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Ela Bhatt to be conferred Radcliffe Award Details on page 9

VOL 16, No. 863

March 25, 2011

50¢

Periodical Postage

5000 INDIANS LEAVE TSUNAMI-HIT JAPAN

Dandi March against corruption begins Details on page 15

Shantanu Narayen

Mukesh Ambani named on BoA Board

Indian American appointed to Obama team

Details on page 22

Details on page 7

USIBC hailed for promoting India-US biz ties

South Asians condemn King hearing

Details on page 22

Next Regional PBD to be held in Toronto Details on page 9

Robert Vadra in partnership with DLF Details on page 42

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

Is India safe from nuclear disaster? Last week’s result

Young Americans think Sikhs are Al Qaeda? YES 67%

NO 33%

Details on page 5

BACK SAFE: Passengers talk with media persons after their arrival from Japan at IGI airport in New Delhi

NEW DELHI: Nearly 5,000 Indians, out of a 25,000strong community based in Japan, have already left that country in the aftermath of tsunami caused by a massive earthquake. "It is difficult to give the exact number of Indians who have left so far as they are leaving from various airports apart from Tokyo. But the estimates are that the number at present is between 4,000 to 5,000," official sources told PTI. They said the government was closely monitoring the

situation in Japan, which is reeling under the devastation caused by the tsunami and earthquake on March 11. The approximately 25,000 Indians in Japan were concentrated in the Kanto and Kansai regions. Meanwhile, after the first consignment of relief material, comprising woolen blankets, sent to the devastationhit country, India has offered to dispatch a team of National Disaster Management Authority and a response from Japan is awaited. Details on page 5

'Cash-for-votes' scam returns to haunt UPA NEW DELHI: The 2008 'cash-for-votes' scam has returned to haunt the UPA with a united Opposition in Parliament demanding resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in view of fresh charges that bribe was paid during the trust vote but the government was dismissive. Citing correspondence between the US Embassy and its government revealed by the Wikileaks, the Opposition parties created uproar in both Houses of Parliament, saying the appearance of the media reports had "shamed" the country and it showed the "murder of democracy". Responding to the attack, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee was dismissive, saying the charges pertained to the 14th Lok Sabha and could not be discussed in the

current one. Mukherjee asserted in the Rajya Sabha that the cables cited by the Wikileaks website were correspondence between a sovereign government and its mission abroad and that he could not confirm or deny the allegations. "Each Lok Sabha is sovereign in its time. What happened in the 14th Lok Sabha cannot be decided in the 15th Lok Sabha. Government of the day is accountable to the 15th Lok Sabha and not to the 14th Lok Sabha. Whatever happened in the 14th Lok Sabha has come to an end" with the end of the tenure, he said.

Certified by “CIRCULATION VERIFICATION COUNCIL Readership 117,765”

Cont’d on page 8

US-India hold Secretary-level defense talks Details on page 6

NJ Homeland Security officials meet community Details on page 44

CONTENTS Bollywood ---------------------- 34-35 Classifieds ------------------------- 47 Community Post -------------- 10-20 Date Book -------------------------- 31 Edit Page --------------------------- 49 HealthScience Post --------- 36-39 Horoscope ------------------------- 25 Immigration Post ------------- 44-46 Life Style ----------------------- 40-41 Philosophy ------------------------- 48 Publisherís Diary ------------------ 4 Real Estate -------------------- 42-43 Readers Write --------------------- 21 TechBiz Post ------------------- 22-23 Travel & Hospitality Post ---- 26-30


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March 25, 2011

IndiaNewsweekly Post Mission Statement To empower the Indian Diaspora and make their voice strong and effective in countries of their adoption. RJ Media conglomerate offers a credible, professional and complete package of news, opinion, entertainment, networking and information.

Publisher’s Diary

W

e haven't recovered yet from the devastating scenes of death and destruction from the earthquake in Haiti (Jan 2010) when we saw heart-rending scenes of flooding in Australia earlier this year, a freak earthquake in New Zealand, and now the unimaginable destruction wrought upon Japan in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami. While the suffering of the people of Japan might not be any more or less than that of the Haitians or Australians, the impact of natural disasters such as these is felt the same across the world. The shock and helplessness against what nature can do; the innate urge to help the victims somehow; the ripple effect on connected economies; and then the irony of it all that in today's world when the collective energies of almost every major country seem to be going into building arsenals of defense against potential or perceived enemy countries and terrorists, they seem so ridiculously helpless against the wrath of nature. The bigger irony this time with Japan is the nuclear meltdown it is facing, the effects of which will not only be felt within Japan but around the world. I mean, countries will sit and debate and discuss and attempt to slap sanctions on wannabe nuclear powers to keep them from proliferating while in a single stroke, nature can blow up reactors in their own backyards causing untold harm to human life for generations. One would think a country like Japan - prone as it is to quakes - would be prepared for an eventuality just such as this that might damage its nuclear plants. But, well, even if it had been prepared, it could do naught against the force of nature, which points to a reality that the other nuclear powers including like US may have little or no plans of their own against such eventualities. So, considering there are 100 odd such reactors in the US, we might do well to keep in our emergency kits, along with bottled water, torch lights, batteries, blankets and potato chips, plenty of potassium iodide pills. Just in case. You never know.

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Cover Story: Indians arrive Nearly 5,000 Indians, out of a 25,000-strong community based in Japan, have already left that country in the aftermath of tsunami.

Community: Fair elections

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The FIA Chicago headed by Satish Gabhawala held free and fair elections as demanded by court.

Cost curbs Paul Ryan, GOP’s point man on the budget is betting that American voters won't rebel when he offers up cost curbs.

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Life Style: Mrs Asia USA pageant Payal Wadhawan will represent India at Virgelia Productions' Mrs. Asia USA Cultural Pageant in August this year.

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Travel: Udaipur Every conversation about Udaipur begins with City Palace, a massive series of palaces on east bank of Lake Pichola.

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5000 Indians leave tsunami-hit Japan NEW DELHI: Nearly 5,000 Indians, out of a 25,000-strong community based in Japan, have already left that country in the aftermath of tsunami caused by a massive earthquake. "It is difficult to give the exact number of Indians who have left so far as they are leaving from various airports apart from Tokyo. But the estimates are that the number at present is between 4,000 to 5,000," official sources told PTI. They said the government was closely monitoring the situation in Japan, which is reeling under the devastation caused by the tsunami and earthquake on March 11. The approximately 25,000 Indians in Japan were concentrated in the Kanto and Kansai regions. Meanwhile, after the first consignment of relief material, comprising woolen blankets, sent to the devastation-hit country, India has offered to dispatch a team of National Disaster Management Authority and a response from Japan is awaited. All Indians safe: Ambassador TOKYO: All Indian nationals in Japan are safe and the country's mission here is facilitating return of those wishing to leave the quake-ravaged region, India's top diplomat to Tokyo said here. "We are very thankful that there have been no casualties among Indian nationals despite this very major disaster, and all Indians are safe," Indian Ambassador Aloke Prasad said. He said that a group of Indians, who had been stranded in Sendai - one of the worst affected areas in the magnitude-9 quake and massive tsunami that rocked Japan - were moved to the Japanese capital. "We first moved them to a hotel because they were scattered

A baby passenger after her arrival with parents from Japan at IGI airport in New Delhi

in different evacuation centers. Now, we moved them as a group to Tokyo. Many of them want to go back to their homes and are leaving for India," the envoy told a private Indian channel, adding that these people have not faced any danger of radiation. Prasad, who had an interaction with the community representatives, said the embassy has not issued any advisory.

‘We are very thankful that there have been no casualties among Indian nationals despite this very major disaster, and all Indians are safe’

"We are in very close touch with the government of Japan, with their monitoring of radiation levels. We are also in touch with the Indian community." Prasad said the embassy has set up a 24-hour helpline and has been giving regular updates on its website. "We have been told by the Government of Japan that there is no immediate danger to Tokyo,"

he said. The Ambassador said the Indian mission is facilitating travel for any Indian who wishes to leave this country. "We have asked Air India to try and put on some additional capacity. The airport is open, functioning normally and people are leaving via other stations like Hong Kong, Singapore etc." On some Indian companies recalling their staff from Japan, Prasad told CNN-IBN that "those are their individual decisions. We have not issued any advisory or ordered evacuation." The embassy of India has contacted the Indian communities in all cities in Japan as well as Indian schools and is in constant touch with various sections of the community. Doing everything to evacuate Indians NEW DELHI: External Affairs Minister S M Krishna told reporters outside Parliament House that members of the Indian community would be evacuated depending on the emerging situation in that country. "Our ambassador in Japan has been in touch with the Indian community there...depending upon the situation there, the government will do everything possible...if it becomes absolutely necessary, we can evacuate them," he assured. He said a final decision will depend on the "value judgment" of both the Indian community and the ambassador. With growing fears of a nuclear catastrophe in Japan, IT majors TCS, Infosys and Wipro have offered their employees there the option of coming back home while allowing local workers to shift to safer locations.-PTI

'No threat to India from Japan radiation leak' NEW DELHI: The Government here maintained there was no threat to India from radiation leaks from the quake-hit nuclear plant in Fukushima in Japan as these were traveling east of that country and the distance too was more than 6,500 km across the ocean mass. "I would like to assure the nation that on the basis of information received till date there is no danger to India from the radiation leaks in Fukushima," Minister of State for Science and Technology Ashwini Kumar told reporters outside Parliament House. Blasts have occurred in three

nuclear reactors at the Fukushima plant and there were apprehensions that radiation from the area could affect other parts of the world. "The radiation, we are told, is traveling eastwards and we are on the opposite direction from Japan. The distance between India and Fukushima is more than 6,500 km," Kumar said, assuring that there was no danger. He maintained that this radiation is traveling over the Pacific Ocean mass. "Normally the rains will come and the radiation vapors will drop into the ocean," Kumar said. Japan-like mishap 'most un-

likely' National Security Advisor

‘The fire (in Japan) was a hydrogen fire in the area where the spent fuel is stored...They (AEC) tell us is that this is most unlikely,’ Menon said when asked about the safety of nuclear installations in the country

Shivshanker Menon affirmed here that Japan-like nuclear mishaps are "most unlikely" in India, However, he said the situation in that country was evolving and the Atomic Energy Commission and its departments were undertaking a detailed review. Menon said the Atomic Energy Commission and its other agencies "tell us that our designs are different and we also store our spent fuel differently." "The fire (in Japan) was a hydrogen fire in the area where the spent fuel is stored...They (AEC) tell us is that this is most unlikely," Menon said when asked about the safety of nuclear installations in

the country and if they can withstand natural calamities such as tsunamis. He said the atomic agencies were undertaking a detailed review of the design, the procedures and all the safety features. "As they learn more about what is happening in Japan, they will continue to review and then they will come back with suggestion for improvement, if necessary," he said. However, Menon was quick to point out that the situation in Japan was an "evolving situation" and while it is evolving, one should not jump to any conclusion. -PTI


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Scientists brief PM on safety of nuclear installations NEW DELHI: In the backdrop of nuclear mishap in Japan due to tsunami, India's top atomic scientists here briefed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on safety of nuclear installations in the country. Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission Srikumar Banerjee and Atomic Energy Regulatory Board Chairman S S Bajaj met the Prime Minister and briefed him about the review they undertook pertaining to various aspects of the nuclear installations in the country. The meeting comes two days after Singh announced in Parliament that an immediate technical review of India's atomic plants has been ordered to check if they can withstand the impact of major natural disasters like tsunami and earthquakes in the wake of the catastrophe in Japan threatening a nuclear meltdown.

"The Department of Atomic Energy and its agencies, including the Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) have been instructed to undertake an immediate technical review of all safety systems of

The nuclear mishap in Japan was triggered by the tsunami caused by massive earthquake cutting down power to the aging plant and knocking out cooling systems our nuclear power plants, particularly with a view to ensuring that they would be able to withstand the impact of large natural disasters such as tsunamis and earth-

quakes," he had said. He had informed both Houses of Parliament that India was in constant touch with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Japanese Atomic Industrial Forum and the World Association of Nuclear Operators. The nuclear mishap in Japan was triggered by the tsunami caused by massive earthquake cutting down power to the aging plant and knocking out cooling systems. The incidents raised many questions about the safety aspects of nuclear installations in case of natural calamity in the country. Most of the atomic bodies in India have taken a cautious approach towards the whole issue and have refused to conclude either way - whether it will happen to plants in the country or not.-PTI

US-India hold Secretary-level defense talks India Post News Service

NEW YORK: At the 11th USIndia Defense Policy Group (DPG) meeting held in Washington DC March 3-4, the two countries held Secretary-level discussions on further strengthening bilateral defense ties. The meeting was co-chaired by Pradeep Kumar, Defense Secretary, Government of India and Under Secretary of Defense for

The DPG also included a policy-level dialogue on the global strategic and security situation. Both sides also discussed the multilateral security architecture in Asia Policy Michelle Flournoy. Defense Secretary Kumar also met Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns and Deputy Secretary of Defense William Lynn. Ambassador Meera Shankar also participated in these discussions. Both sides reaffirmed that the bilateral defense cooperation is an important facet of the overall India-US strategic partnership. De-

fense Secretary Kumar and Under Secretary Flournoy expressed satisfaction at the progress of India-US bilateral defense relations. This was reflected in the increasing number of joint exercises that the two armed forces held regularly and procurement of defense equipment by India such as C130J aircraft. The two sides had an extensive discussion on further strengthening bilateral defense ties, under the auspices of the Defense Framework Agreement of 2005 particularly in the areas of maritime security, counterterrorism, humanitarian assistance/disaster relief, and personnel exchanges. In this context they also welcomed the removal of Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and Bharat Dynamics Limited from the US Entities List and noted that this opened up new opportunities for cooperation in the field of defense supplies as well as industrial and technological cooperation between India and the US. The DPG reviewed the reports of the four sub-groups - Military Cooperation Group, Joint Technology Group, Senior Security Technology Group and Senior Technology Security Group and the Defense Procurement & Production Group (DPPG) that had held their meetings during the year and provided guidance for their

work in the next year. The DPG also included a policy-level dialogue on the global strategic and security situation. Both sides also discussed the multilateral security architecture in Asia and looked forward to continued cooperation in these organizations. The two sides agreed that the next Defense Policy Group would be held in New Delhi, India early next year.

Narora Atomic plant can withstand quakes: NPCIL NEW DELHI: With Japan's deadly quake raising questions over safety of nuclear reactors worldwide, the state-run nuclear operator has allayed any fears with regard to Narora Atomic Power Station located in seismic zone IV in Uttar Pradesh's Bulandshahr. "The design of the plant itself takes care of seismicity. It can withstand earthquakes measuring in the excess of 7 on the Richter scale," Sudhindra Thakur, Executive Director and Fellow, Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited told PTI. He said the Narora site falls in the Zone IV which is low seismic zone. Thakur noted that IIT-Roorkee had suggested additional safety measures for the Narora plant which was the only plant in India to be located in seismic zone IV.

The other plants fall in seismic zones II and III which have even less probability of occurrence of a strong earthquake. Thakur pointed out that even in Japan, the damage to the nuclear plants was due to the tsunami that was generated after the powerful earthquake. "The nuclear plants in Japan had shut down immediately after the earthquake. It is the subsequent tsunami that caused the damage," Thakur said. Another nuclear scientist closely associated with the operation of the Narora plant said the region was not prone to earthquakes. The plant had withstood the 6.8 magnitude earthquake in Uttarkashi, he said. In Japan, the nuclear plants are located in Seismic Zones VII, VIII and IX.

India asks nationals to avoid traveling to Japan NEW DELHI: Since Japan was hit by a devastating tsunami triggered by a massive quake, India has asked its nationals to avoid non-essential travel to that country. Air India has also introduced daily flights with enhanced seat capacity to Japan, to assist those who wish to travel back. Ministry of External Affairs and its mission in Tokyo are continuously monitoring the situation in Japan and are in regular touch with representatives of the Indian

community all across the country and the Japanese authorities. "All Indian nationals are reported to be safe and have been advised to take precautions suggested by the Japanese authorities from time to time.... For the time being, non- essential travel to Japan may also be avoided," MEA said in a release. Japan was hit by a massive earthquake on March 11 causing giant tsunami waves and is currently struggling to avert a meltdown at a nuclear installation.-PTI

BOLLYWOOD FESTIVITIES: A performer of Aerodance entertains prior to an NBA basketball game between the Dallas Mavericks and Golden State Warriors, as part of Bollywood festivities Wednesday, March 16, in Oakland, Calif


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South Asians condemn Congressional hearing on 'Islamization' India Post News Service

NEW YORK: South Asian and other Asian American activist organizations have slammed the recent hearing on radicalization in the American Muslim community convened by Congressman Peter King (R-NY), Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, expressing grave concerns over the tenor and scope of the hearing. In a statement here, South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) and other groups, said: "As we had anticipated, the hearing did not produce any significant contributions to the crucial issue of national security.

Rather, they continued to scapegoat a single religious community." Asian American community leaders condemned the proceedings, that attracted intense controversy, as xenophobic, comparing the treatment of South Asian, Arab, Sikh and Muslim Americans in the aftermath of Sept. 11 to what happened to Japanese Americans during World War II. "As Asian Americans, we are extremely disappointed with the targeting of a particular community within the halls of Congress," the statement said. "Along with Asian American communities, South Asian, Arab, Sikh and Muslim Americans share a long his-

‘Sadly, the parallels between the treatment of Japanese Americans and the backlash endured by South Asian, Arab, Sikh and Muslim Americans in the aftermath of September 11, 2001, have been drawn before, and are all the more pertinent today’

tory in this country and have played an invaluable part in building this nation. Yet our communities have also faced discrimination and alienation in America. One of the most shameful chapters in our country's history remains the Japanese American internment during World War II. ‘Sadly, the parallels between the treatment of Japanese Americans and the backlash endured by South Asian, Arab, Sikh and Muslim Americans in the aftermath of September 11, 2001, have been drawn before, and are all the more pertinent today. To question the loyalties and beliefs of a single community simply based on religion or

race divides and alienates all Americans." The organizations, however, applauded Congressional members and law enforcement agencies who voiced their disagreement with Representative King's hearing. Over 50 members of Congress as well as the Congressional Asian, Black and Hispanic Caucuses sent letters to Representative King asking him to reconsider the focus of the hearing. "We also commend the members of Congress present at the hearing who urged a return to constitutional values and underscored American principles of tolerance, diversity and religious freedom," they said.

Indian American appointed to Obama's Management Advisory Board India Post News Service

NEW YORK: Shantanu Narayen, President and CEO of Adobe Systems, has been appointed by President Barack Obama to the President's Management Advisory Board (PMAB). Announcing his intent to appoint 10 individuals to the key administrative post, President Obama said, "I am grateful that these impressive individuals have

chosen to dedicate their talents to serving the American people at this important time for our country. I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead to deliver a government that's more affordable, effective and efficient." The President's Management Advisory Board (PMAB) was established by Executive Order on April 19, 2010 to provide advice on how to implement best busi-

The Board held their first meeting at the White House March 11. This is part of the President's ongoing commitment to cut waste and get the most from taxpayer dollars

Meera Shankar calls on Speaker Boehner Shantanu Narayen

A

mbassador Meera Shankar called on John Boehner (ROhio), Speaker of the newly elected US Congress March 2. The discussion focused on the positive and strategic relationship between

India and the United States, which enjoys bipartisan support in the US as well as broad spectrum political support in India. The opportunities for further cooperation, including in the trade, economic, energy

and high technology areas were also discussed. Speaker Boehner remarked that the relationship with India was one of the important relationships for the US, including for the Congress.

ness practices on matters related to Federal Government management and operation, with a particular focus on productivity, the application of technology, and customer service. The Board held their first meeting at the White House March 11. This is part of the President's ongoing commitment to cut waste and get the most from taxpayer dollars. The Board, chaired by the Deputy Director for Management of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Jeffrey Zients, will advise both the President and the President's Management Council, an interagency group that includes the deputy secretaries from the major executive departments and agencies. The establishment of PMAB builds on the work of the President's Accountable Government Initiative and the 2010 White House Forum on Modernizing Government, which brought to-

gether 50 of the country's top Chief Executive Officers, who shared ideas about adapting their proven techniques and practices to spark improvements in efficiency and effectiveness across the government. Before becoming CEO in 2007, Narayen was Adobe's president and COO. Previously, he held key product research and development positions within Adobe, including executive vice president of worldwide products and vice president and general manager of the engineering technology group. Before joining Adobe in 1998, Narayen was a co-founder of Pictra, Inc., an online photo sharing service. Prior to that, he held senior management positions at Silicon Graphics, Inc. and Apple Computer, Inc. Narayen holds a B.S. from Osmania University in India, an M.S. from Bowling Green State University and an M.B.A. from the Haas School of Business.


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'Cash-for-votes' scam returns to haunt UPA Cont’d from page 1

He also asked whether Jaitley was satisfied that "whatever has appeared in newspaper report is admissible in the court of law." The communication between the US Embassy and its government enjoys diplomatic immunity and "it is not possible for the government to either confirm it or deny it," Mukherjee said amid din. Seeking clarification on Mukherjee's statement, Jaitley said, "If what has appeared (in the newspaper) is correct, it is a commission of offence in India." He said the diplomatic immunity may be available to the US diplomats but the same cannot be claimed for offences like "bribery" committed by Indians in the country. Jaitley also disagreed with Mukherjee's contention on the issue of accountability of then government (UPA-1) to the present Lok Sabha. "All these factors do not apply when the offence was committed outside the House," he said. "You are guilty of cover," the BJP leader alleged, prompting a sharp reaction from Mukherjee, who retorted, "If you have the courage, go to court." Earlier, Jaitley raised the issue when the House met, saying "It is conclusively clear that this government survived on political and moral sin." Amid shouts of 'shame, shame' from BJP benches, he said, "A government which survived on such a political sin has no authority to even continue for one minute. We demand this government must resign immediately." Frequently interrupted by Congress members, Jaitley said the expose reflected the "extraordinary depressing situation how our democracy has been reduced.... The leak completely establishes the worst that we had feared at that time (2008)." Leaders of all major parties including CPI-M, CPI, JD (U) and BJD joined Jaitley in demanding the resignation of the government forthwith. They also demanded Prime Minister to come and explain. In the din, the House was adjourned till noon. In the Lok Sabha, CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta raised the issue as soon as the House met. "Never in the history of Indian democracy has such a news appeared in newspapers... money was paid to members....this is a murder of democracy," Dasgupta said. "If the Prime Minister does not deny this, he should resign immediately," he said. The CPI leader wondered "whether the control room of the

government is in Delhi or in Washington?" Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj said the expose has shamed Indian democracy. Certain matters that took place

aitley said the expose reflected the ‘extraordinary depressing situation how our democracy has been reduced.... The leak completely establishes the worst that we had feared at that time (2008)’ right under the nose of a "so-called honest Prime Minister have come to light", she said. Swaraj recalled that three BJP members had brought cash to the House during the debate on trust

vote in 2008 but the then Speaker had ordered an inquiry against them instead of taking cognizance of the matter. "An official of the American Embassy was shown a chest full of cash. Is this a display of the bullying tactics of the government or its shamelessness," Swaraj said, evoking protests from Congress members. "This government has lost the moral authority to continue in office and the Prime Minister should resign immediately," she said. SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav asked Speaker Meira Kumar to allow a discussion on the matter saying his party had also played a key role in saving the UPA-I government. "We had also worked to save the government in 2008. If all are painted by the same brush, we also stand to be maligned. Only a discussion on this matter can clear our name," Yadav said. At this point, members from both the opposition and ruling benches were on their feet raising

slogans and prompting the Speaker to adjourn the proceedings till noon. When the House re-assembled, similar scenes were witnessed. . The Left and the BJP were seen

Alleging that there could be no bigger attack on democracy than this, Yadav demanded that the Prime Minister should come to the House and explain. He also wanted a high-level inquiry into the expose having a sort of floor coordination on the issue, with Dasgupta twice walking over to the BJP benches to tell its leadership not to allow their members to storm the Well but protest from their seats.

US Embassy employee shown cash for 'pay-offs' NEW DELHI: An aide of Congress leader Satish Sharma allegedly showed a US Embassy employee "two chests containing cash" and said Rs 50-60 crore is ready for use as "pay-offs" to win the support of some MPs ahead of crucial vote of confidence in UPA government over the IndoUS nuke deal, claimed a set of US diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks. Noting that the Congress party machine was working "overtime" behind the scenes in the run-up to the confidence vote on July 22,2008, the cables also claimed the party had allegedly paid Rs 10 crores to each of their "four RLD MPs." RLD chief Ajit Singh denied the allegations of pay-offs and said the party voted against the Manmohan Singh government since it was against the civil nuclear deal. The cable claimed that Nachiketa Kapur, Sharma's political aide, mentioned to an Embassy staff member in an aside on July 16, 2008 that Ajit Singh's RLD had been paid Rs 10 crore for each of their "four MPs" to support the government. Kapur reportedly mentioned that money was not an issue at all, but the crucial thing was to ensure that those who took the money would vote for the government, according to the cable sent from the US Embassy to the

US State department dated July 17, 2008. Kapur showed the Embassy employee "two chests containing cash" and said that "around Rs. 50-60 crore (about 25 million USD) was lying around the house for "use as pay-offs", the cable claimed. Captain Satish Sharma told TV channels that he had no such aide called Nachiketa Kapur.

