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Two convicted for attack on Sikh driver Details on page 17
Jewelry seized from shopaholic Koss executive
VOL 16, No. 862
March 18, 2011
TWO SIKHS SHOT IN BIAS ATTACK
L. Subramaniam performs at United Nations Details on page 12
Senators call for crackdown on sham universities Details on page 42
Details on page 10
Embassy works with Feds to help Tri-Valley students
Indian owned motel gutted in Chicago fire
Details on page 7
Details on page 10
VICTIMS OF SHOOTING: File photos of Surinder Singh and Gurmej Atwal (right) who were shot from a passing vehicle. In the picture on left, Harvinder Singh comforts his daughter, Navi Kaur, during a news conference discussing the murder of his father, Surinder Singh India Post News Service
Dilip Jeste is President-Elect of Psychiatric Assn
NEW YORK: In what appears to be a hate crime, two elderly Sikh Americans in Elk Grove, Sacramento in California were shot at March 4, resulting in the death of one on the spot, and leaving the other in a critical condition, police said. Surinder Singh, 65, and Gurmej Atwal, 78 were out for an afternoon stroll when they were shot at. Police, who found the two elderly men lying on a sidewalk, said that at present there is no evidence that would indicate a hate or bias motivation for the crime but neither is there any evidence to eliminate that possibility. They are yet to find
any witnesses to the crime. Due to the unusual nature of this case, Elk Grove Police Chief Robert M. Lehner, in a statement said: The Elk Grove Police Department needs your assistance in our investigation of the shooting that occurred on Friday in our city. Two men of Indian descent, were shot while enjoying what, for them, was a traditional afternoon walk. At present, we have no evidence to indicate there was a hate or bias motivation for this crime; however, the obvious Sikh appearance of the men, including the traditional Dastar headwear and lack of any other apparent motive, increasingly raise that possibility."
Details on page 20
INDIA POST SURVEY firstname.lastname@example.org This week’s question
Young Americans think Sikhs are Al Qaeda? Last week’s result
Was India lax in evacuating citizens from Libya? YES 63%
11 Indian sailors freed by pirates NEW DELHI: Eleven Indian sailors and 10 other crew members on board a ship hijacked by Somali pirates in April last year have been released, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said here. The Indians were on board the ship RAK Africana, the foreign secretary said in her Twitter account. However, 53 Indian sailors on board other hijacked ships are still in captivity, she tweeted. "11 Indian sailors on ship RAK Africana are released by Somali pirates. They have been picked up by Spanish naval ship in vicinity - r safe. "Afrikana engines were not working. Hence Spanish vessel in vicinity was requested through our Navy and Consulate in Dubai to help. "Ship owned by Seychelles co. Flew St. Vincent flag. Of 21 crew members, 11 were Indians. Negotiations on release were delicate & prolonged." Details on page 6
Details on page 5
Details on page 5
Details on page 13
US Treasury Under Secretary visits India
Sikh student dies in road accident in California
See pages 25-28
CONTENTS Bollywood ---------------------- 22-23 Classifieds ------------------------- 47 Community Post -------------- 10-19 Date Book -------------------------- 46 Edit Page --------------------------- 49 HealthScience Post --------- 37-39 Horoscope ------------------------- 36 Immigration Post ------------- 42-44 Life Style ----------------------- 40-41 Philosophy ------------------------- 48 Publisherís Diary ------------------ 4 Real Estate ------------------------ 30
A sattelite view of the operation of pirates in the Indian Ocean
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TechBiz Post ------------------- 20-21 Travel & Hospitality Post ---- 31-33
March 18, 2011
March 18, 2011
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March 18, 2011
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ll eyes and ears, especially of corporate America are turned to the Raj Rajarathnam trial in New York for alleged insider trading. Many Indian American names have come out in this connection over the past couple of years, the latest and most shocking being that of former McKinsey director Rajat Gupta. For a country that is run in proxy by its corporate entities, America has never shied from bringing to justice those very individuals who are otherwise idolized as business or corporate icons when it came to morality and ethics. Therein, I feel, lies the dichotomy of a system that is at once a corporate slave that follows the religion of free market, and a prude when it comes to accepting the downside of its practices. But then that is my understanding of how a government tries to regulate an institution that is essentially not within its control. I'd think stock markets are casinos without the garish lights and girls in bunny costumes. The adrenaline rush and bets on odds are the same; both are founded on speculation except that one considers it as 'entertainment' and the other a 'business'. Perhaps the difference lies in the fact that while an economy might not collapse if a casino goes kaput, it just might if the stock market tumbles. Questions abound when it comes to insider trading - who should be privy to inside information and what constitutes 'inside information' in publicly traded companies; and in what essentially is an activity based on speculation what is legal and what is illegal? In today's world where there are no longer any absolute whites or blacks but only shades of gray when it comes to morals and ethics, where does one draw the line on institutions that deal only in perceived or projected values? An expert explains in the Journal of Business Ethics that insider trading is the reverse of speculation; it is reward without the risk; it is wealth by unfair advantage; and profit from exploitation of information not available to the public. I don't know really. It's a speculative argument.
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Refusing Dabangg 2 Refusing Dabangg 2, director Abhinav Kashyap says, “you can't keep making the same film or attempting similar genre.”
Cover Story: Hate crime Two elderly Sikh Americans in Elk Grove, Sacramento were shot at on March 4, resulting in the death of one.
Community: Embezzled jewelry
Jewelry belonging to convicted embezzler Sujata "Sue" Sachdeva is set to be sold during an online auction.
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March 18, 2011
Two Sikhs shot in Sacramento bias attack India Post News Service
NEW YORK: In what appears to be a hate crime, two elderly Sikh Americans in Elk Grove, Sacramento in California were shot at March 4, resulting in the death of one on the spot, and leaving the other in a critical condition, police said. Surinder Singh, 65, and Gurmej Atwal, 78 were out for an afternoon stroll when they were shot at. Police, who found the two elderly men lying on a sidewalk, said that at present there is no evidence that would indicate a hate or bias motivation for the crime but neither is there any evidence to eliminate that possibility. They are yet to find any witnesses to the crime. Due to the unusual nature of this case, Elk Grove Police Chief Robert M. Lehner, in a statement said: The Elk Grove Police Department needs your assistance in our investigation of the shooting that occurred on Friday in our city. Two men of Indian descent, were shot while enjoying what, for them, was a traditional afternoon walk. At present, we have no evidence to indicate there was a hate or bias motivation for this crime; however, the obvious Sikh appearance of the men, including the traditional Dastar headwear and lack of any other apparent motive, increasingly raise that possibility." Lehner further said as soon as it could be arranged, the police would be meeting with representatives of the Sikh community to discuss this case and any particular needs and concerns they might have as a result of this terrible incident. "The City of Elk Grove is a marvelously diverse community and the possibility that one of our valued community groups might have been targeted because of their national origin or religion is
Investigators are looking for a tan or light-brown Ford 150 pick-up truck, model year 1999-2003, witnessed leaving the area right after the crime of grave concern. We will diligently investigate that possibility and, should it be determined that there was a hate motivation, will spare no effort to identify the perpetrator and see that he, she,
Navi Kaur 20, talks about her grandfather, murder victim Surinder Singh, during a news conference held in West Sacramento, California
or they are brought to justice. On a related note, we have made preliminary notification to the local FBI office because bias-motivated crimes are a violation of Federal as well as State Law," Lehner said. "Because of the lack of information available from the scene, we really need the public's assistance in this case," he further said. "Anyone who may have been a witness either to the incident itself or some other, possibly related incident or behavior, is urged to call us. Even if it turns out to be unrelated, we would much rather have had the opportunity to look into something than to miss a possible connection. If you have any possibly related information at all, please call us." "In the meantime, our thoughts and condolences are with the families, friends, and associates of the victims of this senseless crime and we wish Mr. Atwal a speedy and complete recovery," the police chief said. Investigators are looking for a tan or light-brown Ford 150 pickup truck, model year 1999-2003, witnessed leaving the area right after the crime. Singh was a truck driver who had worked in both India and Libya before moving to the United States about five years ago, his son Harvinder Singh, told the Sacramento Bee. He had recently survived his fourth heart attack. Atwal moved to the US from India in 2001, and the family settled two years later in Elk Grove, according to his son, Kamaljit Atwal. Rewards for information The reward for information
leading to the arrest of the person or persons responsible for the shooting has grown to more than $42,000 The Sikh community of Stockton, Yuba City, and Sacramento and SALDEF are offering a
Sikhs are targeted because of their external religious identity, which is ignorantly equated or linked to terrorism $10,000 reward for information on the crime. Additionally. the Elk Grove Police Department has issued a $1000 reward. The Sacramento Valley chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SV) has also offered a $5,000 reward for information related to the attacks. The executive director of CAIR's Sacramento Valley chapter noted that Sikh men in beards and turbans are often targeted by those who mistake them for Muslims. "The Muslim community offers its condolences and support to the Sikh community in this time of sorrow," Basim Elkarra said. Sikh Community reacts Kashmir Singh, a Director of the Sikh advocacy group United Sikhs said, "The Sikh community in California is visibly shaken by this incident, which follows closely on a similar incident on a
Sikh taxi driver a few months ago. Sikhs are targeted because of their external religious identity, which is ignorantly equated or linked to terrorism. Needless violence occurs because of a gap in knowledge about who Sikhs really are." Hansdeep Singh, Senior Staff Attorney of the organization said, "Currently, we live in a climate where government officials, like Congressman Peter King, seek to alienate religious minorities by calling for hearings that only discuss extremism within the Muslim community. Our history is rife with examples of targeting minority communities (i.e. Japanese), instead, we should examine the impact of how vilifying a particular group permeates the societal consciousness and inevitably
leads to hate or bias based attacks." Rupinder Mohan Singh writing in Americanturban.com says, "Personally, this is especially chilling news. A month ago, as my own elderly father was on his daily walk, an object was thrown from a passing car that just brushed my father's arm. Laughing teenagers in the vehicle indicated that this was not a random act, and we can only assume that he was targeted on the basis of his appearance - he wears a turban and full beard, not unlike that of the victims of Friday's tragic attack. The magnitude of this tragedy has hit very close to home. It is hard to not live in fear given what happened to Friday's victims. It is crushing to think about what the families of these elderly men must be going through." Valarie Kaur, film-maker and producer of the post-9/11 documentary Divided We Fall, puts Friday's tragic shootings into the context of the hateful rhetoric that is becoming more commonplace and institutionalized in this society: This news comes in a time when anti-Muslim rhetoric is once again reaching a fevered pitch. A few weeks ago, protesters screamed "terrorists" at Muslim children walking to a charity fundraiser. Last week, Tennessee legislators proposed a bill that would essentially criminalize Islam in the state. Last year, following the Park51 firestorm, mosques in Tennessee, Oregon, and Georgia reported arson. And next week, Peter King holds a Congressional hearing investigating the loyalty and "radicalization" of American Muslims. Our culture treats Muslims and anyone who 'looks' Muslim, including Sikh Americans, as perpetually foreign, automatically suspect and potentially terrorist.
Sikh student dies in road accident in California WASHINGTON: A Sikh student and a standout athlete died in a road accident in San Jose California in the US when his speeding vehicle smashed into a tree on last Sunday morning. Sukhpreet Singh Grewal, 18, was a two-year varsity starter at Pioneer High School and earned all-league honors as a senior. He was taking classes at De Anza College and recently told friends he was considering trying out for the junior college team. "Tuesday morning, more than 800 people had logged onto a
Facebook page set up to remember Grewal's life. People had posted photos of Grewal laughing with friends and playing basketball for Pioneer," Mercury News reported. California Highway Patrol reported that Grewal's GMC Yukon was "traveling at a high rate of speed". He was wearing a seat belt, though, the police said. Community members said Sukhpreet was coming from a friend's place when he met with the accident. -PTI
March 18, 2011
11 Indian sailors freed by pirates NEW DELHI: Eleven Indian sailors and 10 other crew members on board a ship hijacked by Somali pirates in April last year have been released, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said here. The Indians were on board the ship RAK Africana, the foreign secretary said in her Twitter account. However, 53 Indian sailors on board other hijacked ships are still in captivity, she tweeted. "11 Indian sailors on ship RAK Africana are released by Somali pirates. They have been picked up by Spanish naval ship in vicinity - r safe. "Afrikana engines were not working. Hence Spanish vessel in vicinity was requested through our Navy and Consulate in Dubai to help. "Ship owned by Seychelles co. Flew St. Vincent flag. Of 21 crew members, 11 were Indians. Negotiations on release were delicate & prolonged." "Still 53 Indian sailors in hands of pirates - all seized with other nationalities also from foreign owned ships. No Indian ship seized." National Union of Sea Farers of India General Secretary Abdul G. Serang also confirmed the news. However, he said he did not know when the Indians would be
brought to India. MV Rak Africana was seized approximately 280 nautical miles west of the Seychelles on April 11, 2010 with 23 crew members on board. Pursuing back channels Meanwhile, India's External Affairs Minister S M Krishna promised in Parliament to do "everything possible" for release of the Indian sailors but cautioned
‘Still 53 Indian sailors in hands of pirates all seized with other nationalities also from foreign owned ships. No Indian ship seized’ against "emotive" response saying it could endanger their lives. With Opposition members cutting across party lines in Rajya Sabha expressing serious concern over the continuing hostage of the Indian sailors, Krishna said the government cannot afford to let
the lives of the sailors held hostage to be in jeopardy. "There is no use getting worked up and getting emotive. Let us be very objective in our assessment of the situation. We will have to be restrained but at the same time we will have to pursue vigorously through back channels...there can not be any time limit," Krishna said during Zero Hour. He also reminded the members that when the Americans tried to carry out an assault on some of the pirated ships to rescue their sailors held hostage, four of them were killed. Raising the issue S S Ahuluwalia (BJP) said the deadline given by the Somalian pirates for release of Indian sailors was coming to an end and the government has not done anything to release them. Referring to release of 11 Indian sailors held hostage by the Somalian pirates, Ahluwalia said they were released by the efforts of the Spanish government. He wondered if Spain could do it, why could India not take a proactive step when it's Navy and coast guards were so powerful. A visibly agitated Ahluwalia even demanded sending Indian forces for the rescue the sailors.
With emotions running high, members of Left parties and RJD sought a time frame from the government for the release of the sailors. Ahluwalia wanted to know whether the government has got in touch with the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) constituted by the UNSC last year for the release of sailors. The minister said he will get
He wondered if Spain could do it, why could India not take a proactive step when it's Navy and coast guards were so powerful back to the member after getting information on this aspect prompting Ahluwalia to say that the minister was not even aware of such a body. Noting that the continuance of Indian sailors held hostage by Somalian pirates was a "disturb-
ing and very serious" matter, Krishna said the government realizes the seriousness of the evolving crisis and attaches utmost importance to the safety and security of Indian sailors. He said Indian missions and diplomats are in regular touch with the local governments and owners of hijacked ships. The minister said the release of 11 Indian sailors from the ship RAF Afrikana happened after negotiations between the pirates and the ship owners, prompting BJP member M Venkaiah Naidu to ask whether the negotiation included ransom. Krishna replied saying "negotiations contain so many components" and could also include what the BJP member mentioned. "Government of India will be doing all that is possible to get them released," he said. When Sitaram Yechury (CPIM) wanted to know about the status of the joint patrolling plan among the concerned countries for release of their sailors, Krishna said though efforts were on to work it out, nothing has happened so far. "Efforts are on from Indian point of view. I hope we will be able to put up a united front," he added.-PTI
L. Subramaniam performance at UN
Dr L. Subramaniam and Ambi Subramaniam, renowned violinists, performing at United Nations in New York on March 8. The program was presented by the Permanent Mission of India and United Nations-Pics Mohammed Jaffer-SnapsIndia
United Nations Secretary General Mr Ban Ki Moon and Mrs Moon, Indiaís UN Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri and his wife, Dr L. Subramaniam and Ambi Subramaniam, renowned violinists† at United Nations
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon lighting the lamp before the L. Subramaniam Violin concert at United Nations in New York
March 18, 2011
Embassy continues to work with Feds to help Tri-Valley students India Post News Service
NEW YORK: As a follow up to the ongoing investigations into the case of the Tri-Valley University students who are facing legal hurdles to transfer to other US universities since federal authorities shut down the sham California University, the Indian Embassy in Washington DC said on March 3 that it has been working, along with the Indian Consulates in the US, with US authorities for early resolution of the problems faced by the students. Following Ambassador Meera Shankar's letter of February 16, US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, had responded on February 22 conveying that "the Department of State continues to follow this case closely and is working with the Department of Homeland Security and the Government of India to ensure fair and appropriate treatment of the students." Reiterating the strong commit-
ment to foster educational exchanges with India, the Secretary of State also said, "Indian students make a strong contribution to both our countries and it is among my priorities to ensure that
It was agreed that the students and representatives from ICE and SEVP would remain in touch with the Embassy to continue to work together for early resolution of the issue this pillar of our partnership remains strong". The Embassy had subsequently been informed by US authorities that more than 50% of the students were at various stages
of processing for reinstatement. Other students were advised to contact ICE on their website www.ice.gov/sevis, or contact their call center at telephone 703603-3400 to initiate the consideration of their cases. On March 2, a group of former students of the Tri-Valley University had a meeting with the Ambassador. Representatives from the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Student Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) were also invited to be present. There was a detailed and useful discussion and exchange of information on the manner in which the problems of students at TriValley University are being addressed, and some of the continuing concerns of the students, the Embassy said. It was agreed that the students and representatives from ICE and SEVP would remain in touch with the Embassy to continue to work together for early resolution of the issue.
Hindu guru sentenced to prison for sexual molestation in US HOUSTON: Absconding Indian godman Prakashanand Saraswati, also known as Shree Swamiji, has been sentenced to 14 years in prison and fined USD 10,000 on each of 20 felony counts for groping girls who grew up on the ashram he founded and led in Central Texas. With the subject of their deliberations still missing and presumed to be on the run, a Hays County jury sentenced the 82-year-old religious guru to 14 years in prison for each of 20 counts of molesting two girls in his Barsana Dham ashram in Driftwood during the 1990s. For Prakashanand, a religious leader who claims hundreds of thousands of followers worldwide, the lengthy prison sentence represented a dramatic reversal of fortune. The parent organization to which his Barsana Dham ashram belongs owns and operates temples and hospitals in India and other countries. For the women who said the guru kissed and fondled them in the mid-1990s while they were in their teens, the prison sentence represented a satisfying end to a
bitter battle against a man they were once told was a living saint and a religious group to which their parents still belong. Now 27 and 30 years old, the women brought charges against
the guru three years ago. The jury of eight men and four women deliberated only a halfhour. Prakashanand didn't show up for the punishment phase of his trial and is still at large. District Judge Charles Ramsay will decide later whether the guru's prison sentences are to be served concurrently. Last week the jury found
Prakashanand guilty of indecency with a child by sexual contact, based on his repeated groping of two teenagers whose families lived at the ashram he founded southwest of Austin. Earlier, prosecutors asked the jury to sentence Prakashanand to 20 years in prison - 400 years total - for "each and every" one of the 20 criminal counts on which the guru was convicted of molesting the girls. "This defendant is not a good candidate for probation because he can't even make it to the rest of the trial," said Hays County assistant district attorney Kathy Compton. The guru's defense attorneys told the court that their elderly client's various ailments - coronary disease, back pain and hypertension - make him too infirm to be in prison. "To put him in a penitentiary setting at his age with these type of physical disabilities would be a death sentence for Swamiji," said Jeff Kearney, his lead attorney. Spokesmen for the ashram say they don't know where guru is. Peter Spiegel, a wealthy devotee who posted a USD 1 million cash bond for guru's release, testified that he doesn't know his whereabouts, either.-PTI
Protests against Gadaffi
Protest in front of UN headquarters in New York on March 7 against Libyan leader Gaddafi for killing his own people.Pics Mohammed Jaffer-SnapsIndia
March 18, 2011
Delhi ISKCON Temple provides bliss & peace
INOC condoles passing of Arjun Singh India Post News Service
NEW YORK: The Indian National Overseas Congress, USA (INOC) has termed the passing away of veteran Congress leader Arjun Singh, who served as former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister, Governor of Punjab and Union Minister, as a great loss for the nation. INOC General Secretary, George Abraham, in his condolence mes-
sage said that Arjun Singh stood for equality and justice and always had a soft corner in his heart for the nation's poor and the disadvantaged. "Throughout his service to the people in various capacities in Government, he tried to purge intolerance and hatred within the society and always envisioning a nation that lives in true freedom and harmony regardless of caste, creed or religious differences," he said.
Australian trio face prosecution for bashing Indian India Post News Service
NEW DELHI: Located in Sant Nagar, East of Kailash, New Delhi, the ISKCON Temple is renowned for its religious and spiritual significance. Scattered over an area of 3.0 acres, it gives the tourists the bliss and peace that may have eluded them for long and which may have inspired them to visit the spiritual and religious rich-
temples in India and the odd 600 all over the world. Inaugurated on Rama Navami day in 1998, by the then Prime Minister of India A. B. Vajpayee, ISKCON Delhi houses gorgeous deities, hi-tech museum, auditorium, restaurant, parks and waterfalls, library and ample free parking. The complex was designed by Padma
ness. The ISKCON temple in Delhi, a magnificent shrine devoted to Lord Krishna, is a calm and soulful place of worship. Constructed by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) in 1998, it is also known as the Hare Krishna Hare Rama temple. It is one of the 100 such
Shree awardee A. P. Kanvinde and is visited by millions from all over the world. The entire temple is decorated with Radha-Krishna paintings done by a group of international devotees. The International Society for Krishna Consciousness is propa-
gating the blessings to every weary heart, irrespective of caste, creed and sect. Nestling in the serene fringes of the Hare Krishna Hill in East of Kailash, the magnificent temple, in simple words,
promulgates Krishna consciousness through myriad sankirtan movement, congregational chanting of the holy name of God as revealed in the teachings of Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Beside the exquisite architecture of this sacred shrine attracts many tourists from all parts of India. One can see the elegant 'shikharas', soaring as high as 90 ft from the womb of spirituality that dominates the crimson skyline of this sector. Drifting an evening sitting on the stairs of this hallowed place, and pulsating to the euphonic chants amidst a tranquil ambience is a unique experience and should be felt by every holidayer in Delhi. An entry to the revered shrine is a quiet escape from the bustles of Delhi. You can find here solace, serenity, satisfaction and can meet yourself on a higher dimension.
