Democratic support for Indian nominees Details on page 8
Foreign Secretary Rao to visit US Details on page 8
3 Indians in list of WEF Young Global Leaders Details on page 42
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VOL 15, No. 809
March 19, 2010
CLINTON TO OVERSEE INDIA NUCLEAR DEAL Obama delegates authority
WASHINGTON: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been named as the new certification authority by US President Barack Obama to verify the Indo-US Civilian Nuclear Act for the US Congress after every six months. ”I hereby delegate to you (Secretary of State) the functions conferred upon the President by section 204(c) of the United StatesIndia Nuclear Cooperation Approval and Nonproliferation Enhancement Act (Public
Law 110-369),” Obama said in a signed memorandum issued to the Secretary of State. Under the Act, the US President needs to certify to the appropriate congressional committees that it is the policy of the US to work with members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, individually and collectively, to agree to further restrict the transfers of equipment and technology related to the enrichment of uranium and reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel. Hillary Clinton
Colleen R LaRose
American woman turns 'Jihad Jane' Details on page 6
Venkatraman Ramakrishnan is Person of Year Details on page 7
Details on page 6
SHE DID IT:
10,000 pledge to make Raja Lt. Gov nominee Details on page 12
Columbia varsity center in Mumbai Details on page 8
Obama cracks down on Medicare waste
Congress Party President and Leader of Indiaís UPA government Sonia Gandhi (L) poses with supporters at her residence in New Delhi on March 10, a day after The Womenís Reservation Bill was passed in the Upper House of Parliament. Sonia Gandhi, the matriarch of national politics, said she was ìhappy for all the women of the countryî after the upper house passed the bill, which headed to the lower house where it met more furious opposition.
Husain applies for Overseas Citizen of India Details on page 7
Dr Tiwari's ‘astounding’ cancer cure Details on page 35
CONTENTS Bollywood ---------------------- 24-25 Classifieds --------------------- 45-47 Community Post -------------- 12-20
Details on page 8
INDIA POST SURVEY email@example.com This week’s question
Has Obama abandoned direct de aling with India? Last week’s result
Is the US losing the plot in Pakistan? YES 66%
Date Book -------------------------- 48
India-US to sign trade & investment cooperation SRIREKHA N. CHAKRAVARTY India Post News Service
NEW YORK: India and the US are set to sign the India-US Trade Policy Forum Framework for Cooperation on Trade and Investment in Washington DC. India's Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma is scheduled to visit Washington DC on March 17-18, and New York on March 19. During the visit, he is
scheduled to have meetings with the United States Trade Representative (USTR) Ambassador Ron Kirk, Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. On March 17, Sharma and USTR Ambassador Kirk are scheduled to sign the India - US Trade Policy Forum Framework for Cooperation on Trade and Investment.
Certified by “CIRCULATION VERIFICATION COUNCIL Readership 117,765”
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Edit Page --------------------------- 50 HealthScience Post --------- 35-37 Horoscope ------------------------- 22 Immigration Post ------------- 38-41 India ---------------------------------- 28 Life Style ----------------------- 26-27 Philosophy ------------------------- 49 Publisherís Diary ------------------ 4 Real Estate ------------------------ 23 TechBiz Post ------------------- 42-44 Travel & Hospitality Post ---- 29-32
March 19, 2010
March 19, 2010
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he big story out of India these days is the Women's Reservation Bill. The bill that had been a political pariah for nearly two decades is but one step away from becoming a historic reality now but the debate over it in India is as volatile today as it was when it was first introduced in Parliament. I wouldn't go into the political arguments for or against the 33 percent reservation in Parliamentary seats that the bill seeks to provide for women because I can never trust the motives of political parties whether in power or in the Opposition. But what's interesting is how comparatively non-existent the intellectual voices among Indian women has been in this regard. It does seem ironic that in a country where the President of the country, President of the ruling political party, leader of the leading Opposition party, Speaker of the House are all women, should need to reserve legislative seats for women. Sure, one woman president or one woman chief minister does not mean there is gender parity in a country which even today witnesses dowry deaths, female infanticide and denial of right to patriarchal property to women. Also granted that caste-based reservations in India have helped bring millions of backward caste communities into the mainstream, but what concerns me is the abuse of such reservations by vested interests when they are prolonged over an extended period of time, especially politicians in pursuit of votes. Over the years, caste-based reservations, while not fully serving to help the marginalized communities they are intended for, have unduly hurt many in the mainstream communities. I wasn't sure if a bill reserving legislative seats for women in India was a good idea until I realized the significance of it at Panchayat level elections in India. As many as a million women are being elected to the panchayats across the country every five years. That, I believe is the largest mobilization of women in public life in the world. I say more power to women - honestly, I have no problem with that.
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Neil Nitin Mukesh told co-hosts Shah Rukh Khan and Saif Ali Khan to shut up during Filmfare Awards function.
Cover Story: Authority delegated US President Barack Obama has delegated authority to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Nuclear deal with India.
Community: Homage to Nanaji
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March 19, 2010
March 19, 2010
Obama delegates India N-authority to Clinton WASHINGTON: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been named as the new certification authority by US President Barack Obama to verify the Indo-US Civilian Nuclear Act for the US Congress after every six months. â€?I hereby delegate to you (Secretary of State) the functions conferred upon the President by section 204(c) of the United StatesIndia Nuclear Cooperation Approval and Nonproliferation Enhancement Act (Public Law 110-
369),â€? Obama said in a signed memorandum issued to the Secretary of State. Under the Act, the US President needs to certify to the appropriate congressional committees that it is the policy of the US to work with members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, individually and collectively, to agree to further restrict the transfers of equipment and technology related to the enrichment of uranium and reprocessing of spent nuclear
fuel. The President is also asked to report to the Congress and achieve, by the earliest possible date, either within the NSG or with relevant NSG Participating Governments, the adoption of principles, reporting, and exchanges of information as may be appropriate to assure peaceful use and accounting of by-product material in a manner that is substantially equivalent to the relevant provisions of the Agreement. -PTI
American woman turns 'Jihad Jane'; charged with terror plots NEW YORK/WASHINGTON: An American woman, operating online under the name "Jihad Jane" was indicted here for plotting to recruit Jihadist fighters for executing terror attacks in South Asia and Europe. The middle-aged Pennsylvania resident Colleen R LaRose alias Fatima LaRose was arrested in October last year and charged
"The case demonstrates that terrorists are looking for Americans to join them in their cause and it shatters any lingering thoughts that one can spot a terrorist on an appearance," US Attorney Michael Levy said in the 11-page indictment unsealed in Philadelphia. The charging of Jihadi Jane comes months after another Pakistani-American national David
Colleen R LaRose alias Fatima LaRose
47-year-old Jihadi Jane and David Headley were both arrested from same place. The arrest of the blond all American woman comes in the backdrop of US Ambassador to Pakistan Anne Patterson's comments that the Obama administration does not know how many Americans might have disappeared overseas to train with al-Qaeda or other terrorist groups with spending more than a year networking with would-be Jihadists around the world. She was charged on four counts -- conspiracy to provide support to terrorists, a count to kill in a foreign country, indulging in identity thefts and making false statements.
Coleman Headley was charged with plotting terrorist attacks in India and Denmark. Jihadi Jane's associate, said to be based in South Asia, was not named but identified in the court by his online identity CC #3. It was this individual, the court was told, who directed her to kill Swedish
cartoonist Lars Vilk. An al-Qaeda affiliated group has put a bounty of USD 100,000 on Vilk's head for a blasphemous cartoon of Prophet. 47-year-old Jihadi Jane and David Headley were both arrested from same place. The arrest of the blond all American woman comes in the backdrop of US Ambassador to Pakistan Anne Patterson's comments that the Obama administration does not know how many Americans might have disappeared overseas to train with alQaeda or other terrorist groups. The number is not thought to be large, but Patterson said a "nightmare scenario" would be if people holding US passports receive terrorist training then return legally to the US to commit acts of violence. The Justice Department said the five unindicted co-conspirators are from South Asia, Eastern Europe, Western Europe and United States. According to the indictment, LaRose traveled to Europe and tracked the intended target online in an effort to complete her task. She even asked for resident status in Sweden. If convicted of the charges, LaRose faces a potential sentence of life in prison and a USD 1 million fine. Colleen was "desperate to do something" to help suffering Muslims, authorities said, adding that her case shows how terror groups are looking to recruit Americans to carry out their goals. A US Department of Justice spokesman wouldn't confirm the case is related to a group of people arrested in Ireland earlier on suspicion of plotting against Vilks. -PTI
India-US to sign trade & investment cooperation SRIREKHA N. CHAKRAVARTY India Post News Service
noted. "In 2010, as part of the Trade Policy Forum, we intend to address key trade irritants and develop cooperative initiatives - especially on issues related to innovation, services, agriculture, market access, and investment." The new India-US Economic and Financial Partnership was established during the official state visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Washington, DC in November, 2009, to strengthen bilateral engagement and understanding on economic, financial, and investment-related issues. The Partnership will meet at the Cabinet level once a year, alternately in the United States and India. Working group and sub-cabinet level meetings will be held throughout the year to advance discussions on specific economic policy areas. The India-US Trade Policy Forum was established after the visit of the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to US in July
NEW YORK: India and the US are set to sign the India-US Trade Policy Forum Framework for Cooperation on Trade and Investment in Washington DC. India's Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma is scheduled to visit Washington DC on March 17-18, and New York on March 19. During the visit, he is scheduled to have meetings with the United States Trade Representative (USTR) Ambassador Ron Kirk, Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. On March 17, Sharma and USTR Ambassador Kirk are scheduled to sign the India - US Trade Policy Forum Framework for Cooperation on Trade and Investment. The Framework for Cooperation on Trade and Investment seeks to build on the success of the Trade Policy Forum by facilitating trade and The accelerated push in investment flows between the United States US-India trade falls in line with and India. President Obama's stated Sharma's visit pre- policy with India in the Trade cedes the formal launch of the India-US Eco- Policy Agenda for 2010. As it nomic and Financial seeks to further strengthen its Partnership in New growing relationship with Delhi by India's Finance India, the United States says it Minister Pranab Mukherjee and US Trea- intends this year to address sury Secretary Timothy key trade irritants and develop Geithner on April 6. cooperative initiatives on The accelerated push in US-India trade issues related to innovation, falls in line with Presi- services, agriculture, market dent Obama's stated access, and investment policy with India in the Trade Policy Agenda for 2010. As it seeks to further 2005. The USTR and Commerce strengthen its growing relationship Minister are the co-chairs of this with India, the United States says forum. Five Focus Groups have it intends this year to address key been discussing various trade trade irritants and develop coop- policy issues of mutual interest erative initiatives on issues related relating to (a) tariff and non-tariff to innovation, services, agriculture, barriers; (b) services; (c) agriculture; (d) investment; and (e) cremarket access, and investment. "Our plans also include work on ativity and innovation. The sixth a commercial space launch agree- meeting of the Forum was held in ment and continued negotiation of New Delhi in October 2009. The India-US Private Sector a Bilateral Investment Treaty," President Barack Obama's Trade Advisory Group (PSAG) comprisPolicy Agenda for 2010 says. "In ing prominent trade personalities 2009, the administration sought to from India and US would also meet strengthen frameworks for on March 17. The PSAG was esAmerica's growing relationship tablished in September 2007 to prowith India," it said, noting US-In- vide strategic recommendations dia trade has doubled in the last and insights to the Trade Policy Forum. five years. On March 19, Minister Sharma "To accelerate this trend, the most recent ministerial meeting of is scheduled to have meetings in the US-India Trade Policy Forum New York with US industry includset out a significantly expanded ing meetings with the Board of US work program and refreshed its Council for International Business advisory groups," the agenda and the India Business Forum.
March 19, 2010
Venky Ramakrishnan is India Abroad Person of the Year India Post News Service
NEW YORK: Indian-American structural biologist Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, who won the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his research on the structure and function of the ribosome, was named the India Abroad Person of the Year 2009 at an impressive ceremony in New York City on March 5. The who's who of the IndianAmerican community attended the event held at the National Museum of the American Indian in the magnificent Alexander Hamilton US Customs House, a stone's throw from the financial district's famed Wall Street Bull. It was the seventh annual India Abroad Person of the Year Awards gala, a marquee event on the Indian-American community calendar hosted by India Abroad, the oldest weekly newspaper serving the Indian Diaspora. India Abroad, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, is owned by Indian Internet leader Rediff.com This year, a total of nine awards were presented in seven categories.
The first to be honored was the India Abroad Young Achiever 2009, Kavya Shivashankar, winner of the Scripps National Spelling Bee 2009. The India Abroad Gopal Raju Award for Community Service 2009 went to the South Asian Council for Social Services and its Executive Director Sudha Acharya, for the decade-old SACSS's support and empowerment of South Asian immigrants in America. Dr Priyamvada Natarajan, professor of astronomy and physics at Yale University, was named the India Abroad Face of the Future 2009, an award which recognizes the promise of glittering future achievement. Investment banker, community leader and philanthropist Sreedhar Menon was awarded the India Abroad Award for Lifetime Service to the Community 2009. There was more than one winner of the India Abroad Publisher's Special Awards for Excellence. India Abroad Publisher and Rediff.com Chairman and CEO Ajit Balakrishnan presented the Special Awards for Excellence to National Public Radio's
Venkatraman Ramakrishnan with the award
Morning Edition Executive Producer Madhulika Sikka, The Washington Post Managing Editor Raju Narisetti, and Otterbein College Professor Abhijat Joshi, best known as the co-writer of Bollywood blockbusters 3 Idiots and Lage Raho Munnabhai. In the
Husain applies for Overseas Citizen of India card DUBAI: Famed painter M F Husain may have quit his Indian citizenship, but he does not want to snap his links with the country of his birth and has applied for an Overseas Citizenship identity. "India is my motherland and I simply cannot leave that country. What I have surrendered is just a piece of paper," Husain, revered by many as India's Picasso, was quoted by the local media as saying, a day after he surrendered his Indian passport in Doha. "I will continue to travel to India and have applied for an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card as Indian law does not permit its citizens to hold dual citizenship. I'm here to fulfill my professional commitments and I'm grateful that Qatar came to my support," said the 95-year-old painter, whose decision to quit his Indian citizenship has caused dismay and cynicism in equal measure among Indians in the Gulf. "It's a great loss for the country, especially the so-called secular government, who could not protect a national treasure for exercising freedom of expression," said Jyotika Khemchandani, a marketing professional here. "It's a shame on Indian democ-
An official at the Indian embassy, who chose to remain anonymous, expressed regret over the entire episode. â€˜I have seen some of his controversial paintings on the web. I just don't understand what was the need for him to do such paintings. The entire situation could have been avoided,â€™ he said racy. Husain sahib has been denied justice and freedom of expression. Indian government should apologize to him for being ignorant about his security and his rights," said Munawwar Ali Khan, assistant professor of biotechnol-
ogy at a local university. However, an official at the Indian embassy, who chose to remain anonymous, expressed regret over the entire episode. "I have seen some of his controversial paintings on the web. I just don't understand what was the need for him to do such paintings. The entire situation could have been avoided," he said. Another Indian national, Iftikhar Ahmad, said that Husain's decision should be seen in the context of the hassles he might have faced as a resident in India. "Qatari citizenship is nothing but an enabling factor to his creative urge and in no way dilutes his Indianness. Artists by nature need patrons and Qatar is good at that," he said. Asked if the Indian mission had advised him against surrendering his passport in the wake of Home Minister P Chidambaram's recent plea for him to return to his home country, Husain replied in the negative. "She (Indian ambassador to Qatar Deepa Gopalan Wadhwa) is such a gracious lady. I could read her pain from her face when I surrendered the document," he said. -PTI
past, the Publisher's Special Award has been won by the likes of astronaut Sunita Williams (2006) and Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Jhumpa Lahiri (2008). Ajai Singh 'Sonny' Mehta, a titan in the world of books and the publisher and editor-in-chief
of Alfred A Knopf, was given the India Abroad Award for Lifetime Achievement 2009. Mehta's wife writer Gita Mehta, Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's elder sister, was present on the occasion. Via a video-address, former US President Bill Clinton congratulated India Abroad on 40 years of publishing and congratulated Sonny Mehta, who published Clinton's bestselling memoir, My Life, and all the other winners. The India Abroad Person of the Year 2009 awards ceremony, emceed by Columbia University Journalism School Professor Sreenath Sreenivasan, was attended by, among others, US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara, Indian diplomats Ambassadors Prabhu Dayal and Manjeev Singh Puri, The Huffington Post Managing Editor Jai Singh, CNBC Managing Editor Nik Deogun, human rights attorney Vanita Gupta, the first winner of the India Abroad Publisher's Special Award for Excellence, actors Madhur Jaffrey and Aasif Mandvi, oncologist Dr Dattatreyudu Nori.
India donates $5m to Chile quake relief India Post News Service
to the Chilean President, Dr. Michelle Bachelet that the Government of India would be making a modest cash contribution of US$ 5 million for relief and rehabilitation work following the earthquake." Amb. Puri further conveyed his delegation's condolences to the family members of those who lost their lives on account of the earthquake while expressing sympathy and support for the injured.
NEW YORK: The Government of India has committed to making a cash contribution of $5 million for relief and rehabilitation work following the earthquake in Chile on Feb 27. The message was brought up in a statement by Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri, Permanent Representative of India at the United Nations, at an informal meeting of the plenary of the UNGA to hear a briefing by the Secretary General on his recent visit to Chile. Ambassador Puri said, "The Government and the people of India are deeply saddened by the loss of human life and damage that resulted from the earthquake in Chile on Feb 27. As a country familiar with the consequences of natural disasters, we fully understand the trauma and suffering that our Chilean brethren are living through. Immediately on hearing the news of the earthquake, the Government of India initiated measures to Residents inspect a roof that collapsed on show our solidarity with the a car after an earthquake in people of Chile. Last week, Antofagasta, Chile the Prime Minister conveyed
March 19, 2010
Obama cracks down on Medicare waste and fraud India Post News Service
NEW YORK: President Barack Obama on March 10 announced a new effort to crack down on waste and fraud in Medicare, Medicaid, and other government programs through the expanded use of payment recapture audits. The initiative is the latest component in President Obama's commitment to embrace the best ideas - from both parties - in advancing reform. Expanded use of payment recapture audits could return at least $2 billion in taxpayer money over the next three years- double the current amount of projected recovered costs. The President signed a presidential memorandum March 10 that directs all federal departments and agencies to expand and intensify their use of payment recapture audits under their current authority. He also announced his support for the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act, bipartisan legislation to expand the ability of government agencies to fund the audits with recaptured payments. "The fact is, Washington is a
place where tax dollars are often treated like Monopoly money, bartered and traded, divvied up among lobbyists and special interests. And it has been a place where waste - even billions of dollars in waste - is accepted as the price of doing business," said President Obama. "Well, I don't
The President signed a presidential memorandum March 10 that directs all federal departments and agencies to expand and intensify their use of payment recapture audits under their current authority accept business as usual. And the American people don't accept it either, especially when one of the most pressing challenges we face is reining in long-term deficits with threaten to leave our children a mountain of debt."
The President's health insurance reform proposal builds on an unprecedented array of aggressive new authorities to fight waste, fraud and abuse in the House and Senate bills with a number of additional proposals proposed by Democrats and Republicans alike. President Obama, in a March 2 letter to Congressional leaders, also expressed interest in a proposal suggested by U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) at the bipartisan health care meeting on February 25 to use undercover investigations to further combat fraud. Each year, the federal government wastes billions of American taxpayers' dollars on improper payments to individuals, organizations, and contractors. These are payments made in the wrong amounts, to the wrong person, or for the wrong reason. In 2009, improper payments totaled $98 billion, with $54 billion stemming from Medicare and Medicaid. A pilot program of specialized audits run by Medicare in three large states - California, New York, and Texas - from 2005 to 2008 recaptured $900 million for taxpayers.
Foreign Secretary Rao to visit US WASHINGTON: Ways to expand bilateral high-technology trade and regional and global issues of mutual interest will figure in talks Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao will have with top officials of the Obama Administration during her six-day visit to the US. Rao, who would embark on the visit to Washington and New York on March 14, will co-chair the seventh meeting of the India-US High Technology Cooperation Group (HTCG) with Dennis F Hightower, Deputy Secretary of Commerce, on March 15-16. This is the first meeting of the HTCG after the Obama administration assumed office in January last year. Both sides hope to consolidate the progress made in the last five years and move ahead to significantly expand bilateral trade in strategic and high technology areas, the spokesperson of the Indian mission here said. The HTCG was formed in 2002 to provide a forum to discuss bilateral high-technology trade issues and build the confidence necessary to facilitate trade in sensitive items. On March 15, the US-India Business Council (USIBC) will host the industry dialogue here in partnership with the Confederation of In-
India and the US had agreed on establishing a Strategic Dialogue to be co-chaired by the External Affairs Minister and the US Secretary of State and also on a revised Dialogue Architecture last year during the visit of Hillary Clinton to India dian Industry (CII) and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). The meeting will give the US and Indian industry representatives an opportunity to discuss
ways in which the two governments can facilitate trade in specific industry sectors and make suggestions. These industry suggestions are expected to provide substantive input for bilateral government meetings the following day. Apart from meetings in the Commerce Department, the Foreign Secretary will hold talks with other senior members of the Administration as well as the US Congress during her stay in Washington, the spokesperson said. India and the US had agreed on establishing a Strategic Dialogue to be co-chaired by the External Affairs Minister and the US Secretary of State and also on a revised Dialogue Architecture last year during the visit of Hillary Clinton to India. Rao, in her meetings in the State Department, will review the progress made on various elements of the revised dialogue architecture and also discuss the way ahead in preparation for the visit of External Affairs Minister S M Krishna to the US later this year for the next round of Strategic Dialogue. Regional and global issues of mutual interest would also figure in these talks, the official said. -PTI
Indian Americans receive Democratic campaign support India Post News Service
NEW YORK: Two Indian American candidates have emerged among the 13 top Democratic candidates selected by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) for the "Red to Blue" program that targets GOP-held districts in the forthcoming November elections, according to Roll Call. The first round of candidates for the concerned campaign includes Ami Bera in California's 3rd district and Raj Goyle in Kansas' 4th district. According to Roll Call, the DCCC has come out with the rollout facing as it does a touch political environment and the prospect of defending dozens of competitive seats. "These candidates have come out of the gate strong and the Red
to Blue Program will give them the financial and structural edge to be even more competitive in November," DCCC Chairman Chris Van Hollen (Md.) said in a statement. "These candidates are generating excitement back home and are making the case to voters that their commitment to creating jobs and standing up for the middle class is far better than turning back the clock to the failed Bush policies of the past." These Democrats in the program receive from the committee financial, communication, grassroots and strategic support. The program was so successful in previous cycles that the DCCC's counterpart, the National Republican Congressional Committee, started its own ranking system of challenger and openseat candidates this cycle, says Roll Call.
Columbia University opens Global Center in Mumbai India Post News Service
with local institutions easier while still maintaining a close relationship with Columbia," explained Bajpai. But it is the opportunity for individuals to collaborate transnationally in Beijing, Paris and Amman that makes this Center exceptional. The arrangements and connections between the four centers will make Columbia's Global Centers a unique model in
NEW YORK: Columbia University in New York City announced the opening of its latest Global Center in Mumbai, India this month, in its attempt to expand international web of research centers. The Center in Mumbai is expected to be an important outpost for scholarly collaboration in India and worldwide. The formal announcement was made at a press conference by Columbia President Lee The new research center is a Bolinger in New York on huge project both physically, March 8. The new research in its building, and in its procenter is a huge project gramming. Nirupam Bajpai, both physically, in its building, and in its pro- economist and Director of gramming. Nirupam Bajpai, economist and South Asian Programs for Director of South Asian Columbia's Earth Institute, Programs for Columbia's Earth Insti- will head the Center. tute, will head the Center. The Mumbai Center is comparison to other universities. As researchers look outward Columbia's fourth hub for global scholarship with three already from Mumbai to a web of internaoperating in Beijing, China; Paris, tional research centers they will France; and Amman, Jordan. A also look onward to the future. new center in one of Southern The location in Mumbai will allow Asia's leading cities will Columbia's Earth Institute to work strengthen Columbia's research alongside Indian leaders in sustainability research and efforts in India. As the program strengthens, policymaking. Researchers may the University aims to open at continue working on future-orileast six to eight such centers ented projects such as "India 2047," a sustainable development around the world. "Being physically present initiative recognizing the centenmakes outreach and involvement nial of India's 1947 independence.
