Dr. Romesh C. Batra and Dr. Kodi S. Ravichandran
Two Indians get Virginia science awards Details on page 7
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VOL 16, No. 860
March 4, 2011
FIRST INDIAN AMERICAN ALDERMAN IN CHICAGO
Pawar was endorsed by two prominent English dailies published from Chicago Chicago Tribune and Sun Times. Indo American Democratic Organization CHICAGO: A young Indian American, (IADO) held a public event before the elecAmeya Pawar, sought and fought suctions to endorse him and pledged him all cessfully the Aldermanic battle in the 47th round support. Ward and emerged to be the first ever InPawar had announced that he would dian American Alderman elected to the take a voluntary cut in the salary that he august assembly of City Council. Ameya would get as Alderman, at least till the fiPawar, who was opposed by Tom Jacks Ameya Pawar nancial woes that the City faces now are and Matt Reichel, carried the day winning over 50 per cent of the votes cast thus avoiding a much over. He would pick up nearly half the salary - $60,000 that Aldermen are entitled. feared run-off. Details on page 12 RAMESH SOPARAWALA
Largest Hindu temple complex in Netherlands Details on page 16
US latex firm taps into India condom market
India Post News Service
Dr. Rao Musunuru
Dr Musunuru honored by Congress Details on page 6
TSA agent at airport stole from passengers Details on page 5
Details on page 34
USIBC launches public education initiative on India
Prof Pandey honored with research award
Details on page 34 Details on page 14
31 convicted in Godhra train burning case
Lakshmi image on aphrodisiac upsets Indians
Details on page 7 Details on page 16
Bill passed to make Coke pay for 'losses'
Major exhibition on Lord Vishnu at Nashville
Details on page 7 Details on page 13
Charlie Chaplin's grandson marries in India
WANT TO WATCH CRICKET? HERE TAKE THAT: Policemen charge cricket fans queued up at the Chinnaswamy Stadium to purchase tickets for the World Cup match between India and England in Bangalore. (Details on page 20)
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INDIA POST SURVEY firstname.lastname@example.org This week’s question
Ameya Pawar’s triumph will inspire others Last week’s result
Did press conference save Manmohan Singh’s image? YES 39%
Former marine fights against rape in military India Post News Service
NEW YORK: "Rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment are a plague upon the United States military," said Anuradha K. Bhagwati, Executive Director of Service Women's Action Network (SWAN) while addressing a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington DC on Feb 15. "A pervasive climate of sexual violence and intimidation threatens our national secu-
rity by undermining operational readiness, draining morale, harming retention, and destroying lives." The press conference was held to announce a class action litigation filed in a federal court on the morning of Feb 15, by a group of US military veterans who allege that they were raped or sexually assaulted during their international and domestic military service.
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he past few weeks have been rather interesting in that we've been seeing a lot of public unrest. While images of millions of people out on the streets in several middle-eastern countries protesting against their local regimes are still 'live' on our TV screens, we are witnessing in our own backyard, workers coming out to protest an imminent threat to their democratic rights. There are, of course, no political parallels to the revolutionary movements happening in the Arab world and what's happening in Wisconsin or Ohio or potentially New Jersey. While the former are fighting for rights they never had, the latter are fighting against the possibility of their rights being taken away. There's a common thread that runs through all these peoples so geographically separated - the fight for economic survival. C'mon, this is after all America, with the total household wealth valued at nearly $55 trillion, recession or not - rich beyond comparison. But there ends the happy story, because the problem is that most of that wealth - nearly 35% of it is concentrated in the hands of just the top 1% Americans, while 80% of Americans contend with just about 15% of that wealth. For working class Americans, real incomes haven't increased in almost 50 years. So how about a more equitable distribution of wealth? Hell no! We are Americans, not socialists! While I could get into a debate on whether America is potentially declining into a Third World country - well, it does display all the classic characteristics of high level of debt, concentration of wealth in the top 1% of the population, an economy based on export of raw materials and import of manufactured goods - but I would instead suggest that one consider the reality that main street uprisings will soon become more common and not just in the United States but in other developed countries as well and I need not even mention developing nations like India. Here's why: The top 10% of the world's adults control about 85% of global household wealth. Do any of the governments have a plan? Doubtful, really.
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'Magic' couple Bollywood couple Bipasha Basu and John Abraham deny rumors about their break up.