MELBOURNE: In a landmark in Rajan's case, National Council case, three men have been pros- of Indian Australians (NCIA) ecuted under racial vilification founder and president of Federalaws for the first time in Australia's tion of Indian Association of Victoria state for physically as- Victoria Vasan Srinivasan said: saulting and verbally abusing an "such a judgment has happened Indian student in Melbourne's for the first time in history of outer south-east last year. Victoria. It will help in sending a According to media reports, strong message to Indian commulawyer of the three accused - Ja- nity back home that such acts son Ritchie (24), Adam Baxter (25) would not be tolerated." and David Potter (24) - has disReacting on the development closed that the trio will contest of the case, Gautam Gupta, charges stemming from an alleged spokesperson of Federation of attack on a bus from Frankston to Indian Student Association Rye in which young Rajan Kumar (FISA), said: "The case will surely Katkam was abused and bashed. act as an deterrent so its a signifiKatkam was bashed, verbally cant case but whether its a landabused and humiliated during the mark case will be only proved if 45-minute race-fuelled pack attack the trio are convicted and senon the crowded bus on February tenced." 6 last year. "Its going to help Indian stuIn a court hearing, Crown pros- dents here specially those who are ecutor Diana Karamicov told the Frankston Magistrates â€˜The case will be surely act Court that the three men as an deterrent so its a sigsat around the victim at the back of the bus be- nificant case but whether its fore Ritchie said "Black man, black man", a landmark case will only pushed Kumar from be- proved if the trio are conhind, through the back of his seat, and slapped victed and sentencedâ€™ him. Baxter then allegedly said "(You) need to leave this working odd hours and are in low country or you will be bashed." end jobs." Karamicov said the three acKatkam, who arrived here in cused also told Kumar, "You want 2008 to pursue a course in Graphto be equal, that's why you're get- ics, had filed a case with the ofting bashed." fice of Victims of Crime following Baxter and Ritchie face five the incident which had forced him charges - Baxter faces two counts to defer his studies. of serious racial vilification and According to Katkam, he was Ritchie one charge each of incite traveling on the bus when three racial hatred and incite racial con- youths who were apparently tempt, as well two charges each drunk started harassing him. of unlawful assault. Katkam said one of the memPotter faces seven charges, in- bers first started hitting him while cluding one each of incite racial the others threw chicken pieces hatred and incite racial contempt, at him. He claimed the trio told him and four assault and causing in- that black people want to be equal jury charges. and that's why they are getting Lauding the state judiciary role bashed.-PTI
March 18, 2011
Dalai Lama to step down as Tibet's political leader DHARAMSALA/BEIJING: The Dalai Lama has announced he would step down as political head of Tibetan government-inexile but will remain as spiritual leader and continue to advocate "meaningful autonomy" for Tibet. The 75-year-old Nobel Peace Laureate, who has been at the forefront of a six-decade-long struggle for freedom of Tibetans, also said he would hand over his "formal authority" to a "freelyelected" leader. The Dalai, who will retain the more significant role of Tibet's spiritual leader, made it clear that he was committed to playing his part for the "just cause" of Tibet. Making the announcement in his speech on the 52nd anniversary of the Tibetan Uprising Day here, he said he will formally propose to the Tibetan parliament inexile to make necessary amendments to the Charter for Tibetans in-Exile reflecting his decision to devolve his "formal authority" to an elected leader. "As early as the 1960s, I have repeatedly stressed that Tibetans need a leader, elected freely by the Tibetan people, to whom I can devolve power. "Now, we have clearly reached the time to put this into effect," the Dalai, who had escaped to India in 1959 after a failed uprising against Chinese rule, told hundreds of exiled Tibetans at the Main Temple in this hill resort. The new Parliament will be elected when Tibetans across the world will vote on March 20. By devolving his powers, the Dalai
Tibetan spiritual leader The Dalai Lama arriving to address his followers on the occasion of 52nd anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising Day at Mcleodganj, Dharamshala
hopes to give the prime minister greater clout as the region seeks autonomy from China. In a quick response, China said the talk of retirement "is his (Dalai) trick to deceive the international community." "The Dalai is a political exile under a religious cloak long engaged in activities aimed at splitting China," Chinese foreign min-
istry spokesmwoman Jiang Yu said. "The government-in-exile is an illegal political organization and no country in the world recognizes it," she added. The Dalai, who has lived in exile in Dharamsala since 1959, had earlier expressed his intention to step down as political head, but this is the first time he is publicly
making his intention clear and asking the Tibetan people to accept his decision. The Tibetan leader said ever since he made his intention to retire from active politics, he has been receiving repeated requests both from within and outside Tibet to continue to provide leadership. "My desire to devolve authority has nothing to do with a wish to shirk responsibility. It is to benefit Tibetans in the long run. It is not because I feel disheartened. "Tibetans have placed such faith and trust in me that as one among them I am committed to playing my part in the just cause of Tibet," he said in his 15-minute speech in Tibetan language. His speech made it clear that he would not be withdrawing from public life and remained "committed to playing my part in the just cause of Tibet." Hundreds of people, including children and women, had gathered at the temple to pay tributes to people who laid their lives for the cause of Tibet and to listen to the Dalai Lama's annual speech. The spiritual leader said he believed that gradually people will come to understand his intention, will support and accordingly let it take effect. Reacting to the Dalai Lama's announcement, Prime Minister of Tibetan government-in-exile Samdhong Rinpoche said the political transition which the spiritual leader wants is unlikely to happen immediately. "Despite His Holiness' request,
Anti-Taliban militia abolished after suicide attack ISLAMABAD: An anti-Taliban 'lashkar' or militia was abolished hours after a suicide bomber struck the funeral of the wife of one of its member on the outskirts of Peshawar killing 36 people, according to a media report. The bomber had targeted the funeral in Mattani area and detonated his explosive vest when a large number of tribesmen were offering funeral prayers for the wife of a member of the Lashkar of Adezai area. The banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan had claimed responsibility for the attack. The chief of the "peace committee" or pro-government militia, Dilawar Khan, said that he had disbanded the group and people of the area will now deal with the militants on their own, BBC Urdu reported. Anti-Taliban lashkars have been formed in several parts of Pakistan's northwest regions with the backing of the government to
help authorities take on Taliban militants. Taliban have carried out several deadly suicide attacks on pro-government militias and killed hundreds of people, including tribal elders besides carrying out targeted attacks on government friendly figures and their
only innocent people were killed in the attack. Khan said the people of Adezai area, located near Peshawar, launched the militia three years ago and the group had carried out several attacks on the Taliban. "We had captured some
Taliban have carried out several deadly suicide attacks on pro-government militias and killed hundreds of people, including tribal elders besides carrying out targeted attacks on government friendly figures and their families families. "We will never forgive (the spilling of the) blood of the people," Khan told reporters after the suicide attack. He said
Taliban militants but unfortunately they were freed and are now roaming freely," he said. Taliban had carried out several attacks on members of the
peace committee and had killed 47 people, he said, adding 17 members of the committee were killed in targeted attacks. Khan complained that no compensation was paid to the families of these victims. He said the Taliban had struck his home with rockets few days ago and the militia repulsed the attack without any help from the authorities. The people had arranged resources for their campaign against the Taliban, he said. "The government has not given us even a bullet," he complained, adding "If the government continues such behavior, we will end support to the government". The people will also act against influential personalities and all those who support the Taliban, he added. The militants could attack Peshawar if the people of Adezai did not stop them, Khan said. -PTI
the Tibetan and the governmentin-exile do not feel competent to lead ourselves independently without the Dalai Lama. It is a very long and difficult process. "We have to think in an innovative manner to solve the issue," he told reporters later. The Dalai has said he does not want independence for Tibet, only meaningful autonomy. The Dalai also called on
His speech made it clear that he would not be withdrawing from public life and remained â€˜committed to playing my part in the just cause of Tibetâ€™
China's leaders to show greater transparency. "China, with the world's largest population, is an emerging world power and I admire the economic development it has made," he said. "It also has huge potential to contribute to human progress and world peace. But to do that, China must earn the international community's respect and trust. "In order to earn such respect China's leaders must develop greater transparency, their actions corresponding to their words. To ensure this, freedom of expression and freedom of the press are essential." The Dalai Lama, who was just 15 when he was appointed 'head of state' after Chinese troops moved into Tibet, proposed sending fact-finding delegations to Tibet and said he would encourage the dispatch of representatives of independent international bodies, including parliamentarians. "If they were to find that Tibetans in Tibet are happy, we would readily accept it," he said. Rinpoche said the Dalai Lama wants to completely retire from politics as he feels that "political leadership should not be confined to one person and individual." To a specific question, he said the Tibetan parliament-in-exile would have to find an innovative way to "accommodate" the aspirations of the Tibetan people and the desire of the Dalai Lama. "It appears that the resolution of the His Holiness will not be passed. In that case there will be a deadlock.-PTI
Desi News Kanchi foundation recognizes exceptional youth India Post News Service
NEW YORK: Kanchi Kamakoti Seva Foundation (KKSF) and AIM for Seva had organized a gala event on March 6 to recognize exceptionally talented and serviceminded youth for their exemplary service to society. The five youth from different walks of life who were recognized are Rajiv Jayadevan, a Fulbright Scholar and a graduate of Brown University who is pursuing an MD degree in Mt. Sinai School of Medicine; Ankit Shah, doing B.S degree in Economics at Wharton School of Business; Yaagnik Kosuri and Patrick Hendrik Christian van Nieuwenhuizen, both graduates of Princeton University and co founders of UPENYU, an organization that fights diseases in Zimbabwe, and Neel Chugh, a graduate of Tufts University and a volunteer at Teach for America program.
COMMUNITY ACROSS AMERICA
Details on page 13
10 India Post
CHICAGO: The festival of Maha Shivaratri was celebrated at Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) on Friday, March 4 from 12 to 2:00 pm. Sponsored by The Office of the Dean of Students, the Special Programs committee, and the Indian Students Association of Northeastern Illinois University (ISANEIU), the event reflected a great example of NEIU's diversity in matters of faith, nationality, language, and culture. Present on the occasion were a number of students, staff, and faculty members and representatives of the community at large.
March 18, 2011
Jewelry seized from shopaholic Koss executive to be auctioned
Details on page 12
NEIU students & staff celebrate Shivratri
Dilip Jeste is President-Elect of Psychiatric Association
India Post News Service
NEW YORK: More than 300 lots of diamonds, watches and fine jewelry belonging to convicted embezzler Sujata "Sue" Sachdeva are set to be sold during a live and online simulcast auction in Milwaukee on March 19, by the US Marshals Service Asset Forfeiture Division and the Eastern District of Wisconsin. The property was seized and forfeited in connection with the criminal prosecution of Sachdeva, who was convicted of embezzling $34 million from the Milwaukeebased company, Koss Corp. Sachdeva used company funds to pay for personal purchases, which included thousands of per-
sonal property items including fine jewelry, watches, upscale clothing and accessories. The Federal Bureau of Investigation had seized 22,000 items that Sachdeva bought with Koss money. Proceeds from the auction will go to Koss to make up for its loss. Sachdeva is currently serving 11 years in a federal prison. The live auction on March 19 will be followed by an online auction of clothing, accessories and personal items, starting on March 24. Proceeds from the auction will be deposited into the US Department of Justice Asset Forfeiture fund to compensate the victims of the crime.
Former Koss Corp. executive Sue Sachdeva was sentenced in Nov 2010 to 11 years in prison for embezzling $34 million from the Milwaukee stereo headphone manufacturer. US District Judge Lynn Adelman had imposed the sentence since her arrest 11 months ago. At the time of the sentencing, Sachdeva had tearfully said, "I have lost everything that was dear to me - my marriage, my children, my career, my friends, my home, and finally, my freedom. I sincerely hope that everybody I hurt Mr. Michael Koss, the employees, stockholders can find it in their hearts to forgive me." Sachdeva's husband, Ramesh
Sachdeva, a physician at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, has since filed for divorce. Sachdeva spent nearly all of the $34 million on wild shopping sprees in which she would buy the same luxury clothing items in multiple sizes and colors, then never wear them. She also bought shoes, purses, art, vacations, a Mercedes-Benz and improvements to her Mequon home, and she paid for servants and limo service with Koss money. Her attorneys had told the court during trial that Sachdeva's binge spending stemmed from a shopping disorder and that she has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder that prompted the sprees, and also is an alcoholic.
Indian owned motel gutted in fire
Details on page 14
FIACONA condemns Pak minister's murder India Post News Service
NEW YORK: The Federation of Indian Christians Organizations of North America (FIACONA) has condemned the brutal killing of Catholic Pakistani minister Shahbaz Bhatti, 42, who was gunned down in a daylight attack in Islamabad with police reporting that he was shot at least eight times. Details on page 16
CHICAGO: An Indian owned 62-room motel on the south side of manager Dipak Patel. The fire started in room 109, near the north end Chicago was gutted by fire last week. of the nearly block-long, two-story Seven people suffered minor injuries. building and swept through the majorThe fire at the Lake Motel situated ity of the motel's rooms, Patel said at 9100 S Stoney island in Chicago, was Raman Patel, the owner of the motel , raised to a 3-11 alarm a little after 4 a.m. was away in India, it is learnt on March 4. The blaze was brought Interiors of rooms were charred, and under control after a four-hour struggle. drywall was scattered all over the The motel suffered a "total loss" acstreet, sidewalk and parking lot, according to Fire Media Affairs Comcording to witness reports. All winmander Will Knight dows on the motel's second floor and Seven residents of the building who all the doors throughout the building suffered minor injuries were taken to are open. area hospitals in good condition. Four The American Red Cross of Greater went to Advocate Trinity Hospital and Chicago was on-scene, providing astwo to Jackson Park Hospital, Knight sistance to residents. The CTA had Motel gutted by fire in Chicago. Pic courtesy Chicago Tribune said. warming buses on-scene. About 36 The 62-room motel does not rent by people were in the warming bus later, the week or month and is just a regular nightly motel, according to according to reports from the scene.
March 18, 2011
Community Across America
Air India now major player in international travel
Air India team (L-R) Jude Crasto, Kamal Roul, Manju Crasto (w/o manager Crasto) and Catherine Thorat
RAMESH SOPARAWALA India Post News Service
CHICAGO: Air India, a national Indian airline, is set to match strides with other major international carriers and leap-frog to be a major player in international travel business as a result of many innovative steps taken by the management in recent times. Air Indian Midwest chief Jude Crasto said that the airline has now become a part of Star Alliance, an elite club of 27 plus international airlines, and this will enable it to connect efficiently to practically all major destinations in the world. Star Alliance members currently serve 181 destinations with daily 21,000 departures touching 1160 airports. The member airlines of the Star Alliance network are among the most respected in the world. In order to become members, all airlines must comply with the highest industry standards of customer service, security and technical infrastructure. "Star Alliance member airlines share frequent flyer program and one can earn and redeem miles and build status across all member airlines," Crasto said. Another major step is the full amalgamation of networking with Indian Airlines which is now part of Air India. The merger between the two giants took place a couple of years back but the unifying process is now almost thru. This would mean that Air India passengers would have one code AI for booking and traveling schedules to all destinations which were served by IAC in the past. This is a big plus point from the view point of agents, travelers and all those connected with the travel business.
Air India has started direct flight to New Delhi from USA and Canada and this has helped the traveling public a lot by saving huge flying time and avoiding other related hassles in changing airports or planes. Crasto said Air India can now boast of easy con-
nections to all the major cities in India - eight destinations in all, including Kolkata. The fullest merger of Indian Airlines with Air India with its networking has greatly facilitated connections to major Indian cities. Air India commenced non stop
flight from Chicago to New Delhi last year and has now a direct flight Hyderabad via New Delhi. Crasto said the management could definitely think of similar connections to other cities like Ahmedabad, if needed. Crasto conceded there were teething troubles getting timely connections to different cities in the past, but that problem is not Jude Crasto, Air India Midwest Manager longer there now and the wait period is just between one and half hours Delhi has been welcomed by the to maximum three. " The biggest traveling public by and large, and plus point is that the elimination this is reflected in the occupancy of European hubs has cut down rate. He also elaborated on the flying hours and other hassles, food served during the flight and and this helps the traveling pub- the in-flight service. "Both are exlic in general but more specifically cellent and have met rave reviews business travelers and frequent from passengers," he said with flyers." an obvious pride. He said the direct flight to New Jude Crasto was addressing a press meet at Tiffin India restaurant on Devon Avenue last week. He was accompanied by two officials of the airline Finance Manager Kamal Roul and District Sales Manager Catherine Thorat. Kamal said the burgeoning cost was fueled partly by sky rocketing oil prices and partly because of a steep hike in airport charges, including the hanAir India 777 dling charges.
Community Across America
12 India Post
March 18, 2011
Air Tours presents tour packages RAMESH SOPARAWALA India Post News Service
CHICAGO: The Chicago-based premiere travel company, Air Tours Inc, with its decades old services to the traveling fraternity, has distinguished itself now to be a "One stop travel shop". With an initial focus on distinct business of air ticketing, the company has blossomed as one of the biggest consolidators for many airlines. Besides, it has also diversified into organizing pleasant and memorable tours around the globe in the past decade or so. Adding one more feather to its cap, Air Tours is also now a full fledged cruise package organizer. Air Tours has built a reputation with over 30 years of solid foundation that is based on three core principles - cost effectiveness, focused solutions and excellence in its offering of travel services. On Saturday March 5, Air Tours organized an event for its customers to present all of its 2011 Holiday Packages. The event was a grand success with the presence of 70 guests, who have shown in-
The Air Tours team with its Chief Mafat Patel in the center
terest in the next holiday season. Zubin Elavia, the company's professional Tour Manager, came from India especially for this event
and presented the gist of tour packages for various destinations for the current year. This included Europe, Kenya, South Africa,
China, Egypt, Australia, New Zealand, South America and many more destinations. He took pains in highlighting the fact that the
company follows "honest pricing policy with no hidden costs." What is mentioned in the itinerary is exactly what the customer gets, he said. The presentation was well appreciated by all the guests. Besides tour packages, the guests were acquainted with Masti Cruise destinations to Alaska, Canada, Caribbean & Hawaii and also current valuable offers on air tickets. "Providing good quality of service to customers always makes a difference as this in turn brings them back. Air Tours today is very well known for its repeat customers," said Mafat Patel, the company chief A highly respected and well versed Indian American businessman often described as "Uncrowned King of Devon Ave," Mafat Patel leads the Air Tours' experienced team and is ably assisted by Mrs. Marsha Patel known for her close supervision and deep dedication to the company and the travel fraternity at large. "Air Tours means quality and value for money. We always assure our patrons of the highest quality of services," Mafat Patel said.
Kanchi foundation recognizes exceptional youth India Post News Service
NEW YORK: Kanchi Kamakoti Seva Foundation (KKSF) and AIM for Seva had organized a gala event on March 6 to recognize exceptionally talented and serviceminded youth for their exemplary service to society. The five youth from different walks of life who were recognized are Rajiv Jayadevan, a Fulbright Scholar and a graduate of Brown University who is pursuing an MD degree in Mt. Sinai School of Medicine; Ankit Shah, doing B.S degree in Economics at Wharton School of Business; Yaagnik Kosuri and Patrick Hendrik Christian van Nieuwenhuizen, both graduates of Princeton University and co founders of UPENYU, an organization that fights diseases in Zimbabwe, and Neel Chugh, a graduate of Tufts University and a volunteer at Teach for America program. L. Shanti Kumar, one of the cofounders of KKSF and Aim for Seva, in his welcome remarks, said the aim of the event was to celebrate the success of youth who are role models for the entire community. The youth have touched the lives of countless people in different lands braving inhospitable terrain with service as their only motto, he said. Describing the role of both
Shanti Kumar, left and Dr Nori, second from right, with the award winners at the gala
KKSF and Aim for Seva in ushering in social movement and promoting community service and philanthropy in the US, Kumar said from building schools, colleges, Chathralayas to house school going children in tribal areas, to educating poor children, the organizations are giving back to the society, all with tax-exempt donations. KKSF was inspired by the Sankaracharyas of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam and Aim for Seva by Swami Dayananda Saraswati of Arsha Vidya Gurukulam - the two
Ankit Shah taught math and English to poor kids in a village near Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh through Givology, a rural education nonprofit
renowned gurus of Hinduism in India. Dr. Dattatreyudu Nori, Professor and chairman, department of Radiation Oncology, New York Presbyterian Hospital, affiliated with Cornell and Columbia Universities, in his keynote address, praised the two voluntary organizations for their community involvement and recognizing the youth. Dr Nori said efforts should be made to develop the idea of giving in the minds of wealthy IndianAmerican community for good
cause. He described his personal experience and challenges in setting up world renowned and state of the art cancer hospital in Hyderabad completely with public support on behalf of Nori Foundation. Dr. Rajendra Modi, ophthalmologist and philanthropist who had set up a school in Jaipur and conducts eye camps in India, said the youth honored today would serve as role models for adults as well. Jayadevan was recognized for his dedication in teaching children in Indonesia and in orphanages in China as a Fulbright scholar. Ankit Shah taught math and English to poor kids in a village near Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh through Givology, a rural education nonprofit that he has worked with during his time at University of Pennsylvania and Asha for Education, one of India's largest grassroots education NGOs. Yaagnik Kosuri and Patrick Hendrik Christian van Nieuwenhuizen worked in Zimbabwe to help fight diseases especially Schistosomiasis (bilharzia) and malnutrition. This parasitic worm infection has affected nearly 2 million people in Zimbabwe. Neel Chugh teaches underprivileged children in Washington DC through Teach for America program.
