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Exhibition on yoga at Smithsonian Details on page 5
Rs 3000 crore Indo-US deal for jet engines
VOL 18, No. 959
February 1, 2013
INDIA WOOING TOP NRI/PIO SCIENTISTS
NEW DELHI: Seeking to inspire researchers, government plans to roll out the red carpet to attract top Indian scientists working abroad to spend some time in institutions here. As per the plans, such "very high quality" scientists would be offered an annual remuneration of USD 1,00,000 (approx Rs 55 lakh) in addition to fully furnished accom-
Users list benefits at TLS Reunion & Graduation Details on page 16
modation and relocation expenses for a minimum of one and up to three years in India. Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia has mooted this proposal in a "conceptual note" circulated to Secretaries of scientific departments of the government.
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email@example.com This week’s question
Will top scientists agree to work in India?
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh hugs newly anointed Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi after his maiden speech at All India Congress Committee (AICC) session in Jaipur on January 19. (Details on page 8)
Last week’s result
Is Jindal plan to end income tax a wise move? YES 67%
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February 1, 2013
February 1, 2013
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February 1, 2013
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o okay, I too was excited about the whole Presidential inauguration hoopla. Don't we all love a bit of pageantry and pomp that is essentially an opportunity to pump ourselves up on our cultural competency in a televised world. Like in many of those Las Vegas casinos, someone is watching something always; and in the mediated world, the bigger the spectacle, the bigger the viewership. So in the case of the Presidential inaugurations, it is nothing but a public relations exercise for the so called free world, and a reiteration of such hegemonies for the not so freedom friendly parts of the world. Watching President Obama's second term inauguration reminded me of the recent royal circus in England to celebrate Queen Elizabeth's 60th year of occupying the throne. For Americans who openly snigger at but secretly covet royalty, the Presidential inauguration is as close as it gets to the crown and horse-drawn carriages spectacle of their counterparts across the pond. For the mainstream media that has been stressed out over recent incidents of gun violence and climbing over fiscal cliffs by the US Congress, President Obama's inauguration last week was a visual, if not an intellectual relief - they had so much else to talk about like Michelle Obama's new hair style, what she wore for the inauguration; why the oath taking had to be repeated over two consecutive days, the history of Sunday inaugurations, oath taking flubs, and so on. 900,000 people attended the President's inauguration ceremony on Jan 20. My cynicism notwithstanding, there must be something that so many people see in such events - is it patriotism, pride, politics or just the idea of a picnic on the national mall; or perhaps a sense of belonging, if not one of assurance and hope. Display of such mass sentiments, where vast multitudes of ordinary citizens come out of their homes to partake in a national political event establishes a social rationale. And in that sense, political pageantry is but entertainment, which people pay for with their votes. But for the presidents, irrespective of their performance in office, its about leaving a legacy - an American legacy.
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HIGHLIGHTS Bollywood: Singing bug Akshay Kumar has rendered the romantic song 'Mujhme Tu' in Neeraj Pandey's 'Special 26' with an honesty that is rare.
Cover Story: Wooing scientists Seeking to inspire researchers, India plans to roll out the red carpet to attract top Indian scientists working abroad.
Community: TLS Reunion A TLS Reunion was held at Japra Mahal Fremont involving personal success stories as well as a graduation ceremony.
Health: Abortions case The ACLU has ended its legal challenge to a Kansas law restricting private health insurance coverage for abortions.
Life Style: Barfi hits 6 Ranbir Kapoor starrer 'Barfi!' emerged top winner at the Filmfare Awards bagging 6 trophies, including best film & best actor
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Set in the midst of beautiful landscapes, Aizawl offers ample opportunities for sightseeing, recreation and adventure.
February 1, 2013
India wooing top NRI/PIO scientists NEW DELHI: Seeking to inspire researchers, government plans to roll out the red carpet to attract top Indian scientists working abroad to spend some time in institutions here.
Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia has mooted this proposal in a "conceptual note" circulated to Secretaries of scientific departments of the government.
As per the plans, such "very high quality" scientists would be offered an annual remuneration of USD 1,00,000 (approx Rs 55 lakh) in addition to fully furnished accommodation and relocation expenses for a minimum of one and up to three years in India As per the plans, such "very high quality" scientists would be offered an annual remuneration of USD 1,00,000 (approx Rs 55 lakh) in addition to fully furnished accommodation and relocation expenses for a minimum of one and up to three years in India.
Ahluwalia has called a meeting of Secretaries of science department to discuss the proposal to set up new 'National Jawaharlal Nehru Science Fellowships', as the scheme is to be called. The fellowships would be "offered to selected scientists who
have achieved a degree of international distinction in areas of scientific research that correspond to our national priorities", says the note circulated by the Plan panel. The selected candidates could be approached to ascertain their interest in taking up the fellowship which could be for a minimum of one year and up to three years, it said. Officials said China had implemented a similar scheme and had succeeded in attracting over 1,000 of their scientists working abroad to return to their homeland for varying periods of time. Once selected, scientists may be given an option to take up the fellowship at a time of their choosing but within three years of their selection. The note said that injecting top class scientists into our in-
A Yoga Story: American museum readies for show NEW DELHI: Now a rage globally, it may come as a surprise that Yoga was once despised as superstition in the 19th century. Interesting nuggets like these describing the evolution of the discipline in India told through ancient sculptures, paintings, photos, books and films are soon going to be up for show in Washington. "Yoga: The Art of Transformation" the first major exhibition devoted to the art of yoga opens at the Arthur M Sackler Gallery, which is commemorating its 25th anniversary. The gallery along with the older Freer Gallery located on the National Mall in Washington is part of the Smithsonian Museum. Among the exhibits that will be up for display from October 19 this year are a set of 10 folios from the first illustrated sequence of yoga postures, created for Prince Salim who went on to become Mughal emperor Jahangir. "Although the postures and practices described and illustrated in Bahral-Hayat manuscript pre-date its production in 1602, we read of them (and see them) for the first time in this manuscript," Debra Diamond, Associate curator South and Southeast Asian Art at Arthur M Sackler Gallery Freer Gallery of Art told PTI over email. Debra who had curated a critically acclaimed exhibition of royal
paintings from Jodhpur in 2008 at the gallery says the manuscript was "so important" that three scholars worked on it simultaneously. "Myself (as art historian looking at the paintings, some of which are by important Mughal
seum), which epitomizes the elegant Chola dynasty aesthetic. The two together will delight connoisseurs and intrigue visitors interested in Tantric yoga," says the curator. The display slated to conclude on January 26, 2014 would include
artists), Dr Carl Ernst, who is a specialist in Islam, and Dr James Mallinson, a Sanskritist who focuses on yoga traditions," says Debra. Another highlight is a powerful sculpture of the Bhairava deity created in Karnataka during the 13th century Hoysala dynasty(in the collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art). "In the galleries, this will be juxtaposed with a beautiful granite Bhairava from Tamil Nadu (in the collection of the British Mu-
more than 120 objects from 25 museums and private collections in India, Europe, and the United States. Eighty masterpieces of sculpture and painting, dating from the third to the eighteenth century as well as some 40 colonial and early modern photographs, books, and films, will reveal how yoga was despised as superstition during the 19th century and then resurrected in early 20th century India as a democratic practice open to all.-PTI
Montek Singh Ahluwalia
stitutions would have many advantages in terms of a positive impact on research and also motivate younger scientists. The note said that a set of national institutions keen to host
such scientists could be pre-selected on the basis of quality. These professors would not be on the staff of the institutions and would be paid for directly by the Centre. -PTI
Red Cross aid for Filipino typhoon survivors India Post News Service
ter and basic household items to the neediest so that they can concentrate on rebuilding their lives.
he International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Philippine Red Enhancing local Cross are continuing their effort to help the victims of Typhoon health care "Most of the health facilities Bopha (locally known as Pablo). More than a month after the in Baganga were either damaged typhoon swept away communi- or totally destroyed," said Dr ties in eastern Mindanao and left Gundula Epp-Graak, who works more than 1,800 people dead or at the newly established Red missing, needs are still immense. Cross Basic Health-care Unit in In the areas hardest hit, in Davao Baganga, a community of more Oriental province, almost 95 per than 53,000 people. "We hope to cent of the roads, houses and bring back the level of medical services that existed before tycrops have been destroyed. The ICRC and the Philippine phoon Bopha swept the area." Red Cross worked hard to respond to the emergency as it oc- The ICRC and the Philippine curred, and are now at- Red Cross worked hard to tending to food, clean respond to the emergency water, shelter, health care and other needs as it occurred, and are now with the aim of helping attending to food, clean people resume their water, shelter, health care normal lives. The ICRC and the and other needs with the Philippine Red Cross aim of helping people have scaled up joint resume their normal lives operations after their initial emergency reSince it opened on 3 January, sponse. These efforts have fothe health-care unit has already cused on: • setting up a field clinic in attended to more than 800 paBaganga to respond to the most tients, and is now receiving 100 urgent needs until normal facili- to 120 patients a day. Most of the consultations are related to acute ties are fully functional again; • making supplies available so respiratory infections, fever, that people can take immediate acute watery diarrhoea, skin dissteps to remedy their lack of shel- eases and open wounds. ter; and Cont’d on page 7 • providing food, potable wa-
February 1, 2013
Indian Americans join Obama at inaugural ball WASHINGTON: Several gorgeous saris and Nehruvian jackets were to be seen at US President Barack Obama's inaugural ball, as a number of Indian Americans made it to the select list of invitees to the prestigious event, reflecting the emergence of this influential community at the national centre stage. "The Indian American political tiger has arrived," said Tobby Chaudhuri, a White House advisor and a veteran political strategist as he danced with his wife Ruby on the floor, celebrating Obama's second inauguration. Chaudhuri, who was among the few Indian Americans to have been invited to the inaugural ball, said the community has emerged as a force to reckon with at the national level be it political, social or administrative spheres. "The challenge is to sustain this momentum," Chaudhuri told PTI on the dance floor of the inaugural ball. Arun Rao, a senior White House official from the Department of Justice, said that Obama has brought in his administration people from diverse section of the society. There is a diverse representation in his Administration, he said, standing with his wife, attired in a sari.
Obama has the distinction of appointing the largest number of Indian Americans in any presidential administration, he pointed out. Eminent Indian American chef,
us. Hope the economy would improve," he said. "In the last four years the economy has been a very tough one for the small businesses one
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts administers the oath of office to President Barack Obama during the official swearing-in ceremony in the Blue Room of the White House on Inauguration Day, January 20. Also seen are First Lady Michelle Obama, holding the Robinson family Bible, along with daughters Malia and Sasha
K N Vinod, was excited about attending the first inaugural ball of his life, with his wife. "Hopefully the worst is behind
step forward and one step backward," said Vinod, who has been to the White House kitchen several times during the first Obama
America will remain 'anchor of strong alliances': Obama WASHINGTON: America will remain the anchor of strong alliances in every corner of the globe from Asia to the Middle East, US President Barack Obama said in his inaugural address after being sworn in for a second innings. "We will defend our people and uphold our values through strength of arms and rule of law. We will show the courage to try and resolve our differences with other nations peacefully - not because we are naive about the dangers we face, but because engagement can more durably lift suspicion and fear," Obama said. "America will remain the anchor of strong alliances in every corner of the globe; and we will renew those institutions that extend our capacity to manage crisis abroad, for no one has a greater stake in a peaceful world than its most powerful nation," the 51year-old president said. "We will support democracy from Asia to Africa; from the Americas to the Middle East, because our interests and our conscience compel us to act on behalf of those who long for free-
Administration. He says Obama loves Indian food. Ahead of the inaugural ball, Vinod said it took him quite a while
dom," Obama said. "And we must be a source of hope to the poor, the sick, the marginalized, the victims of prejudice - not out of mere charity, but because peace in our time requires the constant advance of those principles that our common creed
â€œSome may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms," he said describes: tolerance and opportunity; human dignity and justice," he said at the 57th inauguration ceremony of an American president. However, there was no mention of any specific country, neither
there was any mention of the war in Afghanistan which is coming to an end by 2014 or that of the first against terrorism including the defeat of Al-Qaeda. Obama said Americans still believe that their obligations as Americans are not just to ourselves, but to all posterity. "We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms," he said. "The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. ButAmerica cannot resist this transition; we must lead it. We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries - we must claim its promise. That is how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure - our forests and waterways; our croplands and snowcapped peaks," Obama said.-PTI
to decide what he should wear for the event - a tuxedo or a Nehruvian jacket. "Finally, I settled with the latter,"
he said. His wife Nisha Vinod joined him in an orange sari. "At the end of the Inaugural festivities, the outfit and accompanying accessories will go to the National Archives," a White House official said. For several hours beyond midnight, hundreds of attendees to the inaugural ball were enthralled by celebrities like Alicia Keys, Black Violin, Brad Paisley, Far East Movement, FUN, members of the Glee cast, John Legend, Katy Perry, Mana, Smokey Robinson, Soundgarden, Stevie Wonder and Usher. According to a White House official, the total capacity for the inaugural balls this year is similar to 2009, when six balls were held throughout the Convention Centre as against two this time. The first and second families made three stops at the Ballroom for the Commander-in-Chief's Ball and both floors of The Inaugural Ball, the official said. At the Commander-in-Chief's ball, Obama danced with Staff Sergeant Bria D Nelson of the Air Force, and the First Lady danced with Gunnery Sergeant Timothy D Easterling of the Marine Corps. Vice President, Joe Biden, danced with Army Staff Sergeant Keesha Nicole Dentino, while Jill Biden danced with Petty Officer Patrick Figueroa of the Navy.-PTI
It's time to finish what we started, Obama tells supporters WASHINGTON: After taking difference for our children and our over for a second term, US Presi- children's children," Obama said. dent Barack Obama lauded the "I know that former President "resilience" and "fundamental (Jimmy) Carter, President (Bill) goodness" of the American Clinton, they understand the irony people and promised his support- of the presidential office, which ers to try his best to achieve the is, the longer you're there the more goals he set out four years ago. humble you become and the more "Now it's time to finish what mindful you are that it is beyond we started - let's get going," your poor powers individually to Obama said in an email to his sup- move this great country. porters. "You can only do it because "I just renewed my oath of office to serve as your President for "I know that former President four more years. Thank (Jimmy) Carter, President you for making this possible. It's an honor (Bill) Clinton, they to be your President," understand the irony of the Obama said in his email. Earlier in his ceremo- presidential office, which nial luncheon address at is, the longer you're there the Congress, Obama hoped he would be able the more humble to sort out the differyou becomeâ€? ences with the Congress to take the nation forward. you have extraordinary partners "I know that all of us serve be- and a spirit of good will, and most cause we believe that we can make of all, because of the strength and America for future generations. resilience and fundamental goodI'm confident that we can act at ness of the American people," he this moment in a way that makes a said in his remarks. -PTI
February 1, 2013
Auto-rickshaw driver's daughter tops CA exam MUMBAI: Surmounting all odds, Prema Jayakumar, daughter of a Mumbai-based auto-rickshaw driver, has topped the all India Chartered Accountancy (CA) examination. Residing in a crammed oneroom chawl in suburban Malad with her parents and brother, the 24-year-old told PTI she was ecstatic to have secured the first rank in the examination conducted in November 2012 by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. "It's my lifetime achievement. For me, the key to success is hardwork," an elated Prema said. Her family, originally from Tamil Nadu, is settled for the last several years in Mumbai where her father Jayakumar Perumal drives an auto-rickshaw for a living. Prema, who secured an impressive 607 marks out of 800, credits her parents for the success and now wants them to live a life of comfort. "It would not have been pos-
Prema Jayakumar with her father Jayakumar Perumal
sible without their support and blessings. My parents always motivated me. I would now want my parents, who did so much for me, to live a life of comfort," Prema, who did her articleship with Kishore Seth and Company, said. Prema said she was proud of her father and homemaker mother who never allowed money to come in the way of her academic pursuit and that of her 22-year-
old brother, who also cleared the tough CA examination with her. Both siblings had registered together with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India to take the test in November last year. Displaying academic excellence earlier too, Prema had stood second in her B.Com Third year examination conducted by Mumbai University, securing 90 per cent marks. -PTI
84% Indian Amercians voted for Obama, claims study
Obama vows comprehensive immigration reform
WASHINGTON: A whopping more likely to have favored Obama 84 per cent Indian Americans and a mere 10 per cent of Asian voted for Barack Obama in Americans under 30 voted for November's US presidential elec- Romney, compared to 16 per cent tions, according to a survey of aged between 30-39; 26 per cent Asian-Americans. aged between 40-49; 26 per cent Seventy-seven per cent of all between 50-59 per cent; and 27 per Asian-Americans voted for cent between 60-69, a press stateObama for a second term at the ment issued by the AALDEF said. White House, findings released Among Asian Americans overthe Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) Vietnamese-origin Amerihere said. cans were the only group to The Multilingual Exit Poll of 9,096 Asian have gone against the trend Americans in 14 States as 54 per cent of them by the New York-based organization also said voted for Obama's Republithat 13 per cent of can rival Mitt Romney Asian-Americans who were registered Republicans had crossed over and voted all, voting in the Congressional for 51-year old Obama, a Demo- Elections mirrored the presidencrat. tial elections. The Bangladeshi Americans In 24 of the 28 Congressional remained the highest group to districts where the exit poll was have voted for Obama at 96 per conducted, a majority of Asian cent followed by the Indian Ameri- Americans supported Democratic cans at 84 per cent. candidates. For the US Senate, 74 However, Vietnamese-origin per cent of Asian Americans overAmericans were the only group all voted for Obama and 18 per to have gone against the trend as cent voted for Romney. For the 54 per cent of them voted for US House of Representatives, 73 Obama's Republican rival Mitt per cent voted for the Democratic Romney. candidate and 17 per cent voted Age-group also came to play for the Republican candidate, the as Asian Americans under 40 were statement said. -PTI
WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama has vowed for a comprehensive immigration reform that would welcome new immigrants to the US and attract the talented engineers from countries like India. "Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity; until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country," Obama said. Addressing the nation moments after being sworn in for his second term by the Chief Justice of the United States, Obama promised that immigration reform would be one of his top priorities for his second term. While mentioning the talented engineers, the US President was apparently referring to the large number of engineers and technology graduates who are now being forced to go back to their countries either because of the long waiting period for legal permanent residency popular as Green Card or those not getting H-1B visas. People from India have complained that they are the worst affected by the current system. PTI
Red Cross aid for Filipino typhoon survivors Contâ€™d from page 5
distributions of food have begun in the provinces and will continue over the coming weeks. "I lost three of my relatives my brother, his wife and my niece - during the typhoon. Our house was also completely destroyed. Three of us were able to make it out alive," said Amalia Ravezo, 52, of Boston municipality in Davao Oriental. "Now we are trying to rebuild from scratch, and the relief items we received from the Red Cross have really helped - especially the tarpaulins, which protect us from the winds," said Ravezo. Shelter kits, which include nails, hammer and wires, have been distributed to 54,000 people in Boston and Cateel municipalities in Davao Oriental. After the typhoon, detainees
Among those being treated are people with chronic diseases who have run out of their usual medications. Owing to the widespread damage caused by the typhoon, they face a difficult time obtaining more of the drugs they need, which adds to the high level of stress they are already coping with as they try to rebuild their lives. "Many of them do not have enough money any more to buy their drugs in the local pharmacy," said Dr Epp-Graak. The medical staff at the healthcare unit have also been treating many women and children, like Liezel Julian and her seven-monthold infant, who both had a bad cough, cold and fever. After hearing about the unit from a tricycle (tuk-tuk) driver, mother and baby In Cateel and Baganga, two went to receive medical municipalities of Davao treatment. "I am very happy Oriental, around 19,000 that the Red Cross is people have already here giving us this service for free. We lost ev- benefited from clean erything during the ty- drinking-water stations set phoon - our house, livelihood, even food to up by the ICRC and the eat," said Liezel. Philippine Red Cross and The ICRC, in cooperation with the Philip- from water delivered by pine Red Cross, has set truck to eight barangays up a health-care unit in Baganga municipality in Davao Oriental province to at- in Compostela Valley provincial tend to the pressing needs of the jail were left with damaged facilipeople around the area. The clinic, ties and without water and elecmade up of six tents, is being sup- tricity. The ICRC, which monitors ported by the Japanese, Norwe- the treatment and living condigian, German, Canadian, Hong tions of detainees, and had been Kong and Finnish Red Cross na- working in the area for decades, donated building materials to help tional societies. The ICRC has provided con- repair damage in the jail. struction materials to build the Philippine Red Cross's advanced Improving access to medical post, which is also proclean water viding much-needed medical care In Cateel and Baganga, two to people affected by the typhoon municipalities of Davao Oriental, in Baganga. around 19,000 people have already benefited from clean drinkProviding food and ing-water stations set up by the shelter ICRC and the Philippine Red Given the scale of the disaster, Cross and from water delivered by the ICRC and the Philippine Red truck to eight barangays (vilCross decided to give priority in lages). The ICRC has also donated their initial emergency response to providing food and some basic materials for the repair of the wahousehold supplies. By mid-Janu- ter systems in Cateel and ary, the organizations had already Baganga, which will benefit an provided a one-month supply of additional 6,500 people. The ICRC food and cooking pots, jerrycans, has likewise provided Compostela mosquito nets, soap and tarpau- Valley Provincial Hospital and lins for over 280,000 people in the New Bataan Rural Health Unit in three hardest-hit provinces of Compostela Valley with supplies Davao Oriental, Compostela Val- needed to repair severely damley and Surigao del Sur. Additional aged water pipelines.
February 1, 2013
Rahul Gandhi wants change in system of governance JAIPUR: Rahul Gandhi who was formally anointed second in command at the Congress Chintan Shivir here, has called for changing the way the country is being run. In his first speech after taking over as Vice-President of the
ing and governance, administration and politics." The speech of the 42-year-old Congress leader was received by the All India Congress Committee members with thunderous applause. Leaders sitting on the dais and in the audience were seen
the Congress President, Sonia Gandhi in the speech. Laying down his agenda for change, Gandhi said a handful of people are deciding the future of the common man in the country "behind closed doors". "They are telling us that India's governmental system is stuck in the past, it has become a system that robs people of their voice, a system that disempowers instead of empowering," he said. He said the system does not believe in empowering people all the way to the bottom. He said the youth of the country are angry because they are alienated and excluded from the political process. "All our public systems, administration, justice, education, political systems... all of them are designed to keep people with knowledge out. They are all closed systems. They are designed to proCongress Vice President Rahul Gandhi hugs his mother and Party President Sonia mote mediocrity and meGandhi before his speech at All India Congress Committee (AICC) session in Jaipur diocrity dominates," he said. Grand Old Party, he said the time getting emotional when Rahul Gandhi added that schemes like has come to question the "cen- Gandhi mentioned his grand- Aadhaar and direct cash transfer tralized, unresponsive and unac- mother, Indira Gandhi, his father are going to empower the delivcountable system, decision mak- Rajiv Gandhi and his mother and ery mechanism.
Indian subway victim had put up a fight NEW YORK: An Indian immigrant, who was shoved off a subway platform to his death in front of a train here by an American woman because she "hated" Hindus and Muslims, had tried to put up a fight and "shake off" his attacker. Erika Menendez, 31, has been indicted on charges of murder as a hate crime by a grand jury and found mentally fit to stand trial in the death of 46 year-old Sunando Sen. According to an interview Menendez gave to the New York Post from a prison here, even though the attack on Sen was too sudden, he had still tried to save himself briefly before he fell onto the tracks. "My mind was just racing that day. I was mad. I was just angry," Menendez said. "I was homeless. I was hungry. I was fighting with my boyfriend. He (Sen) came running up the stairs, and I just got up and pushed him. He was trying to shake me off," she said. "Glassy-eyed, greasy-haired and clad in a prison jumpsuit," Menendez said she had pushed
Sen onto the subway tracks in front of an oncoming train last month because she thought he was a Muslim and she had harbored a hatred for Hindus and Muslims since the September 11 terror attacks.
Menendez said. "I just wanted to hurt Muslims and Hindus ever since (9/11)." The Post said Menendez was "emotionless" during the interview but became animated when she spoke of other violent run-ins
Rahul Gandhi giving his maiden speech as Vice President at All India Congress Committee (AICC) session in Jaipur on January 20
The two-day Chintan Shivir and one-day session of the AICC concluded here with Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh assuring the delegates that the UPA's programs are drafted in a
way that will address the problems of the common man. Sonia Gandhi stressed that petroleum prices were hiked due to fluctuations in the international market and not due to domestic compulsions.-Agencies
Reliance Industries terminates US lobbying WASHINGTON: Amid a huge uproar over lobbying by American firms to gain access to Indian market, India's leading corporate house Reliance Industries has terminated its lobbying activities among the US lawmakers after having spent nearly 2 million dollars (over Rs 10 crore) to its lobbyist here in the past four years. Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries (RIL) began lobbying among the US lawmakers through leading lobbyist firm, Barbour Griffith & Rogers LLC (BGR), in January 2009 for its business activities and other causes. However, the company had put on hold its lobbying activities here for the past five quarters and it has now terminated its lobby registration itself in the US. The company, which has been
expanding its presence in global markets, including the US, in the recent years and has interests in businesses ranging from energy, polyester and retail to telecom back in India, has paid a total amount of USD 1.88 million (over Rs 10 crore) to its US lobbyist since January 2009. According to its latest lobbying disclosure report dated January 18, filed with the US Senate through BGR, it terminated its lobbying registration with the US authorities on January 11. The disclosure further mentioned that there was "no lobbying issue activity" during the last quarter, which ended on December 31, 2012. This was the fifth consecutive quarter when BGR reported 'no lobbying activity' for its client RIL among the US lawmakers.PTI
'Rana sentencing classic examples of US justice' Erika Menendez
In her interview, she said after the terror attacks, she was mad at Muslims not because of the number of people killed in the World Trade Center but because she had liked the buildings. "I'm not mad about the people (killed in the 9/11 attacks). I'm mad because I liked the buildings,"
with people she believed were Muslims or Hindus. "I have been beating up Muslims and Hindus for a long time. I just want to hurt them. I would punch them," she said, adding that for her Sen had stood out from the other riders because of his ethnic appearance. -PTI
WASHINGTON: The sentencing of Pakistani-Canadian Tahawwur Rana by a Chicago court is a classic example of the working of US justice system, a top American official has said. 52-year-old Rana, an accomplice of Mumbai attack terrorist David Headley, was sentenced to 14 years in jail followed by five years of supervised release for providing material support to Pa-
kistan-based LeT and for backing a "dastardly" plot to attack a Danish newspaper. "This is a classic example of US justice working. He was brought to trial, he was convicted," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told reporters. The Chicago court is scheduled to announce sentencing of Rana's childhood friend Headley on January 24. -PTI
February 1, 2013
Indians among immigrants Indian-origin lottery winner's body exhumed paying to flee Britain LONDON: Indians are reportedly among thousands of illegal immigrants willing to pay human smugglers up to 1,500 pounds to flee the UK. A new BBC undercover documentary has revealed that the foreign nationals are put in the back of trucks and transported to Calais in France before making their way to other European destinations.
police officer, told an undercover reporter for BBC's Panorama expose that he could be taken across the English Channel as part of two or three trips organized every week. Another Indian national told the show Immigration Undercover that he ran a prostitution racket in Ilford, east London, which employed young girls whose visas had expired.
â€œOne of the things we do with our colleagues in other, both EU countries and non-EU countries, is work closely internationally to try and crack down on these gangs who are committing organized immigration crimeâ€? Some want to try their luck elsewhere in the European Union instead of going to their home country and some others are criminals fleeing the country. A fixer for one such human smuggling group, a former Indian
One such girl, Sushma, said she would meet 40 clients a week to pay for her sister's wedding back in India. The UK government has stressed that it is cracking down on organized immigration crime.