Cover Story: Indian Alderman Ameya Pawar became the first ever Indian American to be elected Alderman in the august assembly of Chicago City Council.
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March 4, 2011
Former marine fights against rape in military India Post News Service
NEW YORK: "Rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment are a plague upon the United States military," said Anuradha K. Bhagwati, Executive Director of Service Women's Action Network (SWAN) while addressing a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington DC on Feb 15. "A pervasive climate of sexual violence and intimidation threatens our national security by undermining operational readiness, draining morale, harming retention, and destroying lives." The press conference was held to announce a class action litigation filed in a federal court on the morning of Feb 15, by a group of US military veterans who allege that they were raped or sexually assaulted during their international and domestic military service. The lawsuit, brought on behalf of seventeen plaintiffs, including two men, was filed in the Federal District Court for the Eastern District in Virginia by Susan L. Burke. SWAN, a national advocacy organization devoted to eliminating sexual violence in the US military, led by executive director and former Marine Corps Captain Anu Bhagwati, has joined in support of the lawsuit filed against Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, for failure to make measurable progress and marked improvement to the Pentagon's abysmal record that appears to tolerate sexual abuse and rape. "We have reached a crisis point with this issue. In FY 2009,
3,230 service members reported rape or sexual assault throughout the military. The Department of Defense (DoD) itself acknowledges that 80% of sexual assault survivors do not report the crime. If we do the math, in 2009, approximately 16,150 service members were sexually assaulted," Bhagwati informed. SWAN is a national advocacy organization that is working to transform military culture by securing equal opportunity and the freedom to serve in uniform without threat of harassment, discrimination, intimidation, or assault. In addition to policy work on military
Anuradha K. Bhagwati
sexual violence, SWAN's National Peer Support Helpline serves military women across the globe. "As a Marine commander, I witnessed my own senior officers violate sexual harassment and sexual assault policies, shirk their responsibilities to their own troops and lie to families by ignoring reports of abuse, transfer sexual predators out of their units instead of prosecuting them, pro-
mote sexual predators during ongoing investigations, and accuse highly decorated enlisted service members of lying about their abuse, simply because they were women," she said. "Any attempt to hold these officers accountable was met with threats and retaliation. I saw some of the nation's finest service members leave the military after their abuse and betrayal, while their perpetrators and the officers who willingly protected them to this day remain in uniform. Today, as the head of an organization devoted to eliminating sexual violence from our military, I see that little if anything has
at worst. Perpetrators often guarantee a victim's silence by threat of retaliation. Also, unsympathetic commanders who fail to protect survivors are all too common. Often times, it is commanders who are complicit in cover-ups of these cases." Given that scenario, Bhagwati says that the DoD's encouragement of victims to report is irresponsible at best. "And yet, the Department of Defense is relentlessly focused on getting more women and men to report, without doing anything to put perpetrators behind bars, without guaranteeing survivors' personal
As for punishment, fewer than one in five sexual predators ever see the inside of a courtroom, she said. â€˜Most walk away with slaps on the wrist, instead of jail time. We know that sexual predators are often serial offenders, and yet, the military not only fails to prosecute and convict most of themâ€™ changed. The government has studied this issue for decades over multiple administrations, and yet, assaults on our troops continue year after year, with no end." Bhagwati says there are wellfounded reasons that so few women and men report the crimes against them. "Reporting sexual assault and sexual harassment in the military is brutally intimidating at best, and a death sentence
safety, anonymity and confidentiality, privileged communication with victim advocates, or access to a lawyer," she said. According to Bhagwati, the work of the DoD's tiny "Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office (SAPRO)" largely consists of poster campaigns, data collection, and provision of training and education materials to the armed services. "It should not be a sur-
prise that the military cannot stem the tide of sexual assault in the ranks because SAPRO has no teeth, and it has no teeth because the Department of Defense has deliberately not vested it with any judicial or law enforcement authority," Bhagwati stressed. "SAPRO's notorious poster campaigns to "prevent" rape are rife with victim blaming and rape mythology, including a shocking poster that encourages servicemen to "wait until she's sober." As for punishment, fewer than one in five sexual predators ever see the inside of a courtroom, she said. "Most walk away with slaps on the wrist, instead of jail time. We know that sexual predators are often serial offenders, and yet, the military not only fails to prosecute and convict most of them, it also fails to provide a sexual offender registry to civilian authorities, allowing military perpetrators to continue preying upon victims in civilian communities across the nation." Disturbingly, rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment are often career-enders for victims, Bhagwati pointed out. "Unlike in the civilian world, a military rape survivor cannot quit her or his job, or re-locate to a different community. They are often forced to live with, work with, or work under the supervision of their perpetrators. Unlike in the civilian world, survivors have no access to redress when their chain of command fails to protect them or fails to punish the perpetrator. Unlike in the civilian world, survivors have no legal right to sue their perpetrators, their supervisors, or their branch."