Community Across America
March 18, 2011
India Post 13
Dilip Jeste is President-Elect of Psychiatric Association held in Honolulu on May 15-18, 2011. A year later (May 2012) he will become President of the orgaCHICAGO: Dilip V. Jeste, M.D. nization. In May 2013, he will behas been declared elected as Presi- come the Immediate Past President. Interestingly there are about dent-Elect of the American Psychiatric Association (APA), with the 3,000 Indian American members of members voting online for over a the APA. It has a chapter in India 7-week period from Dec. 22, 2010 known as Indo-American Psychiatric Association (IAPA) and this through Feb. 7, 2011. APA is the largest psychiatric organization in its turn has chaporganization in the world with ters in most of the States of the about 38,000 members and is also Indian Union Dr Jeste is Estelle and Edgar the oldest medical body in the US - 3 years older than the American Levi Chair in Aging, Director of the Medical Association (AMA). Dr Sam and Rose Stein Institute for Jeste has the distinction of being Research on Aging, and Distinthe first Asian American to head guished Professor of Psychiatry and Neurosciences, at the University of APA is the largest psychiatric California, San Diego (UCSD). He is also organization in the world with the Director of the about 38,000 members and is Advanced Center for also the oldest medical body Innovation in Services and Intervenin the US - 3 years older than tion Research at UCSD, funded by the the American Medical National Institute of Association (AMA) Mental Health (NIMH). Dr Jeste obtained the APA, which was established his medical education in Poona, and in 1844. There have been only two psychiatry training in Bombay, Inother non-Caucasian (both Latino) dia. In the USA, he completed his psychiatrists elected as Presidents psychiatry residency at Cornell Uniin the APA's long history. He will versity and Neurology residency at be only the fourth International George Washington University. He Medical Graduate to preside over was a research fellow, and later, Chief the APA - and the first one from of the Units on Movement Disoroutside of North and South ders and Dementias at the NIMH before moving to San Diego. America and Europe. Dr Jeste is the Principal InvesDr Jeste will become PresidentElect of the APA at the end of the tigator on several research and annual meeting of the APA to be training grants and has published RAMESH SOPARAWALA India Post News Service
St. Louis temple celebrates Maha Shivratri ASHWIN PATEL
ST LOUIS: Mahasivarathri was women, vision screening & concelebrated at Hindu Temple of St. sultation, orthopedic consultation Louis on March 2 with great en- and osteoporosis screening, Denthusiasm. tal screening and blood drive by Rudrabhishekam was per- Mississippi Valley Regional Blood formed. Temple was open all night Center, St. Louis. for the devotees. More than 500 St. Anthony's Medical will devotees attended the evening Mahanyasa R u d r a b h i s h e k a m . The temple will be organizL a g u n y a s a Rudrabhishekam was ing Free Health Fair to public performed on March 3 early morning. with support of Mahatma Group of local youth devotees performed Gandhi Center on May 7 Nataraj Aaradhana on March 5. The temple will be organizing sponsor Basic Lab screening for Free Health Fair to public with sup- anemia, blood test to screen for port of Mahatma Gandhi Center on cholesterol, triglyceride levels, May 7 at Mahatma Gandhi Center. blood glucose and screening for Health fair provides general health prostate cancer (PSA for males age checkup for for both men and 50 & above).
Dr Dilip Jeste
ten books, and over 600 articles in peer-reviewed journals and books. He is the past President of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry and the West Coast College of Biological Psychiatry, and Founding President of the International College of Geriatric Psychoneuropharmacology. Recipient of many awards Dr Jeste is the Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and has been listed in "The Best Doctors in America."
He is in the Institute of Scientific Information list of the "world's most cited authors" - comprising less than 0.5% percent of all publishing researchers of the last two decades. Dr Jeste obtained his MBBS degree from the BJ Medical College, Pune, and MD (Psychiatry) degree from Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai. He lives in La Jolla with his wife Dr. Sonali Jeste who is a child psychiatrist.
Community Across America
14 India Post
March 18, 2011
NEIU students & staff celebrate Shivratri SURENDRA ULLAL
Acharya Rohit Joshi, Yogesh Vyas and the group
CHICAGO: The festival of Maha Shivaratri was celebrated at Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) on Friday, March 4 from 12 to 2:00 pm. Sponsored by The Office of the Dean of Students, the Special Programs committee, and the Indian Students Association of Northeastern Illinois University (ISANEIU), the event reflected a great example of NEIU's diversity in matters of faith, nationality, language, and culture. Present on the occasion were a number of students, staff, and faculty members and representatives of the community at large. Dr Michael Kelly, Dean of Students, in his welcom-
Michael Kelly, Dean of Students, addressing the Shivratri gathering
ing speech said that he has learned something new each time this event was celebrated over the last seven years, Acharya Rohit Joshi, transliterating "Maha Shivratri," showed its significance as follows: Maha is the Big One. Shiva: Shiva means auspiciousness. "Our present existence and limited individuality is nothing but a big dream. Freedom is never by some unique or scintillating experiences in this dreamy realm of existence, but only by waking up to that which is not a product of mind. That which is not a product of mind is the Self, the Atma, non-relative truth of Self as Shiva. One who knows the Soul- Atma alone is a liberated one." "Ratri means night. Night gives comfort to the mind, body and soul. Night stands for darkness i.e. ignorance, in which all beings sleep and then dream. We awake to the most auspicious truth within our self," he said A well known and experienced guest Pundit Yogeshbhai Vyas from Manav Seva Mandir performed Puja - prayers with sixteen steps, chanting mantras and singing devotional songs. Acharya Rohit Joshi also explained the meaning of sixteen steps of the whole prayer. He also chanted a part of Rudri during the "Abhishekam".
Students, staff and community members offering Abhiskekam at Shivratri celebrations
A well known and experienced guest Pundit Yogeshbhai Vyas from Manav Seva Mandir performed Puja - prayers with sixteen steps Dr Anita Ambardar, Founding Advisor of ISA, Taral Patel, Indira Bambur, Jayati Gohel, Maruthi Satyavolu along with other students, Uma Patel, Malti Rathore, Dr. D.S. Sundram, Dr. Shubhangee
Mungree, together with staff and faculty, Yasmin Ranney and Steven Spawn from Angelina Pedroso Center for Diversity and Intercultural Affairs, Maganbhai Patel and Thakorbhai Patel along with the community joined Acharya Rohit Joshi and Pundit Yogeshbhai Vyas for Aarti. Acharya Rohit Joshi, Dr. Amardar and Taral Patel appreciated the presence and services of Pundit Yogesh Vyas by offering him a shawl. Everybody had Prasad before they left. The Prasad consisted of Abhishaked milk, sweets, fruits, and samosas - a pastry filled with potato and vegetables.
Maha Shivaratri celebrations at Balaji Temple NAND KAPUR
Shivratri celebrations at Aurora Balaji temple
CHICAGO: Sri Venkateswara Swami (Balaji) Temple in Aurora, IL, organized spectacular cultural celebrations 'Shivoham' on Saturday, March 5 from 4 pm at the temple auditorium celebrating the auspicious festival of Maha Shivratri. Shivratri is considered a very important event for the throngs of
devotees of Lord Shiva. Hindus pray to Parameswara with impeccable devotion and concentration during this special period with fasting, and staying awake all night chanting prayers. There was a unique dance performance of "Shivoham" at the Veluchamy auditorium by professional teachers of Chicagoland in
the Indian classical dance forms of Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, Odissi and Kathak. Highlighting the evening was a unique presentation on Lord Shiva ''Ardhanareeshwara" in the 'Odissi' dance style by Ipsitha Satpathy, Director, Utkala Centre for Dance. Vibrant Kuchipudi performances 'Natesa Kauthvam' followed by 'Enneramum' by Dr Sangita Rangala, a professional Kuchipudi dancer enthralled the audience. Presenting the grandeur and beauty of north Indian dance style Kathak "Shiv Tandav" hailed the blissful and wondrous Lord Siva. The presentation was beautifully rendered by Sheetal Dhanani, Director of Tarana Kathak Dance Academy. Yet another unique and dramatic presentation of Bharatanatyam's traditional repertoire in praise of Lord Siva were items 'Bho Shambho', 'Kavadi Chidu' and Thillana choreographed and performed by
Sowmya Kumaran, Director, Nrithyasangeeth school of dance along with her daughter Bhavya Kumaran. With "Shiva Shakthi", the audience witnessed the beautiful epic story of Siva and Parvathi's
Srinivasa Acharya as Lord Shiva. Chairman of Balaji Temple Ramaraja B.Yalavarthy honored the artists and commended the cultural committee and the artists for all their efforts. The Master of Ceremonies for the evening was
wedding presented as a ballet in the classical Bharatanatyam style with contemporary music. The production choreographed and presented by Asha Srinivasa Acharya Adiga of Indian Dance and Music Academy along with her senior students featured the Yakshagana artist Rajendra Kedlaya from Indianapolis, as Mahishasura, and
Saroja Ravi. Balaji Temple cultural committee will be hosting 'Priya Sisters' 'Annamacharya Sankeerthanavali' on Sunday April 24 and a Bharatanatyam recital by Lavanya Ananth from Chennai, India, on Saturday, April 30 at the temple auditorium.
Community Across America
March 18, 2011
India Post 15
Maha Shivaratri celebrations at Lemont temple ARUN MURTHY
CHICAGO: Maha Shivaratri was celebrated at Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago (HTGC) with meticulous detailed planning and execution. It was attended by over 2000 enthusiastic devotees. The main theme of the celebration was "Laksha Shiva Gayathri Maha Yagnam". The event started with Ganesh Pooja and havan. The religious functions continued for four days and included Samuhika Bilva Ashtothara Shathanama Archana by over 50 families at 6 p.m. and "Sugandha Dravya Sahitha Ashtothara Kalashabhisheka" at 9 p.m. The devotees were very appreciative of the great pomp and
ing melodious bhajans during the different Alankaras. Nrithyopachara was offered at midnight with a beautifully choreographed dance recital by Deepthi Ramachandran, student of Natya Academy. Sri Shiva Parvathi Kalayanamahothsavam included Nrithyopacharam by Sherin Ellickal student of Nrithyanjali School of Dance. The devotees appreciated the exhibit of 4 feet tall ice sculpture of meditating Shiva. The Kailash mountain background and the set up done by talented temple shilpies (Velayudham N, and Vanamurthy Achari) was a great sight. Various alankaras were performed to Lord Shiva (flower, swarna, chandan, vibhuthi, whole channa and coconut). The priest emphasized that all these alankaras and abhishekams will bring lokakalyanam. D e v o t e e s complimented the arrangements and the smooth flow for Darshan of Lord Shiva, followed by abhisheka to Dwadasha lingas and to receiving the prasadam. This event was blessed by the opening of Dwarapalakis for Parvathi Devi as a part of GSD (Ganesh, Shiva and Durga Temple) indianization The image of Lord Shiva with floral decoration being done by the very dedicated and reverence with which the poojas talented shilpies (artisans) from were conducted. Chennai, India. The grandeur and beauty of Maha Shivarathri celebrations the various mangala dravyas of- were concluded with Girija fered, different alankaras to Lord Kalyanam performed on Saturday, Shiva during the Ekadash (eleven) March 5, witnessed by large numabhishekas was a delightful sight ber of devotees. Kalyana to the eyes and great spiritual ex- bhojanam and variety of tradiperience. Around 100 Shiva tional sweets and snacks were bhaktas kept all night vigil wit- sponsored by many devotees. nessing the poojas and listening The priests of GSD temple and the to the devotional bhajans. Vari- staff were honored by the adminous groups participated in sing- istration.
Priests performing Pooja
Devotees throng the Hall for Darshan and Archana
Community Across America
16 India Post
March 18, 2011
Unity Lunch brings together FIA groups HARISH RAO
ederation of Indian Associations of Chicago hosted a Unity Luncheon with the express purpose of forging greater unity and renewal of past friendships with the goal of strengthening the bonds of unity and reinforce FIA's eminent place in the community. The Unity Lunch that was held at Punjabi Dhaba Restaurant on Devon Ave. brought together the
present and past FIA leaders including Satish 'Sunny' Gabhawala, Ifthekar Shareef, Kanti S. Patel, Babu Marsh Patel, Harish Bhatt, Bhailal Patel, Ranjit Ganguly, Sohan Joshi, Sher Rajput, Anil Pillai, Chandresh Brambhatt, Veenod Patel, Devendra Patel, Keerthi K. Ravoori, Kanti N. Patel, Minhaj Akhtar, Girish Patel and Syed Sabahat Jamal.
FIACONA condemns Pak minister's murder India Post News Service
AASA to host seminar on Waris Shah SURENDRA ULLAL
CHICAGO: AASA (Asian American Seniors Association) along with NKPI, PHACA (Pakistan Heritage and Cultural Association) will host the Fourth Global Punjabi Milaap on Saturday April 9 from 1pm to 6 pm at Holiday Inn in Mt. Prospect, a north side Chicago suburb. The topic will be Waris Shah - The Legend. Waris Shah is also known as Shakespeare of Punjabi literature. Many people have done their Ph.Ds on his romantic epic, "Heer Ranjha". People have added many couplets to his original writing and are making money by adulterating his original work. For example many people think, "Doli
charhdian mariyan Heer cheekan" is Waris' writing, it is not. Record needs to be set straight and credit
File picture of the First Global meet on Punjabi Milaap
needs to go where it is due. Prominent speakers and writers will share their knowledge on
the subject. Some confirmed speakers are Prof Jagindar Singh Ramdev, Dr Javed Bhatty, Sajid Chaudhry and Dr Ifti Nasim. Riaz Baber will direct a short play on Heer Ranjha and Romeo Juliet to show similarity and differences between the two epics. "We are in need of artists who would like to perform in this play. Local and few out of town poets will be invited to recite their poetry. Singers who would like to sing "Heer" are also invited to sing. Punjabi writers and Artists are welcome to display and sell their books and Art," Thakkar Basati, one of the main organizers said.
Prophet Muhammad. Pakistan's blasphemy laws were originally framed by the Asian subcontinent's British colonial rulers but were toughened in the 1980s during the military rule of Gen. Mohammad Zia ul-Haq, who pushed for a more austere brand of Islam. Human rights groups have long warned that the laws are vaguely worded and open to abuse because people often use them to settle rivalries or persecute religious minorities. Abraham P. Mammen on behalf
NEW YORK: The Federation of Indian Christians Organizations of North America (FIACONA) has condemned the brutal killing of Catholic Pakistani minister Shahbaz Bhatti, 42, who was gunned down in a daylight attack in Islamabad with police reporting that he was shot at least eight times. Two months earlier the governor of Punjab, Salman Taseer was also gunned in Pakistan by his own bodyguard. Both Bhatti and Taseer supported the cause of the Both Bhatti and Taseer supminorities who make up barely five percent of ported a reform in Pakistan's Pakistan's population of blasphemy law and both 170 million with Christians being the second were also seeking presidential largest minority after pardon for Aasia Bibi, a 45Hindus. "Not only is the mur- year-old Christian farmhand der most horrific, shock- who was sentenced to death ing and sad, but it also reflects the extreme on charges of denigrating pressures, prejudices Prophet Muhammad and religious intolerances against Christians and other minorities that are of the FIACONA board said, existing in the culture of animos- "FIACONA strongly condemns ity in Pakistan," said Abraham P. this horrific killing of Shahbaz Mammen, President of FIACONA. Bhatti, who was a prominent leader Both Bhatti and Taseer sup- of the Christian minority of Pakiported a reform in Pakistan's blas- stan. We offer our condolences to phemy law and both were also the bereaved family and all the seeking presidential pardon for Christians of Pakistan and also Aasia Bibi, a 45-year-old Christian pray that the perpetrators of this farmhand who was sentenced to dastardly crime be brought to jusdeath on charges of denigrating tice immediately."
March 18, 2011
Swagat marks 20 years of operation with gala event
Two convicted for attack on Sikh driver India Post News Service
India Post News Service
SAN FRANCISCO: Swagat Restaurant marked a major milestone of 20 years of operation in San Francisco Bay Area with an intimate event for staff, regular customers and close friends. Chief Guests attending the event were Mayor of Milpitas, Jose Estevez, San Jose council members Ash Kalra and Rose Herrera along with Chairperson of City of Fremont Planning Commission Yogi Chugh and Vice-President of Federation of Indian Associations Dr Bhandari. Vijaya Aasuri, Advisor of Bay Area Telugu Association welcoming the guests said, "We are not only celebrating 20 years of Swagat Restaurant but 20 years of hospitality, 20 years of 'atmiyata' and 'anubandham'. Details on page 18
SACRAMENTO, CA: Two assailants involved in the brutal attack on Harbhajan Singh in Sacramento, CA last November, admitted to committing a hate crime against the 56-year-old Sikh American cab driver. Pedro Ramirez, will be sentenced with up to 13 years in jail, and Johnny Morales, who could serve up to one year in jail, entered into a plea agreement, which allowed them to avoid a jury trial. The Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (Saldef) has applauded the hate crime conviction and congratulated the Yolo County District Attorney's office for prosecution of this case to the full extent of the law. On November 28, 2010, Mr Singh was severely beaten and robbed by two passengers in his cab, as they yelled racial and ethnic slurs and called him Osama bin Laden. Mr Singh, who wears a dastaar (Sikh turban) and beard in accordance with his faith, managed to escape but sustained serious injuries, including multiple lacerations, a fracture in his face and another one on
his spine. Saldef issued a letter to local authorities, the Department of Justice, the US Attorney and the
FBI requesting that they initiate a hate crimes investigation into the attack.
According to Mr Singh's attorney Amar Shergill, Mr Singh is still healing from the physical and mental injuries he sustained during the attack, but looks forward to returning to work. "Mr Singh is pleased that his assailants have admitted their crimes and will serve an appropriate sentence," said Mr Shergill. "In light of the recent shooting of two elderly Sikh men in Elk Grove, the Sikh community takes some solace in the fact that law enforcement authorities aggressively prosecuted these crimes and that the greater community has been so supportive." "Attacks on innocent individuals are always inexcusable, but crimes motivated by racial, ethnic or religious bias are especially heinous and have no place in our society," said Saldef Associate Executive Director Jasjit Singh. "We are pleased with the outcome of this case and that it was properly pursued as a hate crime and applaud the Yolo County District Attorney's Office for this prosecution and the West Sacramento Police Department for their exemplary work in apprehending the assailants."
Global Walk in SF against female infanticide India Post News Service
SAN FRANCISCO: In this historic city, half a dozen Indo-American organizations participated in a march against female infanticide in India, especially in Punjab. The March started from City Hall, San
tually enlightened, and especially on the land of gurus in Punjab the maximum cases of female infanticide were reported. The female to male ratio in Punjab is 793 to 1000, whereas in the Western world the situation is reverse. In America and Japan the
are killed in the womb in Punjab. A well known advocate and social worker from Punjab, S. L. Virdi, who participated in the March, mentioned that even though Indian Government has enacted many legislative mandates under the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955, Dowry Pre-
Francisco and ended at Union Square. Speakers addressing the marchers said it was a matter of shame that in the land of the spiri-
female to male ratio is 1000 to 880. There are 120 more women as compared to number of men. It is sad that almost one lakh female fetuses
vention Act of 1961, Anti-dowry Act of 1994, still 70% women in India are victims of domestic violence even today. ContĂd on page 18
18 India Post
March 18, 2011
Swagat marks 20 years of operation with gala event
India Post News Service
SAN FRANCISCO: Swagat Restaurant marked a major milestone of 20 years of operation in San Francisco Bay Area with an intimate event for staff, regular customers and close friends. Chief Guests attending the event were Mayor of Milpitas,
Jose Estevez, San Jose council members Ash Kalra and Rose Herrera along with Chairperson of City of Fremont Planning Commission Yogi Chugh and Vice-President of Federation of Indian Associations Dr Bhandari. Vijaya Aasuri, Advisor of Bay Area Telugu Association welcoming the guests said, "We are not only celebrating 20 years of Swagat Restaurant but 20 years of hospitality, 20 years of 'atmiyata' and 'anubandham'. She said that Jayaram garu has been a humble person despite all his successes and has always welcomed everyone with open arms. She added that Swagat has been a landmark destination for Indian community in Bay Area for the past 20 years. Mayor Jose Estevez said he was glad that Swagat was established in Milpitas in 1991 and commended Jayaram garu for his services to the community. He said Swagat is
one of the oldest Indian American operated businesses in City of Milpitas and when he heard that Swagat was celebrating the anniversary, he could not stay away from the festivities. The Mayor presented a commendation on behalf of City of Milpitas. San Jose Council Member Rose Herrera recalled with fond memory her first meal at Swagat in 1991 and said she has been coming to the restaurant for the past 20 years. She said Swagat has been an institution and was always amazed at the support Jayaram has extended to non-profit organizations in the Bay Area. She said that Swagat had been a host to many a company formations and non-profit
organization meetings since 1991. She thanked Jayaram garu for the hospitality he has been extending over the years. San Jose Council Member Ash Kalra was glad to be a part of the celebrations and said that Jayaram garu has extended his unconditional support to the Indian community through his business. He commended staff of Swagat on successful completion of 20 years and wished them many more successful years. Council members Ash and Rose presented commendation from City of San Jose. Dr Bhandari said that Swagat has become an institution in the Indian community and thanked Jayaram garu for having the vision to give back to the community and sharing his successes with the Bay area community. Yogi Chugh speaking on the occasion said that Swagat Restaurant has been providing exemplary service to the community. He talked about the passion of Jayaram garu for community service and how Jayaram garu has called upon him late nights for assistance, when any Telugu person was in trouble. He thanked Jayaram for being a great leader and an inspiration to him personally. His selfless and easygoing
nature had endeared him to everyone that he meets. He thanked Swagat and the staff for the support they extended to FIA and Festival of India over the past 20 years. Venu Aasuri said when he met Jayaram garu in 1991, he was amazed by his simplicity and down to earth nature. Despite being a successful entrepreneur who has opened several businesses, he still is the same down to earth person. Swagat staff Gopi Komati, Ganga, Satyam, Shivaiah and Seenu accompanied Jayaram garu in cutting a cake celebrating the completion of 20 years of operation. Speaking on the occasion, Jayaram garu said he opened the restaurant in 1991 with all his savings and with the help
of his cook. He said he enjoyed meeting people and saw an opportunity in the restaurant business to meet and serve many people. He said he did not like to have the evening celebrations as the success was not "Jayaram's", but the
success of his staff that has stayed with him for two decades. He got very emotional recalling the unconditional support extended by his staff through the years. He was very thankful to the community as well as he could not have been successful without the help of the Indian community. He said his motto has always been to give back to the community and it was his way of showing gratitude for the patronage and successes of Swagat chain of restaurants.