Mark Harper, UK minister of state for immigration, said Britain is working with other European governments to tackle criminal gangs involved in the movement of migrants. "One of the things we do with our colleagues in other, both EU countries and non-EU countries, is work closely internationally to try and crack down on these gangs who are committing organized immigration crime and preying on some of these vulnerable people," he said. There are no firm figures on the number of illegal migrants living in Britain, although in 2009 a London School of Economics study reported that there were at least 600,000. The so-called "ghosts" are a mixture of failed asylum seekers who have not returned home and economic migrants living and working illegally in the UK. Many first came to the UK on bogus students or tourist visas and overstayed in order to work. PTI
CHICAGO: The body of a 46year-old Indian-origin businessman here, who died of cyanide poisoning days after he won a million dollar lottery, has been exhumed in a bid to find answers to his mysterious death. Judge Susan Coleman of the Probate Division of the Cook County Circuit Court in Illinois had approved the Cook County medical examiner's request to exhume the body of Urooj Khan, who died last July a day after he collected a cheque of USD 425,000
as his prize money. Family members say they hope the dig at Rosehill Cemetery, on Chicago's north side, will lead to answers as to who may have killed Khan, and why. "We are confident he was a healthy person and cannot die like that," Khan's brother, Imtiaz Khan, said. "We are just praying to God that justice will be serviced, and whoever did this will be punished," he was quoted by NBC as saying. -PTI
Small traders should not be hit by FDI: SC NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has said that interest of small retail traders should not be affected due to foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail sector and sought response from the Centre on how it intends to safeguard their interests.
A bench headed by Justice R M Lodha asked the Centre to file its response within three weeks. "What checks are there to ensure that free trade is not affected, particularly the interest of small traders," the bench said while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL).-PTI
10 India Post
February 1, 2013
Here is an astrology column with a difference, giving you advice for the coming week by
DR ASHIT JALUI FEBRUARY 1ST - FEBRUARY 7TH 2013
nterprises that have got underway lately may be subject to changes - not to mention delays. It's possible that you might lose interest in a current activity. However, a little extra application and self-discipline will work wonders. Try it and see.
t may be a vain hope to expect that all family or domestic adjustments should be completed by now. Although partners still have certain expectations of you, your task is to broaden your horizons and try and make others see that your possibilities are brighter than was once thought.
ou're entering a more restless phase which could see you spending more time away from home. Certainly, short trips will be in order as you make an increasing effort to follow up some of your intriguing ideas. You really are much more original and inventive than you often think.
ou may be happy to hear that the planetary picture is beginning to look decidedly more advantageous, and there's every reason to expect the best from the future. Pay more attention to financial matters, and get a grip on spending before it's too late.
he chances are that events won't turnout as you planned today, so why not be adaptable and enjoy the unexpected? If you're hoping for improvements in the quality of life you may need an extra push. In fact, you may need an almighty, gigantic shove.
he Moon's changing presence indicates that travel is in the air and the chances are that this will be for work rather than pleasure. Check all arrangements in advance as there is a strong likelihood of last-minute alterations, perhaps due to new information.
he celestial signs indicate that this is not the best time for speculation, so be extra careful with cash unless you are absolutely sure of your ground. Prudence is one of your more sensible qualities, and one to encourage, especially in view of recent events.
nce again, take note that care is needed with all business transactions
as impulse buys could prove costly. If you're thinking of boosting your income, go for unusual angles as it's without doubt time for a change of direction.
his is one of those times when life seems to take its own course, no matter what you had planned. If you are in an adventurous mood, this is just what you need to get you out of a rut and introduce an element of spice into your most personal affairs.
o longer does the advantage seem to lie with other people, forcing you to bow to partners' wishes. It will be a tough person who can get you to compromise now that you are discovering your true sense of vocation and destiny. Time is running out, so make your move.
t's a fact of life that current planetary movements are bound to raise a number of questions, challenging you to take a long, hard look at those aspects of your existence that you have so far taken for granted. In the final analysis, you will be free to make your own decisions.
idden snags will bring temporary set backs, but if you keep an eye open these should be speedily dealt with. Your best times are when you rouse yourself from your contemplation and resolve to deal firmly with practical problems. You may even surprise yourself.
Dr. Ashit Jalui, Masters in Astronomy also an expert in Numerology, Vastu and Vedic Astrology Now get one free astro consultation from Dr. Ashit Jalui by e-mailing your question to ASHITJALUI@GMAIL.COM
February 1, 2013
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Tech News Airtel launches mobile data security solution
TechBiz 12 India Post
NEW DELHI: With the concept of bring your own device (BYOD) gaining momentum, Bharti Airtel has launched a mobile data security solution for corporates that allows employees to access enterprise data on device of their choice in a secure manner. "Airtel Dynamic Mobile Exchange (DME) allows workforce to access enterprise data from anywhere on a device of their choice, in a secure manner thus enhancing the business productivity while meeting mobile data security requirements of the enterprise," the company said in a statement. The solution allows employees to segregate official and personal data on the same device by containerizing the information such as emails, data applications, documents among others. -PTI
Panel suggests slew of measures on e-governance NEW DELHI: With government projects becoming more technology intensive, an expert committee on HR Policy for e-governance has recommended building internal capacity to manage them and exploring opportunities of collaboration with the private sector. The committee, chaired by UIDAI Chairman Nandan Nilekani, in its report submitted to Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal recommended putting in place appropriate organizational structures both at Centre and states for the e-governance program and project management.
Mercedes for excluding auto sector from FTA NEW DELHI: Luxury car maker Mercedes Benz India has said it supports industry body SIAM's position on not including automobile sector in the proposed free trade agreement with European Union. The subsidiary of the German auto major further said it may consider making its facility at Chakan as an export destination if FTA comes into effect for the auto sector.-PTI
February 1, 2013
Civil Aviation Ministry 'seeks' Rs 3,500 cr NEW DELHI: With an urgent need to strengthen Air India, the national carrier and develop aviation infrastructure across the country, the Civil Aviation Ministry is understood to have sought an allocation of Rs 3,500 crore in the upcoming budget. This would be in addition to Rs 5,000 crore due from the current year, comprising Rs 4,600 as equity infusion and Rs 400 crore as the interest to be paid on bonds worth Rs 7,400 crore issued this year to banks and financial institutions that have lent money to the national carrier, official sources said.. -PTI
India, US finalize Rs 3000 crore deal for jet engines NEW DELHI: India and the US have finalized a Rs 3000crore deal for supplying 99 jet engines to be used in the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft 'Tejas' being developed by the DRDO. Around two years ago, India had selected the American company General Electric over its rival European Eurojet 2000 for the LCA Mark II program expected to be ready around 2014-15. "The deal worth Rs 3,000 crore has been finalized with the US for procuring 99 engines for the LCA Tejas MkII," DRDO officials said here. As per the contract, the order
could be for 99 engines initially but India will have the option of ordering another 100 engines in the future. The engine on offer for the LCA Mark II is GE F-414 engine, which are more powerful that the GE F-
404 engines fitted in the first batch of LCAs that the Indian Air Force would receive in near future. The need for changing the existing engines in the LCAs was felt after the IAF found out that the GE-404 engines were not providing enough power to the aircraft and more powerful engines
were needed for the purpose. The DRDO is developing the LCA Mk II to meet the Air Force requirements and it will have latest technological equipment including the Active Electronic Scanned Array (AESA) radar and would be able to carry more payload than the LCA Mk I. Recently, the trials of the LCA Mk I were carried out in Pokharan desert firing range where laserguided bombs and other weapon systems were tried. As per the current plans, the IAF will induct two squadrons of the LCA Mk I which would be followed by delivery of LCA Mk II aircraft. -PTI
BRICS pledge to check abuse of tax treaties NEW DELHI: Expressing concern over abuse of tax avoidance treaties, the BRICS grouping including India, China and Russia have pledged to enhance mutual cooperation to prevent erosion of revenue. "We agree to extend the cooperation on the following issues of tax policy and tax administration, including development of a BRICS mechanism to facilitate countering abusive tax avoidance transactions, promotion of effective exchange of information," said a joint communique issued after the two-day meeting of the heads of Revenue of these nations. The BRICS countries, it said expressed concerns at the erosion of the tax base by practices that involve abuse of tax treaty benefits, incomplete disclosure of information and fraudulent claims. The five nation grouping made a commitment to address these concerns by preventing the base erosion and profit shifting through mutual cooperation, the communique added. The countries also vowed to strengthen the enforcement process by taking appropriate actions for non-compliance and putting more resources on international cooperation, sharing of best prac-
Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram inaugurated the first meeting of the Heads of the Revenue Departments of five BRICS countries, (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), in New Delhi on January 17
tices and capacity building to deal with cases of profit shifting by way of complex multi-layered structures. The countries agreed establish a governance framework by May, 2013, in accordance with the overall BRICS commitment to continue the process of cooperation in tax administration. During the two-day meeting the officials deliberated on issues of mutual concerns related
to tax administration, including those pertaining to international taxation, transfer pricing, cross border tax evasion and avoidance, tax dispute resolution mechanisms. The communique also expressed an agreement amongst BRICS Countries for working together towards capacity building, improvement of systems and sharing of resources, and aims at ex-
tending it to the area of tax administration in a way that will benefit the people of BRICS Countries. The nations also agreed to come out with a paper on issues of mutual benefit, which includes erosion of the tax base by practices that involve abuse of tax treaty benefits and profit shifting through cooperation amongst ourselves and with other countries. -PTI
February 1, 2013
Boeing fire probe finds battery did not overheat NEW YORK: The US agency in charge of transportation safety said a fire sparked after a Boeing 787 Dreamliner landed in Boston was not caused by an overcharged battery. The risk of fire from overheating power packs emerged as a major concern for Boeing's cutting-edge new planes after pilots were forced to land a domestic Japanese flight due to smoke ap-
IKEA's Rs 10,000 cr proposal cleared NEW DELHI: The Finance Ministry has cleared Rs 10,000crore investment plan of Swedish Furniture major IKEA to open single-brand retail stores, a development which will be underscored by Indian representatives at WEF meet in Davos to lure investors. "IKEA case has been cleared by Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) and will now be placed before Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) for final approval," a source said. "Yes," Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said when asked if IKEA's proposal has been cleared in toto. After CCEA's nod, IKEA would be able to open cafeterias at its proposed retail outlets. Sharma said the decision will "resonate not only in Davos but in the all major countries of the world". "It sends a clear message that India is very serious in ensuring that whatever policy initiatives we have taken they are implemented in letter and spirit and also to create confidence among the global investors that India has the welcoming environment for FDI," Sharma said. The FIPB was earlier scheduled to take up the IKEA case on January 24, but the meet was advanced
so that it could be cleared before the Indian delegation leaves for Davos. The approval will prevent the
possibility of tough questions which the officials and ministers might have had to face at the meeting of the global corporate leaders. IKEA in a statement said: "We
consider this as a very positive development. We are now awaiting approval from the Cabinet and subsequently a notification so that we can initiate the process of establishing IKEA stores in the country." Earlier, IKEA was given permission to invest only Rs 4,200 crore. However, following only a part approval to its investment plans, the company took up the issue with industry department that in turn asked the Board to reconsider the decision. Sharma exuded the confidence that Cabinet would give its approval. IKEA Group, which manufactures and sells home and office furnishing products, proposes to invest in single-brand retail trading in India through a 100 per cent subsidiary. -PTI
Ibnlive.com wins best news content website
AMAI has announced the win ners of the 3rd India Digital Awards coinciding with 7th India Digital Summit, 2013. Ibnlive.com was awarded the Best news content website and the Best Mobile News Service was given to NDTV Convergence. There were more than 800 entries for 6 Categories and 31 subcategories for the internet and mobile value added services industry. The categories were Digital Advertising; Website; Digital Social and Economic Empowerment; Mobile VAS; Digital Payment and Special Awards. While Angels of India was awarded the Internet Professional of the Year, Naveen Tewari of InMobi was declared as the Best Mobile Person of the Year. Winners of 3rd India Digital Awards: Best Mobile Game: World Cup Cricket Fever by Disney UTV Digital Best Mobile News Service: NDTV Convergence Best e-Commerce Website: Myntra.com Best e-Commerce Website: Jury Special Mention www.goosebumpspickles.com Best Local Language Website:Aajtak.in Best News Content Website:Ibnlilve.com Best Auto Content Website:Carwale.com Best Search Marketing Campaign:Cleartrip Pvt. Ltd. By Resultrix Best Viral Marketing Campaign: Sony Music Entertainment India by Jack in the Box Worldwide Best Social Media Marketing Campaign: American Express by Interactive Avenues Best Mobile SMS Advertising or Marketing Campaign: Shoppers Stop Ltd Best Mobile Voice Advertising or Marketing Campaign: Hindustan Unilever Ltd. - Active Wheel by netCore Solutions Pvt. Ltd
parently linked to the lithium-ion battery. The planes suffered a series of glitches earlier this month, prompting airlines to ground all 50 of the world's operational 787s after a global alert issued by the US Federal Aviation Administration. But the National Transportation Safety Board said its examination so far has shown the battery was not the culprit of an earlier January 7 fire on an empty Japan Airlines plane in Boston. "Examination of the flight recorder data from the JAL B-787 airplane indicates that the APU battery did not exceed its designed voltage of 32 volts," a statement said. The physical examination of the battery, including x-rays and scans of the assembled battery and of its disassembled components, was still ongoing, the
agency said. The NTSB added that representatives from its Japanese and French counterparts were participating in the investigation, and noted that it had sent its own investigator to Japan for the investigation of the incident there. Boeing announced it was halting deliveries of its 787 Dreamliner but said it would continue to build the aircraft while safety experts examine its battery and electrical systems. The problems have cast a cloud over the aircraft, which is heavily dependent on pioneering electrical systems and lightweight composite materials and is seen as key to Boeing's future. No airline has canceled purchases for the 787, but with 850 of the ambitious USD 200 millionplus aircraft on order, a fortune is at stake. -AFP
February 1, 2013
India, Australia to begin n-talks in March NEW DELHI: India and Australia have moved towards further cementing their strategic partnership as they agreed to begin negotiations here in March on a nuclear pact besides broadening trade and economic relations. External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid and his Australian counterpart Bob Carr, after 90minute bilateral talks, agreed to hold the first round of negotiations on a civil nuclear cooperation agreement in March in Delhi. "We shall be commencing negotiations on a Civil Nuclear Energy Cooperation Agreement in March 2013," Khurshid said. "India is a key part of Australia's future," Carr said announcing the first round of talks for the nuclear cooperation agreement would be held in Delhi in March. Khurshid said the External Affairs Ministries of both the countries would conduct the talks. The agreement would enable the export of uranium from Australia to India, Carr said. Australia has about 40 per cent of the world's uranium reserves. Khurshid said India would also
host a meeting of the Joint Commission of Commerce Ministers, which would give impetus to trade relations between the two countries. The bilateral trade is at
derstanding towards a mutually beneficial Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA)," he said. During the parleys, it was de-
External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid and his Australian counterpart Bob Carr during a joint press conference at Hyderabad house in New Delhi on January 21
present 21 billion Australian dollars. "Our trade negotiators have been engaged in broadening un-
cided that Defense Minister A K Antony would visit Australia sometime in March for further discussions on cooperation in de-
Swiss govt to accept requests for banking info DAVOS: Switzerland will be able to provide banking and other details sought by other countries, including India, from next month about a 'group of persons' even without their individual identification, provided the information has not been requested as part of some 'fishing expedition'. A new Tax Administrative Assistance Act will come into force on February 1 and a resolution to this effect has been passed by the Switzerland's Federal Council, a senior official in Swiss finance ministry said here. The development follows intensified global pressure on Swiss authorities in the past couple of years to act against the secrecy walls of Swiss banks, which have been often accused of providing safe haven to illicit wealth from abroad and not sharing the account details citing their client confidentiality provisions. While the Swiss government provides assistance to those foreign countries with whom it has relevant information exchange or tax treaties, which includes India, but requests for a 'group of persons' not accepted so far. With the new Tax Administrative Assistance Act (TAAA) coming into force next month, group
fense and security sectors. This would be the first ever visit by an Indian Defense Minister to Australia. On timeframe for concluding
requests in accordance with the international standards will now be possible as well, said the offi-
clearly distinct from fishing expeditions," the Swiss Federal Council has said in its resolution for the
The development follows intensified global pressure on Swiss authorities in the past couple of years to act against the secrecy walls of Swiss banks, which have been often accused of providing safe haven to illicit wealth cial who is here for the Annual Meeting of World Economic Forum. Such requests would require a detailed description of the actions taken by any Swiss bank's clients "to avoid taxation and must be
TAAA. Fishing expedition is a term used for information requests without concrete indications of tax avoidance or other crimes and is generally undertaken with an aim to find something interesting. -PTI
negotiations on nuclear pact, Khurshid said the sense of urgency and commitment between the two countries on the issue was
"very clear". "When we speak on a matter of such high import, to actually put an artificial deadline and say we must complete it within this period would not be appropriate. Obviously, a sense of urgency and purpose would be there and hopefully we would move quite swiftly," he said. "I think these are very important negotiations. Of course, we have done negotiations with other countries successfully on this. So, there is a backdrop available and there are models available," he said. Khurshid underscored the significant contributions made by Australia in nuclear energy sector and non-proliferation. Australia had agreed to start negotiations on a civil nuclear deal with India during the October visit of Prime Minister Julia Gillard to New Delhi. In December 2011, Gillard's Labor Party had overturned its longstanding ban on exporting uranium to India. The country did not sell uranium to India because it is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. -PTI
Moody's retains rating outlook, wants India to contain deficit NEW DELHI: Retaining India's However, robust domestic savcredit rating at the existing level, ings and a dynamic private sector global agency Moody's has cau- would provide strength in the metioned that a high fiscal deficit dium term, it added. could pull down the growth in the Moody's expects Indian coming years. economy to grow by 5.4 per cent "Large government deficits and in the current fiscal and 6 per cent debt ratios as well as supply con- in 2013-14. Last fiscal, the straints in the form of infrastruc- economy grew by 6.5 per cent. ture, policy and administrative inIt further said that while high efficiencies constrain the sover- commodity prices have raised the eign credit profile," Moody's said subsidy bill, government's meain India rating report. On the positive â€œLarge government deficits side, the global rating agency reaf- and debt ratios as well as firmed sovereign credit rating of In- supply constraints in the form dia at Baa3, which of infrastructure, policy and indicates investment grade, with a administrative inefficiencies stable outlook. constrain the sovereign credit "Government finances are the profile," Moody's said in weakest aspect of India rating report India's macroeconomic profile... We expect the government's fiscal sures to reduce fuel and fertilizer position to remain weaker than subsidies were too modest to peers over the medium term," it compensate for high global comsaid, adding sustained improve- modity prices. ment in public finances could reThe report has not taken into sult in rating upgrade. account the recent decision of the As regards growth prospects, government to partially deregulate it said that a downturn was under- diesel and allow oil market compaway which could be exacerbated nies to raise price by 45-50 paise by slower global growth. every month, it said. -PTI
February 1, 2013
Sat Feb 2
Thu Feb 7
Thu Feb 7
Sat Feb 2
Sat Feb 2
• Dil se
• Design of Experiments & Statistical Process Control for Process Development & Validation
• Basement Bhangra at LPR ft. DJ Sanj
• Know Your Child Workshop
• Sankranthi Habba Celebrations
Venue: Art of Living Center, 212 Durham Ave, Metuchen, NJ 08840 Time: 10:00 am Contact: 732-543-5709
Venue: The Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago, 10915 Lemont Rd, Lemont, IL 60439 Time: 5:00 pm Contact: 8473592418
Sun Feb 3
Sun Feb 10
Venue: Jain Temple Auditorium, 722 S. Main Street, Milpitas, CA 95035 Time: 7:00 pm Contact: 408-646-0330
Sun Feb 3 • Satsang Venue: Society of Abidance in Truth, 1834 Ocean St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060 Time: 10:00 am Contact: 831-425-7287
Fri Feb 8 • Valentine Bash 2013 Venue: Chandni Restaurant, 5748 Mowry School Rd, Newark, CA 94560 Time: 7:00 pm Contact: 510-673-0153
Fri Feb 8 Annual Traffic Light Theme Venue: Bamboo Lounge, 1355 N 4th St, San Jose, CA 95112 Time: 9:00 pm Contact: 408-569-2417
Wed Feb 13 • Valentine's Day Henna Evening Venue: BeautShilp My Fair Lady Salon, 1072 Shell Blvd, Foster City, CA 94404 Time: 4:00 pm Time: 650-212-4274
Sat Feb 16 • Music Group Daybreak Trio Venue: Fremont Main Library, 2400 Stevenson Blvd. Fremont, CA 94538 Time: 2:00 pm Contact: (510) 745-1401 Highlight: The Daybreak Trio is led by Wayne Siligo, jazz and pop guitarist, vocalist, saxophonist and blues-harp player.
Venue: Orange County CA, California,USA, Fremont, Irvine, CA 92620 Time: 9:00 am Contact: 800-425-9407
Sat Feb 09 • I Just Wanna Dance 2013
Venue: Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker Street, New York, NY 10012 Time: 7:00 pm Contact: 718-207-0058
Tue Feb 26 • West Sonoma Coast Vintners presents NYC West of West Wine Festival
Venue: Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, 1935 Manhattan Beach Blvd, Redondo Beach, CA 90278 Time: 6:00 pm to 6:30 pm
Venue: City Winery, 155 Varick St, New York, NY 10013 Time: 6:00 pm
Sat Feb 9
• Masters of Indian Music
• Red Hot & Happening Valentine - HTHF Annual Gala Dinner & Dance
Venue: Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway at 95th Street, New York, NY 10025 Time: 7:00 pm Contact: 212-545-7536
Venue: Arcadia Community Center Hall, 365 Campus Drive, Arcadia (Los Angeles), CA 91007 Time: 7:00 pm Contact: 626-991-4789
Fri Jun 21 • UCarnival Los Angeles 2013 Venue: Holiday Inn - La Mirada, 14299 Firestone Blvd, La Mirada, CA 90638 Time: 10:00 am Contact: 510578728
Sun May 05
Fri May 10 • Soorya Festival New York Venue: Radio City Music Hall, 1260 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020 Time: 6:00 pm Contact: 832 643 9131
WASHINGTON DC Upcoming
Sat Feb 16
• Lover's Nest - A Valentine Party
Sun Mar 24 • My Shadi Bridal Expo Venue: Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel, 2450 Galleria Pkwy, Atlanta, GA 30339 Time: 12:00 pm Contact: 9547848100
Venue: Bombay Tandoor Restaurant, 8603 Westwood Center Dr, Vienna, VA 22182 Time: 8:30 pm Contact: 571-340-7289
Fri Mar 8 • Hillarious Gujarati comedy play Venue: Laurel High School, 8000 Cherry Ln, Laurel, MD 20707 Time: 8:00 pm Contact: 703-449-0772
• Mind and Meditaton Session Venue: Art of Living Somerset, 216 Weston Rd, Franklin Township, NJ 08873 Time: 9:30 am Contact: 732-328-9109
Fri Feb 15 •Trendz Entertainment Presents Valentines Party Venue: Hotel 999, Formerly Known as Ramada, North Brunswick, NJ 08902 Time: 8:00 pm Contact: 347-385-8587
• Ekantha Seva Concert By Smt Deepashri Phatak Venue: The Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago, 10915 Lemont Rd, Lemont, IL 60439 Time: 7:00 pm Contact: 630-972-0300
Fri Feb 22 • Siddharth Randeira is coming to Chicago in GUJJUBHAI NI GOLMALL, Dinner & Drama Night Venue: Jain Center, Bartlett, IL Time: Dinner 6:30 pm and Play 8 pm Contact: 630-913-6660, 630-347-9046
Desi News Swami Vivekananda remembered SURI SWAMY
CHICAGO: Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh USA Inc. (HSS) concluded its inaugural event for its Year-Long "SV150" celebration of Swami Vivekananda's 150th birth anniversary on January 12. The Chicago chapter of HSS held the event at all three shakha locations - Abhimanyu shakha, Schaumburg, Naperville shakha and Lake County shakha in Libertyville. The Naperville function was attended by over 150 well wishers and members. Guests of Honor were Aneeta Godbole at Abhimanyu shakha, Rajul Bhalla from Chinmaya Mission at the Lake County shakha and Dr. Bill Foster 11th District Congressman, at the Naperville shakha. Details on page 21
Star Entertainment signals Valentine Bash 2013 India Post News Service
NEWARK, CA: Peter Sahjani and Dahya Mistry of Star Entertainment present the Valentine Bash 2013 at Chandni Restaurant in Newark, CA on Friday February 8. It is going to be a splendid romantic and colorful evening of delightful total entertainment with dinner and dance The program will start at 7:45 pm with the musical segment with Bay Area best singers Mandeep Singh, Moonmita Ghosh and Guest Singer Raj Sohal. Details on page 19
Heart Center fundraiser to feature Dr Sheena India Post News Service
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA: The annual "Scarlet Night" fundraiser for The South Asian Heart Center at El Camino Hospital will take place on Saturday, March 9 at the Santa Clara Convention Center. The elegant, must-attend event, now in its fifth year, raises both money and awareness for the Center's strategic initiatives, including community advocacy, primary prevention, physician education, and clinical research aimed at stemming the twin epidemics of heart disease and diabetes among South Asians.
COMMUNITY ACROSS AMERICA www.indiapost.com
16 India Post
February 1, 2013
Details on page 26
Users list benefits at TLS Reunion & Graduation ceremony VIDYA SETHURAMAN India Post News Service
FREMONT: Implementing the principles of TLS Weight Management Solutions has made a difference in the lives of many individuals, who are now living the lifestyle. TLS (Transition Lifestyle System) is about education and implementation, not limitation. It encompasses low-glycemic impact eating, behavior modification, and body composition, while offering an extensive plan that covers everything you need to get fit and trim. In fact, a big part of TLS helps one make healthy choices, while enjoying a normal, diverse diet. Through the TLS 12-Week Program, participants are coached in identifying new favorite, low-glycemic foods, creating healthy behaviors, and improving body composition through exercise. Along with accountability, this combination provides a recipe for success by boosting metabolism and allowing the body to burn stored fat. In a nutshell, TLS provides health awareness education designed to help people get on the road towards optimal health. The TLS Program was introduced in the Fremont Hindu Temple in late 2011 and continues to make a positive impact in the lives of many participants and their families. Dr.
L to R: Dr Romesh Japra, Anjali Khard, Sandeep Harpalani, Roma Harpalani and Manju Kaul
Romesh Japra saw the value of the TLS Program, as it brought remarkable results for him and his heart patients. As a result, he wanted to share TLS with his extended family by introducing it to the Indian community and the devotees of the Fremont Hindu Temple. On January 19, 2013, a TLS Reunion was held at Japra Mahal Fremont, which involved personal suc-
Dr. Japra spoke about personally living the TLS lifestyle and how this program has helped him to stay fit and healthy
Details on page 23
Three-in-one celebration by Senior Pariwar Details on page 27
Ayyappa Mandala festival celebrated with devotion
L to R: Raj Kaul, Priya Nayar, Mona Sehgal and Gregg W. Nutti
cess stories, as well as a graduation ceremony for two of the most recent classes. Along with a group photo, graduation certificates were provided to 12 individuals who successfully completed and excelled in the course tutored at the temple. During the event, Dr. Japra spoke about personally living the TLS lifestyle and how this program has helped him to stay fit and healthy. He wants the Indian community to continue benefiting from the TLS Educational Program, as it has been a valuable resource in promoting disease prevention by living a healthy lifestyle. During his closing remarks, Dr. Japra announced the formation of the Transition Lifestyle Wellness and Health Awareness Forum in Fremont Hindu Temple to educate devotees and community on prevention, prevalence, being healthy, and health awareness. In the leadership of Dr. Japra, Rajesh Verma, Priya Nayar, Chitra Thakur, Gregg W. Nutti, and Jenny Feng are members of the newly formed health forum and would be involved in educating the Indian community on the ways of healthy living. Contâ€™d on page 17
Community Across America
February 1, 2013
India Post 17
Bay Area Tamil Manram celebrates Pongal VIDYA SETHURAMAN India Post News Service
FREMONT: Bay Area Tamil Manram celebrated their Pongal festival on January 19 at Centerville Junior Middle School in Fremont. The program started with cooking of Pongal in authentic Tamil Nadu style.
Women gathered around a decorated podium and started to cook the sweet Pongal, symbolizing the prosperity to be spread in our life. Pongal is a thanksgiving or harvest festival celebrated in South India at the end of the harvest season. Contâ€™d on page 18
Users list benefits at TLS Reunion & Graduation ceremony Contâ€™d from page 16
The event was attended by over 150 people, who were briefly introduced to the principles and the health benefits of TLS by Gregg W. Nutti, who is a Certified TLS Coach. He explained that not all carbohydrates are created equal and that an over-simplified low-carb diet does not represent a real solution, let alone a healthy, sustainable lifestyle. During the TLS Education Program, students learn that carbo-
overall health. Rajesh Kaul spoke on how the program had a positive impact on his annual health report. Priya said this is the only program which kept her focused on achieving her wellness goals. Chitra said that it was a simple way to get educated and educate others for the "Way of Life" to be healthy. The Fremont Hindu Temple has two 12-Week TLS Classes running simultaneously, which meet on Sundays in Saraswati Hall for the benefit of the community at large.