TSA agent at Newark airport stole from passengers India Post News Service
NEW JERSEY: A supervisory transportation security officer at Newark International Airport has pleaded guilty to taking bribes and stealing thousands of dollars in cash and other valuables from unsuspecting travelers, mostly nonEnglish speakers, many of them of Indian origin, during security screenings at the airport. Michael Arato, 41, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officer, admitted to taking bribes from a subordinate officer, who stole between $10,000 and $30,000 over the course of a year. US Attorney Paul J.
Fishman said Arato of Ewing, N.J., pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Jose L. Linares to information charging him with accepting bribes. The crooked TSA supervisor was busted last fall after the subordinate, who was not named, worked with authorities to videotape him taking his cut during a three-week period, from Sept 13 to Oct 5, authorities said. Arato also admitted stealing from passengers at his own checkpoint at Newark airport's Terminal B. According to the original complaint, authorities became suspicious after receiving several complaints from passengers on Air India's daily nonstop
flight to India that money and valuables from their carry-on
had searched them by hand. The victims were mostly
Continental EliteAccess line at Terminal C of Newark International Airport
bags had gone missing after TSA employees at Arato's checkpoint
women of Indian descent who did not speak English, the com-
plaint said. The charge to which Arato pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for May 24, 2011. US Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the Department of Homeland Security, Office of the Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory K. Null for the Northeast Region, and detectives and officers of the Port Authority Police Department of New York and New Jersey, under the direction of Superintendent Michael A. Fedorko, with the investigation leading to the guilty plea.
March 4, 2011
Dr Musunuru honored with Congressional Record India Post News Service
NEW YORK: In a rare honor a tribute to Dr. Rao Musunuru, a Florida-based cardiologist, was entered into the Congressional Record by Congressman Gus Bilirakis recently, during the first session of the 112th Congress. Dr. Musunuru was recognized for his extensive community service and exemplary medical, scientific, humanitarian, educational and philanthropic contributions "The lives he has impacted are countless, and I applaud him for his resolve to use his talents to meet the growing needs of the community and the larger medical profession", Congressman Bilirakis stated. In his speech in the Florida House of Representatives, Congressman Bilirakis said, "I rise today to honor Dr. S.K. Rao Musunuru who will be recognized at the Community Aging and Retirement Services (CARES) Annual Benefit on February 5, 2011, for his continued philanthropic commitment to our community." Dr. Musunuru began his for-
mal study of medicine in 1968, but what is most noteworthy is his ability to couple his medical expertise with community involvement - enhancing the knowledge base, furthering the medical pro-
Dr. Musunuru was instrumental in transforming a 50-bed rural hospital into a 290bed Heart Institute, meriting recognition for its high standard of care. He recently became the recipient of the 2010 Outstanding Physician Award fession, and ensuring that local needs are met, the Congressman said. "While Dr. Musunuru boasts numerous memberships in nationally and internationally acclaimed organizations, including the American Medical Associa-
tion, the International Society of Heart Transplantation, and the Society of Critical Medicine, he is still mindful of the medical needs in his own backyard." Dr. Musunuru was instrumental in transforming a 50-bed rural hospital into a 290-bed Heart Institute, meriting recognition for its high standard of care. During his tenure as Chairman of the Board for Pasco Hernando Community College, the college had a 100 percent increase in nursing enrollment, and he has been vocal in his teachings of "proper prevention and prompt intervention, so that people can live longer and stronger.'" Dr. Musunuru's involvement in the community certainly does not go unrecognized. He recently became the recipient of the 2010 Outstanding Physician Award and, for the second consecutive year, received Rotary International's highest honor, the Paul Harris Fellowship recognition. "While his accomplishments and awards are extensive to list, words cannot adequately acclaim Dr. Musunuru achievements. The lives he has impacted
Congressman Bilikaris & Dr. Rao Musunuru
are countless, and I applaud him for his resolve to use his talents to meet the growing needs of the
community and the larger medical profession," Congressman Bilirakis said.