March 19, 2010
Rally against author of book on Hindu history India Post News Service
NEW YORK: Hindu groups held a demonstration March 10, in New York City against Dr. Wendy Doniger, Professor of the History of Religions at the University of Chicago Divinity School who was to be honored by National Book Critics Circle for her book titled 'Hindus: An alternative History'. The protest was organized by the United States Hindu Alliance (USHA), a national organization of Hindus dedicated to protecting the interests of Hindus worldwide and is opposed to any acts of racism, bigotry and intolerance. USHA representatives say Dr. Doniger's book is not only factually incorrect and offensive but it is also rife with serious errors in its content and Sanskrit translations. "Professor Doniger has been for decades masquerading as a scholar on Hindu Dharma. Hence it is necessary that we should expose her bogus scholarship and discredit her in the eyes of academia using objective and factual criteria," a USHA statement said. USHA is garnering worldwide support for further actions against
Dr. Doniger and supporters of her anti-Hindu agenda, including its publisher Penguin Books, the statement said. Throughout the book, Doniger analyzes revered Hindu Gods and Goddess using her widely discredited psychosexual Freudian theories that modern, humanistic psychology has deemed limiting, the organization says. These interpretations are presented as hard facts
USHA is garnering worldwide support for further actions against Dr. Doniger and supporters of her antiHindu agenda, including its publisher Penguin Books, the statement said and not as speculations. Doniger makes various faulty assumptions about the tradition in order to arrive at her particular spin. In the process, the beliefs, traditions and interpretations of practicing Hindus are simply ignored or bypassed without the unsuspecting
reader knowing this to be the case. This kind of Western scholarship has been criticized as Orientalism and Eurocentrism. The non Judeo-Christian faith gets used to dish out voyeurism and the tradition gets eroticized. The protesters point to several examples of factual errors as well as derogatory statements made in the book such as: * It is claimed that the entire Harappan culture had a population of 40,000 (Page 67), when in fact the estimated population of the entire culture is around 500,000. * The book wrongly states that the Hindus had only a triad of passions (Page 206). Fact is Hindu scriptures list six main evils and the concept of shadripus (six internal enemies). * It is claimed that Emperor Ala-ud-Din Khalji did not sack temples in Devagiri (Page 450). Fact is his contemporary Amir Khusro clearly mentions that the Emperor sacked numerous temples and raised mosques in-
Demonstrations mark 51st anniversary of Tibet uprising India Post News Service
SAN FRANCISCO: Tibetans and supporters of Tibet took to the streets of San Francisco March 11, to stand in solidarity with Tibetans inside Tibet and to commemorate the 51st anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan National Uprising against China's illegal occupation. Over a thousand Tibetan refugees from India, Nepal and Tibet call the Bay Area their home, many survivors of the exodus over the Himalayas triggered by the Dalai Lama's covert escape from his Chinese-occupied homeland on March 10, 1959. Local events include the raising of the Tibetan National flag, banned by the Chinese government, at Berkeley City Hall. Protesters gathered in San Francisco for an energetic rally up Market Street through the heart of downtown San Francisco to City Hall and to the Chinese Consulate. "March 10th is a day for Tibetans everywhere to be proud of our history," said Tsering Dorjee, President of the San Francisco Regional Tibetan Youth Con-
gress, "Proud of our identity, proud of our ancestors who died protecting our homeland, proud of the courageous resistance of Tibetans inside Tibet, and proud of the younger generation who raise the flag of Tibetan freedom ever higher."
Over a thousand Tibetan refugees from India, Nepal and Tibet call the Bay Area their home, many survivors of the exodus over the Himalayas triggered by the Dalai Lama's covert escape Street mobilizations are planned in dozens of cities worldwide to commemorate more than five decades of Tibetans' courageous resistance and to honor and support the powerful, nonviolent movement of young Tibetans within Tibet to challenge China's brutal rule of their homeland. Exiled Tibetans and their
supporters around the world are also demanding multilateral pressure from global governments to pressure Chinese leaders to end their occupation of Tibet. San Francisco Team Tibet, a coalition of Bay Area Tibet groups, is calling on the Obama Administration and the US government to help broker a just and lasting resolution for Tibet. "As Tibetans inside Tibet continue their courageous nonviolent resistance to Chinese rule, it's time for leaders of free countries to take bold and new approaches to help secure a negotiated resolution for Tibet," said Tenzin Seldon, regional coordinator of Students for a Free Tibet. Indiaborn Seldon's laptop was investigated by Google after they found her e-mail account was accessed by Chinese cyber attacks. "Under Chinese occupation, Tibetans are denied their fundamental right to freedom of expression on a daily basis," said Seldon, "We call on Google to uphold its decision not to censor information inside Tibet and China, and we call on other information technology companies to do the same."
stead. * The Sikh teacher Guru Govind Singh was assassinated in 1708, while 'attending Emperor Aurangzeb'. Emperor Aurangzeb died in 1707 (Page 537). Guru Gobind Singh was assassinated in 1708 during the reign of Aurangzeb's successor, Em-
he says, 'The king is perverse, old, and addicted to sex, driven by lust. In yet another chapter, Doniger says: The mosque, whose serene calligraphic and geometric contrasts with the perpetual motion of the figures depicted on the temple, makes a stand against the
Dr. Wendy Doniger
peror Bahadur Shah I. It is insulting to say that the Guru was 'attending' on the Emperor. * The book claims that Mirabai lived from 1498-1597 (Page 550), and then on page 568, the author claims that Mirabai lived from 1450-1525! Fact is both dates are wrong and the commonly accepted dates are 1498-1547. The Hindu groups further says that clumsily written, each chapter of Doniger's book is a shocking and appalling series of anecdotes which denigrate, distort and misrepresent Hinduism and the history of India and Hindus. Doniger uses selective quotations from obscure and non-original, peripheral and ignorant references with a bizarre emphasis on sexuality and eroticism, they say. One such example shows that (on page 40) the author says: If the motto of Watergate was 'Follow the money', the motto of the history of Hinduism could well be 'Follow the monkey' or, more often 'Follow the horse'. The author alleges that in Rigveda 10.62, it is implied that a woman may find her own brother in her bed. It likens the Vedic devotee worshipping different Vedic deities to a lying and a philandering boyfriend cheating on his girlfriend(s). Referring to King Dasharatha I the Ramayana, Doniger says: Dhasharatha's son is certainly 'lustful'... Rama knows all too well what people said about Dasharatha; when Lakshmana learns that Rama has been exiled,
chaos of India, creating enforced vacuums that India cannot rush into with all its monkeys and peoples and colors and the smells of the bazaar. By her own admission in the book, Doniger has no credentials as a historian and the title of the book is misleading as the book is not on the 'History' nor an 'Alternative History' of India. This shows that the author is not an authority on the subject as she is not able to understand the deep meaning of Sanskrit verses or Indian concepts. The Hindu groups emphasize
By her own admission in the book, Doniger has no credentials as a historian and the title of the book is misleading as the book is not on the 'History' nor an 'Alternative History' of India that this defamatory book misinforms readers about the history of Hindu civilization, its cultures and traditions. "The book promotes prejudices and biases against Hindus. Can Penguin's editors really be incompetent enough to have allowed this to pass to publication? If this is not deliberate malice, Penguin must act now in good faith," they say.
10 India Post
March 19, 2010
Dialogue only way forward with Pakistan, says PM NEW DELHI: Contending that dialogue was the only way forward with Pakistan, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said the decision to hold foreign-secretary level talks was a "calculated" one but there can be no meaningful discussion till terror from there is ended. Denying that he had sought mediation by Saudi Arabia, he asserted in the Lok Sabha that all problems with Pakistan can be resolved bilaterally if it adopted a "reasonable" attitude in dealing with terror elements which target India. "Our policy towards Pakistan is consistent, cautious and realistic," Singh said replying to the debate on the Motion of Thanks to the President's address to Parliament during which he lambasted the opposition BJP for
spreading disinformation. He specifically rebutted charges leveled by senior BJP leader L K Advani that the government was talking to Pakistan
Denying that he had sought mediation by Saudi Arabia, he asserted in the Lok Sabha that all problems with Pakistan can be resolved bilaterally if it adopted a ‘reasonable’ attitude under US pressure. Underlining the need for keeping communication channels with Pakistan from breaking down, he
said the scope of any "miscalculation can only worsen in an environment of no contact." To buttress his point, he said the US and the erstwhile Soviet Union, even at the height of the Cold War had kept communication channels open. Referring to the recent Foreign Secretary-level talks, Singh said it was not a "sudden" decision but a "calculated" one. He pointed out that he had earlier offered to resume talks on humanitarian issues. The Prime Minister said not talking with Pakistan would not solve any problem and dialogue was the only way forward. "But for any meaningful talks, terrorism must end," he said. Referring to his meetings with President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani
last year, Singh said India has left Pakistan in no doubt that it must end terrorism. "Pakistan must take strong action against terrorism ...Pakistan
‘I think we do a disservice to any government if we say such fundamental policies are based on anything but on supreme national interest,’ the Prime Minister said must fulfill its assurances of not allowing territories under its control to be used for terrorism against India," he asserted.
Taking on Advani for saying that US pressure was behind India's decision to talk to Pakistan, Singh said any person making such allegations would be doing a disservice to the nation. "I think we do a disservice to any government if we say such fundamental policies are based on anything but on supreme national interest," the Prime Minister said. Making it clear that India did not want any foreign power to get involved in mediatory efforts in South Asia, he said "I would urge the opposition not to spread disinformation on sensitive matters." "Whatever our problems, we must learn to talk to each other and to solve our problems in a peaceful manner using our own creative genius," Singh said. -PTI
Zardari won't extend tenure of Kayani LAHORE: Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari is not considering any proposal to grant extension in service to powerful army chief Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, a senior leader of the ruling PPP has said, amid reports that he may get another two years in office. "Neither the army chief nor anyone from the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party has forwarded a proposal to the President in this regard," PPP spokesperson and parliamentarian Fauzia Wahab told a group of reporters here. Recent reports in the media had suggested that Kayani was indi-
rectly informed by the government that it was willing to give him a two-year extension. The reports further suggested that Washington too wanted Kayani to remain in his post for a couple of years as Pakistan and the US had made gains in the war against terror due to his contributions. Wahab, one of the close aides of Zardari, made it clear that the PPP was against extensions in service for army officials. "Keeping in view past examples, extensions to army chiefs have not proved beneficial for
democracy and the country," she said. However, Wahab defended the one-year extension granted to ISI chief Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha so that he could complete a threeyear tenure. "Mr Pasha has been given an extension primarily for his expertise," she said. Pasha was directly involved in major missions, the most important of them being the security establishment's decision to systematically eradicate the militancy culture and 'jehadi' organizations from Pakistan, analysts said. -PTI
Sajjan bail - CM says justice delayed in India
CONCILIATORY KARZAI: Afghan President Hamid Karzai (L) walks with Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani (R) as they arrive for a meeting at the Prime Ministerís House in Islamabad on March 11. Karzai told Pakistan that his country did not want to become a battle ground for proxy wars between India, Pakistan, Iran and the United States. ìWe in Afghanistan are fully aware and recognise that without Pakistan and without its cooperation with Afghanistan, Afghanistan cannot be stable or peaceful,î Karzai told a news conference after talks with Pakistani leaders
NEW DELHI: Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has declined comment on granting of bail to Sajjan Kumar, charge sheeted for his alleged role in anti-Sikh riots cases, but said justice gets delayed in India. "I do not want to comment on anything that the courts did or did not but we do know that justice gets delayed in our country," she said when asked about her reaction on granting of bail to the Congress leader by a Delhi court. The court had on February 23 issued fresh non-bailable warrants against Kumar and 11 others for failing to appear before it.
The former outer Delhi MP, who was untraceable for some days, appeared before the Court of Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Lokesh Kumar
Sharma which granted him bail in the case. Dikshit said "there are so many changes that are required in law because justice delayed is justice denied." "Judiciary has its own pros and cons and ifs and buts and arguments and so on...what happens is not really for me to comment," she said. The CBI had on January 13 charge sheeted Kumar in a court in two separate cases of allegedly making provocative speeches, leading to the killing of 12 people in the riots that followed the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi. -PTI
March 19, 2010
India Post 11
Aung San Suu Kyi to be barred from party and polls YANGON: Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi faces expulsion from her own party and is barred from standing in polls this year under the military junta's new election laws, a spokesman said here. In a move that sparked outrage from rights activists, the regime said in the new political parties registration act that anyone serving a prison term cannot be a party member for the polls. Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD), which won the country's last elections in 1990 but was stopped from taking power by the military would in turn be abolished if it failed to obey the rules. The Nobel Peace laureate was sentenced to three years in jail in
Protesters shout slogans and hold portraits of detained Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi during a protest in New Delhi on March 8
US court rejects Rana's bail plea CHICAGO: A US court has again turned down the bail plea of terror suspect Tahawwur Rana, accused of plotting terror attacks in India at the behest of LeT, saying the Pakistani-Canadian is charged with "very serious crimes" which give him a motive to flee. "Defendant Rana's motion to revoke Magistrate Judge Nan Nolan's detention order is denied," read an order by Judge Harry Leinenweber of US District Court, Northern District of Illinois. Rana has made several pleas to be released on bond since his arrest last year contending that he was "duped" by American-Pakistani LeT operative David Coleman Headley. Headley, 49, and Rana, 48, were arrested by FBI in October last year and are accused of plotting terror attacks at the behest of Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba against India and a Danish newspaper. "The evidence in the form of recorded conversations, while not conclusive, appears to corroborate the Government's con-
tention that he was a knowing ally of Headley and had been acquainted in advance of the Mumbai attacks," the court said. In addition, the more serious charges if proved would undoubtedly lead to a higher sentence, the court said, adding that Rana has not "rebutted the presumptions". Rana has been indicted of
Rana has made several pleas to be released on bond since his arrest last year contending that he was "duped" by American-Pakistani LeT operative David Coleman Headley "very serious crimes which is sufficient itself to trigger probable cause of his guilt which establishes the reputable presumption of a danger to the community". . "Rana basically nitpicks at the evidence cited by the Government which ties him to the conspiracies
in Mumbai and Denmark and fails to rebut the presumption created by the indictment in this case. The short of the matter is that the case against Rana is now much more serious than it stood when Magistrate Judge Nolan made her ruling," the court said. If convicted, Rana faces a maximum of life imprisonment. Rana has claimed that to a 48-year-old man, a life sentence is no more serious than facing a 30-year jail. "Nevertheless it certainly would not make him less likely to flee," the court responded. Rana has been detained as result of a hearing before Judge Nolan, who had concluded last December that he presented a serious flight risk and the weight of evidence against him "strongly favors detention". Nolan had said the substantial period of incarceration Rana faces if convicted, his extensive foreign travel, expertise in immigration law, his ties to Pakistan and Canada and alleged contacts with a foreign terrorist organization all give him enough reasons to escape from the country.-PTI
Govt to procure multi-barrel guns for copters NEW DELHI: The government has invited proposals for procuring multi-barrel Gatling guns which can be mounted on MI-17 and 'Dhruv' helicopters for use by security forces like the NSG and para-military commandos. A Quality Requirements (QRs) specification has been floated by the Home Ministry to procure sixbarrel guns also known as Dillon Aero Guns, presently used by NATO forces. The weapon is mounted on
helicopters to launch devastating aerial attacks on enemy positions on the ground and also protect troops on-board from fires and rocket attacks emanating from the surface. The gun will be able to hit a target in the range of 1000 meters including areas inside dense jungles and hideouts and is enabled with night vision capabilities. The QRs have specified that the gun, to be operated by two
people, with an operating system which can be electric or gas run, should be capable to be mounted on the MI-17 and Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) 'Dhruv' which have been recently deployed for anti-Naxal operations in the country with bases at Ranchi (Jharkhand) and Raipur (Chhattisgarh). It has been specifically stated that the 7.62mm caliber gun should have the compatibility to run on country-made ammunition. -PTI
August over an incident in which a US man swam to her lakeside home. Suu Kyi's sentence was commuted by junta supremo Than Shwe to 18 months under house arrest. "I have noticed that we have to expel Daw Suu. Their attitude is clear in this law," NLD spokesman Nyan Win told AFP, using a respectful form of address to refer to Suu Kyi. "I was extremely surprised when I saw this, I did not think it would be so bad." Critics have dismissed the polls, which Than Shwe has promised to hold at a still unspecified date this year, as a sham aimed at legitimizing and entrenching the military's nearly five-decade grip on power. -PTI
'Gmail account of human rights activists accessed by others' WASHINGTON: A top Google reviewing our business operations official told US lawmakers that the there," he told US lawmakers. Gmail accounts of dozens of ac"No particular industry, much tivists who advocate human less any single company, can rights in China have been ac- tackle internet censorship on its cessed by the third party, origi- own. Concerted collective action nating from China. is needed to promote online free As such Google is currently expression and reduce the impact reviewing its business interest of censorship," Wong said. there, he said, "In mid-December, Wong said the US government we detected a highly sophisti- should promote Internet opencated and targeted attack on our ness as a major plank for US forcorporate infrastructure, originat- eign policy. The free flow of inforing from China, with a primary but mation is an important part of diunsuccessful goal to access Gmail plomacy, foreign assistance, and accounts." engagement on human rights, he "However, it soon became clear noted. that what at first appeared to be "Second, Internet censorship solely a security incident was should be part of our trade agenda something quite different. Other companies from a range of busi- â€˜it soon became clear that what nesses -- finance, tech- at first appeared to be solely a nology, media and security incident was somechemical -- were simi- thing quite different. Other larly targeted," he said. "We discovered in companies from a range of our investigation that businesses -- finance, the accounts of dozens technology, media and of Gmail users around chemical -- were similarly the world who advo- targeted,â€™ he said cate for human rights in China appeared to have been accessed by third parties," because it has serious economic said Nicole Wong, Vice President implications. It tilts the playing and Deputy Counsel of the field towards domestic companies Google in his testimony before a and reduces consumer choice. It Congressional committee. affects not only US and global "This happened independent of Internet companies, but also hurts the attack on Google, likely businesses in every sector that through phishing or malware use the Internet to reach customplaced on those users' computers. ers," he said. These circumstances, as well as "Third, our government and attempts over the past year to limit governments around the world free speech online, led us to con- should be transparent about declude that we no longer feel com- mands to censor or request inforfortable censoring our search re- mation about users or when a netsults in China. We are currently work comes under attack. -PTI
Desi News US delegation to India fosters higher education link India Post News Service
NEW YORK: Dr. Allan E. Goodman, President and CEO of the Institute of International Education (IIE) and US Under Secretary of Education Dr. Martha Kanter led a delegation of US university presidents and higher education leaders to India to promote US higher education and to enhance and expand linkages with institutions in India. The weeklong visit took place from February 28 to March 6. Details on page 15
9-ft Mahatma Gandhi statue for Dallas MVL PRASAD
DALLAS, TX: In a massive show of support, over 100 delegates from more than 50 different Indian organizations met at FunAsiA Banquet Hall on Saturday March 6, under the auspices of Indian American Friendship Council (IAFC) and India Association of North Texas (IANT) to make collective efforts to establish a statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Dallas, TX. Details on page 14
Red Cross officials visit Sikh temple India Post News Service
INDIANAPOLIS: Members of The Sikh Satsang of Indianapolis participate in several community projects each year and generously support some local causes and humanitarian challenges. Inspired by outstanding initiatives by the United Sikhs, The Sikh Satsang of Indianapolis, under the leadership of its President, Jasvir Singh Lalli, members of the Executive Committee and Trustees, raised funds towards the international relief efforts for the victims of the devastating earthquake in Haiti in January of this year. Details on page 17
COMMUNITY ACROSS AMERICA
12 India Post
Ahmadiyyas condemn beheading of Sikhs in Pak
March 19, 2010
Details on page 18
Nanaji Deshmukh remembered with reverence SURESH BODIWALA
CHICAGO: Chicago based Indian community organizations India Development Coalition of America (IDCA), India Development Service (IDS), Ekal Vidyalaya
Handsome tributes were paid to the globally acclaimed social worker, the founder of Deendayal Research Institute & honored with Padma Vibhushan A section of the audience gathered to pay respect to late Deshmukh Ji.
Foundation, Sewa International and Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS) - held a memorial service at Darien Public Library in Chicagoland to pay homage and respect to late Nanaji Deshmukh
who passed away on Febraury 27 in Chitrakoot area in India. Handsome tributes were paid to the globally acclaimed social worker, the founder of Deendayal Research Institute, Chitrakoot, UP,
Padma Vibhushan, educationist, a former member of Indian Rajya Sabha and a Sangh Parivar veteran. Born in Kadoli in Maharashtra's Parbhani district on October 11, 1916, Nanaji Deshmukh founded
Nanaji Deshmukh photo at memorial service
the Deendayal Research Institute and was credited with exemplary work in education, health and rural self-reliance. Cont’d on page 13
10,000 pledge to make Raja Lt. Governor nominee SAINATH REDDIVARI
CHICAGO: Thousands of Indian Americans are rallying to put Raja Krishnamoorthi on the November ballot as Gov. Pat Quinn's running mate and the Democratic Party's nominee for Lt. Governor. Over the course of two weeks now more than 10,000 supporters signed a petition in person and online organized by the IndoAmerican Democratic Organization (IADO) to put Krishnamoorthi on the ballot. "If not now, when?" said Pramod Shah, a former IADO President, a Niles Township Trustee and Skokie Village Board Member. "We have worked hard for Democratic candidates for years. We have knocked on doors and raised millions of dollars for
the party. It is past time that the Democratic Party puts an Asian-
‘I have never seen such an outpouring of interest in the Indian-American community,’ said Ranjit Ganguly, IADO Board Member and a former IADO President American on the statewide ticket." Indian-American community
leaders throughout the Chicagoland gathered at Patel
Raja Krishnamoorthi for Lt Governor
Brothers Grocery on Devon Avenue as part of the petition drive
launched in late February that also included a voter registration drive to register voters for the November election. "I have never seen such an outpouring of interest in the Indian-American community," said Ranjit Ganguly, IADO Board Member and a former IADO President. The signed petitions will be delivered to Governor Pat Quinn, House Speaker Michael Madigan, Senate President John Cullerton and members of the Democratic State Central Committee. The 38 members of the Democratic State Central Committee are expected to meet later in March to appoint the Lt. Governor nominee. Cont’d on page 15
Community Across America
March 19, 2010
Murrell JH Duster Legacy Award unveiled
India Post 13
KP heads for record at Art Fair
CHICAGO: A great friend of India and Indian American students and the community at large, Murrell J. H. Duster, the Dean of Academic Development/Diversity and Multicultural Programs, at Northeastern Illinois University (NeIU), had a distinct honor to her credit when the Murrell Jean Higgins Duster Legacy Award was unveiled at the Black History Month Gala celebration held at the University recently. A professor of early childhood education Murrell Duster has enjoyed a distinguished career in higher education for more than 25 years holding several administrative positions at NEIU including her current position as Dean of Academic Development/Diversity and Multicultural Programs, and Executive Director of the Workforce Diversity Institute. Dean Duster has served on several boards and committees as well as with organizations that work to improve educational opportunities for children and adults. A life-long resident of Chicago, Dean Duster has dedicated her life to serving her communities, both in her professional and personal life, through leadership, service and sacrifice. Service to the cultural community is also a part of Dean Duster's volunteer life. She is a founding board member of the Bronzeville African-American Museum for Children, a current member of the Field Museum Women's Board , a member of the Leadership Advisory Committee
for the Art Institute of Chicago and subcommittee co-chair for their forthcoming opening gala celebration of the "Benin: Kings and Rituals, Court Arts from Nigeria" exhibit. Indian Students Association (ISA) has been active at the University hosting a number of cultural programs and Dean Duster
KP Singh describing his art work to one of his admirers. India Post News Service
Dean Duster has served on several boards and committees as well as with organizations that work to improve educational opportunities for children and adults has always been a front ranking supporter of its activities. A Reiki program by an Indian spiritual master Ajit Telang has hosted a few sessions and seminars at the University with a good measure of support from Dean Duster, remembers Rohit Joshi, a NeIU official.
INDIANAPOLIS: This May 1516 will mark the 40th anniversary of Art Center's Broad Ripple Art Fair sponsored by the Fifth Third Bank in Indianapolis and this will also mare the 40th year of a steady participation by an Indian Sikh artist Kanwal Prakash Singh, known popularly as KP. Master in city planning from Michigan University, KP specialized in ink illustrations of buildings with historic and or cultural significance. "When I started, my art comprised using a few lines. Now my work is more intense in details and textures. Each print is hand colored to provide more depth," he said. For over 40 years the Singh art works are part of the fair as he loves park like settings and neighborhood feel. "The Art Fair is a hands-on experience for the artists to explain, express and inspire. It is our gift to the public- they
acquire and learn the spirit of the artist behind the work." KP Singh's art has been fea-
Master in city planning from Michigan University, KP specialized in ink illustrations of buildings with historic and or cultural significance. â€˜When I started, my art comprised using a few lines. Now my work is more intense in details and textures. Each print is hand colored to provide more depth,â€™ he said tured in magazines, newspapers and on calendar covers; used for
fund-raising for worthy causes, and presented to Presidents, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and other celebrities. His drawings are displayed in many homes and businesses in Indiana, around USA and beyond. KP's words, thoughts, and advocacy incorporated in his artwork reflect a passionate commitment to preserve historic and sacred architecture, promote diversity of cultures and faiths, and see this richness as a collective tapestry of the human journey. KP's work alludes that the arts are a transforming and powerful resource for learning and understanding about human cultures and creativity. KP's art, words, and spirit advance the cause of human dignity, sacred rights, and advocate respecting time-honored traditions while interfacing with changing environments at the new human crossroads. For him, the arts offer a sacred dimension to learn and to serve.
Nanaji Deshmukh remembered with reverence Contâ€™d from page 12
He was also instrumental in carrying out a social restructuring program in over 500 villages in MP and UP areas. Nanaji established the Chitrakoot Gramodya Vishwavidyalaya - the country's first rural university - and was its chancellor. He was unwell for some time due to age-related ailments and had refused to be taken to Delhi for treatment. As per his will, his body was donated for medical research. Welcoming the guests Dileep Thatte, in his opening remarks expressed deep grief on the sad demise of veteran RSS worker, social contributor and a role model for generations to come. He recited Shlokas from Bhagavad Gita and explained the meaning in the context of Nanaji's life and asked the audience to stand up to observe silence for two minutes to pay homage to Nanaji. The meeting
room was kept up with a picture of Nanaji. Amrit Mittal paid his tribute by garlanding the picture and by lighting the traditional Indian lamp. Amar Upadhyay offered flowers to the picture of Nanaji. PowerPoint presentation prepared by the students of Washington University, who visited the Deendayal Research Institute (DRI) in Chitrakoot, UP was presented. A DVD on the entire saga of DRI right from its concept of integral humanism, to concepts of rural development, self reliance, rural health, agriculture, education, irrigation, use of solar light and many other innovative projects being implemented at Chitrakoot, was played . Prasad Garkhedkar of HSS narrated Nanaji's life from his birth, hardships, work as a RSS Pracharak, formation of Bharatiya Jan Sangh, on his organizational skills, his vast relationship with Indian leaders in socio-economic-political strata belonging to different ideologies, his
efforts and success in bringing all together for India's upliftment. Dr. Hari Lamba, Mohan Jain, Amrit Mittal, Shridhar Damle spoke about their experience of visiting
Prasad Garkhedkar of HSS narrated Nanaji's life from his birth, hardships, work as a RSS Pracharak, formation of Bharatiya Jan Sangh, on his organizational skills, his vast relationship with Indian leaders in socio-economicpolitical strata Chitrakoot, meeting with Nanaji, personal relationship that they enjoyed with Nanaji for several decades and explained working with
him on several projects such as solar lighting of villages, rural health, education related services. Dr. Lamba talked about the fund raising efforts of Nanaji, help by Rotary International, Tata Energy Research Institute and the multiplying effect that he witnessed during the fund raising efforts. Pralhad Patil of Sewa International, USA spoke about the immense contribution that Nanaji made. Kaushik Joshi of Chinmaya Mission Chicago read the message of Jiwan P Sondhi of Michigan and Dr. Vilas Pol read a beautiful poem written by Jaya Ji Kamlani of Georgia. Similarly Dileep Thatte talked about several massages received by the event organizing team from prominent people like past President of India Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam, Dr. Walter Anderson. Tim Somers of IDCA read the message sent by Dr. Hutchison. Common factor from these messages was their absolute appreciation of the
work of Nanaji and DRI team, its importance and how it inspired them to contribute to the movement started by Nanaji. All speakers paid tribute to selfless service of Nanaji to poverty suffering rural people. They remember how Nanaji declined offer of cabinet ministership from Moraraji. Tim Somers of IDCA shared reflection of British Dental surgeon Dr David Hutchinson about his visit to Chitrakoot. Dileep Thatte emceed the program. Refreshments were provided by Amrit Mittal. About 40 people including many community leaders representing several organizations participated in a 100 minute tribute to Nanaji Deshmukh. Before concluding the memorial service with the group saying national anthems of India and the US, some of the publications of journals published by DRI such as Manthan and information booklets were shown.
