trouble paying their utility bills. In a press release, it said, "As soon as customers recognize they may have problems paying their bills, they should contact SCE or The Gas Company to help avoid disconnections and fees that may be required to restore service.

Jessie Singh, Bibi Ji Inderjeet Kaur and Jagjit Singh Bains

the best of the best. The highlight of the day was Kirtan by Bhai Kultar Singh of Sri Sis Ganj Sahib and a joint performance by all the leading So Cal jathas.

the community. This year's Baisakhi was different. There was a play on Maharaja Dalip Singh staged by a theater group from England. Titled

The Census team Details on page 25

Gurdwara or an organization. Led by the Panj Pyaras the parade wound its way around to the beating of the Dhol and chants of Bole So Nihal. This year it is estimated that at least 12 to 15 thousand devotees attended the festivities. Each year it is getting bigger. Baisakhi is an ancient harvest festival in the Punjab, which also marks beginning of a new solar year, and new harvest season.

Bhai Kultar Singh of Sri Sis Ganj Sahib Delhi

Details on page 24

Utilities team up to provide discounts, energy efficiency

"The Maharajah & the Kohinoor" by Hardial S Rai, it was directed by Harmage Singh Kalirai, and produced by the Anglo Sikh Heritage Trust and Maharaja Duleep Singh Trust. The drama was sponsored and brought to California by

Sikhlens.com, The Sikh Art & Film Festival, Hollywood and Sikhpoint.com. Charting one of the most illustrious episodes in British history, The Maharajah and The Kohinoor is a touching tale of love and loyalty. The play follows the epic and tragic story of Duleep Singh, Maharajah of Lahore and King of the Sikh Empire, who was overthrown at the age of eleven and sent to England, where he was adopted by Queen Victoria. Encouraged by Her Majesty, Duleep developed solid relationships with the Royal Family over the following years. However, injustices and insincere intentions eventually drove Duleep into the throws of exploitative meddlers, and he died penniless and alone in a desolate hotel in 1893. Throughout the day there was Langar serving meals snacks and beverages. The event also featured a Bazar where vendors set up booths to sell a variety of items. The day ended with a grand Parade. Nagar Keertan featuring floats, each representing a

Baisakhi is a Sikh religious festival. It falls on the first day of the Baisakh month in the solar Nanakshahi calendar, which corresponds to April 14 in the Gregorian calendar. In Sikhism, it is one of the most significant holidays in the Sikh calendar commemorating the establishment of the Khalsa at

A scene from the play

Anandpur Sahib in 1699, by the 10th Sikh Guru, Sri Guru Gobind Singh. It also marks the beginning of the Sikh New Year.


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April 16, 2010

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Colorado offered trade opportunities in India India Post News Service

SAN FRANCISCO: Consul General of India in San Francisco, Mrs. Susmita Gongulee Thomas, visited Denver on March 28-29 with the aim of strengthening Colorado's ties with India. She was accompanied by Kumar Tuhin, Consul for Political, Economic and Consular Affairs and Ashok K. Sinha, Consul for Community Affairs. Consul General Thomas discussed with Governor Bill Ritter ways and means for further strengthening bilateral cooperation and exchanges. She told Governor Ritter that rapid growth of Indian economy presented tremendous opportunities for Colorado

Swaminarayan Jayanti & Ram Navmi celebrated at BAPS Mandir India Post News Service

Consul General with Congressman Mike Coffman

cisco will work together in this regard, according to a Press release by Consulate General of India in

address, Consul General Thomas highlighted the growth of Indian economy to its present status of second fastest growing economy and the opportunities that it presented for Colorado-India ties. She said Indo-US ties were at the moment blessed with a very conducive political environment and that there were several areas of complimentarity which could be explored by both sides for mutual benefit. Ms Thomas met prominent

Consul General speaking at NUICC

companies, urging them to take San Francisco. Earlier, Ms Thomas addressed advantage of the growing Indian market. Specifically, she cited the a meeting convened by National sectors of energy, infrastructure, education, agriculture, knowledge, biotechnology and Consul General greeting film-making. GoverGovernor Ritter nor Ritter agreed members of Indian American comthat there was a vast munity as also select local govpotential for ernment and business officials upscaling ecoover a reception. Congressman nomic interaction between the two Mike Coffman (6th District of Colorado) met her during this recepsides, especially in NUICC presenting a plaque of honour to tion. Congressman Jared Polis the energy sector, Consul General (2nd District of Colorado) and including clean energy, where the competitive US India Chamber of Commerce Mayor of Denver John strength of Colorado companies (NUICC). Among those present Hickenlooper sent in their greetwere Mayor Bob Murphy of Lake- ings to her. Consul General also wood City, Chief Deputy Attorney gave interviews to the Denver General for the State of Colorado Post, the Denver Business JourCynthia Coffman, Director of In- nal and the ICOSA magazine highternational Trade in the Office of lighting the business opportuniEconomic Development and Inter- ties in India. national Trade of Colorado Pam Reichart, Co-Chairman of NUICC Advisory Board Amb. Sam Zakhem, President and CEO of NUICC Purnima Voria and sevConsul General with Governor Ritter eral top busiwas well established. The Office nessmen and Consul General at a Community Reception, also seen of Economic Development and In- entrepreneurs Congressman Coffman, Amb Sam Zakhem and ternational Trade of Colorado and from the City of Purnima Voria, CEO, NUICC the Consulate of India in San Fran- Denver. In her

CHINO HILLS, CA: Devotees attended the annual Swaminarayan Jayanti and Ram Navami celebration here on Sunday, March 28 at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Chino Hills, CA in the presence of senior sadhu Dr Swayamprakashanand Swami. A highly anticipated day in the Swaminarayan Sampraday, it brings with it a surge of devotion and a flurry of celebratory activities. Chaitra Sud 9, or Ram Navami also marks the Swaminarayan Jayanti. This year, the 229th birth celebration of Bhagwan Swaminrayan started with nirjala fasts observed by children, youth, and adults alike, along with consecutive Swaminarayan dhun sessions held to rest one's mind in the divinity of Bhagwan. An assembly highlighting the life and words of B h a g w a n Swaminarayan completed the celebration, which was enveloped in an overall atmosphere of uncontained joy. Preparations for the evening assembly began weeks in advance with children perfecting the singing of Vedic shlokas and youth learning time-honored folk dances. On the day of the celebration, murtis of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and Gunatitanand Swami were dressed in elegance befitting supreme royalty. Even the assembly hall, decorated accordingly, projected a jubilant atmosphere. Devotees, dressed in traditional outfits, arrived to join in an evening of kirtans, spiritual discourses, and meaningful skits, all of which were organized and performed by the children and youth of BAPS. The program, themed 'Bolyaa Shri Hari Re', took a closer look at the words of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and the lives of devotees who abided by these words no matter the obstacles. "The divine words of Bhagwan can also be revelations of His virtues," event organizer Dinesh Patel said. "Today's program was organized to better understand Bhagwan Swaminarayan by examining his words from the Vachanamrut. After all, these are some of the most profound words in history!" A presentation by 8-year old Vandan Pandav, discussed the qualities of selflessness, asceticism, and a desire for knowledge

on the basis of the Vachanamrut while youths Dev Patel and Kirtan Patel discussed additional qualities of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. The highlight of the event included an enlightening spiritual discourse conducted by Pujya Doctor Swami, senior sadhu of BAPS. He emphasized the importance of imbibing the virtues of various devotees of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and Bhagwan Ram - through narrating the incidents of Laxmanji, Sita, Shabri, Sevakram and Kevat. He also propounded the messages of faith and devotion, family unity, and simple living. The discourses spiritually stimulated an audience ranging from young children to the elderly - all of whom were inspired to imbibe the virtues of these devotees within their own lives. An extended drama 'Dhovaa dyo Raghura' described the glory of Bhagwan Ram while additional

skits highlighted some of Bhagwan Swaminarayan's virtues as seen through His actions. The youth wing of BAPS performed an energetic traditional dance celebrating the occasion with colorful costumes. Following the dance, the children's wing of BAPS celebrated with a grand procession through the hall in celebration of the arrival of Thakorji, In the end, Thakorji was placed on an ornate swing while devotees sang the Janmotsav, "Dharma gher anand bhayo, jay bolo Ganshyam ki." Seven-year old Naman Solakni wished he could swing Thakorji all evening. "It's the best part!" he said. "I also got to learn new shlokas and sing them to Bhagwan Swaminarayan on his birthday. That was really cool." "Such celebrations are of course, acts of devotion for us, but at the same time, they provide us with a richer understanding of Bhagwan," participant Jay Patel said. "Reinforcing His words and virtues, will allow me to guide my actions accordingly." Similar celebrations were held at all of the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandirs worldwide. A grand celebration in the presence of Pramukh Swami Maharaj was held in Sarangpur in Gujarat on March 24.


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April 16, 2010

India Post 23

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Hanuman Jayanti celebrated with 108 Chalisa

LNSO celebrates Ram Navmi- Hari Jayanti

VICTORIA TRUVER

PRITIKA WADHWA DESAI

RIVERSIDE: Bhaktas arrived before sunrise on Sunday at Riverside's Shri Lakshmi Narayan Mandir for the Hanuman Jayanti celebration. Upon arrival they found the Mandir beautifully decorated by Mandir Festivals Committee Chairperson Hema Nakka, who was responsible for organizing the event. The devotees immediately began chanting the 40 verses of Hanuman Chalisa 108 times. Devotees of all ages including children, adults and seniors took turns being the lead chanter of the Hanuman Chalisa, one of the most beloved compositions of Sri Tulsidas. Each of the verses of the Hanuman Chalisa conveys its own

L-R: Current Chairman Surendra Sharma receives Ram Pariwar murti from past Chairman Girdhari Purohit while President Bhoodev Tiwari announces the spons

particular form of blessing. The recitation was followed by an hour of the melodious Rama and Hanuman bhajans sung by Kamta Rai on harmonium accompanied by Vilas Jadhav on tabla. The audience was entranced by the musical performance. Mandir President Bhoodev Tiwari and Chairman Surendra

L-R: Pt Vipul Jani and wife Beena receive Ram Pariwar murti from Chairman Surendra Sharma

Mandir President Bhoodev Tiwari and Chairman Surendra Sharma honored the sponsors of last Sunday's Ram Navami program and Hanuman Jayanti Sharma honored the sponsors of last Sunday's Ram Navami program and Hanuman Jayanti by presenting each with Prasad and an attractive 7-inch resin Ram Pariwar and Hanuman murti. Children were invited to test their artistic skills by coloring pictures of Hanuman and all of them were given a small gift as a token of appreciation.

L-R: Hema Nakka, current Chairman Surendra Sharma gives murti to past Chairman Girdhari Purohit Lakshman Koka and Bhoodev Tiwari

Cont’d on page 25

Asian American Heritage Month in NEIU Cont’d from page 17

The month of April also represents Asian-American History month and students can look forward to some fun activities like the China project, which involve performances from dancers of China's Nanjing Normal University. Rohit Joshi was able to set three topics for the panel discussion. Two media panels were presented by Lida Yu, ABD7-TV, Nancy Loo, FOX 32-TV, Judy Wang, CLTV&WGN-TV, Amit Sachdev, Chicago Tribune,

Nazneen Begum, Desi Talk newspaper and Lily Jo Kim, former news anchor, KBC. The third panel discussion "Goddess Worship in South India" was presented by Sally Noble. Joshi, who is also a Hindu priest, helped the presenter in clarifying some points with scientific and philosophical reasoning.

Murreill Duster, Dean of Academic Development

FREMONT: The LaxmiNarayan Dev Spiritual Organization affiliated with Shree Swaminarayan Temple of Vadtal (India) had a big Ram Navmi-Hari Jayanti celebration on Saturday, March 20 at the Fremont Hindu Temple, in Fremont California, marking a very successful major public event. LNSO is successfully providing a bridge to divinity and an avenue for people to get together and celebrate various Hindu festivals. It was a big occasion as it was Lord Swaminarayan and Lord Ram's birthday celebration. The celebration was blessed with the presence of visiting Downey Temple priests Shastri Dev Swami and Swami Hari Prasad, accompanied by Shree Kaushik Patel. With blessings of Lord Swaminarayan, the Swamijis provided religious discourse and an extraordinary Ram NavmiHarijayanti Satsang program of devotional songs and religious speeches. Swamiji spoke about respecting all religions and their places of worship. There is only one God and has many different forms, but these forms are all manifestations of the same Supreme Personality (Purushottam). Number 9 is complete, therefore Lord Shri Ram and Lord Swaminarayan decided to incarnate on this auspicious 9th day of the month of "Chaitra" in Hindu Calendar. Even though we celebrate

"RamNavmi-HariJayanti" on a weekend for convenience here in the USA, there is a special significance to celebrate on the right day and time per Hindu Calendar, which this year fell on Wednesday the 24th. LNSO therefore announced a second celebration on Wednesday the 24th from 9 pm to 10:30 pm at Vinubhai Patel's home in Fremont. LNSO committee members performed Dandia raas in honor of Lord's birthday. The Ram Navmi Hari Jayanti celebration was very well attended with nearly 300 people filling up the Saraswati Hall

at the Fremont Hindu Temple who along with other Fremont Temple devotees were served with very delicious and spiritual MahaPrasad. On behalf of LNSO, President Dhaval Brahmbhatt thanked Sponsors of the event who wanted to be anonymous, but the event as always had great community support. LNSO volunteers included youngsters and adults, men and women & people from many parts of India. LNSO thanks Fremont Hindu Temple Management and Administrator for their support and encouragement.


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Sikh Youth Symposium in Bakersfield

Group picture India Post News Service

BAKERSFIELD: A Sikh Youth Symposium was organized at Guru Nanak Mission Gurdwara in Bakersfield to teach more about Sikh history. In all 47 children and youth between ages of 6 to 22 participated and talked about different topics. College going children gave their ideas about current Panthic condition comparing it to the time of Guru Singh Sabha movement. Three children from each group were selected to attend the next Symposium on April 15. Youth Anoop Kaur spoke on the problem of alcoholism and its solution. Devinder Singh Bains of Taft Chevorette conducted the program for the 5th group. Resham Singh Local TV host took the sewa of Langar. Bhai Swaran Singh appre-

Anoop Kaur

ciated the work of Dr Manbir Singh - Convener of the Symposium - for his work for the youth and presented him with a Saropa.