Two Indian Americans receive Virginia science awards India Post News Service
NEW YORK: Two Indian American scientists are among Virginia's Outstanding Scientists of 2011. Dr. Romesh C. Batra and Dr. Kodi S. Ravichandran were honored by Governor Bob McDonnell at the Science Mu-
treme loads such as those produced by roadside bombs known as IEDs. His expertise has been sought by the National Research Council which invited him to evaluate research from the Army's Warhead Mechanics and Survivability and Lethality Directorates. His pio-
Dr. Romesh C. Batra
seum of Virginia's General Assembly reception recently. Dr. Romesh C. Batra is the Clifton C. Garvin Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics at Virginia Tech. He's a world recognized leader in the science of failure of materials exposed to ex-
neering work has wide ranging applications in both defense and civilian industries including improved designs of bullet proof vests, lightweight composite helmets, tank walls, shields to protect vehicles against blast loads, goggles, windshields and boats
exposed to underwater explosions. The impact of his work is also seen in the development of computational tools and mathematical models for a company to analyze damage from bird strikes to aircraft engine blades and quantification of damage in NASA's
biology and Director of the Center for Cell Clearance at the University of Virginia. His peers call him a 'superstar.' His research focuses on how our bodies remove approximately one million cells per second without harm. Failure to promptly remove dying cells is linked to
The impact of his work is also seen in the development of computational tools and mathematical models for a company to analyze damage from bird strikes to aircraft engine blades and quantification of damage in NASA's solar probe panels and cooling system caused by the impact of dust particles traveling at 300 miles per second solar probe panels and cooling system caused by the impact of dust particles traveling at 300 miles per second. Dr. Kodi S. Ravichandran is the Harrison Distinguished Teaching Professor of Microbiology, Chairman of the Department of Micro-
chronic inflammation, developmental defects, autoimmune diseases including lupus and arthritis, and atherosclerosis. Ravichandran's laboratory addresses all aspects of cell clearance, from how a dying cell 'advertises' its presence to phago-
cytes (other healthy cells that eat dying ones), how phagocytes specifically recognize dead cells and how a phagocyte digests the ingested cargo. In the past year, Ravichandran's laboratory has identified a new type of "find me" signal released by dying cells,
Dr. Kodi S. Ravichandran
identified the cell membrane gate through which the find-me signals are released, defined the importance for an engulfment protein called ELMO1 in cell clearance, and identified several new players within the phagocyte important for digesting the dying cells.
March 4, 2011
31 convicted, 63 acquitted in Godhra train burning case AHMEDABAD: Thirty-one people have been convicted and 63 others, including the main accused Maulvi Umarji, were acquitted by a special court here in the 2002 Godhra train burning incident that left 59 people dead and triggered violence in Gujarat that had claimed the lives of over 1200 people, mainly Muslims. The sentencing would be pronounced on February 25 after arguments on the quantum of punishment by the Special Court that accepted the theory of conspiracy behind the burning of the coach of Sabarmati Express carrying Kar Sevaks returning from Ayodhya. The court acquitted prime accused Maulana Umarji, Godhra Town Municipality chief Mohammad Abdul Rahim Kalota, Nannu Mian Chowdhary and Mohammad Ansari while other key accused Haji Billa and Rajjak Kurkur were convicted. "Special Court judge P R Patel has convicted 31 accused while acquitting 63 others," Public Prosecutor J M Panchal said after the verdict inside the Sabarmati Jail. "On February 25, there will be a hearing on the point of sentence, and after that quantum of punishment will be pronounced," Panchal said. "The conspiracy theory has been accepted by the court," he said. Scientific evidence, statement of witnesses, circumstantial and documentary evidence placed on record formed the basis of the judgement. The trial conducted inside the Sabarmati Central Jail here began in June 2009 with the framing of
charges against 94 accused in the carnage, that had triggered widespread communal riots in Gujarat. The accused have been
charged with criminal conspiracy and murder in burning of the S-6 coach of the train on February 27, 2002 near Godhra, about 125 km from here in which 59 people were killed. "Petrol was brought and the train was made to stop. Electricity was then cut and there was pouring of huge quantity of petrol and thereafter it was set afire so far as S-6 coach is concerned," Panchal said replying to a query on
prosecution's theory of conspiracy. Asked whether he would demand death penalty for those con-