A section of the audience
hydrates are not the enemy, as they are a necessary source of energy. The key is to realize that not all carbs are created equal. The program helps to identify higher quality carbs and to effectively incorporate them in a balanced meal with proteins, essential good fats, and fiber. The TLS Weight Loss Solutions Program provides students the tools to eat for life, arming them with the knowledge to make better choices, whether they are preparing meals at home or dining out. A highlight of the TLS Reunion Event was the sharing of several personal success stories. Rajesh Kaul, Priya Nayar, Ragini Raghavan, Chitra Thakur and other top TLS performers spoke at length on how the program has changed their perspectives on health and encouraged others to consider the program to improve
People interested in the program can contact the Fremont temple health forum or temple administrators for more information. Priya Nayarpriya@indiapost.com 510 565 9993
Chitra Thakurchitrathakur@hotmail.com 510 474 1368
Community Across America
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February 1, 2013
Hindu mantras open San Jose City Council SONIA SIDHU India Post News Service
SAN JOSE: The tenth largest in USA, City Council of San Jose in California started its day on January 15 afternoon session with Hindu mantras, containing verses from world's oldest existing scripture. Founded in 1777, this was probably for the first time that the Council reverberated with Vedic Mantras recited by Rajan Zed, President of Universal Society of Hinduism. After Sanskrit delivery, he then read the English translation of the prayer. Sanskrit is considered a sacred language in Hinduism and root language of IndoEuropean languages. The Mantras recited were from Rig-Veda, the oldest scripture of the world still in common use, besides lines from Upanishads and Bhagavad-Gita (Song of the Lord), both ancient Hindu scriptures. He
Rajan Zed delivering the Hindu invocation of San Jose City Council. On the extreme right is Mayor Chuck Reed
started and ended the prayer with "Om", the mystical syllable containing the universe, which in Hinduism is used to introduce and conclude religious work. Reciting from Brahadaranyakopanishad, Rajan
Zed said, "Asato ma sad gamaya, Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya, Mrtyor ma amrtam gamaya", which he then translated as "Lead me from the unreal to the Real, Lead me from darkness to Light, and Lead me from death to Immortality."
Reciting from Bhagavad-Gita, he urged council members to keep the welfare of others always in mind. Council members, city employees and public were seen standing in prayer mode with their heads bowed during this invoca-
tion. Wearing saffron colored attire, a rudraksh mala (rosary), and traditional sandal paste tilak (religious mark) on the forehead, Zed sprinkled few drops of water from river Ganga of India, considered holy by Hindus, around the podium before the prayer. Zed presented a copy of Bhagavad-Gita to Mayor Chuck Reed, while Council member Ash Kalra introduced and thanked Zed. San Jose was California's first civilian settlement and the site of its first state capital. Its taglines include "Among America's Most International Cities", "World Class Climate, Parks & Entertainment" and it claims to be recognized as an international epicenter of arts, culture, and technology. Madison Nguyen and Debra Figone are the Vice Mayor and City Manager respectively of San Joe, whose only 44% people speak English at home.
Bay Area Tamil Manram celebrates Pongal
Contâ€™d from page 17
Pongal signals the end of the traditional farming season, giving farmers a break from their monotonous routine. Farmers also perform puja to crops, signaling the end of
the traditional farming season. It also sets the pace for a series of festivals to follow in a calendar year. Bay Area Tamil Manram has been serving the San Francisco Bay area since 1980. It was started as a group of like-minded Tamils to socialize
and has grown into a strong organization of what it is now. Pongal festivities were started with invocation to Goddess Tamil, introductory speech by Jayakumar Muthalagu, President of the organization. Anu Natarajan, Vicemayor of Fremont was the chief guest. She shared her childhood experience and thanked the association for celebrating the festival in traditional style, thereby giving an opportunity to the kids to know our roots. She said it was a highly laudable effort by the organization to bring back the festival the way it's celebrated in Tamil Nadu. Karakaatam, Silambaattam, Uriadithal, poetry recital, dance, drama were organized as a part of the festivities. Kids of Bay area showcased their talents through
dance and singing performance. Most of the performances were based on the theme of "Pongal". Tamil Manram is committed to the growth of Tamil cultural activi-
ties in the Bay area. Tamil Manram regularly conducts children events and encourages kids to learn Tamil language and Tamil culture.
February 1, 2013
Community Across America
India Post 19
Star Entertainment signals Valentine Bash 2013 India Post News Service
NEWARK, CA: Peter Sahjani and Dahya Mistry of Star Entertainment present the Valentine Bash 2013 at Chandni Restaurant in Newark, CA on Friday February 8. It is going to be a splendid romantic and colorful evening of delightful total entertainment with dinner and dance The program will start at 7:45 pm with the musical segment with Bay Area best singers Mandeep Singh, Moonmita Ghosh and Guest Singer Raj Sohal. The Professional Classical &
Belly dances will be performed by Bay Area's versatile & very recognized artist Elena Elsoukov who has been performing in Bay Area for the past few years in Classical, Belly Dance & Bollywood numbers. Bhangra dances will be performed by Bhangra Knightz Group. Ramesh Maraj, well known Saxophonist in the Bay Area will thrill the audience with his Saxophone Bollywood numbers during the Fashion Show and at dinner time. Fashion Show has been organized by well known Sonali Closet
Standing from Left are : Elena, Preter Sahjani, Sonali Closet, Raj Sohal, Smitha Deepak, Mandeep Singh, Shalini Raj Singh & Dahya Mistry
Singers from L to R: Mandeep Singh, Moonmita Ghosh & Raj Sohal
of Sonali "O" There will be several good raffle prizes. The non-stop DJ will start from 11:00 pm till 12:30. The Lead Emcee of the program will be Smitha Deepak, and the fashion show segment will be emceed by Deepa Thakor. There will be an audience dance competition segment conducted by Rishi Kumar. Chandni Restaurant' scrump-
tious dinner will include Veg & Non-Veg appetizers. The door will open sharp at 7:00 pm. The guests are encouraged to wear Valentine theme dress code: Red & Black. Star Entrainment has thanked event Grand Sponsor Chaat Bhavan, Platinum Sponsors Intero Real Estate Service, and Cal Coast Financial Corp. The Gold sponsors of the event are Rewa Kumar of
Divine Vastu & PNG Jewelers. The others Sponsors include Ritesh Kumar of Divine Intuitions, Jai Singh of Indian Chili, Jyotika Bhatia of Malabis Couture & Iqbal Khalsa of Copy Perfect . The Media Sponsors of the event are Azmi Gill of US Urdu Newspaper, Shalini Raj Singh of Chalte Chalte, Ena Sarkar of WomenNow, Sameer Khera of Gaat Rahe Mera Dil (GRMD)
Community Across America
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February 1, 2013
Bal-Mukund: Playground for Vedic wisdom & Hindi classes India Post News Service
FREMONT: Bal-Mukund is a beautifully designed and structured children's personality and character development program that has been envisioned by Swami Mukundananda Ji. It endeavors to awaken in children, aged 5 thru 15 an appreciation, understanding and executable knowledge of their Vedantic heritage and roots. BalMukund, as envisioned by Swamiji, focuses on imbibing the highest value system in children through an array of activities that include, recitation of shlokas, yoga, meditation, games, pranayam, crafts, storytelling, kirtan singing and prayers recitations.
Bal-Mukund classes Bal-Mukund classes are held weekly. Each session can be 90 minutes to 120 minutes. It is 90 minutes if only the Bal-Mukund curriculum is taught. If Hindi classes are also taught as part of the Bal-Mukund class then another 30 minutes need to be added to each class. The sessions run an entire academic year and follow a traditional school calendar year. A generic breakdown of a class session is listed below. There can be variability in the order of activities depending upon teacher preference, student dynamics, venue availability etc. All children start with: â€˘ Morning prayers/ Shlokas; Yoga/Pranayam; Meditation, Kirtan Groups split age wise: â€˘ Story Session (Younger); Essence of Hinduism (Older); Games, crafts Together again for: Aarti; Hindi (If there are children at different levels; beginners, intermediate etc., then the class will be split up depending upon what level the children are at)
ing on 7 core values; the KRIPALU values: K: Kindness; R: Respect; I: Integrity; P: Perseverance; A: Accountability; L: Love; U: Unassuming
Guiding principles There are 5 principles that guide everyone involved with spreading Swamiji's BalMukund vision; The 5 E's: a) Educate young minds in the knowledge of Vedic wisdom, to lead a virtuous life b) Enthuse the spirit of giving with a service attitude c) Encourage problem solving with courage, confidence and faith d) Entertain creativity; expand power of concentration and focus e) Elevate young minds to higher levels of consciousness, and fill their hearts with love and reverence for God
Personality development The 5 E's mentioned above coupled with the 7 'KRIPALU' values that are encouraged in every session and through every activity, allow the children to realize their full potential and be the best they can be. By understanding and incorporating the values fostered by KRIPALU: Kindness, Respect, Integrity, Perseverance, Accountability, Love for God and Un-
Principles & Values Bal-Mukund curriculum approaches enlightening children about their invaluably rich religious and cultural roots by focus-
and Emotional quotients are all addressed and Bal-Mukund activities promote awareness amongst children in all these areas of development. Through art, craft, games, storytelling, meditation, yoga and pranayam a multifaceted approach is adopted toward teaching the child and ensuring that their experience at Bal-Mukund is positive, selffulfilling and fun. For more details, check out our worldwide initiatives at: www.JKYog.org | www.Bal-Mukund.org
Swamiji's exemplary life Swami Mukundananda is a renowned spiritual teacher from India, and is the senior disciple of Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj. He is the founder of the Yogic system called "Jagadguru Kripaluji Yog." Swamiji is a unique sanyasi (in the renounced order of life), who has a distinguished technical and management educational background as well.
Worldwide Mission For the last quarter of a century, Shree Swamiji has been traveling far and wide, awakening hundreds of thousands of seekers. Wherever Swamji goes, he attracts huge audiences. Hearing the profound secrets of the Vedas from him is a rare privilege, for he is able to explain the ancient esoteric knowledge with rigorous scientific logic, in the modern context. Using perfect logic, and a simple-yet-scientific approach, Swamiji offers new ways of understanding and applying the knowledge of the scriptures in our daily lives. The hallmark of his lectures is the ease with which he dispels
Academic and Professional Accomplishments
Reference material All the material used to teach children has been beautifully written and complied by Swamiji himself. It is therefore, a very holistic program and one that allows for very logical amalgamation of wisdom from varied Hindu texts and scriptures, expertly explained and put forth by Swamiji. With Swamiji being the author of a variety of text books, audio/video CD's being used to communicate Vedic richness to children, there is an ocean of reference material at the teachers' finger tips and they don't have to go scouring sources to put assignments/lesson plans together. Ease of planning and execution is a tremendous benefit to those volunteering their time spearheading a Bal-Mukund center.
Swami Mukundananda Ji
Under the guidance of Shree Maharajji, he practiced intense sadhana while residing at the ashram. He also extensively studied the Vedic scriptures, and the Indian and Western systems of philosophy. Upon completion of his studies, his Guru entrusted him with the key task of propagating the ancient knowledge of the Eternal Truth the world over. Swamiji was first introduced to yogasans and Hatha Yog meditational techniques in childhood, and he continued its practice while growing up. As he transitioned to Bhakti Yog, he changed his meditational techniques, but continued with his daily practice of yogasans. Seeing his interest in Yog, Kripaluji Maharaj asked him to teach a holistic system of Yog, to correct the anomaly in the Western world, where Yoga was being taught as a mere physical science. On his Spiritual Master's instructions, Swamiji visited reputed Yoga Universities all over India, studying their yogic techniques. He then incorporated the best practices of Hatha Yog, and amalgamated it with Bhakti Yog, to formulate the system of "Jagadguru Kripaluji Yog."
assuming the child's personality blossoms. Swamiji resounds an eternal truth in his statement that, "Just as the acorn carries the potential of becoming an oak tree, children carry in them infinite potential for future greatness." Bal-Mukund inspires them to reach for greater heights by harnessing that potential.
Academics The Bal-Mukund curriculum adopts a holistic approach to child development. It ensures that the development of all four quotients needed for a successful, well-balanced and happy life is encouraged in children. Spirituality, Intelligence, Adversity
Swami Mukundananda completed B.Tech. from the world-renowned Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi. He then did MBA from the equally distinguished Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Kolkata. After that, he worked for some time with one of India's topmost industrial houses. However, distinguished material education and a promising corporate career did not quench his thirst for knowing the Absolute Truth. The longing for God was so strong that he renounced his career and traveled throughout India as a sanyasi.
At the Lotus Feet of his Spiritual Master Ultimately his search took him to the lotus feet of his Spiritual Master, Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj (who is lovingly called "Maharajji" by his devotees). He was overawed by the unfathomable scriptural knowledge and ocean of Divine love that he saw manifest in his Spiritual Master. About this first meeting, Maharajji later remarked, "He recognized me as one would recognize his mother."
various myths and misnomers associated with the various paths of God-realization, and his ability to penetrate even the toughest minds and convince them with depth of understanding and scriptural veracity.
Inspiring Discourses Swamiji's lectures cover the teachings of the Vedas, Upanishads, Shreemad Bhagavatam, Puranas, Bhagavad Geeta, Ramayan, and other Eastern scriptures and Western philosophies. Like the true Disciple of a true Master, Swamiji masterfully quotes from the scriptures of all the great religions, to satisfy even the most discerning of knowledge-seekers. He also reveals the simple and straightforward path to God-realization that can be practiced by anyone.
February 1, 2013
Community Across America
India Post 21
Swami Vivekananda remembered with reverence SURI SWAMY
Celebrating 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda with cake sharing
CHICAGO: Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh USA Inc. (HSS) concluded its inaugural event for its Year-Long "SV150" celebration of Swami Vivekananda's 150th birth anniversary on January 12. The Chicago chapter of HSS held the event at all three shakha locations - Abhimanyu shakha, Schaumburg, Naperville shakha and Lake County shakha in Libertyville. The Naperville function was attended by over 150 well wishers and members. Guests of Honor were Aneeta Godbole at Abhimanyu shakha, Rajul Bhalla from Chinmaya Mission at the Lake County shakha and Dr. Bill Foster 11th District Congressman, at the Naperville shakha. Dr Indra Makhija of Vivekananda Vedanta Society (VVS) delivered the keynote address at the Naperville shakha. Representatives of 10 other Chi-
Congressman Bill Foster being greeted by Naperville Shakha organizers
cago area associations and groups also graced the Naperville event Across the country, HSS held inaugural events at over 100 locations nationwide attended by over 10,000 participants and guests. The inaugural event included the premiere of a twenty-minute video
Guests and members flock at the table displaying books on Swamiji
Chidananda and Swami swayamsevaks, and Dharma Bee Varadananda of the VVS Chicago competition registration launch. and Swami Dayananda Sarswati of Books on the life and teachings the Arsha Vidya Gurukulam also of Swami Vivekananda were availoffered their blessings. able for sale at one of the tables. US Representative Jim Gerlach Delicious snacks prepared by the of Pennsylvania's 6th District of volunteers were served following PA sent his greetings for the celebrations in Audubon, Pennsylvania. US Representative Jim Also US Representative Gerlach of Pennsylvania's Bill Foster of Illinois' 11th District joined the event 6th District of PA sent his held in Naperville, IL greetings for the celebraAs part of the inaugural event, HSS also tions in Audubon, Pennsylopened the registration vania. Also US Representaportal for its first-ever tive Bill Foster of Illinois' DharmaBeeTM, a nationwide quiz contest for chil- 11th District joined the dren between kindergar- event held in Naperville, IL ten and eighth grade, at www.dharmabee.org. This edition of the DharmaBeeTM will the program. have questions on Bhagwan Sri HSS will conduct more events Krishna along with the life and in 2013 as part of its observance teachings of Swami Vivekananda. of Swami Vivekananda's 150th
A section of the audience at the celebration
produced by HSS on the life and teachings of Swami Vivekananda. HSS launched SV150 with the support of over 300 organizations, including other Hindu-American organizations, Indian-American organizations, and even yoga and kirtan associations. Swami
Events started with the hoisting of the Bhagawa Dhwaj (saffron flag) followed by traditional Deep Prajwalan (lighting of lamp) by the guests. The program included cultural performances, yoga demonstrations, Sankalp (taking a pledge) by all
Children gather at yet another shakha for cake cutting ceremony
birth anniversary. These will include programs for high school and college students, such as a traveling exhibit on Swami Vivekananda's life visiting major university campuses and "Vacation with Vivekananda" excursions to locations where Swami Vivekananda visited during his travels in the United States; and a culminating "Dharma and Yoga Fest," scheduled simultaneously on a regional basis to commemorate Swami Vivekananda's groundbreaking address at the World's Parliament of Religions in Chicago on September 11, 1893. HSS conducts a structured values education program through its 150 chapters nationwide to develop strong character and teamwork and leadership skills and to organize a dynamic and flourishing Hindu-American community.
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Community Across America
February 1, 2013
HTGC celebrates Vivekananda 150th birth anniversary
Lamp lighting ceremony at Vivekananda birth anniversary celebration. Pics Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago India Post News Service
CHICAGO: A two-day event remembering Swami Vivekananda's unique contributions and the lasting spiritual legacy to humanity and celebrating his 150th birth anniversary was held at the Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago on January 12 and 13. The Vivekananda International East West (VIEW) Yoga Conference was held on the first day. The President of temple, Tilak Marwaha, kick started the VIEW Yoga Conference after Veena Marwaha and Rama Palacharla lighted the lamp in memory and honor of Swami Vivekananda on his 150th birth anniversary celebrations. In his welcome address to the gathering, Marwaha invited all 120 participants attending the conference to learn and understand the contributions of Swami Vivekananda who brought yoga and Vedanta to the United States when he attended the first Parliament of World Religions in Chicago in September 1893. He said that Vivekananda, after giving several talks on Vedanta, traveled all over mid-western and eastern United States giving lectures on Vedanta and Yoga for almost two years. Swami Vivekananda stayed in Thousand Islands in New York for several months teaching and giving discourses on Raja Yoga, Karma Yoga, Jnana Yoga and Bhakti Yoga. He even wrote and published his first book on Raja Yoga while he was in New York. Marwaha also said, "Swami Vivekananda later traveled to Europe and came back to the US to teach for some more time before he went back to India. During his first visit to the US, Vivekananda founded the world's first Vedanta Society in New York. When he went back to India he founded the Ramakrishna Mission
in honor of his master Ramakrishna to serve humanity. Then in 1899 when he visited US for the second time, he founded Vedanta Society of San Francisco and started Peace Retreat (Shanti Ashram) in California. Thus he planted the seeds for yoga and influenced many leading thinkers, scientists and philosophers of his time both in the East and in the West". The temple's Vice-President Bhima Reddy, in his speech, mentioned having the privilege of being part of the team that was responsible for installing Swami Vivekananda's statue at the temple, the first statue of Swami Vivekananda in the US, and how the temple later expanded to build the Vivekananda Spiritual Center (VSC) which contains state-of-theart meditation hall with Audio/Video facilities for people to sit quietly, meditate, listen to music kirtans, bhajans and also enjoy many spiritual discourses by distinguished speakers from all over the world. HTGC Yoga Committee Chair Prasad Palacharla shared the agenda for different yoga workshops by distinguished speakers and teachers lined up for the en-
After the morning sessions the participants in the yoga workshops had delicious Indian vegetarian lunch prepared by Temple's Prasadam Kitchen. The temple had four other major workshops on Jnana Yoga, Karma Yoga, Bhagawad-Gita and Bhakti Yoga in the afternoon. The participants also practiced Omkar Pranayama and Yoga Mudra and a mini-Hatha Yoga session in the morning and two Mini Hatha Yoga sessions, Pranayama and Dhyana sessions in the afternoon which were taught by HTGC Yoga teachers Prasad, Tomek, Alex, Loreta and Ramasami. These mini Matha Yoga and Pranayama sessions helped all participants to stay relaxed, calm and rejuvenated throughout the day as tension breakers and smooth transitioning between workshops. As Swami Vivekananda pointed
on Bhakti Yoga, the path of devotion. He shared inspiring incident in Swami Vivekananda's life. Although being an Advaita Vedantist (non-dualistic philosopher who believes that Self and Brahman are One and the same),
The participants also practiced Omkar Pranayama and Yoga Mudra and a miniHatha Yoga session in the morning and two Mini Hatha Yoga sessions, Pranayama and Dhyana sessions in the afternoon which were taught by HTGC Yoga teachers dogmas or rituals, or books or temples or forms are but secondary details." Swami Varadananda, Hindu monk of the Ramakrishna order from the Vivekananda Vedanta Society of Chicago, hosted the
Vivekananda was also a Lord Rama Bhakta (Devotee, dualistic philosopher who believes that Self and Brahman are separate but merges into one another). He also concluded with a talk on how to integrate all four paths of yoga,
Swami Verdananda addressing group of participants
out, there are several means to achieve the ultimate goal of yoga i.e. to manifest the divinity within, thru Karma Yoga (selfless action), or Bhakti Yoga (devotion), or Raja Yoga (cultivating mind through
Yoga session in progress
tire day. As part of the yoga conference, three major workshops on Raja Yoga, Vedanta, and Ayur Yoga were conducted in the morning.
fest this divinity within by controlling nature, external and internal. Do this either by work, or worship or psychic control, or philosophy - by one, or more, or all of these - and be free. This is the whole of religion. Doctrines or
eight limbed path), or Jnana Yoga (cultivating wisdom). He said, "Each soul is potentially divine. The goal is to mani-
next workshop on Vedanta. Vedanta is the body of knowledge, spiritual essence and philosophy from Upanishads at the end of Vedas (ancient scriptures from India on the Sanatana Dharma, meaning "Eternal or Universal Righteousness.") He explained how Swami Vivekananda strongly emphasized his life's mission was to awaken divinity within humanity and how by serving humanity one would be actually serving the Divine. Poonam Gupta, Director of Yoga Gyan Jyoti, Center for Yoga and Ayurveda, hosted Workshop on Ayur Yoga. Man Mohan Shukla, author, motivational speaker and life coach, conducted workshop on Jnana Yoga, the path of knowledge, truthfulness, wisdom and transformation through yogic consciousness. Swami Jyotirmayananda, editor of "Vivekananda - His Gospel of Man-Making," hosted a session
i.e. Raja Yoga (path of meditation and mind control), Jnana Yoga (path of wisdom), Karma Yoga (path of selfless action) and Bhakti Yoga (path of devotion) into modern daily lives. On the second day, the Conference celebrated Swami Vivekananda's 150th birth anniversary as the main event. After Swami Chinmayananda from Vedanta Society of Chicago and Swami Jyotirmayananda of Ramakrishna Mission from India garlanded Swami Vivekananda's statue in the Temple Campus ground, they visited Vivekananda Spiritual Center Meditation Hall before the Temple priests started the main event with an invocation. Minnu Purushotam sang beautiful bhajans and kirtans before Vivekananda Spiritual Committee Chair Amrish Mahajan introduced all the dignitaries and speakers for the day. Contâ€™d on page 25
February 1, 2013
Community Across America
India Post 23
Heart Center fundraiser to feature Dr Sheena Iyengar India Post News Service
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA: The annual "Scarlet Night" fundraiser for The South Asian Heart Center at El Camino Hospital will take place on Saturday, March 9 at the Santa Clara Convention Center. The elegant, must-attend event, now in its fifth year, raises both money and awareness for the Center's strategic initiatives, including community advocacy, primary prevention, physician education, and clinical research aimed at stemming the twin epidemics of heart disease and diabetes among South Asians. Emmy-winning Bay Area NBC TV news anchor Raj Mathai will emcee the event, which features a keynote address by Columbia Business School Professor Sheena Iyengar, renowned for her research on choice. Dr. Iyengar lost her sight early in life due to a rare inherited disease, and lost her father to heart disease when she was just 13. Rather than seeing these events as a random series of accidents destined to define her, she became fascinated by the subject of how humans make choices, and went
on to write an award-winning dissertation on the subject for her PhD in social psychology at Stanford University. "Dr. Iyengar's research into how people respond to and make choices is one that should resonate with every South Asian," says gala co-chair Poornima
The Center is also observing risk reduction with improvements in participant triglycerides and lipid levels in case-managed, lifestyle-counseled participants. It has published posters and manuscripts Kumar, who is reprising her 2012 gala co-chair role. "Many of us are becoming aware that our genes make us four times more susceptible to heart disease. Fortunately, we can make healthy lifestyle choices that level the playing field. And, we can choose to support
the South Asian Heart Center, which has led the effort to better understand how lifestyle modifications can reduce our risks for coronary artery disease and diabetes." "Choice" also resonates with gala co-chairman Nimish Mehta, co-founder and CEO of Lumen Data. After both his father and a first cousin were felled at an early age by heart disease, he chose to get tested for heart disease risk factors. "People usually don't want to ask, 'How bad are my numbers?'" he says. "But suddenly I needed to know." The news wasn't good. At age 38 he began taking "so many medications it was ridiculous," Mr. Mehta says. "After a few years, I knew I needed to try something different," he says. He sought out another cardiologist, who "slowly but surely got me almost completely off the meds through exercise, diet, and de-stressing. My numbers now are great, and it's all about making the right choices." When the South Asian Heart Center was launched in 2006, he was drawn to its lifestyle protocols, coaching and prevention-focused approach, and became one of its
first and most ardent supporters. "What the Center does so well is to help people create commonsense strategies for a heart-healthy life," he says. Funds raised for the South Asian Heart Center are spent on prevention (63.3%), outreach (11.2%), research (8.3%) and education (7.3%). Less than 10% of the Center's total revenue is spent on G & A and fundraising. The Center has screened over 4,000 participants, case-managed 1,600 high risk individuals for a year or more, created a Bay Area network of over 300 referring physicians, and trained 800 physicians on practice methods for early diagnosis, comprehensive evaluation and lifestyle changes. The Center is also observing risk reduction with improvements in participant triglycerides and lipid levels in casemanaged, lifestyle-counseled participants. Together with its research partners Stanford University and UCSF, it has published posters and manuscripts on several topics related to cardiovascular disease and diabetes in South
Asians. The 2013 gala is expected to top last year's record attendance of nearly 800. In addition to the keynote remarks, it features entertainment by the Mona Khan Dance Company, a name almost synony-
Dr Sheena Iyengar
mous with anything Bollywood in the Bay Area. This year's color theme for apparel is light green. The event takes place Saturday, March 9th, from 6 to 11:30 p.m. at the Santa Clara Convention Center at 5001 Great America Parkway, Santa Clara, CA.