Inter-faith event on understanding Islam India Post News Service

LOS ANGELES: On March 23, the same day as the establishment of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in 1889 - more than 65 nonMuslims gathered in Pasadena, California to gain a true understanding of Islam through open dialogue. The two-hour event took place at the Pasadena City College and was organized by the City of Pasadena Public Library, Pasadena City College Library, and Ibrahim Naeem, manager of the Pasadena City College Community Education Center and a member of the LA-West chapter of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. All three speakers on the panel were long-standing and well-respected members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and each spoke for about 15 minutes: • Dr. Arshad M. Khan, Ph.D,

teachings. • Nasir M. Malik, the Ahmadiyya Community's National Moral Training Secretary, spoke on "Who was Prophet Muhammad?" Mr. Malik focused on the objec-

Chairman of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Scientists Association and a neuroscience research professor at the University of Southern California, spoke on "The Tenets of Islam." Dr. Khan focused on the Five Pillars of Islam and gave an overview of Islam's most basic

tive historical and biographical data regarding Prophet Muhammad. • Imam Shamshad A. Nasir, Missionary of the Southwest U.S. Region, spoke on "Does Islam Promote Violence?" Imam Shamshad clearly rejected any notions that

Islam promotes violence and emphasized Islam's true peaceful nature. The speakers' presentations were followed by a vibrant hour of thoughtful, respectful, and intelligent questions from the audience. The diverse audience comprised college-going students, middle-aged parents, and the elderly from a vast array of ethnicities including African Americans, Caucasians, East Asians, Eastern Europeans, Hispanics, and South Americans. The questions touched upon topics such as Heaven, Hijab in Islam, men's and women's rights, prayer rituals, separation of Islam and the state, and the Sunni-Shi'a divide. The program was followed by South Asian snacks, interviews by the local news media, and informal Q&A with the speakers. A small table was also set up with free literature on Islam for anyone interested in learning more.

Appeal to Nithyananda to seek forgiveness India Post News Service

S

wami Nithyananda, who had quite a good following in the US, has re signed as the head of Nithyananda Dhyanapeetam and from all trusts following a sex scandal exposed on videos in Tamil Nadu, India. In view of the insult and embarrassment to his image, Maharishi Om, Founder of the Rejuvenation Yoga Institute of America and YogaUSA.com has appealed to Nithyananda to say sorry to all devotees and all sanyasis (monks) because "you are bringing a bad name to sanyasis and also a bad name for Hinduism." In an appeal, addressed to Nithyananda, Maharishi Om says, "Your statements are very, very confusing. One place you are saying that you are doing an experiment… and you are in samadhi (trance). But, whatever you are experimenting in samadhi (trance) that is not an act of a sanyasi (monk). This is very, very bad. "In another statement, you are saying that "I did nothing wrong; nothing illegal, at all. And, I have not done anything

against the law." What is legal and illegal for a sanyasi (monk)? Can you please explain? "In another statement, you are saying that the video was morphed, manipulated, and misrepresented - (of) your personal life. What was morphed? And, what was ma-

tees don't understand these statements at all. (You are) very confused. These statements are confusing and creating frustration in devotees' hearts. Your statements are contradictory. Nobody knows which one is true and which one is real. What it appears to the general public that the state-

‘Your statements are very, very confusing. One place you are saying that you are doing an experiment… and you are in samadhi (trance). But, whatever you are experimenting in samadhi (trance) that is not an act of a sanyasi (monk). This is very, very bad’ nipulated? Can you please explain? In another interview, you are saying that she (Ranjitha) was your true devotee. She is and she will be your devotee. And, she will remain your devotee. And, she was volunteering, serving, and taking care of you when you were sick." The appeal goes on to say, "We devo-

ments are made up, and the truth is not being revealed. Why don't (you) say sorry? And, say, sorry, again and again? And, say, "I made a mistake, and I cannot live up to the standard of a real sanyasi (monk)?" And, ask for forgiveness? And take corrective measures? We, sanyasis (monks) are in great pain

and sorrow. With your actions, we request to you, (to) please say sorry to (the) public and correct yourself. Maharishi Om further says, "You, Nithyananda, need to leave this kavi (holy saffron) cloth immediately. We request to the public to keep a close watch on people who misguide and who mislead you. Remember the statement from Kabirdas: Guru kijiye jaan ke, paani pijiye chhan ke. That means: Understand your guru before you accept him, and always filter the water before you drink it. "What is the meaning of sanyasi (monk)? Who is a sanyasi and a true guru? Sanyasa means renunciation and detachment from worldly affairs. Sanyasa means tyaga (unconditional detached love), not raga (lust) or anuraaga (worldly love). "Sanyasa means love, not lust at all. Swami means the one who has mastered over sensual pleasures. But, it is clearly coming out from your (Nithyananda's) statements that you are not following the path of dharma (righteousness). Please, admit your mistake and say sorry."


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Utilities team up to provide discounts, energy efficiency India Post News Service

ROSEMEAD, CA: Southern California Edison (SCE) and Southern California Gas Co. (The Gas Company) have teamed up during the continuing economic crisis to provide help for customers having trouble paying their utility bills. In a press release, it said, "As soon as customers recognize they may have problems paying their bills, they should contact SCE or The Gas Company to help avoid disconnections and fees that may be required to restore service. "We are trying to help our customers in need, including those who are unemployed and those having difficulty paying their bills," said Hal D. Snyder, vice president, Customer Solutions, The Gas Company. "We strongly encourage customers to call us before their account is overdue and learn about the available assistance programs we offer." "We will help customers come up with a payment plan that works for them," said Lynda Ziegler, SCE's senior vice president, Customer Service. "We don't want those who are already at risk for disconnec-

tion to fall further behind. All it takes is a call and we'll work with the customer to keep their lights on and let them know about programs and services that can help lower their bills in the future." SCE and The Gas Company offer the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) program, which provides a discount of 20 percent

The Gas Company's Direct Assistance Program provides energy-saving home improvements to income-qualified renters and homeowners on qualifying customers' monthly electric and natural gas bills. Based on current estimates, nearly 155,000 SCE customers and 230,000 Gas Company customers are eligible for the CARE program but have not yet enrolled. Customers who sign up for CARE with one utility are usually enrolled in the other utility's program automatically.

Through its Energy Management Assistance program, SCE offers free energy efficient appliances, pool pumps, weatherization services, lighting, air conditioners and other efficiency measures for income-qualified renters and homeowners. Energy efficiency is essential to keeping electricity bills low and for helping grid reliability, especially during the hot summer days when air conditioners are running. The Gas Company's Direct Assistance Program provides energy-saving home improvements to income-qualified renters and homeowners. Free services include: door weather-stripping and caulking to keep out drafts; attic insulation to keep the home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter; low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators that can save energy used to heat water and furnace, and water heater repair or replacement (owner-occupied homes only). The utilities also encourage customers who need additional help to call 211 to connect with community service programs throughout California.

Hanuman Jayanti celebrated with 108 Chalisa

Devotees of all ages including children, adults and seniors took turns being the lead chanter of the Hanuman Chalisa Cont’d from page 23

The function concluded with Hanuman aarti followed by Shri Lakshmi Narayan aarti and Maha prasad. President Bhoodev Tiwari thanked the bhaktas for their participation and pointed out that many of the same devotees attend

and participate every year. He especially thanked Usha Agarwal who was Co-Chair for this program. This annual event, which celebrates the birthday of Hanuman Ji, has been growing in popularity every year and now attracts as many as 300 or more.

Annapurna Duvvuri (left) and Sarada Balaji chant Hanuman Chalisa


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SRIREKHA N. CHAKRAVARTY India Post News Service

PHILADELPHIA: The multiplex boom and availability of institutional funding has changed the way movies are made and the kind of movies that are made in India, concurred a panel discussion at the Wharton India Business Forum held in Philadelphia March 27. The panelists comprising filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, actors Anil Kapoor and Vidya Balan, music composer/ singer Shankar Mahadevan and Namit Malhotra of Prime Focus a leading film studio, the positive effects of filmmaking in a structured environment but concluded that Indian films have a long way to go to be accepted by international audiences. "What's happened with the multiplex boom is that there is a great market for niche cinema," said an extremely articulate Vidya Balan, whose latest performance in the movie Ishquiya has won her rave reviews. "You are now necessarily making films for a pan-Indian audience." "Within and without boundaries there are many Indias and cinema is a reflection of society so I think our films have begun to reflect that diversity," she continued. "And therefore there are audiences who are willing to watch different kinds of films that they can identify with.

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April 16, 2010

As an actress who has been in films for the last five years, I have seen a change in the kind of roles that are being offered. Women are increasingly being portrayed as individuals in their own right; they are no longer just being led, they are no longer just the romantic

Averring with Balan, Anil Kapoor, who, after Slumdog Millionaire, is currently making waves in Hollywood for his part in the hit television serial 24, said, "In the last decade, the biggest change (in India) has been the

interest, they are no longer defined just in relation to other characters, but are being portrayed as individuals and that is what happened with me."

multiplexes and the financing which has made all the difference. Niche films are being made." Having been in the family business of filmmaking for last four decades and as an actor

Multiplexes change movie business

of 32 years, Kapoor said, while great films were made even earlier which appealed to a pan-Indian audience, for film makers and actors today it has become much more easier because of funding and multiplexes. "It is a significant change and for the good. I see a great future for Indian films and they will make a global impact." Singer and music composer (of the trio Shankar-Ehsan-Loy), Shankar Mahadevan said Indian films are still suffering the wounds of mediocrity that reigned in the Indian film industry a decade ago. "There was a phase in the past when Indian film industry went under a huge cloud of mediocrity," he said. "There were only mediocre scripts, terrible performances, bad music with double-entendre songs‌ in that period of about 10-12 years, the entire spectrum of film goers had lost interest in watching films and had stopped going to the theater completely." But now, in the changing scenario, the intelligent filmmakers are back. "With this newer lot of filmmakers, and the boom in multiplexes now the whole movie going experience -- of going out with the family -- is back. But we are still suffering from the injury caused (by bad films) a few years back." Touching on the technological aspect of filmmaking in India, Namit Malhotra said through the '80 and '90s there wasn't much demand for technology from Indian filmmakers. "But, over the years, a new era of filmmakers have taken inspiration, understood world cinema and understood the technical aspects of filmmaking. Our films today look and sound as good as or perhaps even better than most international films." Giving a lengthy insight into the business of filmmaking in India today, Rakeysh Mehra said, "In a nutshell, the finances are more organized today. The money belongs to public and public limited companies, banks or financial institutions. Your answerability to the funds is much more and contractual. You have to run the scripts with the financier. The returns are shared 50-50 between the financing company and the producer. And because the money has become cleaner it boils down to transparency in the entire business and with the multiplex effect, every single ticket sold is accounted for." Mehra, however, said the "glass was still only half full" and that there was a long way to go in terms of accountability, especially with regard to piracy. Of his own experience as a filmmaker, Mehra said, "When I made Aks, I actually had to give up my house to Citibank and take some money; and when we exhausted those funds mid way through the making, we had to go to a shark and borrow at 36% interest and complete the film. Cont’d on page 30


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www.indiapost.com India Post News Service

NEW YORK: The World Premiere of the Hollywood film CA$H took place at the Palms Casino & Resort's Brenden Theatres in Las Vegas. The film was released nationwide on April 9 through BIG Cinemas. Although CA$H is a US-based film with a Hollywood cast, the film is made by Indian producers Naveen Chathappuram and Prema Thekkek. Also present on the Red Carpet were actress Victoria Profeta, actors Mike Starr, Antony Thekkek (Thampy Antony) and Greg Fawcett, musical talent Jim Bianco, and Writer/Director Stephen Milburn Anderson. The film's marketing duo, Azeeza and Zeenat Desai, as well as Digital Arts Coordinator Nithya Madhavan and Podcast Editor Chelses Venkadathu, were also present at the event. Notorious villain Sean Bean (Percy Jackson & the Olympians, Lord of the Rings) and 2011's biggest actor Chris Hemsworth (Marvel's upcoming Thor, Star Trek) star in the film. CA$H is a quirky psychological thriller that explores the power money can wield over all. When a struggling young couple, Sam (Chris Hemsworth) and Leslie Phelan (Victoria Profeta- Push, The Drew Carey

CA$H premiers in Las Vegas Show) find a suitcase full of cash, they think their lives will take a turn for the better-until the strange and sinister criminal Pyke Kubic (Sean Bean) arrives at their doorstep, looking to collect what he believes is rightfully his. What follows is an action-packed adventure through the streets of Chicago, as

What follows is an actionpacked adventure through the streets of Chicago, as the three are pulled deeper and deeper into a desperate spiral of deception and violence

Cast and crew of CA$H -Pic Amna Siddiqui Photography

Aparna Sen's film to be released in US India Post News Service

NEW YORK: Award winning Director Aparna Sen's latest film "The Japanese Wife" has been acquired for US distribution by Databazaar Media Ventures (DMV).

A scene from ĂŤThe Japanese WifeĂ­

DMV, the media arm of the Databazaar.com the leading internet retailer of printer consumables globally, acquired the film from Saregama India Limited, the producers of The Japanese Wife. Expressing satisfaction over this acqui-

the three are pulled deeper and deeper into a desperate spiral of deception and violence. Roadside Attractions acquired all US rights to CA$H; Lionsgate will handle the subsequent DVD release. Media 8 Entertainment, which produced and distributed the Academy Award winning Monster, is handling international sales.

sition, Aparna Sen said, "This is truly a historic occasion. The Indian Diaspora living in the US and Canada will now be able to watch my film as DMV will make The Japanese Wife available through about 19,000 retail outlets, including Netflix, Amazon, ITunes, Blockbuster and others." Talking about The Japanese Wife, Sen said, "Some of you have seen and loved my earlier films‌films like '36 Chowringhee Lane' or 'Mr. and Mrs. Iyer'. This one is different. My challenge here was to create a film that would be reminiscent of a Japanese painting with its poignant minimalism. I think I have succeeded." Oney Seal, Chairman of the Databazaar Group of companies stated, "Our endeavor is to bring quality Bengali films to the US and Canada. The Japanese Wife directed by the one and only Aparna Sen fits the bill perfectly." Databazaar Media Ventures acts as an exclusive gateway for Bengali films to North America, combining the latest in digital technologies with the best in traditional methods in a new, fusion distribution model that maximizes North American film revenues. The film is a haunting but improbable love story involving three shy people.