Scientific evidence, statement of witnesses, circumstantial and documentary evidence placed on record formed the basis of the judgement
victed in the case, he said, "What will be the stand of prosecution I cannot disclose at this stage but on February 25, I will be making
my humble submissions before the honourable court as discharge of my official duty." On whether the prosecution was satisfied by the verdict, Panchal said, "There is no question of any satisfaction. One has to respect the judicial verdict. There cannot be a debate on the judicial verdict." "Maulana (Umarje) has been acquitted because the judge found that he is not guilty. The
grounds on which he has been acquitted can be said only after reading full text of the judgement," Panchal said on the release of the prime conspirator. As many as 253 witnesses were examined during the trial and over 1,500 documentary evidences were presented before the court by the Gujarat police. There were a total of 134 accused in the case, out of which 14 were released due to lack of evidence, five were juvenile, five died during proceedings of over nine years, 16 are absconding, and trial was conducted against 94 accused. Of the 94, against whom the trial was conducted 80 are in jail and 14 are out on bail. Two different panels appointed to inquire into the 2002 case had given different views on the Godhra train burning incident. The Nanavati Commission, appointed by the Gujarat government to probe the carnage, had in the first part of the report concluded that the fire in the S-6 coach was not an accident, but it was caused by throwing petrol inside it. "The burning of the coach S-6 was a pre-planned act." In other words there was a conspiracy to burn the coach of the train coming from Ayodhya and to cause harm to the 'karsevaks' travelling in it," the report submitted to the government in September 2008 had said. The one-man U C Banerjee Commission appointed by the Railway Ministry under Lalu Prasad Yadav had said that fire was "accidental". -PTI
Bill passed to make Coke pay for 'losses', firm 'disappointed' THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In a rare legislation targeting a corporate giant, the Kerala Assembly has passed a bill to set up a special tribunal to realize compensation from Coca Cola for the "losses" caused by its plant at Plachimada to people in the area. The CPI (M)-led LDF government rushed through the bill on the final day of the present Assembly session while the House witnessed uproar as the UDF, headed by Congress pressed for an adjournment motion on a different issue. Reacting to the decision, the Hindustan Coca Cola Beverages Ltd (HCCB) said the legislation was not based on scientific data or established processes of law but the company was still ready to engage with the stake-holders on the issue. The bill was based on the rec-
ommendations of a high power committee, headed by a senior bureaucrat, which found that a "loss" of Rs 216.16 crore had
The CPI (M)-led LDF government rushed through the bill on the final day of the present Assembly session while the House witnessed uproar as the UDF, headed by Congress pressed for an adjournment motion been caused by the HCCB at Plachimada village in Palakkad district. The bill -- 'The Plachimada
Coca Cola Victims Relief and Compensation Claims Tribunal Bill 2011,' said the plant had caused environmental and soil degradation and water contamination due to over-extraction of ground water. The plant's functioning had led to drinking water scarcity and decline in agriculture due to disposal of sludge which contained metals like cadmium, lead and chromium, it said. It said the sludge disposal also affected the health of people causing skin ailments, breathing problems and other debilities. The special tribunal was intended to settle all disputes on problems caused by the plant within a fixed time limit. The Plachimada plant has been virtually dysfunctional for the last several years following prolonged agitations by resistance groups, including tribals
and legal battles against extraction of ground water by the company. At one point, the Government
The three-member tribunal will have powers to consider petitions for compensation or restitution of property damaged, against the company, arising out of grievances due to violation of laws even banned production and sale of cola but it was lifted following a High court order. The bill was returned to the
House after a Subject Committee, comprising members from both ruling and opposition sides examined it. The three-member tribunal will have powers to consider petitions for compensation or restitution of property damaged, against the company, arising out of grievances due to violation of laws relating to environment, air and water pollution. HCCB said, "We are disappointed over the Plachimada Tribunal Bill and the flawed process on which it is based. This Bill is devoid of facts, scientific data or any input from or consideration given to the Company." The company was never offered an opportunity to present facts, engage in dialogue or share independent data before the bill was tabled or passed, it said in a release. -PTI