Sharma reportedly told the Political Counselor that ‘PM Singh and others were trying to work on the Akali Dal (8 votes) through NRI businessman Sant Chatwal and others, but unfortunately it did not work out’ Denying the allegations against him, Kapur claimed he did not meet any American Embassy official and that he had nothing to do with the confidence vote. According to Wikileaks, the cable mentioned about a meeting US Political Counselor had with Sharma, considered to be a close friend of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, on July 16 during when the Congress MP in the Rajya Sabha

told him that he as well as others in the party was "working hard" that the UPA government wins the trust vote. Another Congress party insider reportedly told the Counselor that Minister of Commerce and Industry Kamal Nath is also helping to "spread largesse," the cable said. “Formerly he could only offer small planes as bribes," according to this interlocutor, now he can pay for votes with jets,"" the cable released by Wikileaks said. Sharma reportedly told the Political Counselor that "PM Singh and others were trying to work on the Akali Dal (8 votes) through NRI businessman Sant Chatwal and others, but unfortunately it did not work out." According to the cable, Sharma mentioned that efforts to encourage Shiv Sena (12 votes) to abstain were on-going. While different Congress operatives were working on different groups of MPs, Sharma said that Rahul Gandhi was "personally working Omar (Abdullah). Sharma also reportedly mentioned that he was also exploring the possibility of trying to get "former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee's son-in-law Ranjan Bhattacharya" to speak to BJP representatives to try to divide the BJP ranks, according to the diplomatic cable.-PTI

RLD leader Ajit Singh, who has been adversely commented in the Wikileaks report, was not seen in the House nor any of his party MPs. JD(S) Chief Sharad Yadav termed the Wikileaks expose as "very serious" and said though we need to have good relations with the US, "19 of our (opposition) MPs were bought over and it seems the transaction was done with the involvement of US Embassy officials. .... It is just not possible that 19 MPs crossed the floor without any allurement." "The US Embassy in India is running the country. This is not good. The Wikileaks has exposed everything. It shows that every word reaches this Embassy. Its officials are also shown the cash to be distributed", said Yadav, amid continuous interruptions by Congress members. "The US is not our Lord Mountbatten. It looks as if they are telling us what to do," he said amidst shouts of 'shame, shame' from the opposition benches. Alleging that there could be no bigger attack on democracy than this, Yadav demanded that the Prime Minister should come to the House and explain. He also wanted a high-level inquiry into the expose made by the Wikileaks. The Wikileaks report has vindicated the opposition which has all along been alleging that the MPs have been bought by the government to win the confidence vote and it could go ahead with the Indo-US nuclear deal, he said. Ramchandra Dome (CPI-M) said the cash-for-vote scam was the "most shameful chapter of Indian democracy" and the "shameful revelations" have proved the opposition right. He said whatever happened was a criminal offence and therefore, a criminal investigation should be instituted immediately. The Prime Minister, Dome said, should "own moral responsibility for all this". As Dome spoke, the opposition members stood up and raised slogans 'PM isteefa do' (Prime Minister resign). When Deputy Speaker Karia Munda, who was in the Chair, asked Congress member Sanjay Nirupam to speak, almost the entire opposition stood up and protested vociferously. As soon as the Lok Sabha reassembled, BJP members trooped into the Well shouting slogans demanding the Prime Minister's resignation. They were also seen shouting "gali gali mein shor hai, UPA chor hai (the talk in the streets is that the UPA government is dishonest)." -PTI


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Ela Bhatt to be conferred Radcliffe Award India Post News Service

NEW YORK: Ela Bhatt, founder of the Self-Employed Women's Association (SEWA) will be awarded the Radcliffe Institute Medal on Radcliffe Day, May 27, 2011. SEWA, founded in 1972, was conceived as a women's trade union that bills itself as an organization and a movement, and has grown into an NGO that offers micro-lending, health and life insurance, and child care - all overseen by more than a hundred women-run cooperatives. In January 2010, SEWA membership reached 1.2 million. Bhatt's long battle for social justice has recently brought her more recognition and visibility. In November last year, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had honored Bhatt with the Global Fairness Initiative Award for helping move more than a million poor women in India to a position of dignity and independence, gaining ac-

cess to opportunities they never dreamed possible. "Like the chance to start a business or send their daughters and their sons to school, open their own bank accounts, or simply be treated with

Bhatt's long battle for social justice has recently brought her more recognition and visibility. In November last year, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had honored Bhatt with the Global Fairness Initiative Award for helping move more than a million poor women to a position of dignity respect," Clinton said. In a 2009 feature article, the New York Times called Bhatt "a Gandhian pragmatist for the new

India." The Radcliffe Institute Fellowship Program was founded at Radcliffe College in 1960 as the Radcliffe Institute for Independent Study. In 1978 the Institute was renamed the Mary Ingraham Bunting Institute to honor Radcliffe College President Mary Bunting whose initiative it was to create a postgraduate study center for female scholars and artists. Concerned about the prevailing "climate of unexpectation" for women at that time, Bunting deliberately sought to reverse that negative attitude by establishing the essential gifts of an Institute fellowship: time, financial support, a room of one's own, membership in a vital community of women, and access to all Radcliffe and Harvard resources. "The Radcliffe Institute is proud to honor her this year, in which gender in the developing world is one of its dominant themes," the Institute said.

Obama gets report on improving life of AAPIs India Post News Service

WASHINGTON: Asian American and Pacific Islander leaders appointed by President Obama have presented a report to the White House with recommendations on how 23 federal agencies and offices can improve the everyday lives of AAPIs. The report addresses problems uniquely facing Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, such as linguistic isolation, health problems that disproportionally affect AAPIs and bullying and other civil rights issues. The report was submitted to the White House during a gathering of two groups created under the executive order establishing the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders the President's Advisory Commission and the federal Interagency Working Group, which includes representatives from almost every federal agency. President Obama stopped by the gathering to thank the Commission and the Working Group for their work. U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke, who serves as the White House Initiative's co-chair noted that each federal agency worked hard to identify hurdles preventing the AAPI community from achieving their full potential. "We've made a lot of progress," said Secretary Locke. "A lot of innovative thought went into this

report to the President. The Census, for one, gave us a lot of insight into how we can make our federal government more responsive to Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders." "This report shows how the federal government is taking ac-

‘The President is very appreciative of all the great work that has been done on the report," said Chris Lu. "And we challenge all of you - the Initiative, the Commission, and the agency representatives - to work quickly to implement these important recommendations’ tion to address unique AAPI needs," said Daphne Kwok, chairwoman of the President's Advisory Commission on AAPIs. "Hopefully, federal agencies will implement these recommendations as quickly as possible." Details outlined in the report were submitted by each agency to address priorities established by the White House Initiative -creating healthy communities and sustainable neighborhoods, ex-

panding educational opportunities, increasing economic growth and improving civil rights. Assistant to the President and Cabinet Secretary Christopher Lu joined President Obama to accept the report, urging Administration officials to move quickly to carryout the recommendations outlined in the plans. "The President is very appreciative of all the great work that has been done on the report," said Chris Lu. "And we challenge all of you - the Initiative, the Commission, and the agency representatives - to work quickly to implement these important recommendations." Recommendations in the report include: *Early identification of chronic Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) infection for Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander populations that don't know they have the virus. Hepatitis B chronically infects about 1.5 million people in the U.S., and AAPIs account for over half of all the cases. *Strengthening of Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions programs to increase college graduation rates for AAPI students. While educational attainment among East Asian and South Asian groups is high, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders have lower high school graduation rates.

Satish Sharma denies WikiLeaks claims NEW DELHI: Two key players, including former Union Minister Satish Sharma, whose name figures in the Wikileaks cables in connection with allegations of bribing MPs to win the 2008 trust vote, has denied any role in the episode. Rejecting the allegations, Sharma said he did not have any aide by the name of Nachiketa Kapur and the allegations were baseless. "I have read the Hindu paper. It said I have an aide. I do not have any political aide. There was no aide of me by the name of Kapur as reported by the paper," Sharma said. US diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks claimed that an aide of Sharma allegedly showed a US Embassy employee "two chests containing cash" and said Rs 5060 crore is ready for use as "payoffs" to win the support of some MPs ahead of crucial vote of confidence in UPA government over the Indo-US nuke deal. Kapur, the other player named in the cable, also denied the allegations as "malicious". "I vehemently deny this malicious allegations," he said. Asked whether he met an official from the US Embassy, Kapur said he never met the US official. "No, I did not meet him." When asked about the allegations of him stashing Rs 50-60 crore, Kapur said, "There was no cash so pointing out does not arise." RLD chief Ajit Singh also denied the allegations of his party MPs taking bribe to vote in favor of the Government. "Our party was against the

nuclear deal and incidentally the recent event in Japan has vindicated us. We had extensive discussions with the TDP, TRS and Left and we decided to vote against the government and we did vote against the government," Singh said. The cable claimed that Kapur, Sharma's political aide, mentioned to an Embassy staff member in an aside on July 16, 2008 that Ajit

Satish Sharma

Singh's RLD had been paid Rs. 10 crore for each of their "four MPs" to support the government. Kapur reportedly mentioned that money was not an issue at all, but the crucial thing was to ensure that those who took the money would vote for the government, according to the cable sent from the US Embassy to the US State department dated July 17, 2008. Kapur showed the Embassy employee "two chests containing cash" and said that "around Rs. 50-60 crore (about 25 million USD ) was lying around the house for "use as pay-offs", the cable claimed. -PTI

Next Regional PBD to be held in Toronto India Post News Service

NEW YORK: The next Regional Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) convention will be held in Toronto, Canada June 9-10 this year. The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA), Government of India, has been organizing the annual Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) Convention, the flagship event of MOIA, since 2003 in its endeavor to engage with the overseas Indians. MOIA has also been organizing Regional Conventions on the lines of PBD in different regions

of the world since 2007. Four such regional PBD Conventions have been held in New York (2007), Singapore (2008), The Hague (2009) and Durban, South Africa (2010). The Toronto PBD will focus on the Indian Diaspora in North America and the Caribbean. The event is being held in partnership with the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce and the Government of Canada. The event will be inaugurated on June 9 by Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs, Vayalar Ravi. Prime Minister of Canada is also expected to attend the event.


Desi News Ajit Gandhi honored with MRDT membership SURESH SHAH

CHICAGO: Ajit Gandhi, a front ranking Indian financial planner with three decades of experience under his belt, has been approved for membership of Million Dollar Round Table (MRDT), the Premier Association of Financial Professionals worldwide. Announcing this, Julian H. Good, Jr. CLU ChFC 2011 MDRT President. Presented complement to Gandhi and said that "you have been approved for membership in the 2011 Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) as our records show you are a Qualifying & Life member with 10 years of membership in MDRT and are a member of The Premier Association of Financial Professionals."

COMMUNITY ACROSS AMERICA

Dandi March against corruption flagged off Details on page 15

10 India Post

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March 25, 2011

FIA elects new board and pitches for unity

Details on page 12

Sikh Coalition decries Congress scrutiny of Muslims India Post News Service

WASHINGTON: The Committee on Homeland Security in the US House of Representatives led by Representative Peter King (RNY), Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, recently held investigative hearings on domestic radicalization. The hearings singled out American Muslims as the sole subject of Congressional scrutiny. The Sikh Coalition in a statement has called on Congressman King to end the politics of division and practice inclusive politics that "recognizes our joint interest in creating an America that is safe and secure for all." Details on page 13

Kalam to visit to Fermilab during Chicago stay NISHA SUTARIA

CHICAGO: Former Indian President, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, who is slated to visit Chicago in late April under the auspices of the Indo-American Center (IAC) will also be going to Fermilab, a world-renowned particle physics lab in Batavia, a southwest suburb of Chicago. Dr Rajendran Raja, a Fermilab particle physicist and member of IAC Board of Directors, is arranging Dr Kalam's Fermilab visit. During the first part of his visit, Dr Kalam will tour Fermilab to view and learn about several particle physics projects and experiments that are currently underway. Details on page 14

FIA office bearers (Standing L-R) Devendra Patel, Keerthi Ravoori, Kamlesh Patel, Sunny Gabhawala, N Kahlon and Girish Patel. (Sitting Election Committee members L-R) Minhas Akhtar, Vinod Patel and Kanti S Patel.

RAMESH SOPARAWALA India Post News Service

CHICAGO: The Federation of Indian Associations-Chicago (FIA) headed by Satish Gabhawala did exactly what was expected of it last week - holding free and fair elections. The Circuit Court of Cook County Judge Peter Flynn had dubbed the 2010 election "invalid" and it was up to the FIA officials to conduct free and fair elections. This was done in full compliance with the FIA constitutional requirements during a general body meeting held at Punjabi Dhaba on Devon Avenue, says Satish Gabhawala. "The elections were free and fair, and the entire proceedings and process were quite transparent under the watchful eyes of a court reporter, FIA Trustees and the election committee members," he asserted with pride during a luncheon meet with ethnic Indian media on Monday March 14. Gabhawala announced at a press conference his team of newly elected office bearers that constitutes the governing executive board for the year 2011-2012. He said that the following were elected unanimously for the year 2011-2012: Satish 'Sunny' Gabhawala, President, Dr Kamal Patel, Executive Vice President, Kishan Patel, Vice President. Micky Kahlon, Vice President,

Keerthi Kumar Ravoori, Vice President, Ajai Agnihotri, Secretary, Girish Patel, Treasurer Devendra Patel, Joint Secretary, Avinash

that claim to represent FIA and pointed out that this three decades old umbrella organization did not belong to any individual

In a talk to this paper, Gabhawala said that he was forging unity among all the groups that claim to represent FIA and pointed out that this three decades old umbrella organization did not belong to any individual or a group of individuals Desai, Joint Treasurer In a talk to this paper, Gabhawala said that he was forging unity among all the groups

or a group of individuals, and that it was very important that its integrity and credibility were maintained within and outside the In-

dian community. "I am determined to achieve this for the common good of all, "he said and extended an olive branch to the break away group headed by Sunil Shah. Addressing the press conference, a determined FIA President Gabhawala asserted that it will be his goal to preserve, protect and defend this 30-year old community umbrella organization from forces that seeks to divide it. He strongly underlined the board's commitment to forge renewed partnership with the larger community and strive hard to strengthen the bonds of unity to uphold FIA's preeminent place in the Chicago's burgeoning community. Summarizing the FIA election process, Gabhawala explained that the elections were carefully supervised by a host of Trustees and conducted by the election committee to ensure that the election procedures were consistent with the FIA by-laws. All documents related to the elections including membership forms and nomination forms, valid registration copies were put on display for the media and all those present. These documents were duly verified and certified by the Trustees and the three-member election committee in the presence of legal counsel and court reporter. ContĂ­d on page 11

Members and invitees at the Elections Meet at Punjabi Dhaba on Sunday March 13


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8 years jail for causing death of Indians ASHWIN PATEL

Anitha Veerapaneni

Priya Muppavarapu

Satya S Chinta

Anusha Anumolu

ST LOUIS: St. Louis County Circuit Judge Michael Jamison, sentenced a former Sunset Hills police officer Christine Miller,43, to eight years on each of the four manslaughter counts besides seven years on a charge of DUI driving that resulted in the death of four Indian students and critically injuring the driver, also an Indian student. Judge Jamison ruled that the sentences would run concurrently, meaning thereby that Miller would effectively serve no more than eight years in prison. Miller would be eligible for parole once 85 percent of the sentence has been served. Christine Miller was facing up to 67 years in state prison for driving on the side of Dougherty Ferry. Her blood alcohol level three hours after the collision was twice the legal limit in St Louis MO. Miller had been off-duty, drinking at O'Leary's Restaurant & Bar, about 1,000 feet from the Sunset Hills police station, before crashing into the students' car. Miller entered a blind plea in December to four counts of involuntary manslaughter in the March 21 2009 deaths of four people who were passengers in a car that Miller's vehicle struck in the intersection of Dougherty Ferry and Des Peres Road in Des Peres. Killed in the collision were four young Indian students: the 23-year-old Anusha Anumolu, 23-year- old Anita Lakshmi, 22-yearold Priya Muppavarapu; and 25-year-old Satya Subhakar. The three were of Charleston Illinois while Satya was of Aurora in Illinois. The three Charleston victims were studying at Eastern Illinois University. The driver of the car that was crashed in the accident was 27-year-old Nitesh

Adusumilli, of Ballwin. He was severely injured and continues to recover. Christine Miller suffered severe head trauma in the crash. She pleaded guilty to an assault charge in Adusumilli's injuries. Miller served as a patrol officer in Sunset Hills for 12 years and was suspended without pay from her job after the incident. Sunset Hills Police Chief William LeGrand announced that Miller had officially resigned her position.

His assistant on the case, Alan Key, had recommended a 20-year term for the 2009 collision Miller caused, off-duty, in Des Peres. Even the defense attorney Rosenbum said outside the court that he did not envy the judge in this particular case. Obviously, it could have been harsher, he is reported to have said During the hearing, Miller, faced relatives of the dead, who had come to America from India for the hearing. Though they

were going through your own grieving." As she spoke, she dabbed her eyes and nose with a tissue. Nitesh Adusumilli, now 29, of Ballwin, told the court that he continued to have a strong sense of guilt for the four souls that have been lost. One of those killed was his fiancee, Anitha Lakshmi Veerapaneni. Adusumilli said none of the occupants of his car drank alcohol. He said he remembered dining at an Indian restaurant and

Nitesh Adusumilli

Frustrated that former Sunset Hills police officer Christine Miller received only an 8-year prison sentence for a drunken driving crash that killed four people, St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert P. McCulloch called it "a terribly inappropriate sentence." He added, "It seems to me she got four free felonies."

Miller said that her heart broke into pieces when she learned what she had done. She also said, "I was amazed at what profound, heartfelt and selfless people you are, after learning that you were praying for me after what I had done, while you were going through your own grieving" suffered heavily they still prayed for Miller. In a statement that she read out in the Court, Miller said that her heart broke into pieces when she learned what she had done. She also said, "I was amazed at what profound, heartfelt and selfless people you are, after learning that you were praying for me after what I had done, while you

Christihe Miller

bowling that night, and nothing else until five days after the crash. "It wasn't until I was shown a newspaper did things sink in," he explained. Judge Jamison said he took into account the numerous letters he received in Miller's support, but noted that she bore a "greater responsibility" because of her job.

FIA elects new board and pitches for unity ContĂ­d from page 10

Gabhawala pointed out that he has sent an email to a number of prominent community figures to 'cease and desist' from directly or indirectly violating the propriety and the illegal use of FIA's brand name. Citing several ex-

amples, he alleged that official documents were doctored and there was a tacky insertion of Governor's photograph in one of the events held by the defunct group to grossly mislead the community. He reiterated "the FIA's legal counsel is pursuing all the avail-

able legal options to put an end to this exercise." While assuring the media that FIA is neither the plaintiff nor the defendant, he added that he planned to use every legal remedy to uphold the FIA. He also announced that the newly elected executive board

along with the Trustees would host a series of exciting events in celebration of India's Independence in August that would include parade, flag-hoisting on Daley Plaza and a gala banquet. In conclusion, Gabhawala reminded that FIA has a large following in the community based

on its activities and an outstanding record of community service in the past and that no forces would ever be able to hijack "this legally-established premier organization that represented the causes and issues of the Indian community for nearly 30years."


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Ajit Gandhi honored with MRDT membership SURESH SHAH

CHICAGO: Ajit Gandhi, a front ranking Indian financial planner with three decades of experience under his belt, has been approved for membership of Million Dollar Round Table (MRDT), the Premier Association of Financial Professionals worldwide. Announcing this, Julian H. Good, Jr. CLU ChFC 2011 MDRT President. Presented complement to Gandhi and said that "you have been approved for membership in the 2011 Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) as our records show you are a Qualifying & Life member with 10 years of membership in MDRT and are a member of The Premier Association of Financial Professionals." A significant goal of MDRT is to increase members' knowledge, ethics, service to clients and productivity. Julian Good said that the MRDT members are planning another outstanding Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, USA on June 5-8. This meet will feature dynamic speakers who would motivate, inform and challenge those attending this educational and inspirational gathering. MDRT members share ideas to

improve their sales and practice management techniques. They also inspire each other to achieve greater levels of production and build client trust: MDRT's strict membership and ethical standards

humbled being approved for MRDT membership. "In our profession of Financial Planning, qualifying for MRDT membership is an honor in itself but a bigger honor is to achieve the Life Mem-

Ajit Gandhi

‘In our profession of Financial Planning, qualifying for MRDT membership is an honor in itself but a bigger honor is to achieve the Life Membership. Both have to be earned and maintained. By God's Grace this has happened to me’

show clients that they belong to a professional and trustworthy group. MDRT tools and resources help members communicate their value to clients and prospects. In a talk to this paper, Ajit Gandhi who immigrated to this country in the eighties said that he felt greatly honored and

bership. Both have to be earned and maintained. By God's Grace this has happened to me," he said Gandhi achieved this honor when he was on the verge of celebrating his 30th anniversary in the profession of Financial Planning. He started his career in this field in March 1981.

March 25, 2011

PCS to host 'Rangla Punjab' on April 23 SURESH SHAH

CHICAGO: The Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago (PCS) has slated its flagship event "Rangla Punjab 2011" to celebrate Vaisakhi festival on Saturday April 23 at 7 p.m. in Copernicus Theater (formerly known as Gateway Theater) Auditorium, in Chicago. PCS has been organizing this traditional Punjabi cultural pro-

Rangla Punjab 2010

gram for more than two decades. This is the single largest annual Punjabi cultural variety event in Chicago area that showcases the Punjabi performing arts and promotes the local community talent. A gathering of 2000 is expected where more than 250 local artists from Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indi-

ana will display their best. The doors open at 6 p.m. and the program begins at 7 p.m. sharp. The highlights of the nearly three-hour program are Punjabi folk dances, songs and music. Program sponsorship opportunities and several attractive package options are also available. Limited space for merchandise vendor booths in the lobby area is also available, according to Rajinder Singh Mago, a spokesman. "We are trying to get our next generation involved in our cultural arts activities and promote volunteerism," said Balwinder Girn, the PCS president. Popular Punjabi dances Bhangra and Gidha, Punjabi music and songs, comedy skits, and many other items will be presented. The program has been sold out in many previous years. Parking is free and children under 10 are admitted free.

Turkish Airlines from LA to cover Indian sub-continent

Turkish airline's comfort journey

AQ SIDDIQUI India Post News Service

CHICAGO: Turkish Airlines, the winner of the "Market Leadership Award 2011", has added Los Angeles on its North American destination chart from March 3. Operating four times a week non-stop from Los Angeles to Istanbul, Turkish Airlines will now comfortably fly passengers to Mumbai, Delhi, Dhaka, Karachi and all other destinations in Middle East and Africa. At present Turkish airline operates

daily 2 flights from New York and daily flight from Chicago. Recently Turkish Airlines introduced non-stop flights from Washington and adding Los Angeles as the newest West Coast destination, it is set to carry maximum passenger load to Indian sub-continent from US major cities. The non-stop service between Los Angeles and Istanbul will be operated by the brand-new Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft, equipped with latest technology, comfortable 2-3-2 seating configuration, monitors with all seats and choice of Indian entertainment and

Turkish Fest

Mediterranean cuisines. All flights to/from LA will have Comfort Class, a new service that combines the comfort of business class with the accessibility of economy. Comfort Class is the newest attraction Turkish is offering to travelers. Designed as Business class comfort, the Comfort Class will be affordable as economy plus fares. Additionally, the flight provides Turkish Airlines passengers with convenient connections to Mumbai, Delhi, Karachi and Dhaka together with other Middle East countries and Africa.

Turkish Airline also offers passengers to make a free quick tour of the historical Istanbul city if the transit time exceeds. As a new service, Turkish Airline's facilitation desk at Istanbul Airport will allow US citizens to visit the city for free with a guided tour. However, most passengers traveling to India or Pakistan prefer a stopover for 2-3 days as Istanbul city has many historical attractions for the visitors. Most Turkish fares permit free stopover at Istanbul. In fact the Istanbul stopover is promoting more Indian traffic on Turkish. Contíd on page 13


March 25, 2011

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Sikh Coalition decries Congress scrutiny of Muslims India Post News Service

WASHINGTON: The Committee on Homeland Security in the US House of Representatives led by Representative Peter King (RNY), Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, recently held investigative hearings on domestic radicalization. The hearings singled out American Muslims as the sole subject of Congressional scrutiny. The Sikh Coalition in a statement has called on Congressman King to end the politics of division and practice inclusive politics that "recognizes our joint interest in creating an America that is safe and secure for all." The statement said, "While we recognize the vital necessity of efforts to counter violent extremism in America, the Sikh Coalition strongly believes these hearings to be unfair and dangerous. Their sole focus on American Muslims broadly tarnishes a community of millions of peaceful, law-abiding Americans. The inevitable result of the hearings will be an America divided, not united, in the fight against violent extremism." The Coalition said, "Not sur-

prisingly, editorial boards across the United States have either condemned or seriously called into question the hearings. The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Miami Herald, Seattle Times and Philadelphia Inquirer have weighed-in against the hearings. America's most prominent faith community organizations have also stood up in solidarity

and Human Rights, have joined forces to oppose the hearings." Representative Peter King states that singling out Muslims for scrutiny is necessary because US Muslims have been "uncooperative" with law enforcement. He cites no specific law enforcement official for this statement. In fact, his position has been found to be unsupported by many credible

Michael Rolince, who headed the Counterterrorism Division in the FBI's Washington field office stated this week: "I will tell you in no uncertain terms that the community has on multiple occasions come forward and assisted law enforcement� with Muslim Americans. The National Council on Churches, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Baptist Joint Committee, and the Rabbinical Assembly have opposed the hearings. Finally, America's oldest and most respected civil rights organizations, including the NAACP and the Leadership Conference on Civil

organizations. A study issued last month by Duke University and the University of North Carolina found that Muslim Americans are the largest source of tips bringing terror suspects to the attention of authorities. Similarly, a Muslim Public Affairs Council report found that 7 out of 11 Al-Qaeda related plots in the past 15 months

were thwarted due to the assistance of Muslims. Sheriff Lee Baca of Los Angeles County stated that: "American Muslim community leaders within Los Angeles have not hesitated to put themselves in potentially uncomfortable positions to interact with law enforcement." Similarly, Michael Rolince, who headed the Counterterrorism Division in the FBI's Washington field office stated this week: "I will tell you in no uncertain terms that the community has on multiple occasions come forward and assisted law enforcement." The Coalition statement said, "As Sikhs, we have an obligation to stand for the human rights of all people. It is important that we uphold this sacred obligation as the Muslim American community endures the type of unfair scrutiny that leads to hate crimes, workplace discrimination, school bullying, and profiling. We would also note that, apart from being unfair, the hearings can create a toxic environment for Sikh Americans, who are often targeted for hate crimes and discrimination during times of heightened hostility toward Muslim Americans."