BATA committee thanked Jayaram garu for the support extended by Swagat to BATA over the years and thanked him by presenting him an Award marking the landmark. Entrepreneur J.P. Vejendla presented a memento and said that Jayaram garu has always been open and giving, which is a very rare quality. Sateesh Chilukuri, convener of 18th TANA conference said that Swagat has been supporting Telugu community over the years and recalled the memories of countless meetings at Swagat while organizing the TANA 2003 convention.
March 18, 2011
Global Walk in SF against female infanticide ContĂd from page 17
Among those who addressed the marchers were Nyna Caputi, Founder of the March, Dr. Harkesh Sandhu, Founder Sahaita Inc., Manju Seal, President, Board of Directors, Narika and Sudha Reddy, Coordinator of America, Aarti Homes, Ash Kalra, City Council member, San Jose and the main sponsor of the March, a well known Bay Area psychologist and
social worker Dr Harmesh Kumar. Dr Kumar said that the IndoAmerican Community is considered a model community in the United States. "Our community's income and education level is also the highest amongst various ethnic communities; however, we are not using all our community assets to solve our social problems here and in India. We need to be-
come the torch bearers to enlighten our brothers and sisters back home and also provide effective leadership and direction to our leaders back home to improve the human rights situation for women and other ethnic minorities in India." It is significant that there were more women in the March as compared to men. Most Americans were not aware of this issue but they were impressed with the marchers for raising the awareness in community against female infanticide.
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Form judicial commission to investigate killing of Sikhs W hile Sikhs from all over the world were mourning with tears remembering the barbaric killings of Sikhs at HondhChillar and Pataudi on March 6, at the same time hundreds of miles away Badal father-son duo along with BJP was hosting film actors. Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) lamented that SAD (Badal)-BJP disrespected the shaheeds of Hondh-Chillar by failing to attend the March 6 Bhog ceremony at Hondh-Chillar to honor the innocent Sikhs who were killed in November 1984. Earlier Badal father-son duo and BJP have failed to attend the March 4 Bhog ceremony at Sri Akal Takht Sahib held in the memory of Hondh-Chillar victims. SFJ coordination committee, Avtar Singh Pannu, Dr. Bakhshish Singh Sandhu, Barjinder Singh Brar, Charanjit Singh Harnampuri, Master Mohinder Singh, Pritam Singh Gilzian and Dilbar Singh Sekhon stated that SAD (Badal fatherson duo) have a long history of
trading the blood of Sikh genocide victims for votes. Now SAD (Badal) have twice won elections on the slogan of getting justice to the Sikh killings in Punjab but failed to take a single step for getting justice to the victims. Now that SFJ and AISSF have built the international momentum on the issue of November 1984 Sikh genocide, SAD (Badal) along with BJP, as per past practice have again started playing with the emotions of victims. While SFJ coordinators appreciated grant of Rupees 2 lakhs to the victims of Hondh-Chillar by SAD (Badal) through SGPC headed by puppet President Avtar Singh Makkar, the SFJ criticized SAD (Badal) and SGPC for failing to issue Rupees 2 lakhs grant to the victims of November 1984 residing in Punjab. According to Jasbir Singh, prime witness against Jagdish Tytler, SAD (Badal) has a long history of exploiting the victims and widows of November 1984. Starting from 1994 bye-election of
Ajnala constituency and repeating the same in 1997 and 2007 elections, SAD Badal used the widows and victims to exploit the emotions of Sikhs in Punjab and after winning the elections always abandoned and ignored them. In fact, recently Shaheed Gursharn
Singh Rishi, a half burnt bed ridden victim of November 1984 and a prime witness against Sajjan Kumar, died while begging Badal and SGPC to fulfill their promise of grant which they had publicly announced at Balongi village, stated Jasbir Singh. Late Surinder Singh, who had
been Granthi at many Gurudwaras and who was a witness against Jagdish Tytler was promised a permanent position as Granthi in Punjab by SGPC President Avtar Singh Makkar due to ongoing threats to Surinder Singh's life in Delhi. However, SGPC miserably failed to honor its promise of appointing Surinder as Granthi in Punjab and left him at the mercy Jagdish Tytler in Delhi where he was killed on July 13, 2009, lamented Jasbir Singh. SFJ coordinating committee and Jasbir Singh appealed the victims and survivors of November 1984 to be aware of the SAD (Badal)-BJP's practice of using the issue of November 1984 and trading blood of victims for votes. Victims and survivors are requested to join hands with SFJ and AISSF in demanding justice for November 1984 Sikh genocide as directed by Sri Akal Takhat Sahib. Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, legal advisor to SFJ, stated that in 1997 SAD (Badal) won the elec-
Disclaimer :- India Post does not endorse opinions expressed in the letters.
tions on the promise of forming a judicial commission to investigate and prosecute the police officials who killed thousands of innocent Sikhs from 1984 to 1997. Citing the examples of notorious police officers Izhar Alam and Sumedh Saini, attorney Pannun stated that instead of fulfilling the promise of prosecuting the killers of Sikhs, SAD (Badal) after twice coming into power, awarded and shielded the killers of Sikhs. Now that SAD (Badal) is asking for a Judicial Commission from Haryana Government to investigate Hondh-Chillar killings, attorney Pannun reminded SAD (Badal) of its 1997 and 2007 election promise to form a judicial commission in Punjab to investigate and prosecute the police officials who killed thousands of innocent Sikhs from 1984 to 1997. For forming a Judicial Commission in Punjab, SAD (Badal) has all the powers except the will power, stated attorney Pannun. Sikhs For Justice New York
Tech News PM to talk to Pranab, Pawar on farmers' issues NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said he would convene a joint meeting with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar after the budget session to discuss issues relating to farmers. Singh told a delegation of Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) which called on him that the government would bring out every year before the budget a report on the state of Indian agriculture. Reiterating the government's deep concern for farmer's welfare, he said the farmers interests were paramount and would be fully protected at all times. -PTI
India, UK finalize joint research in nuclear sector MAHABALIPURAM, TN: Nuclear scientists from India and the UK have decided to collaborate on a series of research projects, including developing new materials for fast reactors. The research projects were finalized at a meeting between the Department of Atomic Energy and a British delegation led by Jason Green, Head of the Energy Programs of the Research Council, UK in this temple town. "We have zeroed in on the research projects including research on zirconium and new material for fast reactor-oxide dispersion stainless steel," Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Srikumar Banerjee told PTI after the daylong meeting. -PTI
No need to de-register for school SMSes NEW DELHI: The Telecom Regulator TRAI has clarified that parents will not have to de-register from National Customer Preference Register (NCPR) to get SMSes from educational institutes where their children are studying. The clarification has come after the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) noticed that parents of students of many schools were in panic that they would miss critical messages from school if registered on National Customer Preference Register (NCPR). "As such, large number of parents are de-registering from NCPR even if it means exposure to Unsolicited Commercial Communication (UCC) and SMSes," said a statement issued by TRAI. -PTI
TechBiz 20 India Post
March 18, 2011
Ravi against hike in air travel service tax NEW DELHI: Civil Aviation Minister Vayalar Ravi has said he wants the government to reconsider the budget proposal to hike service tax on air tickets. "I have written a letter to the Finance Minister (Pranab Mukherjee) urging him to reconsider the implementation of service tax on air travel," Ravi told reporters here. His statement came days after domestic airlines protested the proposed hike in service tax on all classes of air travel, both domestic and international. -PTI
US Treasury Under Secretary visits India to further partnerships India Post News Service
NEW YORK: Under Secretary for International Affairs Lael Brainard in the US Department of Treasury, was in India recently to discuss how trade and investment presents dramatic and expanding opportunities to create high-quality jobs in both countries. The trip also focused on the key role women play in India's growth trajectory. During the trip, on the outskirts of the Pune in Maharashtra, Brainard visited Mann Deshi Bank, a regulated cooperative bank run by and for women. Founded in 1997 by Chetna Sinha, Mann Deshi was India's first rural financial institution to receive a cooperative license from the Reserve Bank of India. Today, with more than 100,000 customers, Mann Deshi is the largest microfinance bank in Maharashtra and a pioneer in micro-financing, offering its clients individual and group loans, savings and pension plans. While there, Under Secretary Brainard saw the bank's Freedom Ride Program, which provides bicycles to young girls to enable them to travel to school and continue their education. She also met with young women participating in the Mann Deshi Foundation's
Under Secretary for International Affairs Lael Brainard in the US Department of Treasury at the Mann Deshi Bank in Pune
Under Secretary Brainard met with business leaders from the mobile communication, cell phone tower and solar power sectors to discuss the growing opportunity for US and Indian businesses Mobile Business School Program, which provides financial literacy courses, computer literacy and livelihood training from a bus that travels from village to village and learned about their participation in the bank's daily savings program. A day after the Pune visit, the Under Secretary toured a cell phone tower on the outskirts of Delhi to highlight how multilateral development bank assistance and US export credit agencies are advancing envi-
ronmentally sustainable economic development in India and helping create new markets for US manufactured technology. The site visit showcased how Indian entrepreneurs are replacing diesel generators with a solar hybrid solution as the power source for cell towers. Key components of the solar solution are manufactured in the US. As part of the visit, Under Secretary Brainard met with business leaders from the mobile communi-
cation, cell phone tower and solar power sectors to discuss the growing opportunity for US and Indian businesses in the solar technology market. Later that day, Brainard joined leaders in the financial sector for a discussion on global economic and financial sector developments, as well as the domestic economic climate and opportunities and challenges for progress on the country's economic reform agenda. During the meeting, Brainard expressed strong support for a new Indian School of Business (ISB) initiative aimed at increasing understanding on the need for deeper capital markets for continued private sector growth and infrastructure financing. Before departing, Brainard joined Chanda Kochhar, Chief Executive Officer of ICICI Bank Limited for a discussion on the growing opportunities in US-India economic and trade relations at a forum hosted by the Confederation of Indian Industry. "Because of our shared interests and values, President Obama believes the relationship between the United States and India will be one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century," said Brainard. ContĂd on page 21
BMW invests $5m in MyCityWay mobile app India Post News Service
NEW YORK: Adding yet another feather to their cap, MyCityWay, a young Indian American founded company that has created a mobile app of a city guide, has tied up with BMW that has invested $5 million into the nascent company. Auto maker BMW recently established a New York-based venture capital firm dubbed BMWi Ventures that it seeded with $100 million to seek out partnerships that might facilitate it product adoption in urban markets. BMW-i is a BMW
sub-brand solely focused on developing and producing sustainable mobility vehicles. Its first investment was the $5 million into MyCityWay, a userdriven, location-aware city
and discovery on mobile devices. The app brings together more than 50 local mobility apps in one interface to act as a onestop, location-aware platform to discover, connect, experience
New York-based My City Way is the first company in which BMW i Ventures has taken a stake guide. FirstMark Capital and IA Ventures, who participated in an earlier $1 million seed round, joined BMW. Useful for locals and visitors alike, MyCityWay is an interactive tool for urban exploration
and share. The app is available for more than 40 cities worldwide, including New York City, Shanghai, Tokyo, London and Paris. BMW i delivers innovative mobile solutions that improve
urban mobility - inside and outside of the car. New York-based My City Way is the first company in which BMW i Ventures has taken a stake. Of the partnership, Ian Robertson said, "I am thrilled to announce that we have just signed our first strategic partnership with My City Way. As a mobile app, My City Way provides users with information on public transportation, parking availability, and local entertainment for over 40 cities in the US. Another 40 cities will be part of the global rollout, including Munich, of course."
March 18, 2011
March 31 deadline for BlackBerry security plan NEW DELHI: The government has fixed March 31 as deadline for all telecom operators to submit plans for interception of their services, including popular BlackBerry Enterprise Service (BES) of Research in Motion (RIM), by security agencies. The Home Ministry has asked the Department of Telecom (DoT) to ensure that all telecom operators submit their plans by the end of this month on when they can provide access to all services, including BES, whenever there is a necessity for the security agencies. RIM, which offers the BlackBerry services through eight operators, has been saying that it
cannot provide access to the popular BES as it does not possess any key and the security architecture is the same around the world. "If they cannot give access, they have to put off their services in India," an official said. The order will cover all service providers, including RIM, Skype and others. There are over one million BlackBerry subscribers in India and the number is growing fast. By March 31, the Centre will also put in place a security architecture for the telecom sector through which the government could put in a new facility to deposit open software and new test-
ing facility in certain forms. Indian security agencies have been demanding access to all BlackBerry services as part
‘Our aim is to make sure that whatever goes through our networks, we should be able, if required, to intercept it’ of efforts to fight militancy and security threats over the Internet and through telephone communications.
Pradeep Khosla appointed Infosys Prize Jury Chair India Post News Service
BANGALORE, India: The Infosys Science Foundation has announced the appointment of Professor Pradeep Khosla, Dean of the College of Engineering, and the Philip and Marsha Dowd University Professor at Carnegie Mellon University, USA, as the Jury Chair for the Infosys Prize for Engineering and Computer Science. Professor Khosla takes over this role from Professor Subra Suresh, who was appointed the Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) by the United States Senate. Professor Khosla was earlier a jury member for the Infosys Prize for Engineering and Computer Science. He will chair the jury for the Prize year 2011 and will soon select a panel of jury members who will help evaluate applications received in the category.
Professor Pradeep Khosla
Professor Khosla is the recipient of several awards including the SiliconIndia Leadership Award for Excellence in Academics and Technology (2000), the ASME Computers in Engineering Lifetime Achievement Award (2009), and the inaugural Pan IIT American Leadership Award for Academic Excellence (2009). On his appointment as the new
'Invoking Lakshmi won't help, try Saraswati' NEW DELHI: Senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi had a suggestion for Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee - to invoke Goddess Saraswati and not Lakshmi for wealth and improve irrigation facilities and not place hopes on Lord Indra for a bountiful monsoon. Referring to Mukherjee's Budget speech in which he invoked Goddess Lakshmi for wealth, Joshi said 21st century was a knowledge-based society, therefore the Finance Minister should invoke Goddess Saraswati instead.
Initiating the debate on the Union Budget, the BJP leader said the Finance Minister invoked Goddess Lakshmi as perhaps he does not believe in his own capabilities. He said it was Lord Kuber who was the God of wealth and not Lakshmi. "This is the 21st century where wealth lies with Goddess Saraswati as this is knowledgebased society...the Left (parties) will accuse you of saffronising economy as Murli Manohar Joshi (as former HRD minister) was accused of saffronising education...," Joshi said.-PTI
Jury Chair for the Infosys Prize for Engineering and Computer Science, Professor Khosla said, "I am honored to chair the Infosys Prize jury for Engineering and Computer Science. This is a great initiative that has been taken up by the Infosys Science Foundation to elevate the prestige of science and research and inspire young scientists. The Infosys Prize acknowledges outstanding contributions to research and I am pleased to be associated with this initiative." On the occasion of this announcement, Mr. T.V Mohandas Pai, President - Infosys Science Foundation said, "The Jury Chairs for the Infosys Prize comprise of eminent leaders in each of their fields lending credibility to the stature of the Infosys Prize and the respective prize categories. The Jury Chairs are selected carefully and are responsible for evaluating the achievements of the nominees against the standards of international research. We are pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Pradeep Khosla as the new Jury Chair for the Infosys Prize for Engineering and Computer Science, and look forward to his guidance and experience that he will bring to the jury." "Pradeep Khosla is an excellent choice as the Jury Chair for the 2011 Infosys Prize for Engineering and Computer Science," said Carnegie Mellon University President Jared L. Cohon. "Pradeep has been a great leader for Carnegie Mellon globally, and his research track record is both innovative and multidisciplinary - qualities so critical to this competition's award nominees. We are proud that our colleague has been named to this prestigious position."
Last month, Home Secretary Gopal K Pillai had said that telecom operators will have to stop any such services that cannot be monitored as per the satisfaction of law enforcement agencies. "Our aim is to make sure that whatever goes through our networks, we should be able, if required, intercept it... The issue is that we want that if you are using the network as per the licensing condition, there must be a provision for us to intercept... those which we want to intercept and that must be readable and legible format," Pillai had said. Eight operators including Bharti, Vodafone, Idea, RCom, Tatas and also two state owned
firms -- BSNL and MTNL -- are offering BlackBerry services across the country and it has emerged a popular service among corporates for its enterprise mail service. RIM vice-president (Industry, Government and University Relations) Robert E Crow, who was in India recently, had said, "There is no possibility of us providing any kind of a solution. There is no solution, there are no keys to be handed... It's not possible to do so because the keys of the service are in possession of the corporate enterprises." However, the argument is not bought by the security establishment. -PTI
US Treasury Under Secretary visits India to further partnerships Contíd from page 20
"I'm in India for the first of many visits to help translate that vision of partnership into reality in the financial realm. Vibrant and sound financial markets help families reach their aspirations and achieve their dreams, as much as they help individual nations and the global community build and sustain growth. Together, from the rural towns to the big cities of our countries, we have an enormous amount to gain from working in partnership." That afternoon, Brainard met with women leaders spearheading change across diverse sectors of Indian society before meeting with senior government officials including Reserve Bank of India Governor Duvvuri Subbarao and Minister of State for Environment and Forests, Jairam Ramesh to discuss a range of bilateral and global issues including the G-20 framework for strong, sustainable and bal-
anced growth and climate change. The next day, Brainard delivered a keynote address at the Institute of International Finance's (IIF) spring membership meeting, highlighting the US-India Economic and Financial Partnership, near-term challenges facing the global economy and priority areas for policy coordination. In addition, she attended a subcabinet meeting of the US-India Economic and Financial Partnership to review progress and next steps on areas of cooperation, including macroeconomic policy issues, financial sector reforms and infrastructure finance. Secretary Geithner and Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee launched the partnership in India in April 2010. The Partnership aims to deepen the bilateral economic relationship between the U.S. and India. The Partnership will next meet in Washington in the spring at the Ministers.
TOP TEN HINDI FILM SONGS
1 Baby When You Talk To Me: Patiala House 2 Darling: 7 Khoon Maaf 3 Kyun Main Jaagoon: Patiala House 4 Utt Pataang: Utt Pataang 5 Laung Da Lashkara: Patiala House
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6 Tum Hi To Ho: Tum Hi To Ho 7 Tinka Tinka: Turning 30 8 Abhi Kuch Dino Se: No One Killed Jessica 9 Dilli: No One Killed Jessica 10 Awaara: 7 Khoon Maaf
veryone knows that Arbaaz Khan and Abhinav Kashyap have parted ways and that Abhinav won't be directing Dabangg 2. Arbaaz will. In fact, Arbaaz has already tweeted about it and made the official announcement as well. But the 'split' wasn't bitter. "I had to take a call, whether to go ahead with the sequel or not. I chose not to," Abhinav says. Opting out on a film that he was so excited about must've been heartbreaking. "But one has to move on in life. You can't keep on making the same film or attempting a similar genre all your life," he adds. "I have a commitment to making a film, first to myself, then to anyone else. The "Dabangg" brand is very well established and if "Dabangg 2" worked, then I'd have had to make "Dabangg 3" and so on. But if it fails, then you'd all have written that I was a one-film wonder. I wanted to do something that'll help me in my career. It is also about me and not only about "Dabangg". Arbaaz knows the film inside out. I am sure he will do a great job." There's talk that Abhinav decided to branch out because there's a project with SRK in the offing. "I would love to work with SRK. Who wouldn't? Yes, we did meet once, but it's not that we kept meeting after that. Why drag him into all this? I am still working on the script of my next film and only after it gets completed will I decide on its casting," Abhinav divulges. In the interim period, Abhinav is making four ad films with Aamir Khan. "I've already shot one. Really enjoyed the experience. I am also doing an ad with Sanju," he states.
o keep a balance between home and career is a tough job and Bollywood actress Lara Dutta came to know this after getting married to the man of her dream, ace tennis player Mahesh Bhupathi. Lara speaks her heart, "I'm just enjoying being married," she says, gazing lovingly at her huge diamond-encrusted wedding ring. "But I'm sure that balancing a home and a successful career will not be easy. Most celebs do make it look easy, though. Be it your home or your career, it is about doing something you love, so you've got to put in that extra effort and make both work," she says. Lara is involved in the shooting of 'Don 2' with Shahrukh Khan, totally busy in wrapping her debut production venture, 'Chalo Dilli' and begun promotional activities for her new fitness DVD across the country. Whatever, a new glow has been spotted in Lara's face which indicates that Mrs. Bhupathi is enjoying both her work and married life.
anbir Kapoor is the first Bollywood star to be approached by an International Game Asso-
ciation Ranbir Kapoor loves football, chess and cricket. He not only loves watching these sports, but also loves playing them whenever he gets the opportunity. Now in an exciting development for the young actor he has been approached by the International Game Association. In fact, the actor is the first Bollywood star to be asked and it is a request to play one of his favorites - football. One of his childhood dreams was to be a football coach and he himself is a fabulous football player. His favorite football team, you may ask. Well, it is Barcelona and his favorite football player Lionel Messi. Now, there have been rumors that Ranbir has been approached by FIFA to be a part of the game. However, it seems it is not to be...now. A source revealed, "Ranbir was very excited when he first got the offer as it's football, which he loves. But he is very clear about what he stands for and he likes clarity on everything he does. He wants to take out time and actively be part of everything, instead of just lending his name. So he has turned it down right now as he has an extremely tight schedule with back to back shoots for his movies like Rockstar followed by Anurag's Barfee."