Community Across America
March 19, 2010
9-ft Mahatma Gandhi statue to be installed in Dallas MVL PRASAD
DALLAS, TX: In a massive show of support, over 100 delegates from more than 50 different Indian organizations met at FunAsiA Banquet Hall on Saturday March 6, under the auspices of Indian American Friendship Council (IAFC) and India Association of North Texas (IANT) to make collective efforts to establish a statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Dallas, TX. Taiyab Kundawala, Secretary IAFC mentioned in his opening address about the efforts of various organizations including IANT, in starting projects to establish a statue for Mahatma
The Dallas Gandhi Group seeking to establish Mahatma Gandhi statue in Dallas
ing this dream." Taiyab intro-
A section of the audience that met in Dallas to coordinate efforts for the project
Gandhi and observed that "now we have moved closer to achiev-
duced Prasad Thotakura, Texas State Coordinator, IAFC and
President-elect, Telugu Association of North America (TANA)
Continuing the presentation, he gave some details about the 9-foot statue with matching granite pedestal, 75foot long granite Peace Wall with inscriptions of several famous pacifists such as Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela besides the Mahatma who is a front ranking activist for the project.
IANT officials and supporters L to R Taiyabi Kundawala, Prasad Thotakura, Niranjan Patel and Dr. Sridhar Korsapati
Thotakura pledged $10,000 towards this project from IAFC. He then walked the audience through an excellent PowerPoint presentation regarding the concept, salient features and steps going forward. He mentioned that with over 100,000 strong Indian Diaspora, it is a fitting tribute to the Dallas landscape to have the 9 foothigh statue of Mahatma Gandhi in downtown Dallas near the City Hall. He showed the letter that the Dallas Convention Center sent allocating the location subject to some conditions such as funding, architectural plan etc. In this preliminary meeting, he wanted to gauge the enthusiasm of attendees to take next steps.
Continuing the presentation, he gave some details about the 9-foot statue with matching granite pedestal, 75-foot long granite Peace Wall with inscriptions of several famous pacifists such as Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela besides Mahatma Gandhi. He showed some preliminary architectural plans which include a flower garden, water fountain etc. besides at least five annual events relating to Mahatma Gandhi and his life. He mentioned that detailed architectural plans will be developed and will be presented to Dallas Convention Board soon for approval. Contâ€™d on page 19
Former Gujarat Chief Secretary Subba Rao honored ASHWIN PATEL
DALLAS: Several Gujarati and Telugu speaking leaders of Dallas Indian community gathered at Aahar Indian Restaurant (Irving, Texas) to honor and welcome Subba Rao Gunupudi, retired IAS officer and chief secretary of Gujarat State. The meeting was held under the auspices of Indian American Friendship Council (IAFC), India Association of North Texas (IANT), Telugu Association of North Texas (TANTEX), Gujarati Samaj, and BAPS (Dallas). In his introduction, MVL Prasad, Secretary, Greater Dallas Indo-American Chamber of Commerce, traced the upswing in the career of Subba Rao , a native of Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh, who started as Assistant Collector, Dholka, Ahmadabad District to the highest rank in Gujarat Civil Service as the Chief Secretary (2001-'03) . He listed various other highlights of his career and pointed out that he had retired as the Chairman of Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission. Subba Rao gave a fine speech in chaste Gujarati much to the surprise of attendees regarding "Progress and Opportunities in Gujarat state". In his eloquent address he touched upon various aspects of the economy, industry, power, irrigation, healthcare, education, roads & buildings, ports and transportation systems, and overall
(L R) Phenil Patadia, Niranjan Patel and Subbarao Gunupudi
quality of life based on current statistics. He mentioned that the composition of State's economy includes: primary and agricultural (29%), industry and allied (34%) and services (37%). He stated that whereas Gujarat accounts for 5% India's population, its share in national industrial production is around 20% while that in exports it is 21%. He highlighted that Gujarat does not have any power cut and the per capita power consumption is 2.5 times that of Indian national average. He emphasized various projects that the present government has started and their contribution in placing Gujarat among top per-
Group photo with attendees representing various Indian organizations
He highlighted that Gujarat does not have any power cut and the per capita power consumption is 2.5 times that of Indian national average. He emphasized various projects that the present government has started and their contribution in placing Gujarat among top performing states in India
forming states in India. The speech was followed by a lively question & answer session. Niranjan Patel, President, IANT, expressed his gratitude for Subba Rao's dedicated service and he was joined by Phenil Patadia, President of Gujarati Samaj in presenting a silk shawl and thanking him. Chandra Kanneganti (President TANTEX), Dr. Sridhar Korsapati (Secretary IANT) and Prasad Thotakura (Texas State Coordinator, IAFC) jointly presented him with an honor roll recognizing his distinguished service with honesty and integrity as a member of Civil Service to the Government of India.
March 19, 2010
Community Across America
India Post 15
US delegation to India fosters higher education linkages India Post News Service
NEW YORK: Dr. Allan E. Goodman, President and CEO of the Institute of International Education (IIE) and US Under Secretary of Education Dr. Martha Kanter led a delegation of US university presidents and higher education leaders to India to promote US higher education and to enhance and expand linkages with institutions in India. The weeklong visit took place from February 28 to March 6. Presidents and senior officials from the Bryn Mawr College, Case Western Reserve University, Chatham University, City University of Seattle, Lehigh University, Louisiana Community and Technical College System, Miami Dade College, Michigan State University, New York Institute of Technology, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rollins College, University of Kentucky, and Washburn University participated in the delegation. Since 2001/02, India has been the leading place of origin of international students in the United States, representing slightly more than 15% of the total international student population in the United States, according to IIE's annual Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange, which is supported by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State. In 2008/09, there were more than 103,000 international students from India studying in the United States, an increase of 9 percent from the previous year. The number of students from the United States studying abroad in India has also increased rapidly in recent years, although from a much smaller base. In the 2007/08 academic year, more than 3,000 students from US colleges and universities received credit for study abroad in India, an increase of almost 20 percent over the previous year. Given this growth in exchanges and study abroad among US and Indian students, colleges and uni-
versities from both countries are looking to each other for innovative and effective ideas as they seek to develop institutional partnerships. To help develop these US-India higher education relationships, the delegation met in Bangalore with higher education institutions such as the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) and the global IT company, Infosys. From there, the group traveled to Pune, where they met with senior officials at prominent universities, notably the University of Pune, which hosts the largest number of international students at any higher education institution in India, and with Symbiosis University. The delegation also visited
In the 2007/08 academic year, more than 3,000 students from US colleges and universities received credit for study abroad in India, an increase of almost 20 percent over the previous year New Delhi to meet with representatives of the Government of India as well as the US Embassy and the United States-India Educational Foundation (Fulbright Commission). The delegates attended and participated in a plenary session at the Emerging Directions in Global Education (EDGE) Conference, a threeday event that brought together policy makers, and global and Indian educational institutions and businesses, to address issues pertaining to excellence in education, and forge cooperative and collaborative programs to further knowledge exchange and internationalize education. The delegation concluded with visits to universities including the renowned Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi University, and
10,000 pledge to make Raja Lt. Governor nominee Contâ€™d from page 12
"Raja would add tremendously to the ticket," said Ashish Sen, Vice President of IADO. "The Asian American Community will give unprecedented financial support." Krishnamoorthi grew up in Peoria in central Illinois where he played junior varsity football and was a valedictorian of his high
school class. "Raja has strong support in central Illinois, where he is from, and he also did very well in the February primary in all of the Chicago collar counties," said Sreenivas Katragadda, an IADO Board Member. Krishnamoorthi won all six of the Chicago collar counties (DuPage, Lake, Kane, Kendall, McHenry, Will) by a vote of 60-33%.
Jawaharlal Nehru University. IIE has recently launched a new Center for International Partnerships in Higher Education, which will focus initially on fostering partnerships between US and Indian institutions through the International Academic Partnerships Program (IAPP), funded by the US Department of Education's Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE). IAPP will develop an international partnership service for a pilot group of twenty US institutions seeking partners in India, conduct study tours to India and China to explore partnership opportunities, convene an expert advisory group, and create an online International Academic Partnership portal to provide training materials and information resources on establishing institutional partnerships. "This delegation, along with the many scholarship programs
that IIE administers, the work of our New Delhi office and our newly created Center for International Partnerships in Higher Education, reflects IIE's deep commitment to supporting US-India higher education exchange," said Dr. Goodman. "We are confident that these collaborations will continue to yield benefits for both countries and the world in the coming decades." While City University of Seattle doesn't currently offer programs in India, CityU President Lee Gorsuch commented, "India is home to 15 percent of the world's population. Its economy is developing at an impressive rate, increasing the demand for educated workers. The Indian government has expressed an interest in inviting U.S. and other foreign universities to help meet this demand. CityU, with its breadth of international experience, is well positioned to contribute to India's growing knowledge
economy." IIE hosted a reception in New Delhi on March 3 to mark the release of its new book, International India: A Turning Point in Educational Exchange with the US. The book, which IIE produced with sponsorship from the AIFS Foundation, features discussions by thought leaders from across the United States and India on the most current trends and topic in higher education exchanges between two of the world's largest democracies. It is the only comprehensive volume in recent years to focus on US-India higher education exchanges at a critical moment in this important relationship. International India's chapters address subjects from trends in student mobility between the two countries to best practices in institutional partnerships, as well as current issues like entrepreneurship and engineering education.
Community Across America www.indiapost.com
Holi festival celebrated at NY Consulate
Seniors celebrate Holi with singing, dancing SURESH BODIWALA
India Post News Service
NEW YORK: Holi, the festival of color, heralding spring in India was celebrated at the Consulate General of India, New York on March 6. The colorful event was graced by about 130 guests from the tri-state area, prominent amongst them were artists, media persons, and senior government officials. Welcoming the guests, Ambassador Prabhu Dayal, Consul General, noted that the Indian Consulate encouraged celebrations of all religious and cultural functions to uphold the secular tradition of India. He added that the Consulate was a cultural hub to celebrate Holi, Dussehra, Diwali, Eid, Christmas, Baisakhi etc for Indian Americans living in the tri-state area. On the occasion, Rimli Roy of Surati, a performing arts company, presented a lively show consisting of Indian classical and folk dances, and songs. The audience particularly applauded the group dance 'Phagun Legechhey' based on the famous Tagore song depicting the arrival of spring. The performance concluded with a fashion show of Indian ethnic designs. Keeping with the Holi tradition 'tikas with gulal' was smeared on the guests.
MAFS Director Santosh Kumar with staff members participating in Holi celebrations
CHICAGO: Holi marks end of winter gloom and heralds the arrival of spring. It is among the best times of the year and season to celebrate. Indians in Chicagoland would not miss the celebration regardless of the age or class. On March 2, Holi Milan festival was celebrated at Metropolitan Asian Family Services (MAFS) on N. Western Avenue in Chicago. About 75 enthusiastic participants, mostly senior citizens, with director of the organization Ms. Santosh Kumar and Pramod Kumar. gathered to celebrate this event. The afternoon started with traditional Pooja symbolic of victory of noble and kind
king Prahlad over evil and wicked brother (Hiranyakashyap) and his demon sister (Holika). This ceremony was followed by special mouth watering vegetarian lunch which included traditional sweets and 'Thandai'. The event started with two different 'Holi Hai' dance performances by pretty energetic elderly women wearing colorful Indian clothes with dazzling ornaments. During their performance, the air was filled with singing, dancing and drums beatings. This was followed by every participant throwing powdery colors of 'abeel' and 'gulal' and other bright shades including pink, ma-
March 19, 2010
20 million Ram Naams on Hanuman Jayanti JODH SING RAWAT
CHICAGO: Sri Upasana, a not for profit body of devotees to spread the Lord's name and fame with the goal of spiritual-ritual integration in every day life, has announced celebrating Hanuman Jayanti on March 30 at Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago in Lemont, a south side suburb of Chicago, at 5 pm. Sri Upasana has made a Sankalp of 20 million Ram Naams during this event and all those interested in participating are welcome. To participate and get furSeniors celebrating Holi
genta red and green, on each other. The air filled with clouds of colored powder. In addition colorful water was also sprayed on each other by using large squirt-guns called 'Pichkari'. No one in the crowd remained in their original texture and color. Drenched in varieties of colors, every one took delight looking at the others. Mrs. Santosh Kumar and her husband also took enthusiastic active role in this fun filled pleasure. The whole atmosphere demonstrated Holi as a festival of fun and joy. Everyone departed smiling after enjoying the experience.
Lord Hanuman praying to Lord Ram
ther info visit web site " Sriupasana.org" or e-mail email@example.com. Hanuman, believed to be an incarnation of Lord Shiva, credited the supernatural powers he possessed and miraculous deeds he performed to the blessings of Lord Ram and Ma Janaki. He said that all his siddhis and powers came from chanting Ram Naam continuously deep in his heart. He flew over the sea to reach Lanka where Janaki was kept captive by Ravan in Ashok Vatika and returned safely after burning the city- just by chanting Ram Naam. He brought Sanjivani by lifting and bringing the mountain to save Ram's brother Laxman. He was able to kill Ahiraavan and bring back both Ram and Laxman from Patal, his kingdom. A dacoit robbing and killing the travelers through forest became the most famous Sage Maharishi Valmiki just by chanting "Ram." While building the bridge to reach Lanka "Ram-Naam" was written on each and every stone used by Vanar Sena so that they remained floating. An orphan child became famous saint Tulsidaas by chanting 'Ram-Naam' and wrote Ramcharitmanas - a famous epic translated into all the main languages of the world.
Community Across America
March 19, 2010
India Post 17
Red Cross officials visit Sikh temple India Post News Service
INDIANAPOLIS: Members of The Sikh Satsang of Indianapolis participate in several community projects each year and generously support some local causes and humanitarian challenges. Inspired by outstanding initia-
check for $4,100 was presented to The American Red Cross officials who visited The Sikh Temple (Acton Road) recently. John Lyter, CEO and President, Joseph Simpson, former Chairman of the Board, James Longstreth, the current Chairman of the Board, and Laura Bradley, a staff member in
He briefly related the story of Bhai Ghanayya helping the wounded Sikhs and enemy soldiers in a battlefield during the several confrontations between the Sikhs and Mughal forces tives by the United Sikhs, The Sikh Satsang of Indianapolis, under the leadership of its President, Jasvir Singh Lalli, members of the Executive Committee and Trustees, raised funds towards the international relief efforts for the victims of the devastating earthquake in Haiti in January of this year. A
The American Red Cross of Greater Indianapolis were among the special guests who visited the Sikh Temple and attended the Prayer Service. For the second time in eight months, the central Indiana Sikh American community, under the leadership of the Executive Com-
American Red Cross officials visiting Sikh Temple in Indianapolis
mittee of The Sikh Satsang of Indianapolis collected and delivered over two tons of vegetarian canned food to Gleaners Food Bank, a food-collection agency that serves several food pantries in Indianapolis. These food pantries serve several thousand
people each month in the Indianapolis metropolitan area who need assistance due to tough economic times or other hardships. The area Sikh youth played a central role in the latest successful canned-food drive that was undertaken in support of interfaith Hun-
ger Initiative. KP Singh, community volunteer and Satsang founding member, on behalf of the central Indiana Sikh American community expressed deep appreciation to the leadership of The American Red Cross for their thoughtful visit to The Sikh Temple and for joining in worship and Langar. KP Singh also observed that the idea and spirit of Red Cross may have its origins in the early 1700's at Anandpur Sahib, Punjab at the time of the Tenth Sikh Guru, Gobind Singh. He briefly related the story of Bhai Ghanayya helping the wounded Sikhs and enemy soldiers in a battlefield during the several confrontations between the Sikhs and Mughal forces. The Commandment of Seva and compassion towards all God's children is enshrined in Sikh scriptures, he added.
CNN lists 5 Indians among Scholarships for study in Indian colleges Asia's greatest actors MOHAMMAD GHOUSE
CHICAGO: Guru Dutt, Amitabh Bachchan, Pran, Nargis, and Meena Kumari are among "Asia's 25 greatest actors of all time", according to CNNGo, a division of Cable News Network (CNN). The listing, posted on March four, lists struggling poet of "Pyaasa" (1957) as the "best role" of Guru Dutt and mentions about his "soulful acting". Talking about "deep voice and broodiness" of Amitabh Bachchan, it declares Inspector Khanna in "Zanjeer" (1973) as his best role. Portraying Pran as "pre-eminent villain of Hindi cinema", it states his best role as Good Samaritan in "Upkaar" (1967). Praising Nargis's "versatility and natural expres-
sion", it announces strong-willed Radha in "Mother India" (1957) as her best role. Dubbing Meena Kumari as "The Tragedy Queen", it finds "yearning to be understood" woman of "Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam" (1962) as her best role. With five actors listed, India has highest number of entries. It compares Guru Dutt to Orson Welles (Citizen Kane). About Amitabh Bachchan, it argues that "Zanjeer" "cemented his image as a dark and deep character, triggered to explode". Talking about Pran, it says: "So great is his notoriety as a villain that some Indian parents dare not name their sons Pran". Cont’d on page 20
Rig-Veda mantras recited at Inner-Faith Night India Post News Service
NEVADA: The "First Annual Inner-Faith Night" of University of Nevada-Reno (UNR) held here saw various religious groups coming together in prayer and enter into a dialogue. This unity celebration included prayers, music and dialogue among Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Jew, Native American, Daoism, Confucianism, Unitarian Universalist, Children of Temple Earth, Sacred Circle Clan, and Atheist traditions. Some educational leaders and representatives of area political leaders also participated,
besides students, clergy and others. UNR Unity Commission and Inner-Faith Council were co-sponsors. Mantras from Indian scripture, Rig Veda, were recited at the celebrations and were given an all round welcome. Rajan Zed, a coordinator of the meet, who read a prayer out of Rig-Veda, oldest existing scripture dating to around 1,500 BCE, said that the dialogue brought us mutual enrichment and helped us overcome prejudices passed on to us by previous generations. Cont’d on page 20
CHICAGO: The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) had launched a scheme called the "Scholarship Program for Diaspora Children" (SPDC) in 2006-07, to assist children/wards of Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) and NonResident Indian (NRIs) in pursuing under graduate courses in several disciplines in India. Under this scheme, over 290 PIO/NRI students have benefited during the last four academic years, according to S. K. Menon, a Consulate spokesman. The following are the highlights of the SPDC-2010-11, which was announced by the MOIA on March 5, 2010. • 100 scholarships are being offered for undergraduate courses in several disciplines including En-
gineering/Architecture/Technology, Humanities/Liberal Arts, Commerce, Management - BBA/ BBM, Journalism, Hotel Management, Agriculture/Animal Hus-
100 scholarships are being offered for undergraduate courses in several disciplines including Engineering/Architecture/ Technology, Humanities/Liberal Arts bandry, Science, Law etc. • The program is open only to PIOs/NRIs from specified 40 countries having a larger concentration of Indian Diaspora and U.S.A is
one amongst them. • 50 % of the scholarship slots would be reserved of PIOs. However, in the event of the non-availability of suitable PIO candidates, the unfilled slots could be assigned to NRI candidates. • NRI candidates would be eligible for the grant of the scholarship only if their total family income per month does not exceed an amount equivalent to US $ 2,250 (US dollars two thousand two hundred and fifty only) • Children of NRIs should have pursued at least three years of education, inclusive of 11th & 12th or equivalent (not beyond), in a foreign country during the last six years, and should have passed the qualifying examination abroad. Cont’d on page 19
March 19, 2010
Ahmadiyyas condemn beheading of Sikhs in Pak India Post News Service
LOS ANGELES: Imam Shamshad A. Nasir, spiritual leader and missionary for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, on behalf of the Islamic group, has denounced the murder of two Sikhs in the
Peshawar tribal area of Pakistan by Taliban fighters. Four Sikhs were kidnapped by Pakistani Taliban, with ransom demanded from their families. Recently, two of the Sikhs were beheaded by their captors.
Sikh Coalition launches new education course India Post News Service
LOS ANGELES: Last month, the Sikh Coalition launched a brand new training program for Sikhs the Sikh Presenter's Course! The course is a 3-day series of workshops designed to train Sikh community members on how to effectively convey a presentation on Sikhs to non-Sikhs in their local area. The course was led by Coalition staff and a trained professional, well versed in teaching individuals presentation and public speaking skills. The Coalition has conducted countless presentations in schools, government agencies, and interfaith panels. In a statement the Coalition said, "The great demand for these trainings exceeds the capacity of our staff to meet the number of requests for these Sikh Awareness Presentations. We also know that one of the best ways to dispel bias is through education. "For these reasons, the Coalition launched the Sikh Presenter's Course so that local Sikhs can skillfully present information on Sikhs and Sikh issues." The first Course was held in New York City during the weekend of February 13-15. This pilot Course trained 15 Sikhs on effective presentation skills and using those skills to relate basic Sikh beliefs to a non-Sikh audience. At the conclusion of the 3-day Course, these 15 participants were evaluated based on their ability to effectively deliver the Sikh Awareness Presentation. The participants who passed the evaluation
are now certified by the Coalition to deliver these presentations in their local communities. Their certification requires that they deliver at least two Sikh Awareness Presentations each year.
The Coalition has conducted countless presentations in schools, government agencies, and interfaith panels. In a statement the Coalition said, "The great demand for these trainings exceeds the capacity of our staff to meet the number of requests for these Sikh Awareness Presentations. We also know that one of the best ways to dispel bias is through education "We know that often times when someone meets a Sikh, people have negative associations with us based on our external appearance. By delivering these Sikh Awareness presentations, we hope to dispel any myths people may harbor about Sikhs and create an environment that is Sikhfriendly," the statement said.
In a statement the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community condemned these brutal killings done by people claiming to be Muslim. Imam Shamshad called the murders "horrific and senseless." He added, "The Holy Quran says that to murder one innocent person is the
same as murdering all of mankind." He urged Pakistan government officials to find the people responsible and bring them to swift justice. Imam Shamshad offered his condolences to the Sikh men's families and to the Sikh community.
Goodyear unveils 2010 census messages India Post News Service
LOS ANGELES: Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company celebrated its efforts with the 2010 Census by unveiling electronic signs with messages that encourage every-
Aptly named "The Spirit of America," the Goodyear Blimp is known as America's Ambassador - and will help inform people about the importance of the 2010 Census one to be counted on Census Day, April 1, 2010. The Torrance Complete Count Committee and the Torrance Local Census Office have a special Partnership. The Torrance Complete Count Committee has pledged to promote a com-
2010 Census messages will be seen over sports and entertainment events, as well as other high profile public appearances.
plete and accurate count of everyone in the city of Torrance and surrounding cities of the South Bay such as Carson, Gardena, Redondo Beach. Aptly named "The Spirit of America," the Goodyear Blimp is known as America's Ambassador - and will help inform people about the importance of the 2010 Census. The unveiling signals the be-
ginning of the decennial census count of the thirty million plus persons living in the Los Angeles Region: 19 southern California Counties and the State of Hawaii. Collection of census data will directly affect representation in Congress and how more than $400 billion in federal funding is distributed to state, local, and tribal governments each year until 2021.
First Annual Basant Keertan Darbar held India Post News Service
LOS ANGELES: The First Annual Basant Keertan Darbar was held at Gurdwara Khalsa Care Foundation on Saturday, March 6 evening from 6 pm to 9 pm. Over 1000 people attended. The special feature of the event was that all the musicians melodiously sang shabads in Raag Basant as enshrined in Guru Granth Sahib. Children of Ujjal Didar Singh Foundation and children from Khalsa Care Foundation took the lead in singing shabads Sarabjit Singh coordinated and conducted the program. The Ardas was done by Gurdwara Sahib Head Granthi of Khalsa Care Foundation. Tea, snacks, sweets and Guru Ka Langar was served.
March 19, 2010
India Post 19
Thousands pay tribute to Surinder Singh Sidhu
L-R Surinder Singh Sidhu's mother, wife, daughter, son, father and S. Didar Singh Bains India Post News Service
LOS ANGELES: Sri Akhand Path Sahib Bhog on Surinder Singh Sidhu's first death anniversary was attended by his family and friends in thousands at Gurdwara Sahib Lankershim, West Hollywood, Southern California. Friends and family members came from far and near to pay tribute to late S. Surinder Singh who was a prominent community leader here in LA. After Sri Akhand Path Sahib Bhog, there were Keertan and speeches from prominent leaders and family members. Guru Ka Langer was served .Every one there talked how much they missed Surinder Singh Ji.