Turkish Airlines from LA to cover Indian sub-continent ContĂ­d from page 12

Earlier, a similar stopover offer at Dubai attracted travelers to fly via Dubai. Istanbul is the newest transit attraction for Indian passengers. Named the best travel destination of 2010 by readers of The New York Times, Istanbul continues to shine in the spotlight. With over 90 new shopping centers and an abundance of street vendors, Istanbul is quickly becoming the shopping capital of the world. From March 18 through April 26, the city will come alive for the first annual "Istanbul Shopping Fest." This 40-day celebration will feature round-the-clock shopping and sales, fashion shows, concerts and festivities at the city's 90 modern shopping centers in addition to its traditional shopping venues such as the Grand Bazaar and the Egyptian Spice Market. Close to Jerusalem, Turkish offers an affordable side trip from Istanbul to Tel Aviv or Amman. For those seeking holidays in Middle East countries, Turkish offers most competitive fares to Dubai, Cairo and Damascus for US travelers.


Community Across America

14 India Post

www.indiapost.com

Kalam to visit to Fermilab during Chicago stay

March 25, 2011

Nevada Assembly to open with Hindu prayers

NISHA SUTARIA

CHICAGO: Former Indian President, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, who is slated to visit Chicago in late April under the auspices of the Indo-American Center (IAC) will also be going to Fermilab, a world-renowned particle physics lab in Batavia, a south-

Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, former Indian President

west suburb of Chicago. Dr Rajendran Raja, a Fermilab particle physicist and member of IAC Board of Directors, is arranging Dr Kalam's Fermilab visit. During the first part of his visit, Dr Kalam will tour Fermilab to view and learn about several particle physics projects and experiments

that are currently underway, including the progress of Project X, Fermilab's new high intensity proton accelerator. The second part of his visit will give Fermilab employees, scientists and students the opportunity to meet Dr Kalam

"It is a tremendous honor to have Dr Kalam visit us at Fermilab. I'm sure it will be a very interesting day from him he's worked in the forefront of science," Dr Raja said, speaking to Dr Kalam's several scientific accomplishments at a forum where he will speak on current particle physics endeavors worldwide. "It is a tremendous honor to have Dr Kalam visit us at Fermilab. I'm sure it will be a very interesting day from him - he's worked in the forefront of science," Dr Raja said, speaking to Dr Kalam's sev-

eral scientific accomplishments. Dr Kalam has received international recognition for his contributions in the field of science. His honors include America's top engineering prize, the Hoover medal, for his work in public service contribution as an engineer. He is particularly known for his work on the ballistic missile and space rocket technology, which have brought India into modern space research. With an educational background in aeronautical engineering, Dr Kalam played a pivotal role as Project Director to develop India's first indigenous Satellite Launch Vehicle in 1980. He also contributed significantly to the development of several missiles, including Agni and Prithvi, through his role as Chief Executive of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (I.G.M.D.P). Additionally, he has been Chancellor of the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology and was the Scientific Adviser to the Defense Minister and Secretary, Department of Defense Research & Development throughout the 1990s. IAC will host a public reception in Dr Kalam's honor on April 24 at the Oak Brook Marriott Hotel.

Tanushree Shankar performs at Hindu Temple MADHU PATEL

CHICAGO: The Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago (HTGC), in cooperation with Consulate General of India, Chicago organized a spectacular cultural dance event "Inspiring India" by Tanushree Shankar on Saturday, March 12 at HTGC temple auditorium. With a brief prayer and condolences for recent Japan earthquake and tsunami victims, Amrish Mahajan, Chairman, Public Relations, HTGC welcomed Tanushree Shankar and troupe. The program began with an invocatory item "Durga Vandana" in praise of Goddess Durga, followed by "Vrukshya Vihar"(depicting the naturalistic beauty of the forests), "Maitri" (the celebration of womanhood), and "Pratiksha" (the longing for oneness). The show concluded with the feature presentation "Chirantan", where the dancers portrayed "Hope and inspiration". With narration by Amitabh Bachchan and Tanushree

Shankar's Choreography the group presented "Chirantan" for the emergence of a peaceful dawn

Tanushree Shankar

of an era where love triumphs over the hatred and world embody a haven of hope, goodness and

tranquility. The performance was a model of grace and fluidity. All the movements were crisp, yet smooth and agile. The hand gestures, or mudras, were clean and precise. The movements of all the dancers were well-coordinated. The dancers' expressions were particularly striking, due to their extraordinary animation and liveliness. The vibrant music complemented S. Shankar's mesmerizing choreography. The program emceed by Rupamati Acharya and Dr Rohini Udupa concluded with Amrish Mahajan thanking Tanushree Shankar and group for the wonderful performance and appreciating Consulate General of India, Chicago for coordinating the artists' visit. The next coordinated event "Dusshasana Vadham" a Kathakali dance performance is set for March 27. Mahajan also pitched for generous donation to support hosting of such events with great artists.

Rajan Zed delivering a prayer in Arizona India Post News Service

NEVADA: Nevada Assembly will open with ancient Hindu prayers on April 25 in Carson City. Rajan Zed, President of Universal Society of Hinduism , will recite from Rig-Veda, the oldest scripture of the world still in common use, besides lines from Upanishads and Bhagavad-Gita (Song of the Lord), both ancient Hindu scriptures, in Sanskrit and then provide translation in English. Zed earlier opened Nevada State Senate meeting on February 14, Las Vegas City Council on January 19 and Sparks City Council on January 25 with ancient Sanskrit prayers. He also delivered the opening prayers in Clark County Board of Commissioners, Carson City Board of Supervisors, Henderson and Boulder City

Councils in the recent past in Nevada. Rajan Zed in a statement said that he planned to start and end the prayer with "Om", the mysti-

Rajan Zed, President of Universal Society of Hinduism , will recite from RigVeda, the oldest scripture of the world still in common use cal syllable containing the universe, which in Hinduism is used to introduce and conclude religious work. ContĂ­d on page 17

UN official lauds Sikh Environment Day India Post News Service

NEW YORK: Olav Kjorven, Assistant Secretary-General and Director of UNDP, the UN Development Program sent greetings to Sikh community worldwide on the celebration of the Sikh Environment Day. In his message to EcoSikh, Mr. Kjorven said, "In honor of the Seventh Sikh Guru I am sending my most reverent wishes and congratulations for the events planned to celebrate Sikh Environment day on March 14th." Olav Kjorven as head of UNDP has worked with many world religions to develop their own plans to combat global warming and to save environment. He was present when Sikh leaders launched EcoSikh and a five year Sikh plan in 2009 in New Delhi. This plan was then presented to UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon in Windsor

Castle in UK in November 2009. Many major Sikh organizations including SGPC have come forward to plant trees worldwide in celebration of Sikh Environment Day. Addressing Sikhs, Olav Kjorven said, "I am thrilled to see that the plans launched in Windsor two years ago are being implemented and have sparked support for successful initiatives, including the one you are about to celebrate." He hailed the Sikh activism on behalf of environment and said, "I deeply admire the work undertaken across the faiths since Windsor and have watched your struggles to enact the far-reaching proactive changes that are necessary to address climate change, provide environmental protection and ensure the regeneration that our living planet so urgently needs. ContĂ­d on page 20


Community/California

March 25, 2011

Cal News Heart Center raises $200,000 thru Scarlet Night KAVITA ARORA India Post News Service

SAN JOSE, CA: The South Asian Heart Center's (SAHC) third annual fundraiser, Scarlet Night 2011, was held on March 12, at the San Jose Convention Center and attended by over 750 guests. The popular event this year focused on increasing community awareness and prevention of heart disease among South Asians who are at four times higher risk of heart disease than any other population. The Gala's targets were to raise funds through the casino, raffles, the silent auction and event ticket sales. Details on page 16

Sant Nirankari Mission donates food for homeless PRAFULL LANDE

TRACY, CA: The Sant Nirankari Mission (SNM), Tracy chapter celebrated its Guru Puja Divas on Feb 23 in a unique way by donating canned food worth thousands of dollars to St. Mary's Homeless shelter in Stockton. All devotees of the mission contributed in this noble act. This act of giving is in accordance with the principles of the mission which preaches love and universal brotherhood. Rev Devraj Vijh (Parmukh (Chief), SNM Tracy branch), Rev. Mrs. Manjit Rai and Rev. Mohan Sabnani represented SNM and handed over the donation personally to caretakers of the shelter.

www.indiapost.com

Dandi March against corruption flagged off India Post News Service

SAN DIEGO, CA: At 8 am on March 12, an interesting event took place at Martin Luther King Jr. Park in San Diego. A 78-year old man, attired to be a lookalike of Mahatma Gandhi, arrived. He was accompanied by 30 others, wearing T-shirts with Gandhi's famous silhouette and the caption: Dandi March II - A 240 Mile Walk Against Corruption. After the rendition of Indian national anthem, some of the marchers, Srihari Atluri, Jawahar Kambhampati, Subhash Karri and Varma Dantuluri, who are People For Lok Satta (PFL) members walking the entire 240 miles, shared their inspiration. Sunil Kumar, editor of the Dainik Chattisgadh, had flown in from India, especially to cover the entire march. As the marchers made their way through the sunny streets of San Diego, a group visiting

ĂŹGandhiĂŽ leading the march

Gandhi launched Dandi March and walked 240 miles (390 kilometers) to fight for Indian

corruption. Also, in support of this movement organized primarily by People For Lok Satta, sev-

Also, in support of this movement organized primarily by People For Lok Satta, several Indians and members of different organizations are walking in over 12 cities across India and over 20 cities outside India on March 26, the final day

Details on page 18

IAHF announces scholarships for graduating students

India Post 15

Group of marchers

from Boston also joined them. It should be noted that on March 12, 1930, Mahatma

Independence. Now, on the s a m e d a y, N R I s l a u n c h e d Dandi March II to fight against

eral Indians and members of different organizations are walking in over 12 cities across India and

over 20 cities outside India on March 26, the final day. Meanwhile, in India, a group of elderly citizens have set off to retrace Gandhiji's steps along the original route of Dandi March, from the Sabarmati Ashram to coastal Dandi, Gujarat. Led by Rajkumar Singh, their plan is to reach Dandi on April 6 and make salt. Small sachets of this salt will be mailed to all MPs of India, so they could transform themselves as pure as the salt. At the same time, in Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh, more than 100 people came together to pray for the success of Dandi March II being held in USA. By the end of day two, the participation was overwhelming with 80 people joining the walk. Dandi March II is well and truly underway for next 15 days and will end with a major event at San Francisco on March 26.

India Post News Service

LOS ANGELES: The Indian American Heritage Foundation has invited applications for scholarship awards to graduating students. In a statement it said, "Applications are now being accepted from qualified High School and Middle/Junior High School students graduating in the year 2011 for scholarship awards to be presented at the 25th Annual India Heritage Awards function slated for April 23, 2011 at the Long Beach Hilton, Long Beach, California." Details on page 20

Three generations stand together against corruption

The marchers


16 India Post

Community/California

March 25, 2011

www.indiapost.com

Heart Center raises $200,000 thru Scarlet Night

Left to Right: Assembly Member Paul Fong, SAHC Executive Director Ashish Mathur, Congressman Mike Honda, CSJ Councilman Ash Kalra, SAHC Medical Director, Dr. Cesar Molina

KAVITA ARORA India Post News Service

SAN JOSE, CA: The South Asian Heart Center's (SAHC) third annual fundraiser, Scarlet Night 2011, was held on March 12, at the San Jose Convention Center and attended by over 750 guests. The popular event this year focused on increasing community awareness and prevention of heart disease among South Asians who are at four times higher risk of heart disease than any other population. The Gala's targets were to raise funds through the casino, raffles, the silent auction and event ticket sales. The event raised over $200,000. Sheetal Singhal, Rita Sharma, and Sujatha Suresh garnered the Fundraising Hero Awards and Anita Sathe and Girish Shah earned the five year Meritorious Service Awards. "We don't practice medicine, we help individuals develop very good lifestyle habits not only for themselves, but for their families to prevent heart disease," Dr. Cesar Molina, Medical Director of the SAHC, told India Post. "One of our missions is to bring awareness of the condition and to educate individuals to decrease heart problems and diabetes. Now, we are moving into the realm of research. We are writing peer review papers and hopefully our work is not limited

to the Bay Area, now it's available to scientists, medical practitioners around the world. This is not only a local epidemic; it's actually a global epidemic," he added. One of the ways to improve heart health is to eat better and cook healthier meals at home. "Women are the ones who can prevent diabetes at home. Women are the ones who can change the diet. Women can get the healthy physical activity going. Many

Left to Right: Sheetal Singhal (Gala Co-Chair), Priya Dharan (Marketing Chair), Ashish Mathur (Executive Director), Rita Sharma (Gala Co-Chair), Sujatha Suresh (Event Planning)

India Post. "The center has helped me by showing what I should eat, what kind of exercises I should be doing, how I should manage my stress, and being a mother of four, life can sometimes be very stressful," said Sheetal Singhal, gala Co-Chair." "Its an honor to be here today and I do support the multicultural aspect of health benefits and appreciate the work that South

Congressman Mike Honda commended the SAHC group for their good work by saying, "I am here to support the fundraising effort of the South Asian community. Addressing the unique medical needs of the community is very important and health disparity is something we should be paying attention to." The awareness level has gone quite high significantly women dance. Get your entire family to dance," said, Ashish Mathur, Executive Director of the SAHC. "Shasta Foods, one of the event sponsors, has worked to create alternative heart healthy batters for idli and dosa that is generally very high in carbohydrate content," he added. "I think the SAHC is fantastic and I'm learning more about more myself although the Center," Councilmember Ash Kalra told

Asians are doing to identify the fact that they are four times greater risk of heart disease than the normal population so its good that they are trying to address that issue," Assembly member Paul Fong told India Post. "SB Films has worked with the SAHC collaboratively to make a film entitled, 'Heart Has Reasons,' because they are trying to raise awareness of the disease, what they can do to avoid it, and find creative solu-

tions, said Mr. Mathur. He also talked about creative solutions such as putting almonds in the candy jar instead of M & M's. Congressman Mike Honda commended the SAHC group for their good work by saying, "I am here to support the fundraising effort of the South Asian community. Addressing the unique medical needs of the community is very important and health disparity is something we should be paying attention to." "The awareness level has gone quite high significantly. To me that is the real value," noted Sanjay Mittal, Community Advisory Council and one of the early donors of the SAHC. The evening included connecting with friends, heart healthy hors d'oeuvres and a delectable dinner, heart healthy laughter by Nitin Kant, and dancing to the tunes of DJ Salim. Prakash Vaswani was the Emcee for the evening. SAHC's offers a comprehensive, culturally appropriate program incorporating wellness education, advanced screening, lifestyle change, case management and over 3,300 people have been screened at the center so far. SAHC has inspired several Bay Area restaurants and businesses in the food service industry to offer heart healthy options. Kavita Arora is Anchor & Co-Producer of Sitaarre TV

Community contributes towards reward for Sikh killer's information India Post News Service

SACRAMENTO: In response to the March 4 shootings of two Sikh Americans, which left one victim, Surinder Singh (age 65), dead and another, Gurmej Atwal (age 76), in critical condition, members of the Northern California interfaith community held a vigil to show support for the victims, their families, and the Sikh American community. The funeral for Surinder Singh

took place March 12 at the North Sacramento Funeral Home and was open to the public. Investigators are still urging anyone who may have seen or heard anything that might pertain to the case to call Crime Alert at (916) 443-4357 or the Elk Grove Police Department at (916) 7145115. Meanwhile, the reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for the shooting has

grown to more than $42,000. The United Sikhs has urged members of the community to contribute towards the reward amount to be given to the Crime Alerts Sacramento Hate Crime Fund through Lynne Brown, crimepreventionconsultants@yahoo.com. Institutional contributions should be co-ordinated with Amar Shergill of the South Asian Culture & Community Political Action Committee, at amar@shergilllawfirm.com.


Community/California

March 25, 2011

India Post 17

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Mayor Joseph Cho begins second term not forget that negative campaigning is not in line with our beautiful Cerritos image. However, we do not have the time to dwell on this. We are now facing serious challenges such as the elimination of our city's Redevelopment Agencies. Let's leave the negative campaigning behind, and work together to move our community forward. Together we can continue the great success of the City of Cerritos to become the model city in this 21st

Mayor Joseph Cho after winning his re-election India Post News Service

CERRITOS, CA: On March 8, Mayor Joseph Cho won his reelection campaign in a close race in which seven candidates ran for three seats. Councilmember Bruce Barrows was also re-elected and ABC School Board member Mark Pulido won his first term on the city council. The City of Cerritos Mayoral transition was held on March 16 at the City Council Chambers where Dr. Joseph Cho started his second four year term on the City

Council, lasting until March 2015. In a message on the occasion, Mayor Cho said, "I am very proud that my campaign was about the issues and challenges we are facing, and how my experience and capabilities can help our City overcome those challenges. My clean and positive campaign has been a bright and shining light in this campaign." He added, "I was a little disappointed to have seen more negative campaigning in this election than in any election cycle in recent Cerritos history. We should

Nevada Assembly to open with Hindu prayers ContĂ­d from page 14

Sanskrit is considered a sacred language in Hinduism and root language of all Indo-European languages. Zed has already delivered Hindu prayers in United States Senate in Washington DC; California Senate, New Mexico Senate, Arizona Senate, Arizona House of Representatives, Indianapolis Senate, Indianapolis House of Representatives, Colorado Senate, Colorado House of Representatives, Washington State Senate, Oregon Senate, Oregon House of Representatives, Utah Senate, Alaska Senate and Alaska House of Representatives; City Councils of Lincoln, Yuba City, Vacaville, Bakersfield, Modesto, Fresno, Visalia-all in California; Boise (Idaho) City Council; and Phoenix (Arizona) City Council. Most were the first Hindu prayers of these legislative bodies. Rajan is one of the panelists for "On Faith", a prestigious interactive conversation on religion produced by The Washington Post. He has been awarded "World Interfaith Leader Award" and is Senior Fellow and Religious Advisor

to New York headquartered Foundation for Inter-religious Diplomacy, Director of Interfaith Relations of Nevada Clergy Association, Spiritual Advisor to National Association of Interchurch & Interfaith Families, etc. With John Oceguera as Speaker, Nevada Assembly has 42

Rajan is one of the panelists for "On Faith", a prestigious interactive conversation on religion produced by The Washington Post. He has been awarded "World Interfaith Leader Award" and is Senior Fellow and Religious Advisor to New York headquartered Foundation members. Nevada, largest gold producer and 7thlargest state, was admitted to USA in 1864. Also called "Silver State", Nevada is known for Las Vegas, Burning Man, Lake Tahoe, etc. Brian Sandoval is Governor.

Mayor Cho will hold a BBQ party to express his appreciation to Cerritos voters for the support they showed when they gave him the opportunity to serve another term on the city council

global century." Mayor Cho will hold a BBQ party to express his appreciation to Cerritos voters for the support they showed when they gave him the opportunity to serve another term on the city council. The party will be held on Saturday, March 26, 5:00 pm at Jacob Park located at the intersection of Jacob & Yearling Ave. Cerritos. All Cerritos residents and friends are welcome.


Community/California

18 India Post

March 25, 2011

www.indiapost.com

Sant Nirankari Mission donates food for homeless PRAFULL LANDE

TRACY, CA: The Sant Nirankari Mission (SNM), Tracy chapter celebrated its Guru Puja Divas on Feb 23 in a unique way by donating canned food worth thousands of dollars to St. Mary's Homeless shelter in Stockton. All devotees of the mission contributed in this noble act. This act of giving is in accordance with the principles of the mission which preaches love and universal brotherhood. Rev Devraj Vijh (Parmukh (Chief), SNM Tracy branch), Rev. Mrs. Manjit Rai and Rev. Mohan Sabnani represented SNM and handed over the donation personally to caretakers of the shelter. Volunteers and caretakers of the

Bhangra performance

Kids singing

shelter were extremely happy with this gesture of love and care by the Sant Nirankari mission devotees and conveyed their sincere appreciation and gratitude to Rev. Devraj Vijh. The Sant Nirankari mission is a spiritual movement which believes that God is one, formless, omnipresent and can be seen through divine knowledge imparted by spiritual master. The Sant Nirankari mission is a mission of humanity;

Artists after play

it inspires all human being's to come close irrespective of caste color or creed as children of one father (God). An event was arranged from 6.30 pm to 9 pm on the same evening by the mission at mission's church in Banta at 22713 S 7th street, Tracy, CA. Wonderful dances, skits, devotional songs were followed by a poetic symposium (Kavi Darbar) presented by children, youth and

Shelter donation

even the elder devotees of the mission. Poems were in English, Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu and Haryanvi languages which were written by famous Indian and American poets. The program concluded with spiritual message by Nirankari Baba which was sent from India.

Renuji

A section of Sangat

Shelter donation


Community/California

March 25, 2011

India Post 19

www.indiapost.com

Muslim community's good faith gestures ignored HUSSAM AYLOUSH & AMEENA MIRZA QAZI

A

s Representative Peter King (R-NY) launched congressional hearings on Muslims and radicalization recently, we wonder at the expenditure of time to examine an issue whose conclusion has long been self-evident: that American Muslims have worked tirelessly alongside fellow Americans to uphold and strengthen the timehonored values of religious freedom and equality and to protect our nation against all threats. To that end, we have joined the U.S. Armed Forces, became police officers, and served as first responders. Muslims also forged stronger ties with law enforcement agencies and the FBI - partnerships rooted in trust and cooperation. For example, Southern California Muslims formed a joint partnership with the FBI called the Multi-Cultural Advisory Committee, and similarly partnered with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's and Orange County Sheriff's departments, and other local law enforcement agencies. For us, the reasons for improving relations with law enforcement, particularly the FBI, were clear - to reduce mistrust and suspicion of Muslims, and help Mus-

lims understand how law enforcement works. This in turn led to increased cooperation and helped thwart terror plots, and fewer hate crimes and less religious discrimination of Muslims, all of which stem from unfamiliar-

For us, the reasons for improving relations with law enforcement, particularly the FBI, were clear - to reduce mistrust and suspicion of Muslims, and help Muslims understand how law enforcement works ity with the Muslim faith. Despite this history, little congressional attention is given to the fact that the Muslim community's good faith gestures toward cooperation and trustbuilding have been met with sweeping FBI fishing expeditions

Concern over Peter King's Congressional hearings India Post News Service

CHINO, CA: Rep. Peter King (RN.Y.), as the chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, has begun a series of congressional hearings on the "extent of radicalization of the American Muslim community." Imam Shamshad A. Nasir on behalf of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has issued a statement saying, "King ought to be aware that such hearings might prove disadvantageous to his cause, as the very people who might have opted to aid him are now very suspicious about his true motives. The statement says, "When King told the Associated Press last month that, "There is a real threat to the country from the Muslim community, and the only way to get to the bottom of it is to investigate what is happening" he included all Muslims as possible threats. This type of thoughtless remarks unfortunately, only alienates Muslims from supporting his cause." Imam Nasir said, "We understand that the Fort Hood shooting rampage, attempted Times Square bombing and attempted

Christmas parade bombing are examples of terrorist acts committed by some American Muslims purporting to defend Islam, however these incidents were committed by Muslims who were influenced by radical interpretations of Islam.

"King ought to be aware that such hearings might prove disadvantageous to his cause, as the very people who might have opted to aid him are now very suspicious about his true motives� They pose a significant threat to the safety and security of our country and as such we agree that such radical behavior merits additional scrutiny by the federal government, including the United States Congress. Contíd on page 20

and covert surveillance of Muslim communities. Relations between Muslims and the FBI grew shaky as more and more Muslim Americans reported being interrogated, and news stories simultaneously highlighted the FBI's surveillance of Muslims' lawful First Amendment activities. Even so, the thenFBI Assistant Director in Charge of the Los Angeles field office, Steve Tidwell, assured Irvine mosque-goers in 2006 that the FBI was not monitoring the community. Then in 2007, a self-proclaimed Muslim convert started making rounds at Southland mosques, advocating terrorist sympathies. Muslim congregants immediately reported the man, Craig Monteilh, to law enforcement when his rhetoric turned violent. One mosque even filed for and received a restraining order against Monteilh. In 2009, an FBI agent's court testimony confirmed that the FBI had indeed recruited Monteilh as a confidential informant. Monteilh is but a small piece of a frightening trend of broad FBI surveillance of American Muslims that is unconstitutional, illegal, and counterproductive. A confidential informant was sent to spy on law-abiding Muslim worshipers, without any suspicion of criminal activity. The only basis for the FBI's suspicion was the congregants' religion: Islam. At the behest of the FBI, Monteilh made friends with Muslims, particularly those more observant in their religious practices as well as young Muslim men. Electronic surveillance equipment was installed at several mosques to complement the informant's

surveillance efforts. The informant, who recorded hundreds of hours of audio and video of individuals for the FBI, says his FBI handlers told him Islam itself was a threat to America. Monteilh was further instructed to look for vulnerabilities that could be used against Muslims to blackmail them into becoming informants. The illegal surveillance of

As the U.S. Senate's Church Committee did away with the FBI's COINTELPRO program from the 1960s and 1970s, we hope that the courts will put a stop to the FBI's unlawful surveillance of the American Muslim communities Muslims and their houses of worship by a confidential informant, combined with national news reports of surveillance of Muslims and FBI guidelines that allow religion to be considered as a factor in investigations, all indicate some FBI agents' apparent fixation on criminalizing Islam and its followers. If so, such practice flies in the face of the U. S. Constitution. Sadly, some of our members have reported shying away from congregational worship, attending mosque programs or engaging in normal recreational activities like camping and hiking, out of fear that such activities may attract unnecessary law enforce-

ment scrutiny. The community fabric is threatened as members have become suspicious of new congregants and converts, thinking they might be the next FBI informant. Left with no other recourse to rectify the FBI's wrongful monitoring of a besieged American community, CAIR has partnered with the ACLU of Southern California and the law firm of Hadsell Stormer Keeny Richardson & Renick, LLP, to knock on the doors of the highest authority in justice. We filed a class-action lawsuit two weeks ago, hoping the courts will help put an end to the FBI's unconstitutional and discriminatory tactics against American Muslims. As the U.S. Senate's Church Committee did away with the FBI's COINTELPRO program from the 1960s and 1970s, we hope that the courts will put a stop to the FBI's unlawful surveillance of the American Muslim communities. Profiling undermines the Constitutional values meant to guard against religious discrimination, impedes legitimate intelligence-gathering, and wastes our precious tax-payer dollars our government should use to ensure our families' safety from any foreign or domestic threats. Perhaps Congressman King's efforts will be better served by examining how the FBI's unlawful tactics undermine our nation's security and our Constitutional freedoms. [Hussam Ayloush is the executive director of the Greater Los Angeles Area office of CAIR, the Council on America-Islamic Relations. Ameena Mirza Qazi is the deputy executive director and staff attorney for CAIR-LA.]