Community Across America
24 India Post
February 1, 2013
Telugu Association celebrates Sankranti & Republic Day India Post News Service
CHICAGO: The 2013 Sankranti and Republic Day cultural event organized by the Tri State Telugu Association (TTA), Chicago, on Saturday January 19 was a grand success with the audience glued to the seats from start to the end. TTA celebrated Sankranti with an event that presented a multi talented, multi faceted cultural program of thematic presentations, fashion show, music and dance that brought forth the spirit of Sankranti and patriotism in full colors. The six-hour cultural program with more than 350 performers at the Hindu Temple Samarathi
Participating youth and child artists
cane and rice). It is showered on the heads of children to protect
tivated the audience After a sumptuous dinner, the second half of the cultural event started with the recital of "Suryashtakam". The Sankranti theme based folk song rendition "Sankranthi Patalu" by students of Rajeswari Parit, classical, semiclassical, folk and Kolatam presentations were executed with grace and poise. Tarana, a tribute to Pandit Ravi Shankar's composition from the Bridges collection,
sentation 'Ide Ide Mana Desam' with more than 50 participants created great excitement in the audience. "Sankranti Soyagam" and "Harvest Festival - Shades of India" depicting the spirit of Sankranti festival were surely other highlights of the evening. Performance by the Kilani sisters and Anup Kilani were thoroughly enjoyable. The grand finale of the evening "Fashion Show - Ethnic Origins" depicting
Krishna Bathina, Dr Vijayalakshmi Susarla, did a marvelous job keeping the interest of the audience sustained throughout. Stage props with original creations by artist Sri Ravi Tokala with set up help by Bhaskar Reddy Karri, added a beautiful touch to the stage dĂŠcor. The relentless efforts of the TTA Board and the Cultural committee, Food, Registration and Volunteers committees, were ap-
Bhogipallu Tradition with children
Auditorium in Lemont was jam packed with art lovers. An amazing performance by the local talent with a spectrum of flavors ranging from classical to semiclassical music and dances, sloka recitals, theme based productions on 'Sankranti and Republic Day', Fashion Show as well as folk and contemporary presentations kept the crowds mesmerized. Marking the tradition of Sankranti and Bhogi the TTA board organized "Bhogi Pallu", a special ritual performed on the day of Bhogi where little children dressed in colorful clothes are given aarthi and Bhogi Pallu- (a special mixture of berries, sugar-
them from evil forces. The cultural show started with a beautiful rendition of Sanskrit slokas. This was followed by an excellent recitation of 'Aditya Hridayam', by students of Dr. Hemalatha Burra, Retired Principal from Sri Sathya Sai University in Andhra Pradesh. Presentations by kids touching thematic songs, patriotic songs and dances, classical dances for Annamacharya compositions in the dance forms of Kuchipudi and Bharatanatyam were received very well by the audience. Several folk dances and patriotic theme based Kathak presentation choreographed by Sheetal Dhanani cap-
'Harvest Festival - Shades of India' with participation from kids, youth and adults
was another graceful presentation in the traditional Kuchipudi style. Folk presentation 'Lambadi Dance' and patriotic theme pre-
the spirit of cultural diversity, was surely another grand event of the evening. The emcees for the evening, Pranathi Tallapragadda, Dr
preciated in the vote of thanks delivered by the event cultural coordinator, Usha Pariti. The event ended with the rendition of 'Indian National Anthem'.
Speeding SUV kills NY taxi driver India Post News Service
NEW YORK: Taxi drivers of New York are mourning the passing of their colleague Mir Hossain, 35, killed when a speeding SUV struck his car while he was standing outside. An immigrant from Bangladesh, Hossain leaves behind three siblings across the world. Mir Hossain was also the roommate of taxi driver Sajjad Matin whose leg was amputated after he was hit from behind by a drunk driver while loading the
trunk with a passenger's luggage. Bhairavi Desai, Executive Director of New York Taxi Workers Alliance, released a statement by Sajjad Matin which said, "This is a total tragedy. I feel very broken. When I was hos-
pitalized, he came several times to visit. We became close friends, like family, not just roommates. We first met at the taxi garage. And lived together more than six months before my accident and then I moved to the rehabilitation center. In the same house, one driver became an amputee and one driver is dead. It is hard to believe my friend is gone like this." Meanwhile, fFamily members, taxi drivers and elected officials gathered for a prayer vigil outside Kings County Hospital for taxi
driver Key Chun Kim, 53, who remains in a coma after suffering a brutal assault by a passenger at Skillman St. and Willoughby Ave. in Brooklyn at 6:40am on January 1st. Mr. Kim's nephew, Stephen Kim, recalled childhood memories of the devoted uncle, a published poet, taking his nephews and nieces to ballgames. His sister, Kristin Kim, says the close-knit Korean immigrant family has been devastated. Contâ€™d on page 25
Community Across America
February 1, 2013
India Post 25
Gadar Memorial in San Francisco to be Museum & Library INDER SINGH
uring his inaugural address on January 8, 2013 at Pravasi Bhartiya Divas in Kochi, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh said: "This year, we are celebrating the centenary of the Gadar Movement, which was a luminous spark of support in distant California for the struggle for independence being waged at home in our country. Apart from commemorating it by the issue of a special postage stamp, we will also upgrade the Gadar Memorial in San Francisco into a functional museum and library with a sculpture to honor the Gadari Babas, the heroes of the great movement." Earlier, Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi, responsible for the organization of the annual Pravasi Bhartiya Divas, in his speech at the inaugural event for PBD 2013, said, "This is the centenary of the Gadar Movement when migrants from India settled in Canada and USA rose in their opposition to British rule in India, unmindful of the consequences in their love for motherland. Today is also a day to pay homage to them." Later in the afternoon, Gadar historian and
scholar Prof. Harish Puri, formerly of Guru Nanak Dev University, spoke for 45 minutes in a plenary session devoted exclusively to Gadar Movement. The Hindustan Association of the Pacific Coast, known as the Gadar Party was founded in 1913
to free India from British slavery. The headquarters of the association was established initially at 436 Hill Street, San Francisco and named as "Yugantar Ashram." Subsequently, a three-storey building at 5 Wood Street was purchased with funds collected
from Punjabi laborers. An electric press was installed for the weekly Gadar journal and other revolutionary publications to propagate and promote the aims, objectives and activities of the organization. Through the Gadar publications, the Indian people were called upon to unite and rise up against the British rule and throw them out of India. Lala Har Dyal, first Secretary General of the Association and editor of Urdu Gadar Journal, Kartar Singh Sarabha, editor of the Punjabi edition and other volunteers responsible for the printing and mailing of the weekly Gadar Journal and other publications, lived and worked in the building. Over a period of time, the building became known as "Gadar Ashram". After India became independent, Gadar building was handed over to the Indian Consulate in San Francisco in 1949. The building was in a dilapidated condition and was not fit for use. A suitable memorial, a two storey new building, with US$ 83,000 from Government of India and rest raised from the Indian community in California, was built and named Gadar Me-
Speeding SUV kills NY taxi driver Cont’d from page 24
"How can we find peace not knowing what will happen to our brother while knowing the man who did this to him is out free living his life while our brother is in a coma?" Two weeks after the vicious beating, the assailant, Andrew McElroy, 28, remains free on a $10,000 bail. The Kim family, Assembly Members and the New York Taxi Workers Alliance are calling for the District Attorney's Office to take the case before the grand jury. Without a grand jury indictment of felony charges, the assailant can only be prosecuted on misdemeanors and violations. "After spending 15 years driving a yellow cab in New York City, Mr. Kim is now fighting for his life. We must do a better job protecting our cab drivers from acts of violence by enhancing the assault penalties and notifying the public of the consequences after such an attack. In the immediate future, I will seek justice by working closely with our community leaders in pushing for a grand jury indictment." stated Assembly Member Ron Kim (District 40). Assembly Members Kim, Ed Braunstein and Walter Mosley will be introducing the Taxi Driver
Protection Act, requiring assaults against drivers to be prosecuted as felonies and for a sign to be posted in all taxis warning against violence against drivers. Taxi drivers are thirty times more likely to be killed on the job than other workers. While Albany has passed legislation making assaults against transit workers, nurses and sanitation workers a felony, taxi workers are invisible
taxi, to the streets, to police precincts and to DA's offices that drivers' lives matter," said Bhairavi Desai, NYTWA Executive Director. If the law was already in place, the assailant who left taxi driver Kim in a coma would already be prosecuted for a felony. "Unfortunately, the assailant's penalty has not matched the gravity of his crime. We must be
“After spending 15 years driving a yellow cab in New York City, Mr. Kim is now fighting for his life. We must do a better job protecting our cab drivers from acts of violence by enhancing the assault penalties and notifying the public of the consequences” from the law. "Since Mr. Kim's incident, we've had a member who had his arm broken, another required 12 stitches to his right eye, another suffered head wounds and another had his car door broken while a passenger was seated in the back. We've seen the violence escalate and become a daily occurrence. We need the Taxi Driver Protection Act to send a message that will echo from the back of the
firmly committed to protecting and defending the men and women that keep our city moving. By increasing the maximum sentence for assaulting a cab driver and properly warning cab riders of the consequences of such actions with backseat signs, the Taxi Driver Protection Act will ensure safer work conditions for the largest taxi driver industry in the country," stated Assemblyman Mosley (District 57.)
morial Hall. Sardar Swaran Singh, the then Minister of External Affairs, performed the ground breaking ceremony in September 1974. India's Ambassador T.N.Kaul performed the inauguration ceremony for the new building in March 1975. Gadar Hall is currently used by the Consul General of India for celebrating
dia to the US to be the chief guest. In June 2011, a letter was handed over to India's Consul General in San Francisco, asking Government of India to commemorate centenary of Gadar Movement at a grand scale, issue a postage stamp commemorating Gadar Movement, etc. A similar request was made to the Ambassador of
The Gadar Memorial Hall is now the living symbol of the glorious sacrifices of the Gadarites who, in the words of former President K.R. Narayanan, "faced untold misery and hardships in pursuit of their objective and even made the supreme sacrifice of laying down their lives” national festivals like Independence Day and Republic Day and for other official functions. The Gadar Memorial Hall is now the living symbol of the glorious sacrifices of the Gadarites who, in the words of former President K.R. Narayanan, "faced untold misery and hardships in pursuit of their objective and even made the supreme sacrifice of laying down their lives." In 2003, in order to create awareness among the new generation of Indian Americans, Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO), National Federation of Indian American Associations (NFIA) and Global Punjabi Diaspora organized celebration of 90th anniversary of the Gadar Movement by holding a day-long seminar followed by a banquet in the evening at the Santa Clara Hilton (60 miles from San Francisco). Former President of India, K.R Narayanan traveled from In-
India, and several other high ranking officials and ministers. GOPIO also sent a request to the prime minister of India, followed by personal contact with his office and worked closely with the ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs. GOPIO, several organizations and individuals and descendants of Gadari Babas have been relentlessly pursuing with various agencies of the government and are overjoyed to hear the acknowledgement of Gadar Movement by the Prime Minister of India at the annual convention of NRIs/PIOs (PBD 2013). His announcement that the Gadar Memorial in San Francisco will be upgraded into a "functional museum and library with a sculpture to honor the Gadari Babas, the heroes of the great movement" is great welcome news. Inder Singh is Chairman of Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO).
HTGC celebrates Vivekananda 150th birth anniversary Cont’d from page 22
Consulate General Mukta Tomar gave a talk on how Swami Vivekananda worked hard to bring equality and uplift the condition of Indian women and emphasized that a country would prosper and make progress only when women are equally respected in that country's culture. Mukta Tomar also spoke on how the Indian Consulate is working hard to strengthen the relations between India and the US by promoting and reviving teachings of Swami Vivekananda and how he served and bridged the cultures of both the East and the West.
Dr Indra Makhija and Dr Cindy Visscher presented excellent narrative of "The Great Coming Together: Swami Vivekananda at the Parliament of Religions in 1893". Finally after keynote addresses by Swami Chinmayananda from Vedanta Society of Chicago and Swami Jyotirmayananda of Ramakrishna Mission, a movie 'Swami Vivekananda: An Introspect' was screened. Amrish Mahajan proposed a vote of thanks and this was followed with Sacred Waters Group from South Bend, Indiana concluding the celebrations with beautiful renderings of few more bhajans.
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Community Across America
February 1, 2013
Ayyappa Mandala festival celebrated with devotion ASHWIN PATEL
ST. LOUIS: The Hindu Temple of St. Louis celebrated Sri Ayyappa Mandala Festival with fervor and devotion on December 25. This was the ninth consecutive year that the Temple was celebrating the Mandala pooja and the function was attended by close to 1500 devotees including both the morning and evening sessions. Mandala Kalam denotes 41 days that started on November 16 and ended with the festival on December 25.This grand function was the culmination of a 41 day Mandala period. The stage for the function was constructed in the shape of a golden chariot with Ayyappa seated on top of the chariot. The stage was set up in such a way that Lord Ayyappa was on top of the eighteen holy steps with the eighteen steps docking against the chariot with Lord Ganesha on
Mandala pooja in progress
tees including kids as young as three and men who had taken deeksha for 41 days and prepared
mis took a procession around the outer boundary of temple three times singing the praise of Lord Lord Ayyappa
Devotees attending the event
the right and Lord Muruga on the left. There were quite a few devo-
the Irumudi under the guidance of the Guru Swami. Carrying the Irumdis on their heads, all 43 swa-
Ayyappa. During the third and last round, the Swamis broke one coconut at the place where the
Ayyappa Sannidhanam is taking shape and is due to be inaugurated in July 2013. The Irumudi was then offered to Lord Ayyappa and Abhisekham was conducted. The nei or ghee Abhisekham is considered especially auspicious for Lord Ayyappa. The highlight of the morning function was the singing of Bhajans by more than 30 kids with kids as young as three singing with utmost devotion. This was followed by the padi pooja and the Raja Alankaram for Lord Ayyappa at the end of the Abhisekham. The evening function started with the singing of Bhajans and included the Seeveli (Light Festival) and Ayyappa Urchava Murthi Procession around the
inner praharam of the temple. Ladies carry the lamp behind the Urchava Murthi of Lord Ayyappa around the temple and this has become a very popular event over the past few years. The devotees were addressed by Dr.Sharad Parikh, Chairman of the Board of Trustees. It was announced that the North South expansion of the temple would be ready to be inaugurated with the Pranaprathistha function in July 2013. This upcoming expansion is going to include the Ayyappa Mahasannidhanam with eighteen steps. It will only be the second such temple in the United States and everyone in the Midwest is looking forward to July 2013.
Milwaukee Art Museum launches yoga section HARISH RAO
MILWAUKEE: One of the top ranking art museums in Midwest area, the Milwaukee Art Museum in Wisconsin has announced launching yoga on its premises. Titled "Yoga @ the Museum", it is open to all levels and the proceeds benefit the Museum. The Indian Americans across Midwest area have accorded welcome to the move made by the Museum authorities saying it should go a long way in promoting mental and physical health of the people practicing Yoga. Harendra Mangrola of Gayatri Gyan Mandir said that about 16 million Americans, including many celebrities, now practice yoga and
Milwaukee Art Museum
the number keeps increasing by leaps and bounds every year. Sohan Joshi, president of National Federation of Indian Associations said that Yoga in essence is a mental and physical discipline.
"Our revered sage Rishi Patanjali who codified it in Yoga Sutra, the yoga practice is a methodical effort to attain perfection, through the control of the different elements of human nature, physical
and psychical. In fact, it would go a long way in restoring balance in the modern world torn with religious and racial strife as it is repository of something basic in the human soul and psyche," he said
Rajan Zed, President of Universal Society of Hinduism, termed it as "a step in the right direction" to make yoga available to Museum patrons and others. Contâ€™d on page 27
February 1, 2013
Community Across America
India Post 27
Three-in-one celebration by United Senior Pariwar ANUPAMA PATEL
DESPLAINES, IL: United Senior Pariwar, established five years ago to look after the welfare of seniors and others in the town of DesPlaines and surrounding areas, celebrated three major Indian events during its periodic meet held on Sunday January 13 at Kathy Hall in Niles, a north side suburb of Chicago. The events covered were the 64th Republic Day of India, Makar Sankranti party and the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekanand. Mafat Patel, often described as 'Uncrowned King of Devon area' and Chairman of the association, was the main Guest of Honor. The event started with a lamp lighting ceremony by the honored guests Mafat Patel and Hasmukh Soni, Treasurer and Chhitubhai Patel, Vice President of the association accompanying them. Acharya Rohitbhai Joshi and Dr Anant Rawal performed the ritual and ceremony befitting the auspicious events. Suresh Shah, Secretary of the Association, welcomed the mem-
Lamp lighting by Guest of Honor Mafat Patel and others
bers and narrated the details of the program and activities planned for the year 2013. He informed that during the course of the current year the management has decided to celebrate various religious as well as social and national events on a large scale. He strongly pitched for support from all the members by active participation as
Milwaukee Art Museum launches yoga section Contâ€™d from page 26
Yoga, introduced and nourished by world's oldest religion Hinduism, usually referred as "a living fossil", was a world heritage and liberation powerhouse for everybody to share and benefit from, he added. In a statement, he urged major art museums of the world, including Musee du Louvre and Musee d'Orsay of Paris, Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Los Angeles Getty Center, Uffizi Gallery of Florence (Italy), Art Institute of Chicago, Tate Modern of London, Prado Museum of Madrid, National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, etc., to also launch yoga on their premises. Vinesh Virani of Art of Living said that The Oxford Concise Dictionary of World Religions defines "yoga" as the means or techniques for transforming consciousness and attaining liberation and that is the need for present the porn and violence fed society The Musuem will have yoga practices on Yoga @ the Museum Saturday, February 9, 2013, Saturday, March 9, 2013, Saturday, April 6, 2013, Saturday, May 11, 2013, Saturday, June 8, 2013, Sat-
urday, July 13, 2013. Milwaukee's icon, celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2013, the 341,000-square-foot Milwaukee Art Museum on the shores of Lake Michigan houses over 30,000 works, with strengths in American decorative arts, German Expres-
sionism, folk and Haitian art; including works of Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol. It gets about 350,000 visitors annually and it claims that its educational programs are among the largest in the nation. Raymond R. Krueger is its Board of Trustees Chairman while Daniel T. Keegan is the Museum Director.
has been the case in the past. Acharya Rohitbhai Joshi explained in detail why the association members are celebrating the holy festival of Makar Sankranti. He said that Makar Sankranti is a major festival celebrated in various parts of India. According to the lunar calendar, when the sun moves from the Tropic of Cancer to the Tropic of Capricorn or from Dakshinayana to Uttarayana, in the month of Poush in mid-January, it commemorates the beginning of the harvest season and cessation of the northeast monsoon in South India. "The sun switching from one zodiac sign into another is called Sankranti and as it moves into the Capricorn zodiac known as Makar in Hindi. The festival is named as Makar Sankranti in this context. It is one of the few Hindu festivals which are celebrated on a fixed date i.e. 14th January every year," he observed. At the end he congratulated organizers of the seniors association for the activities being carried out for the welfare of seniors. While celebrating other two events, the 64th Republic Day of India and 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, Dr. Anant Rawal said that In India, Republic Day honors the date on which the
Women members of the Pariwar gather in numbers to condemn the gang rape in India
of 1930. It is one of the three national holidays in India. While the main parade takes place in the national capital, New Delhi, at the Rajpath before the President of India the anniversary is also celebrated with varying degrees of formality in State capitals and other centers also. Touching upon the celebration of 150th birth anniversary of
Yoga session at the Pariwar meet
Swami Vivekananda, he urged all the members to adopt the principles of Swamiji in daily life. In his address, Guest of Honor Mafat Patel Guest thanked all the members for their support to the seniors association and assured them that he would always remain
Kite flying festival Makar Sankranti
constitution of India came into force replacing the Government of India Act 1935 as the governing document of India on 26 January 1950. He further said that the date of 26 January was chosen to honor the declaration of independence
Kanubhai Patel and Sudhakar Shah, front ranking activists of the association, spoke on how to live a healthy life and presented a live demonstration of yoga which was well received. At the suggestion off Chhitubhai Patel, Vice President and Hasmukh Soni, Treasurer, all members and guests paid tribute to the young girl of 23 years old who was the victim of heinous
supporting this association at all the times. He praised all the Executive Committee members for their dedication and commitment for achieving the objectives of the association and urged them to do better this year.
gang rape in New Delhi. All the members requested the executive committee to submit a memorandum to President Pranab Mukherji, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and Law Minister of Government of India sharing their concern, anger and anguish with the people of India over this crime. They urged that this unfortunate happening should be used to sensitize people and initiate reforms in existing rape laws making them more stringent. Some politicians and religious personalities have made adverse comments over the gang rape incident and the Parivar members took exception to their statements and comments affirming their stand against these ill-thought out observations. The members of United Senior Pariwar have asked such persons to introspect before speaking and should rather mind their own business.
TOP TEN HINDI FILM SONGS
1 Jiya Lage Na: Talaash 2 Ishq Shava: Jab Tak Hai Jaan 3 Dagabaaz Re: Dabangg 2 4 Fevicol Se: Dabangg 2 5 Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola: Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola 28 India Post
February 1, 2013 6 Oye Boy Charlie: JMatru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola 7 Darmiyan: Inkaar 8 Jee Le Zaraa: Talaash 9 Khamakha: Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola 10 Heer: Jab Tak Hai Jaan
kshay Kumar rapped with Snoop Dogg for his film 'Singh is Kinng' (2008). And now, in Neeraj Pandey's 'Special 26', he's taken his passion for singing to the next level. The star, who calls himself a 'bathroom singer' with a keen ear for music, has rendered the romantic song 'Mujhme Tu' with an honesty that is rare. The music of the film, which also stars Anupam Kher, Jimmy Shergill and Kajal Aggarwal, has been launched. On his playback debut, Akki says, "In Singh is Kinng, I just did a few lines with Snoop Dogg. But this is technically my singing debut. Frankly, you have to credit my director Neeraj and music composer MM Kreem for this song. Kreem sahab made me sit at the harmonium for six to seven hours and urged me to give it a try. He said, 'Akshay do not bother about the sur and taal. You just sing with sincerity. I will do the rest.' I blindly followed his advice and I would like to dedicate this song as a Valentine Day's gift to all lovers."
rrfan Khan, who will be next seen in Tigmanshu Dhulia's Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster Returns, was injured after he fell off a horse while shooting a polo sequence for the movie. A source who had witnessed the accident said that Tigmanshu was shooting at a polo ground in Delhi with Irrfan riding the horse for a polo match sequence. It seems that though the Maqbool actor had earlier trained with the horse and was quite confident about riding the animal, the horse started behaving erratically once Irrfan sat on it and reared back, causing Khan to fall down and injure his shoulder. Irrfan was rushed to a hospital, where he is undergoing treatment. Irrfan and Tigmanshu have worked together on films like Haasil and Paan Singh Tomar.
areena Kapoor tops the list of every Bollywood director. While film makers are waiting patiently for Bebo to come on board, she seems to be sitting idle even after blocking her calendar with upcoming projects. What seems to be keeping Bebo idle these days? Bebo had finalized dates for Prakash Jha's movie Satyagraha with Ajay Devgn, which was to go on floor this January. However, since Ajay Devgn is currently filming for Himmatwala, which got delayed because of the controversy surrounding Son of Sardar, Satyagraha will get deferred. This means Bebo's dates are being wasted! Recently, Bebo had to let go of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Ram Leela even though she had allocated dates for the same. In the past, Kareena has been forced to pass on a few films including Karan Johar's, as her calendar was overbooked.
Says Kreem, "When we were working on the softer, orchestrated version of the song, I thought it would be good to get him to sing. I spoke to Neeraj, who was excited, but asked me to first check if Akshay's pitch was good. He rehearsed the song for 15 days and we recorded it in less than an hour's time. He has a rich voice and I am happy with the outcome." Adds Neeraj, "Akshay took an instant liking to the song. He isn't a trained singer but he was so wellversed that by the time we recorded the song, it was very easy."
February 1, 2013
sha Gupta is having a good time after delivering two back two back hits, Jannat 2 and Raaz 3. And now, there's more to look forward to for this beautiful actress. As per reports, Esha is all set to play the lead role in the Indian version of the popular Angelina Jolie starrer Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. Esha has often been referred to as the Indian Angelina Jolie, as she resembles her. And this being the main reason, an International co-production (Indo-American) has signed her to play the Indian Lara Croft. Esha was approached for the role as she's tall and has a very athletic physique. Obviously, her looks are an advantage, as those who've seen the original will be able to connect with the film better. This is a huge project for her, considering there will be a Hollywood studio backing it along with Indian producers. A source said: "Due to Esha's back to back hits in a row, the makers did not have any double thoughts before approaching her." As of now, Esha is working for another project of Vishesh films with whom she has signed a 3-film contract.
anbir Kapoor was at his candid best while sharing his experiences with students of Anupam Kher's acting school 'Actor Prepares'. He was the latest guest lecturer at the acting school. Anupam Kher introduced Ranbir Kapoor as the fastest growing talent in the industry. Kher said, "The unique aspect of Ranbir as an actor is that in each of his films he has emoted different characters, and with a great deal of credibility, yet maintained his star status." Kher also quizzed Ranbir about his early days in the industry, how he researches his characters, his style of acting and his advice to budding actors. One of the many questions that he was asked was what he likes to do the best, on screen. Ranbir Kapoor replied, "Romance. Because it's a glamour world and usually in front of you are attractive, beautiful women. The moments in cinema are right now so real that you are really romancing in a way. There is a fine line, one should know, between real and reel and one should never cross it. But romance is something which I like."
TOAST TO SUCCESS
nushka wanted to be perfect with her part in Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola. In one of the scenes the actress had to get drunk to get into the character of her role. She had a tough time as she had no clue how one behaves under the influence of alcohol. A source says, "Anushka was fretting over the scene because Pankaj Kapur is a seasoned actor. Someone suggested that she get a drink just to know what it feels like, so she did. And while rehearsing with a unit member on location in Chandigarh, she ended up having half a bottle of Vodka. She got a little high too, but didn't realize it and went off to her hotel to sleep. The next day, she had a bad hangover and slept till late into the afternoon." And so, the scene couldn't get completed that day, and was shifted to the next afternoon. The source adds, "Anushka was very apologetic when she met Vishal (Bhardwaj, director) and Pankaj the next day, but they think highly of her and were impressed by her dedication. In fact, the entire unit was impressed that she went to such lengths for one scene." Finally, Anushka successfully shot the scene in just one take, without drinking.
India Post 29
Builders oppose real estate regulatory bill
NEW DELHI: Realty industry bodies CREDAI and NAREDCO have opposed the government's proposed real estate regulatory law saying that the bill in the current form is not practical and only favors property buyers. Minister of Urban Development Kamal Nath and Minister for Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (HUPA) Ajay Maken called a meeting of six industry chambers CREDAI, NAREDCO, CII, Ficci, Assocham and PHDCCI - to discuss the draft bill. HUPA is planning to bring this bill in the forthcoming Budget session of Parliament to regulate the sector. At present, inter-ministerial consultations are on after which Cabinet clearance will be sought. "We opposed the bill in the current form. The bill is not practical and it is one sided, in favor of consumers," NAREDCO President Naveen Raheja told PTI. "We have demanded that all stakeholders in the development of real estate should be brought under the ambit of this bill including government agencies which give clearance to this project," he added. -PTI
Â„ New home launches decline 16% in top 8 cities NEW DELHI: About 1.62 lakh housing units were launched last year in India's eight major cities - a drop of 16 per cent from 2011, global property consultant Cushman & Wakefield has said. The cities tracked by the consultant are NCR, Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata and Ahmedabad. "Residential market across major cities in India witnessed a drop in total number of units launched by approximately 16 per cent over previous year. 2012 recorded launch of about 1,62,000 new units of residential properties across the eight major cities," the report said. A majority the units were launched in the mid-segment comprising about 83 per cent of total launches, it added.
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February 1, 2013
Forum rap for real estate firms CHANDIGARH: Failure to complete construction work of a proposed fashion technology park earned the two companies involved a rap from the consumer disputes redressal forum. The forum directed them to pay a refund of Rs 15 lakh with interest to the complainant. A fine of Rs 10,000 has also been imposed on the companies. Complainant Sudha Khullar, a resident of New Delhi, said her dreams of a career in fashion technology were shattered due to negligence on the part of the companies involved, Chandigarh overseas private limited and Greenfield Sites Management Private Limited, both in Sector 34.
Why now is a great time to invest in commercial real estate HASAN MERCHANT
or every action there is a reaction. If things are bad for one, they have to be good for another, right? The same principle applies in the world of investment real estate. We have all read about the developers and owners of commercial real estate that are undergoing tremendous financial pressures with some being forced into bankruptcy. So what happens to their real estate? Well, the owner or lender puts it on the market at a discount to attract a solid, mortgage worthy buyer who can perform quickly and close a deal. Unfortunately, you as an individual investor or partnership will never see these deals because they typically involve several properties valued at several millions of dollars. And why would you want them? If the current owner can't sustain them
what magic can you perform? Net Leased Real Estate However, there is one asset class that is outperforming the
trend and are some of the most solid performers today. And the prices for these assets are being lowered to attract investors.
As many retailers are struggling to stay open net-leased retailers are defying the trend and are some of the most solid performers today market that should be at the top of your list. I am referring to netleased properties such as drug stores, bank branches, auto parts stores and dollar stores. As many retailers are struggling to stay open these retailers are defying the
For example, asking capitalization rates for a fairly typical Walgreen's Drug Store twelve months ago were in the very low sixes. On the first of January of 13, the asking prices were pushing the
India Ratings revises realty sector outlook to stable CHENNAI: India Ratings has revised its outlook for the country's real estate sector for 2013 to 'stable' from 'negative' as the Fitch group company sees signs of improvement in margin and liquidity of developers. "An encouraging trend noted by India Ratings is the easing of liquidity pressures. In financial year 2012-13, real estate companies generated positive free cash flows and the trend expected to continue into first half of 2013-14", India Ratings said in its report.