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he may have not gone atop with her filmi career but bold and sexy item girl Kashmeera Shah knows how to grab attention. The Marathi mulgi who has quite a few films to her credit like "Yes boss", "Pyaar to hona hi tha", "Murder", "Vaastav", and "Aankhen" has also done many reality shows like "Big Boss", "Nach Baliye, "Kabhi kabhii pyaar kabhi kabhii yaar", and "Dil jeetegi desi girl". Kashmeera this time goes a step further and reveals that she has done topless photo shoots for an exclusive calendar, produced by Third Rock Entertainment. It has been named 'Kashessential'. Kashmeera admits that she likes shocking people and is certain that every man will have her calendar in his bathroom. "Every guy will have my topless calendar in his bathroom," said Kashmeera.
he sexy babe Kangana Ranaut at the last minute refused to wear a twopiece for David Dhawan's 'Rascals'. She is shooting in Thailand with Sanjay Dutt and Ajay Devgan. The scene required Kangana to come out of sea beach in two piece. At first Kangana was very excited to don the two-piece and she even shopped for the outfit but backed out at the last minute. "Kangna had even told her friends that she was very excited to wear a two-piece and was looking forward to the day. Nobody could understand what prompted her to change her mind," a source informs. A source revealed to the tabloid, "Kangna felt that she had put on a lot of weight during the making of Tanu Weds Manu." Kangana not only said no to bikini but she in the mid-way flew back to India. David Dhawan is very upset with her decision "He had combinations dates for Sanjay, Ajay and her, so he expected her to be there in Thailand with the guys. But she was adamant to go. So Dhawan had to speed up the shoots a bit," added the source.
areena reveals that she loves being called sexy but she has taken a strict decision that she would never don bikini on-screen. The question that arise is whether it is Saif Ali Khan's decision or Kareena took the decision all by herself?. Bebo replies that Saif likes her in a bikini. She says, "Saif likes me in a bikini. He has no issues with it. Saif actually prefers me glamourous. He liked me in Kambakkht Ishq; he thought I was very hot in it. He says that it is his personal choice but he doesn't necessarily want me to abide by it. Saif likes it when I use a bit of make-up and dress fashionably rather than when I step
out looking like a plain-Jane." Kareena decided to stay away from a bikini shot as her fans prefers her more in desi avatar rather than a bikini. "The bikini is a highly overrated garment. For me it has lost its' novelty. I have worn it twice on screen. In Tashan, (2008) and in Kambakkht Ishq (2009). However my fans preferred me in Jab We Met (2007), 3-Idiots (2009) and Golmaal 3 (2010) where I stayed steered clear of exposing. I don't have the patience to go through the whole regimen that needs to be in place for your body to look bikini-perfect. So I've decided that I will not wear a bikini on screen again."
24 India Post
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India Post www.indiapost.com
March 18, 2011
India Post March 18, 2011
Festival of colors T
he Spring Festival of India, Holi - is a festival of colors. Celebrated in March or April according to the Hindu calendar, it was meant to welcome the Spring and win the blessings of Gods for good harvests and fertility of the land. As with all the Hindu festivals, there are many interesting legends attached to Holi, the most popular being that of Prince Prahlad, who was a devout follower of Lord Vishnu. It is the second most important festival of India after Diwali. Holi in India is a festival of fun and frolic and has been associated with the immortal love
of Krishna and Radha. The exuberance and the festivity of Customs of Holi the season is remarkable. Holi is the festival of Spring, the festival of romance, Unlike all the other festivals of India, Hindu Holi Festival the festival of the triumph of good over evil, a festival of is one such festival where one can put down the social colors and festival of fun and pranks. It is a festival to taboos and indulge in the intoxicating drinks and sweets shake off the shackles of what is to be done and what is prepared by using opium. It is a not to be done for once and loosen up festival of romance often reprea bit. It is a festival to let your hair sented by the love-play of Radha Dry Holi colors known down and do what you like, say what and Krishna. Brij Holi is famous you like and meet and tease anybody all over the world for its gaiety in as 'Gulal' and wet you like. The best part is that all the spirit. Each year, young and old, offences and anger gets dissolved men and women, all indulge them- colors or 'Rang' were with one boisterous shout of 'Bura na selves in the spirit of colors and mano, Holi hai!' (Don't be angry, it's originally prepared for once forget the social taboos. Holi!). This shout is considered to be There are mouthwatering delica- naturally from the a part of the long tradition of the festicies to savor such as 'Gujhias' and val of Holi. 'Papris' and there are interesting flowers and other The festival is celebrated on the traditions and customs of Holi that full-moon day of Phalguna, though it have their own regional variances. products that had stretched up to a week in Northern InHoli Colors dia and six-day long in Manipur. As Dry Holi colors known as dyeing properties the tradition goes all the people gather 'Gulal' and wet colors or 'Rang' around on a day before the Holi as we were originally prepared naturally from the flowers and other know it, it is the evening of bonfires. People light up bonproducts that had dyeing properties. However with time, in fires of dead leaves, twigs and sticks and people dance the quest of more long-lasting and strong colors, chemi- and sing around it to welcome the Spring and commemocally enhanced and artificial colors have come in rate the saving of Prahlad and burning of his wicked aunt vogue. The harmful effects of these chemicals on Holika. People take embers from this holy fire to rekindle our body and eyes have forced us to do a turn- their own domestic fires. about to the natural colors. These natural Holi In some communities, people roast barley seeds in colors are perfectly safe and do not cause any the fire to eat and it is believed that the yield of the harm to skin or to the face. Also there is no coming harvest season can be predicted by reading the trouble if these colors go into the eye direction of the flames or the state of the roasted seeds. and are also easy to take off after The ashes of the Holi fire are believed to have some playing a good spirited Holi medicinal properties. ContĂd on page 28 festival.
India Post 26
March 18, 2011
ContĂd from page 25
Next morning, it is 'Dhuledi' or the main festival of colors where adults and kids alike splash each other with colored powder and water jets known as 'pichkaris'. Traditionally, only natural colors prepared from flowers and herbal products were used but today, artificial colors have taken over. Now people often use colored foams and balloons filled with colored water to pop-up at anybody they can play prank upon. The color frenzy of oranges and reds, greens and blues, purples and blacks soon wash away all the enmity and hatred amongst the festival and serves to bring the community closer. Holi sweets and delicacies are an important part of the festival as one can relish 'Gujhias' in Northern India and 'Puran Poli' in Maharashtra. 'Thandai' (a cool drink of milk) mixed with 'bhang' (an intoxicating substance) is to be beware of, as it is very common during Holi. Celebrations in India Holi is one of the major festivals of India and is celebrated in most of the states of India. However, each region has its own variations of Holi with a large local influence. Let's take a look at how Holi is celebrated in different states and regions of India: North India: Lord Krishna spent most of his childhood in Mathura and Vrindavana. He was the one to introduce the modern form of Holi and thus Holi is celebrated with great enthusiasm at these places for about a week. Situated in Uttar Pradesh, all the major temples of the region dedicated to Krishna and Radha celebrate Holi on a different day. In these parts celebrating Holi means getting drenched with colored water during these celebrations is considered to be a blessing from god and is consid-
ered auspicious. Since Radha belonged to Barsana while Krishna belonged to Nandagaon, on the day of Holi, men from Nandagaon go to Barsana to celebrate Holi with the women there. The playful teasing of women and attempts to color them with 'gulal' and wet colors from 'pichkari' is returned by them by attempts to escape and beating the men with sticks to scamper them away.
Festival of colors Haryana: In Haryana, the brides of the Hindu undivided families hang a pot of buttermilk high up in the streets as a challenge to their brother-in-laws, who try to get to break the pot by forming a human pyramid to reach it. Women try to stop them by beating them with their saris rolled up as ropes. This mock-drama is staged to commemorate the playful pranks of child Krishna, who would steal milk, butter and curd from the cow maids' houses. In the evening, the brother-in-laws bring sweetmeats for the women of the house for their contribution in keeping the family united. Western India: Like Haryana, Maharashtra and Gujarat also has mock-drama of
Krishna trying to break the pots and steal the butter. Besides, the men of these states take out a grand procession while soaked with colored water as they walk through the streets to make a mock alert call to ask people and women of the house to take care of their pots of butter and milk as Krishna
may come in and steal them. Eastern India: In Bengal, Holi is called Dol Yatra (the Swing Festival) in which idols of Krishna and Radha are placed on swings and devotees take turns to swing them. Women perform devotional songs and dances around the swing as men spray colored water and 'Abeer' (colored powder) on them. However, the tradition is being lost in
the modern wave and people play with colored water and powders in the morning and then take out processions on the streets with music and drums while stained with Holi colors. Orissa has similar traditions as Bengal except for the fact that the idol of Jagannath is placed on the swing here instead of Krishna and Radha, who is believed to be another form of Krishna. Rabindranath Tagore, the Noble laureate from India, revived Holi as the Spring festival by introducing 'Vasanta Utsav' in his Shantiniketan or Bishwabharati University, which is celebrated in a very special way. Students and youths dress up in bright colorful dresses such as yellow and stage a number of cultural programs involving group choreography,
songs and dance followed by playing Holi with 'Abeer' (colored powder). Today, Vasanta Utsav has become an important part of the Bengali culture. North East: Holi is a six-day long in Manipur and commences on the full moon day of Phalguna. In the 18th century, it merged with the traditional and centuries-old Yaosang festival of Manipur. In earlier times, there were folk songs and dance performances under the moonlight accompanied by the indigenous drums. Today, modern musical instruments have replaced the drums and fluorescent lamps have replaced the moonlight. Days before, people collect money from the community for the expenses on the festivities. A thatched hut of hay, twigs and sticks is built, only to be set ablaze. Next morning, groups of boys go to play 'gulal' with the girls and pay them money to get the favor. Devotees play 'gulal', sing devotional songs and dance in front of the Krishna temple dressed in the traditional white and yellow turban. On the last day of the festival, a grand procession is taken out to the main Krishna temple in the capital of Manipur, Imphal where multitude of cultural programs take place.
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Holi Legends & History Holi is one of the oldest Hindu festivals. Its reference can be found in religious scriptures and sculptures on walls of old temples. There are paintings, which show royal couple sitting on grand
ing her and playing pranks on her and finally succeeded in their mission. This is the reason that young boys are allowed to use rude words on this day without anybody taking offence. Story of Holika and Prahlad: There was a demon-king named Hiranyakashipu who won over the kingdom of earth and ordered everybody to worship him and not the God. However, his little son Prahlad refused to do so and con-
swing and maidens playing music and spraying colors on them. Whatever the scene and the theme, colors and mythology have always been an important part of these Holi depictions. However the most important myths and stories that have been associated with Holi are given below: Story of Radha and Krishna: Lord Krishna was dark while his spiritual love-mate Radha had faircomplexion. So child Krishna often used to complain about the injustice of nature towards him to his mother Yashoda and would ask her the reason. One day, Yashoda suggested Krishna to apply color on Radha's face and change her complexion in any color he desired. The naughty Krisha immediately set off to his mission and one can often see paintings and murals depicting Krishna throwing colors on Radha and other 'gopis'. This lovable prank of throwing colored powder and water jets called 'pichkaris' soon gained favor with the people and it evolved into the tradition of Holi. This is the reason that people often carry images of Krishna and Radha through the streets. The Holi of Mathura region, where Krishna was born, has a special fervor. Story of Dhundhi: It was there was an ogress called Dhundi who used to scare and trouble children in the kingdom of Prithu. She has many boons, which made her almost invincible but due to a curse from Lord Shiva, she was susceptible to the shouts, abuses and pranks of village boys. It is believed that on Holi day, these children united and made combined efforts to chase away Dhundi by shouting at her, abus-
tinued to worship the almighty Lord Vishnu, the Hindu God. He tried many times to kill him but Lord Vishnu saved him every time. One of the sisters of the king named Holika had powers to walk through fire unharmed. Thus he ordered her to kill Prahlad by walking through the fire with him. However, Lord Vishnu came to his help and Prahlad was saved while Holika perished. Somehow, she didn't knew that her powers were only effective if she entered the fire alone. Even today, bonfires are lit on the night of Holi in memory of the event and burning of the wicked aunt Holika. Story of Kamadeva: After the death of his consort Sati, Lord Shiva was so shocked and hurt that he went into a deep meditation and stopped looking after his worldly responsibilities. This led to many complications in the world's affairs. Thus, gods conspired to bring him out of his trance with the help of Goddess Parvati, who wished to marry the great lord and Kamadeva, the God of love, passion and lust. Though, mindful of the consequences, Kamadeva undertook the task for the world's good and shot one of his love arrows on the great Lord who had mastered all the worldly temptations. As Shiva's eyes opened, he was furious by the trick of Kamdeva and directed the wrath of his third eye on him and burned him on the spot. However, later he did give him an immortal life. It is believed that Lord Shiva burned Kamadeva on the day of Holi and thus, many people worship him for his sacrifice and offer him a mango blossoms that he loved and sandalwood paste to cool off the pain of his fatal burns.
March 18, 2011
India Post 29
Expanded infra sector list in month's time
NEW DELHI: The government has said it proposes to expand within a month the list of industries that will qualify for infrastructure sector related benefits as several businesses like retail and real estate are seeking the status. "We are close to identifying sectors which are to be brought under infrastructure. We are close to getting that cleared...may be with in a month's time," Economic Affairs Secretary R Gopalan said during an industry interaction organized by CII here. Besides income tax exemptions, an industry counted in the infrastructure sector, is allowed to borrow funds from overseas. They are even provided easy credit in the domestic banks. -PTI
Â„ Govt to widen real estate definition
he government plans to widen the definition of real estate in its foreign direct investment (FDI) policy to include consultants, advisers, valuers and brokers, a move experts say could restrict entry of foreign players in these specialized services. The department of industrial policy and promotion, or DIPP, has circulated a draft note for comments of various ministries on the proposal. "The idea is to explicitly state what all services does the definition (of real estate) cover," a government official privy to the discussions said. The wider definition is likely to be included in the half-yearly update of FDI policy due to be released by the end of this month.
Â„ Kotak Realty completes India's largest exit MUMBAI: Kotak India Real Estate Fund I has announced the sale of Peepul Tree Properties Private Limited (Peepul Tree Properties), a wholly-owned undertaking, to Tata Realty Initiatives Fund 1 for an enterprise value of Rs 525crore (USD 117-million). Peepul Tree Properties owns an IT park in the Mumbai suburb of Goregaon, which has been 96 per cent leased to marquee tenants such as Accenture, HP, BNP, Tata AIG, BOB Legal and General, Integron and Prana Studios. On an initial equity investment of Rs 95-crore, Kotak India Real Estate Fund I has received over Rs 400-crore from the exit, including internal accruals, a press release issued here stated. -PTI
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March 18, 2011
EWDL to invest Rs 3,000 cr in real estate INDORE: Entertainment World Developers Limited (EWDL) engaged in real estate development has said that it would invest Rs 3,000 crore in different projects in next five years. "In next five years, we will construct shopping mall, hotel and residential townships worth Rs 3,000 crore," EWDL Chairman and Managing Director Manish Kalani told reporters here while announcing plans for setting up a residential township. -PTI
Indians among top buyers of London houses LONDON: Indians flocking to buy houses in London was an emerging trend two years ago but this has now become an established fact in a housing market that has seen prices falling in other parts of Britain while Indian and foreign buyers continue to buoy house prices in London. Several London-based major property dealers have highlighted the fact of rich Indians swooping on property in London, thanks to a booming economy, favorable foreign exchange rates and increasing numbers of children of rich Indians studying here. The latest research confirming the Indian position in the London housing market is by Knight Frank Residential Research, which says that the number of nationalities buying property in London has hit a new record, with 61 buying in the 12 months to the end of February this year. Other research conducted by estate agent Savills reveals that in the residential property market in which each house is worth 5 million pounds and above, Indians
The properties are reported to be second or third homes for a rising number of wealthy Indians, who now account for 7.3 percent of all sales in London now figure as the second biggest foreign buyer group. Liam Bailey, head of Knight Frank Residential Research, said: "Looking ahead at how these trends will change over time, London's leading wealth managers and private bankers recently confirmed, in our Super-Prime London
Supertech plans highest residential tower in Noida
ealty firm Supertech will in vest Rs 600 crore to develop a 255 meter tall residential tower in Noida. The company will offer a total of 1,326 housing units with prices of up to Rs 2.25 crore in the tower that it claims will be the tallest in North India. "The project, North Eye, will be the tallest in entire region with 60 floors and 255 meter height. We will invest Rs 600 crore to develop the project," Supertech chairman and managing director RK Arora told reporters. Asked about the source of funding, Arora said it would be largely met through internal accruals and advances from customers. The company is in talks with private equity players to raise funds. When asked at what prices the housing units will be sold, Arora
said: "We will offer these for Rs 7,700 per sq ft. The prices will start from Rs 35 lakh and will go up to about Rs 2.25 crore." The project will house 186 large flats and 1,140 studio apartments. While the sizes of the flats will vary between 1,650 sq ft and 3,350 sq ft, the studio apartments will be constructed with a fixed floor size of 520 sq ft. Arora said the company is targeting young professionals for studio apartments. Supertech will hire an operator to manage the tower and is in talks with global hospitality brands such as Radisson and Marriott for this, he added. The National Capital Region-based company is currently developing a number of projects across various cities such as Noida, Greater Noida, Meerut and Moradabad.
Survey, that the 10 nationalities most likely to grow their share of purchases in the central London market over the next 12 months were: 1 Russian, 2 Chinese, 3 Indian, 4 UAE, 5 Other Middle East, 6 Egyptian, 7 Italian, 8 Lebanese, 9 Turkish and 10 Brazilian." Yolande Barnes, head of research at Savills, told PTI: "Indians are a force to be reckoned with this year as they continue to buy prime residences in London. The favorable exchange rate brought foreign investors to the city's property market in 2010." Rich Indians bought residential property worth 290 million pounds in the city's prestige areas of Mayfair, Belgravia, South Kensington, Chelsea and Holland Park during 2010.
Jonathan Hewlett, head of Savills London, said: "Indians have a preference for areas such as Mayfair, Belgravia, Regent's Park, St John's Wood". He added: "The super high net worth individuals (global billionaire status) look for very substantial properties at the very top of the price range, probably in the 50 million pounds plus bracket, while high net worth Indian buyers have budgets of 10 million pounds to 20 million pounds". The properties are reported to be second or third homes for a rising number of wealthy Indians, who now account for 7.3 per cent of all sales in London's 5 million poundsplus residential property market. This puts India ahead of the Asia-Pacific (7.2 per cent) in the city's 2.6 billion pounds superprime real estate market. The average property in this segment is a four-bedroom house, with a room for domestic help, used as a second home by rich Indians or their children studying in the city. The largest buyers in the super-prime segment of London are still the British, who bought 40 per cent of the properties. The city continues to lure Europeans, including residents of the former USSR, who hold a 20 per cent share. London is said to be particularly attractive to the global superrich because of its accessibility, stability, and the global standing of its financial institutions. It is seen as a magnet to the world's billionaires. -PTI
31 India Post
ariska Tiger Reserve is well nestled in the Aravali Hills covering 800 sq km area divided into the grasslands, dry deciduous forests, sheer cliffs and rocky landscape. Whether you want to have camel safaris, go out for shopping in the surrounding places, visit medieval palaces or wildlife watching; Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary is the best place for you. Nearly 90% of the area in the sanctuary is covered with dhok trees accommodating various wildlife species. A variety of other wild animals like the leopard, sambhar, chital, nilgai, four-horned antelope, wild boar, r h e s u s macaque, langur, hyena and jungle cats are found in the Sariska Tiger Reserve apart from the tiger. The Sariska National Park is home to India's largest population of peafowl, and harbors quail, sand grouse, golden- backed woodpeckers and crested serpent eagles, among other species. Also the Siliserh Lake on the edge of the park has a large number of crocodiles. The sanctuary houses the ruins of medieval temples of Garh-Rajor that date back to the 10th and 11th centuries. Also a 17th century castle on a hilltop at Kankwari provides a panoramic view of flying vultures and eagles. The Sariska was declared a sanctuary in 1955 and attained the status of a National Park in 1979. Wildlife in Sariska Tiger Reserve The Sariska Tiger Reserve is home to a number of carni-
vores including Leopard, Wild Dog, Jungle Cat, Hyena, Jackal, and Tiger. The herbivore category in Sariska includes Sambhar, Chitel, Nilgai, Chausingha, Wild Boar and Langur. Sariska wildlife sanctuary is also known for its large population of Rhesus Monkeys. There are also many bird species in Sariska Tiger Reserve, namely; Peafowl, Grey Partridge, Bush Quail, Sand Grouse, Tree Pie, Golden Backed Wood Pecker, Crested Serpent Eagle and the Great Indian Horned Owl. Special Attractions The Kankwari Fort: The major historic structure within the Sariska National Park includes the Kankwari Fort where Emperor Aurangzeb once imprisoned his brother, Dara Shikoh. The Ancient Shiva Temples: The Neelkanth Temples within the Sariska Tiger Sanctuary date back to the 6th -13th century AD, though in dilapidated condition, is a must visit. The Sariska Palace: The Maharajas of Alwar built the Sariska Palace standing amidst the Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary. The Palace has now been converted into a hotel. Contâ€™d on page 33
March 18, 2011
Travel & Hospitality Post
March 18, 2011
Gujarat chalks out 34 proposals for boosting tourism AHMEDABAD: In a bid to give filip to tourism in Gujarat, the state government has sent 34 proposals, including on development of integrated Mahatma Gandhi and Buddhist tourism circuits here, to the Centre. The proposals were sent in last three years seeking a combined grant of Rs 785.13 crore for projects including Gandhi and Buddhist tourism circuits, besides a Tourism Development Institute, Gujarat Tourism Minister Jaynarayan Vyas said. "The Centre has so far supported our projects for tourism pro-
motion on Dandi Heritage Route, Integrated Gandhi circuit, Dwarika, Tourism Development Institute and Kabir Vad in Bharuch, along the banks of river Narmada," Vyas said. The state tourism department has proposed to develop Devni Mori in Sabarkantha, Taranga and Vadnagar in Mehsana as an integrated Buddhist circuit and asked the Centre for Rs 10.11 crore aid for it. The state government has sought a grant of Rs 50 crore for development of Integrated Gandhi circuit spread across Porbandar, Rajkot and Ahmedabad.