Community/California

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March 25, 2011

www.indiapost.com

IAHF announces scholarships for graduating students India Post News Service

LOS ANGELES: The Indian American Heritage Foundation has invited applications for scholarship awards to graduating students. In a statement it said, "Applications are now being accepted from qualified High School and Middle/Junior High School students graduating in the year 2011 for scholarship awards to be presented at the 25th Annual India Heritage Awards function slated for April 23, 2011 at the Long Beach Hilton, Long Beach, California." Started in 1987, the Indian American Heritage Foundation has been sponsoring the annual event to celebrate the accomplishments of High school and Middle school graduates of Asian Indian descent in academic, sports, community service, visual and performing arts, and science and technology. The Foundation is at the forefront among Indian American organizations in publicly recognizing, rewarding and

celebrating excellence of the community's best and brightest graduating students. The statement said, "As many as twenty one scholarships will be handed over to qualified students at the India Heritage Awards function. Eight scholarships

applicant who obtains perfect score on the quiz and/or SAT shall each get a special award of $100 each. Besides the cash prizes, the first place winner in the academic, Science, sports, community service and visual and performing arts will each

Eight scholarships ranging from $2500 to $500 will be given to the winning graduates in the High School Academic category, while four Outstanding Achievement Awards of $500 each shall be presented to applicants excelling in Math & Science, sports, community service and visual and performing arts ranging from $2500 to $500 will be given to the winning graduates in the High School Academic category, while four Outstanding Achievement Awards of $500 each shall be presented to applicants excelling in Math & Science, sports, community service and visual and performing arts. An

receive a revolving trophy with his/her name inscribed on it. In the Middle School category, five scholarships ranging from $500 to $100 for excellence in academics and one of $250 for excellence in visual and performing arts will be given. An applicant for the award must be

Concern over Peter King's Congressional hearings Contíd from page 19

"But "radicalization" is not just a problem specific to the American Muslim Community. Individual Americans purporting to represent many different faith, traditions and ideologies can and do espouse radical beliefs and prac-

tices that threaten the safety and security of our country." The statement said, "If the true aim of Rep. King's Congressional hearing is to cast aspersions on all American Muslims or to attack Islam broadly, then such a hearing is misguided and should immediately be halted. If, however,

the hearings will pinpoint and isolate the root causes why a tiny minority of American Muslims has grown radical or violent, then it is reasonable to single out the American Muslim Community to help identify individuals who have grown radical or violent and who otherwise bring Islam in disrepute." It said, "We laud Minnesota Democrat Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress who

"It's absolutely the right thing to do for the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee to investigate radicalization, but to say we're going to investigate a religious minority . . . is the wrong course of action to take" told CNN, "It's absolutely the right thing to do for the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee to investigate radicalization, but to say we're going to investigate a religious minority . . . is the wrong course of action to take". The whole of Islam should not be put on trial; let's keep these hearings tuned to the tiny minority of deviants who seek to destroy the very soil which nurtures them."

graduating in the year 2011 from a Southern California school and have at least one parent of Asian Indian origin. For Outstanding Achievement Awards in Math & Science, sports, community service and visual and performing arts, GPA should be C or higher while for the Academic Excellence Awards, GPA must be equal to B or higher. The scholarship awards are based on SAT score (Star or similar test for Middle School), GPA, extra-curricular activities and a quiz on India (based on reading material provided by the Foundation). The quiz is given on the day of the Awards function. An independent panel of judges selects the finalists. Each winner must be present with at least one parent at the function, to receive the award. The last date for receipt of completed applications is April 12, 2011. For more information and application forms, send an email to Awardsforgraduates@yahoo.com or call Inder Singh at (818) 708-3885.

Uttank Joshi joins GOITO as Asst Director LOSANGELES: Uttank Joshi has joined as Assistant Director, India Tourism in Los Angeles. Before this he was posted at the Ministry of Tourism, New Delhi as Assistant Director and was handling publicity and centralized campaigns. Prior to that he was posted at India Tourism Office in Paris. In a message, Uttank said, "I am happy to join the tourism fraternity in LA and hope that we can work together to strengthen the Incredible India brand and promote India as a holistic and year round destination."

Uttank Joshi

UN official lauds Sikh Environment Day Contíd from page 14

While encouraging Sikhs on this initiative, He said, "I encourage you to continue to build on the history of ties between the United Nations and Civil Society in addition to the faith community's long standing track record of significant contributions towards stewardship of the environment. I have no doubts that your efforts on this can deliver tangible projects and results. As high official of UN, he assured support of Sikh efforts on behalf of environment and said, "Allow me to assure you of our continued support to your efforts in improving the environment and I hope you will accept my best wishes to EcoSikh for a bright and happy celebration." Dr. Rajwant Singh, Convener of EcoSikh, welcomed comments by

Olab Kjorven and said, "We are encouraged by the leadership of the United Nations on the Sikh Environment Day. Sikh community is committed in making sig-

“Allow me to assure you of our continued support to your efforts in improving the environment and I hope you will accept my best wishes to EcoSikh for a bright and happy celebration” nificant contribution to save Mother earth's environment. There is widespread enthusiasm amongst Sikhs on this issue and it will continue to inspire youngsters as well."


Readers Write...

March 25, 2011

India Post 21

www.indiapost.com

A devastating event needing support

T

he Sikh Temple in India napolis called upon its congregation to generously support the people of Japan who are facing grave hardships in the stunning aftermath of the 9.0 earthquake that triggered a violent massive tsunami. The powerful roaring tsunami ravaged the Japanese landscape, swallowed up homes, destroyed and disrupted critical and basic services, and left behind a mangled mess of cars, boats, planes, building debris, and heart-wrenching devastation along a thousandmile stretch of Japanese coast. Giani Pritam Singh, the spiritual leader of the Sikh Temple (Acton Road), prayed for comfort and strength for the Japanese people in this hour of great uncertainty, deep anguish, and darkness of the moment. Millions of places of worship across the globe were offering similar prayers, and people, governments, and experienced organizations were exploring ways to help the brave people of Japan.

The live and detailed media coverage is bringing home the size and scope of disaster and devastation. The Japanese people are displaying incredible dignity and discipline in the face of something so horrific and the great hardships caused by the indescribable fury unleashed by Mother Nature. They are facing still unfolding and looming threats: hydrogen explosions at the Fukushima Nuclear Power plant and others damaged by the Tsunami and the potential for a meltdown and release of radioactive gases into the atmosphere. That would be a threat to life and health of the people of Japan and those in far away places along the path of winds carrying radioactives fumes. This potential nightmare has forced the dislocation of several hundred thousand people to move away from the vicinity of Nuclear Power Plants, away from the danger zones, further complicating the humanitarian relief efforts that are currently underway.

The magnitude and incredulous images of devastation shakes the human spirit. The loss of lives may run into tens of thousands. The incalculable personal losses of victims and survivors numb the human soul. Millions are without power, clean water, basic essentials, and a place to call home. Amidst this incomprehensible tragedy, there are occasional miracles, courageous lifelines of hope, reunion of separated family members, and reassuring reminders of the true face of compassion. This unimagined cataclysmic event is going to need a sustained generosity of epic proportions from people, faith communities, International Red Cross, other organizations, and nations with critical resources and skills. In times of major natural disasters around the world, the Japanese people have stood with the world community and offered critical help and expertise. It must now be our privilege to offer needed support

Virgelia event to raise funds for tsunami victims

W

e are deeply saddened to see the devastation caused to Northeastern Japan by the earthquake and tsunami. Geographically, Japan is situated in an earthquake zone, but the customary occurrence of earthquakes could not prepare anyone emotionally or otherwise for an earthquake of this magnitude resulting in such a powerful, destructive tsunami. Our prayers and best wishes go out to all the victims and their fami-

lies. However, this is not enough. In light of this calamity, Virgelia Productions, in collaboration with one of the largest disaster relief organization in the world - World Vision, is launching an event to raise funds for the victims and their families. As we all get very busy with our daily routines and priorities, I would like to call in your attention, in the spirit of humanitarian efforts for unity and support at times like this, I plead that you join us, as we journey and

bring even at the smallest amount to help the affected victims: There will be 'Help Japan NowFundraising Luncheon' on Sun April 3, at Virgelia Productions, Inc., 14300 Terra Bella Street, #19, Panorama, CA 91402 The Delegates of the 2011 Miss Asia USA, Mrs. Asia USA, Miss Latina Global are all hands on deck to help and support. Virgelia Villegas Virgelia Productions, Inc. Panorama, CA

and prayers, raise funds, make available manpower and materials to rebuild the shattered lives of millions of our brothers and sisters in Japan. Each of us needs to be a part of the legendary American tradition of serving and helping those in need, guided, as always, by our innate goodness and concern, without distinction of culture, nationality, convenience, or any other consideration. As we saw during Hurricane Katrina, 2004 Asian Tsunami, earthquakes in India, China, Haiti, historic floods in Pakistan and Australia, and countless global disasters, we now see deep fear etched in the faces of Japanese mothers and children. Thanks to the world media so compassionately transmitting the latest details from Japan for our attention on TV,

internet, newspapers, and radio, we see Japan as another corner of our common global village and Japanese people as member of our own extended family. Every small and large effort to support those facing incredible hardships is a welcome expression of solidarity and intertwined kinship with other people and nations; every prayer and blessing extended to the people of Japan facing such formidable challenges is an act of reaffirmation of American and universal values of goodwill toward a neighbor. In this case, that neighbor happens to be an amazing friend and reliable partner at many levels. For Sikh Americans, serving others is a sacred tradition. Kanwal Prakash Singh, Indianapolis, Indiana USA

Attack on American freedom

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henever innocent Americans are at tacked for their appearance, beliefs, lifestyle or dress (turban), it is also an attack on core American values and freedom. California is one of the most diverse societies in world, but recent attacks on turban-wearing Sikhs in the Sacramento area should remind all freedom-loving Americans that ignorance is our worst enemy. Only way to stop these incidences is to promote more awareness and tolerance in our communities and schools. Although Sikhs have been in the US for nearly a century, their presence is missing in school textbooks and many other Americans remains largely uninformed about

them. The recent shooting of two elderly Sikh men in Elk Grove is a vivid reminder of this situation. Sikh-Americans have faced hundreds of hate crimes in the US since the 9/11 tragedy. Most of the perpetuators of these crimes justify their violent acts by ignorantly claiming they were attacking the enemy. But, they have virtually no knowledge about Sikh-Americans. Their actions, in fact, demonstrate a total disregard for the values and principles that make our country, the Unites States of America, so great. Jasbir S Kang MD Punjabi American Heritage Society, Yuba City, USA

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

China needs to learn from India's democracy KUALA LUMPUR: Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has said that China needs to learn from India about democracy which brings in harmony among people of different languages and ethnic backgrounds. "In India, because of the rule of law, there is harmony in society, which has different languages and scripts. Democracy in this country is very deeply rooted not because of the country's poor conditions, but because of transparency," the Dalai Lama told Thailand's leading English daily 'Nation' in an interview. Noting that military occupation would not solve problems, the spiritual leader said "in China, there are state secrets. People in China should learn from India's experience. He stressed that the world trend was the rule of law, transparency, fairness, honesty

and respect for human values. Dalai, who is based in Dharamsala, said China was going counter to the trends and needed to learn from India about democracy among people of different languages and ethnic backgrounds.

He said he was confident that he would live up to the age of 113, visit Beijing, witness a free Tibet and pass on his political power to an elected leader. The Dalai Lama said he planned to retire later this year and devolve political power

"My position is clear: autonomy. The international community supports us because we use peaceful means to call for our country's autonomy," the paper quoted him as saying. He said he hoped to see a free Tibet while he was alive "I laughed when I heard the Chinese government had called me a splittist. I take pity with the Chinese hard-liners. They are harmful to their future," he told the paper in Dharamshala.

to an elected leader. He said though he expected his plans of retirement and power devolution to be supported by his ministers at an upcoming parliamentary meet, he would try to convince

them of his views if they disagreed with him. "Some formalities must change," the Dalai Lama said. He noted that he had told Tibetans that education was important and that they should adopt peaceful means to achieve Tibet's autonomy. "My position is clear: autonomy. The international community supports us because we use peaceful means to call for our country's autonomy," the paper quoted him as saying. He said he hoped to see a free Tibet while he was alive. Some 20 or 30 years from now, he said he would concentrate on his spiritual, not political, role, confident that he was fit enough to live through his 113 years. "Forty years ago there, I was predicted to live to 113. One Tibetan writing dating back 100 years describes a person in today's world who will live through 113 years. -PTI


Tech News Sahai seeks roll back of service tax on hotels NEW DELHI: The Tourism Ministry has written to Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee seeking roll back of the proposed service tax on hotels and restaurants as it feels that the measure may have an adverse impact on the sector. "It (service tax proposal) is a matter of concern for us. I have already written to the Finance Minister to reconsider it," Tourism Minister Subodh Kant Sahai said after a meeting of the National Tourism Advisory Committee here. The Government had in the 2011-12 Budget proposed to levy service tax on hotel rooms and AC restaurants which have license to serve liquor. The proposal is strongly opposed by the tourism industry which fears that this will affect the flow of tourists adversely. -PTI

Nitish protests Bt-maize trial in Bihar PATNA: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has complained to the Centre about a Bt-maize trial by a multinational company at the Indian Agriculture Research Institute (IARI) campus in Samastipur district without obtaining permission of the state government. In a letter to Union Environment and Forests Minister Jairam Ramesh, Kumar said Monsanto India Ltd laid trial of Bt-maize at IARI campus in Pusa on February 21 before receiving a go ahead letter from the Generic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC), vide a letter dated February 24, and without seeking permission from the state government. -PTI

Maximum economic freedom in Tamil Nadu NEW DELHI: Tamil Nadu enjoys maximum economic freedom - greater wealth and improvement in human development - among the 20 largest states in the country, a study said here. As per the Economic Freedom of the States of India 2011 report, which ranked the economic status of the states in 2009, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh were the next most prosperous states. This is significantly different from 2005, when Tamil Nadu was still on top but Madhya Pradesh came second and followed by Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Gujarat, it said. -PTI

TechBiz 22 India Post

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Govt plans cash transfer of food subsidy

March 25, 2011

Details on page 23

Mukesh Ambani becomes first non-American on BoA Board India Post News Service

NEW YORK: The Bank of America Corporation Board of Directors on March 16 appointed as a director Mukesh D. Ambani, chairman and managing director of India-based Reliance Industries Limited. Ambani will stand for election at the 2011 Bank of America annual meeting of shareholders. "Bank of America's shareholders will benefit from the global per-

great honor for me, as the first nonAmerican citizen to join the board of one of the world's largest financial institutions. I look forward to contributing to the growth and progress of Bank of America." Ambani, 53, has headed Reliance Industries, India's largest private business enterprise with $44.6 billion in annual revenues and over $70 billion in market capitalization, since 2002. He joined Reliance in 1981; the company developed into

Today, Reliance has global leadership positions in exploration and production, refining and marketing and petrochemicals. Reliance operates a retail network that connects thousands of Indian farmers spective Mr. Ambani brings to our board," said Charles O. Holliday, Jr., Bank of America chairman. "He has demonstrated expertise in risk management and strategic planning across a diverse range of businesses, including energy, information and communications technology, and retail networks." "I am delighted to join the board of Bank of America," said Ambani. "It is a privilege and a

India's first private sector company in the Global Fortune 500. Today, Reliance has global leadership positions in exploration and production, refining and marketing and petrochemicals. Reliance operates a retail network that connects thousands of Indian farmers and suppliers to millions of consumers through more than 1,000 stores across the country. "Mr. Ambani has a reputation

Mukesh Ambani

for strategic vision and operational excellence," said Brian T. Moynihan, Bank of America chief executive officer. "The management team looks forward to benefiting from his judgment and experience." Among other affiliations, Ambani is a member of the Indian Prime Minister's Council on Trade

and Industry. He is a member of the Indo-US CEOs Forum, the Co-Chair of the Japan-India Business Leader's Forum, and India-Russia CEO Council. Ambani is a member of the UN Advocacy Group supporting the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals and serves on the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum.

USIBC applauded for promoting India-US biz ties WASHINGTON: The US-India Business Council has been commended in the US Congress for its key role in improving the business relationship between India and the United States. "Mr Speaker, I rise to commend the work of the US-India Business Council. Founded in 1975, the primary mission of the USIBC is to strengthen bilateral investments and trade between our two great nations," Congressman Joe Wilson said on the floor of the House of Representatives. "America and India now share USD 50 billion in annual trade that mutually benefits both countries. Our two democracies, the world's largest and the world's oldest, have held joint military exercises, increased two-way tourism and have

engaged in bilateral cooperation on many fronts, including the global war on terrorism," Wilson said. The South Carolina Congressman also appreciated the role played by USIBC president Ron Somers in this regard.

billions across the nation, including Mittal steel in Georgetown, South Carolina," he said. For 36 years, USIBC has opened the doors for US businesses in India, creating jobs in both countries as strategic part-

For 36 years, USIBC has opened the doors for US businesses in India, creating jobs in both countries as strategic partners, Wilson said. The USIBC thanked Wilson for recognizing it in Congress "Thanks to the leadership of President Ron Somers, the USIBC, hosted by the US Chamber of Commerce, has grown to 400 member companies creating jobs in America. Indian businesses have invested

ners, Wilson said. The USIBC thanked Wilson for recognizing it in Congress. "Congressman Wilson is a strong supporter of USIBC, USIndia relations and the Indian-

American community," said Somers. "USIBC is grateful to Congressman Wilson for his leadership and we will continue to advocate for American businesses working in India, such as Boeing and Lockheed Martin, both contenders for India's Medium MultiRole Combat Aircraft (MMRCA), and to ensure that American and Indian companies continue to succeed at developing a robust, two-way street of partnership and opportunity," Somers added. "We look forward to continuing our work with Congressman Wilson and other members of the Indian Caucus on Capitol Hill in the months ahead. USIBC will also continue to reach out to progressive leaders in India," Somers said. -PTI


TechBiz Post

March 25, 2011

India Post

23

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Nippon Life to acquire 26% stake Govt plans cash transfer of food subsidy in Reliance Life NEW DELHI: Japanese insurance firm Nippon Life Insurance Company will acquire a 26 per cent stake in Reliance Life Insurance for USD 680 million. "Nippon Life Insurance will invest an aggregate value of Rs 3,062 crore (USD 680 million) to acquire a 26 per cent strategic stake in Reliance Life Insurance," the Anil Ambani Group firm said in a statement. The transaction pegs the total valuation of Reliance Life Insurance at approximately Rs 11,500 crore (USD 2.6 billion), the statement said, adding that the transaction is subject to necessary regulatory approvals. Nippon is the 6th largest life insurer in the world and the No. 1 private life insurer in Asia and Japan. Commenting on the development, Reliance Capital Chairman Anil Ambani said, "At this time, our thoughts are with the people of Japan, bravely facing an unprecedented natural catastrophe. We pray for strength to the country, its people and our new partners in the entire Nippon Life family, to

overcome the trauma of the tragic loss of life and devastation caused by this calamity." Reliance Capital currently holds a 100 per cent stake in Reliance Life.

Reliance Life is the largest insurer amongst the 22 private life insurers in India in terms of the number of individual policies sold. The company has sold over 7 million policies through its network "We both share the same passion and philosophy and, together, we believe we can develop a strategic partnership to help Reliance Life Insurance become a worldclass insurance company in India," said Nippon Life Insurance

President Kunie Okamoto. Shares of Reliance Capital were up 5.46 per cent at Rs 538.75 on the BSE at 1116 hours. As per the current rules, a foreign entity can hold up to a 26 per cent stake in an Indian insurance firm. Reliance Capital wholly owns Reliance Life, a business it acquired from AMP Sanmar in 2005. Reliance Life is the largest insurer amongst the 22 private life insurers in India in terms of the number of individual policies sold. The company has sold over 7 million policies through its network of nearly 1,250 offices and over 2,15,000 advisors. Reliance Life managed assets of over Rs 17,000 crore (USD 3.7 billion) as of December 31, 2010. Commenting on the deal, Reliance Capital CEO Sam Ghosh said, "As a strategic partner, Nippon Life will bring vast experience, expertise and global best practices in areas of product development, underwriting, investment management, distribution, customer relationship management and risk management. -PTI

Nirma directed to stop work on Bhavnagar plant NEW DELHI: The Environment Ministry has directed immediate halt to work on three projects on a wetland in Gujarat being carried out by Nirma Ltd for allegedly violating green norms. The decision was taken on the basis of a report by Experts Appraisal Committee (EAC), which found violation of the Environment (Protection) Act 1986 by the projects being set up in a wetland in Gujarat's Bhavnagar district. The Ministry ordered "permanent suspension of work" regarding 1.91 million tonnes per annum capacity cement plant, along with

its captive power and coke oven plant near Padhiarka village in Bhavnagar district. The EAC, in its report, cited the "fragile nature" of the wetland where the projects are being set up. It recommended the stop work to avoid further damage to the wetland. Observing that no wetland, preserved by the government for a better eco-system, could be razed to build a cement plant, the Ministry also directed the company to respond as to "why the environmental clearance accorded to the project should not be revoked and

stoppage of the work not be made permanent." The Ministry, however, allowed a personal hearing for Nirma Limited before making work stoppage permanent. Environmental clearance given for the cement plant and other projects was challenged by green activists in the Gujarat High Court and a Special Leave Petition was filed before the Supreme Court. The EAC concluded that the company could construct a cement plant on an alternative site that does not impact the wetland.-PTI

Industrial output growth slows to 3.7 pc NEW DELHI: Industrial growth slowed to 3.7 per cent in January, 2011, compared to 16.8 per cent expansion in the year-ago period, dragged down by the poor performance of the manufacturing sector, particularly capital goods. However, growth in factory output in January, as measured in terms of the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), was better than the 2.53 per cent expansion (revised upward from 1.6 per cent) witnessed in the previous month. Industrial output growth during the April-January period this

fiscal stood at 8.3 per cent vis-avis the corresponding period of the previous year. In contrast, industrial output expanded by 9.5 per cent year-on-year in AprilJanuary, 2009-10, official data released here shows. In January, manufacturing growth plummeted to 3.3 per cent from 17.9 per cent a year ago. The capital goods sector contracted by 18.6 per cent in the month under review. The sector had posted a robust growth of 57.9 per cent in January, 2010. However, production in the

consumer non-durables segment grew by 6.9 per cent during the month under review. It had contracted by 7 per cent in the same period a year ago. Mining growth also plummeted to 1.6 per cent in the month under review from 15.3 per cent in the comparable month of 2010. Electricity generation output rose by 10.5 per cent in January, compared to 5.6 per cent growth in the same month last year. On the whole, 14 out of 17 industry groups achieved positive growth in the first month of 2011.-PTI

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's core group on food and public distribution system (PDS) is looking at the option of providing food grain subsidies through cash transfers using Aadhar Unique Identification cards to eliminate leakages. "There is a massive leakage in PDS. We are considering the proposition to move towards smart card using Aadhar number, which Nandan Nilekani is working on," Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, who heads the PDS core group, told reporters on the sidelines of a book release function. He said computerization of PDS alone cannot eliminate leakage of food grains. "If there is a strong incentive for leakage, that is not going to be covered by computerization," he said. The core group includes chief ministers of Delhi, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Assam and chairman of Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC) C

Rangarajan as members. Ahluwalia, who is finalizing the report with suggestions to improve the distribution of food grains through ration shops, said, "Through smart card, cash subsidy goes to PDS in uniform manner at market prices". He also said that there is a divided opinion on transfer subsidy. "Delhi and Bihar Chief Ministers are favoring cash transfer system and the rest two are not." Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had set up the group in April 2010 to ensure effective nationwide distribution of food grains through ration shops. At present, the government supplies every month 35 kg of food grains at subsidies rates to 6.52 crore BPL families and 15-35 kg of food grains to 11.5 crore families above poverty line (APL). Presenting the Budget 2011-12 last month, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had proposed direct cash transfer of subsidies for kerosene and fertilizers.-PTI

CPI opposes divestment in profit-making PSUs LUCKNOW: Communist Party of India has alleged that attempts were being made to reduce government equity in profit-making Navratna and mini ratna companies due to which their management would go into private hands. "An attempt is being made to bring government equity in Navratna and mini Ratna companies below 51 per cent due to which their management will go into private hands," CPI general secretary A B Bardhan told reporters. While stating that the party

opposed such move, he demanded that such attempts should be stopped. Bardhan said that things were being said about reducing government equity in private banks, which he said would create imbalance. Reiterating demand for ban on future trading of food grains, the CPI leader alleged that the market has gone in the hands of corporate houses resulting in loss to the country. He also demanded the launch of a drive against hoarders. -PTI


24 India Post

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March 25, 2011


Horoscope

25 India Post

March 25, 2011

www.indiapost.com

Your Weekly Future by Pandit Parashar

MARCH 25TH TO MARCH 31TH ARIES (MARCH 21 TO APRIL 20)

TAURUS (APRIL 21 TO MAY 20)

Y

E

ou will start to enjoy company of a new colleague at work. Strong Venus will keep you comfortable as far as the money is concerned. You will be seriously exploring the possibility of starting a new venture and looking for avenues to raise capital. Opponents will try their hard but will not succeed. You will travel to a nice place with family.

arlier plans are about to become reality. Positive signals will bring energy back and you will speed up the process. Avoid any argument with a sibling. You will spend lots of time on resolving an issue involving a child. You will have only little left after paying previous bills. Spouse will give some practical ideas but you will ignore them.