Surinder Singh Sidhu
Scholarships for study in Indian colleges Cont’d from page 17
• The last date for receipt of duly filled-in application forms in the prescribed format by Education Consultants of India Limited (Ed.CIL) is 10th June, 2010. • PIO/NRI students already studying in India on a self-financing basis or under any other arrangement will not be eligible under this scheme, which is open only for fresh admissions in the first semester/year of undergraduate courses. • Candidates would be selected on the basis of their performance in the qualifying examination (equivalent to plus 2 stage in India) which decides the eligibility to apply for the scholarship scheme. The candidates would also have to fulfill all the criteria prescribed for the purpose.
• The amount of scholarship admissible would be 75 % of the total Institutional Economic Cost (IEC) or US $ 3,600 (US dollars three thousand six hundred) per annum, whichever is less. IEC includes tuition fee, hostel fee & other institutional charges. • Admission may be sought in one of the 52 institutes/colleges/ universities, the details of which are given in the MOIA website www.moia.gov.in and www.edcilindia.co.in • The procedure for admission in National Institute of Technologies will be notified separately in the website of MOIA after the ongoing review of the Direct Admission of Students Abroad (DASA) scheme of the Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD) is completed.
9-ft Mahatma Gandhi statue to be installed in Dallas Cont’d from page 14
He introduced MVL Prasad as the person in charge to coordinate the statue related activities including making, shipping and installation. He thanked the broad spectrum of people from all walks of lives, faiths and gender who showed their support by attending the meeting. He was positive that the installation could take place by August 15, 2010. Prasad Thotakura introduced Niranjan Patel, President of IANT to the audience. Patel reiterating the importance of this prestigious project requested all attendees to donate generously in cash and kind. He also talked about extensive donations made by IANT in the face of natural disaster in India and USA. Several prominent leaders belonging to various ethnic, social,
cultural, religious and business organizations expressed their full
This view was fully endorsed by Nirmal Nilvi another successful businessman and longterm President of Dallas. Several members of the audience wanted to know more details about the project so they can take it back to their respective communities support in all forms including financial to make this dream come
true in Dallas. Prominent cardiologist Dr. Dhiren Shah expressed that such a prestigious project of pride to all Indians should spare no expense and should be done exquisitely. This view was fully endorsed by Nirmal Nilvi another successful businessman and long-term President of Dallas. Several members of the audience wanted to know more details about the project so they can take it back to their respective communities. To this effect, a follow up meeting is scheduled for Saturday, April 3 at Dallas Convention Center. The program ended with Dr. Sridhar Korsapati, Secretary IANT thanking all the attendees, volunteers, Bombay Photography, and management of FunAsiA for providing excellent lunch, banquet hall and audio/video facilities.
March 19, 2010
Rig-Veda mantras recited at Inner-Faith Night Contâ€™d from page 17
Coordinators of the event, UNR Unity Commissioner Maggie Overmoen and area interfaith leader Rajan Zed, plan to make it an annual tradition where students, area clergy belonging to various religions and denominations, and civic and educational leaders can come together and seek unity that celebrates diversity. Besides Zed and Overmoen, presenters included Dr. Ole Thienhaus, Dean of UNR School of Medicine; Pedro Martinez, Deputy Superintendent of Washoe County School District; Bobby Grossi (Christian); Ahmad Saad (Islam); Rabbi Elizabeth W. Beyer & Jon Leo (Judaism); Gary Goodsell (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints); Irwin Sharp Fish (Native American spirituality); Neal Anderson (Unitarian Universalism); Jason Molt (Atheism); Katherine Robinson (Daoism and Confucianism); Laura Fitzpatrick (Children of Temple Earth); Kim Pennington (Sacred Circle Clan); Scott & Corinn Gayer & Seth Dines (Christian music); Jim Eagle Smith (Tibetan Buddhist and Hindu chants); Susan Lisagor (representing Senator Harry Reid); Katie Pace (representing Congressman Dean Heller); and Batyr Odeyev (Dutar).
So Cal Edison honored for energy efficiency India Post News Service
ROSEMEAD, CA: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded Southern California Edison (SCE) a 2010 Energy Star Sustained Excellence Award in recognition of its continued leadership in protecting the environment through energy efficiency. SCE, which has been promoting Energy Star appliances and electronics since the early 1990s, will be honored for its long-term commitment to energy efficiency. Over the last five years, SCE's energy-efficiency programs have saved 6.8 billion kilowatt-hours - enough energy to power 965,000 average Southern California homes for an entire year. In this period, the programs have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 3.4 million metric tons - the equivalent of removing 650,000 cars from the road. During the next three years, SCE will help customers save an additional 4.9 billion kilowatt-hours, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by another 2.4 million metric tons. Last year alone, Americans with the help of Energy Star, saved nearly $17 billion on their energy bills "By finding smarter ways to use electricity while maintaining high performance standards for electronics and appliances, Energy Star has shown a great commitment to consumers and to the environment," said Gene Rodrigues, SCE's director of Energy Efficiency, "We are proud to partner with the EPA and we look forward to continuing our work together for the nation's clean,
green energy future." The 2010 Sustained Excellence Awards are given to a select group of organizations that have exhibited outstanding leadership. These winners have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by setting and achieving aggressive goals, employing innovative approaches, and showing others what can be achieved through energy efficiency. The awards recognize ongoing leadership in several Energy Star programs including energy-efficient products, services, new homes
SCE, which has been promoting Energy Star appliances and electronics since the early 1990s, will be honored for its long-term commitment to energy efficiency and buildings in the commercial, industrial and public sectors. Award winners are selected from more than 17,000 organizations that participate in the Energy Star program. "The EPA is recognizing SCE with our highest Energy Star award - the 2010 Sustained Excellence Award," said Gina McCarthy, EPA Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation. "SCE's continued leadership and commitment to energy efficiency is a testament to what we can accomplish to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect our global environment."
CNN lists 5 Indians among Asia's greatest actors Contâ€™d from page 17
It stresses that Nargis stole the show in the Oscar-nominated "Mother India", known as the Indian "Gone with the Wind." About Meena Kumari, it points out that her grief-stricken roles "mirrored the sufferings in her private life". Indian American filmgoers observe that India should be proud of its cinematic achievements and producing great film stalwarts. No book on world cinema is complete without mention of India's wonderful contributions like "Pather Panchali" (Satyajit Ray). India's government, various film organizations, and universities should launch worldlevel film academies to train its rich talent, Rajan Zed, who is chairperson of Indo-American Leadership Confederation, said. Others in 25 of Asia's greatest actors listed by CNNGo are: China-Zhou Xun, Gong Li, Ruan Lingyu; Hong Kong-Leslie Cheung, Josephine Siao, Tony Leung Chiu-Wai; Japan-Toshiro Mifune, Tomisaburo Wakayama, Takeshi Kitano; Pakistan-Mohammad Ali, Zeba; Sri Lanka-Malini Fonseka; Korea-Ahn Sung-ki, Shim Eun-ha; Singapore-Ng Chin Han, Fann Wong; Thailand-Petchara Chaowarat, Mitr Chaibancha; Malaysia-P. Ramlee; Cambodia-Kong Som Eurn. It adds that in the history of the Academy Awards, "only two Asians have ever taken home a Best Actor or Actress statue (we don't count Ben Kingsley as true Asian)".
March 19, 2010
India Post 21
March 19, 2010
ARIES Mar 21-Apr 20 It will be another expensive week. Some money could be spent on an upcoming trip. Right help will be hard to find and you will need to rely mostly on your own instinct. You will be traveling to a nice and warm area with family to attend a social event. Efforts will not go waste and things will once again start moving in right direction in career.
LEO Jul 23-Aug 22 Watch out and be careful with your money and do not fall for unrealistic business proposal. Take opinion before making any investment. Some of you will be taking a short trip to another state for business purpose. Results will come but not right away. Spouse may complain of minor ache and pains in the body but nothing serious.
March 19 to March 25
Nov 23-Dec 22 Negotiations will continue to go well and soon you will have new partners to work with and share knowledge. Bank balance will continue to grow. You will quickly recover from temporary illness with the help of home remedy. A future trip will take final shape and you will go ahead and inform people on other side about your plans.
NEWS at your doorstep
TAURUS Apr 21-May 20 Planets are favorable to launch your business plans with full speed. You have some extra money coming from a total unexpected place this week. Be careful when handling any tool or fixing things. You will gain friendship of a very important person. Chances of addition of another member in family become stronger.
VIRGO Aug 23-Sept 22 Things should start rolling once again and you will have few in pipeline also from now. Be thankful to people who are helping you in your crusade and providing valuable guidance. Be slight flexible and the big contract is all yours. Your willingness to work hard will take you closer to goals quicker than you can imagine.
CAPRICORN Dec 23-Jan 19 Financially you will continue to do better and in the process start putting some aside. You may join hands with some like minded people and quickly start working on a great business plan. You may also receive clearance in legal matters this week. There will be slight change in your earlier travel plans but will be better for you.
GEMINI May 21-Jun 20 You will do better with money this week. Expenses will come down a lot and all your efforts to improve income will be successful. You will receive full help from influential people and have a chance to learn some tricks and diplomacy. You will not sit idle for a minute and accomplish a lot. You will also resolve an old headache finally.
LIBRA Sept 23-Oct 22 Your ideas will not go unopposed. Do not loose concentration and stick with original plan. Success is just around the corner. You will also receive some valuable advice from a learned person. You will visit a holy place with family this week. Children not doing well in the past will be more focused from now reducing some stress.
AQUARIUS Jan 20-Feb 18 Planets in second will bring financial relief in a big way. If you have patience and far sighted, the contract could be yours. It will be favorable for people working in medical field especially. You may start paying little more attention to health and make big change in diet. Opponents will try hard but will not succeed.
CANCER Jun 21-Jul 22 Take your chance and the world is yours. Concentration of planets in house of luck will provide the much needed boost in life and you will be successful in brushing off lots of negative energy and thoughts and focus on real issues. Planets will make you very ambitious and help in getting results also. You will make lots of money.
SCORPIO Oct 23-Nov 22 There will be some interesting developments at work and the dream assignment is within reach. Meetings and business trip will go well and the results will be instant. It will be better to dispose off recently purchased stocks and pocket the profit. You may gain victory in ongoing legal battle also. You will have few visitors also.
PISCES Feb 19-Mar 20 You will take time out of the busy schedule and enjoy a day with family and friends. You may have to wait for another week to get the orders in writing. A child will need your time and moral support. Some one who deserted you in the past will try to make peace and comeback in your life. You will be slowly working on a short vacation.
Delhi offers the best 'Quality of Life'
India Post News Service
NEW DELHI: Indicative of best quality of life and coming up as an aspirational benchmark of urban development for other Indian cities, the city of Delhi leads the chart declares 'The Liveability Index 2010', a report based on a rigorous study conducted by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Institute for Competitiveness, India (IFC). The Liveability Index 2010 was released by Mr. M Ramachandran, Secretary - Urban Development, Ministry of Urban Development, Government at International Conference on Competitive Cities "City Development: Emerging Business Models" organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry. Coming close to the winner Delhi are the cities of Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Pune ranked 2nd to 8th respectively in overall quality of life ratings. Ironically the NCR region, which should have kept pace with the development of Delhi, has failed to do so. Gurgaon, Noida and Faridabad have been ranked 9th, 27th and 32nd respectively. The Liveability Index 2010 is a methodical index of quality of living conditions in Indian cities. The report is brought-out after a comprehensive study on 37 cities, ranked on the basis of eight pillars like demographics, education, health & medical standards, safety, housing, socio-cultural political environment, economic environment and natural build & planned environment basis.
23 India Post
he Finance Ministry has ruled out rolling back of service tax on real estate developers at the time of construction, a move which the industry says will jack up housing and commercial property prices. "Construction is a service. As a service, there is no reason why it should not be taxed," revenue secretary Sunil Mitra said at a CII seminar, adding however, it is only 3 or 3.5 per cent that gets added up for the buyer.
March 19, 2010
Housing Counseling Network for Asian-Americans welcomed India Post News Service
WASHINGTON DC: Rep Michael Honda (CA-15), Chairman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, applauded the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) approval of the nation's first network of housing counseling organizations dedicated to serving Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) facing foreclosures or who need general housing counseling. "HUD's recognition of National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (CAPACD) is an important step forward for AAPI communities," said Rep Honda. "Too many people have lost their homes in this foreclosure crisis. With such great need, this designation for National CAPACD will support our community to get back on their feet. The Congressional
Asian Pacific American Caucus is proud of National CAPACD's work." The National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development is now an intermediary for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and will support a national
to turn to access reliable information about their housing options in their own language or with an understanding of the community's cultural context. The multilingual, nationwide network of AAPI housing counselors, who are trained professionals, will be a key resource for the community.
‘Low and moderate income families are facing much more challenging credit markets,’ said Congressman Al Green (TX-09), Chair of the Housing Taskforce for the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus network of nonprofit community based organizations in ten states providing services in more than ten AAPI languages and communities. "Without trusted and trained housing counseling organizations," continued Honda, "AAPI communities often have nowhere
According to Census data recently released, Asian Americans have suffered the largest percentage decline in homeownership of any racial group. Many Asian American and Pacific Islander homeowners found it difficult to find assistance in the language or the cultural understanding they
needed. Others have been targeted by fraudulent or misleading vendors offering services, which often resulted in the loss of their homes. The Network is providing counseling to homeowners facing foreclosure and community based financial education on strategies to find alternative housing opportunities. "Low and moderate income families are facing much more challenging credit markets," said Congressman Al Green (TX-09), Chair of the Housing Taskforce for the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. "The creation of this national Asian American and Pacific Islander housing counseling network is essential towards efforts to help all families find and keep homes and the first step to securing the vibrancy of AAPI communities across the country. I congratulate National CAPACD and its local partners on this significant milestone."
Minority groups plan to resolve housing crisis
Mumbai fails to lure bidders in land sale
Leaders from the three national trade groups are appealing to lawmakers during Capitol Hill visits to take actions that stabilize the market, expand consumer protections, preserve liquidity and stop the spiral of losses
umbai's failure to lure any bidders in the first government land sale in at least 1 1/2 years may cause rates in that area to fall as India's financial hub seeks to develop the reclaimed marshland into a key business district. "It's a once-in-10 years kind of situation," Vivek Dahiya, chief executive officer of New Delhi-based GenReal Property Advisors, said by phone from New Delhi. "The Mumbai real estate market is going through a rare situation, where several micromarkets are going to witness oversupply because lots of projects coming up in some areas and demand drying up in some." The five likely bidders who attended a preliminary meeting last month for the sale of the site in the city's Bandra-Kurla Complex didn't submit offers said Dilip Kawathkar, joint project director and spokesman for the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority.
Service tax on real estate sector to stay
L-R Vincent Wimbish, NAREB President/CEO; Tino Diaz, NAHREP Immediate Past Chair; Sheila Bair, FDIC Chairman; and John Fukuda, AREAA Chair. India Post News Service
WASHINGTON: The combined 70,500 members and affiliates of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, The Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA) and the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB) shared the Five-Point Plan: Creating A Sustainable
Path to Minority Homeownership during their 2010 Multicultural Real Estate & Policy Conference last week in Washington, D.C. Leaders from the three national trade groups are appealing to lawmakers during Capitol Hill visits to take actions that stabilize the market, expand consumer protections, preserve liquidity and stop the spiral of losses in minority com-
munities. "Our five-point plan, when adopted, will set a new course for this nation's housing recovery, particularly within the minority community. The magnitude of our crisis requires us to act boldly and decisively to put us back on the right track and restore consumer confidence in the real estate market," said AREAA Chairman John Fukuda. "Communities and people we serve deserve this kind of comprehensive approach."
1 Tere Naina - My Name Is Khan
6 Karle Mujhse Pyaar - Toh Baat Pakki!
2 Cham Cham - Striker
7 Kaise Jiyu - Hide and Seek
3 Noor E Khuda - My Name Is Khan
8 Sajda - My Name Is Khan
4 Neeyat Kharab Hain - Teen Patti
9 Aameen Suma Aameen - Click
5 Hey Ya! - Karthik Calling Karthik
March 19, 2010
10 Tere Bina Jiya Na Jaye - Shaapit
atrina Kaif was comfortable to hop into a train while she wanted to go on a shopping spree in Bangkok. It so happened that Kat was recently in Bangkok shooting for a new commercial. When she was free from work, she decided to go shopping but as she stepped out of the hotel, she realised there was a huge traffic jam. However, there was no stopping the beauty as she took a train to the shopping district despite warnings from her well-wishers that it was not quite safe for her to do so.
Train hopper T
wo days after Neil Nitin Mukesh told co-hosts Shah Rukh Khan and Saif Ali Khan to just plainly and simply shut up on stage at the Filmfare Awards at Yashraj studios, a debate rages in the film industry. Was the well-behaved blue-eyed-boy's aggressive impudence towards his superstar seniors for real? Or was it just an act? To rewind a bit: At the Filmfare awards, co-hosts Shah Rukh and Saif Ali Khan decided to take on Neil on stage, riling him endlessly. The final straw was the digs that Shah Rukh took at Neil's name. "Neil," said Shah Rukh, "Why do you have three first names and no surname? My name is Khan. Saif too is a Khan. How come you have no last name?" Neil couldn't take the slight to his family name. He not-so-gently reminded Shah Rukh that he ought to restrain himself because his, Neil's, father was sitting in the audience. And then, horror of horrors, he told Shah Rukh to just shut up. There was an uncomfortable silence in the auditorium. Recalling the incident with an uncomfortable laugh, Neil said: "I'm still shaking. Imagine me telling Shah Rukh Khan to shut up! But I did. That isn't all. At the end of the show I walked up to Shah Rukh
and Saif and broke eggs on their heads." But relax. It was all part of an act. "It was all planned by Shah Rukh sir. I was told by the organizers, the Moranis, from beforehand that I was supposed to
be part of Shah Rukh's act. I was supposed to reach early and rehearse for it. But as luck would have it I had gone to town to pick up my parents and got stuck in the traffic. By the time I reached the venue
there was only time for a quick briefing on what I had to do." Shah Rukh walked up to Neil and quickly told him the plan on stage. Neil was aghast. "How could I say shut up to Shah Rukh Khan? I've never been rude even to my driver. But he insisted. He also told me to throw eggs at him and Saif at the end of the show. I begged and pleaded to spare me. But Shah Rukh didn't listen." Neil did his own on-the-spot improvisation on stage to spare himself the aggravated agony. "Instead of throwing the eggs I walked up to Saif and Shah Rukh and broke the eggs on their heads. How could I throw eggs at them? Their fans would never forgive me!" After the act Neil's shocked father has still not forgiven his son, although he has been told it was all in jest. Says Neil: "Bipasha rushed to me and said if it was an act then it was really scary. Katrina stormed up to me after the show and told me to apologize to Shah Rukh, at once." Laughing nervously, Neil re-lived the trauma of being forced to be rude to a hero he worships. "I'm glad people finally got to see my mischievous side... But no thanks. Never again."
So, Katrina boarded a train for the first time in several years, had a wonderful time shopping at Siam Paragon Shopping Centre and at another luxury mall on Sukhumvit Road and ended up buying a few pairs of boots as she is extremely fond of them.
March 19, 2010
Shop alcoholic E ven though her last release 'Blue' could not create magic at the box-office, Lara Dutta was much appreciated for her new lean and fit look. The actress is once again in media limelight as her forthcoming 'Housefull' is set to hit the screens. This months Lara Dutta exudes beauty and sensuousness on the cover of Vogue India (March 2010). Wearing an ice-blue hip-hugging silk skirt and a cream cardigan with plunging neckline, Dutta looks as ravishing as ever. For those who want to know more about the beauty, there is an article in the mag where Lara says, "I need therapy when it comes to shopping. I have no rules. My friends call me a compulsive shop alcoholic and joke that I can find arm loads to buy even at the paanwalla.
ver since she won a National Award for Fashion, Kangna Ranaut seems to have decided she won't be selling herself short any longer. She recently demanded - and got - Rs 5 crore for a film which is to be directed by Tanvir Khan, who last directed Deadline. Sources said,"Kangna has come a long way from the days of her debut film Gangster. Directors realise her potential and have no qualms in giving her the fee she deserves." However, Kangna, on her part, said, "I can't discuss my fee."
eepika Padukone, who is blessed with a good figure, says she does not believe in being size zero as the Indian body type is not meant for it. "Correct me if I am wrong, but I personally feel that the Indian body type is not cut out to be size zero. I am not size zero and I don't believe in that either," Deepika said. "I believe that it's nice to be little full and have a nice shape," she added. The Bollywood actress was the show stopper for designer duo Shantanu and Nikhil's show at the Lakme Fashion Week here. According to Deepika, an actress gets a role for her performance and not the body type. "In the (film) industry, body size doesn't matter. What matters is how much an actor contributes through his performance and not his body size," explained Deepika. "It is important that every person should wear clothes that go with their body - the cut, the fabric make a lot of difference," she added.
iteish Deshmukh, who was seen in a TV reporter's avatar in 'Rann', is not interested in doing sex comedies any more and says he and director Milap Zaveri have settled for a 'mellow expression' in the forthcoming release 'Jaane Kahan Se Aayi Hai'. "I won't do any more sex comedies. It started with 'Masti' (2004). Now six years down the line the 'Masti' writer, Milap Zaveri, who's a dear friend, has turned director with 'Jaane Kahan Se Aayi Hai' and there's absolutely no sex or doublemeaning dialogues in it," Riteish, who featured in sex comedies like "Masti" and "Kya Kool Hain Hum", says. Riteish has teamed up with his "Aladin" co-star Jacqueline Fernandez in "Jaane Kahan Se.' The film's release date will be April 9 because six years ago on the same date "Masti" had been released and Zaveri wanted his directorial debut to hit the screens on the same date.
strength, and affirmation crystallized into One Amazing Thing. Divakaruni is engrossing, never manipulative or schmaltzy. She writes with a stifling intensity. Her story telling skills embrace inventiveness, creativity and a sense of immediacy. She brings a delirious humor and compelling
Chitraâ€ Banerjee Divakaruni
PREM SOURI KISHORE
very book of Divakaruni takes us in a new direction. One Amazing Thing, her sixteenth book connects so strongly that together with her nine characters, we are tethered on a raft of emotions as we await the next tremor. Survivors of a violent earthquake, the book opens with a fateful collision of people who find themselves in an American city's Indian Consulate that has suffered the blast of an earthquake. We are caught up in excellent dramatic writing and psychological probing as Divakaruni introduces terrified characters who huddle under two floors of wreckage. The intersection of people brings a complexity of backgrounds and intertwining of cultures. Trapped in the confines of a crumbling space, they go on a journey of self discovery telling the stories of their lives as they await rescue or death. A brilliant technique and well crafted with strong intelligence, compelling and suspenseful. . Who are these random people brought together in this catastrophe? A young Muslim American man in conflict with a country that regards him with distrust, a graduate student confused with bewildering emotions of love and desire, a wealthy American couple struggling with their unhappiness, a Vietnam War veteran searching for answers, two South Indian visa office workers on the fringes of an illicit relationship, an elderly Chinese woman with a secret past and her
March 19, 2010
ing crushed under the rubble from an aftershock, we stay with them even after the last page. Divakaruni occupies a unique position within the landscape of Diaspora writers in
The original story teller quality to the story of Mr Mangalam while Malathi's tale of her work at Miss Lola's Lovely Ladies Salon, in Kerala revolving around gold leaf facials, tongs and creams is not only madly broody, teenage granddaughter. A riveting, scenario as they position themselves in relation to one another Anguish, depression, heartbreak, new perceptions, regrets, betrayals, cruelties, joys, make up the twisting narratives. In the midst
BOOK REVIEW One Amazing Thing Published by Voice of the impending doom and urgency of survival, they reminiscence and find a wry comfort, fresh insights in the telling of the tales. The power of their stories, that have never been told before, takes them into each other's lives, as they find compassion, answers,
In an interview she said that she too had experienced how people react in a crisis when she was forced to flee Houston as Hurricane Rita approached in September 2005. Some reacted negatively, some shared water while others had guns entertaining but affects you deeply. The story of the Chinese grandmother resonates with a haunting poignancy. As the group faces starvation, lack of oxygen or be-
the sense that she is addictive. Having written books over the past 20 years, Diwakaruni focuses on how people act and the human dynamics of a situation. In an interview she said that she too had experienced how people react in a crisis when she was forced to flee Houston as Hurricane Rita approached in September 2005. Some reacted negatively, some shared water while others had guns. "What is it that allows us to call upon grace when we are under deep, deep pressure?' she asks. On her book tour across the United States, she hopes to discuss the whole idea of grace under pressure, and the possibility of creating communities when disasters strike. Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni has won major literary awards and her short stories are published in various anthologies. She is the Betty and Gene McDavid Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Houston.
Emmy nomination for NY Life's Indian commercials India Post News Service
NEW YORK: New York Life Insurance Company television campaign geared toward the Asian-Indian community has been nominated for a New York Emmy Award. The four-commercial campaign, "Life is Beautiful withâ€ŚThe Company You Keep" aired in the United States last year. The campaign is one of the four nominated to win this prestigious award. This is the fourth New York Emmy nomination for New York Life's AsianIndian Market Division. The first was in 2007 with the 'Elephant' campaign that featured a group of Indian children interacting with a baby elephant. Last year the entire five-commercial campaign and one of the commercials 'The Watchman' were nominated for the award.
Ashwin Verma directing the commercial that won an Emmy nomination
"We are very proud to be nominated for this prestigious award," said Ashwin K. Verma, corporate vice president and chief
marketing officer for Cultural Markets, New York Life. "The campaign illustrates the beauty of the memories you make in each
stage of life." Verma, who developed the concept for the campaign, added, "The underlying message of the campaign is that 'the Company You Keep,' New York Life, is there with you to help fulfill your dreams, ensuring that you have the opportunity for a beautiful life." The award is given by The New York Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NY NATAS), the preeminent membership organization serving the television industry dedicated to the advancement of the arts and sciences of television and the promotion of creative leadership for artistic, educational and technical achievements within the television industry. Winners will be announced at the 53nd Annual New York Emmy Awards black tie gala on April 18, at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Times Square.