"As part of the proposal for Gandhi Mega circuit, the Kirti Mandir birth place of Mahatma
‘A heritage walk route is also proposed to be developed in Porbandar as part of the mega circuit plan,’ the official said
Gandhi in Porbandar's connecting link to Kasturba Memorial shall be re-developed," a state tourism department official said. "A heritage walk route is also proposed to be developed in Porbandar as part of the mega circuit plan," the official said. Basic facilities for tourism promotion shall be developed near Mahatma Gandhi Vidyalaya in Rajkot where the Father of the Nation had taken informal education and beautification of Gandhi Ashram in Ahmedabad shall be undertaken, Vyas said. The Centre has so far allocated
a grant of Rs 21.19 crore for developing basic tourist facilities in Dwarka, town of Lord Krishna, Ambaji, a temple town, besides building infrastructure facilities in Tarnetar, Pavagadh, Devni Mori and Patan, an official said. The state has forwarded a proposal to the Centre for integrated development of Dwarka seeking aid of over Rs 83 crore. The plan is to renovate Dwarka, apart from development of sun set point, a bridge connecting Okha and Bet Dwarka. "It has given it's in principle approval for development of Kabir Vad in Bharuch district," Vyas said. -PTI
Wildlife safaris, medieval palaces & even shopping
Cont’d from page 31
Jeep Safari: The best way to explore the Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary is by jeep which can be arranged at the Forest Reception Office on Jaipur Road. You can even book a `hide' overlooking one
of the water holes, and also provides an excellent opportunity for wildlife viewing and wildlife photography within the Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary. When to Visit As such, the Sariska Tiger Reserve can be visited throughout the year; still the best time to have Sariska tour is from October - June and January - February. Certain jungle tracks are closed during the
The Sariska Palace
monsoon and the breeding season just to safeguard the animals and the reserve. If you can tolerate heat, April to June is ideal to catchhold of the animals at the waterholes. Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit this beautiful countryside is between November and June. One can see the most of the animals in the evening. How to Reach By Air: The nearest airport from Sariska National Park is at Jaipur. By Rail: The nearest railhead is at Alwar at a distance of 37-kms. By Road: Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary is situated on the DelhiJaipur highway near Jaipur and Delhi. Sariska is also well connected with Alwar.
The Kankwari Fort
March 18, 2011
Travel & Hospitality Post
Akshay Kumar to represent Canada Goa as wedding destination tourism for second year for American couples appearances in both India and Canada as well as 'familiarization' trips across Canada to be reported and extensively documented by the media. Kumar, who describes Canada as his second home, said he was honored and privileged to represent CTC as their Ambassador for India for a second year. He said he was truly proud to encourage and promote Canadian tourism in India. As Canada's national tourism marketing organization, the CTC's entry into the India market (in 2009) India Post News Service
NEW YORK: Actor Akshay Kumar has been signed as Canadian Tourism Commission's (CTC) Ambassador for India for a second year. The actor was at a lunch banquet, hosted by CTC for prominent members of the Indian travel trade in recognition of India as a priority international market for out bound travel to Canada. Stewart G. Beck, the High Commissioner of Canada to India, was present on the occasion to lend his support as the CTC presented a vote of thanks to its associates and partners from the Indian travel trade. Akshay Kumar is expected to leverage his celebrity status in In-
dia to promote Canada as a premier four-season destination in his continued role. As part of the role, he will make several promotional
is aligned with its corporate strategy to inspire high-yield customers to visit Canada and to focus on high growth emerging markets.
India, Brazil ink agreement to boost connectivity NEW DELHI: India and Brazil, which currently have no air connectivity between them, have decided to hike the number of weekly flights by over five times and designate any number of airlines to operate these services. The decision to pave the way for increased air connectivity was taken at a meeting here between Civil Aviation Minister Vayalar Ravi and Brazil's Foreign Minister Antonio de Aguiar Patriota, with both signing a bilateral air services agreement (ASA) that superseded the previous one. There have been no flights between the two countries for several years. As per the ASA, the number of weekly flights was raised from four to 21 in each direction with any type of aircraft, not exceeding the capacity of a Boeing B747 aircraft or about 1,600 seats, an official spokesperson said. Both sides decided to designate "any number of airlines" as flag carriers to operate air ser-
vices. Under the earlier ASA, the two governments could allow only two carriers from each side to operate as designated airlines. The two sides felt that the new
In a bid to encourage their airlines to start operating flights, both governments also agreed to exempt the other's designated carrier ‘to the fullest extent possible’ from payment of customs duties agreement would spur greater trade investment and tourism and also strengthen cultural exchange
between the two countries. The designated airlines of each side would be entitled to operate any point in each other's territory via any intermediate point. They would also be allowed to fly beyond to any point, as per the ASA. In a bid to encourage their airlines to start operating flights, both governments also agreed to exempt the other's designated carrier "to the fullest extent possible" from payment of customs duties, excise taxes, inspection fees, other national duties and charges on specific items like aircraft, fuel or spares, the spokesperson said. The two sides agreed that they would not impose user charges on each other's airlines higher than those imposed on all other airlines operating. An 'open sky' arrangement for all cargo operations already exists between the two governments, implying that cargo carriers can mount any number of flights carrying air freight. -PTI
PANAJI: Goa will now be showcased as a 'wedding destination' amongst young American couples who scout for exotic locations overseas to exchange their nuptial vows, state Tourism Director said here. Trade representatives in US have evinced keen interest on adding Goa to the travel itinerary of young urban couples who are looking for wedding destinations in exotic locations overseas, state Tourism Director Swapnil Naik told reporters after returning from a trip to the US. The Director said that the threecity tour along the Pacific Coast had road-shows and networking meetings with trade representatives in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Las Vegas.
American trade fraternity has expressed interest in promoting Goa as a wedding destination, Chief Secretary Sanjay Srivastava said. Atlanta-based Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) has also offered support to help market Goa as a vacation gateway, Naik said, adding that it has invited the state to participate in its annual convention and trade show in mid June at Las Vegas, Nevada. "The visit to the US is a stepping stone to further promotional activities in the region," Tourism Minister Halarnkar stated. Naik along with Tourism Minister Nilkant Halarnkar and Chief Secretary Sanjay Srivastava had gone on a promotional visit to the West Coast in the US. -PTI
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36 India Post
March 18, 2011
Your Weekly Future by Pandit Parashar
MARCH 18TH TO MARCH 24TH ARIES (MARCH 21 TO APRIL 20)
TAURUS (APRIL 21 TO MAY 20)
t will an expensive week. You will spend money on children and a trip. Its time to have the eyes checked and get another prescription. Some one may make a weak offer to start business in partnership. Expect some more positive developments in ongoing litigation. You may be sending some payment to a government office.
ou will be tempted to make impulsive move in career but spouse will calm you down and change your mind. Some of you may finally dispose off some assets chewing you up financially for quite some time. Control your caffeine or nicotine consumption. You will sign up for a short term training or course to update knowledge.
GEMINI (MAY 21 TO JUNE 20)
CANCER (JUNE 21 TO JULY 22)
ew assignment will involve more power and authority. Meetings will go well and boss will show full support. A relationship or partnership is about to become permanent. Do not be double minded and face the issues head on. You will give final shape to a short family vacation. Bank balance will continue to grow.
LEO (JULY 23 TO AUGUST 22)
t will be a moral boosting period as far as career is concerned. Business will pick up suddenly. Its high time to sit by the phone and call old friends and relatives. New help or associates will be better than previous ones. Some of you may get attracted towards someone from different culture and religion.
lanets in ninth will help you achieve your financial goals easily. You may get the big refund this week. Value of your stocks will appreciate considerably. You may be travelling to anther state to attend to some important business. Watch out for some outside forces trying to cause some rift in your family life.
VIRGO (AUGUST 23 TO SEPTEMBER 22)
ou will be spending an evening with some interesting people. You may have too many things on your plate at the same time so try to relax and solve one thing at a time. Money will come and disappear fast this week. Some of you will be applying for many positions away from home and eagerly wait for response.
SCORPIO (OCTOBER 23 TO NOVEMBER 22)
LIBRA (SEPTEMBER 23 TO OCTOBER 22)
our moves will be not only calculated but risk free. Business may take a slight dip this week but do not panic. Long awaited clearance from government could come this week. You will attend big gathering and will have a chance to meet other professionals too. A family member is charging big time on cards.
our courageous actions will take you closer to financial goals. You will also gain victory over your strong opponents. New people will not only bring in money but lots of experience with them. Property deal can also take final shape this week. You will need to help a child to fill up some applications.
SAGITTARIUS (NOVEMBER 23 TO DECEMBER 22)
CAPRICORN (DECEMBER 22 TO JANUARY 19)
oney will come but you will find ways to spend even more. Your communications and phone calls will not go waste but get the job done quickly and you will be able to resolve a major issue on hold for quite some time. Do not argue with an older family member but listen and take his advice seriously.
ombination of Sun and Mercury along with Jupiter in fourth should provide a big boost in career. A big much awaited promotion or a better job is not out of question within next few weeks. Fighting spirit will get several other jobs done too. You will meet an interesting person during the trip this week.
AQUARIUS (JANUARY 20 TO FEBRUARY 18)
PISCES (FEBRUARY 19 TO MARCH 20)
dea of moving away will continue to occupy your mind. Some of you will be applying for another job and may be called for interview even this week. If you are ready to settle for lot less, the opportunity is all yours. Spouse will be working hard, may have aches and pains but will not complain about anything.
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pportunity will come along with minor headaches. Some of you will be getting ready to travel long distance for some urgent business. You may be still looking for an ideal and better place to move. You will meet few very old friends at the get together. You may call a trusted person and seek his valuable advice.
925-833-7170 website: www.parashar.com
2 lawsuits target Ohio University health center
ATHENS, Ohio: Two new lawsuits allege the Ohio University health center was negligent or didn't meet accepted standards of medical care in treating two students. The Columbus Dispatch reports one of the lawsuits in the Ohio Court of Claims was filed last month by the father of student Andrea Robinson of Cleveland Heights. She died after a bacterial meningitis infection last year. It alleges health care staff advised her to take pain medication and get sleep, and that their actions led to her death. Another suit was filed by former student Molly Millsop of Vandalia. Her complaint alleges clinic staff misdiagnosed a flesheating infection in 2007 and doctors had to amputate her arm. The family sued once before but withdrew the case. -AP
Arizona Senate OKs bill on no-show fees PHOENIX: A bill intended to reduce unnecessary costs for both the state Medicaid program and its health care providers has cleared the state Senate. Under the bill, doctors and other primary care providers would be allowed to refuse to let a Medicaid patient reschedule an appointment without first paying a $25 no-show fee for missing an appointment not canceled in advance. Opponents say it's not allowed under federal law governing Medicaid. The state's Medicaid program is the Arizona Health Care Containment System. -AP
Flu-like illnesses in W.Va. top 21,000 CHARLESTON, W.Va.: The number of flu-like illnesses reported in West Virginia topped 21,000 in February, the highest amount this season. Figures from the state Bureau of Public Health show about 21,540 cases were reported last month, compared to about 11,545 in January. No cases have been reported in March so far. The Kanawha CharlestonHealth Department's chief health officer expects the rate to decline as spring approaches. Dr Rahul Gupta told The Charleston Gazette that flu and flu-like illnesses usually peak around February and March. -AP
Neb. children need 2nd dose of chickenpox vaccine LINCOLN, Neb.: Nebraska children will need to have a second dose of the chickenpox vaccine before the next school year. -AP
March 18, 2011
India meet focus on healthcare needs of vulnerable groups India Post News Service
NEW DELHI: The great advancements in the domestic healthcare sector notwithstanding, an inclusive health security system is yet to evolve that meets the particular needs of the unserved and underserved segments of society. Stating this in her inaugural address at the 'Workshop on Reform in Healthcare Education' organized by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here, Dr Syeda Hameed, Member, Planning Commission of India, said the key challenge lies in meeting the healthcare needs of the vulnerable groups that face multiple deprivations. Reaching the unreached is key to an inclusive healthcare system, she said. Citing the imponderables facing the sector as opportunities for growth, Dr Hameed said that the lack of reliable data on human resources in the sector is a key constraint that needs to be addressed with the support of the private sector and with the application of modern technologies. While the healthcare sector has faced acute shortage of skilled workforce, this is further accentuated in the rural areas. She also pointed to the geographical imbal-
(L to R) Dr Pervez Ahmed, CEO & MD, Max Healthcare Ltd., Dr Shubnum Singh, Vice-President, Medical Affairs Max Healthcare Institute Ltd, Dr Shiv Kumar Sarin, President, MCI; Dr Naresh Trehan Chairman, CII National Committee on Healthcare & Medanta-The Medicity, Dr Syeda Hameed Member, Planning Commission of India, Debasish Panda, Joint Secretary Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Preetha Reddy, Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals Group at the Workshop on Reforms in Healthcare Education on March 5 in New Delhi
Dr Hameed said that the lack of reliable data on human resources in the sector is a key constraint that needs to be addressed ances in the country with respect to the number of medical colleges, which needs urgent correction. Referring to the state of education and training of nurses, Dr Hameed said that this area needs the focused attention of Government. Due attention should also be focused upon the career pro-
gression of nursing professionals. She underlined the need for creating bridge cadres of healthcare professionals and called for the effective engagement of registered medical practitioners in remote and rural areas where there is a shortage of doctors and para-medical professionals.
Government is planning to institute an overarching regulatory body to enhance the healthcare manpower base and to raise the quality standards. Stating this, Mr Debasish Panda, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India, said in his address that due initiatives are being taken to increase the number of medical colleges in the country through rationalization of the provisions relating to land requirements, availability of faculty, etc. He said that by the end of the 12th Plan, the intake of medical students both at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels will have increased appreciably. However, he said that Government has not invested enough in the setting up of medical colleges. He added that quality of education is also a key concern. A number of Bills related to medical education are on the anvil that when legislated will help in the transformation of the medical education landscape. He said that a national medical entrance examination and a national medical exit examination will be introduced soon which will greatly address the issue of standardization. Cont’d on page 38
Kentucky City mulls ban on e-cigarettes RICHMOND, Ky.: A central Kentucky city is mulling a proposal to take its smoking ban a step further by prohibiting electronic cigarettes. The proposal by the Madison County Board of Health has drawn varied reactions, with some supporting the measure and some saying it goes too far. Resident Bethany Gibb said during a public hearing last month that the board should wait for conclusive evidence of harm before making a decision, The Richmond Register reported. ``It seems like over-legislation, making something a law just in case it is dangerous,'' she said.
'We don't know that these are completely safe,' Owens said. 'In nothing that I have found does it claim they are safe' But board member Jack Taylor said he thought the ordinance would model correct behavior for children and said if the health effects are unknown ``we should fall on the side of caution.'' Instead of releasing nicotine by burning tobacco in a cigarette, cigar or pipe, e-cigarettes heat a nicotine solution, releasing a vapor that the user inhales. A visible vapor is exhaled.
The devices are touted in ads as a way to enjoy smoking without the deadly health threat. But some health officials have called e-cigarettes another addictive habit. There's a push in other places, such as New York, to ban the devices. Kelly Owens, the Madison County health department's tobacco program coordinator, told
the board that she could not find any research saying e-cigarettes were safe. ``We don't know that these are completely safe,'' Owens said. ``In nothing that I have found does it claim they are safe.'' Resident Jim Sanders said the devices don't emit secondhand smoke, and he didn't know of any test results that proved otherwise. He requested that the board take no action on the proposal until there's evidence that e-cigarettes pose a health risk. The Madison County Board of Health is scheduled to take a final vote on the proposal in April. -AP
Health Science Post
March 18, 2011
Music plays calming role for disabled adults MASHPEE, Mass.: Chairs screeching across tile floors. The ripping sound of zippers making their way up jackets. Excited laughter as the bus to go home pulls up outside. At Community Connections in Mashpee, a day center for developmentally disabled adults, the usual end-of-day soundtrack is more frenzied than calm. But just as suddenly as the chaos takes over, it is replaced by a few moments of tranquility precisely at 2:15 pm, thanks to the strains of a melancholy music composition by Igor Stravinsky playing over the center's speaker system. ``Music is soothing,'' Community Connections case manager Nancy MacMillan said. ``And they need that.'' The Stravinsky piece was part of a program called MusicWorks! Everyday, a national curriculum most often used in elementary schools but used at Community Connections as a way to begin and end the day in a soothing fashion. ``They all come in on the same bus ... kind of hyper and not quite centered,'' said Sue Johnson, Community Connections senior vice president and chief operating officer. ``We thought it would be a way to center the clients to start their day. And it's working quite well.'' Introduced in October at all nine Community Connections centers across Southeastern Massachusetts, including those in Mashpee and South Yarmouth, MusicWorks! Everyday provides recordings of short pieces of classical music plus
information on the composer and questions to guide listeners to a fuller understanding of the piece. Each piece of music is listened to five times one school week and is replaced the next week by a new piece of music. Every morning at 9:15 at the nonprofit group's centers, that music is played through a newly installed, state-of-the-art speaker system purchased specifically for
Every morning at 9:15 at the nonprofit group's centers, that music is played through a newly installed, state-ofthe-art speaker system purchased specifically for listening to MusicWorks! listening to MusicWorks! Everyday, Johnson said. Some centers, including Mashpee, also play the same piece at 2:15 as a signal that the day is winding down, Mashpee program manager Sophia Westgate said. ``It's amazing,'' Westgate said. ``It really has a lot of effect. At 9:15 and 2:15, they're waiting.'' ``If we're late with it, they'll ask for it,'' developmental specialist Tyianne Mendes said. Music therapy had been used in the past
at Community Connections, Johnson said, but the strict schedule and prepared curriculum of MusicWorks! Everyday is especially helpful for her clients, Johnson said. Severely disabled clients even those who are non-verbal seem to benefit most from the music, she said. Some will point at the speakers in the ceiling when it's music time, while others will tap their feet or ``conduct'' with their hands when the notes are played, Johnson said. One client at Mashpee, Mendes said, ``tries to act like a ballerina'' during particularly upbeat pieces of music. Clients who are at the center for less severe disabilities, and who may even hold jobs and live independently, also enjoy the music. ``That's a wind-down for the end of the day,'' Community Connections client Jamie Culley said. ``It's relaxing.'' On a recent afternoon, Culley of North Falmouth listened to the music with a dozen other adult clients, then discussed his feelings about it with some of the center's therapists. ``My expression would be, I would use the word sad,'' he said in describing the two-minute Stravinsky piece he heard. Culley's reaction is exactly what supporters of the MusicWorks! Everyday program are looking for. ``I think they did quite well,'' Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra director of education George Scharr said. Scharr visited Community Connections in late February to see how the program worked in Mashpee.
Community Connections partnered with that symphony and the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra to use the MusicWorks! Everyday curriculum, Johnson said. Though it wasn't created with rehabilitation centers in mind, MusicWorks! Everyday is a perfect fit for a place such as Community Connections, Scharr said. The goal of the curriculum ``is to get kids acquainted with the world's great music,''
On a recent afternoon, Culley of North Falmouth listened to the music with a dozen other adult clients, then discussed his feelings about it with some of the center's therapists he said. ``But the side effect is that it calms kids down.'' Community Connections is the first program for adults with disabilities that has used MusicWorks! Everyday, Scharr said, but both he and Johnson hope it won't be the last. ``We think that if we can get the word out to other agencies, they'll use it, too,'' Johnson said. ``Because it does make a difference in a person's life every day. How great is that?'' -AP
India meet focus on healthcare needs of vulnerable groups Contâ€™d from page 37
Referring to the lack of credible data on healthcare manpower, he said that a live national registry will help in the planning of human resources in the sector. He also said that a competency-based model in place of the science-based learning system should be pursued. Earlier, Dr Shiv Kumar Sarin, President, MCI, said in his address that the council is coming up with a 2015 Vision Document that will set the stage for reforms in undergraduate and postgraduate medical education and examination systems. The council is also proposing a 'cylindrical model' that ensures a place for every trained medical professional. MCI is addressing the issue of low remuneration that doctors in general receive. Initiatives have been taken to benchmark the salaries of medical doctors with those in sectors like IT. Dr Sarin said that the Council has also taken cognizance of the issue of several medical colleges taking huge capitation fees that blocks the prospects of deserving medical students to gain admission. He added that the Council has underlined the need for at least one medical college to be set up each one of the 565 districts in the country. Dr Naresh Trehan, Chairman, CII Na-
tional Committee on Healthcare & CMD, Medanta-The Medicity, said in his opening remarks that a burgeoning youth population is both an opportunity and a challenge. A calibrated, comprehensive medical education system will create meaningful employment and also upgrade the cadre of medical professionals in the country. Dr Trehan said that while Government has taken a key step to promote skills development in the country through the National Skills Development Corporation (NSDC), this has not had an appreciable impact on healthcare skills development. Ms Preetha Reddy, Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals Group, said in her address that finding smart solutions to intractable problems should be the focus of the workshop. Dr Parvez Ahmed, CEO & MD, Max Healthcare Ltd, said that the Indian medical education is not adequately focused on the "application process". He said that there is place every medical professional - clinical healthcare workers, research scientists and pure academics. He said that due focus is needed on the quality of medical education and said that healthcare education and delivery should be seen in totality and not in terms of what public and private institutions can deliver independently.