"Real estate outlook (revised to)...stable; signs of improvement visible", it said. Commercial real estate developers, especially those with cash flow visibility through lease and rentals, continue to have better credit profiles, the report said. Noting that the demand for retail space was 'likely' to be muted over the next few months, the report said: "Persistence of adverse sentiments, high inflation and high interest rates which reduce affordability, coupled with high
property prices, continue to hinder improvement in demand". "Commercial demand will be hit by subdued job growth in IT sector", it said, adding that companies would be required to rely less on debt financing and focus on buyer advances and internal accruals to achieve significant improvement. Observing that the demand for residential real estate developers witnessed an upward trend last year, the report said, "sales of large (real estate developers) players declined marginally in 2012". -PTI
seven cap rate range, with some higher. Translating that into a sale price, what was being sold a year ago for $6,100,000 can be purchased now for $5,360,000. Same tenant, same credit. The credit crunch has triggered widespread re-pricing in all sectors of the real estate industry. In general, the market has witnessed Class A property cap rates increase by 25 to 75 basis points while B and C property cap rates have climbed 50 to 150 basis points. For buyers of newly constructed net-leased properties with 10 plus year leases to credit tenants, well-capitalized buyers are finding that this is a great time to invest in net-leased properties. When considering the purchase of any commercial real estate investment property you must ask yourself one critical question - what are my management responsibilities in terms of time and physical effort? With a net-leased property the tenant pays all, if not most of the expenses making the properties next to management free. If you are a professional without the time or inclination to devote to your real estate investment but at the same time understand all the benefits of owning real estate, it should be pretty obvious that this property type suits your lifestyle. Very simply stated, prices are coming down for even the best real estate, and net-leased real estate properties offer the investor a conservative investment strategy. These are properties with long term leases with credit tenants in good locations and no management headaches.
February 1, 2013
Ten resolutions to get you a new home in the New Year
s one of your New Year's Resolutions to move into your own home in 2013? One of the keys to making the home-buying process easier and more understandable is planning. In doing so, you'll be able to anticipate requests from lenders, lawyers and a host of other professionals. Furthermore, planning will help you discover valuable shortcuts in the homebuying process. Follow these steps to achieve your goal of home ownership in 2013. Resolution #1: Decide What You Want Let's start with the fun part. The first step is to decide what you are looking for. You need to determine the what, where, and when of your purchase. What kind of house are you looking for? Where would you like to live? When would you like to buy? Spend a lot of time thinking about this, a new home is a serious commitment and you want to choose somewhere where you can happily live for several years. It can be helpful to write down all the information you have gathered. Be sure to take note of other important factors such as whether or not you hope to expand your family or if you plan to remain at your job for a long period of time. Consider such things as pricing, location, size, amenities (extras such as a pool or extra-large kitchen) and design (one floor or two, colonial or modern, etc.). You may want to order your priorities so that you will be prepared to make difficult decisions quickly. If you can't get a home at your price with all the features you want, then what features are most important? For instance, would you trade fewer bedrooms for a larger kitchen? How about a longer commute for a bigger lot and lower cost? Resolution #2: Get Your Financial House in Order Once you have an idea of what you are looking for it's time to get realistic and determine what you can afford. How much do you have available for a down payment? What is your monthly budget for a mortgage payment? Do you have money for closing costs and taxes? Is your financial house in order? Few people can buy a home for cash. According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), nearly nine out of 10 buyers finance their purchase, which means that virtually all buyers especially first-time purchasers required a loan. You should start the mortgage process before bidding on a home. By meeting with lenders - either online or face to face - and looking at loan options, you will find which programs best meet your needs and how much you can afford.
Resolution #3: Get Your PreApproval Before House Hunting "Pre-approval" means you have met with a loan officer, your credit files have been reviewed and the loan officer believes you can readily qualify for a given loan amount with one or more specific mortgage programs. Based on this information, the lender will provide a pre-approval letter, which shows your borrowing power. You can visit as many lenders as you like and get several pre-approvals, but keep in mind that each one carries with it a new credit check, which will show up on future credit reports. Although not a final loan commitment, the pre-approval letter can be shown to listing brokers when bidding on a home. It demonstrates your financial strength and shows that you have the ability to go through with a purchase.
How much do you have available for a down payment? What is your monthly budget for a mortgage payment? Do you have money for closing costs? This information is important to owners since they do not want to accept an offer that is likely to fail because financing cannot be obtained. The loan officer will carefully review your financial situation, including your credit report and other information. The lender will then suggest programs which most-closely meet your needs. Resolution #4: Find Your REALTOR® Buying and selling real estate is a complex matter. At first it might seem that by checking local picture books or online sites you could quickly find the right home at the right price. But no two properties -even two identical models on the same street - are precisely and exactly alike. Homes differ and so do contract terms, financing options, inspection requirements and closing costs. In this maze of forms, financing, inspections, marketing, pricing and negotiating, it makes sense to work with professionals who know the community and much more. The best place to find a local REALTOR® is from REALTOR.com's® extensive listing of community professionals. In the Find A REALTOR® section you can browse profiles, read recommendations, and even use your Facebook identity to find a real estate professional with whom you share friends or interests. Other
sources include open houses, local advertising, recommendations from neighbors and suggestions from lenders, attorneys, and financial planners. You may want to interview several people before selecting one professional with whom to work. These interviews represent a good opportunity to consider such issues as training, experience, representation and professional certifications. Resolution #5: Find Your New Home Now we are back into the fun stuff. A home is more than just a collection of bedrooms and bathrooms. Several properties - each with four bedrooms, three baths, and the same price - may well represent radically different designs, commuting distances, lot sizes, tax costs, interior dimensions, and exterior finishes. Here's where the information you gathered in Resolution #1 comes into play. You already know what you want. Some buyers like to search REALTOR.com® by looking at listings on the basis of location or price; others prefer to have local REALTORS® suggest properties; and many buyers prefer both approaches. Maintain a file with information on each of the homes you like either online, in the REALTOR.com® mobile app, or in a notebook or folder. How do you know if a house is THE one? Probably the best approach is to look at as many homes as possible. Resolution #6: Understand Your Mortgage Options Financing is routinely greater than the original purchase price of a home (after including interest and closing costs). Because financing is so important, buyers should have as much information as possible regarding mortgage options and costs. How much down? Loans with 5 percent down or less are available - in fact, loans from major lenders with no money down have appeared in recent years. If you place less than 20 percent down, lenders will want the mortgage guaranteed by an outside third party such as the Veterans Administration (VA), the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) or a private mortgage insurer (PMI, or private mortgage insurance, is required by lender to protect against any mortgage defaults). The best rates and terms are only available to those with solid credit. To get the best loans, make a point of paying credit cards, installment payments, rent and mortgage bills in full and on time. To obtain a loan you must complete a written loan application and pro-
vide supporting documentation. Specific documents include recent pay stubs, rental checks and tax returns for the past two or three years if you are self-employed. During the pre-qualification procedure, the loan officer will describe the type of paperwork required. Mortgage financing can be obtained from mortgage bankers, mortgage brokers, savings and loan associations, mutual savings banks, commercial banks, credit unions, and insurance companies. Resolution #7: Make An Offer Once you have found a home you want to make an offer on you have three choices: accept the listed price and create a contract; reject it and not make an offer; or suggest different terms and make a counteroffer. If you choose this last option, the seller may accept, reject or make a counter-offer. You sometimes hear that the amount of your
offer should be x percent below the seller's asking price or y percent less than you're really willing to pay. In practice, the offer depends on the basic laws of supply and demand: If many buyers are competing for homes, then sellers will likely get full-price offers and sometimes even more. If demand is weak, then offers below the asking price may be in order. The process of making offers varies around the country. In a typical situation, you will complete an offer that the REALTOR® will present to the owner and the owner's representative. A number of inspections are common in residential realty transactions. They include checks for termites, surveys to determine boundaries, appraisals to determine value for lenders, title reviews
and structural inspections. During these examinations, an inspector comes to the property to determine if there are material physical defects and whether expensive repairs and replacements are likely to be required in the next few years. This is an opportunity to examine the property's mechanics and structure, ask questions and learn far more about the property than is possible with an informal walk-through. Resolution #8: Protect Yourself With Insurance No one would drive a car without insurance, so it figures that no homeowner should be without insurance. Title insurance is purchased with a one-time fee at closing, title insurance protects owners in the event that title to the property is found to be invalid. Coverage includes "lenders" policies, which protect buyers up to the mortgage value of the property, and "owners" coverage, which protects owners up to the purchase price. In other words, "owners" coverage protects both the mortgage amount and the value of the down payment. Homeowner's insurance provides fire, theft and liability coverage. Homeowners' policies are required by lenders and often cover a surprising number of items, including in some cases such personal property as wedding rings, furniture and home office equipment. In high-risk flood-prone areas, flood insurance may be required. This insurance is issued by the federal government and provides as much as $250,000 in coverage for a single-family home plus $100,000 for contents. For new homes, home warranties bought from third parties by home builders are generally designed to provide several forms of protection: workmanship for the first year, mechanical problems such as plumbing and wiring for the first two years, and structural defects for up to 10 years. Cont’d on page 32
February 1, 2013
Can I own a home if I have bad credit? TERI ANDREWS-MURCH, REALTOR®, LYON REAL ESTATE
Q: My credit score is low at 540, I've been saving and I have at least $13,000. What should I do to buy a home? A: Good for you on saving a down payment. What caused your credit score to be low? I would suggest sitting down with a loan officer and going over your file and credit report to see what can be done to improve your score and if there are any other road blocks to you qualifying for a loan. Please do this face to face with a local lender, that is only way you will be able to come up with a plan to get you into a home and find you the loan that best suits you. With your marginal credit score you will not have many options for obtaining a loan. The FHA has their own guidelines for loans they will accept and may be your best bet. Keep in mind that FHA is not a bank; it's a government agency that insures loans from FHA approved lenders. While the FHA will have its rules, a bank will also have its own rules as well. Most banks today are only
willing to finance FHA loans with credit scores of 640 and above. The FHA however will allow loans with credit scores as low as 540 with 20% down. Additional requirements are as follows: • Two Years of steady employment, preferably with same employer. Last two years Income should be the same or increasing. • Credit report should typically have less than two thirty day late payments in last two years with a minimum credit score of 640 or higher…
card is. You will need it. Conventional loans are typically for borrowers with 10-20% to put down and good credit scores. Most lenders in today's market require a middle credit score of 660 or better to qualify for a conventional loan. To get your best deal you will need a credit score of at least 720. Since conventional loans are approved through underwriting engines created by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the higher your credit scores are the better rate you will get. Conven-
Since conventional loans are approved through underwriting engines created by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the higher your credit scores are the better rate you will get. Conventional loans currently require a minimum of 5% down • Bankruptcies must be at least two years old, with perfect credit since discharge. • Foreclosures and Short Sales must be at least three years old, with perfect credit since. • Your new mortgage payment should be no more than 40% of your gross (before taxes) income. •You will need a minimum down payment of 3.5% of the purchase price. The down payment can be a gift. • Social Security Card-many people don't know where their
tional loans currently require a minimum of 5% down. Interview mortgage brokers and obtain recommendations from them to find the loan that works best for you. Your new mortgage broker will then be able to show you an entire suite of loan options and pre-qualify you for a home that you can afford with your income. In the mean time work with your broker on improving your credit score. You'd be surprised how much improvement you can make in a year or so.
Real estate, broking firms may set up banks NEW DELHI: The Finance Ministry has expressed the view that the Reserve Bank should allow real estate companies and broking firms to set up banks as adequate safeguards will be there to prevent exposure of promoters to related entities. In its comments to RBI on the giving out new bank licenses, the ministry has said that such entities can be allowed, but there should be complete ban on taking exposure in the group companies or entities related to promoters, sources said. Even the vendor and large customers of such promoters can't get loan from the new bank, sources said, adding that this move will minimize accumulation of risk. So, the firewall has been proposed to avoid undue influence of bank CEO to lend to the group companies, they added. As per the RBI's draft norms for licensing of new banks in the private sector released in 2011, "entities or groups having significant (10 per cent or more) income or assets or both from real estate construction and or broking activities individually or taken together in the last three years will not be eligible". Explaining rationale for not permitting such entities, the RBI's draft guidelines said, there are certain activities, such as real estate and capital market activities, in particular broking activities which, apart from being inherently riskier, represent a business model and business culture which are quite misaligned with a banking model. Post-crisis, it said, there are
concerted moves even internationally to separate banking from proprietary trading. "More importantly, in India, past experience with brokers on the boards of banks has not been satisfactory. It will therefore be necessary to ensure that any entity/ group undertaking such activities on a significant scale is not considered for a bank license," the guidelines added.
RBI will regulate financial holding company and different entities under the holding company will be regulated as per the business they carry out The Finance Ministry has also suggested that the Non- Operative Holding Company (NOHC) may be substituted by the NonOperative Financial Holding Company (NOFHC) to signify that only financial sector entities are part of the NOFHC. RBI will regulate financial holding company and different entities under the holding company will be regulated as per the business they carry out, sources said. In its recommendations, the ministry has also proposed to lift the ban on setting up of new financial services entities under the NOFHC for at least three years from the date of commencement.-PTI
Ten resolutions to get you a new home in the New Year Cont’d from page 31
Home warranties for existing homes are typically one-year service agreements purchased by sellers. In the event of a covered defect or breakdown, the warranty firm will step in and make the repair or cover its cost. Resolution #9: Close On Your New Home The closing process, which in different parts of the country is also known as "settlement" or "escrow," is increasingly computerized and automated. In many cases, buyers and sellers don't need to attend a specific event; signed paperwork can be sent to the closing agent via overnight delivery. Settlement is a brief process where all of the necessary paperwork needed to complete the transaction is signed. Title to the
property is transferred from seller to buyer. The buyer receives the keys and the seller receives payment for the home. From the amount credited to the seller, the closing agent subtracts money to pay off the existing mortgage and other transaction costs. Deeds, loan papers, and other documents are prepared, signed and filed with local property record offices. Before closing, buyers typically have a final opportunity to walk through the property to assure that its condition has not materially changed since the sale agreement was signed. At closing itself, all papers have been prepared by closing agents, title companies, lenders and lawyers. This paperwork reflects the sale agreement and allows all parties to the transaction to verify their
interests. For instance, buyers get the title to the property, lenders have their loans recorded in the public records and state governments collect their transfer taxes.
Also at closing, determine the status of the utilities required by the home, items such as water, sewage, gas, electric and oil service Resolution #10: Tie Up Loose Ends You've done it. You've looked at properties, made an offer, obtained financing and gone to closing. What's next?
Those papers you received at settlement are extremely valuable, so hold on to them! In the short-term they can help establish tax deductions for the year in which the property was purchased. In the future, such papers will be important for tax purposes when the property is sold, and in some cases, for calculating estate taxes. Also at closing, determine the status of the utilities required by the home, items such as water, sewage, gas, electric and oil service. You want utility bills to be paid in full by owners as of closing and you also want services transferred to your name for billing. Usually such transfers can be done without turning off utilities. About two weeks after closing, contact your local property records office and confirm that
your deed has been officially recorded. Such records are public notices that show your interest in the property. When you move in, you may want to replace all locks just to be safe. Many owners make a photo or video record of the home and their possessions for insurance purposes and then keep the records in a safety deposit box. Your insurance provider can recommend what to photograph and how to secure it. You want to maintain fire, theft and liability insurance. As the value of your property increases such coverage should also rise. Enjoy your home. Owning real estate involves contracts, loans, and taxes, but ultimately what's most important is that home ownership should be a wonderful experience. -Realtor.com
Dengue showing global 'epidemic potential': WHO
GENEVA: The World Health Organization has said that it had charted progress in the fight against tropical diseases but warned that dengue fever was spreading at an alarming rate. "In 2012, dengue ranked as the fastest spreading vector-borne viral disease, with an epidemic potential in the world, registering a 30-fold increase in disease incidence over the past 50 years," the Genevabased UN agency said in a report. The increased transmission rate of the deadly mosquito-borne disease was due to climate change and a greater movement of people, the agency said. An annual two million cases of dengue fever were reported over the last two years by 100 countries, with between 5,000 to 6,000 of them resulting in death. But the WHO's Raman Velayudhan said the disease was likely underreported and estimated there were as many as 50 million cases a year with more than 20,000 deaths. Dengue is spread by one of four viruses transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. It causes high fever, headaches, itching and joint pains. At an advanced stage it can lead to haemorrhaging and death. -PTI
Â„ 'Light in womb necessary for healthy eyes' LONDON: Scientists have discovered that light passing through the body and into the womb has an important role to play in the development of eyes. US researchers found that mice spending pregnancy in complete darkness had babies with altered eye development. This indicated tiny quantities of light were needed to control blood vessel growth in the eye, the BBC News reported. Scientists - at the University of California, San Francisco, and Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center - believe that body-penetrating light can alter the development of the eye, at least in mice. Normally, a network of blood vessels known as the hyaloid vasculature is formed to help nourish the retina as it is constructed.-PTI
Health Science 33
February 1, 2013
Study confirms flu vaccine safe in pregnancy NEW YORK: A large study offers reassuring news for pregnant women: It's safe to get a flu shot. The research found no evidence that the vaccine increases the risk of losing a fetus, and may prevent some deaths. Details on page 36
ACLU drops challenge to Kansas abortion law WICHITA, Kan.: The American Civil Liberties Union has ended its legal challenge to a Kansas law restricting private health insurance coverage for abortions. A court filing shows the parties have agreed to dismiss all remaining claims, with each side bearing its own costs and attorneys' fees. The agreement follows a federal judge's Jan. 7 ruling that, as a matter of law, the ACLU failed to provide any evidence that the Legislature's predominant motivation in passing the 2011 law was to make it more difficult to get abortions. The Kansas law prohibits private insurance companies from offering coverage for abortions in their general plans except for when a woman's life is in danger. Kansas residents or employers who want abortion coverage must buy supplemental policies, known as riders. ``We are disappointed that the court's decision will stand, despite the fact that the American public believes that politicians have no place interfering with a woman's personal and private medical decisions,'' ACLU attorney Brigitte Amri said. ``A woman should have the peace of mind of knowing that
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback delivers the Kansas State of the State address on January 15 at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan.
Women seeking an abortion in Kansas need to buy the insurance rider or pay for the procedure out-of-pocket if their insurance policies are new or were renewed after the law took effect in July 2011. her insurance will cover her medical needs no matter what happens during her pregnancy. ``Although we are not able to continue with this case, we will continue to stand up for a woman's right to make the best choice for herself and her family.''
The case had been scheduled for trial in March to determine the larger question of whether the significant costs for abortions many women must now pay for themselves create a substantial burden on the federal right to an abortion. The joint stipulation of dismissal
which prohibits the ACLU from raising the claims again or appealing the judge's earlier ruling effectively ends the case. Women seeking an abortion in Kansas need to buy the insurance rider or pay for the procedure out-of-pocket if their insurance policies are new or were renewed after the law took effect in July 2011. Before the law's passage, companies comprising 70 percent of the insurance market share in Kansas included abortion coverage in comprehensive policies, the judge noted. Between July 2010 and July 2011, the three major health insurers paid claims for 137 abortions. The cost for an abortion at a clinic ranges from $450 to $1,675, and hospital abortions can cost upwards of $10,000. The law was among several major anti-abortion initiatives approved by Kansas legislators and signed into law by Republican Gov. Sam Brownback, who called on lawmakers to create ``a culture of life'' after he took office in January 2011. Supporters of the insurance restrictions contended that people who oppose abortion shouldn't be forced to pay for such coverage in a general health plan. -AP
Too soon for Calif. to control inmate care SACRAMENTO, Calif.: It's too soon for California to retake control of its prison mental health system, a federal court overseer said in dealing a blow to a proposal made by Gov. Jerry Brown recently. Too many inmates are still committing suicide and going untreated for their mental illness in California prisons, special master Matthew Lopes said in a 609-page
report filed in federal court in Sacramento. Lopes advises the federal judges who will rule on Brown's court motion to end the long-running class-action lawsuit over substandard treatment in prisons. The Democratic governor is also asking federal judges to lift a cap on the number of inmates, saying it would be too dangerous to release more prisoners.
``At this time, any attempt at a more abrupt conclusion to court oversight would be, in the opinion of the special master, not only premature but a needless distraction from the important work that is being done in the quality improvement project,'' Lopes concluded. Despite years of efforts, the state still has too few mental health staff and beds, inmates can wait
weeks before they receive mental health treatment, and inmates are dying by suicide at the rate of one every 11 days, he wrote. There were 32 inmate suicides last year, a rate that substantially exceeds the national average for state prisons, he said, yet suicide prevention measures agreed to two years ago appear not to have been fully implemented. Contâ€™d on page 36
Health Science Post
February 1, 2013
NC health chief works on Medicaid billing RALEIGH, N.C.: North Carolina's new health secretary announced directives related to a beleaguered new Medicaid claims processing system she aims to ensure comes online smoothly and without unnecessary expenses. Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Aldona Wos ordered no more program changes to the current 1970's-era billing computer system by the system vendor unless they're absolutely required to ensure providers are paid or patients are covered. Wos also said that outside consultants have been brought in to find any obstacles to the replacement system one of the largest information projects in state government to begin operating July 1. ``We have a responsibility to patients, providers and the tax-
payers of North Carolina to put our limited resources where they are needed most,'' Wos said in a statement, adding the ``department's priority is to ensure the transition from our current Medicaid computer system to the replacement (system) is smooth, efficient and on time.'' HHS spokeswoman Julie Henry said a ``hard freeze'' on changes to the new system starting last year had thawed in part because changes to the legacy system kept occurring. That meant requiring more time and money to conform the new system. The current system, which is managed by HP Enterprise Services, processes 88 million claims and writes $11 billion in checks annually to cover more than 1.5 million Medicaid enrollees. Com-
puter Sciences Corp. is building the new system. Republican legislators have been skeptical about the replace-
Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Aldona Wos ordered no more program changes to the current 1970's-era billing computer system by the system vendor unless they're absolutely required to ensure providers are paid or patients are covered ment Medicaid Management Information system, especially after a 2011 state audit was critical of management of the project, which was two years behind schedule and cost more than twice what was originally projected. The department, then under Gov. Beverly Perdue's administra-
Utah health department reports another data breach SALT LAKE CITY: Personal information for Utah Medicaid recipients has once again been compromised after a USB memory stick containing the data was lost, the state Department of Health announced. Data for about 6,000 recipients were lost by an employee of an outside contractor while traveling, the agency said in a statement. The security breach comes less
financial information were included in the lost data, the department said. The contractor, Goold Health Systems, handles Medicaid pharmacy transactions for the Health Department. Department spokesman Tom Hudachko said the GHS employee, identified only as a woman from Denver, was having trouble with an Internet connection while trying to upload the
The Health Department is in process of sending out letters to the individuals whose information was lost and said it is taking steps to protect them from potential fraud. The agency's executive director, Dr. David Patton, said he's asked for a legal review of the contract with GHS and intends to pursue "whatever financial or contractual remedies are available in order to ensure GHS is held accountable for this serious mistake,'' he said than a year after the Department of Health announced hackers broke into a government server and stole the personal information of about 780,000 Medicaid recipients and participants in the Children's Health Insurance Program, including the Social Security numbers of about 280,000 of them. Utah's chief technology officer resigned in the wake of the spring 2012 theft. The Health Department said the most recent breach is limited to Medicaid recipient's names, Medicaid identification numbers, ages and recent prescription drug use. No Social Security numbers or
data to a server. The employee saved the personal information to an unencrypted USB memory stick and left the Health Department with the device. The employee lost the stick sometime in the following days while traveling between Salt Lake City, Denver and Washington, D.C. GHS confirmed the information was lost, Hudachko said, and the employee is no longer allowed to work with data for the Health Department. The employee violated both Health Department policy and the contract GHS had with the agency. Health Department Deputy Di-
tion, objected strongly to State Auditor Beth Wood's review, which found at the time the new billing system would exceed ini-
rector and state Medicaid Director Michael Hales said that because the information did not include Social Security numbers or financial data, there's a minimal risk that the breach will lead to identity theft. The department has no reason to believe the data were targeted by anyone for ``malicious purposes,'' Hales said in a statement. The Health Department is in process of sending out letters to the individuals whose information was lost and said it is taking steps to protect them from potential fraud. The agency's executive director, Dr. David Patton, said he's asked for a legal review of the contract with GHS and intends to pursue ``whatever financial or contractual remedies are available in order to ensure GHS is held accountable for this serious mistake,'' he said. Hudachko said the breach is frustrating for the department ``because we've essentially spent the last nine months responding to the breach that we had last year.'' He said that in the past nine months, the department has tried to figure out where to strengthen its system, enacted more than 100 new policies and trained almost 400 employees in data protection. ``Unfortunately, despite all those efforts that we've undertaken, it just takes one individual who steps outside of policy and disregard of protocol, and you've got an incident like this that happens,'' he said. Though it was a contractor that lost the information, Hudachko said the department will still take full responsibility. -AP
tial cost estimates by more than twice the original price tag of $265 million. The department said then the new billing system was paid for mostly by the federal government, the state would recoup its investment share within two years and generate additional cost savings once operational.
The department said new Medicaid policies and rates have accounted for much of the legacy system software changes. Keeping program changes to an absolute minimum in the coming months ``will be critical to enable a more predictable transition and avoid disruption of services to the public,'' said Susan Young, the project's risk management adviser. Wos and her boss, new Gov. Pat McCrory, have raised concerns about the state's information technology systems, particularly those for Medicaid, since McCrory took office in January. In 2004, the state awarded a contract to Affiliated Computer Services to replace the current system, but the contract was terminated in 2006 after delays and additional costs. -AP
FTC upholds decision against POM Wonderful WASHINGTON: The Federal Trade Commission has upheld a judge's earlier decision that POM Wonderful made deceptive claims about the health benefits of its products. A federal administrative judged ruled in May that the company used deceptive advertising when claiming that its pomegranate juice could treat or prevent heart disease, prostate cancer and other illnesses. POM Wonderful is credited with having started the pomegranate craze that spread to its use in products from smoothies to salad dressings. In addition to POM Wonderful juice, the company sells POMx pills and liquid extract. The FTC filed a complaint against POM and its parent company, Los Angeles-based Roll International Corp., in September 2010. The company's health claims are a hallmark of its advertising and are seen as working to convince consumers that they are worth a premium price. Los Angeles-based POM Wonderful and its owners had asked the FTC to overturn the earlier ruling and argued that the commission's actions would violate their First Amendment right to free speech and their Fifth Amendment right to due process. The commission voted unanimously against their request for an appeal. The FTC said that the marketers of the juice and supplements did not have adequate support for their claims and made deceptive claims in the advertisements and promotional materials.
The FTC issued a final order that bars the POM marketers from making any future claims unless it is supported by two randomized, well-controlled, human clinical trials. It also prohibits the misrepresentation of any scientific evidence to support its claims.
POM Wonderful is credited with having started the pomegranate craze that spread to its use in products from smoothies to salad dressings. In addition to POM Wonderful juice, the company sells POMx pills and liquid extract. POM Wonderful said it will appeal the ruling in federal court. ``This order ignores what $35 million of peer-reviewed scientific research, centuries of traditional medicine and plain common sense have taught us: antioxidant-rich pomegranate products are good for you,'' the company said in a statement. It said that with the ruling, the FTC is holding food companies to the same standards as pharmaceutical makers, a move it said will stifle research by the food industry. -AP
February 1, 2013
Health Science Post
Iowa's mental health changes raise questions DES MOINES, Iowa: State legislators approved a dramatic change in Iowa's mental health system last year, but while officials work to fully implement the new system, some who oversee county programs said they may have to make drastic cuts during this transition period. The Legislature approved changes to Iowa's system last May, shifting from a system run by counties to a more regional approach in which counties pool their money. The new approach was meant to minimize differences between urban and rural areas, but county officials said until the regional system is fully implemented in 2014, they may be able to reach fewer of the estimated 150,000 Iowa residents with mental health issues. ``We have had to reduce the amount of services people get in order to stay within the budget,'' said Ken Hyndman, who oversees mental health programs for Des Moines County. That's because before the redesign, counties used 50 percent of their budgets to provide the local match for Medicaid. Now that the state provides the local match to Medicaid, local governments see mental
health as an area to reduce spending. And some counties are quickly cutting mental health programs not covered by the federal dollar to pay the state back for late and unpaid Medicaid bills.