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Deepika's 'memorable' coffee 'Aakhari Decision' a sleek action-drama date with Shammi Kapoor an invitation from Kapoor for a coffee date. "Hi Deepika--would like you to communicate maybe could meet over a cup of coffee at my place--- love, Shammi uncle,(sic)" the 'Junglee' actor had tweeted. Deepika, who was in the capital to shoot for her upcoming film, was surprised to know that the 78year-old was on Twitter, which is the favourite haunt of young Bollywood stars. "I've met Shammiji a couple of times and always felt this warmth towards him and I can feel the same from him. Even his wife has been very nice to me. Apparently he was tweeting me and I didn't even imag-

akhari Decision is a healthy entertaining ac tion-drama - a fusion of Western and Indian sensibilities. The story focuses on a youth, entangled in the quagmire of crime since childhood who wants to

A

fathers and sons. While the texture of the story being sleek and Bond-ish, the color of the film is brushed with love and compassion and the ultimate impact that our relationships have on our decisions.

rebel against his self-made prison and to embrace the love of his life - Manasi. This drama unfolds against the back drop of love wrenching yet sacrificial relationships between

Aakhari Decision will be known and watched for its sleek action sequences, excellent treatment, and songs. Every scene is in the movie for a reason--something Bollywood is not always known for.

‘I've met Shammiji a couple of times and always felt this warmth towards him and I can feel the same from him. Even his wife has been very nice to me. Apparently he was tweeting me and I didn't even imagine that Shammiji would be on Twitter MUMBAI: Bollywood actress Deepika padukone finally had her long-awaited coffee date with veteran actor Shammi Kapoor and has called it the most "memorable day" of her life. "Guys!by far one of the best and most memorable days of my life!thank u @shamsheraj uncle for a wonderful wonderful evening,(sic)" she wrote on her Twitter page. The 24-year-old actress is a regular on Twitter and it was on this micro-blogging site that she received

ine that Shammiji would be on Twitter. But that happened just before I came to Delhi so when I go back I'll have my coffee date with him," Deepika had told PTI in an interview. True to her words, the actress had returned to Mumbai and written to Kapoor on Twitter, "sir...pls let me know when and what time is convenient for u and I'll be there...wouldn't miss this opportunity for anything.(sic)" -PTI

Multiplexes change movie business Cont’d on page 28

All this changed by the time I made Rang De Basanti. I decided I will not make a film unless I enjoyed the process of making it. Now each artist and technician is under contract; systems were put in place, the shooting schedules were also structured. So, at a grassroots level, the process is creeping in, which has unleashed a huge energy of creativity of writing, acting, editing etc." Coming to the globalization of Indian films, Vidya Balan said Indian films are still made for particular audiences only. "A lot of times we are just happy with localizing our cinema, we are making films for particular audiences, which can be very tricky because we do not know if those particular audiences will accept the film or not," she said. "Where as a good film will be accepted by whoever and wherever if it connects. We are taking baby steps; change does not happen overnight, but we are definitely headed there for international audiences accepting Indian films."

The defining factor for a film's acceptability, she said, was to be true to the content. "Audiences are extremely astute-- they are

convinced that the language was a big issue. "Hindi films will always be considered as world cinema or as foreign language cin-

only Indian audiences and not the mainstream audiences, whereas for Indian classical concerts, you see more than 50% audience will

aware, and accepting and they are quick to reject anything that they see as a compromise." Mahadevan, however was

ema and not mainstream," he said citing the example of Bollywood concerts abroad, he said, " These concerts draw predominantly

be of non-Indians. So, Indian film music and films have a long way to go to be accepted by international audiences."

Adding to that, Mehra said the three most important factors for globalization of Indian movies will be based on economic, technology and socio-cultural factors. "The writers, directors, producers will have to get their act together. You have to make films more and more on Indian subjects; they have to get more and more colloquial. The world wants to see India; they don't want to see an American idea made in India. So it's about getting across the sociocultural aspect." Mehra pointed out that Hollywood studios, who keen to enter the Indian film market are as yet unsure of what they would be getting into. "I have had numerous interactions with the studios, they are all sitting on the fence --. they are all ready to give us the channels of distribution and exhibition and are salivating with dollar signs in their eyes because they see the huge potential. But, can our films break the glass ceiling of being limited to only desis watching them is the question," he said.


Perched on the lofty peaks of the Western Ghats, the Dudh Sagar waterfalls offer unrivalled beauty and amazing scenery full of exquisite charms when in full flux after the monsoon showers. Like an idyllic Eden cradled luxuriously in the mountains, the Dudh Sagar waterfalls, which from a distance appear like milky streams, gradually climax into a gushing cascade as they come into full view of the onlookers

T

he Dudh Sagar waterfall is situated in the Indian state of Goa around 60 km off Panaji, the capital of the state. It is connected to the other places in the state like Panaji and Margao with a road and railway network. Legend has it that in the days gone by, there lived a powerful and rich king on the top of a mountain in the Western Ghats along the Goan frontier. He lived in a lavish palace made of pure ivory and embedded by precious stones. And around this palace, there were luxuriant gardens abounding in a vast variety of flowers. At one end of the forest, which fringed the king's palace, there was a picturesque lake. In the panoramic setting of this lake, the king's daughter, accompanied by her ladies-in-waiting, went to bathe and to sip sugared milk which one of her maids served to her in a pure gold jug. One day, while she was sipping at the milk, a prince, who was passing by, stopped on hearing the sound of people nearby. Cont’d on page 32

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Dudh Sagar: Unrivalled beauty, amazing scenery in Goa Cont’d from page 31

Immediately, the princess poured the milk in the pond to shield her body from the glances of the stranger. It is believed that the sugared milk that was poured by the virtuous and modest princess still comes flowing down in torrents along that side of the mountain. Tourist attractions: Perched on the lofty peaks of the Western Ghats, the Dudh Sagar wa-

terfalls offer unrivalled beauty and amazing scenery full of exquisite charms when in full flux after the monsoon showers. Like an idyllic Eden cradled luxuriously in the mountains, the Dudh Sagar waterfalls, which from a distance appear like milky streams, gradually climax into a gushing cascade as they come into full view of the onlookers. Undoubtedly there are other wonderful waterfalls in the rest of this wide world, but the Dudh

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Sagar waterfalls with their strange, mystical fascination are a dream come true. The uneclipsed vision, furnished by this native waterfall as it plunges over crag-covered precipes and stupendous steeps, belies description. How to reach: Dudh Sagar is situated around 60 km off Panaji. Buses and taxis are available from Panaji to reach Dudh Sagar.

Westin to open three new hotels in India MUMBAI: Westin Hotels & Resorts plans to open three new Hotels in the country in the next twoyears, a senior company official said. "We plan to open our second hotel property--Westin New Delhi-at Gurgaon in July this year and two more hotels in Jaipur and Kolkata in 2012," Westin Hotels' Global Vice- President Nancy London told PTI here.

Westin already has four hotels in India, which includes Westin Mumbai Garden City, Westin Pune, Westin Hyderabad Mindspace and Westin Sohna-Gurgaon Westin already has four hotels in India, which includes Westin Mumbai Garden City, Westin Pune, Westin Hyderabad Mindspace and Westin Sohna-Gurgaon Resort & Spa. The Mumbai property has 269 rooms, while the upcoming Gurgaon property will have around 300 rooms. "Today, Westin brand is primarily in North America, with 70 per cent of our portfolio in Canada and the United States. -PTI


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Japan's new slogan to attract foreign tourists TOKYO: In order to multiply the number of tourists visiting the country, the Japanese government has decided to introduce a new logo and catchphrase, a top government official has said. "Japan Endless Discovery," the new slogan is to be introduced by the government to promote tourism in the country, with the aim of more than quadrupling the number of foreign tourists to 30 million

at some point in the future, the country's said Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Minister Seiji Maehara said here. The logo to be introduced is a red-and-white design evoking the sun and cherry blossoms. "We want to spread it as a tool that can be used on any occasion to let people know how good tourism in Japan is," the minister said. The catchphrase replaces

‘We want to spread it as a tool that can be used on any occasion to let people know how good tourism in Japan is,’ the minister said

Croatia moots greater cultural exchanges MUMBAI: Croatia says it is keen to tap India's tourism market and has mooted greater cultural exchanges between the two countries. Ambassador of Croatia Boris Velic said that tourism accounts for nearly 20 per cent of the GDP of his country which hopes to attract Indian tourists. Velic, who met Governor of Maharashtra K Sankaranarayanan at Raj Bhavan, informed him that there is an exceptional interest among Croatians to learn Hindi and Sanskrit. In order to promote mutual understanding among the people of the two countries, efforts are being made to translate the writings in Hindi in Croatian language and vice versa, he said. The Croatian Ambassador presented the Governor a copy of a

Ambassador of Croatia Boris Velic said that tourism accounts for nearly 20 per cent of the GDP of his country which hopes to attract Indian tourists. Velic, who met Governor of Maharashtra K Sankaranarayanan at Raj Bhavan, informed him that there is an exceptional interest among Croatians to learn Hindi and Sanskrit Hindi book - Croatian Sahitya, containing selected prose and poems

by eminent Croatian writers. The book has been published by the Embassy with cooperation from University of Zagreb and University of Delhi. The Ambassador said that the Indian Olympic Association and Croatia are going to sign an agreement for cooperation in sports shortly, a Raj Bhavan release said. The Governor said the relations between Croatia and India are traditionally strong since the days of the former Yugoslavia. The goodwill and friendship between Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Marshal Tito has continued even after Croatia's independence, the Governor said. He also expressed hope that there would be greater exchanges between the people of Croatia and India in the years to come. -PTI

"Yokoso! Japan" which some said lacked sufficient impact, as the Japanese word for welcome is not widely recognized by non-Japanese speakers. The number of foreign tourists to Japan was 6.79 million in 2009, down 18.7 per cent from a year earlier. The government is hoping to

attract 10 million visitors to Japan in 2010. The Japan Tourism Agency, meanwhile, announced it has appointed former grand tea master Sen Genshitsu as its first goodwill tourism ambassador for introducing Japanese traditions overseas to promote tourism in Japan. -PTI


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People-to-people contact can build bridges: Fatima Bhutto BANGALORE: People-to-people interaction could help build bridges between Pakistan and India, Fatima Bhutto, the granddaughter of former Pakistan president Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, said here. "It is when people of both countries travel and learn how both the nations are run and how people live, there could be better understanding between the two neighbors," Bhutto said while interacting with readers at a book reading session of her book 'Songs of Blood and Sword' that traces among other issues events surrounding her father Murtaza Bhutto's killing. Despite witnessing violence and assassinations of her family members, Bhutto said she was "optimistic" about Pakistan because she truly believed "governments may fail, but people will never fail. I think there is always room for hope." Narrating her encounters with her assassinated aunt Benazir Bhutto and events that followed her death, she said, "Dynasty had reached fever pitch after Benazir was killed." As one who clearly voted against dynastic rule, she said she was appalled when people suggested that she or her 17-yearold brother could consider "filling in". She said though she was politically active, her role had been restricted to getting women to come out and vote. She for now did not see herself joining politics in the near future.

Fatima Bhutto

On being asked by a reader what really ailed countries like Pakistan, Bhutto said, "Lack of accountability." She said in India news of a judge involved in land grabbing raise questions. "But we see such things as normal.

We are becoming immune to corruption," she said. Asked about her memories associated with India, she said, "There was a lot of Bollywood going around. A lot of Rekha and Amitabh Bachchan." On the divide in the Bhutto family, she said it existed much before Benazir's death. "It was a different trajectory that Benazir took to the road to power. It was different from her father's and others in the family." She said her father was "opposed to the line of compromise with the military", but Benazir took power on the heels of a lot of compromise. According to Fatima, Benazir "undid" some of the progressive and socialist legacy of her father. She said Benazir kept the hijab, which was unlike the tradition followed in her family. "She saw it as a way to keep religious vote," she remarked. Many women in Pakistan saw it as a big step backward, she said. To a question on the role of her aunt's family in the assassination of her father, she said she suspected a hand. She said following her father's killing, the family was not allowed to move out and when she called up the PM's house they "knew more than we did". However, her idea of justice was not about revenge but rather to ensure that those who perpetuated it might never be able to do it to another family. -PTI

After world tour, Nepal cyclist aims Mt Everest KATHMANDU: Adventurer Pushkar Shah, who had traveled 150 countries in the last one decade on bi-cycle, is now attempting to climb the world's highest peak Mt Everest. Shah is carrying flags of 150 countries that he traveled, including India, to the peak under the banner of "Everest Peace Expedition 2010". President Dr Ram Baran Yadav handed over the Nepal's national flag to Shah at a function here.

The expedition is aimed at spreading the message of peace and also to promote tourism as the country is observing 'Nepal Tourism Year 2011’ Addressing the program, the president said the expedition would spread the message of peace, friendship and unity among the Nepalese people. He also wished for the success of Shah's expedition. The expedition is aimed at spreading the message of peace and also to promote tourism as the country is observing 'Nepal Tourism Year 2011' with an objective of bringing in one million tourists. Tourism Minister Sharad Singh Bhandari said Shah's expedition would prove Nepal as a popular and safe tourist destination in the world. -PTI

Dolphins don't like swimming with humans LONDON: Dolphins living off the coast of Zanzibar are experiencing 'incredible' stress at the hands of tourists eager to go swimming with the animal, British researchers have found. The experts, after studying the behavior of bottlenose species for over a period of 40 days, found that when tourist boats were present, the amount of time dolphins spent resting dropped from 38 per cent to just 10 per cent. The time they devoted to foraging and socializing also halved, the Daily Mail reported. However, the time the aquatic animal spent on swimming more than doubled from 33 per cent to 77 per cent and dominated dolphin behavior during interactions with tourist boats. "Overall, the dolphins are using more energy than they are taking in because they aren't resting or feeding as much but are swimming more as they try to avoid the tourist boats," said lead researcher Per Berggren from the University of Newcastle. Berggren said: "The current situation in Zanzibar is unsustainable. Our study found that whenever the tourist boats were present the dolphins were very unsettled and spent less time feeding, socializing or resting. "Many visitors pay drivers extra in tips

to steer their boats in close, herding the dolphins so they can dive right in amongst them. This has a negative impact, not only on individual animals, but on the population as a whole and (in) long term it could be devastating. As per the findings published in the journal Endangered Species Research: "The local community is dependent on tourism and therefore the dolphins - but unless the activity is regulated, the animals will leave.