Health Science Post
March 18, 2011
Teen pregnancies high in Big drop in kids' ear infections south-central Idaho BURLEY, Idaho: Teens in the south central parts of Idaho are getting pregnant at much higher rates than their counterparts in other areas of the state, according to a public health district. ``I have never seen numbers like this before, and I've been working in this program on and off for the past 13 years,'' said Adria Masoner, health education specialist for the South Central Public Health District. In 2009, about six of every 100 teens age 15 to 19 within the eight-county district became pregnant. Statewide, the number is about four teen pregnancies for every 100 girls. ``We talked about having a baby, but we didn't actually plan it,'' 18-year-old Kiyana Villalvazo, who has a 4-month-old daughter, told The Times-News. ``Some kids plan to have their babies now, big time. I don't know why. I just get this vibe that they want to be wanted and want to have a kid.'' John Kontos, principal at Mount Harrison Junior/Senior High School in Heyburn, said school officials have noticed the
matter-of-fact way teens treat their pregnant peers. ``The social stigma has gone by the wayside,'' he said. Jerome County had the state's highest rate in 2009, with more than nine pregnancies per 100 girls. Jerome High School Principal Eric Anderson said some teens treat their children as show-and-tell.
'Everybody just goes to parties in Burley,' said 18-yearold Josh Dring, the father of a 2-yearold daughter ``It's a pretty cool thing to bring your child to school,'' he said. ``Of course, we never let them.'' Various reasons for the high pregnancy rates have been put forward, among them that the area has a heavy emphasis on family and religious beliefs against con-
traception and abortion. But young parents also have theories. ``Everybody just goes to parties in Burley,'' said 18-year-old Josh Dring, the father of a 2-yearold daughter. ``They get drunk and messed up and can't control themselves.'' His girlfriend dropped out of school and got her high school equivalency degree, and Dring said the couple plans to marry in May. He said schools teach abstinence and sex education, but the messages don't always get through. ``It's just how teenagers are,'' he said. ``They don't know what to expect, and they don't really care what happens. They just go for it. And we just basically go in blind.'' Burley Junior High School sex education teacher Janet Bingham said most parents of teens are slow to realize how early their children start learning about sex. ``Parents don't do an adequate job,'' she said. ``They think their kids are too young to know about sexual things.'' -AP
ATLANTA: Ear infections, a scourge that has left countless tots screaming through the night, have fallen dramatically, and some researchers suggest a decline in smoking by parents might be part of the reason. Health officials report nearly a 30 percent drop over 15 years in young children's doctor visits for ear infections. That's half a million fewer trips to the doctor on average. Why the numbers are declining is a bit of a mystery, but Harvard researchers think it's partly because fewer people smoke, meaning less irritation of children's airways. Many doctors credit growing use of a vaccine against bacteria that cause ear infections. And some think increased breast-feeding is protecting more children. ``We're sort of guessing here,'' said Dr. Richard Rosenfeld, a New York-based ear, nose and throat specialist who speaks about the issue for the American Academy of Pediatrics. To be sure, middle ear infections still plague many US children. For decades, they were the
most common reason parents brought young children to a doctor, according to health officials. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hadn't bothered to issue a report on them in nearly 20 years. Cases skyrocketed from 19751990. The visit rate for children 5 and under more than doubled in that time.
More families put their kids in day care, and day care is a breeding ground for the germs that lead to ear infections A big reason, Rosenfeld said, was a steady rise in dual-career families. More families put their kids in day care, and day care is a breeding ground for the germs that lead to ear infections. But the study by Harvard University suggests another contributor: cigarette smoke. -AP
March 18, 2011
Dayal. In an emailed interview with India Post, Dayal speaks about how he landed the role, about Indian American characters in mainstream Hollywood, and his ambition to become a producer-director one day. It must be pretty exciting to have landed this gig at 90210… how did it happen?
‘90210 is an exciting series for me to be a part of, and I am thrilled to portray this very unique role; an opportunity that doesn't come up too often in our business’
India Post News Service
NEW YORK: Beginning Feb 21, CW Network's hit series 90210 has introduced its first ever lead Indian character, Raj, played by Manish Dayal, who fans will remember from his roles in the NBC's comedy series 'Outsourced' and the Disney hit 'The Sorcerer's Apprentice'.
In 90210, Dayal portrays a college freshman, who is comedic, lively, charismatic, and slightly alternative. The character also deals with subjects of drugs and medical illness, adding dramatic depth to his role. "90210 is an exciting series for me to be a part of, and I am thrilled to portray this very unique role; an opportunity that doesn't come up too often in our business," says
WHITE SPRING: Tourists enjoy after a fresh snowfall at Solang Nala in Manali on March 9
Dayal: I auditioned for the role, and then got called to meet producers and director then I got the offer. I was traveling to India for my college buddy's wedding, and I got the deal to join 90210 the day before I was supposed to leave. I changed my trip last minute, and shot the first episode then flew to Delhi. Does your part do justice to contempo-
rary second generation Indian Americans or do you see shades of stereotypes in it? Dayal: No stereotypes in this role. Raj is a skater kid living in LA. He's an average teenager in the US - though he deals with a terminal illness. Indians are being represented differently. Raj is a regular guy, normal teenager and he's relatable. South Asian roles on TV and in film are becoming less stereotypical. It's important to accurately portray South Asians. We are a fast moving and diverse group. You've been around as an actor for a while now … compared to what you've already done, is the 90210 opportunity a big deal for you?
Dayal: Sure I think all roles are a big deal. I've been in other series like AMC's Rubicon, where I played Hal, a hacker, and in Outsourced, the smug A-team leader, Ravi... also a small stint on CSI. They were all cool projects to be a part of, and I still have a long way to go. Indian/Indian American characters are practically on every other TV show, besides in Hollywood movies…do you see yourself competing with mainstream actors or with Indian American actors? Dayal: I don't really think of it as a competition. We are all working to create and we are all different so we bring a unique vision to whatever we do. You seem to have dipped a little into everything from Hollywood to mainstream Bollywood to independent Indian American films to television and offBroadway… where do you think your focus for the future is? Dayal: I think my focus is to just keep acting and working…..and maybe one day direct or produce. I appreciate it all - TV, film, theater for different reasons. Academically you are a business management graduate… are you glad you are in Hollywood and not on Wall Street? Dayal: Yes I am…. I don't think I was ever supposed to be on Wall Street - although I think I have a business sense which helps out in this industry. I think most actors need to understand how a business operates. I'm still learning too.
March 18, 2011
NY film festival announces major films India Post News Service
NEW YORK: The Indo-American Arts Council has announced the feature films that have been selected for the Opening Night, Centerpiece, and Closing Night spots for the highly anticipated New York Indian Film Festival which runs May 4 to May 8 in Manhattan. Opening the 11th annual edition of the IAAC's popular film festival in New York will be the North American premiere of Disney's critically acclaimed family comedy 'Do Dooni Chaar' starring the legendary husband-wife acting couple Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh. The Habib Faisal-directed film marks the Hollywood studio's first live-action production in India and earned some of the best reviews of any Hindi film in recent years. Special guests Kapoor, Singh and Faisal will all be attending the red carpet premiere. The Closing Night selection is
lection. The Bengali film features Sen and her daughter, award-winning actress Konkona Sen Sharma, both playing the same title role at different ages.
A scene from ĂŤDo Dooni Chaar ĂŤ
New York City's prestigious Paris Theatre will be the home to the starstudded red carpet Opening Night premiere of Do Dooni Chaar on May 4, followed by a gala benefit dinner
Rituparno Ghosh's 'Noukadubi', an adaptation of Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore's acclaimed novel, which stars sisters Riya and Raima Sen. Following the
May 8 screening will be a special tribute to Tagore who was born 150 years ago on that day. Aparna Sen's 'Iti Mrinalini' will premiere as the Centerpiece se-
"NYIFF energizes New York City's diversity by presenting amazing independent and Diaspora films from the Indian subcontinent while keeping a close watch on Bollywood's foray into alternate cinema," states
IAAC Executive Director Aroon Shivdasani. "The three film highlights of our eleventh annual film festival represent a Hollywood studio's Indian social cinema, independent cinema, as well as a tribute to Rabindranath Tagore." New York City's prestigious Paris Theatre will be the home to the star-studded red carpet Opening Night premiere of Do Dooni Chaar on May 4, followed by a gala benefit dinner at the Jumeirah Essex House. Meera Shankar, India's Ambassador to the United States, will deliver the welcome address. Directors Sen and Ghosh will be attending the festival as well. Shivdasani adds "Major American studios partnering with India have flirted with NYIFF in the past - Fox Searchlight, Sony, Miramax, and now Disney's contribution to our 2011 Opening Night - Do Dooni Chaar. Clearly NYIFF is the best platform for these films to reach their ideal demographic market."
Raghu Rai's works on display Singers and aspirants
Ayodha India Post News Service
NEW YORK: A selection of works by India's pre-eminent photographer, Raghu Rai is currently
on display at New York's Aicon Gallery. Rai, whose prolific and internationally acclaimed career has spanned nearly half a century, has
focused on candid snapshots of India that masterfully capture the country's continuing regional, cultural, and political transformations. Nominated to the world's most prestigious photographers cooperative, Magnum Photos, by the legendary photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, Rai's work challenges viewers to confront a country where temporalities merge people, objects and animals, and buildings collide in a majestic visual symphony. His classic images are extracted from a complex external reality such that, in Raghu Rai's words, "In the course of my work, I find that I have been moving to focus on the changing equations of our times, trying to record the deeper universal human responses to realities, to energy, to the spirit." In recognition of his lifetime achievements behind the camera, Rai was awarded the Padamshree, one of India's greatest civilian honors, and L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, France's recognition of significant contributions to the arts. NYC's Aicon Gallery is currently presenting a selection of Rai's works chronicling a changing India from the 1970's onwards, including his most recent emphasis incorporating staged compositions, all of which culminate in one of the most comprehensive retrospectives of the artist's work held in the United States to date.
Bollywood award winning singers Sonu Nigam and Suresh Wadkar performing at the "I am next SUPERSTAR" program in Edison New Jersey on March 6. Below as judges in the program -Pics Mohammed Jaffer-SnapsIndia
In Brief Immigrant students revive Mass. Pentecostal church CAMBRIDGE, Mass.: A Pentecostal church nestled between MIT and Harvard has been revitalized by attracting immigrant and international students. The small historic black church called Pentecostal Tabernacle in Cambridge has grown in the last few years from less than a few dozen members to more than 350. Senior pastor Brian Greene says the growth is due to the church's aggressive campaign to recruit immigrant students from the many colleges in the Boston area. Those students come from Latin American, Africa and Asia. Students say they're drawn to Greene's sermons of social justice, immigrant rights and ``restoring broken lives.'' -AP
LA drops charges against 9 in immigration protest LOS ANGELES: Los Angeles prosecutors have dropped criminal charges against nine immigration rights protesters who blocked Wilshire Boulevard in front of a federal building last May. Bill Carter, chief deputy of the city attorney's office, told the Los Angeles Times that the charges were dismissed because the protesters had no criminal records, had not been violent and had not resisted arrest. The activists had faced up to a year in county jail if convicted. They were calling for passage of a federal bill known as the Dream Act that would permit conditional residency for college students who are in the US illegally. Their case was closely watched by civil liberties advocates who said City Attorney Carmen Trutanich has been coming down hard on demonstrators. -AP
8 Democrats back immigrant license bill SANTA FE, N.M.: Eight Democrats broke party ranks in supporting legislation to stop New Mexico from issuing driver's licenses to illegal immigrants. They joined the 33 Republicans in the House and its lone independent, Rep. Andy Nunez of Hatch, in a 42-28 vote approving the legislation. The Democrats are Reps. Ray Begaye of Shiprock, Joseph Cervantes of Las Cruces, Dona Irwin of Deming, Sandra Jeff of Crownpoint, Rhonda King of Stanley, Patricia Lundstrom of Gallup, Al Park of Albuquerque and Debbie Rodella of Espanola. -AP
March 18, 2011
Utah Legislature passes immigration reform package SALT LAKE CITY: Utah lawmakers have approved an immigration package that includes an enforcement law reminiscent of Arizona's but tempered with a guest worker program for illegal immigrants. Details on page 44
Senators call for crackdown on sham universities India Post News Service
NEW YORK: Four US Senators have called for a crackdown on fraudulent student visas and shut down fake schools that defraud students and give foreign nationals a back door entry into the US. In view of the recent bust in California of the Tri-Valley University, these lawmakers have asked immigration authorities to root out and close fraudulent schools. Senator Dianne Feinstein (DCalif), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Jon Tester (D-MT), and Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) released a letter last week to Alejandro Mayorkas, the Director of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and John Morton, the Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), calling for an immediate crackdown on illegal use of student visas by foreign nationals to attend "sham universities" that exist solely to allow any foreign national with sufficient resources - including potential criminals and terrorists - to unlawfully enter the United States. The Senators asked ICE and USCIS to immediately take action to root out and close these fraudulent schools, which endanger the national security of the United States and take advantage of foreign students.
"These so-called schools not only defraud students and violate immigration laws, but they pose a real threat to our country," said Senator Dianne Feinstein. "Sham universities are a huge problem in California - the latest example this year coming from Pleasanton, another from 2008 in Los Angeles, and two cases before that in San Diego." In the letter, the Senators wrote "Sham universities are not real institutions of higher learning, but
the purpose of manipulating immigration law to admit foreign nationals into the country. Recent examples of this fraudulence include Tri-Valley University in Pleasanton, California where over 1,500 students from foreign countries obtained student visas to enroll in an unaccredited school that did not meet standards required under student visa laws. In 2008, ICE officials in Los Angeles, California busted two English-lan-
The Senators asked ICE and USCIS to immediately take action to root out and close these fraudulent schools, which endanger the national security of the United States and take advantage of foreign students rather, operate solely for the purpose of manipulating immigration law to admit foreign nationals into the country." They continued, "When the student visa program can easily be manipulated by bad actors, it threatens the viability of the entire program for the large majority of bona fide participants. Fraud in the student visa program is especially troubling given that several of the 9/11 terrorists entered the country using the student visa program." Rather than being real institutions of higher learning, "sham universities" operate solely for
guage schools for being fronts that provided student visas to Russian prostitutes and other ineligible foreigners. "In addition to this letter today, I intend to ask the Government Accountability Office to investigate how the government certifies and monitors these "schools" so that fraudulent operators face serious charges," Feinstein added. Besides being a recurring problem in our immigration system, "sham universities" pose a clear and immediate threat to the security of our nation. Several of the 9/11 terrorists entered the coun-
try using the student visa program, as did Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, who just last week was arrested and charged with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction. Among other sites, Aldawsari's targets included exPresident George W. Bush and various targets in New York City. Aldawsari came to the US on a student visa in 2008 and was student at Texas Tech University. The senators put forth a common-sense plan to crack down on "sham universities" and the recurring problem of illegal student visas. Elements of this plan include: Urging USCIS and ICE to formulate a list of high-risk factors for fraud within 90 days and then conduct site-visits to every Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified institution that exhibits those high risk factors within the next year; Urging greater information sharing between USCIS, ICE, and the U.S. Department of State regarding schools granting student visas; and Heightening the penalties for principals who operated sham universities to engage in student visa fraud. In addition, the senators made a commitment to introducing new legislation heightening the penalties for principals who operate "sham universities" and engage in student visa fraud.
Mayorkas discusses USCIS goals for 2011 CYRUS D. MEHTA
n February 17, Alejandro Mayorkas, Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), held a press conference at which he discussed the agency's goals for 2011 and a policy review already underway. The agency's goals and planned activities for 2011 include, among others: • Piloting the Validation Instrument for Business Enterprises (VIBE) tool, which uses
commercially available information from Dun & Bradstreet to validate evidence submitted by companies petitioning to employ a foreign worker in the U.S. • Promoting consistency in the administration of immigration laws and adjudication policies as part of a comprehensive policy review, and updating policies where necessary • Issuing precedent decisions from the Administrative Appeals Office on a regular basis
• Combating fraud, including the unauthorized practice of law • Expanding outreach efforts for E-Verify, which is currently expanding at a rate of approximately 1,300 new employers per week USCIS has begun beta-testing the VIBE system. USCIS promised that it will give employers an opportunity to respond when the VIBE system leads to agency concerns regarding the business. The Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers (ABIL) recom-
mends that clients check their profile and make sure that the major areas (company address for example) are correct to avoid requests for evidence in the future. Contact your ABIL attorney for guidance. The transcript of the press conference is available at uscis.gov/USCIS/News/ 2011%20New%20Items/February%202011/transcript_Strategic GoalsInit_2011.pdf. Cont’d om page 43
March 18, 2011
Mayorkas discusses USCIS goals for 2011 Contâ€™d from page 42
E-Verify Self-Check going live in March. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is establishing a new self-check process for E-Verify, effective March 18, 2011. The self-check process is voluntary and available to any individual who wants to check his or her own work authorization status before employment and facilitate correction of errors in federal databases (such as those of the Social Security Administration, DHS, and the Department of State) that feed information into the EVerify process. DHS said E-Verify Self-Check "provides a vehicle for an individual to proactively check work authorization status prior to the employer conducting the EVerify inquiry." DHS noted that when an individual uses E-Verify Self-Check, he or she will be notified either that (1) the information matched the federal databases and the individual would be deemed work-authorized, or (2) there was a "mismatch," in which case he or she will be given instructions on how to correct the record(s). The notice announcing the new system and inviting comments, which must be submitted by March 18, 2011, is available at gpo.gov/ fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-02-16/pdf/ 2011-3490.pdf. USCIS issues work authorization and advance parole on single card for adjustment applicants. US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it is now issuing employment and travel authorization on a single card for certain applicants filing an Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (Form I-485). USCIS
said the new card "represents a significant improvement from the current practice of issuing paper Advance Parole documents." The card appears similar to the current Employment Authorization Document (EAD) but includes text that reads, "Serves as I-512 Advance Parole." A card with this text serves as both an employment authorization and advance parole document. An applicant may receive this card when he or she files an Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765) and an Application for Travel Document (Form I-131) concurrently with or after filing the I-485. USCIS said
Upon returning to the U.S., the applicant must present the card to request parole through the port-of-entry it will continue to issue separate EAD and advance parole documents when warranted. Employers may accept the new card as a List A document when completing the Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9). USCIS noted that as with the current advance parole document, obtaining the combined card allows an adjustment applicant to travel abroad and return to the U.S. without abandoning the pending adjustment application. Upon returning to the U.S., the applicant must present the card to request parole through the
port-of-entry, and the decision to parole the individual is made at the port-of-entry. Those who have been unlawfully present in the U.S. and subsequently depart and seek re-entry through a grant of parole may be inadmissible and ineligible to adjust their status, USCIS warned. The USCIS notice, released on February 11, 2011, is available at uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/ menuitem. Export controls attestation requirement started February 20. As of February 20, 2011, employers must fill out the export controls attestation in Part 6 of the new edition of the Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker (Form I-129). The form is used to file nonimmigrant petitions for employees in categories such as H-1B, L-1 and O-1. The new edition has a revision date of November 23, 2010. The employer must certify, with respect to any technology to which the employee will have access on the job, that a license from the Departments of Commerce or State is not required to release the technology to the foreign national (or, in the rare case that a license is required, the employer will restrict the beneficiary's access to the technology until a license is obtained). To properly complete the new I-129 form, an employer must first classify the technology or technical data that will be released to or be accessed by a prospective foreign national employee to determine whether an export license may be required. * Cyrus D Mehta, may be contacted at 212-425-0555 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Convention to cancel if immigration bill passes INDIANAPOLIS: An Arizonastyle proposal to crack down on illegal immigration has sparked protests from convention groups who say they'll avoid Indianapolis if the measure becomes law. The Presbyterian Church's BiAnnual Conference has notified the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association that it will not hold its July conference here as scheduled if the proposed law takes effect, The Indianapolis Star reported. Another group says it would avoid Indianapolis in the future if the bill passes. ``It's a stupid law,'' said Jerry Powell, president of Portland, Ore.-based Resource Recycling,
which has an August conference planned in Indianapolis. Republican Sen. Mike Delph's bill would require state and local police to ask a person they have stopped for a violation for proof of legal residence if the officer has a ``reasonable suspicion'' the person is not a citizen or is in the country illegally. It also contains penalties for businesses that hire illegal immigrants. Powell said his conferences typically draw about 50 Hispanics among an average of 1,200 attendees. ``I'm not going to have them harassed by an ethnicity filter,'' he said.
Supporters of the measure say illegal immigrants strain schools, medical care and social services and undercut Indiana workers at a time of high unemployment. Opponents argue the bill would hurt Indiana businesses and say it would send a wrong message about the state's attitudes and could lead to racial profiling. Those opposing the measure include Eli Lilly & Co. and Columbus-based engine maker Cummins. Spokesman Chris Gahl of the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association said the group has ``growing concern'' about the impact of the bill if it becomes law. -AP
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March 18, 2011
Utah Legislature passes immigration reform package SALT LAKE CITY: Utah lawmakers have approved an immigration package that includes an enforcement law reminiscent of Arizona's but tempered with a guest worker program for illegal immigrants. The immigration measures approved by both chambers would allow illegal immigrants to get a permit to work in Utah. But they also include a requirement that police check the immigrant status of anyone stopped for a felony or serious misdemeanor. Supporters say the entire package balances economic needs and compassion, while opponents argue it will likely encourage more illegal immigration. Lawmakers initially balked at the enforcement measure, HB 497, because of what some viewed as a likely backlash. But sponsor Rep. Stephen Sandstrom, R-Orem, garnered enough support for passage after amending it to focus on more serious crimes. The Arizona law approved last year drew nationwide controversy over provisions requiring police, while enforcing other laws, to question a person's immigration status if they have reasonable suspicion they're here illegally. That aspect of the law was put on hold
by a federal judge. The Senate sponsor, Sen. Margaret Dayton, R-Orem, said it was a ``Utah effort'' that distanced the state from criticisms leveled at Arizona's law. Rep. Bill Wright, R-Holden, the sponsor of the bill creating the guest worker program, HB 116, said if the state can secure a federal waiver the program could become a model for the entire country.