The Legislature approved changes to Iowa's system last May, shifting from a system run by counties to a more regional approach in which counties pool their money. The new approach was meant to minimize differences between urban and rural areas, but county officials said until the regional system is fully implemented in 2014, they may be able to reach fewer of the estimated 150,000 Iowa residents with mental health issues. Hyndman saw his budget reduced from $5.5 million to $1.7 million this year and was forced to put patients on waiting lists for services. Iowa redesigned its mental health system to make it more standard, but last month's mass killing of children and educators in Newtown, Conn., has focused national attention on issues surrounding the
Colorado docs crack down on painkiller abuse DENVER: Some emergency room doctors in the Denver area are restricting the types and amounts of addictive painkillers they administer, citing a nationwide increase in overdose deaths. Denver Health' emergency room will stop filling long-term prescriptions for such painkillers as Percocet, OxyContin and Vicodin, the Denver Post reported. The hospital will also try to limit prescriptions for acute-care painkillers to small amounts to last only until patients can contact their regular physicians. University of Colorado Health is writing policies that would end the practice of filling prescriptions that patients claim were lost or stolen. "Ten years ago, we recognized we were undertreating pain, and now we've probably gone too far in the other direction and need to dial it back a bit,'' said Dr. Jason Hoppe of the university's emergency-medicine department. ``But it took a while to get here, and it will take some time to get back.'' Littleton Adventist Hospital has altered its policy on emergency use of the intravenous drug Dilaudid. Instead of injecting it into a vein in a few seconds with a syringe, it will be administered in a drip over an hour, said Dr. Mark Elliott, the hospital's emergency medical director. Abusers are less likely to stick around or return for extra drugs because they won't get an immediate high, he said. Dr. Chris Colwell, director of emergency medicine at Denver Health, says physicians disagree on how tough guidelines should be, but he said the hospital's doctors do agree that patients should be sent back to their long-term doctors for pain
mentally ill. State Sen. Jack Hatch said the best way to avoid a Newtown incident is for the state to help fund crisis intervention centers, which operates around the clock to observe
management. One problem hospitals face in reducing prescriptions for painkillers is that many emergency-room patients do not have a long-term doctor to consult. Nationwide, deaths from painkiller overdoses have tripled since the late 1990s to nearly 15,000 a year. That parallels the
"Ten years ago, we recognized we were undertreating pain, and now we've probably gone too far in the other direction and need to dial it back a bit,'' said Dr. Jason Hoppe of the university's emergency-medicine department. "But it took a while to get here, and it will take some time to get back" growth in prescriptions. A report released this month by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration said Colorado has the second-highest rate of prescription-pill abuse in the nation, at 6 percent of the population. A National Governors Association task force, co-chaired by Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, is expected to make further recommendations. -AP
and help people having a mental crisis. ``If there's an immediate mental health crisis, counties would have a program with trained professionals to assess the situation and resolve it,'' Hatch says. Waterloo has such a facility, and police are trained to recognize if a violent offender has a mental illness and take them to the center instead of putting them in jail. Crisis centers are one mental health service the new law expects regions to fund on their own.
If regions want to add more services than what's required by state law, that will depend on the wealth of the counties. Dawn Mentzer, who oversees mental health programs in Buena Vista County, said the redesign has created competition among weaker counties that want to regionalize with those that have a surplus in their budgets. ``Our county supervisors are concerned they will have to pay other counties' debts with our taxpayer's dollars,'' she said. A few counties with big mental health budgets want to stand-alone as regions. Money is the largest unanswered question on the minds of officials working on the issue. Lawmakers recommended a $20 million, one-time assistance fund to help counties continue services through this transition year. Counties need that money now but they're still waiting on the Legislature to approve it. This legislative session, lawmakers will decide at what rate counties can levy tax dollars to support their mental health systems and anticipate how nationwide changes to Medicaid will affect Iowa. The state has promised to cover what it believes are the basics and in 2014, it will be up to the regions to decide how to better serve their mentally ill. -AP
Health Science Post
February 1, 2013
Tea made from coffee leaves Study confirms flu vaccine safe in pregnancy healthiest brew! LONDON: Scientists have discovered a 'super brew' - tea made from coffee leaves which they claim is healthier than both of the drinks. The coffee leaf tea, which is said to have an 'earthy' taste that is less bitter than tea and not as strong as coffee, boasts high levels of compounds which lower the risk of diabetes and heart disease, experts said. It also carries far less caffeine than traditional tea or coffee and contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, the 'Daily Mail' reported. The coffee leaves were analyzed by researchers from the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, South-West London, together with researchers in Montpellier, France. They believe the drink - from the leaves of the coffea plant - has thus far been overlooked because of the preoccupation with the plant's seeds, coffee beans, which are nowhere near as healthy. While there is evidence coffee leaf tea is drunk in places such as Ethiopia, South Sudan and Indonesia, previous attempts to import it into Britain from as early as the 1800s have been unsuccessful. After analyzing 23 species of coffee plant and finding many health benefits, the researchers now hope the coffee tea could rival the well-established types of coffee and black and green teas in Britain.
Dr Aaron Davies, a botanist at Kew, reported in the journal Annals of Botany that seven species of coffee plant contained high levels of mangiferin - a chemical usually found in mangoes which is believed to have anti-inflammatory effects as well as lowering cholesterol, protecting neurons in the brain and reducing the risk of diabetes.
They believe the drink from the leaves of the coffea plant - has thus far been overlooked because of the preoccupation with the plant's seeds, coffee beans The leaves were also found to hold high levels of antioxidants, which reportedly help combat heart disease, diabetes and cancer. "In 1851 people were touting it as the next tea and there were all these reports about its qualities. It was said to give immediate relief from hunger and fatigue, and 'clear the brain of its cobwebs'. It was also said to be refreshing - although some found it undrinkable," Davies added.-PTI
NEW YORK: A large study offers reassuring news for pregnant women: It's safe to get a flu shot. The research found no evidence that the vaccine increases the risk of losing a fetus, and may prevent some deaths. Getting the flu while pregnant makes fetal death more likely, the Norwegian research showed. The flu vaccine has long been considered safe for pregnant women and their fetus. U.S. health officials began recommending flu shots for them more than five decades ago, following a higher death rate in pregnant women during a flu pandemic in the late 1950s. But the study is perhaps the largest look at the safety and value of flu vaccination during pregnancy, experts say. ``This is the kind of information we need to provide our patients when discussing that flu vaccine is important for everyone, particularly for pregnant women,'' said Dr. Geeta Swamy, a researcher who studies vaccines and pregnant women at Duke University Medical Center. The study was released by the New England Journal of Medicine as the United States and Europe suffer through an early and intense flu season. A U.S. obstetricians group this week reminded members that it's not too late for their pregnant patients to get vaccinated. The new study was led by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. It tracked pregnancies in Norway in 2009 and 2010 during an international epidemic of a new swine flu strain.
Before 2009, pregnant women in Norway were not routinely advised to get flu shots. But during the pandemic, vaccinations against the new strain were recommended for those in their second or third trimester. The study focused on more than 113,000 pregnancies. Of those, 492 ended in the death of the fetus. The researchers calculated that the risk of fetal death was nearly twice as high for women who
This is the kind of information we need to provide our patients when discussing that flu vaccine is important for everyone, particularly for pregnant women,'' said Dr. Geeta Swamy, a researcher weren't vaccinated as it was in vaccinated mothers. U.S. flu vaccination rates for pregnant women grew in the wake of the 2009 swine flu pandemic, from less than 15 percent to about 50 percent. But health officials say those rates need to be higher to protect newborns as well. Infants can't be vaccinated until 6 months, but studies have shown they pick up some protection if their mothers got the annual shot, experts say. -AP
Too soon for Calif. to control inmate care Contâ€™d from page 33
He credited the state with making ``significant progress'' in meeting seven goals set last year by U.S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton, and said officials seem to have made a ``serious commitment'' to making the necessary improvements. However, ``more work remains to be done before all of these goals are met,'' he wrote. Lopes wrote the report before Brown's announcement though the administration had signaled by then that it intended to soon ask Karlton to end federal oversight of the prison system's mental health programs. Brown's court filing triggered a 90-day clock for the judge to rule if prison conditions now meet constitutional standards. The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation will file a formal response after reviewing the report, said spokeswoman Deborah Hoffman. She said the department disputes the special master's finding that there are delays in providing mental health treatment to any inmate who needs it. ``We take suicides very seriously and have one of the most robust suicide prevention programs in the nation,'' she said in an email. ``California's prison suicide rate is half that of local jails, lower than many
other state prison systems, and in fact, lower than the suicide rate of adult males outside of prison.'' Michael Bien, the lead attorney representing the welfare of mentally ill inmates, said the special master's filing shows that the federal judges should reject Brown's motion to end federal oversight. ``These problems are serious, they're well known to the defendants, the solution is well known, what they need to do is well known, and they've failed to do it,'' he said. ``That is a constitutional violation. ... Years and years later, the problems exist and people are dying unnecessarily.'' That means the federal courts should also reject Brown's motion to lift the inmate population cap, Bien said. Karlton and two federal judges had ruled in 2009 that reducing crowding was the only way to improve unconstitutionally poor treatment of physically and mentally ill inmates, a decision upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2011. The state said in a court filing that it had missed December's court-ordered benchmark for reducing the population, and will miss the final deadline in June despite sending thousands of less-serious offenders to local jails instead of state prisons under a 14-month-old state law. -AP
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Gun control: Are we facing a 'change failure chain' MOE GLENNER
ith the announcement of the President's gun control plan, and the seemingly requisite public relations positioning of children at his side, we are witnessing the culmination of what I call a "change failure chain." Undoubtedly, by the time you read this article, court action will have commenced and battle lines will be reinforced. Let the circus begin! While circuses can be entertaining, is this really the realm for effective change? Sadly, this appears to be a public relations attempt and not the way to effectuate a real and lasting difference. It takes extraordinary steps to accomplish successful and enduring change. As an experienced change management consultant, I frequently witness organizations unintentionally assemble the links in a change failure chain. Typically, the best way to combat the change failure journey is to highlight the links and then engage in concerted efforts to break these links. Unfortunately, with the proposed changes and the methods for arriving at them, it appears that the administration is intentionally assembling these links. What are they? Link 1 - Confusion When the scope and/or goals of a change initiative are not clearly spelled out and then honestly communicated, the natural result is confusion. Considering the relatively short period of time that VP Biden's task force has spent examining this issue, there can be no doubt that the scope and the goals are vaguely stated. In fact, the catalyst for the change hasn't been clearly defined. Do we really need such legislative and executive actions? Do we have consensus as to the issue driving these actions? Whatever these answers may be, why the rush to implement a solution to a WASHINGTON: Nearly six in 10 Americans want stricter gun laws in the aftermath of last month's deadly school shooting in Connecticut, with majorities favoring a nationwide ban on military-style, rapid-fire weapons and limits on gun violence depicted in video games, movies and TV shows, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll. A lopsided 84 percent of adults would like to see the establishment of a federal standard for background checks for people buying guns at gun shows, the poll showed. Three-quarters of Americans said they reacted to the Connecti-
Supporters of gun control gather on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House in Washington
question not clearly defined? By predetermining the solution based on a likely preconceived agenda, the administration intentionally creates confusion with the misguided belief that any solution is better than no solution. After all, if you can't beat them, confuse them.
long term impact unless it's clearly spelled out. As part of the run-up to the proposed policy, the administration has stoked the fears of all sides on this issue. For everyone in general, the message is: accept these propos-
Considering the relatively short period of time that VP Biden's task force has spent examining this issue, there can be no doubt that the scope and the goals are vaguely stated. In fact, the catalyst for the change hasn't been clearly defined Link 2 - Fear We all have both clear fears and a general fear of the unknown. Typically, confusion begets fear. FDR's words are never truer (All we have to fear, is fear itself) when it comes to changes. We don't know what it really means or the
als or risk further gun related tragedies. For gun ownership groups and their respective supporters in Congress, the stance is: support these measures or deal with your conscience. The real fear stoking is for elected officials: don't support the policy, or be labeled as
unwilling to change in the face of Newtown or worse, tacitly encouraging those that would partake in the violence. Fear is not an overly effective motivator, but it does rile people up. Naturally, there is also a fear of the erosion of 2nd amendment rights. Link 3 - Resentment In a change initiative, if the change itself or the sponsors and/ or change team are being resented, the change is in serious trouble. The best way to combat resentment is real inclusion of the affected parties. Their opinions and input must be seriously considered and considered with equal weight as to the others. Legitimate effort must be made to incorporate them into the planning, communication and execution. Without their real inclusion, the plan will likely be vigorously fought and its outcome will be in peril. Without taking sides, it cer-
AP-GfK poll: 6 in 10 favor stricter gun laws cut massacre with deep anger, while 54 percent said they felt deeply ashamed it could happen in the United States. President Barack Obama is set to unveil a wide-ranging package of steps for reducing gun violence, expected to include a proposed ban on assault weapons, limits on the capacity of ammunition magazines and universal background checks for gun sales. Many of the more restrictive proposals under consideration, such as the assault-weapons ban, would face stiff congressional op-
position, particularly among Republicans. By contrast, the general public appears receptive to stronger federal action following the Dec. 14 shooting spree at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., which claimed the lives of 20 children and six adults. Some 58 percent favor strengthening gun laws in the United States. Just 5 percent felt such laws should be loosened, while 35 percent said they should be left unchanged. In comparison, after the Virginia
Tech shootings in 2007, an Associated Press-Ipsos poll found that 47 percent wanted stricter gun laws, 38 percent thought they should remain as is and 11 percent wanted to see them loosened. Caroline Konczey, 63, a retired Navy officer from Indio, Calif., is among those supporting a ban on military-style assault weapons. "I can't imagine why anyone would want one," she said. "What do you do with that, unless you're a collector?" She suggested an underlying source of gun violence was the
tainly appears that the NRA and gun ownership groups were given just a token seat at the table. Perhaps it was to show that they were included. If so, this effort publicly failed and likely caused even further resentment. Whenever a large group is potentially disenfranchised with a possible solution, the planners (aka Biden's team) should have taken extra steps to legitimately include them and from a very early stage. With some of the vitriol espoused, especially on the gun rights side, it is quite obvious that there was no real inclusion. Link 4 - Push Back This is the final link on a change failure chain. At this stage, there is active dissent and continuous efforts, both publicly and discretely, are being made to either completely derail the change or dramatically alter it. While it's possible that somehow the change initiative can still succeed, this is not a wager most of us would make. After all, it's next to impossible to work on bigger issues, when everywhere you turn there is another fire raging. Even before the president's policy announcement, the push back was in full force. With the probable court battles ensuing, any effectuation of this policy will likely be bottlenecked. Are we then any closer to a) identifying the real issue, b) legitimately including all the affected parties and most importantly c) being and feeling safer at schools, movie theaters, malls, etc.? If anything, this unnecessarily rushed and preconceived solution package, has moved us further away from a real and unbiased discussion that could lead to a real and lasting difference. And that is a tragedy in itself. Moe Glenner is the founder and president of PURELogistics, a leading consulting firm that specializes in organizational change. breakdown of the nuclear family and a lack of access to mental health care. "Until you strengthen the structure of the family that teaches respect for people, then this stuff goes down," she said. Specifically, majorities in the new poll favored a nationwide ban on military-style, rapid-fire guns (55 percent) and limits on the amount and type of gun violence that can be portrayed in video games, movies or on television (54 percent). About half (51 percent) of those surveyed back a ban on the sale of magazines holding 10 or more bullets.-AP
izawl, the capital city of the state of Mizoram, is a favored destination of solitude seekers. Located on the Tropic of Cancer, on the Himalayan ranges, it is one of the foremost cities in the north-eastern region of India. The 112 year old hill fortress offers ample opportunities for sightseeing, recreation and adventure. Set in the midst of beautiful landscapes, the destination is situated on an elevated platform at an altitude of 4,000 ft above sea level. One of the characteristics of the region is timber houses positioned between profusion of flowers. The cloudless blue skies, dewy mornings and sunlight streaming through the woods are ideal for a relaxing holiday. Along with the Tlawng River, the Turial River Valley gives an opportunity to visit the high hills of Durtlang and other adjacent areas. The hill station of Aizawl also houses administrative houses like the State Assembly and Civil Secretariat. The state has several public sector offices and is a beehive of economic activity.
Some of the attractions in Aizawl are the State Museum on Mcdonald Hill, known as Zarkawt, which exhibits various artifacts and historical relics related with Mizo culture. Chapchar Kut, Min Kut and Pawl Kut festivals are hosted in the city, which are celebrated with zeal in the traditional Mizo style.
February 1, 2013
pleasant weather all round the year with inappreciable changes in mercury levels. The monsoon months are pleasant and gentle. Therefore, Aizawl can be visited throughout the year. Surrounded by the green valley of river Tlawng on the east and high craggy hills of Durtlang on the north, Aizawl stands on the
The cloudless blue skies, dewy mornings and sunlight streaming through the woods are ideal for a relaxing holiday. Along with the Tlawng River, the Turial River Valley gives an opportunity to visit the high hills of Durtlang and other adjacent areas The group performance displaying foot movements and colorful costumes of the famous Cheraw (bamboo dance) is a spectacular sight to witness in Aizawl. The region is popular for items like cane and bamboo items. The north-eastern city experiences a
high ridge like a citadel city. This remote city's natural beauty has made it an ideal hill station for vacations. The rich tribal extravaganza of this city further affirms the ethnic, religious and cultural background of the state of Mizoram. The high ridges of the Durtlang hills,
punctuated by a number of small Mizo villages such as Ruantlang (5 km), Falkawn (18 km) and Sairung (19 km) are a major attraction. Depicting the culture and lifestyle of a typical Mizo village, these beautiful towns serve as places of great interest. There are plenty of picnic spots within and around the capital as well, such as Paikhai (15 km) and Bung (16 km), which are often visited by travelers. Nature lovers can visit the famous mini zoological garden in Aizawl that houses several species of mammals and birds unique to Mizoram. This sanctuary is famous for the endangered sun bear and other rare animals. Besides natural sites, Aizawl is also rich in cultural heritage with sites like the Cultural Sub-Centre, Luangmual Handicrafts Centre (7 km) and Berawtlang Tourist Complex (7 km). The Mizoram State Museum is also popular, for displaying evidence of the glorious past and ethnicity of the state. Bara Bazar, a shopping centre in the city, is extremely popular among shoppers. Contâ€™d on page 40
Travel & Hospitality Post
February 1, 2013
Aizawl: Sightseeing, recreation, adventure amid timber houses Cont’d from page 39
Places in Aizawl Bung Bung, located 15 km from the main town, is a beautiful picnic spot comprising an isolated green patch amidst the hills. This spot is often crowded with tourists and locals carrying picnic baskets or lying la-
zily under a shady tree in a hot afternoon. Situated adjacent to Paikhai, this spot can be reached by car, bus or taxi. Berawtlang Tourist Complex Berawtlang Tourist Complex, situated 7 km from the city centre of Aizawl, is a recreational centre that
hosts cultural activities. This popular avenue conducts a number of ceremonial functions and fairs. The entertainment centre is also considered a popular picnic spot among locals as well as travelers. In fact, the complex provides accommodation to the local people during the peak season. Facilities like restaurants and tourist cot-
tages are also available inside the complex. Visitors coming from across the world can travel to the entertainment centre from Aizawl via rented car or local taxi. Bara Bazar Bara Bazar is a popular flea market in Aizawl, and is the main shop-
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ping centre of the hill station. Located on the other side of the ridge, this market is lined with stalls selling garments and other commodities. The market is famous for bright colorful traditional garments, handmade wicker baskets and many other things. The Zion Street inside the market is crowded with shops selling garments and music cassettes. From the shops on another street, travelers can buy produce from the farms and homesteads, such as river crab in small wicker baskets. The inhabitants of the city, selling produce, home made things and other items are seen in traditional dresses that depict the culture of the state's capital. Mizoram State Museum Mizoram State Museum, located in the centre of the town, houses numerous items that reflect the cultural heritage of the state. Established in 1977, this ethnological museum contains about 2500 items, each of which is an evidence of the rich past and ethnic background of Mizoram. An entire gallery at the museum is dedicated to tribes of Mizoram. Items stored in the museum include photographs, musical instruments, archaeological objects and natural history specimens. The most popular among all exhibits is the one displaying the textiles of the tribes of Mizoram. This small museum is situated close to the Chief Minister's bungalow. Durtlang Hills Durtlang Hills, situated on the northern side of Aizawl, are craggy hills that offer a fine view of the hill station. Tourists and locals visiting the hills for obtaining a panoramic view often indulge in trekking on the hill-top. Though the visitors have to trudge the rocky trail, the view obtained from the highest point is breathtaking.
Mini Zoological Garden Mini Zoological Garden, located on a hill known as Bethlehem Vengthlang, is a sanctuary sheltering wildlife that is unique to the hilly region. The zoo houses a large number of species of mammals and birds, including some of the rarest animals found in Asia. A major attraction of the zoo is the endan-
By Air: The nearest airport from the capital city of Mizoram is at Lengpui (43kms). Several airlines connect this domestic airport to key cities in this part of India, like Silchar, Kolkata, Imphal. By Road: A good network of roads connects Aizawl to all important cities and towns in the neighboring states and major cit-
Items stored in the museum include photographs, musical instruments, archaeological objects and natural history specimens. The most popular among all exhibits is the one displaying the textiles of the tribes of Mizoram. This small museum is situated close to the Chief Minister's bungalow. gered sun bear, who lures maximum tourists to this place. Vantawang Known for the 750 feet Vantawang waterfall, it is about 152 km from Aizawl. The waterfall is set amidst bamboo thickets with lush verdant greenery all around. The Thenzawl hill station is close by. How to reach
ies in the country. Agartala (321kms), Shillong (438kms), Silchar (140kms), Itanagar (920kms), Jorhat (520kms) are connected by road to Aizawl. By Rail: Nearest railhead is Silchar in Assam, 180 km away from Aizawl. But one can also stop at Guwahati since it is better connected to all major cities and towns in the country by train.
February 1, 2013
Travel & Hospitality Post
Rs 560 crore invested for promoting tourism in NE referring to the Center's efforts to promote tourism in the region. The ministry has also launched promotional campaigns on themes 'Find What You Seek' and 'Go Beyond' to help promote the diverse
Tourism Minister K. Chiranjeevi visits a pavilion during the inaugural function of the International Tourism Mart in Guwahati
GUWAHATI: The Centre has invested Rs 560 crore for developing tourism in the North-East during the 11th plan period but the region is yet to be a major tourist destination, Union Minister of State for Tourism K Chiranjeevi said here. Addressing a press conference after inaugurating the first International Tourism Mart here, Chiranjeevi said the North-Eastern region has immense untapped tourism potential and the sector will be developed into an institution with investment by the Centre very soon. "We have to develop quality infrastructure and the main focus should be on adventure tourism,"
Chiranjeevi, who is on his maiden visit to the state, said. "We have identified hotel management projects in these states and the unused airports and helipads will be made operational soon to promote tourism," he said. The Mart, the first such international tourist event to be organized in the region in which 79 foreign delegates have participated was a 'welcome sign', he said. The ministry of tourism releases domestic television campaigns besides providing space on complimentary basis to the states in the country's pavilions in major international travel fairs, including the World Travel market in London and Berlin, the minister said
Tourists can look forward to a greener Goa
PANAJI: The Goa government has decided to introduce green concept in all its forthcoming projects to preserve the coastal state's scenic beauty, State Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar said here. "For last 8-9 months we have been trying to introduce green concepts in our projects. We will continue doing that in our future projects," Parulekar told a conference organized by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in Goa on 'Riding the Next Wave of Green Practices'.
The minister said that "green toilets" would be constructed by the ministry in tourist spots. "These toilets will have minimum impact on the surrounding environment during their construction and also during maintenance," Parulekar said. He said the ministry also intends to use solar energy in its forthcoming projects, which are mostly coming up on sunny beaches. "We are looking towards greener Goa," he said, adding the garbage littered across the state would be cleared soon. -PTI
The delegates are treated to a cruise on Brahmaputra River and elephant ride at Pabitors wildlife sanctuary, which has the world's highest concentration of endangered one horned rhinos and lesser known destinations of different regions, he said. Post 'Tourism Mart' familiarization tours to the North-East states organized for overseas delegates will give them first hand knowledge of the destina-
Artists performing a dance during the inaugural function
tions and help them to effectively promote these destinations, Chiranjeevi said. The three-day international mart has brought together the business fraternity and entrepreneurs from the eight North-Eastern states and West Bengal. Around 83 buyer delegates from 23 countries including Bangladesh, Bhutan, Japan, Ko-
rea, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, UK and USA besides those from ASEAN are participating in the mart, official sources said. The delegates are treated to a cruise on Brahmaputra River and elephant ride at Pabitors wildlife sanctuary, which has the world's highest concentration of endangered one horned rhinos. -PTI
Travel & Hospitality Post
February 1, 2013
Maha Kumbh now a Harvard case study NEW YORK: The Maha Kumbh Mela, considered the largest public gathering in the world, will be the subject of a case study at Harvard University, which will study the logistics and economics behind it and the "pop-up mega-city" that comes to life in Allahabad during the religious event. A team of faculty and students from Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS), School of Design, Harvard Business School, School of Public Health, Harvard Medical School, Harvard Divinity School and Harvard Global Health Institute would travel to Allahabad for the project 'Mapping India's Kumbh Mela'. They would undertake different researches at the Maha Kumbh, which draws millions of pilgrims from across the world every 12 years. Harvard said a temporary "popup mega-city" is created for the Kumbh Mela that would house
pilgrims and tourists for the over month-long duration of the religious gathering. "This city, laid out on a grid, is constructed and deconstructed within a matter of weeks," it said.
Creating this huge encampment entails multiple aspects of contemporary urbanism, including city planning and management, engineering and spatial zoning, an electricity grid, water lines and sanitation systems, food and water distribution plans, hospitals and vac-
cination centers, police and fire stations, public gathering spaces, and stages for entertainments and plays, the university said. "This is probably the first time that Harvard is doing something
like this, where we've pulled together ... different disciplines in a way that all faculty and students are going to be together to look at a phenomenon," Associate Director of Harvard's South Asia Institute, Meena Hewett, said in a statement. The Harvard team would seek answers to the "question of 'How on earth is an event of this size possible'," city-based writer Logan Plaster, who would be part of the team visiting the Kumbh Mela, said. "To fully grapple with this question, the scale of the Kumbh needs to be put in perspective." The Graduate School of Design team would study the Kumbh Mela as a case study for the "pop-up mega-city" and would map flows of people and infrastructure. The FAS team would look at various religious and cultural aspects of the event, including the kinds of religious groups present at the festival, devotional practices, tourism and environmental concerns, while the health team would study water quality, sanitation techniques, health clinic
readiness and presence and networks of hospitals and public health facilities. The team from Harvard Business School would gather information on business practices of the Kumbh, including the interac-
The "size and complexity" of the Kumbh Mela is inspirational for inter-disciplinary research in a number of complementary fields of urban studies and design, religious and cultural studies, environmental science and public health tion of the public and private sectors and would also examine the way in which technology, media, internet connections and cellular networks play a role in this year's logistics as never before.