March 19, 2010
Mesmerizing evening with Dutch Imran SURESH BODIWALA
CHICAGO: Best of city musicians and DJs came together on stage and mesmerized the audience with scintillating performance at Victor Hotel Nightclub on North Sangamon Street in Chicago on March 5 evening. DJ Aladdin and DJ Navin Kumar brought the house down and got the audience tapping their feet. DJ Naveen Kumar also played Bollywood, House & Hip-Hop tracks in the Main Room. Amongst these veterans of music, Milwaukee's Best, DJ Sajan played Arabic-Euro-Hindi dance music in the VIP Room, who is also known for his rapid remixes. He has enthralled the audiences with the latest hit remix numbers. Over 400 people attended the program and had a perfect blast with the latest hits and dazzling dance numbers. However, the highlight of the event was Imran Khan, a 22 year-old Dutch-born Punjabi singer from The Hague in Holland. Currently signed with Prestige Records in the UK, he
Sexy and Successful awards gala. Khan also performed at the event's gala and after the party. Khan is also nominated for Best Album for 'Unforgettable', Best Desi Act, Best Male Act and Best Video for 'Amplifier'. Imran Khan sent the crowd into raptures even before he
Over 400 people attended the program and had a perfect blast with the latest hits and dazzling dance numbers
Imran Khan regaling the 400 plus audience in Chicago
launched his latest album in the UK entitled, 'Unforgettable'. His musical preference is Punjabi, R'n'B, Hip-hop, Reggae, Drum N
Bass, Garage, 2 step, Recreation, Pop, Dance, Techno and House. Anokhi, a North Americanbased South Asian Fashion,
Real time 'Desi' updates on Nokia Mobile Application India Post News Service
market need. The app was made available on over 100 different Nokia devices worldLOS ANGELES: Desi Hits was launched wide including the latest N97 phone." She in 2006 as a portal for the western world to added "Desi Hits! has just integrated a TwitDesi Culture. It is an entertainment/lifestyle ter widget into their site "Desi Tweets" such hub for anyone curious about Desi culture. that all Bollywood celeb's tweets can be Among those impressed by its contribution found real-time, in one location: http:// is Rolling Stones, who say, "Now more than www.desihits.com/#tweet." The company has become a platform ever before, mainstream urban musicians are looking to connect with the Indian for new cross-cultural collaborations. By audience...www.desihits.com is providing way of example Desi Hits helped facilithem with a platform to make this possible." tated the Pussycat Dolls -A.R. Rahman Bollywood remix collaboDesi Hits has also beration of "Jai Ho." come a destination for well- Desi Hits has also "People seldom recogknown American rappers nize Punjabi MC and Jaysuch as LL Cool J, 50 Cent, become a destinaZ's 'Beware of the Boys' as and Lupe Fiasco to pro- tion for well-known Bhangra, or that Buddha mote their music. And now American rappers Bar and Dmitri from Paris Desi Hits is taking it to the such as LL Cool J, 50 draw so much from South next level. In January, Desi Asia," says Anjula Hits launched their first Cent, and Lupe Acharya-Bath, founder of Nokia mobile application Fiasco to promote which marks a platform ex- their music. And now Desi Hits in an interview in Vogue. pansion for Desi Hits and "It's hardly surprising serves a reflection of the Desi Hits is taking it to that both Bollywood and growing appetite for Desi the next level Hollywood have come callculture worldwide. The debut app features an RSS reader to pro- ing. Desi Hits! is increasingly being asked vide real time updates from Desi Hits! on to find talent for East-West collaborations daily news content across multiple Desi such as Ashok Amritraj's film The Other End genres; including Bollywood, Bhangra and of the Line, starring Shriya Sharan and Jesse Metcalfe (the hunky gardener on hit TV Urban Desi. A spokeswoman said the Desi Hits! series Desperate Housewives). And if a Nokia News app ranked #2 in popularity in Bollywood producer needs to shoot a dance its category within the first week of launch. number abroad, Acharin-Bath points them "So we certainly seem to be addressing a in the direction of 'someone brilliant'."
Lifestyle & Entertainment magazine, presented Khan with the 2010 Musical Artist of the Year, Male Award at their 4th annual
stepped onto the stage. He started the show by presenting latest hits from his debut album, entitled 'Unforgettable' and made the crowd go into frenzy as he took charge of the stage. His fast tracks and resounding beats such as 'Ni Nachleh' 'Amplifier' and 'Bewafa' made the evening peppier and glued the audiences to their place.
AKON ROPED IN: Shah Rukh Khan (L) and Kareena Kapoor (C) pose with US musician Akon (R) at a promotional event in Mumbai March 9. Musical genius Akon is to record a track for a Bollywood film, following in the footsteps of rapper Snoop Dogg who raised his profile in the 1.2billion-strong Indian market with a similar foray. The Grammy Award-nominated star will contribute to the soundtrack of "RA.One," a sci-fi action film currently in production starring Shah Rukh Khan as a flying superhero and Kareena Kapoor as his love interest
LAKME FASHIONS: Models showcase creations by Indian designer Suneet Varma during the grand finale on the last day of Lakme Fashion Week(LFW) Summer/Resort 2010 in Mumbai on March 9. The biannuall in its 11th year featured creations by over 50 designers
US director devises 'Draupadi' in modern day play
NEW DELHI: Draupadi, the archetypal wronged woman in epic Mahabharata "hangs out" in contemporary Delhi witnessing the travails of a modern lady in a new play devised by an American director. The script for "Draupadi: We are no different now," scheduled to be staged here from March 1926 revised and redrafted with an all Indian cast, narrates multiple stories around two women. "The play is a natural modern day tale of a woman who is enraged, seeks justice and needs to come to terms with the humiliation that she undergoes," director Tina Johnson, currently based in South Africa told PTI. Shivani Pasrich, dancer, playwright and director, who conceptualized and co-directed the production, is cast as the central character of a matronly Draupadi who intervenes and saves Maaya, a modern woman attempting suicide after being struck with personal tragedy. -PTI
VDC members repulse attack of militants in Doda JAMMU: Members of Village Defense Committee have repulsed the attack of militants and forced them to flee in forest area of Doda district, police said. An unspecified number of militants fired on a house of VDC member Jan Mohammad from Thathri forest area, about 200 kms from here, in the wee hours, they said. Mohammad, joined by other VDC members, exchanged gunfire for about two hours. Facing stiff resistance from VDC members, militants escaped under the cover of darkness. -PTI
Govt planning to procure ten C-17 transport aircraft NEW DELHI: The Government says it is planning to procure ten C-17 transport aircraft for strategic airlift requirements. The Letter of Request (LoR) in this regard was issued to the US government on January 1 this year. "The proposal to procure C-17 Globemaster III aircraft from the US government for the Indian Air Force was approved by the Defense Acquisition Council on October 19, 2009 and the LoR was issued to the US government on January 1, 2010," Defense Minister A K Antony said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha. -PTI
India News 28
March 19, 2010
Indian opposition leader Sushma Swaraj (R), Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Brinda Karat (C) and fellow female Members of Parliament (MPs) celebrate outside Parliament after passing of the Women's Reservation Bill in Rajya Sabha on March 9
Cleared by Elders, Women's Bill stuck in Lok Sabha NEW DELHI: Making the UPA government's stand clear on the Women's Reservation Bill, Leader of the House in the Lok Sabha Pranab Mukherjee made it clear that the government is not against convening an all-party meet and also assured that 'all issues' are open for discussion. Responding to the accusations by Mulayam Singh Yadav, Lalu Prasad Yadav and Sharad Yadav that the bill is discriminatory against Dalits, OBCs and minorities, Pranab said, "The fact of the matter is that on this issue there are divergent views. There were discussions, we could not, unfortunately, reach at a conclusion, although various attempts were made." "You (Yadav trio) stated that an all-party meet be called. There is no harm in calling an all-party meet. The government has made it clear that various options can be ex-
plored to narrow down differences," he stressed. Pranab, however, took expectation to the continuing disruptions in both the houses of the Parliament over the issue, slamming the Yadavas, he said, "All these issues
the bill in the Lok Sabha. We will consult you" A response from the government was necessitated as the Rajya Sabha also had to be adjourned over the issue. In the Lok Sabha, with many important bills like the
Lalu said, 'We are being asked to sign a death certificate. We are not against Women's Reservation Bill, we are only asking for representation of women from Muslim, Dalit and OBC community' can be raised, can be debated and can be decided by the 543 members sitting here belonging to different political parties but opposition must allow the house conduct normal business. Nothing can be achieved by stalling the proceedings," he added. Adding, "All issues will be discussed before the introduction of
finance bill pending, as soon as the house convened, the Yadavs once again raised the tempo over their opposition to the bill. Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav once again advocated the need for a quota within the quota and pressed the need for an amendment. Talking a similar line, JD (U)
president Sharad Yadav while condemning the bill opined the need for an all-party meet to decide on the same. Taking on the baton from Sharad Yadav, Lalu said, "We are being asked to sign a death certificate. We are not against Women's Reservation Bill, we are only asking for representation of women from Muslim, Dalit and OBC community." Meanwhile, the BJP has rubbished all reports of a division within its ranks over the bill. Party's leader in the Lok Sabha Shushma Swaraj said that the BJP will issue a whip in favor of the bill when it comes for voting in the lower house. The Bill is expected to be introduced in the Lok Sabha after April 12 when Parliament comes back from almost a month-long recess, beginning March 15. -PTI
Huge bottle manufacturing plant for Nagpur He is also considering setting up a Polytechnic and M.B.A (Master in Business Administration) Colleges, with an objective to provide effective assistance to rural, poor and unemployed youths. His motive is to develop their skills in information technology, making
NIDHI SOPARAWALA & FRANK FERNANDES
NAGPUR: One time self employed, hard working bottle supplier Hasan Ali Mohammad Ali has turned big catering to needs of 16 states in India. Ali now plans to go bigger still. The owner of M.A. Bottles and Bharat Bottle employing 900 workers has announced setting up an automated bottling manufacturing plant in Nagpur that would turn out 15 lakh bottles a day employing double the number of workers. Ali's proposed new venture would have no foreign collaboration and the entire plant will have indigenous machinery. It will involve an investment of about Rs.70 crores ($17 million), Ali told this paper that he would raise requisite capital through public funding and loan, including that from abroad. The plant, if all goes as planned, would go on stream next year April and would meet
Hasan Ali Mohammad Ali
requirements of many more states in the country. Hasan Ali has not only proved himself to be a shrewd businessman but has a philanthropic trait in his personality. He is the founder of Urdu Adhyapak Vidyalaya as well as Mohammed Ali College of Education. Besides, he is the President of B.B Education and Welfare Society, Kamptee, Nagpur and is planning to set-up an I.T. Engineering College here.
Ali's proposed new venture would have no foreign collaboration and the entire plant will have indigenous machinery. It will involve an investment of about Rs.70 crores ($17 million) them aware about latest career opportunities and motivating them in getting their right place in society. According to the upcoming project MIHAN (multinational-international hub airport in Nagpur) there would be a huge need for skilled manpower in various sectors like IT Parks, super special-
ties hospitals, cargo hub, road rail terminal, etc. So, the proposed colleges will be of help in meeting a good part of this growing need in the area. Born to a poor Muslim family in Kamtee Nagpur (India), Hasan Ali was able to study up till 4th class only as he had to shoulder the responsibility of his entire family. His early life was full of struggles, challenges, and poverty. This however, helped him to understand the problems faced by the poor in the area and he sought to help them by establishing Urdu Adhyapak Vidyalaya (D.Ed) in October 2006 and Mohammed Ali College of Education (B.Ed) in August 2007 and B.B Education and Welfare Society. Hasan Ali has always been a hard worker. He started working at the age of 11. He worked very hard to become a successful businessman. He started with cleaning bottles at a small level. And today he is a big supplier of bottles is a proud owner of Bharat Bottle and Kamptee Ice Factory.
emkund is a pilgrimage for the Sikhs. Hemkund, as the name suggests, is a lake in the Himalayas. There are many lakes in the Himalayas, but few are set in as dramatic a setting as Hemkund is. At an altitude of 4,500 m above sea level, which is several hundred meters above the tree line, the lake is set like a jewel in a crown of seven of the most picturesque snow peaks of the Himalayas. In this surrealistic landscape, made up mostly of rock and ice, there is no habitation-animal or human. The place is as if made to order for a man in search of absolute peace to meditate upon the absolute truth. It is this very place where Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth and last Guru of the Sikhs, unified with God after prolonged meditation in his previous
29 India Post
March 19, 2010
H H ee m m kk uu nn dd ... A pilgrimage for the Sikhs
birth. He mentioned it in his writings in glowing terms, but only vaguely alluded to its exact location. And so, it was not until 1930, when two devout Sikhs, Sant Sohan Singh and Havaldar Mohan Singh, chanced upon it during a cartography mission, that the place came to be venerated for having hosted the great spiritual leader. The place is now regarded as an important pilgrimage of the Sikhs. Hemkund is also a holy place for the Hindus. According to Hindu mythology, Hemkund (or Lokpal as it is also known) is where Lakshman had done his penance. Tourist attractions: Hemkund rejuvenates your soul. It is a pil-
grimage in the traditional mould; there are no hotels, no restaurants, no mechanized transport, and not many chai shops either. Hemkund is a two-day walk from the nearest road head. If one cannot walk, one can at best ride a dubious looking pony. Food and accommodation is provided by two gurdwaras, free of cost to the pilgrims. The greatest enemy of spirituality, commercialism, has been minimized to such an extent that the genuinely motivated pilgrim does not even notice it. Contâ€™d on page 32
Travel & Hospitality Post
March 19, 2010
Govt ready to revisit new tourist, conference visa guidelines NEW DELHI: The government has said it was ready to revisit the new guidelines issued for granting tourist and conference visas if there were genuine grievances. Home Secretary Gopal K Pillai said the government has received a number of representations requesting it to reconsider the revised guidelines. "Government makes rules, government makes regulations which may not be correct. But in a democracy there is a system, we cor-
rect ourselves if a mistake is made. If error is made, we correct them," he said addressing a seminar on "Thought Policing or Fighting Terror; Home Ministry's Curbs on Foreign Scholars". Later, Pillai told reporters, "We have received a number of representations (on conference visa) and we are examining them. This is under consideration". His comments came when asked whether there was any move to revisit the new guidelines for
conference visas. According to the revised guidelines for conference visas, prior
Government makes regulations which may not be correct. But in a democracy there is a system, we correct ourselves if a mistake is made security clearance from the Home Ministry is required in respect of participants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, Iran, Pakistan,
Sri Lanka, Iraq, Sudan, foreigners of Pakistani origin and stateless persons. Besides, the Home Ministry's clearance is also required if the participation involves visit to restricted or protected areas in India or to areas affected by terrorism, militancy and extremism, like Jammu and Kashmir and North Eastern states, and if the conference involves politically sensitive subjects. Referring to the restrictions imposed on issuing tourist visa, the Home Secretary said the government was open to amend any rules if there was any "mistake". Pillai wondered how many of the six million genuine tourists, which visit India every year, would like
to come back to India within 60 days. "Six million tourists come and go. How many of them come within 60 days? Possibly not even 0.1 per cent of the total number of tourists," he said. The recent guidelines on tourist visa stipulate a gap of at least two months between two visits to the country. Pillai, however, said the government was ready to examine if any genuine tourist is harassed following the new guidelines. "If the problem is of that 0.1 per cent, we are ready to see how best that can be corrected. Government is willing to see how best the problem of that 0.1 per cent people is solved. But no decision can satisfy all people. That is part of the problem. That is the government system," he said. -PTI
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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In a bid to lure more tourists, the Kerala government is planning to launch a 'sea plane service' in the state and will soon conduct a study in this regard, state Tourism Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan told the assembly. Considering the distinctive environment condition of state's backwaters and inland-waterways, Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) has been asked to conduct the study on the possibility of 'sea plane services', he said. However, the government has no plans to conduct the service directly. It would only provide necessary logistic support to private sector which come forward with proposals, he said. Kerala's backwaters have been listed in one of the top places worth seeing by National Geography Survey, he said. Issues such as inland fishing, backwater pollution and other environmental factors would be considered before taking a decision on the matter, he said. CPI (M) leader V N Vasavan said the 'sea plane service' should connect different backwaters and lake tourist spots in the state to boost tourism. Presently many tourists who arrive in Kochi return without visiting the famed Kumarakom backwater due to paucity of transport facility, he said. As per the economic review 2009, 5,98,929 foreign tourists and 75,91,250 domestic tourists arrived in the state in 2008, an increase of 16.11 per cent and 14.28 per cent respectively over 2007, he said. -PTI
March 19, 2010
Travel & Hospitality Post
Heli-skii starts in Kashmir valley Gehlot proposes mela SRINAGAR: After a gap of three years, heli- skiing made a come back in Kashmir with a group of foreign skiers led by world acclaimed skier Sylvain Saudan leaving for Sonamarg hill resort for the adventure sport. The skiers boarded a helicopter for heli-skiing in Gund area of Sonamarg, 80 kms from here, Director Tourism Farooq Ahmad Shah told PTI. The group was formally flagged off but due to inclement weather in Sonamarg they could not do the skiing, Shah said. In its bid to promote adventure sports and attract tourists, the state government has engaged Saudan, the three time Guinness Book record holder and one of the pioneers in skiing, Tourism Minister Nawang Rigzin Jora said.
He said tourism department would provide all possible help for tourists who intend to undertake heli skiing.
In its bid to promote adventure sports and attract tourists, the state government has engaged Saudan, the three time Guinness Book record holder and one of the pioneers in skiing "There is no need to seek permission for such adventure activities. We will facilitate tourists for such adventure for promotion of tourism," Jora said.
A ski patrol team in Srinagar has been kept on stand-by to assist the heli skiing party. "The team is equipped with latest gadgets to rescue the skiers in the event of any exigencies or avalanche," Director Tourism Shah said. "There is a lot of scope for heliskiing and Kashmir has tailor-made mountains for the adventure sport. We will welcome and even support endeavors to bring skiers here," he said. He said with the help of ski experts, new destinations for skiing and heli-skiing will be explored in the Valley. Efforts are on to put Kongwathan in south Kashmir and Tosmaidan in Budgam district of central Kashmir on the skiing map, he said. -PTI
106 ancient monuments declared protected sites in JK JAMMU: In order to fillip heritage tourism in Jammu and Kashmir, the state Government has declared as many as 106 monuments as protected sites in the state. "As many as 106 ancient monuments have been declared as protected sites in Jammu and Kashmir, where focus will now be development of the heritage tourism", State Tourism Minister Nawag Rigzin Jora told PTI. Out of these, 69 are being
looked after by the Archaeology Survey of India (ASI), while 37 are under the state archaeology Department, he said. "We have held discussions on the measures and strategies required for preserving the heritage of the state, distinguishing them in tangible, intangible and natural sites", Jora said. Jora asked the officers to ensure access to civic amenities like toilet, parking and allied facilities
at each such site for the convenience of the visitors. He also asked authorities to make available information on the monuments in brochures and booklets for the visitors. There is a need to identify the nature of encroachments on the sites, the minister said adding that such actions should be reported to the deputy commissioners who would take action against the encroaching elements. -PTI
authority in Rajasthan
JAIPUR: To ensure safety and security of people at fairs, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has proposed a 'mela' authority in the state. In his budget speech, Gehlot said that many people have died so far in various incidents in Jodh-
pur, Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, so safety for people in such crowded places should be ensured, referring to various stampede incidents. "For better management of fairs and security of people a mela authority will be formed in the state," Gehlot said. -PTI
Travel & Hospitality Post
March 19, 2010
Hemkund: A pilgrimage for the Sikhs Contâ€™d from page 29
Ghangharia: From the bridge cross the Alakananda (at Gobindghat), it is 14 km to the next settlement, Ghangharia, or Gobind Dham as the Sikhs call it. Ghangharia is actually a large meadow; a tourist rest house and the gurdwara are the only building of any significance. The rest are just temporary shacks, occupied only occasionally by nomadic shepherds or some shopkeepers who come during the pilgrimage season. An experienced trekker may find the walk to Ghangharia very easy; the track runs all along the Bhyundyar Ganga, ascending and descending at regular intervals, thus giving the trekker ample respite from both types of strains. One passes through a varied forest of many types of trees and several meadows covered with dandelions. The forest floor is thick with ferns and huge rocks covered with many types of moss. There are two quaint villages en route: Pulns, 3 km out of Gobindghat, and Bhyundyar, just 5 km short of Ghangharia. The walk, though difficult, is nevertheless refreshing; one is awestruck with rapturous exclamations over the pristine beauty of the mountains and springtime flowers. The gurdwara at Ghangharia is placed strategically at a point where most pilgrims are too tired to go much further for the day. A particularly strong trekker might go up to the summit that very day, but he wouldn't
have much time to spend there because the weather turns bad every afternoon and there is no possibility of a shelter at the summit. However, when the Gurdwara Hemkund Sahib is officially open, one might be able to spend the night at Ghangharia and thereby have the whole of the next day for Hemkund alone. The gurdwara at Ghangharia gives an even stronger impression than the one at Gobindghat of being specifically created to take care of the pilgrims. The langar is kept open from dawn until late in the evening and every pilgrim is
visible. The Hemkund Lake is about 2 km in circumference. One would gasp in awestruck wonder at the first sight of Hemkund. The frozen lake and all the virgin snow around is a surely heavenly sight. The clear, still water of the lake reflects the Saptashringa Peaks (5,500 m) that surround it. Bits of ice float on the waters between July and September, the best season to visit Hemkund. The rock-strewn shores of the lake are covered with moss and flowers in bloom. As far as the eye can see, down the length of the
The Hemkund Lake is about 2 km in circumference. One would gasp in awestruck wonder at the first sight of Hemkund. The frozen lake and all the virgin snow around is a surely heavenly sight. The clear, still water of the lake reflects the Saptashringa Peaks (5,500 m) provided with a mattress and blankets in one of their many dormitories. From Ghangharia, Hemkund is only 5 km away. However, the journey is quite arduous because of a steep gradient. The trek from here to Hemkund is through forests of pine and rhododendron where wild roses, ferns, and alpine flowers bloom. The surging waters of the Lakshman Ganga are also
valley, up the lower mountain slopes, there are flowers and flowers, and still more flowers. More than a thousand Himalayan varieties of flowers, ferns, and herbs are massed in the valley in all their frail beauty and scented sweetness. The waterfalls flashing white against the mountainsides, nothing is more striking than the valley's absolute bloom of stunning perfection. There would not be another living thing in sight. The only sound one can hear would probably be one's own sound. Visiting this place could be regarded as the encounter with the personification of absolute peace and raw natural beauty. Places around: A little over 9,000 feet above sea level, Auli in the Garhwal Himalayas is an introduction to a wild, exhilarating new world of speed that most sen-
sible men would shun. On the challenging slopes of Nanda Devi, skiers can race downhill at more than 130 km per hour. Once an expensive sport limited to the privileged few, the heady, adrenalin-producing pastime of skiing has been brought within the reach of the common person at Auli-India's newest ski resort. At Joshimath, there is a temple built by the great guru and spiritual teacher Adi Shankaracharya more than 1,200 years ago. About 12 km from Gobindghat is located the beautiful Valley of Flowers, a glacial corridor 8 km in length and 2 km in width. Its floor slopes from almost 3,500 m above sea level up to almost 4,000 m. True to its name, the valley is carpeted with wildflowers during the monsoon season. Of the many species which coexist in this unique ecosystem, the most popular among visitors are the Himalayan blue poppy native to the region, the uncommon varieties of primulas and orchid which blooms during June, and the impatiens, potentillas, and campanulas which paint the valley pink, red, and purple during July and August. Fairs & festivals: In February-March every year, a winter sports festival is held when exhilaration and speed scale the peaks of frenzy. Besides, the temples observe and follow the Hindu festivals and celebrate it in the presence of a large number of devotees. How to reach: Hemkund is a 15-km trek from Gobindghat, which is the gateway to the Bhyundyar or Lakshman Ganga Valley. Gobindghat is on the bus route to Badrinath. The nearest railhead is at Rishikesh, about 170 km away. Best time to visit: Though Hemkund, pilgrimage of the Sikhs may be visited all through the year, the best time to visit is between July and September.