The most vocal critic, Rep. Chris Herrod, R-Provo, said a guest worker program would draw more illegal immigrants to Utah It would allow illegal immigrants to get a permit to live and work in Utah with their families. The most vocal critic, Rep. Chris Herrod, R-Provo, said a guest worker program would draw more illegal immigrants to Utah. ``People think we'll be seen as compassionate,'' Herrod said. ``People will actually see us as weak. They will see we don't care about the rule of law.'' -AP
Okla. Senate panel approves tough immigration bill OKLAHOMA CITY: The author of a sweeping immigration bill says he jokingly suggested Oklahoma erect a wall around the state to keep out residents who are in the country illegally because he's frustrated the federal government won't take action on the issue. Freshman Sen. Ralph Shortey, R-Oklahoma City, first made the comment during debate on his bill in the Senate Appropriations Committee, which approved the measure on a 9-7 vote. The bill, which now goes to the full Senate, gives law enforcement officers broad powers to question and arrest suspected illegal immigrants and seize their property in some cases. ``I am just absolutely disgusted the federal government continually refuses to not deal with this issue,'' Shortey said after the meeting. ``We're going to protect ourselves first and let other states deal with the problem their own way.'' Several members, including Republicans, voiced concern about provisions in the bill that require all employers to verify the citizenship status of their workers and the chilling effect such requirements may have on businesses. Companies that hire illegal immigrants could face stiff penalties, including the suspen-
sion of their licenses or criminal penalties. ``What I'm concerned about in this bill and lots of other bills is that we have a tendency sometimes, in our exuberance, to shoot before we aim,'' said state Sen. Dan Newberry, R-Tulsa, who voted against the measure. ``When we start doing things like requiring every single business to go through online certification, and then add to that penalties that are
â€˜I am just absolutely disgusted the federal government continually refuses to not deal with this issue,â€™ Shortey said criminal, there's pause for concern.'' But Shortey, who represents a heavily Hispanic district in south Oklahoma City, said his constituents are upset about illegal immigration and want lawmakers to do something about it. ``When I bring up this issue, people always ask, 'Why aren't businesses being held accountable?' Well, I'm trying to hold them
accountable,'' Shortey said. Oklahoma passed a strict anti-illegal immigration bill in 2007 that included penalties for employers who hire illegal immigrant workers, but those provisions have been temporarily put on hold while the law is being challenged in federal court. Oklahoma's State Chamber President Fred Morgan said his group is carefully monitoring several immigration bills, ``particularly with regard to any additional mandates that would be placed on businesses.'' In a separate bill approved by the committee, illegal immigrants who end up in prison in Oklahoma could have their relatives deported if those relatives are receiving state services. Freshman Republican Sen. Mark Allen of Spiro said law enforcement officers in his southeast Oklahoma district have told him illegal immigrants there are receiving state assistance like food stamps, even though current state law already prohibits that. The bill passed on a 9-7 vote after language was stripped that would have directed state agencies to determine if relatives of prisoners were receiving state aid. The bill now heads to the full Senate. -AP
ICE intelligence chief suspended in fraud probe EL PASO, Texas:Atop U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement intelligence officer has been suspended amid allegations he helped a subordinate file bogus travel expense reports and took some of the cash they generated, an FBI agent testified in a Texas courtroom. James M. Woosley was ICE's deputy director of intelligence at headquarters in Washington until he was placed on administrative leave Feb. 4. His suspension came the same day the FBI raided the El Paso home of Ahmed Adil Abdallat, a supervisory ICE intelligence analyst, and
seized at least 29 boxes of evidence. Abdallat is accused of using a diplomatic passport to make eight personal trips to Jordan since October 2007, and receiving about $123,000 in reimbursements from phony travel expenses. He is also the subject of a larger money laun-
He said Abdallat mailed Woosley checks, wired him money, paid his utility and mortgage bills dering investigation after he made three wire transfers worth a combined $570,000 to Jordan over a six month period, according to the FBI. Authorities also linked Abdallat to an additional $1.2 million in Jordanian bank accounts. Abdallat, 63, is a naturalized U.S. citizen originally from Jordan. He appeared at a federal detention hearing in El Paso. During the hearing, FBI Special Agent Shannon N.
Enochs said determining how Abdallat obtained the money in Jordan is ``a priority,'' saying ``the only thing we're sure of is there is more than $1 million waiting for him in Amman,'' that country's capital. ``We have no idea how he got that much money,'' said Enochs, though he noted that Abdallat had until recently been receiving an annual salary of over $100,000 at ICE. Enochs testified that Woosley approved Abdallat's phony travel expenses and that he and another federal official who worked for Woosley were paid about $58,000 as part of the scheme. He said Woosley was Abdallat's supervisor for ``over 10 years.'' He said Abdallat mailed Woosley checks, wired him money, paid his utility and mortgage bills, and sometimes even traveled to Washington to leave his boss cash in drawers. The FBI agent said scrutiny of Abdallat's personal e-mails revealed evidence that Woosley tried to arrange for an official trip to Jordan for Abdallat ``around 2009,'' after Abdallat's mother died. -AP
March 18, 2011
India Post 45
March 18, 2011
Sat March 19
Fri March 18
• Westchester County Home Show
• Art of Living Course
Sun March 20
Fri Mar 25
Venue: Westchester County Center, 148 Martine Avenue, White Plains, New York Time: 5pm to 6pm Contact: 860-918-0891
Venue: Westmont, 127 Whote Birch Lane, Westmont, Illinois Contact: 630-654-0852
• Sri Sri Ayurveda Cookery Course
Sat Mar 26
Venue: Knights of Columbus Hall, 116 Grand St., Iselin, New Jersey Time: 10am to 11:30am Contact: 732-207-7592
• Rang Barse on Peking Ship
• Mission India Foundation Presents Holi Dinner & Dance Party
Sat Mar 19
Venue: Whole Foods Market San Mateo Culinary center, 1010 Park place, San Mateo, California, 94002 Time: 6:30 pm Contact: 408-887-5956
Venue: Peking Ship, Pier 16, South Street Seaport, New York Time: 12:00 pm to 3:30 pm Contact: Rohika Hardas, 6462266557
Venue: Saffron Restaurant, 6020 Cass Ave, Westmont, Chicago, Illinois, 60559 Time: 7:30 pm Contact: 630-217-9905
• The only holi party with dry colors!
Sun Mar 27
Sun Mar 26
Sun Apr 3
• Spring Craft Beer Festival
• South Asian Bridal Expo 2011
Venue: Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, 1255 Hempstead Tpke, Uniondale, NY 11553 Time: 5:30 pm to 9:00 pm Contact: 631-940-7290
Venue: Meadows Club, 2950 W Golf Road, Rolling Meadows, Chicago, Illinois, 60008 Time: 11:00 am to 6:00 pm Contact: 630-277-9273
Sat Mar 19
Venue: Dorrians Jersey City, 555 Washington Blvd, Jersey city, 07310 Time: 10:00 pm Contact: Rajeeta, Phone: 2016001120
Sun April 10 Venue: Maywood Market Place, 78 West Pleasant Ave, Maywood, New Jersey Time: 10am to 5pm Contact: 201-998-1144
Venue: Mayer Theater, 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, Bay area, California, 95053
Venue: Mandir, 16540 Aston Street, Irvine, CA 92606 Time: March 18: 6 pm Cultural Program Rehersal (BCC), March 19: 5 pm - Cultural Program, 7 pm - Arti & Holika Dahan and March 20: 11 am - Color Holi, DJ & Food at Bill Barber Park Next To Irvine City Hall Contact: 949-222-2283
Sat 19 March • Holi at the Beach Venue: Will Rogers State Beach, Pacific Coast Highway and Temescal Canyon Road (between towers 5&6), Pacific Palisades, CA 90272 Contact: For paper tickets and other details, please contact Khyati @ (714) 269 3081
Upcoming Sun Apr 10
Venue: National Mall (in front of Air & Space Museum), Washington, DC Time: 10:30am to 9pm Contact: 301-299-2100
• Tales of Temple Dance
• Rathyatra, Festival of India
March 18, 19, 20
Venue: India Community Center, 525 Los Coches St, Milpitas, California, 95035 Time: 3:00 pm Contact: 408-934-1130
Sun Mar 27
Mon July 4
• Kids Art Contest
• Maywood Springtime Family Festival
Yoga, Meditation & Spiritual Discourses by Swami Mukundananda Venue: Shri Mangal Mandir, 17110, New Hampshire Ave Silver Spring, Washington DC, District of Columbia, 20905 Time: 4:00 pm Contact: 323-2860452
Sat April 16 Time: 2:00 pm Contact: 408-238-8321
• Pediatric Feeding Seminar
Thu May 5
Venue: Embassy Suites Hotel, 2053 Grant Rd Suite 158, Los Altos, Los Angeles Contact: 650-752-4993
• Fund raising Volleyball tournament
Sat April 30
Venue: Ponderosa Park, Sunnyvale, CA Time: 8am to 5pm
• Festival of Books
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March 18, 2011
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here is no need to condemn yourself by thinking, "I am bad, I am bad, I cannot do anything." You waste so much time in condemning yourself. Who are you to condemn yourself? You don't belong to yourself. Your body is made of five elements. You cannot create the body again, so your body does not belong to you. Your pranas do not belong to you; your mind does not belong to you; your soul does not belong to you. Who are you to claim that this is bad and that is good? Both claims are not helpful. One feeds the ego, the other cripples your creativity. Do not condemn yourself. You have no right to do that. You are created by Providence and you should learn to respect its creation. When you stumble against yourself you will also stumble in the external world. Don't hurt yourself. Be strong. How come you are picking up the habit of having an inferiority complex? It means you feel you are a lump of flesh, a bag of bones, and a tumbler of blood with a mechanical brain inside your skull. You are more than that. You are a luminous soul, a spark of the eternal fire of Atman. You are the way you think and you become the way you think. Stop havSWAMI NIKHILANANDA SARASWATI
e have four levels to our personality - Supreme Consciousness, the unconscious mind, sub-conscious mind and conscious mind. This cross section of layers is true for the totality and for each and every being from Brahma to an amoeba. The layer of unconsciousness is variously termed as maya, prakriti, avidya, vasanas etc. The subconscious is also known as mana (mind), buddhi (intellect), chit (memory) and ahankar (ego). We carry this layer of unconsciousness with all our impressions of the past through various births. All our negative vasanas lie at this level. We try and remove our fear, pride, jealousy and non-forgiveness at the conscious level through logic and rational thinking. We also try and change our gross habits through a similar process. But logical analysis does not affect the sadness and fears. Logically if you tell a sad person to give up sadness it will not have the required result because sadness rests at the level of the subconscious and not the conscious mind. Unless we are able to reach the sub-conscious level of our mind the desired result will elude
ing that inferiority complex. What you eat, do, and think is limited to the body, breath, and mind. The Buddhist scriptures say that if you hate others, nothing happens to the hated person, something happens to you, to your mind, to your heart. You can learn to love somebody, even one whom you hate, by understanding that he is a human being like you. Who am I to hate that person? Stop hurting and hating others,
love yourself, and then emanate that love to others. If someone else injures you it can be treated, but if you go on injuring yourself, who will treat you? The greatest sinner is he or she who constantly kills his or her own conscience. The Upanishads declare it. Remember that fifty percent is my job and fifty percent is your job. I do my job and you do yours. Suppose you don't do your job; I
A human being is like a multistoried mansion. In this mansion there are many subtle and finer forces of life. To manage such a magnificent mansion, you have to supervise all the levels of the mansion, not only the primitive fountains of food, sex, sleep, and self-preservation. Those who are ignorant get lost in gross objects that are subject to change, death, and decay. They are not aware of the finer
You have no right to condemn yourself Swami Rama
Stop having that inferiority complex. What you eat, do, and think is limited to the body, breath, and mind
for it injures you. If you constantly injure yourself, it can lead you to an action that can never be forgiven by your own mind, by your own conscience. You are constantly killing your conscience. Stop doing that. The Ishopanishad tells you not to kill your conscience. When you kill your conscience, how can you love others? You should learn to appreciate, admire, and
will still continue my efforts to help you grow. A human being commits many mistakes because he is not perfect. When you sit down in meditation, have a little dialogue with yourself. What did I do today that was not right? What did I say that was injurious and harmful? This way of keeping track of ideas, thoughts, action, and speech is called housekeeping.
forces of life that are the real interior functionaries of this mansion of life. Body is only a gross tool. Breath is finer, and finest is the mind. Actions are actions, and you should not identify yourself with your actions. You should learn to build a personal philosophy and remain free from any guilt. Excerpted from The Essence of Spiritual Life
us and the negative emotions will remain unaltered. The subconscious level can be reached through faith; deep convictions can transform the negativities stored at this level. But even faith cannot reach the unconscious level. Only grace can touch this layer - God's grace or the grace of the Guru.
son to give up sadness will not have the desired effect because the conscious mind is not sad. It is the subconscious mind that is sad. Unless something touches the subconscious there will be no change in the sadness. Some of our behavioral patterns or personality traits can be transformed at the conscious level
level and grace eliminates or annihilates ignorance at the unconscious level and we understand ourselves. Through logical thinking we take the first step and cleanse ourselves through karma yoga. The second stage is arrived at through faith in the Scriptures and the words of the teacher. This is jnana yoga. Finally by the grace
Only Guru's grace can touch unconscious level Swami Nikhilananda Saraswati
Most of the time when we try and remove our sadness, fears or anger we concentrate on our conscious mind. All the thinking and decision making happens in the conscious state, when the individual is awake. We respond to the world at the conscious level and try to remove these negativities by using the tools of analysis, logic and rational thinking. But rationalizing does not touch our fears and sadness. At the conscious level telling a per-
We can either listen to the words of the teacher at the conscious level, or the sub-conscious level or allow His grace to function at a deeper level through logical thinking. People make cosmetic changes to their mannerisms. They learn to be polite, sometimes effusively grateful and apologetic or seemingly humble. These changes are only superficial and there is no intrinsic change in the personality. The deeper levels remain untouched and the problem persists. Logical thinking produces temporary change at the conscious level. Faith brings about permanent changes at the sub-conscious
of the teacher and God we come to know ourselves completely, which is bhakti yoga. The words of the Guru affect the personality of the student at all levels. The benefits to the student depend on the sincerity and the degree of faith he/she has or the importance given to the words of the teacher. We can either listen to the words of the teacher at the conscious level, or the subconscious level or allow His grace to function at a deeper level.
He who wherever he goes is attached to no person and to no place by ties of flesh; who accepts good and evil alike, neither welcoming the one nor shrinking from the other - take it that such a one has attained Perfection. -Bhagavad-Gita You cannot describe it or draw it. You cannot praise it enough or perceive it. No place can be found in which to put the Original Face; it will not disappear even when the universe is destroyed. -Mumon Alas! the world is full of enormous lights and mysteries, and man shuts them from himself with one small hand! - Baal Shem Tov Do not mistake understanding for realization, and do not mistake realization for liberation. -Tibetan saying ĂŤI have done my bestĂ, that is about all the philosophy of living that one needs. -Lin-yutang Not thinking of good, not thinking of evil - tell me, what was your original face before your mother and father were born? -Zen Koan
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March 18, 2011
The Karmapa row: India needs to act cautiously BHAVNA SINGH
nvestigations in the matter of recovery of foreign currency from the Karmapa's office have not only dampened the fervor of pre-election euphoria amongst the Tibetan ĂŠmigrĂŠs in India but also questioned the integrity of their entire spiritual and political edifice. These allegations may or may not be correctly founded for either the Chinese or the Tibetan side, but a growing discomfort in the Tibetan Government in Exile (TGIE) is perceptible. It is thus important to reflect on how India intends to deal with issues related to the Tibetan community considering the fact that the Karmapa is the third most important leader in the Tibetan-Buddhist hierarchy after the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama. And how far are the Chinese willing to meld religious and secular institutions to further their national interests in Tibet. The 17th Gyalwa Karmapa Ugyen Trinley Dorjee heads the Karma Kagyu with assets worth US$1.3 billion and has represented the spiritual leadership for the last 11 years. His indictment in the Rs 70 million cash recovery scam has not only infuriated the Tibetan community, which grudgingly relented to a fair probe, but has also renewed the succession controversy in the Karma Kagyu sect. To begin with, the Karmapa was a Beijing nominee but was subsequently recognized by the Dalai Lama as well. The probable reason for such support can be discerned from a report sent on 24 May 1997 by K Sreedhar Rao, then chief secretary of Sikkim, to TSR Subramaniam, then cabinet secretary, "The reason why the Dalai Lama approved the reincarnation without adequate evidence and verification needs to be analyzed. It is possible that a coterie around him had been influenced by the Chinese." According to the report, the putting in place of a "Chinese national" as the Karmapa suggested that Beijing was preparing for a post-Dalai Lama situation and demands for installation of the Tibetan Karmapa in Rumtek - the seat of the Kagyu sect in Sikkim could grow with time. Meanwhile, the other contender to the position of Karmapa, Trinley Thaye Dorje, based in Rumtek, continued to reject the present Karmapa's anointment and the recent controversy has given him yet another chance for claiming the post. The unaccounted currency has been apparently received as donations to purchase land for a
monastery. The Dalai Lama for his part has rushed to show strong belief in the Karmapa's innocence and deemed the cash reserves as 'donations' from Chinese followers. Indian intelligence services are exploring the possibility that the Chinese elements are involved in the money trail to increase their influence and control Indian monasteries. Moreover, security agencies in India believe that the Karmapa is strongly connected to the Chinese government ever since his 'great escape' from Tibet. The benami
election of the Kalon Tripa (Prime Minister) of the TGIE reflects the enormity of stakes that India, China and the Tibetan community hold in the transition of the Tibetan leadership. Considering the precarious situation, the Himachal government has already initiated proposals to the central government for establishing a permanent monitoring agency for Tibetan refugees the Tibetan Refugee Unit. The Indian government has also become more vigilant on the activities of
India Post Women's time
Gyalwa Karmapa Ugyen Trinley Dorjee
(purchases under false names) land deals being transacted in the region further add to the complexity of the issue. The Chinese government for its part has denied any links with the 17th Karmapa and declared that such accusations reflect India's mistrust towards the Chinese gov-
The flaring up of the issue critically before the election of the Kalon Tripa (Prime Minister) of the TGIE reflects the enormity of stakes that India, China and the Tibetan community hold ernment. Xu Zhitao, an official of the Communist Party's United Front Work Department, which is responsible for minority and religious affairs, reiterated this view and asserted that the Chinese government did not interfere in local governance issues or the spiritual leadership in the TGIE. In fact, the Chinese media has rarely discussed either the Karmapa or his departure to India while it often criticizes the Dalai Lama as a 'splittist'. The flaring up of the issue critically before the
Chinese nationals who are believed to be involved in clandestine activities in India. However, if the allegations against the Karmapa are not substantiated in the longer run, India runs the risk of antagonizing not only him but the larger Tibetan community. While monitoring the activities of Tibetan refugees would be a procedural step to avoid misunderstanding amongst the two communities, the Indian government needs to devise a more pragmatic approach to deal with the current leadership transition and a post-Dalai Lama scenario. While China's increasing influence through initiatives like the 'China Study Centers' on the India-Nepal border can generate genuine concerns, it should however not lead to presumptive actions that alienate Chinese and Tibetan sentiments. From a longterm perspective, India's best interests would be served by aiding a smooth and peaceful transition to a new TGIE and restraining itself from unsubstantiated criticism of the Chinese government or 'its hand' in the secular and religious affairs of the Tibetan community in India. Fortunately, the recent statement by the Indian Prime Minster appears to reflect this realization. The writer is Research Officer, IPCS
mong the special days of the year concocted and promoted by the ad world, the Women's Day has acquired some resonance. It seems to coincide with so many forces trying to bring into focus the plight of women and the need to address the bias, the lack of opportunities and the violence against them, particularly in India. This is not an issue to be highlighted once a year by the ad-mad world. There are other marketing gimmick ploys earmarked by the industry like Father's Day, Friendship Day, Valentine's Day, Dream Day, Earth Day etc which last a day and then can be forgotten the rest of the year. Issues of women cannot be confined to one day and then forgotten. But the extraordinary focus in the media on this day does highlight an issue which bedevils equitable development in India. In urban areas, the media and films focus usually on young women and their good looks and the male dominated society feasts on the sights. The young women appear docile partners in this projection. But once these very women grow older, they are quietly discarded and are no longer in demand. The famous Khans of Bollywood are all above 40 and still prospering but their once partners in the films have been taken over by much younger women. Dev Anand is running 90 and recently held a grand party on release of the colored version of his film of the 60s, Hum Dono. His two female partners in the film, Sadhana and Nanda, refused to turn up or show their face to the media because the commodity that sold them, their looks, was missing. They have grown old and do not look attractive. In the ordinary urban world, though the condition of women has improved a lot, many of them are becoming financially independent, but the reality is that women are still fighting to be equals and are struggling everyday. If the achievements of those who have made it against the odds are highlighted, it serves a purpose. It also reminds people of the struggles that still exist. In this context, the Women's Day focus is welcome. India's politicians are still stuck in their attempt to provide 33 percent reservation to women in Parliament. Although the government has the numbers now to push through the bill in Lok Sabha, the almost physical resistance and threat of violence by male chauvinist party leaders like the Yadavs has stalled the legislation. A great votary of the bill CPI-M MP Brinda Karat says the condition of women presents a mixed picture. "More girls are in school, more women are working, more women are today able to break barriers and are full of confidence. However, the bad thing is that the potential and opportunities become fewer down the economic ladder, particularly in rural areas and in urban slums. A large majority of poor women are still prisoners of social system and they are both economically deprived and socially discriminated." Bihar has shown to the rest of the country that it pays to look after women and their problems. Over 54 percent women voted for Nitish Kumar to put him back in saddle following his programs like reserving 50% of seats in village councils and offering cash grants to girls excelling in school. Bihar's high rate of crime had made women's lives particularly restrictive. Girls used to leave the state for jobs in other places but now they don't. Their parents also voted for this welcome security. To encourage education of girls, Nitish ensured distribution of books, uniforms and even bicycles to young girls to ride to school. There is a message in this for the rest of India.
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