March 4, 2011
Govt will do everything to clean public life: PM NEW DELHI: Sharing concerns of all sections over scams including those involving 2G spectrum and CWG, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asserted in Parliament that his government would do everything to clean the "public life" and ensure that "no wrong-doer" goes unpunished. He referred to the decision to form JPC into 2G scam and the probe being undertaken by the CBI in various corruption cases and said his government would "fully cooperate" with all the agencies "so that the truth comes out". Replying to a debate in the Lok Sabha on Motion of Thanks to the President's Address, Singh also said everything would be done to bring back black money stashed abroad as "we are one with Opposition" on the issue. Underlining that the problem of black money had not occurred only four to five years back but was older than that, he said the government was ready to "sit" with all parties to discuss how to deal with it and "all constructive suggestions" would be considered. After Singh's reply, the Motion was adopted by voice vote. During the 55-minute, the Prime Minister responded point-bypoint to various issues raised by
members concerning corruption, inflation, internal security and foreign policy. Referring to the scams that were highlighted by members, Singh said, "I don't deny that un-
after allegations were leveled against them and the CBI is on the trail of the scams. "I assure this House that there is nothing that we will not do in order to clean our public life,"
Prime Minister Minister Manmohan Singh speaking in the Lok Sabha in New Delhi
fortunate developments have taken place in the areas of telecom and Commonwealth Games." He said these concerns are being addressed and whenever "credible and actionable evidence" is being found, action is taken. In this regard, he pointed out that Chief Ministers and Union Ministers have resigned
Singh asserted. Talking about the controversial 2G spectrum allocation, he said, "If there is a scam, it must be dealt with. Law of the land will punish the wrong doers." At the same time, he said, "We must not overlook the fact that there is tremendous growth in the telecom sector which has taken
Implementation of telecom policy may be faulty: PM NEW DELHI: Notwithstanding with controversies surrounding the 2G spectrum allocation, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh defended the telecom policy in place but admitted that implementation may be faulty. Citing statistics of teledensity which has gone up from seven per cent in March 2004 to 66 per cent in December, 2010, Singh said the policy has paid "rich dividends". Asserting that auction for 2G
spectrum was not considered in 2007 as the concerned ministry had opposed it and was supported by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), he said, "I felt that for level playing field, it was entirely appropriate that we should continue on the path which we had followed until 2007. "Then subsequently it turned out to be that while the policy was sound, the way it was imple-
mented, I think, gave rise to problems," Singh said in Lok Sabha replying to Motion of Thanks to the President for her address to Parliament. He said all the problems relating to the 2G spectrum allocation will be looked into by the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) besides Public Account Committee (PAC) and if there are any criminal aspects, they are being looked into by the CBI.-PTI
â€˜Grasp India's hand of friendshipâ€™ NEW DELHI: With the dialogue process set to be resumed, India has asked Pakistan to grasp its hand of friendship and made it clear that all issues can be resolved if it stopped use of its territory for anti-India activities. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, replying to the Motion of Thanks on the President's Address, said there were "hopeful signs" and an atmosphere in which negotiations between the
two countries can go forward. "I sincerely hope and believe that the new ruling classes of Pakistan would grasp the hands of our friendship and recognize that whatever are our differences, terror as an instrument of State policy, is something that no civilized society ought to use," he said. Asserting that dialogue was the only way to resolve differences, Singh noted that Foreign Secretaries of the two countries
had agreed to resume the dialogue process after a bilateral meeting in Thimphu last month. "We are willing to discuss all outstanding issues with Pakistan provided Pakistan gives up its practice of allowing the use of its territory for terrorist activities against India," he said. Singh said full development of the Indian sub-continent could not be achieved unless India and Pakistan normalize the relations between them.
place." He defended the telecom policy, which was pursued since 1999, saying it had paid "rich dividends" and said the fault lay with the implementation.