Berggren said: ‘The current situation in Zanzibar is unsustainable. Our study found that whenever the tourist boats were present the dolphins were very unsettled and spent less time feeding, socializing or resting’ The problem is that any change needs to be tourist-driven. Our message is, keep your distance and put the dolphins first, said Berggren. Around 150 bottlenose dolphins live along the south coast of Zanzibar, where dolphinwatching was introduced in 1992. -PTI


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Horoscope

April 16, 2010

India Post

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ARIES Mar 21-Apr 20 You will be full of many great ideas and show leadership quality and take very intelligent decisions. Strong Venus in second will wipe out your worries about finances. Money should just pour in from all directions. You will be taking a short trip to a warmer area. Business will pick up all of a sudden. You may start business in partnership.

LEO Jul 23-Aug 22 Positive changes and improvements will bring confidence back. Right advice and guidance will be available as needed. You will enjoy company of a new associate. People in business will see increased traffic and many new customers. Pay attention to any legal issue as it will be in your favor to face the problem head on right now.

SAGITTARIUS

April 16 to April 22

Nov 23-Dec 22 Luck is on your side. You will not have to work too hard to achieve goals. Developments you had been waiting for in career will final take place causing lots of excitement in life. Some suspense in ongoing relationship will be over and the commitment is just around the corner. You will see bank balance growing slowly.

India-Oz sign deal to expand education ties MELBOURNE: India and Australia have inked a major education deal to expand exchanges in the sector as both sides sought to take their "relationship forward" after a series of vicious attacks on Indian students, including one that turned fatal for a 21-year-old youth. The deal was signed as Minister for Human Resource Development Kapil Sibal met Australian Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard here, their second meeting in six months. Under the deal, the two sides agreed to set up a joint education council and to extend exchanges in the field of education. "The fact that I am here suggests we want to take the relationship forward, it does not mean that we are not concerned about what's happening here," Sibal told reporters. An India-Australia Education Council comprising experts from both sides will be formed and a joint ministerial statement has been signed to expand the educa-

tion exchange program. Over 100 cases of attacks on Indians were reported last year in Australia, including the murder of 21-year-old Nitin Garg, straining ties between the two countries. They also led to the Indian government issuing a travel advisory asking students to exercise caution while in Australia, and were followed by a flurry of high-profile visits by Australian dignitaries, including Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, to India. On the issue of the travel advisory, Sibal said: "The advisory obviously was given at a point in time when the incidents were at a height... students are still coming to Australia, we have not prevented them". Sibal and Gillard were meeting after six months and the former said he believed the attacks on Indians had declined. "I think the Australian government is taking strong steps in that direction to prevent those things happening," he said. -PTI

TAURUS Apr 21-May 20 Strong Venus in first will fill you up with lots of energy. You will be happy and have many reasons to celebrate. Positive attitude will attract many interesting people towards you. Use caution when signing any important papers this week. You will hear some good news from distant place. There will be more stability in career.

VIRGO Aug 23-Sept 22 Venus in ninth will help you attain your goals quickly. You will accomplish a lot and start to feel confident again. Money wise things should start rolling again. New contract will bring much awaited and needed relief. You may have a big check coming from insurance company too. You will also hear encouraging news from distant places.

CAPRICORN Dec 23-Jan 19 Money wise its going to be another favorable week. You may ignore the opportunity to make money little unorthodox way and settle for less by adopting the right way. Some of you may be traveling to east for business purpose. Spouse will need extra care and rest. You will become more ambitious and will be full of great ideas.

GEMINI May 21-Jun 20 There will be improvement in relationship and a close relative will also feel sorry and try to make peace with you. Life will become slightly exciting as lots of uncertainty will disappear in career. You will also receive blessings and valuable guidance from a matured person. Money wise things will stay little tight this week also.

LIBRA Sept 23-Oct 22 You will be spending time and learning few ropes from well known and successful people. Money wise you will continue to do well. You will make few risky moves and they will pay off. Knowledge acquired right now will come handy in immediate future. Secure your position first before you go out of your way to help someone.

AQUARIUS Jan 20-Feb 18 You will receive several good news causing lots of excitement in life. Victory in ongoing legal matters also possible. You will opt to leave uncertain and only go for the sure thing. Money wise things should start brightening up from now and on. People in business will be pleased with their sales. You will attend an interesting party.

CANCER Jun 21-Jul 22 You have some easy money coming your way. If you play your cards right and take timely action, you can move to a different level in career. You may also receive some kind of refund from a government agency. Light exercises will bring health issues under check very quickly and change of diet will help too. You will be working on a trip.

SCORPIO Oct 23-Nov 22 And this could be the beginning of a wonderful relationship. Strong Venus in seventh will bring lots of excitement in personal life. Projects you have been working on are about to reap rich rewards in terms of money as well as confidence. You may make some money through stocks also. Planets will help those seeking new jobs.

PISCES Feb 19-Mar 20 You will receive a big check in mail. Trip will be finalized after minor changes. You may dispose off some stocks and pocket the profit. People looking for a career change will continue to make progress in their efforts and will be called for next interview. You will be doing some work in or around the home and may buy some decorative items.


Tech News Divestment in SAIL to fetch Rs 16,000 crore NEW DELHI: The government has approved disinvestment in steel PSU SAIL to mop up an estimated Rs 16,000 crore by selling its equity and issuing fresh shares to the public. Steel major SAIL will with be first state-owned company to hit the capital market this fiscal as part of the ambitious disinvestment program to raise the targeted Rs 40,000 crore. As part of the proposal, which was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) will raise an additional 10 per cent of the paid-up equity and the government on its part will disinvest 10 per cent of its holding. "This will be done in two tranches. In each tranche, there will a five per cent FPO (follow on public offer) and five per cent sale of the government equity," Home Minister P Chidambaram told reporters after the CCEA meeting. At current prices, it is expected that SAIL will get an additional capital of Rs 8,000 crore while the government will also get Rs 8,000 crore, he added. Share price of SAIL closed at Rs 236.74, a sharp losss of over 7 per cent. "The net result will be, after both tranches are completed, the Government of India's shareholding will be approximately 69 per cent. Cont’d on page 39

Hyatt to set up 120 properties across India CHICAGO: Hospitality company Hyatt Hotels says it will set up more than 120 properties in India over the next decade as it undertakes extensive expansion in one of the "greatest hotel markets". Hyatt, which has been present in India for the past three decades, will expand into 15 new markets including Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune over the next five years, it said in a statement. In addition, three more properties will come up in Pune, Chennai and Goa this year, while the company has also outlined growth plans in cities like Delhi, Goa, Kolkata and Mumbai, it added. "We believe India represents one of the greatest hotel markets over the next decade- one that will play a key role in driving Hyatt's long-term growth," Hyatt Hotels Corporation President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Hoplamazian said in the statement. -PTI

TechBiz 38 India Post

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April 16, 2010

Govt bans FDI in cigarette manufacturing NEW DELHI: Taking its anti-smoking drive forward, the government has banned foreign direct investment (FDI) in cigarette manufacturing in the country. Home Minister P Chidambaram said that FDI will be prohibited in cigarette manufacturing, whether it is for domestic consumption or for exports. "The approval is expected to enhance public accountability by way of the government's commitment towards proliferation of anti-smoking regime in the country," he told reporters after the CCEA meeting. The decision to ban FDI is the latest in the government's long-standing drive against smoking. -PTI

India, US launch Economic Cooperation Partnership

Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee (R) listens to US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner speak during a joint press conference in New Delhi on April 6. Geithner said both India and the US face the challenge of making sure that gains from economic growth in both the countries are broadly shared India Post News Service

NEW DELHI: Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and US Secretary of the Treasury Timothy F. Geithner launched the India-US Financial and Economic Partnership to strengthen bilateral engagement and understanding on macroeconomic, financial sector and infrastructure-related issues, in New Delhi on April 6. The Partnership’s launch affirmed the commitment of India and US to cooperate on economic and financial issues - both critical in addressing shared challenges and achieving shared goals in this century. “India and the United States are bound by common values of “democracy, market economies and pluralism”, I am confident that this Partnership launch will unleash the energy and enterprise of people. It will make the relationship between two nations more vibrant and also help address global challenges,” stated Mukherjee. “This Partnership creates a framework that is commensurate with the growing importance of our economic relationship and the significant business and cultural ties that already exist between our two nations. Deepening our ties with India is critical to the broader global effort to develop a framework for a strong, sustainable and balanced growth and will facilitate more trade, investment and job

creation in our two countries,” said Secretary Geithner. The newly-launched dialogue will encompass discussions of economic developments in both countries as well as bilateral policy actions in the broader context of

‘This Partnership creates a framework that is commensurate with the growing importance of our economic relationship and the significant business and cultural ties that already exist between our two nations. Deepening our ties with India is critical to the broader global effort to develop a framework for a strong, sustainable and balanced growth,’ said Secretary Geithner the G-20 commitment to strong, sustainable and balanced growth. The ministers agreed that they, and their senior officials, will continue to consult closely on topics of mutual interest and concern. Given the significant infrastructure needs in the years ahead, the Partnership will also serve as a

forum to share experiences and engage in a robust and ongoing dialogue on infrastructure financing, including the potential of private-public partnerships to unlock private sector financing for critical investment. The Partnership will meet next at the Cabinet level in the United States, led by Secretary Geithner and Minister Mukherjee. Working group meetings, at the level of senior officials and experts, will be held during the year to advance discussions on specific economic policy areas. At the inaugural Partnership session, working group discussions focused on macroeconomic policies needed to sustain growth in incomes and jobs; measures to reform financial regulation, deepen capital markets as a means to improve growth and increasing financing for infrastructure investment critical to future productivity and economic growth.

ing economic cooperation between the two countries and growth opportunities existing here," ICICI Bank managing director and chief executive Chanda Kochhar told reporters after a power lunch with Geithner in the financial capital. "We also discussed how financial collaboration between the two countries can be extended," Kochhar said, adding at the meeting Geithner called for closer bilateral ties to create a balanced global economic growth. Kochhar said the Indian participants shared their views on infrastructure development and microfinance with him. Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata and Mahindra & Mahindra vicechairman and managing director Anand Mahindra co-hosted the power lunch for the CEOs with the visiting the US treasury secretary. Among others who attended the meeting included Reliance Industries chairman and managing

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner (center) with Tata Group Chairman Ratan Tata (left) and Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Mahindra & Mahindra Anand Mahindra at a meeting in Mumbai.

Lunch in Mumbai MUMBAI: The visiting US Treasury Secretary Timothy F Geithner said here Washington will closely work with New Delhi to promote a more balanced and greater economic cooperation between the two nations. "The whole focus (of the meeting) was to find ways of enhanc-

director Mukesh Ambani, SBI chairman OP Bhatt, TCS vicechairman S Ramadorai, Kotak Mahindra Bank managing director Uday Kotak, and Piramal Healthcare's Swati Piramal. Earlier in the day, Geithner met several bankers to discuss microfinance and micro-banking scenario in the country at the University of Mumbai. -PTI


TechBiz Post

April 16, 2010

India Post

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Indian American wins prestigious environmental award India Post News Service

Prasun Chatterjee

Army, US Steel Corp., Pittsburgh Coke and Chemical Co., the Nuclear Utilities Service Corp. of Pittsburgh and the National Sanitation Foundation of Ann Arbor, Mich. Chatterjee, a Ph.D. candidate in environmental engineering in the department of civil and environmental engineering, will deliver the invited Gonter lecture, "Rapid Detection of Toxic Metals in Water through pH Changes Using a Novel Hybrid Material."

At Lehigh, Chatterjee's faculty adviser is Arup K. SenGupta, the P.C. Rossin Professor of civil and environmental engineering and also of chemical engineering. SenGupta has himself won numerous for applying the principles of ion exchange and physical chemistry to environmental challenges. Chatterjee's doctoral research has led to the development and synthesis of an inexpensive inorganic material that can detect toxic

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NEW YORK: Prasun Chatterjee, whose research at Lehigh University has contributed to a new way of detecting toxic lead and copper in water, has been chosen to receive one of the highest research honors bestowed on graduate students in the field of environmental chemistry. Chatterjee will receive the 2010 C. Ellen Gonter Environmental Chemistry Award from the American Chemical Society's (ACS) Environmental Chemistry Division when ACS holds its fall national meeting in Boston this August. Chartered by the US Congress, ACS has more than 160,000 members. It is the world's largest scientific society and the premier international organization for chemists, chemical engineers and related professions. The Gonter award is given to a graduate student for an outstanding research paper. Gonter (19222006) was a research chemist and consultant who worked for the US

lead or copper in water at the partsper-billion level by using a pH meter or pH paper. He and SenGupta coauthored a paper on the material for the AIChE (American Institute for Chemical Engineers) Journal. Chatterjee is also co-inventor of a technology called "Rapid Sensing of Toxic Metals through Use of Hybrid Inorganic Materials," for which a US patent has been applied. Students in Lehigh's freshman engineering projects classes use hybrid inorganic materials to make easy-to-use gadgets that detect toxins in drinking water. Chatterjee received his B.S. and M.S. in chemical engineering from Jadavpur University in India and is hoping to complete his Ph.D. this year.