Srinagar to develop 2 km Tourism Street SRINAGAR: To uplift and boost the socio-economic condition of the artisans in Srinagar, the government would develop 2 kilometer long Tourism Street from Nawa Kadal to Cement Bridge under Government of India sponsored Cluster Development initiative. In this regard, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Dr. Asgar Hassan Samoon reviewed the pace of progress on the project in Srinagar City at an officers meeting here. The meeting was informed that the Cluster Development Initiative envisages developing
Tourism Street with the aim to uplift and boost the socio-economic status of the artisans of the area besides encouraging direct communication of the artisans with
velopments and informed that as many as 10 artisan clusters including Khatamband, Papier Mache, Kani Shawl, Wood Carving, Copper work, Ari Crewel, Pashmina,
Dr Samoon urged upon the concerned executing agencies to speed up the pace of ongoing works including development of ghats, show windows the tourists in order to avoid middlemen. The concerned officers apprised the Divisional Commissioner about their respective de-
Leather, Sozni and Willow work which were proposed to central government out of which 6 clusters including Papier Mache, Kani Shawl, Ari Crewel, Pashmina, Sozni
had been already approved. The Divisional Commissioner was also apprised that with the formation of this tourism street about 17, 000 artisan families of Shehr-i-Khas would be benefited and shall provide self employment opportunities to the youth of the area besides giving facelift to Srinagar city. Dr Samoon urged upon the concerned executing agencies to speed up the pace of ongoing works including development of ghats, show windows, lighting and illumination system, besides improving roads of the area.-Agencies
Plaster said the scale of the gathering can be gauged by imagining the entire population of Shanghai about 23 million camping on a four-by-eight kilometer field, along with "the mass of humanity every last man, woman and child in New York City and you're getting closer to the Kumbh's expected attendance. But still not quite there." He hoped that by studying a pop-up mega-city, researchers would learn lessons applicable to a wide range of mass gathering events, from refugee camps to festivals. "How do people move en masse? How can the spread of disease be kept in check using minimal technology? The questions aren't new, but by bringing four major disciplines under one tent literally Harvard is creating a new strain of dialogue, one which just might be able to keep up with the crush of the crowd," he said. The "size and complexity" of the Kumbh Mela is inspirational for inter-disciplinary research in a number of complementary fields of urban studies and design, religious and cultural studies, environmental science and public health, technology and communications, Harvard said. The outcomes by each school's research team would be presented by students and faculty at a university-side symposium hosted by the South Asia Initiative in the spring semester 2013, and will be submitted for a final visual and textual publication. Plaster said the religious gathering caught Harvard's attention as it saw the Kumbh Mela as a "unique opportunity to study the formation and inner-workings of a pop-up mega city." "Where recently there was nothing but a barren flood plain there will soon be a thriving 'city' complete with hospitals, sanitation systems, markets and police. "The Kumbh has always operated in this capacity, but for a variety of reasons, the 2013 festival represents a significant shift towards seeing the festival as a seminal academic learning environment," he added. With the Maha Kumbh Mela taking place once every 12 years, the year 2013 marks the first Kumbh which would be crisscrossed with cell phone towers and where a critical mass of people would be using mobile phones. "That environment creates a unique opportunity for researchers interested in studying big data. They'll be looking into questions like how anonymised cell phone data can assist in infectious disease mapping," Plaster said. -PTI
In Brief Ala. asks court to review part of immigration law MONTGOMERY, Ala.: The state of Alabama is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review part of its law cracking down on illegal immigration. The state asked the judges to review a section of the law that makes it a crime to assist, harbor or transport anyone who's in the country illegally. Opponents of the law have called the section inhumane, but the state says it doesn't conflict with federal law. It also says the justices haven't reviewed a similar law in other states including Arizona. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals stuck down parts of Alabama's law last year, including the section that prohibits harboring illegal immigrants. The state argues the provision is constitutional. Opponents of the law said they're disappointed the state is appealing. -AP
Ariz. ruling: Immigration issue was out of bounds PHOENIX: A legislative committee’s official analysis of a sales tax initiative on Arizona’s ballot went out of bounds by trying to inject the illegal immigration issue to sway voters against the measure, the state Supreme Court said. The Supreme Court said the joint analysis of the House-Senate committee was supposed to be impartial, but several parts were misleading or impermissibly advocated against the proposal. Voters on Nov. 6 rejected the initiative, which would have implemented a permanent one-cent sales tax increase to pay for education and other social programs. The opinion by a three-justice panel explained why the high court previously upheld an order by a trial judge who required the committee to change three parts of the analysis before it was printed in the official state pamphlet mailed to voters. Part of the analysis stating the initiative “fails” to define who would be a resident qualifying for university scholarships funded by the sales tax was an attempt “to inject the contentious topic of illegal immigration issue into an already controversial tax measure” and impermissibly sway voters, the opinion said. “On its face, the statement is true, but its inclusion and provocative phrasing belie neutrality,” Justice John Pelander wrote for the panel. -AP
February 1, 2013
AG backs licenses for some illegal immigrants RALEIGH, N.C.: North Carolina should issue driver's licenses to illegal immigrants who qualify for federal work papers, the state's top law enforcement authority said. Details on page 44
LA Mayor seeks expansion of H-1B visa program WASHINGTON: Seeking comprehensive immigration reforms, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has proposed a sixpoint formula, including expanding the H-1B visa program popular among Indian professionals, to fix the "broken immigration system" of the US. "A pathway to legal permanent residency and citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants must be at the core of reform," Villaraigosa told reporters at the National Press Club here, describing his vision for a comprehensive immigration reform. US President Barack Obama has said immigration reform is going to be one of his top priorities for his second term. Giving his six-point solution to fixing the immigration system, the Los Angeles Mayor also called for expanding the H-1B visa system, arguing that this will attract the talent. "The hard work and talent of immigrants fuels our economy. Our immigration policy must expand the avenues for these valued workers to seek legal employment. The President has suggested, let's staple a green card to the diplomas of foreign students getting advanced degrees
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
‘Keeping families together not only keeps capital in the United States, it also maximizes the human potential. These immigrants start family-based small businesses and grow our economy’ in science, technology, engineering and math. "We need to expand the H-1B visa program, and at the same time, we need effective visa programs for agricultural workers and low-skilled non-seasonal workers," he said.
Villaraigosa said legalization should be earned, but not made unattainable. "It should be a process, not a punishment; should include a criminal background check, proof of English language skills and American civic knowledge, and
the payment of back taxes," he said. "Family unification should continue as a key priority of our immigration policy. The goal must be to protect the sanctity of the family. Keeping families together not only keeps capital in the United States, it also maximizes the human potential. These immigrants start family-based small businesses and grow our economy," he argued. Villaraigosa said immigration reform must include an effective and efficient employment verification system. "Such a system can and must prevent unlawful employment, reward those employers and employees who play by the rules and protect America's fundamental rights," he said. "When we fix our broken immigration system, we will restore a basic American covenant that we are a nation of immigrants, rightly claim distinction for our long history welcoming people from all four corners of the earth to our shores," said Villaraigosa, one of the most powerful Mayors of the country. Ten per cent residents of Los Angeles are undocumented, he said, adding that 42 per cent of the city is foreign born. -PTI
The irrelevancy of anti-immigration movements CYRUS D. MEHTA
merica has been founded on the noble notion of welcoming immigrants. Even the American Declaration of Independence cites this as one of the failings of England's monarch King George III, and thus a justification for the revolution: "He has endeavored to prevent the Population of these States; for the purpose obstructing the Laws of Naturalization of Foreigners, refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands." George Washington loftily viewed the United States as "an asylum to the oppressed and the needy of the earth."
Yet, there has always been an historical ambivalence towards immigrants. After each group of immigrants settled in the new country, they pulled up the draw bridge and felt that newcomers would not be as worthy as them. Thus, anti-immigration movements have always existed throughout the nation's history and continue to exist today through groups such as Federation of American Immigration Reform, Center for Immigrant Studies and NumbersUSA. Individual antiimmigration leaders such as Kris Kobach, the architect of the Arizona and other restrictive immigration state laws, have also existed
from time immemorial. This is the bad news. Anti-immigration groups and leaders will continue to exist. The good news, however, judging from history, is that each antiimmigration group or movement has never survived for too long. They soon became irrelevant while the inexorable flow of immigrants into the United States has continued and continues even today. America's greatness has been the triumph of immigrants who have gone on to benefit the country over the forces that have opposed them. The Staff Report of the Select Commission on Immigration and Refugee Policy, US Immigration Policy and the National Interest (1981), provides a
vivid glimpse of the anti-immigration movements from the past. I draw liberally from this report to make my point. Between 1830 and 1860, when there was virtually unrestricted immigration, 4.5 million immigrants arrived into the United States. Amongst them were Irish and Germans who were Catholic, and there was an over simplified view that Catholics would never be good citizens as they were beholden to the Pope and subject to the orders from the church. Samuel Morse, well known as the inventor of the telegraph and Morse code, was also a nutty xenophobe, who warned: Cont’d on page 45
February 1, 2013
AG backs licenses for some illegal immigrants agency in September not to issue any pending direction from the attorney general on whether doing so would violate state law.
Lucas Codognolla, 22, receives his license after qualifying for it under President Obama's federal immigration policy, which allows some young immigrants who are in the country illegally to stay in the US for at least two years
RALEIGH, N.C.: North Carolina should issue driver's licenses to illegal immigrants who qualify for federal work papers, the state's top law enforcement authority said. The office of Attorney General Roy Cooper, a Democrat, directed the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles to begin issuing driver's licenses to those granted federal work authorizations under the Obama administration's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The U.S. Immigration and Cus-
toms Enforcement began accepting applications in August from immigrants brought to the United States without authorization as minors, granting those who qualify for work papers with an opportunity for renewal after two years. North Carolina typically grants driver's licenses to non-citizens with valid federal work papers. But before anyone under the new program applied for driver's licenses, then-state DMV Commissioner Mike Robertson directed his
The attorney general's opinion comes two days after DMV spokeswoman Marge Howell said 13 people with DACA papers had been mistakenly issued licenses since September In a three-page legal opinion, Cooper's office told newly-appointed DMV Commissioner Eric Boyette that issuing licenses to DACA participants is not only legal, but the DMV is required to do so. ``It is therefore our opinion those individuals ... are lawfully present in the United States during the period of deferment,'' said the letter, which is signed by Chief
City enforcement of immigration laws before panel HELENA, Mont.: Montana lawmakers looked at a proposal that would require cities to help enforce anti-immigration laws, which supporters argue is necessary to prevent what has happened in other states. The measure from Republican David Howard of Park City would prohibit cities from establishing policies that they won't enforce illegal immigration. He told the House Judiciary Committee that House Bill 50 ensures local governments will enforce federal law. Howard said that cities elsewhere have made it a policy for their police officers not to inquire about immigration status or to report illegal immigrants to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He argued a statewide ban is needed before any cities in the state try to adopt such a policy. Howard, a retired agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, said illegal immigrants know which cites set up such policies. ``It creates a defense in wonderful Montana where they won't come here,'' Howard said. ``That all this does is to protect Montanans.'' Opponents argue it forces local police agencies to pay for the extra job of enforcing federal im-
migration issues, and perhaps imposes on the Montana constitutional right to privacy. They argued that a city should be allowed, for budget reasons, to place a lower priority on policing immigration. ``A sanctuary city is a city that has simply decided on its own limited resources ... that they are
“One of the great concerns that I have with this bill is that over the years we have looked at greater and greater federal overreaching on the rights of various states and organizations” not going to actively enforce federal immigration laws,'' Helena attorney Shahid Haque-Hausrath said. ``It just means they are not going to make it a priority, they are going to follow their own priorities.'' A similar bill cleared the Legislature two years ago, only to be vetoed by former Gov. Brian Schweitzer. The governor argued
at that time that it was unnecessary because no Montana cities have established any policies that could be described as an immigration sanctuary. The opponents to the bill included the Montana Association of Churches and the Montana Catholic Conference, who argued that a state ban could punish ``basic human justice and comfort.'' The proposal preys on the fear of other types of people. ``One of the great concerns that I have with this bill is that over the years we have looked at greater and greater federal overreaching on the rights of various states and organizations,'' said Moe Wosepka, executive director of the Catholic Conference. ``I believe we are going backward by the state conferring even greater authority to the federal government.'' It is just one of two anti-immigration bills proposed so far at the Legislature. The other, still in the drafting process, would make it illegal to employ an illegal immigrant. Lawmakers in 2011 pitched many more such bills. One of them was placed directly on the ballot and requires proof of citizenship in order to receive state services. Voters overwhelmingly approved it November. -AP
Deputy Attorney General Grayson G. Kelley. ``As such, (state law), which states that DMV shall issue a driver's license of limited duration to persons who present valid documentation demonstrating deferment and meet all other statutory requirements, requires that such licenses be issued.'' DMV Commissioner Eric Boyette said in a statement that officials ``have just received the ruling from the Attorney General's office regarding driver's licenses for people in the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program today and we are in the process of reviewing it.'' The attorney general's opinion comes two days after DMV spokeswoman Marge Howell said 13 people with DACA papers had
been mistakenly issued licenses since September. Those licenses are to be cancelled until the legal questions are settled, Howell said. The issue sets up a potential conflict between Cooper and the Republican administration of McCrory, who took office earlier this month. GOP lawmakers have been critical of the DACA program, which was enacted by the Obama administration in what the Democratic president described as the unwillingness of Congress to act on comprehensive immigration reform. Obama is a supporter of the Dream Act, which would provide a path to citizenship for qualified young immigrants brought to the United States when they were children. -AP
ACLU suit: Suspected illegal immigrant a citizen PITTSBURGH: A US citizen who was born in Mexico has sued a police department, a federal immigration official and the county where she was jailed overnight after she was arrested on suspicion of being in the country illegally. The American Civil Liberties Union filed the federal civil rights lawsuit in Pittsburgh on behalf of Angelica Davila, 28, of West Mifflin. Davila alleges she was wrongly arrested in January 2011 after a Northern Regional Police Department officer stopped her for driving without headlights in Pine Township. She was held after a US Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent wrongly told police she was in the country illegally, the ACLU contends. A friend who with her at the time also was arrested. That man was from Honduras, was illegally in the country and has since been deported. ``This is a blatant example of ethnic profiling,'' Reggie Shuford, the executive director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania, said in a statement announcing the lawsuit. ``The police had no reason to check Ms. Davila's immigration status for a routine traffic stop when her paperwork was in order. The police questioned her status only because of her ethnicity and that of her passenger.'' Ross Feinstein, a spokesman for the federal agency, declined comment on the litigation. ICE has twice revised its guidelines for immigration detainers since December 2011. The new guidelines call for detainers to be used only for people who meet certain standards, increasing the
focus for catching felons and repeat offenders, as opposed to those arrested for less serious violations, such as traffic offenses and petty crimes. The 22-page lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and attorney's fees. Davila's father was born in Texas and is a US citizen and her mother was naturalized in 1997. Davila became a permanent, lawful US resident in April 2001, when she was 16, and under the Child Citizenship
“The police had no reason to check Ms. Davila's immigration status for a routine traffic stop when her paperwork was in order. The police questioned her status only because of her ethnicity” Act of 2000 ``automatically became a U.S. citizen when she received her permanent resident card,'' according to the lawsuit. At the time of the traffic stop, however, Davila was waiting for a certificate of citizenship - which would enable her to prove her citizenship on the spot, the lawsuit said. That document, which she received in December 2011, lists the date of her citizenship as April 30, 2001, the ACLU said. Davila was jailed after speaking with the ICE agent, through a police dispatch center, on her cellphone. -AP
February 1, 2013
The irrelevancy of anti-immigration movements Cont’d from page 43
"How is it possible that foreign turbulence imported by shiploads, that riot and ignorance in hundreds of thousands of human priest-controlled machines should suddenly be thrown into our society and not produce turbulence and excess? Can one throw mud into pure water and not disturb its clearness?" This is the time when political parties such as the KnowNothing movement emerged with the objective of preventing foreigners from participating in national affairs. One of the pamphlets of the KnowNothing party warned: "It is notorious that the grossest frauds have been practiced on our naturalization laws, and that thousands and tens of thousands have every year deposited votes in the ballot box, who could not only read them, and knew nothing of the nature of the business in which they were engaged, but who had not been six months in the country, and, in many cases, hardly six days." Yet, immigrants kept on marching into the US. After the Civil War, the demand for labor increased and about 2.5 million Europeans came each decade from 1860-1880. During the 1980s, the number doubled to 5.25 million and another 16 million immigrants entered over the next quarter century. The Germans and Irish were by now assimilated,
pioneer breed. Undersized and weak muscled, they shun bodily activity and are exceedingly sensitive to pain." Regarding Italians, Ross noted that they "pos-
After the Civil War, the demand for labor increased and about 2.5 million Europeans came each decade from 1860-1880. During the 1980s, the number doubled to 5.25 million and another 16 million immigrants entered over the next quarter century sess a distressing frequency of low foreheads, open mouths, weak chins, poor features, skewed faces, small or knobby crania and backless heads." Towards the end of his life, Ross moved away from these views. Hardworking Chinese immigrants were also accused of never being able to assimilate. Indeed, similar to Arizona today leading the anti-immigrant movement against the influx of Mexicans in recent years; in 1876, a California State Senate Committee described the Chinese as follows: "They fail to comprehend our system of government; they perform no duties of citizenship. They do not comprehend or appreciate our social ideas…The great mass of the Chinese…are not amenable to our laws…They do not recognize the sanctity of an oath."
The anti-immigration movements and commissions from the 19th and early 20th centuries have been completely discredited, and reading some of their diatribe against the immigrants from those days makes one hold one's nose. 2013 promises to herald immigration reform and the Know Nothing party had disappeared, but newer immigrants became the scapegoats as they appeared more foreign than the older immigrants. Jews and Italians became the targets of accusations that they could never become 100 percent Americans. A leading sociologist of his time Edward Ross stated that Jews were "the polar opposite of our
cluded, somewhat similar to the rationale for the existence of today's anti-immigrant organizations (although without the blatant racist overtones that cannot
In 1907, when the flow of immigrants reached a high water mark, Congress appointed the Dillingham Commission, which premised its work on racist theories of superior and inferior people, and that the newer immigrants from southern and eastern Europe were not capable of becoming successful immigrants. The Dillingham Commission con-
be expressed in a more politically correct era): • 20th century immigration differed markedly from earlier movements of people to the United States; • The new immigration was dominated by the so-called inferior peoples - those who were physically, mentally and linguistically different, and therefore, less desirable than either native-born or early immigrant groups; and • Because of the inferiority of these people, the United States no longer benefited from a liberal immigration admissions policy and should, therefore, impose new restrictions on entry. The anti-immigration movements and commissions from the 19th and early 20th centuries have been completely discredited, and reading some of their diatribe against the immigrants from those days makes one hold one's nose. 2013 promises to herald immigration reform. After the reelection of President Obama in 2012 based on support from the burgeoning Latino population and other minorities, it has dawned upon even some opponents of immigration about the need to reform the broken immigration system thus blunting some of the rhetoric of the antiimmigration groups. As our elected representatives go on with their deliberations to propose reform legislation, they will continue to be pressured by today's KnowNothings with their false view that today's immigrants cannot assimilate and will undermine America. If history is any
guide, be sure that today's antiimmigration groups, along with their views on immigration, will likely become irrelevant as their counterparts from yesteryears. A group that exists solely to hate, fear, suspect and create negative attitudes about certain people cannot last for too long. Indeed, it is the views of those who stood up against the anti-immigration forces that have held up through the passage of time, and will continue to remain more forceful and triumphant. In conclusion, Lincoln's letter to Joshua Speed in 1855 when he was wrongly accused of being a member of the Know Nothing party is worth noting: "I am not a Know-Nothing. That is certain. How could I be? How can anyone who abhors the op-
pression of negroes, be in favor of degrading classes of white people? Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we begin by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes." When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty-to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocrisy.” * Cyrus D Mehta, may be contacted at 212-425-0555 or firstname.lastname@example.org
PRADEEP ROY-SINGH B.A. LL.B. M.B.A. J.D. Attorney-at-Law
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February 1, 2013
'Unlicensed drivers are the most hazardous' SAN DIEGO: Immigrant advocates are welcoming a California study that found unlicensed drivers are the most hazardous motorists on the road, saying it supports their longstanding argument that denying driver's licenses for illegal immigrants has put everyone at risk. Drivers without a valid license are nearly three times more likely to cause a deadly crash, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles report. The study reviewed drivers with revoked or suspended licenses along with unlicensed drivers who were found to have the worst driving record. Advocates say immigrant drivers could benefit from training and testing required to get a license. Opponents, however, say a driver's license would jeopardize national security by giving illegal immigrants an official ID from the government. The study came as the debate over driver's licenses for illegal immigrants has been heating up. Illinois is expected to join New Mexico and Washington by becoming the third state in the U.S.
to grant driver's licenses to illegal immigrants California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill last year offering driver's licenses to young immigrants who qualify for two-year federal work permits. Immigrant advocates say the California DMV findings show the
think that's what everyone would want,'' Rios said. ``It certainly would increase the number of drivers who would be insured and increase the ability for people to file claims when that's necessary. ``It's ultimately a public safety issue,'' he added. The actual number of unli-
The actual number of unlicensed drivers in California is unknown because they do not come to the attention of the DMV until they are involved in a crash or convicted of a traffic violation, according to the study, which was officially announced by the DMV on Dec. 20 issue should not get lost in the political discussion regarding immigration. Licensed drivers provide a guarantee they have learned the rules of the roads in California and have been tested on them, said Pedro Rios, director of the San Diego office of the American Friends Service Committee. ``It makes sense that it would translate to fewer accidents leading to fatalities and ultimately I
censed drivers in California is unknown because they do not come to the attention of the DMV until they are involved in a crash or convicted of a traffic violation, according to the study, which was officially announced by the DMV on Dec. 20. While little is known about them, the study says it is likely the percentage of illegal immigrants in this group increased after California passed a 1994 law
Delayed-deportation immigrants can drive in Oregon SALEM, Ore.: Oregon will issue driver's licenses to illegal immigrants accepted into a new federal program that delays deportation for some young people brought illegally to the United States as children, officials said here. The decision by the Driver and Motor Vehicle Services Division ends months of uncertainty over how the DMV would handle applications for driving privileges or state identification from illegal immigrants given a two-year deportation delay and the opportunity to obtain a work permit. Oregon law requires proof of legal presence in the United States to get a driver's license, permit or identification card. ``To some people a driver's license is just any ordinary thing because it's so easy to get it,'' said Miriam Corona, 22, whose application to the federal program was approved in October. ``But for people like us, it's a big deal.'' Corona said she was brought to the U.S. from Mexico as an infant without authorization from immigration authorities. She was one of a handful of people in the deferred-deportation program given a driver's license last year
before the state said license applications should be out on hold to sort out legal issues. About 200 immigrants have pending applications for a driver's license, said David House, a spokesman for the DMV. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, an-
â€œTo some people a driver's license is just any ordinary thing because it's so easy to get it,'' said Miriam Corona, 22, whose application to the federal program was approved in October nounced last summer, allows young people brought illegally to the U.S. before their 16th birthday to obtain a temporary reprieve from deportation and the opportunity to obtain a work permit if they meet certain conditions. Immigrants do not get legal status in the United States, however, creat-
ing complicated legal questions for DMV officials. As of Dec. 13, more than 100,000 people had their deferred-action applications approved nationwide. The Department of Homeland Security wouldn't say how many are from Oregon. Oregon driver's licenses issued to immigrants in the program will expire on the same day as their deferred-action status. Jim Ludwick, a vocal opponent of illegal immigration, said Oregon should not be issuing driver's licenses to illegal immigrants, even if the federal government has told them they won't be deported. ``Apparently we are no longer a nation of the rule of law,'' Ludwick said. ``We've now morphed into a politicization of that, where certain people will be held to the rule of law and others won't.'' Gov. John Kitzhaber said in a statement in English, Spanish, Vietnamese and Russian saying he was pleased with the DMV's decision. People with authorization to work must be able to get there, he said. ``It's the right decision, and it will provide certainty for working families and employers,'' Kitzhaber said. -AP
requiring applicants to show a valid Social Security number and documents proving they are in the country legally. The Los Angeles Times was the first to report that immigrant groups pushing to change the 1994 law believe the study supports their efforts. It's the DMV's first significant analysis of unlicensed drivers in 15 years. The study used crash data over a 23-year period and looked at two-vehicle fatal crashes in which only one driver was at fault. Supporters of the 1994 law said it is contradictory to reward illegal immigrants with a government document such as a driver's license. California Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, R-Twin Peaks, said ``it is not surprising that people driving on our roads with no operational familiarity of our roads and sign system would be the most hazardous drivers.'' But Donnelly added a California driver's license ``is not simply a statement about someone's driving ability, but a gateway ID that
allows people to board planes, sign up for taxpayer funded aid, and register to vote.'' ``Handing out this secure form of ID to people who have no legal right to be in our country presents a statewide and national security threat, the likes of which we went to great lengths to prevent after September 11th,'' he said in an email to The Associated Press. ``We cannot hand it out like a teenager's driving permit; it stands for much, much more.'' The DMV recommended vehicle impoundment and other measures to address the issue but did not discuss the debate over giving driver's licenses to illegal immigrants. The study's author Sukhvir Brar said the DMV decided to look at accidents related to drivers without a valid license because it had not done so since 1997 and felt it was time to provide updated results. Brar said the composition of that driver population, and their risks, can change over time, so it is important to periodically assess risks. -AP
Immigration activist joins US Rep. Sinema's staff PHOENIX: An immigration activist who's one of the leaders of the Dream Act movement is joining the staff of U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema as a district outreach director. Erika Andiola is a founder of the Arizona Dream Act Coalition, a group of young immigrants who advocate giving legal status to people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children. Andiola entered the U.S. illegally from Mexico but has work authorization for two years by way of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, the deportation-relief offered by President Barack Obama to immigrants eligible for the Dream Act. Andiola was in the news recently when federal immigration officers arrested her mother and brother at the family's home in suburban Phoenix. They were later released after a national outcry from immigration reform advocates. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials insist the two weren't targeted because of Andiola's activism. Andiola said ICE agents told her there was a long-pending deportation order for her mother. Her brother was detained for refusing to answer agents' questions. Last July, Andiola drew na-
tional attention when U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, a main proponent of the Dream Act, held up a large color poster of her on the Senate floor while describing how she graduated with honors with a bachelor's degree in psychology from Arizona State University. Sinema, a Democrat, is in her first year in office after winning the new Phoenix-area 9th District in November.