India to strengthen tourism ties with Japan NEW DELHI: With the aim to advance strategic and global partnership with Japan in tourism sector, India has said Japan has emerged as one of the top ten source markets for it. "Tourist arrivals from Japan to India is increasing steadily and India received a total of 1,50,732 tourists in 2008 and Japan is one of the top ten source markets for India," Tourism Secretary Sujit Banerjee said here. He was speaking at the inauguration of UNWTO Symposium on Encouraging Tourism Exchange in India. Banerjee said that in a world that is becoming increasingly inter-independent with each passing year, tourism has emerged as one of the key areas for enhanced cooperation and mutual understanding among different nations. He said both India and Japan were ancient civilizations and shared a long history of religious, intellectual and cultural interactions. As important partners in Asia, both the countries aspire for strengthening peace and prosperity in the region through
a shared commitment to the principles of democracy, rule of law, independent judiciary and free press. Referring to Buddhism, he said, it originated in India and was received by millions in Japan. He said, people-to-people exchanges have been further enhanced through joint collaboration in India's revival of the Nalanda University as a regional centre of learning and the establishment of a Chair on Indian Studies at the University of Tokyo. Listing out several initiatives undertaken by the government to establish India as one of the leading tourist destinations, Tourism Secretary said the measures include visa on arrival, wellness and medical tourism, rural tourism, providing more opportunities in adventure tourism, caravan tourism and upgradation and modernization of infrastructural facilities and airports. During the recently concluded Buddhist Conclave held in Nalanda in Bihar, a delegation from Japan comprising tour operators, media members and Buddhist scholars actively participated in the program. -PTI
March 19, 2010
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2 Neb. health systems aim to improve health care
OMAHA, Neb.: Two Nebraska health systems have joined forces to reduce patient costs and improve health care. The Accountable Care Alliance is a partnership of Methodist Health System and the Nebraska Medical Center. It's run by a 12member board of directors. The alliance is modeled after an accountable care organization, which relies on a network of doctors and hospitals that are held responsible for the quality and cost of health care. Among the alliance's goals are to increase communication between doctors and hospitals, reduce duplication of services, limit unnecessary tests and better manage transitions from hospital to home. -AP
NJ nuke plant passes NRC performance review
LACEY, NJ: The nation's oldest operating nuclear plant has received a passing grade for safe operation from the federal Nuclear Regulator Commission. The finding comes just weeks after the NRC completed a performance review of the Oyster Creek plant in Lacey Township. During the process, NRC technical staff reviewed the plant's performance indicators for the most recent quarter and inspection results for 2009. ``Overall, Oyster Creek operated in a manner that preserved public health and safety and fully met all cornerstone objectives,'' David Lew, director of the NRC Division of Reactor Projects, stated in a letter this week to plant owner Exelon Corp. -AP
Mass. health insurers want significant rate hikes BOSTON: Massachusetts health insurance companies have asked the state to approve significant rate hikes, weeks after Gov. Deval Patrick warned his administration might turn down increases it deemed excessive. The insurers have asked for increases of 8 to 32 percent, starting April 1. Last month, Patrick said the state Division of Insurance would review rate increases higher than 4.8 percent as part of a broader effort to control health care expenses. The Boston Globe reports that if the state rejects the increases, it would be the first time Massachusetts has capped health insurance rates. -AP
Health Science 35
March 19, 2010
AIDS virus can hide in bone marrow WASHINGTON: The virus that causes AIDS can hide in the bone marrow, avoiding drugs and later awakening to cause illness, according to new research that could point the way toward better treatments for the disease. Details on page 37
'Astounding results' from Dr Tiwari's cancer drug PREETI VERMA LAL
alking the undulating tea terraces of Assam, Nandlal Tiwari knew not what destiny had ordained for him. As assistant manager at a tea garden, he trudged the garden ensuring that the tea leaves were picked, dried, rolled and packed to perfection for that favorite morning cuppa. He had no degree in medicine, but herbs fascinated him - beyond picking tea leaves, he often picked information about medicinal herbs from the elders of the local tribes. Call it absent-minded coincidence or life's calling, each day Tiwari delved further into the medicinal properties of herbs. The more he researched and studied, the more he was convinced that within the wild herbs lay the cure of cancer. The cancer-cure thought seemed a little far-fetched but nothing - not even naysayers and failure - could detract Tiwari from what he now assumed was his calling in life. The grit was not easy, specially not 30 years ago when alternative medicine was not such a buzzword in the world of medicine. FromAssam, Tiwari moved to a sleepy village called Gondia near Nagpur in Maharastra. After years of research, it was in 1979 that Tiwari finally found the concoction of his dreams Carctol, a combination of 8 herbs, 6 of which grow in the wild.
Dr Daniel had said, 'Over the years I have seen a number of remarkable recoveries but since I have been putting people on Carctol I have seen miracles. I have seen astounding results and these are mounting' The beginnings were small and tentative; Tiwari and his wife would pound the herbs at night, make small paper packets and distribute them free to those who came to him seeking relief from cancer. The generosity took a heavy financial toll on the Tiwari household and fame had to wait until a January 20, 1985, article about Tiwari in Dharamyug, a Hindi weekly magazine, and later an interview in Asia TV that was aired in England. With all the talk about Carctol, medical practitioners all around the
world sat up and noticed the allnatural wonderdrug of Tiwari, a native of Jaipur, Rajasthan, who picked up a formal degree in Ayurveda from Varanasi much after he discovered Carctol. According to Dr Tiwari, Carctol is all-natural, a claim corroborated by scientific tests in Lynemartin Radford Institute and Severn Trent Laboratory in London, as well as All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), India's premier medical institution. No metallic traces were detected, neither was Carctol deemed
toxic; put simply, it was deemed safe and without any side-effects. Dr Tiwari affirms that Carctol is effective in all kinds of cancer, but there are several dos and don'ts. During treatment, he recommends avoidance of sour food and foods with added preservatives, and drinking 4-5 liters of water the theory based on the premise that cancer is associated with high levels of acid in the body. Quite unlike other practitioners, Dr Tiwari claims only 30-40% success cure. In a study of 1,900 patients taking Carctol and following the regime, 25% had 75-100% benefit; 50% had 25-75% benefit, and 25% had little or no benefit; 'benefit' deemed to be having more energy, putting on weight and being more tranquil. Success attracted a number of doctors and researchers from around the world, among them being Dr Rosy Daniel, the former medical director of the Bristol Cancer Help Centre. In the past four years, Dr Daniel has prescribed Carctol to nearly 860 patients. In an earlier interview to the The Telegraph (London) newspaper, Dr Daniel had said, "Over the years I have seen a number of remarkable recoveries but since I have been putting people on Carctol I have seen miracles. I have seen astounding results and these are mounting". Cont’d on page 36
Chicago health clinic extends hours of operation SURESH SHAH India Post News Service
CHICAGO: The Indian American Medical Association Charitable Foundation of Chicago (IAMACF), a free, community health clinic located in the heart of the Chicago's West Ridge community, has announced expanding the clinic's hours of operation, adding Wednesday evening to its scheduled Saturday-Sunday operations. For years, the clinic has
A group of volunteers, supporters and physicians during a recent IAMA CF meet. Standing: (L-R) Mafat Patel, Kishore Chugh, Dr. Brij Malani, Dr. Azazuddin Ahmed, Dr Utpal Parekh, Naren Patel, Dr Sanjay Amin, Chris Zala, and Dr. Manish Brahmbhatt Sitting: (L-R) Dr Rambha Radhakrishnan, Beena Patel, Dr. Usha Nimmagadda, Usha Kamaria
been providing free, basic primary healthcare services on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 2 pm. Starting from March 17, it will be opening its doors on Wednesday evenings from 4 pm to 7pm. The community clinic, run by volunteer physicians from the Indian American Medical Association of Illinois, has been providing free basic healthcare services to any and all that walk through its doors since 1994. Cont’d on page 37
Health Science Post
March 19, 2010
Cost of treating asthma drops by half
his is certainly another mile stone in the Year of the Lungs (2010). The cost of treating asthma has dropped by nearly half in Benin and El Salvador, thanks to the Asthma Drug Facility (ADF) created by the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union). The two countries are the first to receive deliveries of affordably priced, quality-assured asthma inhalers purchased through the ADF. Until now, the lowest cost for treating a patient with severe asthma in Benin was 79 euros per year. By ordering through ADF, this cost will be reduced to 48 euros; and, in El Salvador, the savings per patient are even more dramatic ¨C the cost reduces from 83 to 35 euros per year. Over the past 15 years, helping low-and middle-income countries manage asthma has been one of The Union's lung health priorities. "These countries identified the prohibitively high cost of asthma inhalers as a key obstacle to providing asthma care", said Dr Nils E Billo, Executive Director of The Union. "The ADF was established as a practical, affordable solution
to this problem." Through ADF, low-and middleincome countries can purchase the quality-assured, affordable asthma medicines they need. The ADF has a quality assurance system based on World Health Organization (WHO) norms and standards. It keeps prices down by having a limited competitive process among selected manufacturers based on yearly estimated volumes. For both countries, the savings are very significant. For example, in Benin, one CFC-free inhaler of Beclometasone 100¦Ìg providing at least 200 doses of medicine will cost a patient around 1,400 CFA francs or 2.13 euros. In El Salvador, the same inhaler will cost the Ministry of Health only 1.59 euros. The costs of the medicines purchased through the ADF vary from country to country due to differences in transportation costs, importation taxes, customs clearance costs and other local factors. For patients, a more affordable price makes treatment possible. "To give you an idea of how expensive it was for the majority of the population to spend 79 euros on asthma treatment, in Benin, a
nurse earns only about 92 euros per month", said Prof Martin Gninafon, manager of Benin's National Tuberculosis Program. Each country has taken a different approach to financing these medicines. To build a sustainable system that can eventually provide all asthma patients with on-
Once predominantly found in industrialized countries, the incidence of asthma has increased dramatically in lowand middle income countries over the past 20 years going access to affordable treatment, Benin's National Tuberculosis Program has established a revolving fund and cost recovery system for asthma medicines. In El Salvador, the Ministry of Health looks forward to being able to treat more patients for the same budget. Although the prices obtained through ADF are more affordable
than what many countries had before, ADF will continue to encourage further competition among quality-assured products. "We are convinced that the prices of HFA inhalers will further decrease in the near future, since volumes will become substantial and more competition will occur," said Cecile Mac, Pharmacist and ADF Coordinator for The Union. Both countries purchased through the ADF not only to obtain inhalers, but also to improve their management of asthma. In addition to the ADF procurement mechanism, The Union offers a technical package for improving the management of asthma in the general health services. Thus, ADF clients order medicines, but also receive training materials, an information system and a technical guide to help them improve their services. Benin and El Salvador are now implementing pilot studies based on their adaptation of The Union's Management of Asthma: a guide to the essentials of good clinical practice. The staff involved in the project have completed training courses in collaboration with The Union. They will be evaluating
patient outcomes and documenting the reduction in emergency visits and hospitalizations that are sure to occur once patients have medicines and proper care. While El Salvador and Benin look set to make a real change for their people suffering from asthma, other countries that want to start implementing asthma programs or integrated approaches to respiratory health will also now have an easily accessible source of affordable medicines through the ADF. Asthma is a chronic lung condition affecting some 300 million people worldwide. Once predominantly found in industrialized countries, the incidence of asthma has increased dramatically in lowand middle income countries over the past 20 years. "The Union is pleased to bring new hope to those suffering from asthma, especially in this 2010 Year of the Lung", said Dr Billo. "A principal goal of the Year of the Lung campaign is to raise awareness of lung disease and the solutions that are available to mitigate its effects on the lives of patients, families and communities." -Citizen News Service
Deadly bat disease found in 'Astounding results' from Dr Tiwari's cancer drug West Virginia cave Cont’d from page 35
MORGANTOWN, W.Va.: An expedition into Hellhole cave in Pendleton County last month revealed that bats in one of the largest and most important bat hibernation caves in the state are infected with white-nose syndrome. The cave has been off limits to people for a few years, and now, with the recent discovery that some bats in Hellohole Cave have whitenose syndrome, it is part of a field study into the deadly disease. West Virginia Division of Natural Resources biologist Craig Stihler has a lead role in tracking and studying white-nose syndrome in West Virginia. ``What we've seen is that the most hard hit bats are probably the little brown bat; it's our most common bat in the state. They tend to hibernate in areas that are fairly damp and the fungus seems to grow very well there,'' said Stihler. ``We've had a constant stream of bats just flying out of the cave during the day, during snow, so they're obviously very distressed and fleeing the site,'' he added. Stihler says the disease was probably initially transmitted to West Virginia bats by a caver. It's believed that the disease can live
on cavers' equipment. But Stihler thinks the bats have spread it to other caves in the state. ``Last year we were estimating we had maybe 200 to 300 bats that have died. When we were at Hellhole this year we were seeing a stream of up to 40 bats an hour just leaving the cave, flying out. I'm sure most of those bats just died on the landscape,'' said Stihler.
'We've seen up to 90 percent mortality in some of the bats and it's manifested in caves where there are just piles of dead bats' Peter Youngbaer was among a group of cavers and biologists who went into Hellhole Cave last month to conduct a bat survey. Youngbaer is the white-nose syndrome liaison for the National Speleological Society. He says some good news to come out of the survey is that the endangered Virginia Big Eared bats do not appear to have white-nose syndrome. ``Half the known population in the world of that species lives in
Hellhole, so we were terrified that if we saw this in the Virginia Big Eared bat, the species might be gone,'' said Youngbaer. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is trying to establish a breeding colony for the Virginia Big Eared bats in case the disease infects the population. Seth Perlman, who lives in New York, accompanied Youngbaer into Hellhole Cave. He hopes whitenose syndrome does not have the same effect in West Virginia that it's had in the North East. ``We've seen up to 90 percent mortality in some of the bats and it's manifested in caves where there are just piles of dead bats,'' Perlman said. Perlman says not being able to cave in certain areas where whitenose syndrome is present or could possibly be spread is a small price to pay to try to save bats from this disease which eventually causes them to starve to death. ``I think it would be selfish of us who enjoy caving as a recreation to feel like we've gotten the short end of the stick, because certainly we're not dying off in mass numbers like the bats are and knowing that the bats are an important part of the ecosystem.'' -AP
Carctol has its set of doubting Cassandras, its efficacy as a cancer drug has been questioned and debated in the medical community, but if on a Monday you are in Dr Tiwari's clinic in Jaipur and watch the stream of patients and hear their stories of recovery, you might drop a few questions about the patented Carctol capsule and trust the hope that it has brought for thousands of cancer patients.
Contact details: Dr Nandlal Tiwari Cancer Research Centre Sector 2, House no. 13, Malviya Nagar Jaipur, Rajasthan 302017 Phone: 91+141 2521385, 2521224 Fax: 91-0141-4004443 Website: www.cancermedi.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Clinic timings: Only on Mondays, 8 am - 9 am and 2 pm - 3 pm (www.deepblueink.com)
NYC mayor backs tax on sugary soft drinks NEW YORK: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg says the state could raise nearly $1 billion a year by taxing sugary soft drinks. Bloomberg says New York's state Legislature should adopt a penny-per-ounce tax on sweetened soda. He said the 12 cents a can could raise much-needed money for schools and health care.
Bloomberg said the soda tax also would promote good health by discouraging people from buying soft drinks that are loaded with sugar. Bloomberg spoke in his weekly radio address. Gov. David Paterson first proposed a soda tax in 2008, but polls have found that a majority of New Yorkers oppose the idea. -AP
Health Science Post
March 19, 2010
AIDS virus can hide in bone marrow WASHINGTON: The virus that causes AIDS can hide in the bone marrow, avoiding drugs and later awakening to cause illness, according to new research that could point the way toward better treatments for the disease. Finding that hide-out is a first step, but years of research lie ahead. Dr. Kathleen Collins of the University of Michigan and her colleagues report in this week's edition of the journal Nature Medicine that the HIV virus can infect longlived bone marrow cells that eventually convert into blood cells. The virus is dormant in the bone marrow cells, she said, but when those progenitor cells develop into blood cells, it can be reactivated and cause renewed infection. The virus kills the new
blood cells and then moves on to infect other cells, said. ``If we're ever going to be able to find a way to get rid of the cells, the first step is to understand'' where a latent infection can continue, Collins said.
One hide-out was found earlier in blood cells called macrophages. Another pool was discovered in memory T-cells In recent years, drugs have reduced AIDS deaths sharply, but patients need to keep taking the medicines for life or the infection comes back, she said. That's an indication that while the drugs
battle the active virus, some of the disease remains hidden away to flare up once the therapy is stopped. One hide-out was found earlier in blood cells called macrophages. Another pool was discovered in memory T-cells, and research began on attacking those. But those couldn't account for all the HIV virus still circulating, Collins said, showing there were more locations to check out and leading her to study the blood cell progenitors. Finding these sources of infection is important because eliminating them would allow AIDS patients to stop taking drugs after their infection was over. That's critical in countries where the treatment is hard to afford and deliver. -AP
Nevada board approves diet drug RENO, Nev.: A state panel has voted to remove a diet drug from a list of substances that physicians can't prescribe in Nevada. The state Board of Medical Examiners, at a meeting in Reno, voted unanimously to allow the use of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG).
The drug still must be approved by the Legislative Commission, a group of 12 lawmakers, before doctors can legally inject patients with it. Las Vegas lawyer Jacob Hafter questioned why HCG has been banned in Nevada when it's regularly used by physicians in states
surrounding Nevada for weight loss purposes. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration leaves it up to states whether to allow HCG or not. According to the Mayo Clinic, studies have found HCG is no more effective in reducing weight than placebos. -AP
Chicago health clinic extends hours of operation Contâ€™d from page 35
Due to the recent downturns in our nation, state and municipal economies, with people losing their jobs and health insurance benefits, members of this extremely underserved, immigrant community are now experiencing an even greater need for free or affordable medical services. As a result, this free IAMACF community health clinic must expand its hours of operations to meet this new emerging need. During the newly expanded hours of operations on Wednesday evenings, the clinic will also continue to provide the free (limited) pharmacy services it normally provides on the weekends. No appointments are needed, simply walk in for services. Dr Rambha Radhakrishnan, the clinic's medical director who oversees dozens of volunteer medical students and residents from four area medical schools, says that "the clinic must do all that it can to better serve the needs of the community during these tough economic times. Even if that means opening the clinic one more
day during the week, we will find a way to do it." The clinic, which has been operating on funds raised entirely by community donations throughout its lifetime, is located at 2645 N. Peterson Avenue in Chicago's West Ridge community which is the home to one of the largest
During the newly expanded hours of operations on Wednesday evenings, the clinic will also continue to provide the free (limited) pharmacy services South Asian immigrant populations in Chicago. The building which houses the free clinic, is called the Sridhar Nimmagadda Memorial Building, has been home to the clinic since 2002. For more information on Clinic, its services or to simply make a donation, please call (773) 275-8630 or visit www.iamaill.org and click on Charitable Foundation.
In Brief Activsts praise Ill. Senate bill on wage theft CHICAGO: Some worker and immigrant rights groups are backing an Illinois Senate bill aimed at strengthening laws dealing with employers who shortchange or don't pay workers. Wage theft has been a longtime issue. Workers rights centers say it's getting worse with the down turned economy, especially for immigrants. State Sen. William Delgado has introduced a bill that, among other things, says the Illinois Department of Labor can directly deal with wage theft claims of less than $3,000 instead of referring them to the Illinois Attorney General. The idea is to cut down cost and time. Senators will consider the legislation, which also increases employer penalties, in the coming weeks. -AP
Federal detainees could be housed at OC jails SANTA ANA, Calif.: Orange County's sheriff is trying to keep her jails open by using them to house federal detainees. Sheriff Sandra Hutchens has won approval to negotiate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to house more than 800 immigration detainees while their deportation cases are being heard. The county would receive $40 million a year. With the Sheriff's Department facing a $65-million budget gap next year, Hutchens says the money would help her avoid jail cutbacks and deputy layoffs. The county's five jails can easily accommodate new detainees. About 2,000 of its 6,600 beds are empty. -AP
Arizona Border agent cleared in fatal shooting TUCSON, Ariz.: Authorities say a US Border Patrol agent who fatally shot an illegal immigrant in January east of Douglas won't be charged in the case. The Cochise County Attorney's Office announced that the shooting of 28-year-old Jorge Alfredo Solis Palma by Border Patrol agent Miguel Torres-Vasquez was legally justified. Agents were tracking three people in the area on Jan. 4 when they found Solis hiding under a tree. Authorities say Solis refused to come out and a struggle began. Solis, of Veracruz, Mexico, reportedly threw rocks at agents as tried to flee. Authorities say Solis was shot and died on the way to a Tucson hospital. -AP
March 19, 2010
Lawmakers nix immigration bill targeting employers BOISE, Idaho: Lawmakers voted down a bill that would have required employers to screen workers using a federal background check system amid concerns it would add another burden to business owners. Details on page 40
California test-taking case shows gap in visa security SANTA ANA, Calif.: A ring accused of helping people from the Middle East obtain student visas by taking their proficiency exams and classes has exposed vulnerability in the nation's security tracking system for foreigners who attend U.S. schools, experts said. The bust unsettled immigration authorities and federal lawmakers who implemented the sophisticated Foreign Student and Exchange Visitor Information System after learning one of the Sept. 11 hijackers had entered the U.S. on a student visa. Immigration officials have broken up similar fraud rings in recent months in Miami, Orange County, Calif., Atlanta and the Los Angeles area. Many involved Korean students. The scrutiny of foreign students once they arrive on a U.S. campus is a ``serious chink in the armor'' of the system, said Janice Kephart, former counsel to the 9/ 11 Commission and the national
security policy director at the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Immigration Studies. ``Vulnerability with universities remains a top issue,'' she said. ``It's a clean way to come into the U.S.'' Federal prosecutors charged a California man with operating a ring of illegal test-takers who
The case also alarmed Rep. Gus M. Bilirakis, a Florida Republican who became interested in the student visa tracking system after a 2007 case at the University of South Florida. Bilirakis, a ranking member the House homeland security oversight and investigations subcommittee, is
Immigration officials have broken up similar fraud rings in recent months in Miami, Orange County, Calif., Atlanta and the Los Angeles area helped dozens of Middle Eastern nationals fraudulently obtain and keep US student visas in exchange for tens of thousands of dollars. Authorities allege Eamonn Higgins, 46, and about a dozen associates helped the students stay current on their immigration paperwork by attending classes in their name, writing term papers and taking finals with guaranteed grades of 'B' or above.
sponsoring a bill that would require in-person interviews of foreign students every 30 days during the school year and every 60 days during nonacademic periods. ``Obviously this process that we set up is not working and we have to find a better way,'' he said. ``They have to be here for the right reasons, going to school, otherwise they should be deported.'' Officials with U.S. Immigration
and Customs Enforcement have not suggested the California ring was linked to any terrorism. Authorities have not ruled out further arrests in the ongoing investigation, said Virginia Kice, an ICE spokeswoman. Authorities said professional test-takers allegedly used doctored driver's licenses to gain entry to exams, including a language proficiency test that foreign students from non-English speaking countries must pass to qualify for an F-1 student visa. Ten schools seven community colleges and three California State University campuses were affected. In one instance, Higgins collected $34,000 to take a full course load for a Saudi Arabian student named Mohammed Ali Alnuaim and several of his friends then haggled with Alnuaim over payments by e-mail, according to court documents. Contâ€™d on page 40
Kerry, Lugar introduce Start Up Visa Act CYRUS D. MEHTA
n February 24, Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Richard Lugar (RInd.) introduced the Start Up Visa Act of 2010. If this bill is passed, it will allow an entrepreneur to receive a two-year conditional residence status if he or she can show that a qualified US investor is willing to dedicate a minimum of $250,000 to the immigrant's start up venture. The Start Up Visa Act of 2010 would amend immigration law to create an EB-6 category for immigrant entrepreneurs and draw upon visa numbers from the existing EB-5 category, which is presently underused and permits foreign nationals to invest at least one million dollars (with some downward and upward variations) and create ten jobs to obtain a green card. Once an entrepreneur after receiving conditional residence status proves that he or she has
secured at least five full-time jobs in the US, attracted one million dollars in additional investment capital or generated one million dollars in revenues, then he or she would receive permanents legal status. A press release on the bill can be found on Senator Lugar's website, http://
State Dept. proposes fee changes for consular services The Department of State has proposed changes and increases to its schedule of fees for consular services, to take effect "as soon as practicable following the expiration of the 30-day public comment period" and after the Depart-
The Start Up Visa Act of 2010 would amend immigration law to create an EB-6 category for immigrant entrepreneurs and draw upon visa numbers from the existing EB-5 category www.lugar.senate.gov/press/ record.cfm?id=322460. More than 160 venture capitalists from across the US have endorsed the Start Up Visa Act of 2010. While CDMA supports the bill, it is hoped that the USCIS does not interpret the bill, if passed into law, so narrowly, which would result in arbitrary denials along with backlogs in getting a green card.