Divestment in SAIL to fetch Rs 16,000 crore Cont’d from page 38

Public shareholding will be 31 per cent," Chidambaram said. As of now, public shareholding in SAIL is 14.2 per cent. The proceeds from fresh issues of equity by SAIL will help in filling the resource gap for funding the steel Navratna's capital expenditure emerging from increased pressure on steel prices and diminished margins. SAIL is currently undertaking a Rs 70,000 crore expansion program to raise its installed production capacity from 13.82 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) to 23.46 MTPA. The disinvestment of government equity in SAIL is in line with the policy sharing ownership of CPSEs with the public, while also raising the funds to finance its different social programs. -PTI


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

40

India Post

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10 Dont Know What To Do - Housefull

April 16, 2010

T

he Bengali bombshell Bipasha Basu has never looked or felt in better physical shape than she is now. For her it's all about loving her body. Her nine-year romance with Bollywood and equally-long relationship with John Abraham is in full bloom. Post her fitness videos, her film career has picked up steam. On Easter Sunday, she had a double lunch date at beau John's home and in her best friend Deanne Panday's house. Her personalized clothes line will be launched post the IPL grand finale. With such a flurry of activities, one would naturally assume that Bipasha's mood is upbeat. Yet there is something niggling at her and being the forthright girl that she is, Bipasha comes straight to the point: "Recent media reports are constantly saying just one thing. They're either talking about my divagiri or me being unprofessional. Nothing could be further from the truth than this.'' Visibly upset with the Bipasha smear campaign, the actress says, "Listen I didn't get to this position by being unprofessional. Nor do I throw tantrums as it is being made to seem. If I have had issues at a couple of public functions, then it must mean that someone else didn't keep their end of the bargain. Unfortunately, one-sided stories make it to the media and since I don't have a strong public relations machinery to put things into the right perspective, my reputation is being tarnished.

L

ara Dutta is among the few Bollywood celebrities whose personal life is more interesting than her professional life. How ever, the actress, who was recently in news for her link-up with Indian tennis ace Mahesh Bhupathi does not like to divulge into her personal life. Of late, Lara Dutta has had many broken affairs. Incidentally, in 'Housefull', the on-screen character of Lara Dutta is married to Akshay Kumar and Riteish Deshmukh. While talking to a news daily on her upcoming release, when asked for her views on polyandry, the svelte actress quipped, "No, its illegal. Forget about finding two husbands, I'd be glad if I found one in this lifetime. Getting married once is hard enough, then why would any woman want to do it twice?" Lara will soon be coming out with her fitness video. An excited Lara said, "I've always had a healthy image. I don't diet, but believe in a balanced lifestyle for the mind, body and soul. Mine will be a lifestyle-wellness product, and not limited to a DVD." With this new project, Lara will soon turn into an entrepreneur. "You can't face the camera all your life. I will also produce or direct if I'm equipped to at some point. I'm also writing a script," added the Bong beauty.

Lara

on marriage

K a t in a saree!

A

politico may be the most unlikely role one must have imagined Kat to play, but playing it, she is. A glamorous diva in her previous films, to a politician in starched cotton sarees in the forthcoming Rajneeti, she doesn't see it as her first 'offbeat' role as people have been saying. Because as she says, "People may not understand it, but for me, every film is judged on its entertainment value." Was it difficult hanging on to those cotton sarees? "Oh I loved them," Katrina chirps, "Can you imagine that, when you're wearing a tight skirt, you have to be very careful about posture and all that, but in a saree, I was playing cricket everyday between the shots! It was the most comfortable outfit ever." Katrina's role in Rajneeti will naturally bring comparisons with Sonia Gandhi. But she says, "That's only because, obviously, my mother's English and Soniaji too, is from a foreign heritage, so people make that initial comparison. They won't accept that I could possibly be playing just a girl from modern India in politics, without there being a comparison. But as much as I find her one of the most inspirational women of our times, this film is not at all inspired by her life."


Bollywood

April 16, 2010

India Post

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H

isss will not only see our Desi bombshell Mallika Sherawat going international but will also mark the debut of very talented Divya Dutta in Hollywood. While Mallika Sherawat plays the female lead as the snakewoman, Divya will be seen as Irrfan Khan's love interest. "It is a challenging role I have received. I am really looking forward to it. I play Irrfan's love interest, who is passionate as well as sensitive. The role is not cliched and has subtle things to portray. It is one of my best roles," said Divya. Her Hollywood set out does not end here as Divya has two more Hollywood projects in hand. One of them is Emmy winning director Fred Holmes' "Heart Land" also starring Amelia Jackson Gray, Reg Grant and Stephan Mario Singh. "'Heart Land' is a light hearted film in which I am playing a Punjabi girl. It deals with a sensitive relationship my character shares with a much older man from the US," Divya reveals about her role in the film. "People from the West are extremely passionate and disciplined about work. Everyone, from the junior level to the director, is so involved that we have no choice but to give our best," she added.

Ladies' man

A

bhishek Bachchan seems to be loosen ing up. Five thousand odd tweets later, and many weeks of following him -- he seems to be talking of many relationships. Sample this one talking about wife Aishwarya Rai: "Morning all. Off to work. The Mrs. has come in today just for the day. So you can say that the day has gotten off to a beautiful start." Or more of this: "Back home and sitting with my 2 ladies. Getting double spoilt! Should ask dad to go out of town more often." His sense of humor, however stays intact. Read this: Tweet 1: Have you'll ever noticed how house keeping time their entry into your room. They always show up when you're about to hit the shower!! WHY?? Tweet 2: The best thing about India. No matter where you go, you'll always find punjabi chinese dhaba food! Even in goa. Tweet 3: i can't direct, i can't fly, i can't bat, but sometimes i can act!!!! ... just sometimes.

A

part from singing and acting, Neil Nitin Mukesh has an other passion. The actor says he's a travel freak and would love to explore India. 'I love to travel. Although our work takes us to many places but the real fun comes only when you are not working and traveling just with family and friends,' Neil said. 'There could be no better place than India. I would love to explore India. There are so many things to see here,' he added. Meanwhile, the actor is busy shooting three films -- Pradeep Sarkar's 'Lafenge Parindey' that also stars Deepika Padukone, Vishal Bharadwaj's 'Saat Khoon Maaf' with Priyanka Chopra and a film with Abbas-Mustan.

41


„ Health

Line

Breast-feeding would save lives, money

CHICAGO: A startling analysis says low U.S. breast-feeding rates are linked with hundreds of infant deaths and billions of dollars in medical costs each year. It says the lives of nearly 900 babies and $13 billion could be saved annually - if 90 percent of U.S. women breast-fed their babies for the first six months of life. The report appears in the online version of the journal Pediatrics and it's only an estimate. But several experts say the analysis seems sound. The findings are based on evidence suggesting breast-feeding may help prevent many costly and sometimes deadly illnesses. These include digestive infections, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and even childhood leukemia. It's also been shown to protect against ear infections, diabetes and asthma. -AP

„ NH average in swine flu vaccination rate CONCORD, N.H.: New Hampshire's public health director says he is pleased with the state's swine flu vaccination rate but there is room for improvement. A report released by the Centers for Disease Control said New Hampshire had vaccinated 28 percent of its residents as of the end of January, a bit higher than the national average of 24 percent. New Hampshire was well above the national average in vaccinating children, with a rate of 46 percent compared to 37 percent for the country as a whole. Dr. Jose Montero says the experience taught officials a great deal about conducting a largescale vaccination campaign. -AP

„ Daily exercise fights 'fatso' gene in teens CHICAGO: A new European study suggests that one hour of moderate to vigorous exercise daily can help teens beat the effects of a common obesity-related gene. In the study, teenagers had their blood tested for a variant of what scientists call the ``fatso'' gene. The teens wore monitoring devices for a week to measure their activity. Exercising an hour or more a day made a big difference for the teens who were genetically predisposed to obesity. Their waist measurements, body mass index scores and body fat were the same, on average, as the teenagers with regular genes. -AP

Health Science 42

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April 16, 2010

3 from Miss. sue over health care law HATTIESBURG, Miss.: Three Mississippi residents have filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the Obama Administration's new health care law. -AP

Health care overhaul will gain popularity, claims Sen. Baucus HELENA, Mont.: US Sen. Max Baucus says he is confident that the health care overhaul he played a big part in drafting will gain in popularity as its provisions come into effect, and as people begin to understand its complicated details. The health care bill is perhaps the most important piece of legislation that Baucus has played a key role in during four decades in office - and it is rife with political implications for him and his party. Baucus believes that even portions that political opponents and those angry with the health care plan highlight as examples off bad policy - like the individual mandate to buy health insurance - will be liked by most in the end. Many such provisions kick in within four years. ``I think by 2014, more and more people are going to see the benefit,'' Baucus said in an interview late last week with The Associated Press. ``My goal is to do my best to help people understand this thing.'' That alone will be a huge challenge, for a bill that affects so many in very different ways.

Take the individual mandate to buy private health insurance starting in 2014. It affects the 159,000 uninsured Montanans differently - and figuring out exactly how is not easy. A small portion will qualify for modestly increased Medicaid rolls, while most of the rest will get a stipend from the federal government to buy private health insurance. Take an uninsured family of four making $44,000 - or roughly twice

Kaiser Foundation. Then comes the insurance exchange, which will be coordinated by each state, and will offer four types of plans ranging from bronze to silver for that family to buy from private insurance companies. The level of the tax credit is based on the silver plan - which is targeted to cover about 70 percent of costs. But other options would be available which would change the costs. The one example doesn't even

'I think by 2014, more and more people are going to see the benefit,'' Baucus said in an interview.' 'My goal is to do my best to help people understand this thing' the poverty level - for example. The health care bill says those folks will receive an advance tax credit from the federal government so that the cost of the private health insurance does not exceed 6.3 percent of their income - or about $225 per month - and offers more or less help to others based on income level, according to an analysis from the Henry J.

start to cover a myriad of other ways the bill could affect that family alone, such as by reductions to flex spending accounts or a tax on tanning services. Baucus said he understands it will be a challenge to explain the plan to everyone - but believes public opinion he feels is split down the middle will become much more favorable over time.

``There is a lot in here that is good that people will like,'' Baucus said. ``The popularity will gradually grow the more it is understood.'' Republicans clearly believe the issue is loser for Democrats - and a winner for the GOP. U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg has been solidly against the law from the start lampooning it as a way to ``shift the increasing costs of health care from the struggling patient to the struggling taxpayer.'' The Montana Republican party has castigated it at as a federal takeover and social engineering and plans to continue attacking it through the election cycle. ``I think Sen. Baucus is living in some world I am not fully familiar with if he thinks people like it,'' said Montanan Republican Party chairman Will Deschamps. ``Folks here in Montana hate this bill. I think Sen. Baucus has been in D.C. too long.'' Baucus has given his critics ammunition as well. Right after passage, he called the bill ``an income shift. It's a shift, it's a leveling to help lower-income and middle-income Americans.'' -AP

Unplanned urbanization challenges public health India Post News Service

NEW DELHI: On the eve of World Health Day, the World Health Organization has urged national governments to invest in pro-poor policies and strategies in order to reduce the urban equity gap. The UN health agency also launched the 1000 cities, 1000 lives campaign to celebrate urban health and urban health champions-persons who have made a difference in their cities, making them more healthy and more livable. In a press release, the WHO says, "For the first time in history, more than half of the world's population resides in urban areas. Rapid urbanization is more pronounced in the low- to middleincome countries of South-East Asia. About 34% of the total population of the WHO's SouthEast Asia Region is urban. Ac-

cording to UN Habitat, over 40% of the urban population of South Asia lives in slums. The urban poor suffer disproportionately from a wide range of diseases and health problems. "Urbanization is one of the major threats to health in the twenty-

spent on sanitation gives a return of US$ 9.10 in terms of prevention and treatment of illnesses. Improved transportation, infrastructure and greener technologies enhance urban quality of life, including fewer respiratory ailments and accidents and better health for all.

Lack of safe drinking water and sanitation, and pollution from nearby transportation, factories and industrial complexes can harm the health of urban workers and their families first century. Closing the urban equity gap and promoting healthy cities requires urgent action, including the efforts of both rich and poor urban dwellers. To reap the potential benefits from urbanization, we must act collectively", said Dr. Samlee Plianbangchang, WHO's Regional Director for South-East Asia. WHO estimates that every $1

Lack of safe drinking water and sanitation, and pollution from nearby transportation, factories and industrial complexes can harm the health of urban workers and their families. This is partly because of the degraded quality of basic environmental services such as clean air, water and soil. Poor urban dwellers often also lack access to health services, and the cost of

such services can itself be impoverishing. Unplanned urban growth has also exacerbated communicable diseases, including water-borne and food-borne diseases. Diseases like tuberculosis thrive in overcrowded conditions and are exacerbated in dusty environments. Other health threats include diarrhoeal diseases, viral hepatitis, typhoid fever, HIV/AIDS, and vector-borne infectious diseases, especially dengue fever and chikungunya. The dynamic growth of cities can be an economic engine to lift developing countries out of poverty-but unplanned growth can lead to detrimental health consequences. On World Health Day, WHO drew attention to the need for local and national governments to plan urbanization so as to not leave the urban poor and the vulnerable behind.


April 16, 2010

Health Science Post

India Post

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Tips on identifying early Source of oyster illness still a mystery signs of Autism India Post News Service

SACRAMENTO: Currently, one in 110 children in the United States has autism, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Autism is a developmental disability that occurs when the brain has trouble functioning properly. It affects a child's ability to speak, learn, and communicate with others. At this time, there is no cure for autism, but kids who are screened and diagnosed at a young age and visit a doctor regularly for treatment show significant improvement in learning and communication skills. In recognition of April being Autism Awareness Month, First 5 California says parents and caregivers should be aware of the following early signs of autism to help families identify a need for early intervention and treatment. Early warning signs Not all children develop at the same rate, but some may need further evaluation and special services to help them grow up healthy. Autism, in particular, can

be difficult to diagnose because it affects each child differently. Pay attention to certain signs in your child's behavior. See a health care provider for further screenings if you notice your child exhibits any of these indicators:

Not all children develop at the same rate, but some may need further evaluation and special services to help them grow up healthy. Autism, in particular, can be difficult to diagnose because it affects each child differently • Does not coo or smile by 6 months old • Has trouble sitting, standing up, or reaching for objects by 1 year old • Does not say simple words like "mama" or "dada" by 1 year old

• Does not turn his or her head to follow sounds or voices • Does not react to loud noises • Repeats certain behaviors, including some that are harmful like banging his or her head • Makes little or no eye contact and wants to be alone • Does not play games like peeka-boo or "pretend" (e.g., pretending to feed a doll) • Any loss of speech or social skills • Early intervention and treatment By getting help at an early age when the brain is still developing - from birth to age 3 - parents can help children reduce the effects of autism by the time they start kindergarten. Some of the most common treatment options include speech therapy, diet, and therapies focused on improving relationships. Parents can also order the free Kit for New Parents - a comprehensive parenting resource developed by First 5 California that offers practical information on a child's first five years.