Andiola was in the news recently when federal immigration officers arrested her mother and brother at the family's home in suburban Phoenix U.S. Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez, DIllinois, announced he was hiring Jose M. Quintero as an employee in his district office in Chicago. Gutierrez said Quintero, who was born in Mexico and came to Chicago with his parents at age 6, was the first young immigrant in Illinois to receive work authorization via Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. -AP
February 1, 2013
India Post 47
Notice is hereby given that sealed competitive bids will be accepted in the office of the GSA-Purchasing Department, County of Alameda, 1401 Lakeside Drive, Suite 907, Oakland, CA 94612 NETWORKING BIDDERS CONFERENCES for RFP #901073 Pharmacy Services for Homeless/Trust Clinic South Countyâ€“Tuesday, January 29, 2013, 10:00 a.m. at Castro Valley Library, Chabot Room, 3600 Norbridge Avenue, Castro Valley, CA and North Countyâ€“ Wednesday, January 30, 2013, 2:00 p.m. at General Services Agency, Conference Room 1107, 1401 Lakeside Drive, Oakland, CA 94612 Responses Due by 2:00 pm on February 27, 2013 County Contact : Jennifer Chan Ngo (510) 208-9604 or via email: email@example.com Attendance at Networking Conference is Non-mandatory. Specifications regarding the above may be obtained at the Alameda County GSA Current Contracting Opportunities Internet website at www.acgov.org. 2/1/13 CNS-2433075#
February 1, 2013
Anushka Sharma bagged the Best Actor in Supporting Role (Female) Award for 'Jab Tak Hai Jaan'
coming with my husband (Siddharth Roy Kapur). Interestingly I met Siddharth for the first time at the backstage at Filmfare Awards some years back. So it is a very nostalgic feeling for me today ". MUMBAI: Ranbir Kapoor starrer 'Barfi!' emerged top winner at the Filmfare Awards 2013 bagging six trophies, including best film and best actor, while Vidya Balan's 'Kahaani' followed close with five wins. The heart-wrenching love story between a deaf-and-mute boy and an autistic girl, directed by Anurag Basu, won Ileana D'Cruz the best debut (Female) award. Pritam received the Best Background Score and Best Music Director trophies for 'Barfi!'. The film, which was India's official entry at the Oscars this year, also won the Sony Trendsetter Of The Year award at the 58th Filmfare awards held at the Yash Raj Films studio in suburban Mumbai. While Vidya continued her winning spree bagging the Best Actress award for her portrayal of a pregnant woman in search of her husband in 'Kahaani', Sujoy Ghosh won the
Best Director award for the film. The thriller also bagged technical awards like Best Cinematography (Setu), Best Sound Design (Sanjay Maurya & Allwin Rego) and Best Editing (Namrata Rao). It was a big night for most small budget content-driven films released in 2012. Anurag Kashyap's directorial 'Gangs of Wasseypur', went head to head with John Abraham's debut production 'Vicky Donor', both bagging four awards each. Annu Kapoor won the best actor in a supporting role (male) for his portrayal of Dr Chaddha in 'Vicky Donor'. The film's writer Juhi Chaturvedi earned the Best Story award. Ayushmann Khurrana, who made his acting debut in the movie, won two awards - Best Debut (male) and Best Playback Singer award (male) for 'Paani Da Rang'. Anurag Kashyap, Akhilesh Jaiswal, Sachin K Ladia and Zeishan Qadri together won the Best Dialogue award for 'Gangs of Wasseypur'. It also took home the Critics' Award for Best Actor (Female) won by Richa Chadda and the Critics' Award for Best Film. Sham Kaushal won the Best Action award for the film. Sanjay Chouhan and Tigmanshu Dhulia won the Best Screenplay trophy and Irrfan Khan bagged the Critics' Award for Best Actor (Male) for 'Paan Singh Tomar'. Quotable quotes Some interesting comments made by celebrities at 58th Idea Filmfare Awards. Yami Gautami: "This is my first year at Filmfare and I must confess that watching Filmfare Awards on television and actually being here at the venue is an altogether different experience". Vidya Balan: "This is the first time I am
"The song Auntyji was a challenge, not because of Kareena Kapoor but because of Imran Khan. It was a challenge to teach him. Imran also got inspired by Bosco who featured in the song as well. In fact the actors made us dance to their tunes"
Best Director Sujoy Ghosh
Vidya Balan (after she received the Best Actor - Female Award): "Thank you (cinematographer) Setu for making a pregnant women look beautiful. As a child I would stay glued to the TV to watch Filmfare. As the Bible says ask and you shall receive". Arjun Kapoor, "The fondest memory of my Filmfare is watching it with my mother but today I am walking the red carpet with my sister as she is my hottest date." Choreographer Ceasar: "The song Auntyji was a challenge, not because of Kareena Kapoor but because of Imran Khan. It was a challenge to teach him. Imran also got inspired by Bosco who featured in the song as well. In fact the actors made us dance to their tunes" Yash Chopra's wife, Pamela Chopra (while receiving the Lifetime achievement award for Yash Chopra): "Yash Ji came to Bombay with Rs 200 in his pocket, dreams and his mother's blessings. He was the humblest person I have known in my life. He never knew he was Yash Chopra - his greatest quality. Three things he loved - films, food and family - in the same order". Pooja Mishra: "I love the lady in the black so I have too dressed in black." Manoj Bajpayee: Everyone who is nominated is a winner" Madhuri Dixit Nene: "I have 6 Filmfare trophies." Pritam: "I grew up listening to RD Burman's music and I am greatly influenced by him. Even today when I listen to his music, I get nostalgic. I am really happy to win two awards. I wasn't expecting two trophies" Aftab Shivadasani arrives with his girlfriend Nin and confirms his wedding bash, "We have decided to marry each other. It's no more a secret. The date is not confirmed yet but inshaallah it will be this year for sure". Parineeti Chopra, who was nominated in the Best Actress category for Ishaqzaade says she wants her cousin Priyanka Chopra to win for Barfi. "I want all the awards to go to Barfi. Ranbir Kapoor as the Best Actor, Anurag Basu as the Best Director".
February 1, 2013
Sequeira's 5 faves from Pune
eejay, model, anchor, film star Keith Sequeira calls himself a hardcore foodie. He'd travel to the end of the world for all things sumptuous and scrumptious. When not shooting for Heavy Petting series on NDTV or promoting his soon-to-be-released film Sixteen, Sequeira digs around for good food. Here he
unless I stop off at the Blue Nile for a taste of their Iranian Biryani. This dish is absolutely irresistible and just thinking about it makes
picks his 5 faves from Pune. Blue Nile Where: Bund Garden Road What: Iranian Biryani When it comes to biryani, I am a die-hard fanatic. That is why my visits to Pune are never complete
my mouth water. Its rice is just the right consistency, so is the ratio of succulent meat to the dish. Trust me, this Iranian Biryani is authentic because of the plentitude of Bawajis in the area and their secret recipes.
Flambos Where: Near INOX Multiplex What: Chocolate Ganache Guess, when God was making me, he happily packed a sweet tooth! That love for all things sinfully sweet takes me to Flambos where I head straight to the dessert section of the menu. And the most irresistible item on the Flambos menu is oh!so decadent baked Chocolate Ganache in bon bon. Chocolate ganache bon bon in rich filo pastry served with chocolate sauce, ice cream and toasted almond is worth dying for. Olive Bar and Kitchen Where: Pune Club Ground What: Beetroot salad and woodfire pizza A new find in Pune at the Pune Club Grounds, Olive Bar and Kitchen is as beautiful to look at as it is to sample their eclectic menu. I have been to Olive in Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi and this latest edition to the Olive family is by far the most scrumptious and indulgent. At Olive, I always start with their thin crust woodfire pizza. Salmon and capers is one of my favorites along with the beetroot salad. There aren't that many places where you can get an authentic woodfire pizza here in India and Olive hits the hammer on the nail with their authentic creations. Rahul Restaurant and Bar Where: Ganesh Khind Road What: Patrani Macchi If I were to be marooned on an island and was allowed to eat only one thing, I'd pick seafood. That is how much I love it. When it
comes to fish in Pune, you cannot afford to go past this old-fashioned and very quaint joint called Rahul Restaurant. I love almost everything on their menu but my favorite dish is definitely their Patrani Macchi. The fish is
What: Sev Dahi Batata Puri after 5 pm A favorite amongst the locals, this place is an institution in Pune and a must-eat-in for South Indian food. I've often eaten breakfast here on my way back to Mumbai
wrapped in leaves and steamed with spices creating a very tender yet flavorful dish that can set any palate on fire. Vaishali Where: Fergusson College Road
with its incredible dosas and uttapams. However, my all-time favorite at Vaishali's would have to be the SDBP- Sev Dahi Batata Puri served after 5 pm. The flavors are intense, but the feeling is 'home-like'.
February 1, 2013 www.indiapost.com
Two firms join to create comics for Indian audience India Post News Service
MUMBAI, India: CA Media, LP, the Asian investment arm of The Chernin Group, LLC (TCG), has acquired a large minority stake in Graphic India, a comic book and animation company focused on creating mythological and superhero characters, comics and stories for the Indian youth market, published across mobile and online platforms.
Launched last year by media entrepreneurs Sharad Devarajan, Gotham Chopra and Suresh Seetharaman as a subsidiary of U.S. comic book company Liquid Comics, Graphic India will now be jointly owned by Liquid Comics and CA Media. Devarajan will be appointed CEO of Graphic India and remain Executive Chairman of Liquid
Comics. As part of the transaction, Liquid Comics will contribute one of the world's largest and highestquality comic book libraries based on Indian characters to Graphic India. In addition to CA Media's investment, it will partner with Graphic India to provide industry expertise and create iconic franchises for Graphic's characters through multiple media within the Indian entertainment ecosystem. Graphic India will provide a new
creative voice to the Indian youth marketplace, a population that is one of the largest and fastest growing demographics in the world, with more than 500 million consumers under the age of 25 and with more than 850 million mobile phone users in the country. Graphic India is uniquely positioned to meet the increasing demand of this connected and so-
phisticated youth population for multi-platform entertainment content that respects India's creative traditions and the global ambitions of the Indian people today. Through animated shorts, digital comics, and associated media content, Graphic India will launch mythological and superhero characters and storylines that India's youth audience can celebrate with pride. Graphic India will enable consumers to experience its
growing library of content across a variety of mobile and online devices, both within India and worldwide through its own digital platform as well as through distribution partners. Rajesh Kamat, CEO of CA Media India, stated: "Following our successful entry into the traditional media space, we are very pleased that Graphic India marks
our first investment in the digital space.CA Media's aim is to create an ecosystem of diversified assets across media, where each asset not only unlocks its own value, but also adds to the rest of the portfolio. Graphic India is a valuable addition to this mix, especially in the youth segment. We look forward to working with the company to create heroes that inspire the next generation of Indian consumers." Paul Aiello, CEO of CA Media, added: "CA Media is thrilled to be partnering with the talented Liquid Comics team, headed by Sharad Devarajan. We look forward to building the business with Sharad and his team, an amazingly gifted group of content creators and phenomenal operators." "India is home to some of the most creative minds in the world, and we believe that the next Batman, Harry Potter, Pokemon or The Avengers, can come from this country," commented Graphic India, Co-Founder & CEO, Sharad Devarajan. "At Graphic India, we intend to find, nurture and promote a new generation of creators to transform the world with their stories. The team at The Chernin Group and CA Media bring an
Search for new TRP measurement system India Post News Service
MUMBAI: The Broadcast Audience Research Council, India (BARC) has issued a global Request for Information (RFI) to seek understanding of the stateof-the art in the area of Television Audience Measurement Research in particular and Audience Measurement Research in more general terms. Punit Goenka, Chairman-BARC and MD & CEO, ZEE said, "BARC is committed to building a Televi-
sion Audience Measurement System that becomes ipso facto the Gold Standard in its class worldwide. Given that BARC addresses a population of over 1 Billion, of which over 0.6 Billion have access to television in some form, I am confident that BARC will settle for nothing less than being the best." Television audience measurement in India has been around for nearly three decades. Beginning with a simple diary based system in the early 1980s covering Doordarshan, then the state
owned monopoly broadcaster, it evolved parallel to the evolution of the Indian TV market. By the mid-1990s, it was already covering Satellite Television and in the early part of this century, India was one of the earliest television markets to have a pure Peoplemeter based system. Shashi Sinha, ChairmanTechComm, BARC and CEO-Lodestar UM & CEO-IPG Mediabrands India stated, "At various times, more than one vendor has attempted to provide audience mea-
surement but from 2002, TAM Media Research, India- a joint venture of Nielsen and Kantar, has been the de facto provider of the measurement currency, being widely used by all three stakeholder constituencies for all commercial and marketing decision making. It is clear that legacy architecture of the system, that has evolved incrementally, is now ready for seminal change. However, what is not clear is the contours of the new system, which BARC aims to define."
unparalleled level of experience in entertainment and we could not imagine a better partner to work with to launch this mission." Graphic India intends to launch numerous new projects in the upcoming year showcasing original stories from young breakthrough talent as well as established Indian and global icons. The company has partnered with POW! Entertainment and Stan Lee, the legendary co-creator of Spider-Man, X-Men, Hulk, Iron Man, Hulk and The Avengers, to create his first superhero for the Indian market, Chakra The Invincible. The story centers on Mumbai teenager Raju Rai, who develops a technology-enhanced suit that activates the mystical chakras of the body, unleashing newfound abilities and powers. Lee will be collaborating with a team of leading Indian artists and creators to bring the new superhero to animation and comic books. In addition to numerous new properties in production, Graphic India will release new digital content around the highly acclaimed comic books previously published by Liquid Comics, including: • Devi, created by preeminent filmmaker Shekhar Kapur (Elizabeth; Mr. India; The Golden Age) features the story of an immortal goddess reincarnated as a young woman in the fictional Indian city of Sitapur, charged with using her super-heroic powers to save her city from demons and monsters. • The Sadhu, created by Gotham Chopra, about a British colonial soldier who becomes trained by the Indian mystics known as Sadhus and uses his newfound abilities for justice and currently being developed as a theatrical live-action film in Hollywood. • Ramayan 3392AD, a futuristic epic inspired by the classical Ramayana myth and currently being developed as a theatrical liveaction film in Hollywood with Mandalay Entertainment.
February 1, 2013
India Post 51
52 India Post
February 1, 2013
Your Weekly Future by Pandit Parashar FEBRUARY 1ST - FEBRUARY 7TH 2013 (March 21 to April 20)
ind will be little restless as some of you may find yourself suddenly working in a hostile environment and start looking for opportunities outside. A female could be the root cause of trouble at work. Money wise you will continue to stay in comfort zone. It will be better to dispose off money making stocks and wait.
(July 23 to August 22)
uck is definitely on your side. You will be very fortunate with money this week. You will have more than one chance to make some fast bucks. New contract will reduce the liability and will come on easy terms. A female will make some unreasonable demands, watch out. Some of you will be getting ready for upcoming trip.
(April 21 to May 20)
alue of your assets and stocks recently purchased will escalate considerably. Avoid taking any hasty decisions about career and d not sign any business contract in a hurry unless you like all terms. You may have your eyes set on a nice piece of property. Bachelors will be introduced to another professional by a friend.
(August 23 to September 22)
hings will be kind of slow this week. You will need to make several attempts to get the things done. Money wise you will stay comfortable unless you make new commitments and stretch your limits. You may visit a holy place with family this week. An old friend will call and invite you to a get together at his place.
(May 21 to June 20)
ou will continue exploring the opportunity to start a new venture in partnership with an old friend. Things will get slightly relaxed at work and boss will make the necessary recommendations. A clear victory in legal matters possible. You may miss some one who was too close in the past and may try to find him.
(September 23 to October 22)
new association is on the horizon and it will be lucky in long terms. You will have a great opportunity to make some extra money this week. You will also make final payment on several bills. Mind will be lot balanced and you will take all decisions with a calm mind. Business trip will be an instant success.
(October 23 to November 22)
(June 21 to July 22)
ou will benefit from some one with lots of political connections. It will be better to dispose off money making stocks and wait another week to buy them back. Spouse may buy some fine art or decorative item for the house. Expenses towards children will increase. An old health issue could flare up again.
unning around will not go waste. Bachelors will receive a very nice proposal through another relative this week. You may take a short trip to another state on a very short notice. Value of your stocks will appreciate and it will be better to hold on to them. You may be in market to replace one of your cars. (November 23 to December 22)
ou will be again fortunate in all money matters. Stocks and lottery can be beneficial. Boss will be pleased with your performance and may recommend your promotion. You may visit an old friend or a close relative this weekend to attend a big get together. You will also purchase some nice cloths for your self. (December 22 to January 19)
resence of Mars in second is slightly alarming for finances. Unexpected expenses may crop up from every where and you may start charging heavily on your Cards. Some of you may start some kind of loan process also this week. Avoid too much hot or spicy food. You may invite few friends at your place this weekend. (January 20 to February 18)
ou may keep pouring more money into a project. Keep an eye on your blood pressure and try to play safe when using a ladder this week to fix something. It's a promising week for job seekers. Do not be in a rush to accept this one as another better offer is only a week away. Children will plan a small trip. (February 19 to March 20)
t will a very interesting week. Opportunities will come from nowhere. Good things you never dreamed about can happen. An influential person will become close friend and give some very practical and useful leads. On the other hand expenses will not leave you alone. You will buy some nice items for the house. Pandit Parashar, CEO & COO Astro Scan USA is also available for individual consultations. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
510-886-4370 website: www.parashar.com
February 1, 2013
Page Sponsored by Sahanis ATMANANDA
other (Anandamayi Ma) met J.Krishnamurti in Delhi. He was staying at Kitty's house and the meeting took place in her garden. Mother told us all about it (in Bengali). She related how She told J.K.: "Pitaji, why do you speak against Gurus? When you say one does not need any Guru, sadhana etc., you automatically become the Guru of those who accept your view, particularly as large numbers of people come to hear you speak and are influenced by you." He: "No, if you discuss your problems with a friend he does not thereby become your Guru etc. If a dog barks in the dark and alerts you to a snake, the dog does not thereby become your Guru!" At the end he took Her hand in both his and said: "I hope to meet you again soon". She commented: "Paramananda and others say that he [J.K.] has one 'dosh'[fault]: While his way is certainly valid he does not accept the validity of approaches other than his own -which is one of vichara [self-inquiry]." I feel very happy that She met him, it seems to make everything so much easier for me. I need not explain anything to Her." In her authoritative biography of J. Krishnamurti, Pupul Jayakar describes the meeting between Krishnamurti and Anandamayee which took place in the Delhi
here was an earthquake in Bihar, in India, and Mahatma Gandhi said that the earthquake happened because God was punishing the sinners. I was very young, but I wrote him a letter that it is very strange that God should punish the sinners only in Bihar. What about the whole rest of the world? Do you consider that only Bihar consists only of sinners, and the whole world consists of saints? And he had neither guts nor a gentleman's attitude. He never gave any answer. I wrote a letter to Ramdas, his son - because he was my friend - I wrote to Ramdas asking him whether his father had received my letter or not. He said he had received it, "but he has no answer to give so he is keeping quiet." In India they say, "Even a leaf of a tree moves only if God wants to move it." So even the murderer is not really responsible, he is simply doing what God wants to do. That's the whole teaching in the Gita of Krishna, and the Gita is worshipped by Hindus and even by non-Hindus. And one
home of Kitty Shiva Rao. "They met in the garden, as the mother never entered the home of a householder. She did not speak English, and spoke through a translator (Krishnamurti no longer spoke any Indian language). She had a radiant smiling presence. She said that she had seen a photograph of
very thing he rails against. After this: "He held her hand gently and did not answer." Pupul Jayakar continues: "Many visitors came and prostrated themselves at the feet of K. and Anandamayee Ma. Anandamayee Ma accepted their greetings, but Krishnaji was embarrassed. As always he would not
J. Krishnamurti & Anandamayi Ma discuss the Guru
Krishnamurti many years before and knew that he was very great". A description of the conversation already narrated by Atmananda follows with the difference that Anandamayee Ma has the last word, gently insisting that in the act of setting himself up as a public spiritual authority, he cannot avoid the responsibility of being a Guru, the
permit them to bow down but sprang to his feet and bent down to touch the feet of the seeker of blessing. Later after Anandamayee left, Krishnaji spoke of her with warmth and affection. There had been communication, though much of it had been wordless. " Anandamayee Ma was always extremely respectful and deferential in the presence mahatmas, of-
cannot believe...even people like Mahatma Gandhi, who pretend to be non-violent, call the Gita their mother. Gandhi used to say that Hindus and Mohammedans are one.
he simply threw the letter out the window. Ramdas, his son, told him, "What he is asking is relevant. If you can call the Gita your mother.... If you cannot call the Koran your father, you can call it
If Gita is your mother, what about the Koran?
I was not more than seventeen when I wrote him a letter and asked him, "If Hindus and Mohammedans are one, if the Gita is your mother, what about the holy Koran? Is the holy Koran your father?" He was so angry - his son was my friend and he told me that
step-father, uncle, but some relationship has to be there, otherwise how are Hindus and Mohammedans one?" I never received any letter. Ramdas informed me, "You will never receive any answer." I wrote Gandhi another letter: "On the one hand you say you are non-
ten referring to herself as a simple, uneducated child. But this did not in anyway inhibit her from asking them direct and penetrating questions, particularly if she did not agree with them on a particular point. In this description of their meeting, and particularly in the portrayal of their different responses to dealing with the public, is revealed an essential difference between Anandamayee Ma and J. Krishnamurti. Anandamayee Ma made no distinction whatsoever between herself and those bowing before her. She saw everything as "God interacting with God" as she would sometimes say. In any case, to bow before a respected and revered figure in India is as common a gesture of elementary respect as shaking hands in the West. Anandamayee Ma had no desire to do away with tradition but on the contrary wanted to revitalize it, bringing out the fundamental spirituality upon which it was originally based. She often pointed out that in the act of bowing down (making pranam), particularly to an exalted spiritual personage, a profound transmission of spiritual energy takes place -something utterly beyond the mind that is the antithesis of anything debasing or humbling. Excerpted from "Death Must Die", the diaries of Atmananda
violent, and on the other hand you worship the Gita, which teaches simply violence and nothing else." The whole book is a teaching for violence. Krishna, to his disciple Arjuna, is teaching, "You go to the war, fight, because that's what is the will of God, because without his will nothing happens. So if this big war is happening, it cannot happen without his will." Krishna tries in every way to persuade Arjuna. Arjuna argues but he is not a great logician, otherwise it was so simple. If I was in his place, I would have simply got out of the chariot and walked towards the forest, and told him, "This is what God wills. What can I do? I am simply following his will. Nobody can do anything against his will, so if I am going to the forest to meditate and not to fight, it is his responsibility." There was no need for any argument. And the whole Gita is just an argument: Arjuna trying to argue or nonviolence and Krishna imposing violence because God wants it. The 23rd death anniversary of Osho Rajneesh was observed on January 19. Excerpted from his Biography
Humility is not cowardice. Meekness is not weakness. Humility and meekness are indeed spiritual powers. -Swami Sivananda The logs of wood which move down the river together are driven apart by every wave. Such inevitable parting Should not be the cause of misery. -Nagarjuna Out beyond ideas of wrong doing and right doing there is a field. I'll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass the world is too full to talk about. -Rumi Does not everything depend on our interpretation of the silence around us? Lawrence Durrell Never miss a good chance to shut up. -Will Rogers He who does not understand your silence will probably not understand your words. -Elbert Hubbard
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February 1, 2013
Pakistan: The curious case of Tahir-ul-Qadri RANA BANERJI
he signing of a resolution with Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri on January 17 defused a dangerous political impasse brought about after the 'Long March' from Lahore to Islamabad and the follow up three-day sit-in with a huge following. Earlier, Qadri had announced an ambitious agenda from the Minar-e-Pakistan, Lahore to cleanse the polity through electoral reforms and fresh elections under neutral Caretakers not bound by any time limit. Who is Qadri? In October 1981, Qadri formed the Minhaj-ul-Quran, a Hanafi Sufi Qadiriya Islamic foundation, inspired by the Saint Tahir Allauddin. It preaches a moderate version of Sufi Islam and has several international branches supporting inter-faith dialogue. Qadri briefly flirted with politics forming a political party called Pakistan Awami Tehrik (PAT) in 1989; but he functioned as an MNA only briefly under the then President Musharraf's 2002 National Assembly Elections resigning mid-way through his term in November 2004. He left for Canada and took up citizenship there. Qadri: A Conspiracy? The manner of Qadri's arrival, rumors of a red carpet escort from Chaklala Airport and the alacrity with which traditional political lackeys of the Military Establishment - the Pakistan Muslim League (PML Quaid-e-Azam) and the Mohajir Quami Movement (MQM) made common cause with his demands initially, led to justifiable speculation that Qadri had been put to this agenda by the omnipresent 'Deep State', to prevent any collusion between the People's Party and PML (Nawaz) in establishing a Caretaker Government and holding elections. Not to be left behind and feeling pressure that Qadri might steal his thunder especially in Punjab, Chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan, threatened to level up to him with a 'long march' of his own. He announced a 'seven point' charter of demands which included the immediate announcement of the date of elections, formation of Caretakers without 'mukmuka' (collusion) between the two major parties- PPP and PML (N).
Interestingly, he also wanted Asif Zardari to resign as President, on grounds of not being neutral and continuing to hold on to the dual hat of Head of State and PPP Party President, despite an adverse Lahore High Court verdict. However, he later changed his mind about joining the march after his supporters suggested this might be interpreted as a move to destabilize the democratic process at the Army's behest. In effect, Imran would have fallen between two stools. The timing of the Supreme Court's judgment on the National Accountability Bureau case on corruption in award of the Rental Power Project tenders, ordering the arrest of Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf and other senior bureaucrats on January 15, added a new twist to the burgeoning political crisis; reinforcing percep-
tions of anti-PPP and anti-Zardari political activism on part of the Iftikhar Chaudhry Supreme Court. The manner in which Qadri reacted, when apprised of the verdict mid-way during his January 15 speech claiming 'victory' and fulfillment of 'one half of his objectives', sustained suspicion amongst political analysts in Pakistan that this may be a 'put up job'. However, since then, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman, Admiral Fasih Bokhari took the position that initial investigation in the case may have been somewhat shoddy. He firmly reminded the Chief Justice that he may be overstepping boundaries and even urged him to remember and respect his military rank. Mysteriously, one of the investigating officers in the case has since committed suicide. Diffusing the Crisis: Zardari Style The PPP first persuaded the leader of the Muttahida Quami
Movement (MQM), Altaf Hussain, to withdraw support for the long march. Though MQM was looking for political space in Punjab, Altaf compromised after being assured that there would be no changes in the delimitation of Karachi's constituencies at present. Later, however, Rehman Malik was much less successful in negotiating with Qadri over the calling off of the march. Zardari rang up the evergreen political chameleon, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, who then contacted the President of Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N), Mian Nawaz Sharif. The latter held a meeting of Opposition political parties (including Jamaat-e-Islami and Mahmood Khan Achakzai's Pakhtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party) on January 16. This meeting urged the Government to announce election dates and form caretaker governments at the Centre and in the provinces. The Army would no doubt have watched these developments closely. They may not favor stepping in directly at present, but given their intense dislike of the PPP or even a resurgent PML (Nawaz), an indirect controlling proxy through Caretakers authorized a longer stint than the constitutionally permitted 60-90 days, as was being demanded by Qadri initially, may have seemed a palatable enough option. However, they would be aware that after Abbottabad, the Army today does not enjoy public acclaim as adequate 'defenders' of the nation. They have their plate rather full on the counter-terrorism front after the attacks on Mehran, Kamra and Peshawar, and would want a consensual political taking of responsibility for the war against domestic Islamic fanatics, which has so far not been forthcoming. They may also find it difficult to gain international support or financial bailouts from the West in such an eventuality. Qadri may have been the kite flown to test ground, but for the moment, it will not be any more evident who were the puppeteers calling the tune of the Islamic doctor of philosophy during the turmoil. The writer is Distinguished Fellow, IPCS
Dithering vs. authoritarianism
f the choice before the country is boiling down to a contest between Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi, an assessment of the two and their manner of working is in order. It may well turn out that in a fractured polity none of the two manages to come close to the prize as neither of the two parties is expected to secure a majority. And in case the Congress ends up as only the largest party, Rahul Gandhi might emulate his mother and nominate someone else as prime minister because dealing with allies may not suit the scion of the first family. Similarly, the authoritarian Narendra Modi may decline the post if he is supposed to struggle with allies to survive. A secure chair in Gujarat is much better than such uncertainty at the Center. At the Congress Chintan Shivir (introspection meet) in Jaipur, Rahul Gandhi was formally anointed what he has already been, the number two in the party. In fact now he may have to act as number one due to his mother's indifferent health. His acceptance speech was greeted with tremendous applause and also tears, when he referred to the tragedies his own family had suffered. The one big lesson, he said, he had learnt in his eight years in politics was that power is poison. Here he reflects the defeatist attitude of his mother. Power is poison if you are working for self-aggrandizement. If you have a vision for the future of the country, for the young people looking for a better life, then it is a mission to be accomplished. Then you love your job. It still seems that Rahul Gandhi is taking over the mantle reluctantly. He did make the perceptive point about preponderance of mediocrity in the country: "Every single day I meet people who have tremendous understanding, deep insight and no voice. And then I meet people holding high positions with tremendous voice but no understanding." That may be very true about his own party and government. Is he willing to make a dent there? He doesn't have to wait for a general election for that. So will his mission be to give voice to those with knowledge and understanding? That would be a big plus if he is allowed to function on the basis of this new understanding. His father was not allowed to function by the coteries of power. Rahul doesn't appear imbued with a passion to work for the betterment and fulfillment of the youth of the country. To be a little unkind, he would not mind if the Congress loses. That would obviate the need for him to be in charge and take vital decisions on issues that matter. Narendra Modi would be the opposite of the reluctant Rahul. He would be keen to be in charge and take decisions but the fear is those decisions may not be in the interest of the country. At a time when the youth is getting impatient with a weak prime minister and indecisive government, there is a fascination for a strong leader who can solve problems and promote rapid development. The image of Narendra Modi and the model of a developing Gujarat resonates with many in the country. Something which seems unrelated to the Modi phenomenon but is very much in context is the re-release of a book on Sanjay Gandhi by the veteran journalist Vinod Mehta. Why would anybody be interested in Sanjay Gandhi today? Mehta says Sanjay was a strong leader who tried to get things done but in that process, he violated human rights, ran roughshod over procedures and was an extra-constitutional authority. By placing before the public once again the record of Sanjay Gandhi he seems to be cautioning the youth on entrusting the reins of power to another strong leader who would ride roughshod over human riights. He encourages the youth to ask, how did Modi gets things done? What procedures has he bypassed? Has he violated the constitutional spirit? Will minorities be safe under him?
February 1, 2013
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February 1, 2013