GEMINI (MAY 21 TO JUNE 20)

CANCER (JUNE 21 TO JULY 22)

I

T

f waiting for finances for your upcoming project, it will be arranged soon with the help of a very old friend. You may spend some money on fixing a car or replacing some electric item in the house. All meetings will go well and you will keep getting the assurance. It will be better to let past go and look forward to a new beginning.

LEO (JULY 23 TO AUGUST 22)

Y

ou will enforce certain rules in order to make more money. You will become little uncertain about a relationship started very recently. Money will just run out of your hands but you will meet all commitments on time. You may be in touch with a learned person for advice and guidance.

here will be few exciting developments in life. You will be offered a great opportunity on very easy terms. Financially things will stay little tight for few more weeks. Some of you may start a new relationship with a person from slightly different culture.

VIRGO (AUGUST 23 TO SEPTEMBER 22)

Y

ou will be spending extra hours on a project and try to reach out many. You will easily meet all commitments but will be little concerned about future. Some of you will be getting ready for a long distance business trip also. Some money will go on children and their immediate needs. Spouse will be a great helping hand.

LIBRA (SEPTEMBER 23 TO OCTOBER 22)

SCORPIO (OCTOBER 23 TO NOVEMBER 22)

Y

ome one established and with political background will be helpful. You may go to see some who helped you in the past and take some nice gifts also. It will be helpful week for people connected with high tech or medicine. You will become cautious when it come to spending money and ask family members to do the same.

S

ou may buy some fine and quality items for the house. An important business trip is in the air. You will lack support from a colleague at work. Some of you will start some kind of loan process also. An old friend will call to invite you to a get together.

SAGITTARIUS (NOVEMBER 23 TO DECEMBER 22)

CAPRICORN (DECEMBER 22 TO JANUARY 19)

Y

Y

ou will continue to make the right choices about ca reer. Change of strategy will save a lot in long terms. Extra time you put in at work will not go waste as soon you will reap rich rewards. You may need to see a doctor to consult about an issue bothering you lately. Some of you may join a health club to get in better shape.

ou will make up your mind to challenge the decision. People at work will be supportive and you will continue to make rapid progress on assignment recently undertaken. Even if you don't like what people say, avoid any arguments with them. You may put your needs aside and fulfill what other close family member want.

AQUARIUS (JANUARY 20 TO FEBRUARY 18)

PISCES (FEBRUARY 19 TO MARCH 20)

I

Y

t is going to be an entertaining week by all means. You will enjoy the company of a new person in life. Chances are that you will be selected among many for the job. You will quickly overcome minor illness also. Money will come but disappear fast mostly on paying bills. Main business competitors will call it quit making room for progress.

Pandit Parashar, CEO & COO Astro Scan USA is also available for individual consultations. He can be reached at: parashar@parashar.com

ou will start to see lots of money in the pipeline. Expenses will stay under controls and bills will be lot less than previous years. You will spend most of the time indoors with family. A close relative will call and mail some nice gifts. Your popularity is on increase in professional circle. Visitor from overseas will confirm the date.

925-833-7170 website: www.parashar.com


PREETI VERMA LAL

T

he vehicle is ready to take you around Udaipur," the mustachioed doorman announced. The gleaming chandeliers in The Leela Palace Kempinski were competing with the sun for brightness but I was distracted by the framed silver anklets on the wall and the metal heron in the pond. The city founded in 1559 by Maharana Udai Singh II was beckoning; I gulped the drink with a mint sprig, tied my long hair in a tight bun, laced my shoes and prepped myself for a day out in the City of Lakes. My vehicle? Would I gallop around the maze of lanes in

Every conversation about Udaipur begins with the City Palace, a massive series of palaces on the east bank of Lake Pichola, a part of which is still the royal residence. The Mor Chowk borrows its name from the glass mosaic, the Chini Chitrashala is famed for paintings of Lord Krishna while the Krishna Vilas narrates the poignant story of a beautiful princess who killed herself to avert a battle between her suitors! Maharana Pratap's horse called Chetak? Or, will it be the 1934 Rolls Royce Phantom II that Sean Connery revved in film Octopussy and now lazes in The Udaipur Vintage Car Museum? Or, would I hop into the queen's bullock-driven wooden phaeton with an exquisite jharokha? I was so spoilt for choices in the Venice of the East that I forgot I was no princess, but an ordinary mortal on a holiday in Udaipur.

26 India Post

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March 25, 2011 The Leela Palace Kempinski jetty on Lake Pichola

Udaipur Feel royal in City of Lakes

Cont’d on page 28

The Leela Palace Kempinski, Udaipur (Photos: Preeti Verma Lal)


March 25, 2011

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India Post 27


28

Travel & Hospitality Post

India Post

March 25, 2011

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Sahai for more thrust on domestic tourism NEW DELHI: Pitching for more stress on domestic tourism, Tourism Minister Subodh Kant Sahai has called for developing lesser known tourist spots in the country. Chairing the first meeting of the reconstituted National Tourism Advisory Council (NTAC) here, he said the huge size of domestic tourism helps to sustain the industry irrespective of the variations in international travel. Sahai said the lesser known destinations in the country need to be developed so that the benefits of tourism activities reach far and wide, and contribute in balanced re-

gional growth of the country. Sahai said there is a need to enhance facilities at "our major pilgrimage centers which receive a large number of visitors." NTAC is a 'Think Tank' constituted by the government and comprises experts from various fields, representatives of industry associations like IATO, TAAI, CII, FICCI, ASSOCHAM, PHDCCI, FHRAI, as well as Ministries of Finance, Culture, External Affairs, Urban Development, Road Transport and Highways and Planning Commission. It advises the Government on various aspects of tourism with the objective of promoting

domestic and foreign tourism in the country. So far, 38 mega tourism projects have been identified out of which 26 projects have been sanctioned. The mega projects are a judicious mix of culture, heritage, spiritual and ecotourism in order to give the tourists a holistic perspective. Summing up the discussions Tourism Secretary RH Khwaja said that his Ministry has been working in close cooperation with the private sector for development of tourism. Khwaja expressed the hope that views emerging out of the discussions would help the Ministry as well as the hospitality and

travel industry to take longer strides in achieving our common goal of positioning tourism as an engine of economic growth. The Tourism Minister said that five subgroups of NTAC are being set up to formulate action plans in various fields of tourism. These groups will be on promotion and marketing, infrastructure, taxation and facilitation, human resource development and heritage, rural and eco-tourism. It was also decided that these Groups will work in mission mode and submit their respective action plans within one and a half months.-PTI

Udaipur: Feel royal in City of Lakes

(From left) Saheliyon Ki Bari, a girl in traditional finery, a view of City Palace and Lake Palace

fabric and saree, miniature paintCont’d from page 26 ings, mojris and leather trinkets "Your vehicle," the doorman jostle for space with yoga studios, announced again. By the Guava cookery classes, horse safaris, art Garden stood a beige tuk tuk. This galleries, cafes and kiosks‌ The was no dreary tuk tuk - it had or- city that stretches just about 6 kms ange, cushions, an ice box and a holds so much on its belly that you wonder how! Every conversation about Udaipur begins with the City Palace, a massive series of palaces on the east bank of Lake Pichola, a part of which is still the royal residence. The Mor Chowk borrows its name from A traditional thali served in The Leela's the glass mosaic, the Chini Chitrashala is liveried chauffeur. At The Leela, I famed for paintings of Lord had spurned the Vintage Car ex- Krishna while the Krishna Vilas cursion option and hopped into narrates the poignant story of a the tuk tuk and headed to the Old beautiful princess who killed herCity. The narrow non-macadam- self to avert a battle between her ized streets are flanked by tiny suitors! houses that look straight out of a The City Palace is always the sepia-toned history book; the first stop for any tourist, but it is walls are cluttered with miniature the Lake Palace which redefines paintings that Udaipur is so fa- romance. Set in the middle of Lake mous for and the entire stretch Pichola, the 265-year old palace looks like an extended shopping (now a hotel) looks surreal in its centre - painted figurines, embroi- pristine white. Not too far away is dered stoles and skirts, tie and dye the Jagmandir. History reveals that

Shah Jahan lay in hiding here for more than six months and the dome of this temple served as the prototype of Taj Mahal. That day in Udaipur, Tousif, the

The meal does not end with swoosh of your signature on the bill; it ends with a red thread on your wrist and pouch of your table's spice as a gift. In between ceremonies, the food seems fit for the gods chauffeur, was spewing gyan about all that makes Udaipur so special - mojris, miniature painting, Pichwai painting and the tie & dye art. And the story of Saheliyon Ki Bari at Fateh Sagar Lake, which was laid for the 48 maids of a queen who came to Udaipur as part of the dowry. There was so much more to see but by evening my knees had turned wobbly and I headed back to The Leela Palace

Kempinski for the traditional thali at the famed Sheesh Mahal restaurant. I pulled the black rattan chair and ordered a thali in the Sheesh

The meal does not end with swoosh of your signature on the bill; it ends with a red thread on your wrist and pouch of your table's spice as a gift. In between

Sheesh Mahal restaurant; miniature painting that Udaipur is so famous for.

Mahal. Not too far away, the City Palace, Lake Palace and Jagmandir shimmered with a million gig lamps. The restaurant tables are not numbered; they are identified by spices stashed in dainty glass jars. Here, food does not begin with a starter, in regal epiphany it is known as the 'ceremony'. Rose water is poured out of ornate jugs into a bowl cluttered with rose petals for the cleansing ceremony.

ceremonies, the food seems fit for the gods. As the trill of the cormorant melded with the hymn of the minstrel and the call of the muezzin, I, stood under the fuchsia velvet umbrella on the terrace and watched the glistening reflection of The Leela's starlit dome in the serene lake. For a moment, I forgot I was an ordinary mortal. I felt like a princess. (www.deepblueink.com)


Travel & Hospitality Post

March 25, 2011

www.indiapost.com

Vidarbha may soon become the tiger capital NAGPUR: Maharashtra's Vidarbha region, which has several tiger projects and wild life sanctuaries in close proximity, may shape up as the tiger capital of the country. Former Union Minister and Nagpur MP Vilas Muttemwar, who has approached several state and central level ministers to push for the tiger capital project, said Tadoba Tiger project is situated about 160 kms from the city and Bor sanctuary (about 90 kms). Navegaon and Nagzira wildlife sanctuaries are also located in Vidarbha besides the Kanha National Park in neighboring Seoni district, about 200 kms from Nagpur, he said. More than 250 tigers out of the total population of 1,400 in the country are in the Vidarbha region. Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has liked the concept and agreed to take up the issue with the Centre. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Union Tourism Minister Subodh Kant Sahai and Union Environment and Forests Minister Jairam Ramesh, have also evinced interest in the project. Last week, Muttemwar wrote to the Prime Minister on the issue. Meanwhile, Ramesh said the government has decided to open three regional offices of National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) with the first one expected to be opened in Nagpur next month. "The regional office of NTCA would take

forward the work of tiger conservation in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh which are very important tiger habitats where close to 40 per cent of India's tiger population reside," Ramesh said recently in a communication to Muttemwar. Ramesh further said the Centre is in touch with Maharashtra government to notify two more tiger reserves in the state in Nagzira/Navegaon and Bor. It is also taking

Sahai in a communication told Muttemwar that Vidarbha has got all the potential to develop as a wild and adventure tourism destination many measures to protect the TadobaAndhari habitat in Chandrapur district, he said. Sahai in a communication told Muttemwar that Vidarbha has got all the potential to develop as a wild and adventure tourism destination. The region could also attract productive investments besides creating employment opportunities, he said. -PTI

India Post

29


30

Travel & Hospitality Post

India Post

March 25, 2011

www.indiapost.com

India-Japan travel Travel sectors demand rollback affected by Tsunami of service tax NEW DELHI: The natural disaster that crippled Japan will have an adverse impact on the flow of travelers between India and the Land of the Rising Sun, according to tourism and hospitality industry players. "Japan has recently identified India as a preferred tourism destination. This gives a huge opportunity to India. However, this incident will definitely have an impact on tourism at least for the next two-three months," STIC Travel Group Chairman Subhash Goyal told PTI. Japan was hit by a major earthquake on March 11, which was followed by massive tsunami causing widespread destruction and loss of several lives. The fear of a nuclear disaster might also make it difficult for the situation to get under control soon. "For the immediate short term, there are hundreds of flight cancellations to or via Tokyo. Our suppliers and tour operators in Japan have already advised not to travel to Japan as there are fears of more Tsunamis and the country has also declared a nuclear emergency," Pearl International Tours & Travel (PITT) Executive Director Arjun Seth said. Operations at the Narita Inter-

national Airport in Tokyo, which is a major hub for airlines and the only airport that connects Japan to India, is unlikely to start in full swing anytime soon, according to observers. Both the inbound and outbound travel from Japan will get impacted due to the disaster. "Outbound traffic to Japan is going to take a hit from India. Although, numbers that travel to Japan for leisure have been relatively moderate over the years, it does affect business and corporate travel movement," Seth said. Inbound business from Japan is going to take a huge hit as during the school holidays (March-April) thousands of Japanese tourist visit nearby Asian countries like China, India and Thailand, he added. According to the industry estimates, about one lakh people travel between India and Japan every year, which is split almost equally between outbound and inbound travelers. While Indians mostly travel for business to Japan, Japanese come here mainly for leisure and religious purposes (the Buddhist circuit). For an Indian traveling to Japan, a five nights trip on an average costs around Rs 65,000 per person. -PTI

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NEW DELHI: Representatives from leading companies in the hotel, travel and restaurant sectors have come together to demand rollback of service tax recently imposed by the government in the Union budget for 2011-12. "We want a rollback of the service tax imposed on hotels and air conditioned restaurants as it will adversely hit the industry. We (the hospitality sector) have been constantly overlooked in every budget, but this time we have been hit," Bharat Hotels Chairperson and Managing Director Jyotsna Suri told reporters here. She said players from the sector have presented their case to the government and were optimistic of a positive response. "We have met a lot of people in the government, including officials in the Finance Ministry. Even the Tourism Minister has met with the Finance Minister to take up our request," Suri said, adding that the government had said it would look into the issue. Asking for a rollback, the industry players including representatives from Hotel Leelaventure, Kuoni Travel, Kingfisher Airlines, Jet Airways, National Restaurant Association of India, Nirulas, The World Travel & Tourism Council and Asian Hotels pointed out the adverse impact of the new taxes on the hospitality sector and consumers. "Additional 5 per cent service tax on hotel rooms will take the over all taxes by up to 17.5 per cent in some states like Kerala. This will not only drive Indian tourists outside the country but also impact inbound travel," WTTC India Initiative Chairman Vivek Nair said. Nair is also the Vice Chairperson and Managing Director of Hotel

Leelaventure. Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has proposed bringing hotel rooms of over Rs 1,000 per day and AC restaurants serving liquor under the service tax net, amounting to an additional tax of 5 per cent and three per cent respectively. Besides, service tax on air travel has been increased by Rs 50 in the case of domestic air travel and by

According to the industry estimates, the hospitality sector that earned Rs 64,000 crore of foreign exchange in 2010, has a potential to create 37 million additional jobs in the next ten years. "However, with the additional tax burden this will be reduced to approximately 20 million which translates into a loss of around 1.7 million jobs per year" Rs 250 on overseas journeys by economy class. Restaurant owners said they would be forced to pass on the additional burden of 3 per cent service tax on AC restaurants to the consumers if the rollback does not happen. "A consumer will be forced to pay about 25-30 per cent taxes on the total bill value. Given the high rate of food inflation, there will be no choice but to pass on the burden of the increased taxes on con-

Keralite thanks 'guru' for escaping tsunami THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: When the killer waves swallowed his house-cum-clinic at Sendai in Japan, naturopath Jeevan Sreedhar thanked his spiritual mentor for being safe at home in Cherthala in Kerala as it was his guru who suggested that he postpone his return journey. Jeevan, who runs a yoga and naturopathy clinic at Sendai, had planned to go back to Japan a month back. But his guru Aalay Swami, head of the Chinthalaya Ashram near here, asked him to defer his travel plans. "I always go by the Swami's word. The one-month time sug-

gested by the Swami is over and I am now leaving for Tokyo," Jeevan told PTI from Cherthala in Alappuzha district. "I first knew about the tsunami strike when a Keralite friend from Fukuwoka Island in Japan called me. What I could gather from him was that Sendai had been ravaged by the monster waves and my apartment and car had been washed away," Jeevan said. A licensed practitioner of Siddha system of medicine, Jeevan has been running the clinic and yoga centre at Miyagi prefecture (whose capital is Sendai) for the last 12 years.-PTI

sumers," National Restaurant Association of India President and Nirula's Managing Director Samir Kuckreja said. The hospitality industry, however, is not willing to take any strong action like those in retail and garments sector which have resorted to strikes. "We do not intend to go on a strike. We are a responsible industry and want to protest in a dignified manner," Suri of Bharat Hotels said. "If we go on a strike for even three days, the entire country will come to a stand still...the new taxes will impact the growth of the industry," Asian Hotels Managing Director Sushil Gupta added. Opposing the increase in the cost of air travel, Kingfisher Airlines Vice President Corporate Affairs Nandini Verma said:" Expensive air travel will hit the 'aam admi' as it is not luxury anymore and has become a necessity." According to the industry estimates, the hospitality sector that earned Rs 64,000 crore of foreign exchange in 2010, has a potential to create 37 million additional jobs in the next ten years. "However, with the additional tax burden this will be reduced to approximately 20 million which translates into a loss of around 1.7 million jobs per year" Suri added. Meanwhile, Tourism Minister Subodh Kant Sahai said the ministry has written to Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee seeking rollback of the proposed service tax on hotels and restaurants as it feels that the measure may have an adverse impact on the sector.-PTI

Navi Mumbai Airport to be functional by 2014 MUMBAI: The Navi Mumbai International Airport project is "well on the way of being commissioned by 2014," Maharashtra Legislature was informed here. The announcement was made by Governor K Sankaranarayanan in his address to the joint sitting of the Legislature. With a proposed capacity of 60 million passengers per year, this airport will be able to absorb the burgeoning air travel demands of the passengers, he said. Considering the traffic and transportation needs of Mumbai city, the Government has taken up Metro Rail and Mono-Rail Projects to enhance the public transport system and to provide efficient and commuter-friendly mass transit to commuters, he said. -PTI


Datebook

March 25, 2011

India Post 31

www.indiapost.com

NEW YORK

ILLINOIS

Upcoming

Upcoming

Sun Mar 26

Sat Mar 26

• Spring Craft Beer Festival

• Mission India Foundation Presents Holi Dinner & Dance Party

Venue: Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, 1255 Hempstead Tpke, Uniondale, NY 11553 Time: 5:30 pm to 9:00 pm Contact: 631-940-7290

Sun March 27

Venue: Saffron Restaurant, 6020 Cass Ave, Westmont, Chicago, Illinois, 60559 Time: 7:30 pm Contact: 630-217-9905

NEW JERSEY

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

Upcoming

Upcoming

Fri March 25 • Desna Entertainment Presents 'Raju Srivastav Haazir Hai' Venue: Union County, Performing Arts, 1601 Irving St., Rahway, New Jersey Time: 8pm Contact: 609-273-5491

• Mommy & Me Beauty Pageants

Sun Apr 3

Venue: Hindu Temple Auditorium, 143 - 07 Holly Avenue, Flushing, New York Time: 4pm Contact: 917-806- 0303

• South Asian Bridal Expo 2011

Thurs April 7

Venue: Meadows Club, 2950 W Golf Road, Rolling Meadows, Chicago, Illinois, 60008 Time: 11:00 am to 6:00 pm Contact: 630-277-9273

• Eating For Enlightenment

Sat April 1 • Wasifuddin Dagar Dhrupad master vocalist

Sat April 2

Venue: Peter Norton Symphony Space, Broadway at 95th Street, New York Time: 8pm Contact: 212-545-7536

Venue: Meadows Corporate Center, 2850 Golf Road, Rolling Meadows, Illinois Time: 4:30pm to 10:30pm Contact: 630-542-2318

• Bihar Association Holi Celebration

Venue: Private Residence, 1506 Windsor Court, Denville, New Jersey Time: 7pm to 9:30pm Contact: 973-400-9191

Venue: Maywood Market Place, 78 West Pleasant Ave, Maywood, New Jersey Time: 10am to 5pm Contact: 201-998-1144

WASHINGTON DC

Upcoming Sun Apr 10 Yoga, Meditation & Spiritual Discourses by Swami Mukundananda Venue: Shri Mangal Mandir, 17110, New Hampshire Ave Silver Spring, Washington DC, District of Columbia, 20905 Time: 4:00 pm Contact: 323-2860452

Upcoming Sat March 26

Fri March 25

• LA/OC South Asian Singles Mixer

• Ohlone College: Mission Peak Brass Band

Venue: Julio's Pizza, 11651 Artesia Blvd, Artesia, California Time: 9:30pm to 1:45am Contact: 909-241-4444

Venue: Smith Center at Ohlone College, 43600 Mission Blvd., Fremont Time: 7:30pm Contact: 510-659-6031 Highlights: Directed by Tony Clements, presents a Spring Concert celebrating the 100th anniversary of Gustav Holst's Second Suite in F. Other musical performances include Elmer Bernstein's Magnificent Seven, Irving Berlin's Let's Face the Music and Dance, Dmitri Shostakovich's Festival Overture, and much more.

Sun April 10 • Maywood Springtime Family Festival

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Fri Mar 25 • Sri Sri Ayurveda Cookery Course Venue: Whole Foods Market San Mateo Culinary center, 1010 Park place, San Mateo, California, 94002 Time: 6:30 pm Contact: 408-887-5956

Sun April 3 • Help Japan NowFundraising Luncheon Venue: Virgelia Productions, Inc., 14300 Terra Bella Street, #19, Panorama, CA 91402 Contact: 323-888-2121 Highlights: We Need Help: Should you have any contact in these areas please assist us in: - Food Donation for the luncheon to maximize the monetary donation, we are soliciting for food donation from restaurants. Table Linens, flatware, Drinks, AV, Volunteers, Most importantly your monetary donations.

Sat April 16 • Pediatric Feeding Seminar Venue: Embassy Suites Hotel, 2053 Grant Rd Suite 158, Los Altos, Los Angeles Contact: 650-752-4993

Sun Mar 27 • Kids Art Contest

Sat April 23

Venue: India Community Center, 525 Los Coches St, Milpitas, California, 95035 Time: 3:00 pm Contact: 408-934-1130

• India Festival Venue: Civic Arts Plaza, In The Park, 2100 E. THousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks, CA Time: 12pm to 4pm Contact: 805-754-9861

Sun Mar 27 • Tales of Temple Dance

Sat April 30

Venue: Mayer Theater, 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, Bay area, California, 95053 Time: 2:00 pm Contact: 408-238-8321

• Festival of Books

Mon July 4

Thu May 5

on Aug 1

• Rathyatra, Festival of India

• Fund raising Volleyball tournament

• Yogalicious!

Venue: National Mall (in front of Air & Space Museum), Washington, DC Time: 10:30am to 9pm Contact: 301-299-2100

Venue: Ponderosa Park, Sunnyvale, CA Time: 8am to 5pm

Venue: University of Southern California, 3551 Trousdale Pkwy, Los Angeles Contact: 866-790-5813

Venue: Art of Living Center Los Angeles, 948 W Adams Blvd, Los Angeles, California Time: 6:30pm to 9pm Contact: 310-820-9429


32

March 25, 2011

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34

India Post

www.indiapost.com

March 25, 2011

A

ctor-politician Raj Babbar's hurt caused by younger son Pratik, who has chosen to remove his father's surname from his name, and of his elder son Aarya's open outburst against Pratik's supposed indiscretions, is buried too deep and away from the public glare to be expressed openly. Raj takes a deep breath and expresses immense love for his love-child Pratik. "I want my family as well as Pratik's mother's family to know that he is and always will be my son. Whatever Aarya or any one else says Pratik is my younger son. And as far as I am concerned I have three children Juhi, Aarya and Pratik. That will never change. " When reminded that Pratik had never expressed any solidarity with his patriarchal side and had shown no love for his father's family Raj Babbar quickly rises to Pratik's defense. "I refuse to believe that. I've seen the love and respect in Pratik's eyes for me. And that's enough to give me reason to believe that all my children love me and will be there for me when I need them. So what if Pratik has dropped the 'Babbar' surname? It's his choice and prerogative. Do you know, my father was a 'Varma', grandfather was a 'Malhotra' and great grandfather was a 'Hakim'. I chose to call myself 'Babbar'. If Pratik wishes to be known without a surname it doesn't take away from his identity as my son. Nothing can change that. "

The impartial dispassionate father dissociates himself from Aarya's outburst against Pratik. When I came into the film industry I felt B. R Chopra was like a father away from home. New relationships are formed within the film industry. It doesn't mean the older relationships cease to matter. " Raj feels there're lots of people in the troubled relationship between the Babbars and Patils who are trying to create trouble. "Nowadays anyone can say anything to get publicity. Let people talk. My children will never speak against me. Pratik may not have grown up in my house. But he has been brought up with the right values by his lovely mother's family. I don't expect any of my children to do anything that will compromise me. " Raj Babbar doesn't discount the possibility of Pratik staying with the rest of the Babbar family. "This question came up 25 years ago when Pratik was born and his mother passed away. I wanted to raise my child like any father. But Smita's family wanted that privilege. I respected that. However the doors to my home are forever open for Pratik. " The proud father has only words of praise for Pratik's acting talent. "He's a very fine artiste. Pratik has inherited his mother's genes. He will go very far in life. I'm there to offer Pratik every kind help that a father can."

6 Tum Hi To Ho: Tum Hi To Ho 7 Tinka Tinka: Turning 30 8 Abhi Kuch Dino Se: No One Killed Jessica 9 Dilli: No One Killed Jessica 10 Awaara: 7 Khoon Maaf

Age no bar

S

he debuted with much older Salman Khan in "Dabangg" and Sonakshi Sinha will be seen as the wife of Kamal Haasan, who is 33 years her senior, in Tamil-Telugu director Selvaraghavan's film and says once an actor is in front of the camera, age should not matter. "Yes, I'm playing Kamal Haasan's wife in Selvaraghavan's film. Why should that be a problem," asked the confident newcomer Sonakshi, who is just 23. "Once you are in front of the camera, your age should not matter. I never felt like a child while working with Salman Khan (who is 45) in 'Dabangg' and now with Akshay Kumar in 'Joker'. I will be respectful but an equal on the sets with Mr. Kamal Haasan," she added. "In real life, age makes no difference in a marriage. On screen too your biological age is of no consequence. I've been acknowledged for being different from my female colleagues. Let me enjoy this difference," she said. As part of her preparation to feel maturer, Sonakshi has requested the entire crew of Shirish Kunder's "Joker" in Chandigarh to stop treating her like the baby of the family. Sonakshi also intends to spend as much time as possible with Kamal Haasan to get comfortable in his company.