BATON ROUGE, La.: Health officials are still trying to determine what's led to a stomach flu outbreak that forced the closure of three oyster harvest areas in the past two weeks. The areas in St. Bernard, Plaquemines and parts of Lafourche and Jefferson parishes have been closed to oyster fishing as a precaution. As of last week, 38 cases of Norovirus in Mississippi and the

New Orleans area were tied to oysters from the three separate zones in Louisiana waters. Jimmy Guidry of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals says his agency has confirmed that everyone who was sick had eaten oysters, but it's unclear whether the problem was due to contamination in the water or if someone handling oysters passed on the virus. -AP

Army flexes mental fitness classes at SC base FORT JACKSON, SC: Officials at South Carolina's Fort Jackson are celebrating the opening of a new Army school designed to help soldiers and their leaders stay mentally fit. The first of several hundred young officers and sergeants are slated to take the 10-day course this year. The program is called Master

Resilience Training and is designed to help soldiers think positively and deal with emotional, social and psychological stress. The Army is attempting to counter problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder and a record numbers of suicides that have come with repeated deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq. -AP


In Brief 30 Haitians who came to US without visas freed MIAMI: More than 30 Haitian earthquake survivors who were detained because they didn't have a visa when they arrived in the U.S. are being freed from an immigration detention center in Florida. The Haitians had been held at a facility in Pompano Beach by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement since January. Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center Cheryl Little said the survivors may be eligible for working permits. Her advocacy group represents 30 Haitians who were evacuated after the Jan. 12 earthquake by the US military. Some of the Haitians told the advocacy center's attorneys that American troops waved them aboard planes without asking for their papers. -AP

2 suspected illegal immigrant busts along I-10 TEMPE, Ariz.: Two separate traffic stops along Interstate 10 southeast of Phoenix led to the capture of several suspected illegal immigrants. Arizona Department of Public Safety spokesman Bart Graves said an officer stopped a vehicle on the westbound I-10 at Baseline Road around 5:30 a.m. The vehicle occupants fled on foot and Graves said 15 suspected illegal immigrants were detained at Arizona Mills Mall. At 6:30 a.m., DPS pulled over a pickup truck at I-10 and Chandler Boulevard. Several individuals were found hiding under plywood in the back of the truck. -AP

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India Post

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Haitians face illegal entry charges in Vermont BURLINGTON, Vt.: The US Border Patrol says it's arrested more than 100 people from Haiti for allegedly illegally entering Vermont from Canada since a massive earthquake devastated the Caribbean nation. -AP

DHS scraps nationality based profiling at airports India Post News Service

NEW YORK: South Asian community groups have welcomed the new measures announced by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) with regard to aviation security whereby travelers would no longer be screened based on their country of origin. These new measure supersedes the three-month old security policy aimed at heightened security procedures for travelers from 14 countries -- predominantly Muslim-majority countries -- to the United States. On April 2, DHS announced that new security protocols will be based on specific threat-based intelligence information, and will be applied to all passengers traveling to the United States. On January 3, 2010, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) implemented a policy that required all passengers traveling to the United States from 14 countries to undergo full-body patdowns and inspection of carry-on luggage before boarding a plane

in response to the attempted 2009 Christmas Day attack. These procedures only applied to individuals who either held a passport or traveled from or through the following countries: Afghanistan, Algeria, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

aviation security is a shared responsibility. I commend our many partners around the world who have taken steps to increase their own security measures through deployment of new technology, enhanced information sharing and stronger standards to keep air travel safe."

On April 2, DHS announced that new security protocols will be based on specific threat-based intelligence information, and will be applied to all passengers traveling to the United States Subsequently, numerous Arab, Muslim, Sikh, and South Asian organizations, expressed serious concerns about the impact of the policy, and engaged in extensive advocacy with DHS to call for its withdrawal. The new measures announced by Secretary Janet Napolitano focus on intelligence based threats along with multiple layers of security. Announcing the new measures, Sec. Napolitano stated, "The terrorist threat to global aviation is a shared challenge and ensuring

Welcoming the move as a step in the right direction, United Sikhs said Sikh passengers continue to report being subject to secondary screening at a very high rate. Kashmir Singh, United Sikhs Director said, "While we appreciate DHS' decision to rescind the policy that discriminated against nationals of 14 countries, we do hope that DHS and TSA will also work on solving the long ongoing issue of racial profiling by TSA and Border officials. We have filed many com-

plaints at the TSA and we look forward to working with TSA to solve all problems faced by the Sikh community during travel." South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) welcomed DHS announcement to rescind the misguided policy After its implementation, SAALT had expressed serious concerns about the policy's reliance upon nationality and country of origin as triggers for heightened security procedures, and its disproportionate impact on community members of Arab, Muslim and South Asian descent. "The new policy is a step in the right direction, and we call upon the Transportation Security Administration to apply it in a neutral and nondiscriminatory manner," said Deepa Iyer, Executive Director of SAALT. "Targeting travelers simply based on their national origin, as the previous directive did, resulted in profiling, civil rights violations, and the diversion of critical resources that our country needs to identify genuine threats to security."

ABIL meets USCIS, proposes immigration reform Farmington seminar focuses on human trafficking FARMINGTON, N.M.: An upcoming seminar in the Farmington area will take a closer look at human trafficking. The April 28 seminar will delve into the local impact that human trafficking has. Family Crisis Center community outreach coordinator Amber Valencia said not much is known about the selling of human cargo. Valencia said the most vulnerable populations, the homeless, undocumented immigrants and teen runaways, are most at risk for becoming victims. The crime often accompanies other crimes, making service providers a likely first responder. -AP

CYRUS D. MEHTA

O

n March 3, 2010, the Alliance of Business Immi gration Lawyers (ABIL), including Cyrus D. Mehta, met with Alejandro Mayorkas, Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and several members of his leadership team. ABIL said it believes that employment-based immigration reforms should encompass changes in both nonimmigrant and immigrant visa categories so that the U.S. becomes the most attractive global destination for highly skilled and essential workers. ABIL noted inconsistent application of regulations from office to office and recent sudden changes announced by USCIS, such as the delay in the I-9 ef-

fective date, which have resulted in companies struggling to meet moving targets and comply with the law. Mr. Mayorkas noted USCIS' successes but also acknowledged some mistakes. He

fore any new policy change. ABIL emphasized that H-1B employers should have the right to an attorney during site visits. Moreover, ABIL requested that USCIS reconsider its determina-

ABIL noted inconsistent application of regulations from office to office and recent sudden changes announced by USCIS, such as the delay in the I-9 effective date, which have resulted in companies struggling to meet moving targets said USCIS is reviewing policies and field guidance and will determine what should be reaffirmed, withdrawn, or revised in light of input from stakeholders and best practices. He said the agency is developing a system for receiving comments from stakeholders be-

tion that an individual does not continue to be in lawful status while a case is on appeal. Among other things, ABIL proposed legitimate avenues under the immigration laws for entrepreneurs to start U.S. businesses, large and small, and thereby ob-

tain work visas and permanent residence. ABIL also proposed administrative solutions of legalizing the status of the undocumented in the U.S. so that they may be employed lawfully and contribute to the growth of the economy and the welfare and well-being of the U.S. and its citizens. Mr. Mehta also proposed administrative solutions for providing ameliorative relief for those caught in the crushing employment and family quota backlogs, See Proposals for Agency Action to Ameliorate the Priority Dates Crisis, cyrusmehta.com/ news.aspx?Main_Idx=oc yrus200591724845&SubIdx=& Page=2&Year=All&Month, March 09, 2010. Cont’d on page 46


Immigration Post

April 16, 2010

Oregon ends ban on religious wear by teachers India Post News Service

NEW YORK: After almost a year of campaigning by Sikh advocacy organizations, the Governor of Oregon Ted Kulongoski signed a legislation ending an 87year old ban on religious dress for public school teachers. Aggressive campaigning by SALDEF, United Sikhs, and the Sikh Coalition brought about the new law which effectively ends the ban on teachers having religiously required dress in school. The campaign began in the Summer of 2009, when SALDEF initiated a campaign to overturn 87-year-old legislation originally supported by the Ku Klux Klan; legislation which had resulted over the years in Sikh, Muslim, and Jewish teachers being banned from teaching in schools while wearing religiously mandated dress. At the bill signing, Governor Kulongoski stated that he would make sure that the bill has "uniform application across the State of Oregon" and that it will be in-

terpreted correctly to address the discriminatory concerns. Legal teams of the Sikh organizations worked together and engaged in numerous strategic discussions with various representatives of the Oregon legislature, engaged the Sikh community, and

The campaign began in the Summer of 2009, when SALDEF initiated a campaign to overturn 87-yearold legislation originally supported by the Ku Klux Klan other faith leaders to support the historic effort, and prepared and gave testimony before the Oregon legislature on the issue. Professor Sukhsimranjit Singh of United Sikhs; Professor Steve Green; Sathanuman Singh Khalsa, Northwest Regional Director, SALDEF; Bahadur Singh, SALDEF's Northwest Regional

Director, SatHanuman Singh Khalsa, testified before the Oregon legislature stating, "As a Sikh American and a proud public servant, I support an immediate repeal of ORS 342.650. I am a living testament to the American promise of equal opportunity, but this law is a throwback to the separate but equal doctrine. “As a Sikh, my turban is as integral to my identity as the color of my skin. If I were a teacher, I could not, as required by this law, leave my turban at home to go to work." In January of this year, the Sikh organizations asked the community to write to Oregon legislators to sign House Bill 3686; and earlier this week, they asked that the community call the Governor's office. "Being active and involved in progressive change in America is a vital part of realizing the American dream. The foundation of Sikh philosophy is egalitarian and it's great that so many Sikh Americans engaged in passing this legislation," commented Jaspreet Singh, Staff Attorney for United Sikhs.

Law lets Thai woman stay in US after hubby's death ST. LOUIS: A Thai immigrant slated to be deported with her children after the death of her American husband was granted a green card under a new law meant to protect people in such situations. Attorneys for Khampee Kells, 40, of Wildwood in suburban St.

Louis, said that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services granted permanent resident status to Kells and her daughters, ages 14 and 20. ``I can't describe how happy I am,'' Kells said. ``What a big relief.'' Navy Sgt. Robert Kells and Khampee met when he was sta-

tioned at the US Embassy in Beijing. They married and moved to Missouri, where he worked as a Navy recruiter. Nine months after the marriage, on March 11, 2006, Bob Kells was riding his motorcycle when he collided with a car and was killed instantly. -AP

India Post

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46

Immigration Post

India Post

April 16, 2010

www.indiapost.com

ABIL meets USCIS, proposes immigration reform Cont’d from page 44

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The first 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of individuals who have earned a US master's degree or higher are exempt from the H-1B cap Petitions for new H-1B employment are exempt from the annual cap if the beneficiaries will work at institutions of higher education or related or affiliated nonprofit entities, nonprofit research organizations, or governmental research organizations. Petitions filed on behalf of beneficiaries who will work only in Guam or the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands are exempt from the H-1B cap until December 31, 2014. Employers may continue to file peti-

tions for these cap-exempt H-1B categories seeking work dates starting in FYs 2010 or 2011. Petitions filed on behalf of current H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap also do not count toward the H-1B cap. Accordingly, USCIS will continue to process petitions filed to: • extend the amount of time a current H-1B worker may remain in the US; • change the terms of employment for current H-1B workers; • allow current H-1B workers to change employers; or • allow current H-1B workers to work concurrently in a second H1B position. H-1B petitioners should follow all statutory and regulatory requirements as they prepare petitions to avoid delays in processing and possible requests for evidence. USCIS has developed detailed information, including a checklist, to assist in the completion and submission of a FY 2011 H-1B petition. Contact your Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers for help in filing H-1B petitions.

* Cyrus D Mehta, may be contacted at 212-425-0555 or info@cyrusmehta.com

Prosecution in NY hate crime slay trial nears end

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ABIL's membership includes 20 of the top US business immigration law firms, each led by a prominent member of the US immigration bar. ABIL member firms employ over 200 attorneys (400+ total staff) devoted to business immigration in 22 major US cities, plus Brussels, Cologne, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Lima, London, Mexico City, Montreal, Monterrey, Mumbai, Sao Paulo, Shanghai, Sydney, Tokyo, Toronto and Vancouver. USCIS accepting FY 2011 H1B petitions US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) started accepting H-1B petitions from April 1 subject to the fiscal year (FY) 2011 cap. Cases will be considered accepted on the date that USCIS takes possession of a properly filed petition with the correct fee, not the date the petition is postmarked. The fiscal year cap (numerical limitation on H-1B petitions) for FY 2011 is 65,000. The first 20,000 H1B petitions filed on behalf of individuals who have earned a US master's degree or higher are exempt from the H-1B cap. USCIS said it will monitor the number of petitions received and

will announce the date on which the agency receives the necessary number of petitions to meet the H1B cap. If needed, USCIS will randomly select the petitions required to reach the numerical limit from those received on the final receipt date. USCIS will reject cap-subject petitions that are not selected, as well as those received after the final receipt date.