ment has considered any public comments received. Written comments must be received within 30 days from February 9. Among other things, the proposed rule establishes a tiered application processing fee for immigrant visas depending on the category, instead of the current $355 fee for all immigrant visas. T he application fee for an em-
ployment-based visa processed on the basis of an I-140 petition will be $720. Other immigrant visa applications (including for diversity visa applicants, I-360 self-petitioners, special immigrant visa applicants and all others) will have a fee of $305. Certain qualifying Iraqi and Afghan special immigrant visa applicants are statutorily exempt from paying a processing fee. The application fee for a familybased visa processed on the basis of an I-130, I-600, or I-800 petition will be $330. The Department is also increasing the immigrant visa security surcharge from $45 to $74. Those who apply for immigrant visas on the basis of having been selected by the diversity visa lottery will pay $440 instead of $375, based on an estimated 81,000 applications to be processed in fiscal year 2010. Contâ€™d on page 40
March 19, 2010
Judge dismayed at agencies in immigration case CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.: A local federal judge calls it the most ``bizarre, Alice-in-Wonderland'' scenario he ever has encountered in the world of government prosecutions. The US attorney's office for the Eastern District of Tennessee is prosecuting nine illegal immigrants for the routine crime of using fake Social Security numbers to gain employment. Deportation is the routine punishment. But those same immigrants hold rare ``U'' visas, which give them immunity from being deported for at least four years, courtesy of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The immigrants were given ``U'' visas after an investigation revealed their employer severely exploited their illegal-worker status. The nine workers from Mexico also are plaintiffs in an ongoing federal civil lawsuit headed up by the Southern Poverty Law Center from Montgomery, Ala. The cases allege that Durrett Cheese Sales, Inc., in Winchester, Tenn., coerced the immigrants into working there, refused to pay them for most of 2007 and reported them to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel when they complained. During the first sentencing hearing for one of the defendants last week, US District Judge Harry S. ``Sandy'' Mattice said the situation exemplifies ``two agencies acting precisely in cross purposes'' and the ``ambivalence'' of the US Congress when it comes to immigration law. ``Given the facts of the case, I don't think it's possible for anyone to have respect for this country's
immigration laws,'' Judge Mattice said in choosing not to jail Juana Montano-Perez, the first of nine illegal immigrants who have admitted to Social Security fraud. In arguing for jail time, Assistant US Attorney Gary Humble said Ms. Montano-Perez received her ``U'' visa despite her more than 10 years of immigration fraud that involved being deported once before and illegally re-entering this country. `` (She is) attempting to pull on this court's heartstrings with her
During the first sentencing hearing for one of the defendants last week, US District Judge Harry S. ‘Sandy’ Mattice said the situation exemplifies ‘two agencies acting precisely in cross purposes’ tale of woe,'' Mr. Humble wrote in his sentencing memorandum to Judge Mattice. ``Who says crime doesn't pay?'' Congress enacted the strict humanitarian ``U'' visa program in 2000 with the intent of helping illegal immigrants who are exploited in immigration fraud schemes. Southern Poverty Law Center senior attorney Kristi Graunke said that it is not a ``blanket amnesty'' for all illegal immigrants and is not meant to undermine the work of the Department of Justice. ``The goal of the ('U' visa) program (was) to ensure that law enforcement could investigate crimes against non-citizens and
that non-citizens could cooperate with law enforcement without fear of retaliation,'' Ms. Graunke stated in an e-mail. ``Without the 'U' visa program ... non-citizens would be afraid that if they came forward they would automatically be deported.'' Ms. Graunke and attorney Monica Ramirez, who practice in Atlanta, are representing the illegal immigrants in their lawsuit against Durrett Cheese. Ms. Graunke declined to comment specifically on the issues before Judge Mattice, stating only that it is ``very concerning'' to see illegal immigrants prosecuted without similar accountability for employers who break federal immigration laws. Last summer, a Chattanooga federal jury convicted one former supervisor of Durrett Cheese for Social Security fraud. Owner Greg Durrett, who, according to the lawsuit, refused to pay his illegal workers and conspired to have them arrested under false pretenses, never has been prosecuted. ``There's a tendency to go after the low-hanging fruit,'' Ms. Graunke said. During a court hearing, Judge Mattice said he remained ``confused and frustrated'' by the issue. He refused to sentence any more defendants, ordering that the cases be consolidated and that an investigation be conducted into whether their due process rights may have been violated. If any defense attorneys involved in the case can show such evidence, Judge Mattice said, he will consider compelling the U.S. attorney's office to reveal the documents ``that served as the basis for these prosecutions.'' -AP
March 19, 2010
Lawmakers nix immigration bill targeting employers BOISE, Idaho: Lawmakers voted down a bill that would have required employers to screen workers using a federal background check system amid concerns it would add another burden to business owners. The Senate State Affairs Committee defeated the measure on 7-2 vote. The bill was aimed at stemming the flow of illegal immigrants into the state, and would have put employers who accepted false identification at risk of losing their business licenses. Despite similar legislation in other states, Idaho lawmakers said the EVerify system isn't a good fit in a state dominated by small businesses. ``This bill says if I want to hire my son, I have to go through the E-Verify system. I know where he was born. I was there,'' Senate Majority Leader
Bart Davis told Kris Kobach, the lawyer who drafted the legislation. ``Help me feel comfortable that this big-state, big-city fix works for my little state.'' The defeat is a familiar one for the bill's chief proponent, Sen. Mike Jorgenson. The Hayden Republican has argued unsuccessfully for similar legislation each of the past two years. This year's version is modeled after a 2008 Arizona law. Jorgenson contends putting more of the onus on employers is the best way to control illegal immigration, which he says takes jobs from citizens and costs the state $200 million annually in health care, education, prison and other expenses. Several states - including Arizona, South Carolina and Mississippi require businesses to use the federal E-Verify program, and
about 184,000 of the nation's 7 million to 8 million employers use it. The Web-based system checks a worker's information against De-
Jorgenson contends putting more of the onus on employers is the best way to control illegal immigration, which he says takes jobs from citizens partment of Homeland Security and Social Security databases to determine U.S. employment eligibility. The program is free to employers. Some states _ including Idaho already require state agencies and contractors to use it. But the bill failed to gain sup-
Dev Raj's deportation case reopened India Post News Service
NEW YORK: Attorney Gurpatwant Singh Pannun has successfully challenged false finding by the Immigration Judge in the case of one Dev Raj. The Board of Immigration Appeals has removed the deportation order against Dev Raj. On July 27, 2004, Immigration Judge denied the asylum application of Dev Raj after finding the testimony hard to believe. Whereas On November 10, 2005 Board of Immigration Appeals remanded the case back to Immigration Judge on observing that the Immigration Judge did not provide credible findings. On February 4, 2008, the Immigration Judge in this case again denied Dev Raj's application for asylum, withholding of removal and protection under Convention Against Torture. The Immigration Judge made finding that Dev Raj was not true and that he failed to prove his identity before the court as several of his personal documents contained inaccuracies and were unreliable. After the Immigration Judge denied Dev Raj's case and he was
ordered deported, Pannun Law Firm filed appeal before the Board of Immigration Appeals and got the deportation orders reversed. With the efforts of Attorney Pannun, Dev Raj's case got reopened by Board of Immigration Appeals. Attorney Pannun argued before the Board that the Immigration Judge erred in making an adverse credibility finding against
Attorney Pannun proved on appeal that although there were certain discrepancies in the documents, Dev Raj sufficiently established his identity before the court Dev Raj. The Board of Immigration Appeals sustained the appeal and remanded the case back to the Immigration Judge. BIA reversed the determination of the Immigration judge that Dev Raj was incredible and made a determination that Dev Raj was persecuted in the past in India. Attorney Pannun told the court
that Dev Raj was arrested several times in India and his life was in danger in India. In order to save his life, he came to United States of America. Attorney Pannun proved on appeal that although there were certain discrepancies in the documents, Dev Raj sufficiently established his identity before the court. After this success, Attorney Pannun has advised that one should get the right legal representation and get the second opinion on immigration cases. But to know the facts of the individual case, "we must have the complete file, which can be ordered under FOIA. Motion to Reopen along with Stay of removal, can be filed based on different grounds again depending on facts of individual case." He also clarified that • If an individual is ordered deported because of ineffective counseling or in absentia, these cases can be reopened. • If an individual is ordered deported and there are changed circumstances in the home country, these cases can be reopened. • Waiver can be filed to reapply even after order of deportation while staying in the United States.
port from some key sectors of the state economy. Lobbyists for Idaho's dairy industry told the committee the E-Verify system would confuse small dairy producers. ``For somebody who hires one or two or three people a year, it's a daunting process,'' said Ken McClure, lobbyist for Milk Producers of Idaho. Since Arizona's law took effect two years ago, prosecutors in the state's largest county have suspended only one company's business license for 10 days. Maricopa County prosecutors found that a water amusement park had hired a
36-year-old woman who presented identification listing her age as 62. The county is currently investigating one other company. Jorgenson's bill is the latest immigration bill to falter in the Idaho statehouse this year. But it's not the last awaiting consideration. Sen. Curt McKenzie, R-Boise, has a bill that would give county prosecutors the authority to go after employers who knowingly accept fake identification from employees. McKenzie says his bill stands a better chance of approval because it includes input from industry groups. -AP
Kerry, Lugar introduce Start Up Visa Act Cont’d from page 38
Also, the proposed rule increases the adult passport application fee from $55 to $70. Certain consular services performed for no fee have been included in the fee schedule "so that members of the public will be aware of significant consular services provided by the Department for which they will not be charged." Non-immigrant visa fees, including those for machinereadable visas and border crossing cards, were included in a separate rule published on December 14, 2009. The proposed rule, which was published on February 9, 2010, is available at http:// edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/ pdf/2010-2816.pdf. USCIS to issue revised approval notices for certain I-129s and I-539s US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued an alert about certain Notices of Approval (Forms I-797) issued between January 20 and 27, 2010, with incorrect or missing information. The form types affected are the Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker (Form I-129) and the Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant
Status (Form I-539). USCIS has started mailing new approval notices with corrected information to affected I129 petitioners and I-539 applicants. Petitioners and applicants who received incomplete or incorrect approval notices should not attempt to use them. USCIS estimates that approximately 500 incorrect I-797s were issued. Examples of errors on the approval notices of affected petitioners and applicants include: • For the I-129, petitioners who requested multiple unnamed beneficiaries were issued an approval notice that lists only one unnamed beneficiary. • For the I-539, some applicants were issued an approval notice with no validity dates listed. Those who know or believe that their Notice of Approval was issued with incorrect or missing information but have not yet received a revised Notice of Approval should contact USCIS at the appropriate e-mail address listed in the USCIS alert. * Cyrus D Mehta, may be contacted at 212-425-0555 or email@example.com
California test-taking case shows gap in visa security Cont’d from page 38
Prosecutors allege that some of the clients traveled to the Middle East multiple times and gained re-entry to the U.S. by applying for a student visa and registering to study at a different college. Six of the students have been charged with conspiracy to commit visa fraud. Ten more have been placed in deportation proceedings, and immigration officials are
searching for more than 30 more still believed to be in the U.S. Authorities believe Higgins may have helped hundreds of students between 2002 and 2009 and have evidence linking him to 119 names, said Debra Parker, acting deputy special agent in charge for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Los Angeles. The extent of the investigation raises critical questions about
how much responsibility colleges should bear in confirming the identities of foreign students, education experts said. Universities have resisted taking on too much responsibility for immigration enforcement in the past, in part because of privacy issues and because many schools have limited resources or training for such work. ``This is a constant arms race,'' said Stewart Baker, former
undersecretary for policy with the Department of Homeland Security. ``The DHS will have to make some tough decisions about how much more responsibility for performing identity checks they want to place on universities, which have been pretty resistant to that kind of burden.'' At Golden West College, a 14,000-student community college in Huntington Beach, authorities were stunned by the
claims that some of their foreign students had engaged in visa fraud. The college doesn't check student IDs for routine exams and has no way of knowing if students are using fake documentation, said Margie Bunten, college spokeswoman. ``They just have the documentation that they're supposed to have and if it's fraudulent, we don't check,'' she said. ``We just weren't aware of this.'' -AP
March 19, 2010
Senate OKs watered down illegal immigration bill
A research company that evaluated the system for the Department of Homeland Security found it wrongly clears illegal workers about 54 percent of the time The measure would bar a private employer with 15 or more workers from hiring new employees after July 1 without verifying their immigration status. Several states require businesses to use the federal E-Verify program, and about 184,000 of the nation's 7 million to 8 million employers use it. The Web-based system checks a worker's information against Department of Homeland Security and Social Security databases to determine US employment eligibility. In Mississippi, employers who hire illegal immigrants can lose their business license, and the undocumented workers found working in the state are eligible for a one-year prison sentence. Buttars argued that enacting the measure would both stop identity theft and strike a blow against illegal immigration. ``We will be able to stop this illegal work force that's in our country,'' Buttars said. The program is free to employers, and some states including
Utah already require public employers and contractors to use the system. The online tool, however, has some reported flaws, and Westat a research company that evaluated the system for the Department of Homeland Security found it wrongly clears illegal workers about 54 percent of the time. In Illinois, state lawmakers have
moved to bar employers from using the system, saying its accuracy remains in question. Opponents of the Utah bill said it would do more harm than good. ``We will not solve the problem of illegal immigration by putting more burden on small businesses,'' said Sen. Luz Robles, D-Salt Lake City. -AP
Bishops speak out against immigration legislation PHOENIX: The Bishops of the Catholic Conference of Arizona are speaking out against proposed legislation that would make Arizona the only state in the country to criminalize the presence of illegal immigrants. The proposal, now under consideration at the state Legislature, also would require police to try to determine people's immigration status when there's reasonable suspicion they are in the country illegally.
The Catholic bishops in Phoenix, Tucson and Gallup, N.M. say the legislation may make illegal immigrants afraid to report crimes, allowing some dangerous criminals to stay on the streets. The bishops also say criminalizing the presence of illegal immigrants may lead to unintended consequences. They say the legislation doesn't limit enforcement, so authorities could criminalize the presence of children. -AP
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SALT LAKE CITY: Some Utah businesses would have to confirm the immigration status of employees but would no longer face criminal penalties if they didn't under a bill passed in the state Senate. An original version of the measure included the penalties but they were removed by bill sponsor Sen. Chris Buttars, R-West Jordan. Lawmakers voted 24-4 to pass Senate Bill 251, sending it to the House.
Tech News Zoom broadcast services for CWG
IS Live, Europe's largest out side broadcast (OB) and uplink company, has awarded a key and exclusive contract for Broadcast Services, including technical equipment and diversified Production & Coverage services for the 2010 Commonwealth Games in India, to South East Asia's largest broadcast services company, Zoom Communications Ltd. India. SIS Live won the prestigious contract to provide the Production and Coverage Facilities and Services, under the Host Broadcaster Assignment for the XIX Commonwealth Games being held in New Delhi from 3-14 October 2010. SIS Live is contracted to provide the production in High Definition to cover the Games, the first time the event will be produced and transmitted in HD.
Fujifilm introduces super intelligent technology
he Indian subsidiary of Fujifilm Corporation, Fujifilm India Pvt. Ltd, has introduced new FinePix technology - the Super Intelligent Flash - that helps photographers take better pictures irrespective of the light conditions. This new technology developed by one of the world's largest photographic solutions company looks into the problem by flash. There are times when photographers do not get the desired results after using the flash. For example, photos of cuisines appear whitish or for that matter the picture has a strange shadow and is not pleasing. In fact, there can be instances when there is no light in the background.
Vodafone App store in India now
ith more than 800 applications, Vodafone Essar has finally conceptualized the official launch of its application store for Indian consumers. The launch was done in a silent way after passing the initial milestone of 10,000 downloads. However, the services were available for Vodafone users earlier also. This new store is expected to facilitate users with attractions like games, songs, information on business and other topics, social networking etc. Moreover, the prices for these applications have been set reasonable for the users i.e. between Rs. 5 and Rs.30.
42 India Post
March 19, 2010
LG brings Cookie Pep to India
n order to grab more and more consumer attention, LG has launched its GD510 or Cookie Pep in India at an affordable price of Rs. 7500. This move is considered as its effort to encash a particular segment of mobile phone consumers which had been allured by Samsung Corby in the recent past in the same price segment. The phone supports 2G network and is imparted the dimensions of 97.8x49.5x11.2mm with a weight of 87 grams. As far as the display is concerned, the phone is embedded with a 3 inches broad TFT resistive touch screen that can give a perfect blend of 256K colors at a resolution of 240 x 400 pixels. The device has also got an accelerometer sensor for UI auto-rotate.
India's new tax code to hit NRIs India Post News Service
he 48-year-old Indian Income Tax Act is being replaced by a new Direct Tax Code effective April 1, 2011. The provisions of the new Tax Code will have an adverse effect on NRIs who own property and stocks. In the case of property, elimination of tax deductions and the presumptive rate of taxation will also hit potential investors. The new Direct Tax Code is expected to tax: 1. Income (including Non-Resident Ordinary interest) at a flat rate of 20 per cent without even the shelter of the basic exemption limit. 2. Hitherto fully exempt longterm capital gains on equity and equity mutual funds at a flat rate of 30 per cent. 3. Aggregated capital gain income at a flat rate of 30 per cent. (Indian residents, however, will pay 30 per cent tax on capital gains only if such gains are above Rs 25 lakh. This tiered system of tax is not available to NRIs under the Direct Tax Code.) Under the Direct Tax Code, most NRIs and investors in property will pay heavy price for buying property in the motherland.
They will pay tax on the higher of the actual or 'presumptive rent' for let out or deemed let out properties. (Presumptive rent, a new concept under the Direct Tax Code, has been fixed at 6 per cent of the rateable value stipulated by the local authority. Where no rateable value has been fixed, 6 per cent shall be calculated with reference to the cost of construction or acquisition of the property.)
is a tax-friendly capital market system. If this is taken away, there is no gauging the extent of collateral damage that will take place.
Too harsh According to a GOPIO press release, the proposed tax code for NRIs is too harsh for the following reasons: • All NRIs do not earn a lot of money. Most of the NRIs are employed in private sector without
Under the Direct Tax Code, most NRIs and investors in property will pay heavy price for buying property in the motherland. They will pay tax on the higher of the actual or 'presumptive rent' for let out or deemed let out properties For example, a tenant pays rent of Rs 25,000 per month on a property that costs Rs 1 crore (Rs 10 million). The annual rent of Rs 300,000 is 3% of the property cost. Under the new Tax Code, the landlord will have to pay tax as if he is receiving Rs 600,000 (6 per cent of Rs 1 crore). If the property lies vacant, tax will still be payable for the presumptive rent. Currently, one of the key attractions of India
any job guarantee. For many of them, the disposable income they get is hardly sufficient for them to maintain themselves in the country in which they work. They struggle to save little money and that is because they follow the roots of their culture and are not indulgent in their living habits. • Most of them have aged parents in India and buy a house for the par-
ents to live. Taxing such house property at the very high rates being proposed by the Government of India, treating them as rented, valued at market rate, etc is very harsh treatment of NRIs. For various reasons India is unable to provide help to senior citizens and provide them with a safety net. NRI children provide their parents who are seniors with that help by providing them shelter in their old age. Parents do not pay any rent and in that event the concept of notional income fails. No one believes that the Government of India wants the parents to be sent out on the road but the proposed tax would certainly contribute to that effect. NRI support for their aging parents should not be affected for the well being of the seniors they are trying to help. • The fact is that NRIs have contributed a lot for the growth of the country directly and indirectly. Industrialist NRIs contribute by direct investment. Salaried NRIs do so in various small ways. The expansion in the construction industry, especially for residences, is to a very large measure due to NRIs buying residential property in India. Cont’d on page 43
3 Indian Americans among WEF Young Leaders India Post News Service
NEW YORK: At least three Indian Americans representing the US and 12 Indians from India are among the World Economic Forum's Young Global Leaders (YGLs) for 2010. The honor, bestowed each year by the Forum, recognizes and acknowledges up to 200 outstanding young leaders from around the world for their professional accomplishments, commitment to society and potential to contribute to shaping the future of the world For 2010, the Forum has selected 197 Young Global Leaders from 72 countries from all stakeholders of society (business, civil society, social entrepreneurs, politics & government, arts & culture, and opinion & media). The new class represents all regions: East Asia (43), South Asia (21), Europe
(46), Middle East and North Africa (14), sub-Saharan Africa (17), North America (38) and Latin America (18). This year's selection has more gender parity than ever, with 38% women. "The World Economic Forum is a true multistake holder commu-
at a time when the world is in need of new energy to solve intractable challenges," said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum. Drawn from a pool of almost 5,000 candidates, the Young Global Leaders 2010 were chosen by
For 2010, the Forum has selected 197 Young Global Leaders from 72 countries from all stakeholders of society (business, civil society, social entrepreneurs, politics & government, arts & culture, and opinion & media) nity of global decision-makers in which the Young Global Leaders represent the voice for the future and the hopes of the next generation. The diversity of the YGL community and its commitment to shaping a better future through action-oriented initiatives of public interest is even more important
a selection committee, chaired by Queen Rania Al Abdullah of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and comprised of eminent international media leaders. The Young Global Leaders 2010 reflect regional and stakeholder diversity. They include Agatha Sangma, Minister of
State - Rural Development (from India), Roger Federer, Professional Tennis Player (from Switzerland), Evan Williams, CEO, Twitter (from the USA), Kimmee Weeks, Executive Director, Youth Action International (from Liberia), Nathalie van Ypersele, Editor-in-Chief, TrendsTendances (from Belgium), Mandla Mandela, Member of Parliament of the South African National Congress (from South Africa), Wyclef Jean, Singer and Founder, Yélé Haiti Foundation (from Haiti), Mikkel Vestergaard Frandsen, Chief Executive Officer, Vestergaard Frandsen (from Denmark), Hidetoshi Nakata, Chairman, Take Action Foundation (from Japan), and Nabil Alyousuf, Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Dubai School of Government (from the United Arab Emirates), among others. Cont’d on page 43
March 19, 2010
Comcast launches Xfinity, new brand of technology India Post News Service
PHILADELPHIA, PA: Comcast Corporation, one of the nations's leading providers of entertainment, information and communication products and services, today announced the launch of Xfinity, a new brand for its technology platform, products, and services. Xfinity marks Comcast's commitment to innovation, evolution, and delivering the maximum in choices and possibilities. Full roll out will include a comprehensive re-branding via Xfinity TV, Xfinity Voice and Xfinity Internet products. As of February 12th, the initial launch has begun in select markets including Chicago, Portland, Seattle, Baltimore, parts of Northern and Southern New Jersey, the Greater Philadelphia Metropolitan area and significant parts of the San Francisco
Bay Area. For current and prospective Comcast customers, Xfinity.com will be the new place to learn about the availability of Xfinity products, services and offers. There will be a gradual move-in to countless communities nationwide as services go alldigital. Customers can sign up on the website to receive an email alert once Xfinity is available in their neighborhood. Expect to enjoy the same great Comcast cost, outstanding programming and international offerings with higher quality and limitless new options. There is no pay increase as a result of introducing Xfinity technology and all Comcast services and subscriptions will continue. Xfinity radically enhances the Comcast customer's experience by increasing Internet speeds to 100Mbps, expanding Video On Demand choices and introducing "anytime, anywhere" online en-
tertainment with Fancast Xfinity TV. The delivery includes: • Increased wideband speeds
Xfinity radically enhances the Comcast customer's experience by increasing Internet speeds to 100Mbps, expanding Video On Demand choices and introducing "anytime, anywhere" online entertainment with Fancast Xfinity TV going to 100 Mbps and faster. • 100+ HD Channels, increasing the number of HD choices to beyond 3,000+ and continuing to offer the best HD picture quality available.
3 Indian Americans among WEF Young Leaders Cont’d from page 42
Among the 38 YGLs selected from North America are Anand Chandrasekaran, Director, Products, Openwave Systems; Sanjay Gupta, Sr. Vice President and Advisor to the Executive Chairman of Abraxis BioScience; and Shamina Singh, COO, Global Community Relations, Citigroup. The 2010 honorees will become part of the broader Forum of Young Global Leaders community that currently comprises 660 outstanding individuals. The YGLs convene at an annual summit - this year it will be in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, May 2-7, the first time in Africa and the largest ever gathering of YGLs.
"The YGL community, program and experience are the best any entrepreneur (social or otherwise) can ever wish for," said Ashish Gadnis, Chief Executive Officer, Forward Hindsight, a YGL honoree in 2009. "I have learned so much and met some of the most amazing people who are truly making the world a better place. The YGL community has given me a platform to interact and actually work on global issues instead of just theorizing. It's truly a remarkable program that I am very fortunate to be a part of. I see myself deeply involved with the YGL community and playing a small part in transforming the world we know into a better place."
India's new tax code to hit NRIs Cont’d from page 42
In fact, it has contributed to the very large increase in prices of houses/flats which contributed to India's GDP. The new measures will have an adverse effect on the construction industry. • To attract even small investments in India from NRIs, the government wisely initiated the brilliant concept of Overseas Citizen of India. It encouraged them to buy property in India without imposing taxing conditions that are now being proposed to be imposed. It will not be right to penalize them retrospectively. Hence, NRIs should continue to get the exemptions which they get now. It would be too harsh to tax them at the highest slab.
• More Video on Demand choices increasing to 20,000 and beyond.
It will be too harsh to evaluate on the basis of current market value which is heavily inflated. Evaluating at market value is merely speculative. The owner does not have that cash on hand and it is not right to set the notional value so high. • The very concept of applying market value which is not realized until the property is sold is itself wrong. There is no income when the property is not sold or rented out. Other tax laws such as taxing capital gains take care of that once the property is sold. It is highly wrong to use the concept of market value for any purpose except when the property is sold. How can one pay tax when there is no income. Notional income is no income and is not tangible.
• Fancast Xfinity TV, with thousands of movies, top shows and other content available online, at home or on the go. • New converged features
that let our customers' TV, phone and Internet work seamlessly together in new and innovative ways, including: • HomePoint enhanced cordless telephones. • Universal Caller ID (that runs across our TV, phone and Internet services). • Mobile apps that enable access to Comcast services on the go. • Interactive television apps that give consumers the ability to shop by remote control and participate in voting and polling with their favorite programs. New back-end processes and technologies guarantee the best in customer service including enhanced devices in the hands of field technicians, paperless billing options, online management access, and simple and easy self-install kits for home networking, digital video, and voice.
44 India Post
March 19, 2010
'IT/BPO sector created maximum jobs in last quarter' NEW DELHI: Ninety per cent of the new jobs created during the last quarter were direct recruitments by employers while the rest were done through contracts, a latest government survey said. Most of the increase in employment of direct category workers was accounted for by the IT/BPO sector, Labor Bureau said in its survey report for October-December quarter. During this period, employment rose by 6.38 lakh over the July-September quarter, an apparent reflection of the gradual turnaround of the economy, the report said. Out of 6.38 lakh, employment in the direct category rose by 5.79 lakh while employment of contract workers increased by only 0.59 lakh, it said. Direct workers include permanent, temporary and casual workers employed directly by the employer. Contract workers, on the other hand, are those hired by the
employer to perform specific functions through a contractor for a defined period of time. The report, which was compiled out of a survey carried out in eight selected sectors of the economy, revealed that IT/BPO sector cre-
Most of the increase in employment of direct category workers was accounted for by the IT/BPO sector, Labor Bureau said in its survey report for OctoberDecember quarter ated 5.67 out of the 5.79 lakh jobs in direct worker category. The sectors covered in the survey included textiles, leather, metals, automobiles, gems and jewellery, transport and handloom apart from the IT/BPO. -PTI
Slim richest in world, Mukesh Ambani in India NEW YORK: Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim has emerged as the richest person in the world with USD 53.5 billion in assets, while Indian industrialist Mukesh Ambani ranks fourth with USD 29 billion in the US magazine Forbes annual list of world's top billionaires. Slim is followed by William Gates III (popularly known as Bill Gates) with a net worth of USD 53 billion and Warren Buffet at the third spot with assets worth USD 47 billion. NRI billionaire Lakshmi Mittal with a net worth of USD 28.7 billion ranks fifth while Mukesh's younger brother Anil Ambani is at the 36th spot with USD 13.7 billion. There are 1,011 billionaires in the world now, up from 793 a year ago. Gates has held the top spot for 14 of the past 15 years in the past. "The Microsoft founder is now worth USD 53 billion, up USD 13 billion from a year ago," Forbes said. There are just two Indians in the list of top 10 richest persons across the world. The only woman to be on the top ten list, at number ten, is German entrepreneur Karl Albrecht, who founded the Aldi supermarkets and has a net worth of USD 23. 5 billion. The United States has 403 billionaires- the most in the world followed by China that beat out Russia to grab the second spot. Although China has larger number of billionaires than India, ten of Asia's top 25 are Indian while China has one. Hong Kong and Japan each have five and China has one in Asia's top 25. New York has more billionaires than any other city. The youngest billionaire who has a net worth of four billion dollars is 25year-old Mark Zuckerberg who created Facebook.