Bollywood

March 25, 2011

www.indiapost.com

B

ollywood actress and former Miss India Gul Panag tied the knot with her longtime friend Rishi Attari in Panchkula, 10 km from Chandigarh. The Anand Karaj (wedding ceremony) was performed at a gurudwara. Panag, well known for her adventurous lifestyle and tomboyish attitude, chose a unique way to reach the reception venue after the wedding ceremony. Rishi arrived on a Royal Enfield motorcycle, with Gul sitting in the sidecar. The marriage procession (baraat) consisted of riders on over 20 Enfield motorcycles, some of which were being driven by women. Panag, 32, is also an expert in riding bikes, as was seen in her recent film "Turning 30". The marriage party was a personal affair with only family friends and selected guests being invited. Rishi works as a pilot in a private airline. He belongs to an Amritsar-based family and is now settled in New Delhi. Panag, daughter of a retired lieutenant general, won the Miss India title in 1999 and was also crowned Miss Beautiful Smile at the same pageant.

Good riddance

S

hah Rukh Khan, who grew his hair long for his role in "Don The Chase Continues", is more than happy after getting rid of it and says his respect for girls with long hair has increased manifold. "I think girls are wonderful, for they are able to keep long hair for years and years. It's great. I had to maintain long hair for my look in 'Don 2' and that was the first thing I wanted to get rid of after I finished shooting for the movie," said Shah Rukh, looking suave in a black suit. The actor says he was so desperate to get back to his short hair that he got his hairdresser to trim his locks at 3 a.m. as soon as he finished shooting for the movie. "When I used to get up in the morning, I used to feel there were a lot of others sleeping with me. It used to take two people to shampoo my hair and believe me, I didn't feel pampered at all...So I feel it's amazing how girls are able to manage long hair everyday," he said.

S

ri Lankan beauty Jacqueline Fernandez, who is starring opposite Emraan Hashmi in Bollywood film "Murder 2", is all praise for Mallika Sherawat, the lead actress in "Murder". "I have seen 'Murder' and I loved Mallika's performance. I think she is extremely daring and that's something we can all learn from her," Jacqueline said at the Lakme Fashion Week (LFW). "As an actress, it's so nice to see someone so bold, so daring and so brave and I think that's what she stands for, which is great." According to reports, the 25-year-old actress will be seen in a bold avatar, doing some intimate scenes with Emraan in the film. Asked to comment on the film, she said: "When you get into a field like acting, a lot of other things become immaterial. So if the role and the script demands something, you do it." Jacqueline, who has worked in films like "Aladin" and "Jaane Kahan Se Aayi Hai", will also be seen in the sequel of Sajid Khan directorial "Houseful". Jacqueline, who was crowned the Miss Sri Lanka Universe 2006, made her debut in Bollywood in 2009 with Sujoy Ghosh's "Aladin". She is happy of finally getting plump projects in the industry.

India Post

35


„ Health

Line

Administration wants to slow health care challenge

WASHINGTON: The Obama administration says the Supreme Court should not permit Virginia to sidestep a federal appeals court in the state's challenge to the health care law. In court papers filed with the justices, the federal government says there is no reason to take the extremely rare step of ``short-circuiting'' review by appellate judges, which already has been accelerated. A federal judge in Virginia struck down the centerpiece of the health care law, the requirement that citizens buy health insurance or pay a penalty starting in 2014. The Obama administration urged the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., to reverse the ruling, saying the requirement is within Congress' powers. -AP

„ Cost soars for Calif state retiree health benefits SACRAMENTO, Calif.: State Controller John Chiang says the unfunded cost of providing future health and dental benefits to retired state employees has grown by $8.1 billion in the past year, to nearly $60 billion. The report, based on the latest actuarial projection, comes as lawmakers in California and across the nation debate the cost of government pensions and benefits. About half the increase is because the nation's largest state pension system, the California Public Employees' Retirement System, adjusted its assumptions. CalPERS says retirees are retiring earlier, living longer and that premiums are higher than previously projected. -AP

Health Science 36

India Post

March 25, 2011

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Health officials monitoring for radiation OLYMPIA, Wash.: In response to nuclear plant problems in Japan, Washington state health officials are monitoring for radiation. -AP

Ryan says GOP ready to take on health programs WASHINGTON: Republicans in charge of the House are facing two unappealing options on the budget. One is to lead with their chins and offer politically toxic cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and, perhaps, Social Security. Or, they could play it safe but then endorse trilliondollar deficits that would enrage their tea party backers. Rep. Paul Ryan, the party's point man on the budget, is gearing up for a fight on the former, betting that American voters won't rebel this spring when he offers up controversial cost curbs on those popular benefit programs. Even those tough proposals wouldn't balance the budget anytime soon. But Ryan says Republicans elected to take on Washington's budget mess must keep their promises in spite of the political consequences. ``I think the country's ready for this kind of discussion even though we are going to lead with our chin and they're going to demagogue us,'' said Ryan, R-Wis. In a wide-ranging interview with The Associated Press, the chairman of the House Budget Committee said the House Republicans' budget proposal for the 2012 fiscal year that begins Oct. 1

Rep. Paul Ryan

Even if successful, Ryan acknowledges, the government's budget still won't balance for quite some time will propose fundamental changes to Medicare and Medicaid, the giant health care programs that cover 100 million Americans and whose combined costs rival the defense budget. Ryan offered no specifics, saying details are still being hashed out. ``What I'm going to put forward

is a serious and honest attempt to fix this country's fiscal problems,'' he said. Ryan, 41, a rising figure in the GOP, has been tasked with both schooling the 87 Republican freshmen on the brain-numbing intricacies of the budget and devising a plan to wrestle the defi-

cit under control. Both are big challenges. ``I see a willingness to embrace big things, I see a willingness to tackle the problem,'' Ryan said, describing the sentiment among Republican freshmen elected on a wave of concern about the growing scope and reach of government. ``When you walk people through just how deep this hole is ... it really does leave a lot of jaws dropping,'' he said. Even if successful, Ryan acknowledges, the government's budget still won't balance for quite some time. Majority Leader Eric Cantor, RVa., conceded that the government's budget can't be balanced this decade without cutting into current retirees' Medicare and Social Security benefits, something Republicans have said they're unwilling to do. But many tea party activists and junior lawmakers still believe the red ink can be reduced to zero with just a bit more pain, according to Ryan. ``They literally think you can just balance it, you know, (by cutting) waste, fraud and abuse, foreign aid and NPR (National Public Radio),'' Ryan said. ``And it doesn't work like that.'' Cont’d on page 37

„ Florida Senate panel strengthens drug monitoring TALLAHASSEE, Fla.: A Senate committee has approved a bill sought by Attorney General Pam Bondi to strengthen a prescription monitoring system that Gov. Rick Scott wants to repeal before it even begins. Bondi appeared before the Health Regulation Committee to make a personal pitch for the legislation (SB 818) that also includes harsher penalties for doctors and other ``pill mill'' operators who prescribe narcotics to drug dealers and addicts. Scott and House leaders are pushing for repeal of the drug database that has been held up by a contract dispute. -AP

Sensitive data for 2M people lost SACRAMENTO, Calif.: A health insurance company that provides coverage to 6 million people nationwide said it is missing data servers containing the health records, financial information and Social Security numbers for nearly 2 million current and past clients. Health Net Inc. said it cannot account for several hard drives from a data center in the Sacramento suburb of Rancho Cordova. The Woodland Hills-based managed care company would not disclose how many people could be affected, but the California Department of Managed

Health Care placed the number at 1.9 million. In a news release, the department said nine server drives are missing and that it is conducting its own investigation into the

across the country, would not say whether the drives were stolen. In January, the company agreed to pay $55,000 to settle a similar case with the Vermont attorney general's

UnitedHealth Group bought Health Net's assets in the Northeast in 2009 and the transition is winding down company's security practices. ``Obviously something went wrong, but we don't know,'' department spokeswoman Denise Schmidt said. Health Net, which provides coverage to 6 million people

office. That case arose after the loss of a portable, unencrypted hard drive that contained protected health information, Social Security numbers and financial information for about 1.5 million people. Health Net discovered the drive was miss-

ing on May 14, 2009, but did not start notifying affected Vermont residents until more than six months later. UnitedHealth Group bought Health Net's assets in the Northeast in 2009 and the transition is winding down, Health Net spokesman Brad Kieffer said. In the latest security breach, Health Net began analyzing its system after IBM, which manages the company's information technology, informed the company that it could not find the drives in question. They contain information for former and past clients, employees and health care providers. -AP


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Ryan says GOP ready to take Surgery helps men regain on health programs fertility after cancer Cont’d from page 36

Endorsing reduced Social Security checks for future seniors or raising the retirement age is viewed by many Republicans as well as Democrats as political suicide without cover from President Barack Obama. And some see the effort as futile when Republicans control only the House and a presidential election just over the horizon. Under the arcane - and decidedly imperfect - congressional budget process, Ryan is directly responsible for writing a sketchy, nonbinding blueprint each year for running the government. The resolution doesn't require the president's signature, but it does set the framework for changes to spending or tax policy in follow-up legislation. Ryan said he'll lay out the policy prescriptions that form the basis for his measure, which he says he'll unveil in April. Even if it's a dead letter in the Senate, the House's budget resolution will put lawmakers on record behind the cuts. Ryan was a GOP appointee to Obama's fiscal commission, but he voted against its deficit-reduction plan, saying it didn't do enough to slow the exploding cost of federal health care programs. The commission, however, brought welcome attention to the magnitude of the budget problem. Ryan has been calling for big changes to the social safety net for years. Known as ``the road map,'' his approach calls for individuals to take on more of the financial responsibility for retirement, including the costs of health care. The government would provide a floor of protection for everyone, particularly the poor and those in failing health, but middleclass people who desire more than a basic plan would have to pay extra. He's also proposed allowing younger workers to divert part of their Social Security taxes to personal investment accounts, an idea that's lost currency among other Republicans, given President George W. Bush's failed 2005 Social Security overhaul and the recent swoon in the stock market. The plan Ryan rolled out last year for Social Security would gradually increase the

full retirement age, from 67 to 70. It would also reduce initial benefits for middle - and high - income retirees. Under the road map, Medicare would be converted into a voucher system that offers seniors a fixed payment to pick their coverage from a range of private insurance plans overseen by the government. Today's Medicare recipients and those nearing retirement would remain under the current system, in which the government determines what's covered and sets payments for providers. As far as Medicaid, the federal-state program that covers low income people and many nursing home residents, Republican governors have been clamoring for a lump

Ryan refused to be drawn into specifics on whether and to what degree his past proposals will be part of the plan he will announce next month sum payment from Washington, a block grant that they could use to design their own state programs without close federal supervision. Ryan refused to be drawn into specifics on whether and to what degree his past proposals will be part of the plan he will announce next month. But he hinted that big changes are in store. ``If you want to be honest with the fiscal problem and the debt, it really is a health care problem,'' he said. ``If you look at the future of our debt, it primarily comes from our health care entitlements. We have to reform those if we are going to get this debt crisis under control.'' Many Democrats and even a few Republicans in the Senate say the only way to tackle the nation's financial problems is to address both taxes and spending. But don't expect Ryan's budget plan to include any new taxes. -AP

Hantavirus death Fewer flu cases reported in Arizona confirmed in MESA, Ariz.: Fewer Arizonans are coming down with the flu. The Arizona Department of Health Services says there were 820 confirmed influenza cases during the week ending March 5. That marks the second week in a row that flu cases have dropped in Arizona. To date, there have been more than 8,200 confirmed flu cases for the 2010-2011 season, which began in September. Two weeks ago, there were about 1,300 flu cases reported in Arizona. The East Valley Tribune reports that's the highest weekly total this season. Influenza is a respiratory illness often marked by fever, coughing and congestion. Health officials say the number of influenza cases may be much higher since few people go to the doctor or are tested. -AP

central Oregon

BEND, Ore.: Hantavirus has been confirmed as the cause of death of a Deschutes County resident in central Oregon. KTVZ-TV in Bend reports the Deschutes County Health Department announced the death. No other details were available. Officials said it was the 16th case of Hantavirus confirmed in Oregon since 1993 and the fourth in Deschutes County. Although rare in the United States, Hantavirus can cause lung problems which can be fatal if not treated. The disease is carried primarily by rodents, especially the deer mouse. The most common human exposure occurs during cleaning and working in spaces that have been inhabited by mice, such as garages, sheds, barns and crawl spaces. -AP

WASHINGTON: New research shows a painstaking surgical technique can help some men deemed infertile because of childhood cancer treatment to become fathers after all. Many of the cancer treatments that can save lives also leave survivors infertile. Young men can bank sperm if they're told in time, but many aren't. And experiments to find options for children diagnosed before puberty are only now beginning. Researchers at New York-Presbyterian Hospital and Weill Cornell Medical Center pioneered an option a decade ago for men deemed sterile for a number of reasons. Now they have long-term data showing the technique can work in some childhood cancer survivors whose only other options would have been adoption or using donor sperm. Surgeons essentially perform tiny biopsies of testicular tissue to hunt any pockets of hidden sperm, which then are used in standard in vitro fertilization to attempt a partner's pregnancy. In cancer survivors, they were able to extract small amounts of sperm from more than a third of the men - 27 of 73. Doctors then attempted injecting the sperm into a partner's eggs in hopes of pregnancy. The result: 20 children were born, including five pairs of twins, the researchers reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Being able to find what are essentially

stray sperm cells is dramatic but doesn't mean the technique will help everyone, cautions Dr. Peter Schlegel, urology chairman at NY-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell. ``Chances of successful treatment before were thought to be zero. So yes, we're far better than zero but certainly it's not absolute that if you go in for treatment, that you're going to be successful,'' he said.

Being able to find what are essentially stray sperm cells is dramatic but doesn't mean the technique will help everyone The new study found that the best chance for sperm retrieval was among men who'd been treated for testicular cancer, while survivors of sarcoma had the lowest chance. That's because of varying treatments for different types of cancer. Sperm is made in tiny tubes inside the testicles, which can be seen under an operating-room microscope, Schlegel explained. Flat tubes probably contain no sperm, while larger ones are removed to see if they do. The surgery costs about $10,000 to $12,000, in addition to the costs of IVF, he said. It's already offered at various medical centers around the country. -AP


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Sleep your way to good health SHOBHA SHUKLA

W

orld Sleep Day is held every year on March 18 with a view to raising awareness about the merits of sleeping well for a healthy life. The theme for this year (2011) is promoting healthy sleep for all ages. Sleep is a basic human need-a crucial component of healthy living, much like breathing, eating and remaining physically fit. Unfortunately, in today's world it is often compromised by the habits of a whirl wind lifestyle. Very often our waking hours tread with impunity upon the territory of our dreams. Sleep disorders constitute a global epidemic, affecting up to 45% of the world's population. Insomnia, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), restless legs syndrome (RLS), and sleep deprivation significantly impact physical, mental and emotional health, in addition to affecting work performance and personal relationships. Sleep problems are not limited to adults. Poor sleep also affects

about 25% of the world's children. Lack of quality sleep can lead to accidental injuries, hyper/hypo activity, obesity, emotional problems (irritability, aggressiveness), impaired memory and/or decreased attention span. Sleep disorders also make it more difficult to control diabetes, hypertension and coronary heart disease. Insomnia, the most common sleep disorder is highly co-morbid with psychiatric disorders, and may lead to anxiety, depression and even suicide. It has been demonstrated in various studies that it is associated with a high risk of hypertension and Type 2 Diabetes. Short sleep duration also impacts mortality. A study published in the journal Sleep found an elevated risk of death in men with a complaint of chronic insomnia and objectively measured short sleep duration. Compared to men without insomnia who slept for six hours or more, men with chronic insom-

Scientists say laboratory workers must be diligent ST. LOUIS: More than 500,000 work in laboratories across the United States, and scientists say it is vital to take steps to protect themselves from the diseases they are studying. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that occupational health hazards for scientists and other lab workers include infectious diseases spread by live viruses and bacteria. Estimates are that three of every 1,000 lab workers become

infected each year. The most common infections include hepatitis, typhoid fever and tuberculosis. Saint Louis University houses the region's only levelthree bio-safety lab. That means the labs are involved in the study of biological agents that can be transmitted through the air. The SLU labs are inspected by federal agents, and workers must undergo background checks. -AP

nia who slept for less than six hours were four times more likely to die during the 14-year followup period. The results suggest that public health policy should emphasize the diagnosis and appropriate treatment of chronic insomnia. Obstructive sleep apnea is another sleep malaise which refers

Insomnia, the most common sleep disorder is highly comorbid with psychiatric disorders, and may lead to anxiety, depression and even suicide to snoring and choking in sleep. This happens due to the collapse of air passages during sleep, resulting in reduced oxygen and various cardiac rhythm abnormalities Recent studies have demonstrated increased risk of sudden death in patients with untreated OSA-especially during the midnight to 6 am period. During this period sudden death from cardiac causes occurred in 46 percent of people with obstructive sleep ap-

nea, as compared with 21 percent of people without it. OSA is also associated with increased risk of hypertension, diabetes, coronary artery disease, stroke, metabolic syndrome etc. Children with sleep disordered breathing (SDB), if not diagnosed and treated early, may develop complications which will impact their future. SDB may result in behavioural changes such as irritability and aggression, changes in intelligence, memory, attention/ concentration, with a decrease in scholastic performance. Early treatment may reverse the deficits. Thus it is imperative that children with SDB should be diagnosed and treated early to avoid permanent damage. In a recent interview, given exclusively to Citizen News Service (CNS), Dr Manvir Bhatia, Senior Consultant, Neurologist and Sleep Specialist at Medanta - the Medicity Hospital, cautioned against students burning the proverbial midnight oil, depriving themselves of sleep, especially during examination time. He said, "Whatever one learns during the day has to be cemented or stored, and this happens during sleep. Thus, if one does not sleep, the memory is not stored

and one can suddenly go blank during the exams. Also there is activation of the sympathetic system in short sleepers, which produces changes in their metabolic system, like increased chances of getting high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, poor immunity etc. This also applies to the people working in call centers. Their sleep is reduced which has a similar negative impact on health. It is advisable to have minimum light while sleeping, as light interferes with sleep and causes awakening." According to Dr Bhatia , "Through various activities like free consultation and subsidized investigations on World Sleep Day from 16th March - 24th March 2011, we hope to increase people's understanding of the seriousness of sleep disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which, if not properly managed, can have a significant impact on a person's health and well-being." So safeguard your dream land vehemently from your mundane worldly pursuits and let wakefulness and sleep complement each other as God intended it to be. That would be the real awakening. -CNS

Lawmakers to tell AG to join health care lawsuit HELENA, Mont.: Montana House Republican lawmakers heartily endorsed a plan that would force the state's attorney general to join a lawsuit challenging the federal health care law, a move that sets up a possible showdown with an executive branch controlled by Democrats. The plan passed in an initial vote and faces one more largely procedural vote before going to Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer - who has not said whether he will sign it. Attorney General Steve Bullock, also a Democrat, has also been also mum on how he would handle respond if the legislation became law. The Legislature's attorney has said the order may be unconstitutional due to the separations of powers clause, a point Democrats have highlighted. ``All along, we've said we don't believe it's a good idea to spend taxpayer resources on a lawsuit more about partisan politics than constitutional law,'' Bullock spokesman Kevin O'Brien said. ``While even the Legislature's own lawyer

has called this proposal unconstitutional, bills aren't law until passed by both houses and signed by the governor, and we'll withhold further comment until then.'' A Schweitzer spokeswoman said they won't comment on the measure before the governor gets the bill and issues his decision on the matter.

The Legislature's attorney has said the order may be unconstitutional due to the separations of powers clause, a point Democrats have highlighted Schweitzer, a Democrat, has criticized the federal health care law but has never advocated that the state sue over it. He's also publicly mocked Republicans running the Legislature for advocating dozens of bills that have the potential to be deemed unconstitutional.

Republicans argued again that it's the federal health care law not their legislation - that is unconstitutional. ``It's just about our constitutional rights and our voice for the people,'' Rep. Bill Harris, RMosby, told colleagues during the debate over the proposed order. ``Keep that in mind and this won't be hard.'' The House endorsed the measure along party lines, 68-32. The Florida lawsuit that Montana Republicans want to join pits 26 states against the federal government over the health care overhaul that President Barack Obama signed last year. A judge has ruled the measure unconstitutional, but said the states must continue implementing it while the case makes its way through the courts. Three other federal judges have upheld the law and a fourth in Virginia has ruled against it, but that ruling is also on hold until appeals are heard. The issue is widely expected to wind up before the U.S. Supreme Court. -AP


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Some hospitals open ERs just for graying patients WASHINGTON: Many hospitals run emergency rooms just for children. Now a few are opening ERs specially designed for seniors, without all the confusion and clamor and with a little more comfort. It's a fledgling trend, but expected to increase as the population rapidly grays. The question is whether they'll truly improve care. ``Older people are not just wrinkly adults. They have totally different needs,'' says Dr. David John, who chairs the geriatric medicine division of the American College of Emergency Physicians. Modern ERs are best equipped to handle crises like gunshot wounds or car crashes, not the lengthy detective work it can take to unravel the multiple ailments that older people tend to show up with, John says. Those older patients may not even have the same symptoms as younger people. They're less likely to report chest pain with a heart attack, for instance, complaining instead of vague symptoms such as dizziness or nausea. Urinary tract infections sometimes cause enough confusion to be mistaken for dementia. And a study published in January called delirium and dementia

an ``invisible hazard'' for many older patients because ERs don't routinely check for not-too-obvious cognitive problems _ yet such patients can't accurately describe their symptoms or understand what they're supposed to do at home. Seniors already make 17 million ER visits a year, and 1 in 5 Americans will be 65 or older by 2030. St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center in Paterson, N.J., started a 14-bed Senior Emergency Center two years ago, and plans to open a larger one in the fall, said emergency medicine chairman Dr. Mark Rosenberg. ``It's still hustle and bustle, but it's a couple notches down from the craziness of the main emergency department,'' he says. The idea behind senior ERs: Put older patients in an area that's a bit calmer for team-based care to not just treat the problem that brought them to the hospital, but to uncover underlying problems from depression to dementia to a home full of tripping hazards that might bring them back. Rosenberg has documented a big drop in the number of seniors who make return visits since his center began day-after-discharge calls to monitor how they're doing.

There's no official count, but at least a dozen self-designated senior ERs have opened around the country since the first in Silver Spring, Md., in 2008. The one in Maryland and eight in Michigan are operated by Catholic health system Trinity Health of Novi, Mich., which plans to open two in Iowa later this year, followed by more in other states.

It doesn't take opening a separate ER to improve older patients' care, says New Jersey's Rosenberg, who calls better overall geriatric awareness and training the real key How does it work? Seniors still enter through the main ER, where triage nurses decide if they have an immediately life-threatening condition. Those patients stay in the regular ER with all its bells and whistles. But other seniors get the option of heading for these new special zones.

``It's a very nurturing environment,'' says nurse practitioner Michelle Moccia, who heads the senior ER at Trinity's St. Mary Mercy Hospital in Livonia, Mich. There, doors instead of curtains separate beds, tamping down the noise that can increase anxiety, confusion and difficulty communicating. Nurses carry ``pocket talkers,'' small amplifiers that hook to headphones so they don't have to yell if a patient's hard of hearing. Mattresses are thicker, and patients who don't need to lay flat can opt for cushy reclining chairs instead; Moccia says people feel better when they can stay upright. Nonskid floors guard against falls. Forms are printed in larger type, to help patients read their care instructions when it's time to go home. Pharmacists automatically check if patients' routine medications could cause dangerous interactions. A geriatric social worker is on hand to arrange for Meals on Wheels or other resources. ``In the senior unit, they're just a lot more gentle,'' says Betty Barry, 87, of White Lake, Mich., who recently went to another of Trinity's senior ERs while suffering debilitating hip pain. But Moccia says the real

change comes because nurses and doctors undergo training to dig deeper into patients' lives. While they're awaiting test results or treatments, every senior gets checked for signs of depression, dementia or delirium. An example: A diabetic was treated for low blood sugar in a regular ER. A few weeks later she was back, but the newly opened senior ER uncovered that dementia was making her mess up her insulin dose, repeatedly triggering the problem, says Dr. Bill Thomas, a geriatrician at the University of Maryland Baltimore County who is advising Trinity Health Novi's senior ER program. It doesn't take opening a separate ER to improve older patients' care, says New Jersey's Rosenberg, who calls better overall geriatric awareness and training the real key. Still, he says his center saw a 15 percent rise in patients last year. ``Those hospitals that have the money and space and the luxury to do something like that are going to get a definite advantage down the road,'' predicts John at the American College of Emergency Physicians, who says his own Boston hospital didn't have the money to try it. -AP


JS BEDI India Post News Service

LOS ANGELES: Payal Wadhawan will represent the 'Incredible' India at Virgelia Productions' Mrs. Asia USA Cultural Pageant scheduled August this year. Born and raised in India she came to USA in 2005 when her husband was offered a job in Brea, CA. Coming from a small town in India, adjusting to a new environment with extreme differences in culture was challenging in the beginning but her learning attitude kept her positive and going. With her self confidence and great interpersonal skills, she soon found herself a job in the financial industry. Through a friend, she came across an opportunity to pursue her passion for Indian dancing by choreographing a community dance for a charity organization named IFA (In-

Virgelia Villegas CEO Virgelia Productions

dian Friends Association). A sense of fulfillment and accomplishment that came out of the experience of working with IFA helped her to identify her true purpose in life which is to make her life meaningful by bringing a positive difference in others lives". Her motto is "The power lies within you, you just have to believe in yourself!" Using her own philosophy of life, she won the title of 'Mrs India Globe 2010', a Pageant held by a non-profit Indian organization 'Jagriti' that works for Indian women victims of domestic violence. Understanding the need of 'self esteem' and 'spiritual growth', she is in the process of starting her own charity to help women develop the best they could be by learning yoga and meditation. She believes that India is well embellished with rich culture and traditions. The languages, lifestyles, religions, habits, geography, climates, cultures might be different but still they unite every Indian into an invisible frame, the frame of Indianism. She completed Masters in Applied Physics from Haryana, India and earned a diploma in Business Administration from New Delhi, India. Currently, she works as a Business Analyst for a prestigious bank of USA. Payal is also an accomplished dancer and choreographer. Other talents include poetry in Punjabi, Hindi and English. Her mother tongue is Punjabi which she speaks fluently, as she does English and Hindi.