RIVERHEAD, NY: The lead investigator in the hate crime stabbing of an Ecuadorean immigrant in the New York suburbs withstood a blistering cross-examination from a defense attorney, rejecting suggestions that errors may have been planted in a written statement the suspect gave to detectives. Jeffrey Conroy, 18, is one of seven teens implicated in the November 2008 killing of Marcelo Lucero. He is the only one of the seven facing murder, manslaugh-

ter as a hate crime and other charges because prosecutors say he was the one who stabbed the victim. Conroy has pleaded not guilty and has been held without bail since his arrest on the night Lucero died. Four of Conroy's friends have pleaded guilty to hate crime-related charges and one has testified that Conroy confided in him moments after the midnight stabbing near the Patchogue train station that he had inflicted the

fatal blow. Lucero, 37, was walking with a friend when they were confronted by the teenagers, who prosecutors say were strolling around town looking for targets. They say the attack was the culmination of an ongoing campaign of violence by the teens against Hispanics. Since the killing, the U.S. Justice Department has opened an investigation into hate crimes on eastern Long Island and the police response to such cases. -AP


„

Realty Tidbits

The world's smallest house is up for sale LONDON: The world's smallest house that barely is big enough to swing a cat round, is up for sale in Canada. The 'Little House' of Toronto, measuring seven feet by 47 feet, has three rooms and a normal sized bathtub. It also has a front drive to park two family sized cars, the Daily Mail reported. The living area and TV room of the 312-square foot house are just seven feet wide. The building that has enough room for two, has a compact kitchen and a wee back garden too. It also has a decent sized basement for storage space and its ceiling is 2.36 mts high.-PTI

„ Rentals give Ahmedabad edge over InfoCity

G

andhinagar's InfoCity does not seem to hold much appeal to entrepreneurs and students aspiring to venture into business, largely because of its 'high rents'. At the third edition of Barcamp hosted by the Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDI) - here, participants said they would prefer Ahmedabad to InfoCity. They were of the view that rents and infrastructure available for IT start-ups and small firms in Ahmedabad make it a better option. "Infocity is practically more than half empty now. It's out of the way, and the rent is high compared to normal spaces you can get in Ahmedabad. It's not working out," said Anuj Gosalia, a participant and student-entrepreneur.

„ Gujarat realtors eyeing Latin America

L

atin America is now on the ra dar of realtors from Gujarat. Come July, and about 100-odd builders and developers from across the state will fly to Brazil and Argentina for a 10-day tour to study the local real-estate markets existing in these countries. "Both Brazil and Argentina have economies which are identical to the one in India. This will provide us with an excellent opportunity to compare and comprehend the real estate activities happening in these Latin American countries," said Suresh Patel, president GIHED, a body of developers in Ahmedabad.

Real Estate 47 India Post

www.indiapost.com

April 16, 2010

Dubai rentals down by 5 pc DUBAI: Average residential rent prices in Dubai saw a decline of over five per cent in the first quarter of the year, a real estate firm has said. According to a research by local real estate firm Cluttons, the Dubai residential market has yet to reach its bottom in terms of pricing, despite declining roughly by 45 per cent in some areas since the peaks of 2008. Cluttons report said that property sales were down by an average 2.9 per cent, adding that the glut of new homes coming online in Q2 would see rent prices dropping still further, added that the appetite for off-plan development had showed no signs of return.-PTI

India yet to observe peak recovery in real estate I

ndia’s once booming real estate sector began slumping in late 2008, dragged down by the global financial meltdown, but property prices began inching up last year driven by low interest rates and a gradual recovery in the economy. Still, the prices are no where close to the peak seen in 2007. Analysts agree the sector is beginning to see some recovery but most of them believe the situation is not nearly as rosy as the price at which the Royal Bank of Scotland was able to sell its apart-

ment in central Mumbai’s Worlia area could lead some investors to believe. The ability to fetch handsome returns lies largely with a few plush areas, especially in southern and central Mumbai and some parts of Delhi, but most properties across India are being sold at modest premiums. “We still feel there is a lot of inventory build up which will keep prices from moving higher,” said Ambareesh Baliga, vice president of Karvy Stock Broking.

Real estate companies are also worried that margins may be squeezed further by the rising costs of acquiring new land around metropolitan areas. Still, the Bombay Stock Exchange’s realty index has climbed 5.8% in the past two weeks, outperforming a 3% rise in the benchmark Sensex over the same period, as investors bet on a speedy recovery. But despite a 6.6% jump in the stock price of India’s largest real estate developer DLF in

the last two weeks, Kim Eng Securities’ research head Jigar Shah backed his Sell rating on the firm’s shares because of continued weak demand for office and retail segments, which account for the bulk of its sales. “Though most of these stocks have fallen from earlier highs, even at these levels we don’t find them attractively priced,” said Karvy’s Mr. Baliga, who expects property prices to be under pressure at least for the next six months.

Five lakh affordable homes Delhi top investment planned in Mumbai by 2015 hub in India MUMBAI: Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry (MCHI) has said it has plans to develop five lakh affordable houses by 2015 in co-ordination with the state government. The total investment will be around Rs 15,000 crore and more than 500 builders will participate in the project. "We are closely working with the state government and its officials to come up with the modalities of the scheme," MCHI President Pravin Doshi told reporters here. The aim of the project is to provide affordable homes to middleand lower-income groups living in the metropolis and the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), Doshi said. The MMR, besides Mumbai, consists of some areas in

neighbouring Thane and Raigad districts. MCHI, a prominent body of real estate builders and developers, will be working with the Government to examine and identify measures to strengthen the housing industry's role in the State's socio-economic development, Doshi said. A convention will be held here on April 28 and MCHI will also sign an MoU on the same day with the government to create confidence among investors for this project, he said. "Mumbai has an immediate demand of around 1.4 million homes, of which 80 per cent is expected to emanate from the Rs 3-5-lakh income group. There is an unmet demand for basic affordable housing in Mumbai and the MMR region due to rise in land, labour and construction costs," Doshi said. -PTI

IT industry pushes prices in Karnataka

P

remium properties in the city have seen no price correction in the first quarter of this year. Their prices are, in fact, showing a slight upswing, demand being driven by the resurgence of the IT industry in recent months, said leading developers and officials of the Confederation of Real Estate Developers Associations of India (Credai) Karnataka. "The situation is quite heartening for the realty sector," said Credai chief executive officer D Srinivasan. "Almost the entire backlog of Credai members' 18,000 apartments last year has been cleared and promoters have quickened the pace to complete their proposed projects," he said. "We estimate that prices in all segments have gone up by 5% to 10% since early this year," the Credai chief executive officer said.

O

ver 34 per cent of the prop erty seekers across the country want to own a house in DelhiNCR. This has been revealed in a survey conducted by a website Makaan.com on 'Realty Trends 2010' in metros and tier II cities. As per the survey findings Delhi/NCR is the most preferred real estate investment destination in 2010, nationally. Mumbai comes as the second choice with 28 per cent buyers willing to buy a house in the city. Bangalore and Hyderabad come next in line with 11 per cent interested buyers each, nationally. The survey also reveals that the realty sector in 2010 is going to be driven by end user. Due to recession and fluctuating property prices, property seekers were shying away from making a prop-

erty purchase last year, but with improving economy and slightly stable property prices; seekers are ready to jump into the market this year. It's interesting to know that most of the buyers, who are interested to buy a house, this year, want it for self-consumption; this confirms the fact that speculators, which drove the real estate boom in 2004-07, are more or less out of the market. And even the ones who are willing to invest at this time are the long-term investors. The survey revealed that around 67 per cent of the national property seekers want to buy a house for selfconsumption. Only 23 per cent seekers are looking for property options from a long-term investment perspective. Short-term investors have only 10 per cent takers.


Datebook

48 India Post

April 16, 2010

www.indiapost.com

NEW YORK

NEW JERSEY

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

ONGOING

ONGOING

ONGOING Every Sunday

Weekly Tabla Classes

1st Wed of every month

• Weekly Satsang

ï Mondays & Thursdays: 6:30 pm at Orient Way in Rutherford, NJ

ï Raja Yoga Meditation Course

Venue: Aryan Samaj of New York Inc, 150-22 Hillside Ave, Jamaica, Queens New York, 11432. Contact: 718-526-2926 & 718-225-0755

Every Sunday

Tuesdays: 7pm at "Yoga Vayu", 46 Bayard St 4th Floor, New Brunswick, New Jersey. Wednesdays: 6:30 pm at 3 Stony Hill Court, Morris Plains, New Jersey

• Weekly Hindi Classes Venue: Hindi Paathshala, Hindu Center, 45-52 Kissena Blvd Flushing, NY-11355 Time: 5pm - 7pm Contact: 718-358-6726

Upcoming Fri April 16 • Indian Artist, Sahaj Patel, in New York Exhibition Venue: Agora Gallery, 530 West 25th St, Chelsea, New York Time: 11am to 6pm Contact: 212-226-4151

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

Sun May 2 • 9th Muslim Matrimonial Hosted by MillanUS.com Venue: Adria Hotel & Conference Center, 220-33 Northern Blvd., Bayside, New York Time: 3pm to 9pm Contact: 516-840-0396

ILLINOIS Upcoming

Upcoming Sun April 18 • Rahat Fateh Ali Live In Concert Venue: State Theatre, 15 Livingston Ave., New Brunswick, NJ Time: 5pm Contact: 718-639-9200

Wednes April 21 • The Blug Play (A comdey play in Hindi & english) Venue: TBD, Edison, New Jersey Time: 7pm Contact: 848-250-6997 Highlights: Featuring star film personalities of Bollywood like, Konkona Sen Sharma, Rajat Kapoor, Vinay Pathak and Ranbir Shorey.

Sat May 1 • Indian Property Expo 2010 Venue: Holiday Inn Edison, 3050 Woodbridge Ave, Edison, NJ Time: 10am 7pm Contact: 603-233-0081

WASHINGTON DC Upcoming Fri April 16 • Asha Bhosle Live In Concert Venue: DAR Constitution Hall, 1776 D St Northwest, Washington DC Time: 8pm Contact: 202-460-5626

Venue: visit www.bklosangeles.com Contact: 323-933-2808

Friday ï Nithya Yoga Venue: Vedic Temple 9720 Central Ave., Montclair CA Time: 10am to 11am (Weekday), 8:20am to 9:30am Contact: 909-625-1400

Every Sat (start from Sat Aug 8) ï 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.

Upcoming • 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: Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW, Washington Contact: (212) 252-2390

Sat May 1

Sat, April 24

• Kavi Sammela Hasya, Vyang & Geet

• Berkeley

Venue: Sri Mangal Mandir Auditorium, 17110 New Hampshire Ave, Silver Spring, Maryland Time: 6pm to 10:30pm Contact: 301-340-2983

Venue: Unity of Berkeley at The Ecumenical Center on Holy Hill, 2401 LeConte Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709 Time: 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Contact: 800-475-2369

Sat April 24

Fri May 7

Sun April 25

• The Festival Of Colors

• Sanjh Sanjeevani, live in concert

• Vast Ayurvedic Seminar

Venue: Knoch Knolls Park, 336 Knoch Knolls Road, Naperville, Illinois Time: 11am to 4pm Contact: 630-355-5468

Venue: Jewish Community Center, 6125 Montrose Road, Rockville, Maryland Time: 8pm Contact: (202) 247-7434

Venue: Sindhu Center, 14117 Clarkdale Avenue, Norwalk, CA 90650 Time: 5:30pm Contact: (213) 422 5725

• Raag Rang Venue: The Meadows Club, 2950 W. Golf Rd., Rolling Meadows, Illinois Time: 6pm to 9:30pm Contact: (815)404-3803

Fri April 23 • VANDNA with Anoushka Shankar Venue: The Pabst Theater, 144 E. Wells St., Milwaukee, Wisconsin Time: 8pm to 10pm Contact: 414-336-5982

Sat April 17 • DJ Rekha at Black Cat

ONGOING ï Sahaja Yoga Meditation Venue: For date, time & venue visit: www.bayyoga.org or www.sahajayoga.org Contact: 1-877-642-6074 Highlights: Sahaja Yoga is a simple method of meditation discovered.

First Saturday of the Month ï Mata Ka Jagrata Venue: East Bay Hindu Temple, 595 School Street, Pittsburg, Time: 7:30 pm Contact: Temple-925-252-0551

Mon-Sat ï Yoga Classes Venue: Fremont Hindu Temple, 3676 Delaware, Dr Fremont Time: 6:30 am to 7:30 am Contact: 510-659-0655

Upcoming

Every Thursday evening

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.

Sun April 18

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

Fri April 16 • Health Scams & Myths: An Evening with Brian Dunning Venue: Ohlone College Smith Center, 43600 Mission Boulevard in Fremont, CA Time: 7pm Contact: 510-659-6031

Fri April 16 • Raza Day Venue: Ohlone College Newark Center, 39399 Cherry Street in Newark, CA Time: 8:30am- 1:30pm Contact: 510.742.2346 Highlights: Workshops is Info about Ohlone College programs, careers and services, Testimonials from current and past students, Aztec dancers, Breakfast and lunch.

Sat April 17 • Ohlone from Healthy Living: Open House Venue: Ohlone College Newark Center, 39399 Cherry Street in Newark, CA Time: 10am to 1:30pm Contact: 510-742-2350

Sat April 17 • Diamond Jewelry Exhibition

Readers Write...

Venue: Hilton Garden Inn, 30 Ranch Drive, Milpitas, California Time: 11am to 6pm Contact: 408-507-0979-C

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Census worker knocking at the door

T

he US Census Bureau had sent the Census Questionnaire to all households during the third week of March and large majority of the people fulfilled their civic responsibility by answering the simple questions in the Census document and sent back by the deadline date, April 1. Participation in the Census count by all US households is mandatory. But there are still many residents who have not sent in the Census form. The Census Bureau has hired thousands of people who will be going from home to home to have complete and accurate count of the US population. Part of the federal funds which would have been sent to the states, coun-

ties and cities for community projects, would be spent on wages for the temporary Census takers; good for the economy as many thousands will have jobs, bad for the community projects which have been waiting for the federal funds. A word of caution for those who have not responded to the Census questionnaire. When a Census worker knocks at your door, make sure that he/she has a badge, a handheld device, a Census Bureau canvas bag and a confidentiality notice. Do not hesitate to see his/her identification and badge before answering any question. Be cooperative but do not give sensitive financial information. It is the scam artists who could be impersonating

Census workers to gain access to your Social Security, bank account or credit card numbers for identity theft. Also, a Census worker will not enter your home to conduct the census. He/she can get the requisite information at the door. If you have an email account, do not respond to an e-mail nor click on a link or open any attachments in an e-mail which is supposedly from the U.S. Census Bureau. If in doubt, call the Census Bureau at 1-866-226-2864, provide the Census worker's name and the Case ID number. Inder Singh, Chairman GOPIO Int'l Tarzana, CA

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

Sat April 24 • Youthsava 2010 Venue: India Community Center?, 525 Los Coches Street, Milpitas, California Time: 9am Contact: (408) 934-1130

Sun April 25 • Vastu Ayurvedic Seminar Venue: Sindhu Center, 14117 Clarkdale Avenue, Norwalk, CA Time: 5:50pm to 8pm Contact: (213) 422 5725

Sun May 2 • Speed Matrimonial Matchmaking Venue: Radisson Hotel, 1471 N 4th St, San Jose, California Time: 3pm Contact: 209-566-1478

Fri May 14 • Sri Karunamayi Lalita Sahasranama Puja Venue: Sunnyvale Hindu Temple, Community Center, 420450 Persian Drive, Sunnyvale, California Time: 6:30pm Contact: (408) 865-0709


Classifieds

April 16, 2010

India Post 49

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MATRIMONIALS

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This is to announce that I have changed my name from Jawid Mahamood Sani to Javed Sani. I am presently a resident of 1414 W. Carson St., #08, Torrance, CA 90501. All concerned may please note.