The list of Indian billionaires include Mukesh Ambani and L N Mittal in the top two along with Azim Premji ( USD 17 billion), Anil Ambani (USD 13.7 billion), Shashi and Ravi Ruia (USD 13 billion), Savitri Jindal (USD 12.2 billion), Kushal Pal Singh (USD 9 billion), Kumar Birla (USD 7.9 billion), Sunil Mittal (USD 7.8 billion) and Anil Agarwal (USD 6.4 billion).
glomerate, OP Jindal Group, is the fifth richest woman in the world. Retail chain major Wal-Mart's Christy Walton is world's richest woman with a net worth of USD 22.5 billion, placed at the 12th position in the overall list led by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, with a fortune of USD 53.5 billion. Walmart's Alice Walton follows as the second richest women in
Retail chain major Wal-Mart's Christy Walton is world's richest woman with a net worth of USD 22.5 billion, placed at the 12th position in the overall list led by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, with a fortune of USD 53.5 billion
2 Indian women on list Two Indian women including Savitri Jindal and Indu Jain have been named among the list of world's top billionaires compiled by the US magazine Forbes. Jindal with a net worth of USD 12.2 billion has been ranked at 44th place in the global list, while Bennett, Coleman & Co's chairperson Indu Jain at USD 2.8 billion comes at 354th rank. Jindal, the non-executive chairperson of, steel and power con-
Vikram Solar to invest Rs 500 crore in West Bengal FALTA (WB): Vikram Solar Pvt Ltd, a part of the Vikram group of industries, would invest Rs 500 crore to manufacture wafer and photovoltaic cell (PV) at its plant in Falta SEZ in West Bengal. Chairman of Vikram group H K Chaudhury said to start with, the company had already invested Rs 100 crore to produce PV modules with a generation capacity of 25 MW. "The capacity will be expanded to 50 MW by the middle of the next financial year," Chaudhury told reporters at the inauguration of the plant here. He said that Vikram Solar GmBH in Germany had been supplying 1
MW of solar power to the grid in that country. The company is also in talks for
Chairman of Vikram group H K Chaudhury said to start with, the company had already invested Rs 100 crore to produce PV modules with a generation capacity of 25 MW setting up solar power projects in countries like Italy, Bulgaria and France. -PTI
the list with a net worth of USD 20.6 billion at the 16th place. Walton is followed by L'Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt (with net worth of USD 20 billion), Swedish packaging giant Tetra Laval's Birgit Rausing & family (USD 13 billion), and Savitri Jindal (USD 12.2 billion). The Forbes list of 1,011 billionaires includes 89 women from across the globe. From India, there are just two women and 48 men.-PTI
Hero Honda looking for site to erect fourth plant NEW DELHI: Country's largest two wheeler maker Hero Honda has said it is conducting a feasibility study in 10 states to find the best suitable location for its fourth manufacturing facility and the decision will be taken in the next six months. "There would be at least 10 states we would be looking at, at this moment. We are looking at the whole country as a clean slate," Hero Honda Managing Director Pawan Munjal told reporters on the sidelines of Hero Groups Mindmine Summit here. -PTI
March 19, 2010
India Post 45
MATRIMONIALS BRIDEGROOM WANTED
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India Post 47
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NEW YORK Upcoming Fri March 19 • Bombay Jazz - Indian-inspired jazz & jazz-flavored ragas Venue: Skirball Center, for the Performing Arts, 566 LaGuardia Place, Washington Square South, New York Time: 8pm Contact: 212-545-7536
Sat March 27 • IMPACT Aatif Aslam and Shreya Ghoshal - live in Concert Venue: Trump Taj Mahal Casino, 1000 Boardwalk, Atlantic city, NY Time: 7:30pm Contact: 609-432-3301
Thurs March 25
Fri April 2 • Amjad Ali Khan: Master of Sarod Venue: Miller Theatre at Columbia University, 2960 Broadway (at 116th Street), New York Contact: 917-971-7510
Sat April 10 • Naach Revolution Venue: Hindu Temple, 143 - 07 Holly Ave, Flushing, New York Time: 7pm to 10pm Contact: 732-763-0118
Sat March 20
Sat March 20
• Naach Revolution
• Nachle Express 2010 Dance Show
Venue: Prairie Center for the Arts, 201 Schaumburg Court, Schaumburg, Illinois Time: 7:30pm to 9:30pm Contact: 847-755-9625
Venue: Union County Arts Center, 1601 Irving Street, Rahway, New Jersey Time: 6pm to 9pm Contact: 732-763-0118
Venue: The MAC, 425 Fawell Boulevard, Glen Ellyn, Ill Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm Contact: (630) 216-9632
Sat March 20
Sun March 21
• Nachle Express 2010 Dance Show
• Nishkaam Sewa (Selfless Service)
Venue: The MAC, 425 Fawell Boulevard, Glen Ellyn, Illinois Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm Contact: (630) 216-9632
Venue: Knights of Columbus Hall, 116 Grand St, Iselin, Alabama, NJ Time: 10am to 11:30am Contact: 732-207-7595
Sun April 4
Sat March 27
• Boogie Woogie U.S. Finals 2010
• Marathi Vishwa-Vasantotsav 2010
Venue: The Meadows Club, 2950 W. Golf Rd., Rolling Meadows, Illinois Time: 5:30pm to 10pm Contact: (815)404-3803
Venue: Crosroads Middle School- South, 195 Major Road, Monmouth Junction, New Jersey Time: 3pm to 8pm Contact: 732-355-9844
Mon March 29
Sat March 27
• Full-Moon Meditation - every full moon night
• 2010 Spring Festival
Venue: I.M.U., 1418 W Howard St, Chicago, Illinois Time: 9pm Contact: 773-262-1468
• Dancing STAR ka Damaka Venue: Shreenath Enterprise Inc, 220-15, 92 ave queens village, New York Time: 7pm Contact: 347-513-8526
Sun May 2 • 9th Muslim Matrimonial Hosted by MillanUS.com Venue: Adria Hotel & Conference Center, 220-33 Northern Blvd., Bayside, New York Time: 3pm to 9pm Contact: 516-840-0396
Venue: Ocean Township High School, Ocean, New Jersey Time: 3pm to 9pm Contact: 732-801-4694
Sun March 28
WASHINGTON DC Upcoming Fri March 19 • Love Times Seven Venue: Ernst Theater, 8333 Little River Turnpike, Annandale, Virginia Time: 7:30pm Contact: 202-365-4415
Wed March 24 Sat May 1
• Ram Navmi Venue: Hare Krishna Temple, 10310 Oaklyn Drive, Potomac, Maryland Contact: 301-299-2100
Sat March 27
• Ek Lamha with Shabana Azmi & Javed Akhtar Venue: Ramada Inn, 999 Route 1 South, North Brunswick, NJ Time: 5pm to 8pm Contact: 732-688-7249
• Vishwa Marathi Natya Sammelan Venue: Raritan Center, New Jersey Convention Center, 97 Sunfield Avenue, Edison, New Jersey Highlights: The VMNS will be hosted and executed by the US branch of ABMNP, led by Dr. Meena Nerurkar and her team. It will have an attendance of some V.V.I.P.s in the entertainment industry, about 200 top notch artists from Maharashtra, the chief minister of Maharashtra and government representatives.
• Asha For Education 5k/10k Spring Run Venue: Kite Flying Area, Shoreline Park, Mountain View, CA Time: 8am to 1pm Contact: 408-627-0306
Sat March 27 • Marathi play - MaNaSanStha - Marathi Natyat Sangeetache Sthan Venue: Cal State University East Bay (Hayward State) Theater, 25800 Carlos Bee Blvd, Hayward, California Time: 2:30pm to 5:30pm Contact: 408-263-9914
Tues March 30 • Tabla Performer for hire Venue: Bay Area, Berkeley, California 94705 Time: 6pm Contact: 510-486-8266
Sat April 3 • Mahatma Moses Comedy Tour Venue: SFCC Clubhouse, 414 Mason St, 5th Floor, San Francisco, California Time: 7pm to 8:30pm Contact: 415-676-1371
• Dasavatar, Nataraj School of Dance Annual Program 2010 Venue: Ohlone College, Jackson Theatre, 43600 Mission Bouvelard, Fremont, California Time: 3pm to 6pm Contact: 510-429-8422
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA Upcoming
Sat April 3 • India Fair 2010
Every 4th Sat every Month
Venue: Heritage Lounge, 1337 Connecticut Ave, Washington, District of Columbia Time: 9:30pm Contact: 402-933-0647
Venue: New Jersey Exhibition And Convention Center, Raritan Center, 97 Sunfield Avenue, Edison, New Jersey Time: 11am to 9pm Contact: 609-240-2350
• Durga Mata Ka Jagaran
Fri April 2
Mon April 19
• 2010 Space Odyssey
• The Essence of All Advice Venue: Hare Krishna Temple, Potomac, Maryland, 20854 Contact: 301-299-2100
Pak must condemn & punish killers of Sikhs share the grief and sorrow of the families impacted by this tragedy and are partners in their pain. We ask the Government of Pakistan to adequately compensate these families for their loss and make utmost efforts to protect minority communities of all faiths. The Pakistan Government must catch these culprits and punish them under law without any mercy to set an example so that such crime is not repeated. We think the Pakistani people in general and Pakistan Government in particular should condemn this act of crime in strong words and express their sorrow and sympathy with the families of the victims in the Pakistani/Indian newspapers to help promote harmony among all people. Maqbool Kadri & Ganibhai Shaikh Indian Muslims Association Norwalk, CA
Venue: 2335 S. Diamond Bar Boulevard, DBC Center, Diamond Bar, CA Time: 6:30pm Contact: 909-519-1579, 626-810-2345
• Tamil New Year - 2010
Every Thursday evening
Venue: Ruth Adams Building, 131 George St, New Brunswick, New Jersey Contact: 732-456-6345
• Pranayam, Meditation & Healing Venue: 18743, Pioneer Blvd, Suite Artesia, CA 90702 Time: 6:30pm to 8:30pm Contact: (949)235-2960
Every Sat (start from Sat Aug 8) • Gurukul Classes for Children
Sun March 21
Sun April 4 Sat May 29
e, the members of the Indian Muslims Association in Southern California strongly condemn the barbaric beheading and brutal killing of two innocent Sikhs (Jaspal Singh and Mahan Singh) of the Pakistan's minority community group under the pretext of jajiya tax by the certain uneducated, ignorant and misguided people of the Frontier Province of Pakistan. These murderers do not belong to civilized society. The people who did this in the name of religion are actually harming the good name of their religion by misrepresenting Islam which has always promoted communal harmony, kindness and mutual respect for all human beings. Cold blooded murder of innocent civilians is a crime against humanity. No religious tenets justify such brutal acts. We
NORTHERN CALIFORNIA Upcoming
Fri March 19
• Mangalam-A Bollywood Wedding Affair Venue: The Saloon, 1584 York Avenue, Between 83rd & 84th Street, New York Time: 8pm to 2am Contact: 347-633-8429
NEW JERSEY Upcoming
Encourage other sports too, like cricket
read Srirekha Chakravarty's article in India Post on Raj Kishan, the gold medalist in Senior Olympics and was impressed by the athletic strength of an Indian settled in USA. I believe news of people of Indian origin who fare well in athletics should be highlighted the same way as we give limelight to cricketers. I've been an aspiring athlete myself while I stayed in India but gave up my aspirations due to lack of recognition or support in any sphere. India will have a good chance of faring well in Olympics only if we encourage younger generation in the same way and accept their athletic abilities by publishing news about them rather than giving all coverage to cricketers. Sanjeev Kumar
Venue: Sindhu Center, South California Time: 2pm to 4pm Contact: 818-541-1754 & 909-576-1114 Highlights: Children between the ages of 5 and 18. Children will be taught the Fundamentals of Hinduism, Prayers, Shlokas, Bhajans and Values of our culture.
Thurs March 18 • Leadership Retreat Venue: Hyatt Regency Beverly Hills, 2025 Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles Contact: 248-739-2934
Sat March 20 • Kismat Konnection: Naya Saal, Naya Saath Venue: Tantra, 3705 West Sunset Blvd, Silverlake, CA Time: 7pm Contact: 646-450-7307
Thurs March 25 • Indian Music and Dance Festival 2010 Venue: Neuroscience Auditorium, Los Angeles, CA Time: 7pm to 10pm Contact: 858-200-7481
Thurs April 15 to Sat April 17 • Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Visiting LA: Art of Living Venue: Art of Living Foundation LA Center, 948, W Adams Blvd, LA Time: 10am to 12:30pm & 3pm to 5pm Contact: 310-820-9429 & http://us.artofliving.org/losangeles Highlights: Sanskrit shlokas, be immersed in the grace, meditate and support the new legacy this building brings.
March 19, 2010
Page Sponsored by Sahanis
ust because women are physically weaker than men, man has done everything to make them psychologically weaker than himself, spiritually lost and financially nowhere. This attitude of people has continued for thousands of years. I think it has been for too long. It is time people stood up and did something about it. Until we learn to respect our women, until every man learns to respect a woman, he will never know himself; there is no way, because half of him is just that. Indian spirituality has always been a rich mixture of men and women reaching the heights of their consciousness. It is proved beyond doubt that a woman is as much capable as a man when it comes to the inner nature. It is only the peel that you can call a man or a woman. The Self is the same. Either you wear a masculine peel or a feminine peel. That is all it is. The peel does not decide what your spiritual capabilities are. Maybe there are certain biological disadvantages, but as we see now, psychologically, women are better equipped. Right from the Vedic times there have been many women who have been great saints, who reached the very heights of consciousness. The earliest form of worship always started as worshipping the Divine as a mother, holding the Ultimate Divinity as the mother. Even today worship of the feminine aspect as mother is more domi-
uestion: What is the rea-son that Buddhism was born in India, but is more widely practiced outside India? Answer: Indian culture is a Vedic culture. Buddhism arose as a sort of protest to Vedic culture of that time. Therefore, Buddhism doesn't accept the Vedas as a
nant than worshipping masculine gods. Today, when all gods fail them, men go to the Amman temple to get quick results. During the Vedic times, a woman also wore the sacred thread as a Brahmin wears today. She was also eligible to wear the thread, because without the thread you are not supposed to read the Vedas and the Upanishads. Spirituality was not available only to men; even a woman wore the sacred thread. During the Vedic
women slowly lost their freedom. Slowly, the process became so biased that they started changing the rules, and rewrote the Shastras, the Smruthis. The first let-down for a woman was when they declared that a woman cannot wear a sacred thread. They went further, saying that the only way a woman could attain mukti or her Ultimate Nature was by serving her husband. There was no other way, they decided. During the Vedic times, a woman
Women not inferior in matters of spirituality SADHGURU JAGGI VASUDEV
If a woman loses her femininity, her feminine nature, she will become ugly. Why does she want to become like a man?
times, a woman was on a par with a man in every way as far as spirituality was concerned. These were well-settled societies. Right from the year 3000 BCE that we know of history, a woman was on a par with a man in India. Then, barbarian hordes invaded the country from parts of Asia like Mongolia, Central China and Indo-China. They were outsiders who were totally gross, whose ways were to grab things and leave. So, men started becoming protective. Then somewhere along the way, in this atmosphere,
could dissolve her family whenever she wanted. As a man had the freedom, a woman also had this same freedom. Once she felt she had grown out of the need, she left it, the same way a man was doing. This was perfectly accepted during the Vedic times. Somewhere along the way, somebody fixed it that only a man could renounce. Unfortunately, even today, in the twenty-first century, the same continues. It has been made clear that the moment you are born as a woman, you are born either to serve your father or your husband.
existence is simply out of question. Now, it is not about a woman going out and doing what a man is doing. That will become obscene. This is happening in the West and to some extent here also. Women are trying to become like men. If that happens, the damage will be even greater. If a woman loses her femininity, her feminine nature, she will become ugly. Why does she want to become like a man? Because somewhere she still thinks that she is inferior and man is superior, so she wants to become like him.
inspiring leader and teacher. It is said that at that time, Vedic culture had degenerated into too many rituals and sacrificial offerings of animals with a lot of violence. Buddhism came up as a protest reaction to that. Therefore, Gautama Buddha's message of compassion appealed to the people and the new religion
fallacies of the prevalent Vedic culture. That was when Ädi Sankarächärya came along. Even before Sankarächärya's time, a lot of work in the re-establishment of Vedic culture had been done. There was Kumärila Bhatta, a great ritualist, who also played a significant role in re-establishing Vedic culture.
formers, even religions become degenerate. Unfortunately, Buddhism did not have the kind of leader who could subsequently reform it and make it practical for others to follow or provide an idea or path for others to follow. What is practically useful to people alone will survive and that is why Vedic religion has survived. Q: Why did Lord Buddha tell the people to ignore the teachings of the Vedas? A: At the time Gautama Buddha appeared on this earth, there was a lot of distortion in the interpretation of what the Vedas prescribe. There was also a lot of corruption along with the distortion. It seems that there was a predominance of animal sacrifice in the performance of Vedic rituals and thus there was violence associated with it. Both Gautama Buddha as well as Vardhamana Mahavira of Jain religion appeared in the same region at about the same time, and both advocated ahimsä. This was because of the prevalent atmosphere of hinsä or violence as the Vedic rituals were equated to sacrifice. Therefore, rather than reforming Vedic rituals, they did away with it.
Buddhism came as a protest to Vedic culture SWAMI VIDITATMANANDA SARASWATI
It is said that at that time, Vedic culture had degenerated into too many rituals and sacrificial offerings of animals with a lot of violence
pramänam or valid source of knowledge; it dismisses all the Vedic rituals. Yet Buddhism is also an offspring of the Vedas and so the teaching of Buddhism is not too far removed from that of the Upanishads. It became a separate tradition and many were inspired to embrace Buddhism. Lord Buddha was a great and
Beyond that, you have nothing else. This has been taught by people who are talking about advaita, the non-duality of existence, that everything is one, but a woman is less. I don't know what sense it made to them. Nobody can be an advaitist, nobody can be a non-dual person if he cannot even accept a sexual difference out of which he has come. He knows his existence depends upon the woman and if he cannot accept her, his accepting all the dualities in
was accepted. Later, however, Buddhism also suffered decay. Over time, it became very intellectual and involved a lot of argumentation, which resulted in divisions within it. Buddhism was in a bad state because it was purely intellectual and dialectical. A better form of reasoning became necessary to show up the
Sri Sankarächärya established the tenets of Upanishadic teaching. This was because the people of India basically followed Vedic precepts and that was a way it could be brought back. Sri Sankarächärya brought about a lot of reforms in the practice of rituals as well. Had that not happened, Vedic religion itself could have been wiped out. Unless great leaders come as re-
As pure water poured into pure water becomes the very same, so does the Self of the illumined man or woman verily become one with the Godhead. -Katha Upanishad People see His pleasureground; Him no one sees at all. -Brihadaranyaka Upanishad There is a light that shines beyond all things on earth, beyond the highest, the very highest heavens. This is the light that shines in your heart -Chandogya Upanishad. Like the waves in great rivers, there is no turning back of that which has previously been done.... [The soul is] like a lame man--bound with the fetters made of the fruit of good and evil. - Maitri Upanishad What speech cannot reveal but which reveals the speech, know that alone is God. What mind cannot comprehend, but what cognizes mind, know that alone is God. -Kena Upanishad Health, a light body, freedom from cravings, a glowing skin, sonorous voice, fragrance of body: these signs indicate progress in the practice of meditation -Shvetashvatara Upanishad
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March 19, 2010
Security détente before political détente MOHAMMAD ASHRAF
n spite of media hype and outside pressures, the recent Indo-Pak dialogue has once again been inconclusive. In fact, it ended without even a commitment for a future meeting. Only promises to stay in-touch have been made. The main thrust has been on a blame-game usually prompted by the respective security establishments, amply demonstrating the huge trust deficit. All meetings end only with photo ops and the real issues remain unresolved. During the last decade the two countries came close to sorting out issues like the Siachin Glacier and Sir Creek but the general mistrust did not allow for clinching these. During last 64 years the two neighbors have been alternating between war and peace. They have already fought three major
Pakistani Army Chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani
wars and a fourth limited one on the Line of Control in Ladakh (LoC) could have almost triggered a nuclear Armageddon, if not for American intervention. The main reason for this is the irreconcilable mistrust between these two neighboring countries from their very creation. One would have thought that like the Europeans, who after two world wars learnt the lessons of conflict, these two states would also learn from their conflicts. Unfortunately, that has not happened and nor does there seem any chance of it in the near future. This is because the already existing mistrust is compounded by external players and stakeholders. These talks facilitated by outsiders have remained more or less cosmetic, just for diplomatic consumption. Such instances of "facilitation" have been made a number of times in the past but no tangible solutions have emerged. One can judge the sincerity of these out-
siders from the fact that they offer "facilitation" and not "mediation". The former does not involve them in the process itself but the later does. Perhaps they feel the IndoPak conflict is a strategic asset. The recent meeting gave a feeling that the countries were being forced into the dialogue process. Of course, it is very well known that the Americans along with their NATO allies are facing the music in Afghanistan and would like to get out of the quagmire at the earliest. This can only happen when they are able to get total cooperation and focused attention of the Pakistani Army and security agencies on the western front. That scenario requires peace on the eastern front which can come only by reducing troops especially in Kashmir. In addition, they too do not
On the Pakistani side nothing can move unless Army and ISI give the green signal. Similarly, on the Indian side the security establishment has an edge over the politicians want to lose their strategic assets if things do not work out with India. The same is the case with the Indian side. It does not want to give Pakistan strategic depth and is trying to achieve that by keeping Afghanistan in their economic fold. Thus the tussle goes on. How to end the mistrust? The real trust or mistrust builders on the two sides are the security bosses. Everything is subservient to what is perceived as "national security" by each side. The final say in everything is with the security establishments. On the Pakistani side nothing can move unless Army and ISI give the green signal. Similarly, on the Indian side the security establishment has an edge over the politicians. The most sensible thing for moving ahead on the peace process would be to first arrange a dialogue between the two security establishments. There should be a free and fair interaction with no-holds barred between the
heads of the Army and security agencies of two countries. If they are able to freely understand and sort out the strategic apprehensions of two sides, politicians will have very little work to do to move ahead. To be successful in building mutual trust, the two sides will also have to forego the intervention of external players or stakeholders. They have to work out a solution on their own without external prompting. In the real sense, it is the Kashmiris who have become hostages to the Indo-Pak mistrust. Their taking sides with one or the other will only increase the mistrust. The Kashmiris have to be absolutely neutral and project their case strongly, but not violently, to both the sides for their ultimate emancipation. Instead of waiting
Indian Army Chief Gen Deepak Kapoor
for western players to bail them out, they have to create their constituency within civil society on both sides. There are indications that the Kashmiris are succeeding in this. This is evident from the fact that even a person like Chandan Mitra is prepared to offer virtual independence to Kashmiris. There is only one solution to the problems of the sub-continent, including the festering sore of Kashmir, and that is the building of mutual trust between the two countries and between Kashmiris of all regions. To achieve this, the next round of talks should be between General Kayani and General Kapoor and the respective intelligence heads of the two countries. If we are able to arrange that, the dialogue will move ahead and peace will prevail. Till such a thing happens, we will continue to remain hostage to the mistrust. The writer is former Director General, Department of Tourism, J&K. Courtesy IPCS
India Post Giant leap
akistan has reservation for women legislators, so have Bangladesh and 40 other countries in this world. Why does the issue create such a ruckus in India? Legislative power is a male preserve and male dominance is not likely to change in the near future. Small attempts to address this imbalance have been met with stiff resistance but the Women's Reservation Bill as passed by the Rajya Sabha is a giant leap for womankind. In the last 14 years, the bill was introduced three times and aborted every time due to the vociferous opposition by the 'social justice' lobby of Lalu Yadav and Mulayam Singh Yadav who demand a sub-quota for Dalits and OBCs within this bill. They fear that the entire women's quota idea will help upper caste women candidates and reverse the trend of the last 40 years where the lower castes have been gradually acquiring political power. The Prime Minister and other Congress leaders have promised the issue of sub-quotas can be dealt with at a later stage. India ranks 114th among 134 in gender disparities. Lauding the bill and stressing that its time had come, the Prime Minister pointed out that for women today, "there is discrimination at home, unequal access to education, health… all this has to change if India has to realize its full potential. This is a giant step forward… to strengthen the emancipation of our womanhood, celebration of all those brave women who fought for our independence." According to an UNDP report, close to 100 million women in Asia are estimated to be 'missing', having died because of discriminatory treatment in access to health and nutrition or through pure neglect or because they were never born in the first place. Of these 85 million are from India and China. It is also known that women have been historically denied social, economic and political opportunities. The report calls for gender-sensitive policymaking and more space to women in the political arena. This is just the historic step India has taken to reserve 33 percent of the Parliament seats for women, "a ground breaking move which will deepen democratic processes," according to CPM leader Brinda Karat. Pointing to its widespread potential, Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley said the bill will, "horizontally spread across the country and states… every constituency will be represented by women and this in turn will throw up millions of women activists who will be available for parties to contest elections." The bill as passed by Rajya Sabha has a number of flaws and has given rise to understandable misgivings among many a section of the people. Analysts say first, there will be compulsory unseating of two-third of the members every election. Second, there will be no incentive for MPs to nurse constituencies. Third, there is the undeniable fact that family politics will be further enhanced as a male who suddenly loses his seat to a reserved constituency will be tempted to simply put up a female relative as a proxy. Women who contest from reserved seats will also not be able to nurture their constituencies as they will lose them in the next election and be forever seen as non-serious and ornamental figures who have been foisted on the people. As the experiment to reserve seats for women in Indian panchayats has shown, many of the women relatives of male politicians were foisted on these seats. But over the years they have come into their own and have been paying more attention to healthcare, education and other social development issues than their male counterparts. If such an approach is brought into central lawmaking, we may yet see a revolution in India's governance.
March 19, 2010
India Post 51
52 India Post
March 19, 2010
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