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Winning the title of Mrs Asia USA Cultural Pageant will open new doors of opportunities for her to work for the betterment of not only Indian but other communities as well that are in need of that one little push that will take them long ways. Payal Wadhawan's presence at the pageant is of immense significance to Indian Diaspora. It is also of very special significance for the Punjabis as Payal is a Punjab di Kudi who grew up

Using her own philosophy of life, she won the title of 'Mrs India Globe 2010', a Pageant held by a non-profit Indian organization 'Jagriti'

in the heart of the land of five rivers in cities like Hoshiarpur and beautiful Jalandhar. Yes, she is doing Punjabis proud, competing in an international level pageant against candidates from all over Asia. Of course, such events are a golden opportunity for those in the fashion and glamour industry to promote their products and services in the form of sponsorships. CEO Virgelia Productions, Virgelia Villegas is very excited. "We have a wonderful group of candidates representing almost every country of Asia" she says. Performing Giddha

Payal Wadhawan


March 25, 2011

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SRIREKHA CHAKRAVARTY

I am the fakir with a luxurious flair I am the student with my heart at sea I am the poet with no pretense of class I am the anarchist with no concern of turns

T

he biggest reward for a poet as an artist and a messen ger of the divine perspective is, perhaps when the reader relates not just to the beauty of the words but internalizes the emotion conveyed to reach the poet's state of mind. The bigger reward, needless to say, is to the reader who is enriched by the elevating experience. Bestowing just such an experience is Manav Sachdeva Maasoom's debut rendering 'The Sufi's Garland' in which the author holds a kaleidoscope to show life in a unique dimension of love, pain and hitherto unknown emotions etched against the unlikely backdrop of war ravaged Afghanistan. Maasoom works at the United Nations in New York. In his role as a poet, however he lets himself free to not only transcend geographical boundaries in thought, but also syntactical boundaries of vocabulary. The book as Maasoom himself describes "is a handbook for those who care to love." Contrary to the popular perception he claims that Afghanistan must be seen as a land of love not as a land of terror. It is the land where "poetry still lives and can be used" he says. The Sufi's Garland which is also a song offering to Rabindranath Tagore, Antonio Porchia and Emily Dickinson was written during Maasoom's stay in Kabul, Afghanistan. And it is only in Afghanistan the poet believes "the PREM KISHORE

D

avid Dagley's unusual thriller, Cale Dixon and the Moguk Murders (Eloquent Books) plunges you into a fast paced narrative of an ordinary detective who is living an extraordinary life. It is a dangerous mission for the hero Cale Dixon tracking down not only the perpetrator of a crime in an art museum but also learning about the exotic Moguk Ruby. The easy jaunty charm and self assurance of Dixon is cleverly handled by the author who keeps tight rein on a sprawling cast of characters. So we go in pursuit of the killer as the twisted plot takes us to Burma, a Mandalay jewelry family, black marketeering, secret police and an Un Jangdo knife that has been passed through genera-

Love in the ruins of Kabul soil and the people are responsive to poetry in a way that authenticates the soul more than entertains the senses." The poet's actual experience of working in Afghanistan, Liberia and Kosovo has given him the insight needed for this hypnotic rendition. The poems are aphoristic and pithy laden with spiritual effervescence. Some of the poems are rendered in the form of cubic collage. The fine-line between painting and poetry is snapped with an impressionistic brush. Maasoom has been writing poetry since he was eleven. And that form of expression flows even in this emailed conversation with India Post: What does the title of the book - The Sufi's Garland - signify? Maasoon: I don't know. I was in Afghanistan and as I was working on finalizing the manuscript and editing, it arrived. It stuck. It is what it is. David Paquoit has written a review of the book asking, "Is the garland for the Sufi or by the Sufi?" I don't know. The book is a tribute to Emily Dickinson, Antonio Porchia and Rabindranath Tagore - what is the common thread among them that binds you to them? Maasoom: The common thread among them that binds is the love for love. The love for going beyond experience to share in the receipt of everyone's feeling, to share in everyone's needs that are human. It is Gurudev Tagore's 'Love for God', Antonio Porchia's 'Surprise', Dickinson's 'Beauty and Hope'. What aspect of Afghanistan inspired you to write this book? How did you find spiritual re-

lease amidst the ruin and shambles of that country? Maasoom: One often finds spiritual release among ruin and shambles within one's life. Only through destroying all that is comfortable in boxes of lives does one arrive at the opening. In Afghanistan, people love and dance and

BOOK REVIEW

ability to stop one in their tracks and cross over. There is angst, helplessness, acceptance, love and a certain universality of thought in the book - what did you feel the most while writing this book? Maasoom: All. There is longing in it. I felt as I do daily a longing. A longing for the bliss. A longing for ... who one cannot name. Your academic and professional background belie your artistic side as a poet of such intense sensitivity‌ how do you

In Afghanistan, people love and dance and sing and eat bread in a way that is nourishing

sing and eat bread in a way that is nourishing. I don't know but it was a homecoming of sorts. Afghanistan inspired me to polish it, compile it, complete it. Do you use your ability of poetic expression as a release for coping with contemporary social and political realities? Maasoom: Sometimes. Mostly poetic expression is an expression of a dilemma, a startled moment, a way to address a conundrum, or simply a response to a song in nature. Sometimes these are internal struggles, sometimes social ills affect, always it is love's enormous

reconcile between these two sides of your persona? Maasoom: One must eat to write. But the academic and professional work in women's rights and such also requires intense sensitivity. There are moments when one simply lets oneself go and let it write or be in terms of academic/professional work. Where does poetry come to you from - is it religion, spirituality, romanticism, or the socio-political context of life around you? Maasoom: Poetry comes from observation and craft. The better the craft, the more prepared one is to subtly, carefully, sharply bring to life what is happening...a moment of anger that was fake as the couple smile across a train platform when they are about to forget getting off at their stop, a bird

stopping on your deck asking questions why there is no food out yet for her, mistreatment of another human, God. In today's technology-driven world, do you think poetic romanticism can touch people's lives in a way to bring about transformation? Maasoom: Poetry is the only thing that pauses. Indeed poetry in all life and all forms - painting, life forms, words - pauses. And in each pause, transformation is possible. What do you hope readers will take away from Sufi's Garland? Maasoom: They will take away what I hope they will - a certain reimagination of the beloved. Can you talk about your early orientation and childhood influences that molded your thinking? Maasoom: My early orientation was towards making beautiful things. Art, craft, toys, words...Nekchand from Chandigarh had made a beautiful garden of broken plates and shards converted into lovely sculptures, Rose Garden in our city, Rakh Bagh...childhood influences were many including prayertime and listening to father. Do you see yourself as a spiritual connector; a social commentator/reformer; a conscious observer; or just a man endowed with the artistry of words? Masoom: Perhaps I don't see myself as anything. I carry on the work of a lover of humanity and hope it plays these roles as above. I hope to listen better and then draft it out for Him better. [The Sufi's Garland, Published by: Roman Books; $24.95 (Hardcover)]

Unusual murder mystery amid S. Asian culture tions of Cho dynasty women. The plot thickens when an Asian man is found stabbed with a ceremonial style dagger of silver and gold with precious stones mounted in the handle. Here's a clue. He is well dressed, wool suit from South Korea, leather belt from Spain, gold cufflinks from Thailand, Italian shoes that he was not wearing. Instead he sports a Brook Brothers shirt, a silk tie form China a Rolex watch and some gold rings with pink sand or coral wedged inside his shoes and some precious stones spilling out of his mouth. Stay riveted for 329 pages. And then there are keys made of solid gold with a Burmese ruby balanced in the eye .Skilled craftsmen may have fashioned it and sent it on its journey down

key from a slain enemy chief of the Hun tribe. And if it is a key what does it open? And off we go unraveling the skeins of history, politics, greed, betrayal, passion and revenge half way around the world. We learn of Saxon tribes and dip into the history of the Vandals and Barbarians. We move to

BOOK REVIEW

the Silk Road into present day China where it was most likely set. And there's more. Around 450 AD a great warrior took the

Burma where families are hired by the British who desire precious stones and we learn of stone cutters who mined zircons, spinrels, tourmalines and tiger-eyes apart from rubies. We are introduced to Thakin party leaders, a country fighting for independence, insurgent groups

and the brutality of the military in Rangoon who are ignored by the world because: "Foreign powers turn a blind eye because we have nothing they want. If we had lots of oil in the ground, democracy would have been supported by the outside world‌" Featuring interesting colorful characters writer Dagley takes us on a fascinating journey with the exotic East figuring as a leitmotif throughout. History and culture is treated with respect as it provides a precious resource for the tale of the Moguk Ruby. David Dagley has been working in the Bering Sea for the last 10 years and resides in Seward, Alaska. He travels frequently through South East Asia.


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Realty Tidbits

Realtors sign MOU with Spain federation NEW DELHI: Realtors' body NAREDCO said it has entered into an agreement with Spain's Valenciana Federation of Construction (FEVEC) to promote collaboration between real estate developers of both the countries. FEVEC represents 1,000 companies in Spain and NAREDCO is the apex body of real estate sector formed under the patronage of Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation. The MoU would facilitate joint ventures between the members of two associations, NAREDCO said in a statement. "The MOU will attract foreign investment in housing and real estate development in India and provide access to new construction technologies," Vigneshwara Developers Managing Director Vigneshwara Developers said. "This is the first initiative by FEVEC in India to promote business in the field of construction, housing and real estate development and, training and skill development," said Rafael de la Cuadra Ribes, Director Area International/ International Area Manager, FEVEC. -PTI

„ I-T Dept keeping close watch on realty sector NEW DELHI: Suspecting the use of black money to finance deals in the country's booming real estate sector, the Income Tax Department is keeping close tabs on the sources of funding for developers' lucrative projects. "The focus of the Income Tax Department is real estate developers as the department has received many complaints of the involvement of black money in these deals. There is a large amount of money involved in the sale and purchase of land and huge income is generated," a Finance Ministry source told PTI. Recently, a well-known Mumbai developer admitted to undisclosed income of Rs 200 crore. In addition, Rs 100 crore was recovered from a Surat-based real estate company in a separate case. Besides real estate, other sectors which are under the scanner of the Income Tax Department include mining, civil construction, education, jewellery and manufacturing, the source added. In 2009-10 and 2010-11, the I-T Department unearthed unaccounted income of over Rs 15,000 crore in its search and seizure operations. -PTI

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Real estate developers demand single-window clearance NEW DELHI: CREDAI, the apex industry body for real estate developers, has sought single-window clearance to prevent project delays and to bring down housing prices. Speaking to reporters after being elected as the new Chairman of CREDAI, Parsvnath Developers Chairman Pradeep Jain said the association would take up with the government issues like single-window clearance, tax sops and priority lending to buyers as well as builders in the affordable housing segment. -PTI

Govt failing to meet the needs of multicultural homebuyers India Post News Service

WASHINGTON: Saying millions of Americans are being left out of the American dream of homeownership, the nation's three largest organizations representing multicultural real estate professionals called upon policy makers to do more for minority homebuyers. This call to action comes after the Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA), the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP), and National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB) met in Washington DC recently to discuss regulatory and policy changes to preserve access to homeownership for people of color. "Overwhelmingly, the members of our three organizations agree that the lack of mortgage financing is the single-biggest challenge facing minorities who want to buy homes," said Kenneth Li, AREAA chairman. "The government's housing recovery efforts have not gone far enough to improve the situation facing minority homeowners." At the March 3-4 Multicultural Real Estate & Policy Conference in Washington DC, members of AREAA, NAHREP, and NAREB were surveyed on their views of

the home buying market and economic recovery efforts. According to the survey results, nearly 80 percent of the attendees responded they "believe that the current policy efforts have done little to improve the situation facing minority homebuyers." Attendees also felt strongly that an active secondary market role is needed by the government to ensure that all homebuyers have access to the American dream of homeownership.

estate community. Additionally, respondents cited "tight underwriting requirements" as the greatest challenge facing prospective homebuyers looking to obtain financing. To stabilize the home-buying market for minorities, the organizations issued a joint report entitled "The Five Point Plan: Refocusing the Future of Minority Homeownership." "Our Five-Point Plan is designed to bring common sense

The Five-Point Plan focuses on sustainability, accountability and responsibility on the part of all parties in a real estate transaction. It calls for more diverse solutions to meet the future housing needs "These are real estate professionals who are out in the community, trying to help hard-working Americans achieve their dreams of buying homes, and they are confirming what we have long suspected - that their clients cannot get loans," Carmen Mercado, Chair of NAHREP said. In the survey of attendees, "mortgage financing availability" was cited as the single-greatest factor facing the multicultural real

and a balanced approach to restoring the dream of homeownership to everyone. None of us wants to have homeownership a dream deferred or denied," NAREB President and CEO Vincent Wimbish stated. The Five-Point Plan focuses on sustainability, accountability and responsibility on the part of all parties in a real estate transaction. It calls for more diverse solutions to meet the future housing needs,

and demands more preparation and responsibility on the part of consumers and the industry alike. It also calls on the industry to develop unique and innovative solutions to the housing challenges facing the multicultural communities today and in the future. Specifically, The Five-Point Plan calls for: • A balanced regulatory approach that will support and encourage sustainable homeownership for qualified and responsible consumers seeking to purchase a home; • Increased diversity in the financial services arena and adequate oversight of minority business utilization and senior management hires; • Maintaining strong government support of the secondary market system that includes the broad network of primary lenders, government-supported securitization agency, and FHA that collectively works to broaden credit availability for all communities at all times; • Strong consumer protection oversight to restore consumer and market confidence in homeownership; and • Mandatory financial education for all first-time homebuyers that prepares them for the responsibilities, risks and rights associated with homeownership.

Robert Vadra in partnership with DLF

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ew Delhi-based entrepreneur Robert Vadra, married into the country's most powerful family, has made a quiet and relatively unheralded entry into the real estate business, including a partnership with DLF Ltd, India's largest realty firm. Vadra, the son-in-law of the ruling United Progressive Alliance coalition chairperson Sonia Gandhi, has stayed away from electoral politics, maintaining that he wants to be known as a businessman. In interviews, he has said that his focus is on Artex, a small company specializing in

jewellery and handicraft exports. That seems to be changing as 42-

Vadra has sought to scale up and diversify his business activities since 2008, acquiring tracts of land in Haryana and Rajasthan, a 50% stake in a leading business hotel in Delhi year-old Vadra, known for his punishing fitness regime and

love for fast bikes, has sought to scale up and diversify his business activities since 2008, acquiring tracts of land in Haryana and Rajasthan, a 50% stake in a leading business hotel in Delhi, and attempting an entry into the business of chartering aircraft. Regulatory filings available in the public domain and reviewed by ET reporters reveal the changing graph of Vadra's business interests. These include wideranging transactions with the DLF Group.

Robert Vadra


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Homebuyers, banish the drama of staging

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hile not all staging is trickery, because the basic premise of staging is to make the home look presentable, buyers need to look past it and get serious," says Karlton Utter, an office manager for Weichert Realtors in East Brunswick, N.J. He and other real estate experts describe how a buyer can toss the seller's script and perceive the real house under the staging. Check the floor plan Utter says the buyer should consider whether the home's layout appeals. "Buyers should be careful to look at what they cannot change in a home or what would be very expensive to change," says Brandon Green, a broker and president of the Brandon Green Companies, an affiliate of Keller Williams Realty in Washington, D.C. "For example, a great kitchen is always appealing, but if it is located in the center of the home and the buyers prefer a front kitchen, that would be almost impossible to change. Another concern would be if the buyers have young children and want them nearby, but the third

bedroom is in the basement." Jonna Morton, a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Rockwall, east of Dallas, says some buyers fixate on the idea that they need a big home with large rooms without considering how they will fill them. "You can't furnish a big house as easily as a small house," Morton says. "Buyers also need to think about the cost of utilities and maintenance on a larger home, especially one with extensive land." Staging techniques that sway buyers Green says buyers need to be aware of the gap between how you sell a home and how you live in a home. "Stagers and builders often remove interior doors to make the home seem airy and open," Green says. "When you put them back on, the rooms can seem smaller and closed off." Green says stagers often use undersized furniture to make rooms seem bigger while sellers store belongings offsite. Buyers need to know the size of their furniture and the volume of their possessions to see if they will fit in

the home. Evaluate the condition Green says buyers should look beyond new paint. "If the air filter is a disaster, that could be an indicator that the own-

Morton says buyers should look at the quality of the kitchen cabinets, bathroom vanities and wood trim. ‘A home that has been solidly built may be a better buy even if it is older, because a cheaply built home will need more work’ ers have deferred maintenance on the property," Green says. "Buyers should check under the sinks to look for water marks from old leaks and make a list of things to have a home inspector check out

Smart cities in NCR need planned urbanization: CII India Post News Service

NEW DELHI: CII Delhi and Haryana organized a Panel discussion on Building Smart & Sustainable cities in NCR at India Habitat Center, New Delhi In the times of unprecedented development that takes place near urban centers such as the capital city of Delhi, and similar cities around the globe, it is the vision for Smart & Sustainable cities that should spearhead every aspect of decision making in the government and corporate world. Focusing on Inside Out Approach of Smart & Sustainable cities, Mr Virat Bhatia, Vice Chairman, CII Delhi State Council & President - External Affairs, South Asia, AT & T said that there is a need to foster inter sectoral collaboration between, Government, Industry & Civil Society. He also said that the

task of the 'Smart and Sustainable Cities Initiative' would be to assist Delhi and NCR to understand and respond to global change in the urban context, with a view to enhancing the quality of life of our citizens and enhancing the social cohesion of our communities. Mr R M Khanna, Chairman, CII Northern Region said that "we need smart cities which can make optimum use of their resources, minimizes waste, provide safe neighborhoods, have quality schools, affordable housing, traffic that flows smoothly, participatory governance and everything else that goes into making of a good quality of life". Urbanization & industrialization are being looked at as friends. The time is right to create at least one Smart & Sustainable model city in the NCR region that could be replicated nationally, stated Ms Karuna

Gopal, President, Foundation for Futuristic Cities. The need is to co create cities and shift focus to innovation, urban renewal and redesign engaging all stakeholders. Mr Ashok B Lall, Proprietor, Ashok B Lall Architects said that it is important to regenerate natural environment with innovative technology. Mr L K Jain, Chairman, CII, Haryana said that Delhi is surrounded by the state of Haryana from three sides. Keeping in mind the increasing pressure on the state of Delhi & the phase of development in the state of Haryana, there is a need for developing planned and sustainable counter magnet cities in Hissar, Jhajjar, Kundli, Sonepat in the NCR region adjoining Delhi The Panel Discussion was attended by industry members from the NCR region.

Real Estate rated 'most corrupt industry'

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eal estate sector has topped the list of indus tries perceived to be the most corrupt in India, followed by telecommunications and social development sectors in a survey conducted by global consultancy firm KPMG. Nearly half of the respon-

dents in the survey are of the view that real estate, construction and telecommunication sectors are most prone to corruption because government and political intervention is considered higher in these sectors, KPMG stated here. Large capital investments, multi-level approvals,

complex processes and huge projects give immense opportunity for corruption, the survey said. Financial services, defense, information technology and IT-enabled services, energy and power sectors are also perceived to be corrupt, in that order, the survey noted.

more thoroughly." Utter says buyers should not be shy about moving boxes or checking under an area rug for floor damage or water stains. Look for quality Green says buyers should look for solid doors and to pay attention to the corners of ceramic tile flooring to see that they have been installed carefully. "This is especially important with a recently renovated home, because if the place has been fixed up on the cheap there could be problems that crop up later," Green says. Morton says buyers should look at the quality of the kitchen cabinets, bathroom vanities and wood trim. "A home that has been solidly built may be a better buy even if it is older, because a cheaply built home will need more work," Morton says. Check the lighting "Come back to the property at different times of day and evening to see how it looks," Green says. "You may not notice that a house doesn't have any overhead lighting until you see it at night."

Utter says buyers should open and close every window to be sure they work as well as to check on the view and the size of the window. Home stagers sometimes place larger curtains over a small basement window to make buyers assume that window is bigger. Try the sniff test Green says a musty smell in the home could mean there are issues with moisture, but even good scents can indicate a problem. "The overuse of air fresheners can mean that the owners are covering up a bad smell from a damp basement or a dirty fireplace," Green says. Arrive prepared Green suggests that buyers bring a notebook, a tape measure, a flashlight and a camera on their house-hunting trips. "Think about where you will keep your suitcases if you travel a lot, where you will store your bike or your kid's sports equipment," Green says. Green reminds buyers that they don't have to do any of this unless they really like a house and are seriously considering making an offer.


In Brief Immigration leads to GOP rift in Okla Legislature OKLAHOMA CITY: A quiet campaign by Oklahoma's business community to head off new immigration legislation is splitting Republicans in the Legislature. GOP candidates came into office with plans to give the state the toughest anti-immigration policies in the nation. But those plans collided with the push to make Oklahoma more attractive to industry. A sweeping immigration measure pending in the Senate has been stripped of penalties for businesses that hire illegal workers. A bill that passed in the House includes few restrictions on businesses. Rep. Randy Terrill says businesses oppose the measures because they want access to cheap, illegal immigrant labor. -AP

LAPD eases impound rules after immigrant criticism LOS ANGELES: Police said they are changing rules for impounding cars of unlicensed drivers at sobriety checkpoints, after criticism that the department was targeting illegal immigrants. Calling it ``the right thing to do,'' Chief Charlie Beck said he eased the rules after immigrant rights groups brought up the issue in recent meetings, the Los Angeles Times reported. Previous protocols called for officers at checkpoints to impound a car whenever the driver did not have a valid license whether or not the driver was drunk. Under the new guidelines, police will attempt to contact the registered owner of a stopped vehicle, and if that owner is a licensed driver who can respond to the checkpoint in a ``reasonable period'' the car will be released to them. -AP

Md. immigrant in-state tuition bill advances ANNAPOLIS, Md.: A measure allowing some illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition rates at Maryland has passed the Maryland Senate. The bill passed 27-20 still must be approved by the House of Delegates before going to Gov. Martin O'Malley, who has said he would sign it. During debate, Sen. Victor Ramirez, the bill sponsor who immigrated legally as a child from El Salvador, told opponents that voting against the bill would not solve problems relating to people living illegally in the state. -AP

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'Kansas policies helping illegal immigrants' TOPEKA, Kan.: A former social services case worker told Kansas legislators that state policies determining who receives benefits enable fraud and favor illegal immigrants over legal residents as she testified in support of a bill addressing that and other immigration issues. -AP

NJ Homeland Security officials hold community awareness meet India Post News Service

NEW JERSEY: The New Jerseybased Indo American Cultural Society Inc. in cooperation with the Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness (OHSP) organized a meeting for representatives of the South Asian Community to discuss 'Homeland Security Preparedness' at the TV Asia Auditorium in New Jersey on March 8. About 150 people representing different South Asian organizations, temples, gurudwaras, mosques and churches attended the meeting. Among the OHSP officials at the meeting were Anne Kreigner (Asst. Deputy Director Operation), David Leonardis (Confidential Assistant to Deputy Directorof Operations) and John Paige (Supervising State Investigator). The purpose of the meeting was to work with the South Asian community with a mission to administer, coordinate, lead, and supervise New Jersey's counterterrorism and preparedness efforts; to meet the goals for education and provide information on the emergency response efforts across all levels from government, law enforcement, emergency management and other jurisdictions to the private sector with a common goal to protect the

OHSP officials at the meeting -Pic Gunjesh Desai/masalajunction.com

Issues related to homeland security, terrorism, mistreatment of South Asians at many airports and such were discussed in depth to bring about awareness and preparedness in the community people of New Jersey. Issues related to homeland security, terrorism, mistreatment of South Asians at many airports and such were discussed in depth to

bring about awareness and preparedness in the community. Kriegner told the gathering that "training of law enforcement and other individuals

tasked with homeland security and emergency preparedness will be shared in temples, churches, gurudwaras, schools or colleges in conjunction with multiple partners in state and local government." David Leonardis talked about safety for children in schools and civilians' safety in malls, cinemas or any other common public areas. Cont’d on page 45

Immigration implications for same-sex couples DAVID A. ISAACSON

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he Justice Department announced on February 23 that based in part on the recommendation of Attorney General Eric Holder, President Obama has determined that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional, and will no longer defend it in court. This is because, facing litigation within the jurisdiction of a circuit court of appeals (the Second Circuit) that has never ruled on the appropriate standard of review to be applied to laws concerning sexual orientation, the Administration determined that a heightened standard of review

is appropriate, and that Section 3 of DOMA cannot withstand review under such a standard (although the Justice Department had previously argued that Section 3 could survive the looser rational-basis test applicable under the precedent of some courts of appeals). The announcement is available online at http://www.justice.gov/ opa/pr/2011/February/11-ag222.html, and a related letter sent by Attorney General Holder to Speaker of the House John Boehner is available at http:// www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2011/ February/11-ag-223.html. The announcement states, however, that

Section 3 of DOMA will remain in effect until either it is repealed or "there is a final judicial finding that strikes it down," and until such time "the Executive Branch will continue to enforce the law." The letter to Speaker Boehner states even more specifically that "the President has instructed Executive agencies to continue to comply with Section 3 of DOMA, consistent with the Executive's obligation to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, unless and until Congress repeals Section 3 or the judicial branch renders a definitive verdict against the law's constitutionality."