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April 16, 2010

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April 16, 2010

India Post 51

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Philosophy

52 India Post

April 16, 2010

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Page Sponsored by Sahanis NISARGADATTA MAHARAJ

T

he idea of enlightenment is of utmost importance. Just to know that there is such possibility changes one's entire outlook. It acts like a burning match in a heap of saw dust. A spark of truth can burn up a mountain of lies. The very hearing of it is a promise of enlightenment. The possibility becomes a certainty when the notion of enlightenment appears in the mind. Once a living being has heard and understood that deliverance is within his reach, he will never forget it, for it is the first message from within. It will take roots and grow and in due course take the blessed shape of the Guru. The gospel of self-realization, once heard, will never be forgotten. Like a seed left in the ground, it will wait for the right season, and sprout and grow into a mighty tree. Just puzzling over my words and trying to grasp their full meaning is a sadhana quite efficient for breaking down the wall. All your going and coming, seeking pleasure, loving and hating - all this shows that you struggle against limitations, self-imposed or accepted. In your ignorance, you make mistakes and cause pain to yourself and others, but the urge is there and shall not be denied. The same urge that seeks birth, happiness and death, shall seek understanding and liberation. It is like a spark of fire in a cargo of cot-

SWAMI RAMDAS

A

ll of us are striving for eternal happiness; but we do not follow the right course to achieve it. If we really aspire to be happy for ever, we must tune our life with the divine Reality, whose nature is eternal happiness. But we pursue wealth, position and prosperity in order to attain this happiness. And, from our own experience, we come to realize that, whatever may be our worldly achievements and possessions, we are still far away from happiness. That is because real happiness is not to be found outside. It is to be gained by controlling the mind from its outgoing tendencies and directing it within ourselves where the source of all happiness lies. That source is God. He is absolute happiness - happiness in which there is no touch of misery, pain or sorrow. In order to realize this truth, it is absolutely necessary that we should live with the consciousness that we are always guided and moved to think and

ton. You may not know about it, but sooner or later the ship will burst in flames. Liberation is a natural process and, in the long run, inevitable. But it is within your power to bring it into the now. Without it [self-realization], you will be consumed by desires and fears, repeating themselves meaninglessly in endless suffering. Most of the people do not know that there can be an end to pain. But once they have heard the good news, obviously going be-

given up, but because they have lost their meaning. To know that the known cannot be me nor mine, is liberation. Freedom from self-identification with a set of memories and habits, the state of wonder at the infinite reaches of the being, its inexhaustible creativity and total transcendence, the absolute fearlessness born from the realization of the illusoriness and transience of every mode of consciousness - flow from a deep and inexhaustible

being. You need courage to let go. [If you lack courage,] it is because you are not fully convinced. Complete conviction generates both desire and courage. And meditation is the art of achieving faith through understanding. In meditation you consider the teaching received, in all its aspects and repeatedly, until out of clarity confidence is born and, with confidence, action. Conviction and action are inseparable. There are no steps to self-real-

A spark of truth burns up mountain of lies Liberation is a natural process and, in the long run, inevitable. But it is within Nisargadatta Maharaj

your power to bring it into the now

yond all strife and struggle is the most urgent task that can be. You know that you can be free and now it is up to you. Either you remain forever hungry and thirsty, longing, searching, grabbing, holding, ever losing and sorrowing, or go out wholeheartedly in search of the state of timeless perfection to which nothing can be added, from which nothing taken away. In it all desires and fears are absent, not because they were

source. To know the source as source and appearance as appearance, and oneself as the source only is self-realization. There can be progress in the preparation (sadhana). Realization is sudden. The fruit ripens slowly, but falls suddenly and without return. The preparation is gradual, the change itself is sudden and complete. Gradual change does not take you to a new level of conscious

ization. There is nothing gradual about it. It happens suddenly and is irrevocably. You rotate into a new demension, seen from which the previous ones are mere abstractions. Just like on sunrise you see things as they are, so on self-realization you see everything as it is. The world of illusion is left behind. The 113th birth anniversary of Nisargadatta Maharaj will be observed on April 17.

act by the divine power that pervades the entire universe. In fact, we are always subject to that divine power and whatever we do is really inspired and prompted by Him. We are not separate from others. It is ignorance that makes us feel so. The truth is that we are ever one with the universal consciousness. Only when we know

that we are merely physical bodies and individual entities separate from other beings. This ignorance is at the root of the present state of world affairs. If we realize the indwelling Reality that pervades everywhere and unites everything, we shall live in perfect accord and friendliness with everyone. Then there will be no place for

dynamos. Great spiritual energy is locked up within every one of us. We have to realize it so that we can lift ourselves and others also. This is the mission of human life. We are not merely to toil for earning our daily bread and seek the satisfaction of sense desires. We must realize our spiritual

All our thoughts, actions guided by divine power Swami Ramdas

this can we live in perfect harmony and peace with our fellow beings. By this knowledge alone can we subdue the ego-sense and the evil passions rising in our hearts. What is responsible for the frequent discords and strife in the world? The answer is ignorance. Ignorance makes us think

Great spiritual energy is locked up within every one of us. We have to realize it so that we can lift ourselves and others also disharmony, hatred or wars in the world. We shall then transform the earth into a veritable heaven. So we should from time to time direct our minds towards that great Reality. We should live not only with the aim of securing our personal happiness, but also for securing universal happiness. We are all spiritual

nature and remember that we are always in union with the Universal Spirit and Power. If we recognize this truth, we shall all become spiritual heroes in the world. Let us realize this and be true servants of humanity! The 126th birth anniversary of Swami Ramdas will be observed on April 10

Better indeed is knowledge than mechanical practice. Better than knowledge is meditation. But better still is surrender of attachment to results, because there follows immediate peace. -Bhagavad Gita The jewel of the soul is priceless, and yet it is being squandered like this, in exchange for a mere shell. -Sri Guru Granth Sahib Only the wounded Understand the agonies of the wounded, When the fire rages in the heart. -Mirabai And all must love the human form, In heathen, turk, or jew; Where Mercy, Love, & Pity dwell There God is dwelling too. -William Blake I love thee with the breath, smiles, tears, of all my life!and, if God choose, I shall but love thee better after death. -Elizabeth Barrett Browning There is no relative closer than the Satguru, no bounty equal to spiritual awakening, There is no greater Benefactor than Hari, no community equal to that of Hari's devotees. -Kabir In modern business it is not the crook who is to be feared most, it is the honest man who doesn't know what he is doing. -William Wordsworth

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


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April 16, 2010

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Fighting Naxalism: Need for change in strategy VINITA PRIYEDARSHI

W

hen Home Secretary GK Pillai said at a function in IDSA on March 5 that "the hardest fighting was still to come" against the Naxalites, few could have visualized that his statement would be proved right within a month. On April 6, the Maoist rebels killed 75 paramilitary policemen in an ambush in the thick forests of Mukrana in the Dantewada district of Chattisgarh (one of the strongholds of the Maoists).

to be counter-productive. It has been debated among the security analysts that smaller size force in a thinner jungle would be counterproductive and vice-versa. Untrained in specialist jungle warfare skills and operating in companysized formations, the CRPF personnel had restricted themselves. Therefore, one finds a lot of depth in the statement made by KPS Gill that each person in the patrol was carrying a considerable load. How can anyone be expected

Maoist rebels exercise at a base in the Abujh Marh forests, Chattisgarh

There were apprehensions expressed at the feelers coming from the Home Ministry that Operation Green Hunt had started yielding results and now when that apprehension has been proved right one needs to explore as to what went wrong with the Government's comprehensive offensive against the Naxalites. Insurgency can't be won without cooperation and coordination from the state police forces and yet it turned out that merely one local constable was accompanying the CRPF personnel. It has been debated time and again among the security analysts that the key to success in any counterinsurgency happens to be the knowledge of the terrain and yet the para-military forces were moving with only one local constable who was familiar with the terrain. The incident also points towards a lack of strategic thinking on the part of the Ministry which led to the forces falling into the trap laid out by the Naxals. The forces were caught near Chintalnar-Tarmetla village and the CRPF team had been camping in the interiors of Tarmetla jungles for the last three days as part of a combing operation and area domination exercise as revealed by Dantewada Superintendent of Police, Amresh Mishra. In any counter-insurgency operation, a large force has proved

to keep that level of alertness after such grueling march through the forest? Sending out a company on a four-day patrol into the forest was a ridiculous concept since Naxalites are not wandering around in these forests as big gangs to counter the police and yet it seems

According to counterinsurgency manual the troops are supposed to move on foot and in small numbers and yet almost 80 CRPF personnel were present and that too on a vehicle which could easily be spotted from a distance. There was gross violation of the basics of guerilla warfare that no thought was given to these details before sending the CRPF on the task of area domination. Information coming from the Home Ministry points that the CRPF men were lured by false information provided by some informer despite the fact that the CRPF has no independent intelligence capability. How much the intelligence gathered really helps the counter-insurgency force is it-

self questionable considering that fact that the problem lies in locating exactly where the Naxals are hiding in deep forest which is very difficult to penetrate. The Naxals usually create their camp near an elevated land and place their sentries on top of the hill to keep track of the arriving police forces through night vision. They will easily retreat as and when they perceive that the battle is not going to be in their favor. The Chattisgarh ambush was no different. The Maoists had hidden themselves and also laid the surrounding hillocks and bushes with mines knowing well that in case of an offensive, the security forces would be forced to recede to the surrounding hillocks and bushes. According to counterinsurgency manual the troops are supposed to move on foot and in small numbers and yet almost 80 CRPF personnel were present and that too on a vehicle which could easily be spotted from a distance. There was gross violation of the basics of fighting guerilla warfare and the troops paid heavily for the neglect. It wasn't a prudent step on the part of the Home Ministry to plan an offensive against the Naxalites under the guidance and supervision of the CRPF. It is the police who apart from having the knowledge of the culture, the ethos, and language of the people have a bond with the people. They also have a better chance of gathering information from local sources. The success of Greyhounds has shown how effective a trained state police force could be in fighting the insurgents and yet no lessons have been learnt from that. It is true that success of counter-insurgency force in one state would lead to Naxalites taking refuge in the adjoining areas and to counter that one needs a coordinated and comprehensive offensive between the centre and the state. However in every state it should be the trained state police force who should lead the operation and the central forces should be assisting them. Every state affected with Naxalism should raise its own Special task forces (much on the pattern of Greyhounds) and then coordination should be sought among the Special Task Forces of different Naxal affected states. The role of the Centre should be to provide the resources and coordinate. The writer is Research Associate, USI-CS3, United Service Institution of India. Courtesy IPCS

India Post Reactive power

T

he increasing Maoist attacks in India serve to highlight the problem of poverty and neglect of a large section of the population. After the massacre of 75 security personnel in Chattisgarh's Dantewada district, there is no option left with the Indian government but to hit back hard. The perception however persists that India's police and security forces are ill-equipped, ill trained and also handicapped in the absence of intelligence. Merely increasing the number of combatants who are not battle ready is providing cannon fodder for the trained cadres of Maoists. India's Home Minister P Chidamabaram now has his hands full. Keeping Pak-trained terrorists at bay is only one of his missions on which there can be no let up. The Maoists have opened another front and tackling them also can brook no delay. India is in the spotlight because of a number of international sporting events are now under way or will soon be taking place. These will be tempting targets for the terrorists. While the government is engaged in tightening security in places like Delhi where the major events are to take place, its capacities will be stretched to ensure no untoward incident takes place anywhere in the country. For countries like Pakistan and China would be interested in seeing that India trips up and its international reputation as a safe place is dented. There could not have been a worse time for the Maoist insurgency to raise its tempo. If Pakistan is plagued by its home grown Taliban terrorists turning their guns on their own, it can be argued India is becoming equally vulnerable to the Leftist violence within. Long years of neglect of the poor and the tribals, it seems, is now being compounded by mining rights being given to powerful industrialists and the tribals are being hounded out of their homes and hearth. If they find the Maoists sympathising with their cause and coming to their aid, the tribals easily fall into their trap of organised violent resistance. If in Pakistan there are Taliban areas where the government's writ does not run, in India too the government has no control over areas dominated by the Maoists. The logic of governance in India is that the government won't act unless it is forced to. It is being increasingly felt and admitted that India is a reactive power. It doesn't take initiatives and does not think ahead. There is no vision and no anticipation of events. This was confirmed recently by India's Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel who during his recent New York visit admitted "we don't build infrastructure and then create demand, we let demand force us to build infrastructure." This raised some laughter but unwittingly the minister had outlined India's policies. Or rather the policies of its politicians. Initiatives on tackling poverty began only after international agencies exposed the wide gap between the haves and have nots. And now when the Maoists have stolen a march in tactics, training and motivation there would be post mortems and post-event planning. The downside is that while the government's planning and strategies are out in the open and under debate, the Maoists are learning from government's mistakes and already planning the next move. In the case of our treacherous neighbours also we wait till they have struck and then start thinking how to deal with them. Even as we think up strategies to deal with Pakistan, China has perfected the next level of warfare. Chinese spy networks have hacked into Indian official computers and stolen information on Northeast security to Naxalite dossiers, missile defense and diplomatic secrets. There is no time for India's ministers to laugh.


April 16, 2010

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