Section 3 of DOMA, 1 U.S.C. § 7, provides that for purposes of federal law, "the word 'marriage' means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word 'spouse' refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife." Among other consequences under federal law, this means, according to the consistent interpretation of USCIS and the former INS, that a same-sex spouse cannot be granted immigration benefits by virtue of his or her marriage to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. Cont’d on page 46


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Ariz. Senate gives initial OK to immigration bills PHOENIX: The Arizona Senate has given preliminary approval to bills that would make it more difficult for illegal immigrants to find jobs and get public housing in the state. The Senate's action represents a dry run of sorts for wider legislation targeting illegal immigration that could be considered later this week. One of the bills would require public housing applicants to prove they are U.S citizens or legal residents. It also would require eviction of residents who let an illegal immigrant live with them in public housing. The second bill bars people who can't prove they are in the U.S. legally from getting a state fingerprint background check card. Those cards are needed for many work permits. Senate President Russell Pearce, the sponsor of the broader bill, said he anticipates Senate passage of it and other pending illegal immigration measures on citizenship and hospital admissions. The Mesa Republican was the sponsor of a controversial illegal immigration bill on local law enforcement that was approved last year, though key provisions have been put on hold by a judge. Republican legislators ran for election or re-election last year on

Two measures on citizenship are intended to launch a legal challenge to automatic US citizenship for children of illegal immigrants platforms calling for action against illegal immigration, he noted. ``It's a critical issue and we intend to perform,'' Pearce said.

The new, broader bill also includes provisions to require parents of K-12 school students to prove the citizenship of their children, to bar illegal immigrants from driving and to bar them from attending public universities and community colleges. Two measures on citizenship are intended to launch a legal challenge to automatic U.S. citizenship for children of illegal immigrants. The bill on hospitals would require them to check the immigration status of patients who can't provide proof of insurance. -AP

Ga. Senate votes to pass immigration bill ATLANTA: The Georgia state Senate voted to pass an amended version of an immigration bill that would require many employers to check the immigration status of new hires and authorize police to verify the immigration status of criminal suspects. The bill proposed by Sen. Jack Murphy, R-Cumming, passed largely on a party-line vote, 34-21. Another bill proposed by Rep. Matt Ramsey, R-Peachtree City, that has some similarities passed

in the House earlier this month. Presenting his bill on the Senate floor, Murphy said the bill is needed because people are frustrated with the federal government's failure to solve the problem of illegal immigration. ``The question is simple,'' Murphy said. ``Do you want immigration reform or not?'' Opponents of the bill argued it would have a negative impact on the state's economy and could lead to racial profiling. -AP

NJ Homeland Security officials hold community awareness meet Cont’d from page 44

This office helps to deal directly with prevention, detection, protection, response, and recovery planning, not only at the state level, but also at the regional and national levels with community support. John Paige, an investigator in special tasks, said "Federal, state and local homeland security, law enforcement and emergency management maintain a close working relationship with the Newark and Philadelphia FBI Offices. If you observe suspicious behavior, anyone asking for suspicious chemicals, weapons or someone having violent thoughts must be brought to our knowledge for proper handling of the person or situation." Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula said that creating public awareness is an important part of daily work of state and local authorities through multiple modes of media advertising and public events like this. "OHSP remains committed to ensuring state residents are well informed and well

PRADEEP ROY-SINGH B.A. LL.B. M.B.A. J.D. Attorney-at-Law

Former Assistant StateÂ’s Attorney

A section of the audience -Pic Gunjesh Desai/masalajunction.com

prepared," he said. "Homeland security operates under the premise that a well-prepared citizenry is an integral part of New Jersey's homeland security and emergency preparedness strategy." Anju Bhargava, a member of the President's Interfaith Commission also addressed the gathering and stressed the importance of Homeland Security and Preparedness. Members of the community

were urged to report any suspicious activity to the law enforcement authorities. The state tollfree and 24-hour terrorism tip line, 1-866-4SAFE-NJ and a newly established email address as tips@njhomelandsecurity.gov. Trained law enforcement professionals staffs man the tip line. All information received from the public is kept confidential, the officials informed.

Civil & Criminal Litigation Felonies, Misdemeanors, Inc DUI 1 Personal Injury, Business, Divorce etc. 1 Property Tax for Commercial Properties 1 1

http://www.proy-singh.com

2335 W. Devon Ave., Suite 204, Tel: 773-381-1820 Chicago, IL 60659


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Social Security critical income source for Asian Americans India Post News Service

WASHINGTON: Social Security is a critical income source for elderly and disabled Asian and Pacific Islander Americans and the existing system is the best way to guarantee a measure of financial security for them and their families, a new report said here. The report, released by the Insight Center for Community Economic Development, shows that Social Security keeps 19 percent of older Asian and Pacific Islander Americans (APAs) out of poverty and that of those APAs of all ages who received the program's disability insurance, 56.2 percent relied on it for more than 75 percent of their incomes. Among Asian and Pacific Islander Americans age 65 and older receiving Social Security income, 29 percent of married couples and 60 percent of unmarried people relied on it for more than 90 percent of their incomes, the report said. "Asian and Pacific Islander Americans depend on Social Security benefits as a critical income source, both as elders and as disabled people of all ages," according to Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders and Social Security: A Primer. "The existing Social Security system is the best way to guarantee some measure of financial security to disabled and elderly Asian and

Pacific Islander American workers and their families," the primer said. The co-chairs of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform late last year recommended a number of changes to the Social Security system. As changes to Social Security are considered, it is important to understand how different races and ethnic groups in the United States utilize the system. The Insight Center's primer, commissioned by AARP, is intended as a starting point to fill the gap in research on how Asian and Pacific Islander American workers use Social Security - research that will become increasingly important in the future. "Because this population is projected to almost double again by 2050, rising to 9 percent of all Americans, more research is needed to ensure their needs are met as reform of the Social Security program is considered," said the Insight Center's Meizhu Lui, who wrote the primer. It's important that such research be broken down by ethnic group because "the APA economic profile varies widely by ethnicity, with some at the high end, and others, like the Hmong, among the poorest Americans," said Lui, director of the Insight Center's "Closing the Racial Wealth Gap Initiative."

‘The existing Social Security system is the best way to guarantee some measure of financial security to disabled and elderly Asian and Pacific Islander American workers and their families’ Other major findings of the primer include the following: *Social Security's annual cost-ofliving adjustments are particularly important to Asian elders because

their life expectancy at 65 is three years longer than all Americans. *Social Security's progressive benefit structure helps APAs, whose benefit levels are lower than the total population. *Southeast Asians are particularly reliant on Social Security Disability Income. *Language, cultural issues and lack of awareness of the Social Security program present a barrier for many foreign-born Asians to access critical benefits to which they are entitled. "The modest, hard-earned Social Security benefits that millions of Asian Americans receive are

critical for the financial and retirement security for themselves and for their families," said Mae Mendelson, AARP board member. "This important research from the Insight Center highlights the need for our elected officials to consider the impact of any proposed changes to Social Security benefits for current and future generations of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans, as we look for ways to strengthen retirement security for current and future generations." The primer on Asian and Pacific Islander Americans is available on the Insight Center's website at: www.insightcced.org.

Immigration implications for same-sex couples Cont’d from page 44

This aspect of DOMA, as interpreted in a 2003 memorandum by William Yates of USCIS, was discussed in a March 2004 web article by Cyrus D. Mehta cyrusmehta.com/ News.aspx?MainIdx=o cyrus200591724845 &Month=&Source=Zoom&Page=1 &Ye a r = A l l & F r o m = Menu&SubIdx=964). The recent Administration announcement suggests that, following successful litigation, same-sex spouses whose marriages are recognized by their state of residence may find themselves able to seek immigration benefits based on their marriages, although this will for the moment not be possible without litigation given the Administration's position that Section 3 of DOMA will continue to be enforced until a court declares it unconstitutional. Litigation is not certain to succeed, however, because Congress or individual members of Congress may intervene to defend the constitutionality of DOMA. Indeed, one of the purposes of the statutory provision, 28 U.S.C. § 530D, that required Attorney General Holder's notification to Speaker Boehner was to enable such defense by a House of Congress or individual members, and the Attorney General said of the pending challenges to Section 3 of DOMA in his letter that Justice Department attorneys "will also notify the courts of our interest in providing Congress a full and fair

opportunity to participate in the litigation in those cases." Moreover, there is some risk that any challenge to Section 3 of DOMA could be less likely to succeed in the immigration context than in other contexts, given the "plenary power" doctrine and the history of judicial deference to Congress in this context - as in Fiallo v. Bell, 430 U.S. 787 (1977), where the Supreme Court upheld a provision of the INA that discriminated against illegitimate children - although it is also possible that Section 3 of DOMA will be voided in all contexts by a judicial holding that it is, as a general matter, unconstitutional.

Litigation is not certain to succeed, however, because Congress or individual members of Congress may intervene to defend the constitutionality of DOMA Given the uncertainty regarding the timing and nature of final judicial action on this subject, it would be extremely risky for samesex married couples to affirmatively seek immigration benefits in reliance on this announcement. It could even be quite risky for same-sex couples to marry in reliance on the announcement, if the current status of one of the spouses depends on showing a foreign residence and no intent to abandon it (such as with a B-1/B-2 visitor or F-1 student). This risk and others were discussed in more detail in a July 8, 2010 advisory from Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) following their victory in a district court case challenging Section 3 of DOMA, http:// www.immigrationequality.org/ template.php?pageid=1115. Same-sex spouses of U.S. citi-

zens or lawful permanent residents who are already in removal proceedings, however, should consider seeking adjustment of status under INA § 245 based on an I-130 petition filed by their spouse if they are otherwise eligible for that relief, and/or cancellation of removal under INA § 240A(b) based on the hardship to their spouse if they were to be removed if they are otherwise eligible, and preserving the issue for judicial review. Similarly, same-sex couples who are not yet married could consider moving to a state that recognizes same-sex marriages if they do not reside in one already, entering into a state-recognized marriage, and seeking adjustment of status or cancellation of removal for the non-U.S.-citizen spouse based on that marriage-bearing in mind that like any other marriage, a same-sex marriage could only be a basis for immigration benefits if it were established to the satisfaction of the immigration authorities that such a marriage was bona fide, that is, was truly meant to establish a shared life together rather than being done purely for immigration purposes, and that in the case of adjustment of status based on a marriage entered into while one spouse is in removal proceedings, INA sections 204(g) and 245(e) would require a showing by clear and convincing evidence that the marriage was not entered into for immigration purposes. The concerns raised by GLAD in its previous advisory continue to apply, however, and it is therefore this author's view that the preferable course in cases where removal proceedings have not already been commenced would generally be to await further developments before filing any petition or application based on a same-sex marriage. * Cyrus D Mehta, may be contacted at 212-425-0555 or info@cyrusmehta.com


March 25, 2011

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Notice is hereby given that sealed competitive bids will be accepted in the office of the GSA-Purchasing Department, County of Alameda, 1401 Lakeside Drive, Suite 800, Oakland, CA 94612 MANDATORY INFORMATION CONFERENCE- N. County RFP/ SOQ 10034, San Lorenzo Library Building Expansion Project ñ Construction Management Professional Services, Tuesday, March 29, 2011, at 10:00 a.m. ñ General Services Agency, 1401 Lakeside Drive., Conference Room 1107, 11th Floor, Oakland, CA NETWORKING INFORMATION CONFERENCE- N. County RFP/ SOQ 10034, San Lorenzo Library Building Expansion Project - Construction Management Professional Services, Thursday, March 31, 2011, at 10:00 a.m. ñ General Services Agency, 1401 Lakeside Drive., Conference Room 201, 2nd Floor, Oakland, CA Attendance at the Mandatory Information Conference is required Responses Due by 2:00 pm on May 4, 2011 County Contact : Bernadette Delgado at (510) 208-9590 or via email: bernadette.delgado@acgov.org Information regarding the above may be obtained at the Current Contracting Opportunities Internet website at www.acgov.org. 3/25/11 CNS-2061127#

Notice is hereby given that sealed competitive bids will be accepted in the office of the GSA-Purchasing Department, County of Alameda, 1401 Lakeside Drive, Suite 800, Oakland, CA 94612 MANDATORY INFORMATION CONFERENCE- N. County RFP/ SOQ 10034, San Lorenzo Library Building Expansion Project - Architectural & Engineering Professional Services, Monday, March 28, 2011, at 10:00 a.m. ñ General Services Agency, 1401 Lakeside Drive., Conference Room 1107, 11th Floor, Oakland, CA NETWORKING INFORMATION CONFERENCE- N. County RFP/ SOQ 10034, San Lorenzo Library Building Expansion Project - Architectural & Engineering Professional Services, Wednesday, March 30, 2011, at 10:00 a.m. ñ General Services Agency, 1401 Lakeside Drive., Conference Room 201, 2nd Floor, Oakland, CA Attendance at the Mandatory Information Conference is required Responses Due by 2:00 pm on May 3, 2011 County Contact : Bernadette Delgado at (510) 208-9590 or via email: bernadette.delgado@acgov.org Information regarding the above may be obtained at the Current Contracting Opportunities Internet website at www.acgov.org. 3/25/11 CNS-2061087#


48

Philosophy

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March 25, 2011

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mma always said that whatever she said was out of her experience. Her sayings are direct, down to earth practical and even scholars wondered at the depth and content of her pithy sayings which are seemingly simple. They are characterized by an unrelenting emphasis on • The immanence of God as this entire world-play of forms, and God's transcendence as the formless; • A complete equanimity and contentment over what happens in the world; and • A non-dual devotion toward God as the Cosmic Principle with the realization that "All is HE, All is HIS doing." Here are a few of her sayings: Responsibility Responsibility is itself suffering. If we do not think "I am doing", but rather I am merely an instrument", then even twice the amount of work is painless responsibility. Happiness Happiness arises in the mind, not in the possessions. It is the mind that thinks, "I have", or "I lack". It is the mind that wants; and it is the mind that feels satisfied with whatever is available. A mind, which thinks otherwise, experiences suffering. To want anything that is not available is sorrow. Contentment is happiness. HENRY DAVID THOREAU

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et us consider the way in which we spend our lives. This world is a place of business. What an infinite bustle! I am awaked almost every night by the panting of the locomotive. It interrupts my dreams. There is no sabbath. It would be glorious to see mankind at leisure for once. It is nothing but work, work, work. I cannot easily buy a blankbook to write thoughts in; they are commonly ruled for dollars and cents. An Irishman, seeing me making a minute in the fields, took it for granted that I was calculating my wages. If a man was tossed out of a window when an infant, and so made a cripple for life, or scared out of his wits by the Indians, it is regretted chiefly because he was thus incapacitated for - business! I think that there is nothing, not even crime, more opposed to poetry, to philosophy, ay, to life itself, than this incessant business. There is a coarse and boisterous money-making fellow in the outskirts of our town, who is going to build a bank-wall under the hill along the edge of his meadow. The powers have put this into his head to keep him out of mischief, and he

Worship Although we dimly perceive that there is ONE which is infinite, we cannot grasp it with our minds and worship IT; but we can perceive IT in a limited form and offer worship. So form is necessary. When you worship a form or symbol and deeply contemplate, how can the feeling for your own divinity not grow in you? This is what happens in the worship of form. I don't mean that one gets that

is 'Sadhana'. You often hear it said that That (the Real) is real and This (the world) is an illusion. I say that This is also real. You think that teaching children, providing for the household, defending clients in courts etc., is all worldly and that 'Sadhana' is something different from all things. If you do everything as His work and as He would have you do, what else is there to be desired? Love When love becomes primary (in

only between mother and child. The mother bears patiently the lapses of the child. The child is never at fault in the mother's eyes, however blameworthy he may seem to others. Such a love is found in a mother's heart and nowhere else. Do you think that my love will fade away simply because you don't come into my room and see me? As if love were intensified by embracing the four legs of my cot,

Responsibility is suffering if you think 'I am doing' If you do everything as His work and

Do you not see how necessary a world of pains and troubles is to school an intelligence and make it a soul? -John Keats

as He would have you do, what else is there to be desired?

Jillellamudi Amma

result only in the worship of a form or symbol. Whatever the activity - cooking meals, farming - if that same 'Bhava' (one pointed attitude) is maintained, the result will be the same. In all kinds of worship, the result depends on the 'Bhava' one has. Ultimately, one should have the same 'Bhava' no matter what activity one is engaged in. Sadhana What ever you do in your daily routine with attention and devotion

your life), it is not possible for there to be a single person who is not loved. You love death, you will love life - love alone will be important. It is the nature of true love to remain constant in all circumstances. The loves of the world are changing; a word or a deed is enough to alter these. If the other person does not act according to your wish, you get angry. But the love I speak of doesn't change in that manner. Such love is found

or by moving about in my room! It is not correct to say that you have broken ties with your Mother (when you leave Jillellamudi); physical separation can never mean separation. When you are always remembering me, where is the separation? Mother's love? Love itself is Mother. The 88th birth anniversary of Jillellamudi Amma will be observed on March 28

wishes me to spend three weeks digging there with him. The result will be that he will perhaps get some more money to board, and leave for his heirs to spend foolishly. If I do this, most will commend me as an industrious and hard-working man; but if I choose to devote myself to certain labors which yield more real profit, though but little

get money almost without exception lead downward. To have done anything by which you earned money merely is to have been truly idle or worse. If the laborer gets no more than the wages which his employer pays him, he is cheated, he cheats himself. If you would get money as a writer or lecturer, you must be

they would not feel that they were working for low ends, as for a livelihood merely, but for scientific, or even moral ends. Do not hire a man who does your work for money, but him who does it for love of it. It is remarkable that there are few men so well employed, so much to their minds, but that a little money or fame would com-

Nothing more opposed to life than incessant business To have done anything by which you earned money merely is to have Henry David Thoreau

money, they may be inclined to look on me as an idler. If a man walk in the woods for love of them half of each day, he is in danger of being regarded as a loafer; but if he spends his whole day as a speculator, shearing off those woods and making earth bald before her time, he is esteemed an industrious and enterprising citizen. As if a town had no interest in its forests but to cut them down! The ways by which you may

A truth that's told with bad intent beats all the lies you can invent. -William Blake Death is the golden key that opens the palace of eternity. -John Milton Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp. Or what's a heaven for? -Robert Browning All are but parts of one stupendous whole, Whose body Nature is, and God the soul. -Alexander Pope Come forth into the light of things, let nature be your teacher. -William Wordsworth

been truly idle or worse popular, which is to go down perpendicularly. Those services which the community will most readily pay for, it is most disagreeable to render. You are paid for being something less than a man. The aim of the laborer should be, not to get his living, to get "a good job," but to perform well a certain work; and, even in a pecuniary sense, it would be economy for a town to pay its laborers so well that

monly buy them off from their present pursuit. I see advertisements for active young men, as if activity were the whole of a young man's capital. The community has no bribe that will tempt a wise man. You may raise money enough to tunnel a mountain, but you cannot raise money enough to hire a man who is minding his own business. Excerpted from Life Without Principle

First our pleasures die - and then our hopes, and then our fears and when these are dead, the debt is due dust claims dust - and we die too. -Percy Bysshe Shelley

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March 25, 2011

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Implications of Indian BMD developments ALI AHMED

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ndian technologists have yet again demonstrated their in creasing abilities to furnish India with a 'credible' deterrent. The latest has been the destruction mid-air of a Prithvi II missile that depicted an incoming hostile missile with an anti ballistic missile system comprising radars and the weapon. This is part of the Ballistic Missile Defense program that has tested both exoatmospheric and endoatmospheric anti missile systems so far. Clearly, since this is the Star Wars domain, there is a long way to go. But the media report, in its description of the tests, informs of India, "joining the US, Russia and Israel in an elite group of countries to have accomplished the mission." The argument goes that the capability is useful for deterrence. The Ballistic Missile Defense system would be required for protecting against a decapitation strike and command and control echelons. The latter will enable assured retaliation, since India subscribes to the NFU. Further, since the capability cannot cover extensive areas, it could instead be used to protect a set of land-based weapons from the point of view of a second strike capability. Nuclear submarines constitute the sea based second strike capability. The program serves other purposes that usually go unmentioned. These include a political dividend in terms of showcasing the government's privileging of the security agenda. It enables the technologists to demonstrate their capabilities, thereby ensuring budgets, continuing recruitment and enabling the appropriate positioning of India in case in the future such technologies become a security imperative. That India has such a program enables it to network with likeminded states for interactions in development, including joint development. India had previously made such an offer to the US. Impact on security In theory, having the protection of a ballistic missile shield is taken as a tendency towards a first strike posture. The logic is that once a defense is available, behind its cover a disarming first strike can be attempted. The cover can then take care of the disjointed, brokenback response of the enemy. It is for this reason that in the Cold War the two adversaries foreswore antiballistic missiles, but for a site in each state. Mutual vulnerability was the basis of their deterrence.

India is not slave to Cold War logic. NFU is a principle tenet of its doctrine. It therefore needs to ensure it does not attract a disarming strike. In case it is able to degrade one, it would be able to make NFU credible. It is in a situation of nuclear asymmetry with one of its neighbors and definitely so in case of a 'two front' situation. Additionally, instability in its neighborhood requires that India cater for contingencies that may emerge over the long-term, such

they can be carried further by its ballistic missiles and also by its cruise missile program. These initiatives will get a justification in terms of 'more' and 'better' being needed to take on India's missile shield for the credibility of its second strike capability. From the Pakistani point of view, what matters is India's capability rather than professions, such as the NFU declaration. Knowing Pakistan does not have an NFU doctrine, in the event of hostili-

Prithvi-II missile

as changes in an adversary's nuclear posture, accidental launches and by rogue elements. Nevertheless, given the highend nature of the technology involved and the prohibitive costs, India is unlikely to be able to operationalize its BMD. Also strategic implications of the development are not necessarily all benign,

Given the high-end nature of the technology involved and the prohibitive costs, India is unlikely to be able to operationalize its BMD. Also strategic implications of the development are not necessarily all benign even if it appears on the surface to be a defensive, and therefore justifiable, move. Given these, India may proceed with the program treating it at best as a technological demonstrator. Pakistan is likely to employ the BMD developments as reason enough for vertical proliferation. It has doubled its arsenal size over the past half a decade. It is going in for Pu-based weapons so that

ties India could, behind its BMD, attempt to degrade Pakistani arsenal in a first strike. This would expose Pakistan to Indian conventional advantage thereafter. Pakistani inability to technologically match the Indian BMD head-start implies that it will compensate with numbers and an inclination to 'go first'. A counter argument could be that this is the route Pakistan embarked on in any case. It has not been prompted by the BMD and would not be given up in case the BMD is dismantled. India's BMD program gives Pakistani buildup a rationale. Therefore, India needs to secure itself against the higher levels aspired to by Pakistan through, among other measure, BMD. This strategic dialectic suggests that security is an unintended casualty. Clearly, unilateral advance in isolation of the other is not enhancing the security of either. There is therefore a need for engaging each other. At a minimum, a reversion to the sixth point of the Lahore MOU is a must. This must be resumed as a separate, uninterruptible track. On the domestic front, a parliamentary standing committee needs to be formed for overseeing the nuclear complex and embedding its wares within India's overall strategic doctrine. The writer is Research Fellow, IDSA. Courtesy IPCS

India Post False alarm

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he first lot of US diplomatic cables leaked by whistleblower website WikiLeaks about India's relations with United States are not very surprising and do not contain anything which could not have been surmised by political observers, then or now. Whether the subsequent leaks will have any potential to damage Indo-US relations cannot be said at this moment, but it seems very unlikely going by the trend of the leaks. The leaks suggest that the then US ambassador David Mulford had described the 2006 cabinet reshuffle as good for the US because the "contentious and outspoken Iran pipeline advocate" Mani Shankar Aiyar was removed and "pro-US" Murli Deora was appointed Petroleum Minister. The ambassador also named a number of new ministers who were considered by him as favorable to US. Although the Opposition created a ruckus in parliament about a pro-US tilt and US fashioning India's foreign policy, the wire by the US ambassador to his government seems a routine one interpreting a political event. Another cable, this time of August 2009 by the next US Ambassador Timothy Roemer, comes to the conclusion that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was isolated within his own government in his "great belief" in talks and negotiations with Pakistan. The contrary view was credited to the then India's National Security Adviser M.K. Narayanan who came through as a hardliner on Pakistan, not afraid to voice his differences with Prime Minister Singh. Roemer noted that the Prime Minister was a "great believer" in talks and negotiations with Islamabad, but Mr. Narayanan himself was "not a great believer in Pakistan." The NSA recounted to the Ambassador how after the Prime Minister spoke of India's "shared destiny" with Pakistan, he said: "you have a shared destiny; we don't." It is a fact that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's enthusiasm for talks with Pakistan is not shared by Indian society in general. He received a hammering from the opposition and general public for the Sharm al-Sheikh statement with [Pakistan Prime Minister Yusuf Raza] Gilani offering to de-link the dialogue process from action on terror. People felt he was being insensitive to the suffering of the victims of 26/11 and their relatives. And he was ignoring the fact that there had been no let up in anti-India activities of LeT and other terror groups tolerated by the government of Pakistan. New developments in the Raymond Davis US spy case in Pakistan reveal that he was tailing LeT suspects planning to create terror incidents in the US and Europe. Earlier the US had looked away at the activities of LeT as confined to the South Asia region and therefore not worthy of serious note. As long as LeT targeted India, the US was not unduly concerned calling it an India-Pakistan dispute. But now that LeT has grown ambitious and its appetite includes the West, the US has started taking covert action of which Davis was a part. Thus India's suspicions of Pakistan are well-founded and the silence of Manmohan Singh on talks or some other gestures to the neighbor is due to his realization that his views are not in tune with those of the general public. The leaks say that India was not willing to share the details of investigations into 26/11 Mumbai attack with Pakistan initially. But after continuous pressure (from the US), the Home Minister agreed to share the information. This also is justified in view of open dragging of feet by Pakistan over bringing the known perpetrators of 26/ 11 to book. There is no open trial and the five in jail are enjoying best facilities while the court continues to postpone hearing. With its own neck caught in the trap that is Pakistan, the US should know better than press for India's gestures to that ungrateful country.


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