He pointed out that Chief Ministers and Union Ministers have resigned after allegations were leveled against them and the CBI is on the trail of the scams With regard to the CWG, he said the Games were very successful despite doubts that were expressed earlier. "There were complaints of wrong-doings even before the
Games and from the ramparts of the Red Fort, I had promised that if a wrong thing has been done, we will investigate the matter. If found guilty, no one will be spared," he said. "No wrong-doer can escape punishment," Singh said, noting a high-powered committee was looking into the issue. "In all these matters, I think, it is our bounden duty and my promise to this House that we will not flinch from ensuring that no wrong-doer escapes the penalties that our legal system provides," the Prime Minister said. Referring to the controversial deal between Antrix, commercial arm of ISRO and private company Devas for S-band spectrum allocation, Singh said it was never implemented as the necessary clearances were not given. "Antrix needed government approvals for operationalising the contract (with private company Devas). These were not given. In particular, the operating licenses and the regulatory approvals from various ministries were also not given and hence the contract did not become operational," he said. -PTI
Govt has no control over world food situation: PM NEW DELHI: Under attack for in control of certain commodities price rise for last several months, and can handle the prices of these Prime Minister Manmohan Singh commodities. said that the government had "no "...as far as cereal prices are control" on several developments concerned, the fact that we have like deteriorating world food situ- large accumulated public stocks ation, sharp rise in oil and com- with the Food Corporation of Inmodities prices in the international dia and public procurement agenmarket. cies, we have been able to stabiHe, however, exuded confi- lize prices of cereals, wheat and dence that the overall inflation will rice." come down to seven per cent on There have been problems with the back of steps being taken by regard to vegetables, meat and the government. "Food inflation milk, he said adding that some of has also been a cause of concern. But recently, the situation has There have been problems improved and I expect with regard to vegetables, the situation to improve meat and milk, he said further." "I will be the first one adding that some of these to admit that inflation in the last 18 months has items were beyond the become a problem. government's control There were reasons beyond our control. First of all, there was the drought of these items were beyond the 2009, there were natural calamities government's control. which affected the production of "The government's policy is to important products such as veg- ensure that we control inflation etables and onions," he said. but in a manner by which we do The food inflation had touched not hurt the growth of employa high of over 18 per cent in De- ment opportunities. If we have a cember last year before moderat- ham-handed approach, we could ing to 11.49 per cent for the week have killed the process which is ended February 12. the only source of providing jobs Singh said the government was for our youth," he said.-PTI
March 4, 2011
Govt sets up JPC into 2G spectrum issue NEW DELHI: A Joint Parliamentary Committee to probe the 2G spectrum allocation issue, being dubbed by the opposition as the biggest scam in independent India, has been set up amid charges and countercharges between the Government and the Opposition.
The Committee, which will give its report by the end of the Monsoon session of Parliament, will make recommendations to ensure formulation of appropriate procedures for implementation of laid down policy in the allocation and pricing of telecom licenses. Constitution of the JPC, with
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee reacts to a statement of Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, in the House in New Delhi. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is also seen
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee moved the motion for appointment of the 30-member Committee to look into the telecom policy pursued from 1998 to 2009 including the allocation and pricing of telecom licenses and spectrum. The Committee will also examine "irregularities and aberrations, if any" and the consequences thereof in the implementation of government decisions and policy prescriptions.
20 members from the Lok Sabha and 10 from the Rajya Sabha, formally ends the deadlock over the issue which had washed out the entire Winter session of Parliament. The debate on the setting up of the JPC led to a clash between the government and the opposition with the Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj making a frontal attack on the Congressled coalition for conceding the
demand after a long time. Moving the motion, Mukherjee said that lessons needed to be drawn by all concerned from the deadlock, suggesting that it was dangerous for democracy that Parliament cannot function till you concede to a particular demand. "Parliament cannot be mortgaged to the conceding of a demand," he said warning if "hatred and disrespect for parliamentary institutions was generated, it would lead to the rise of extraconstitutional authorities" as had happened in a neighboring country way back in 1958 when Martial Law was imposed. At the outset, Mukherjee admitted his responsibility as Leader of the House for failing to carry the opposition with him on the issue. He, however, said the NDA refused a JPC on Tehelka expose and the then Minister Arun Jaitley had said that a group of MPs sitting in a JPC cannot substitute discussion and debate on the floor of the House. While Swaraj was critical of Mukherjee for dubbing opposition as "Maoists", the Leader of the House said the Left radicals dub Parliament as an "abode of pigs" and therefore wanted all concerned to act responsibly. "Was our demand (for JPC) violent or unconstitutional," Swaraj sought to know from Mukherjee, referring to him at the same time as a very nice person who fails to distinguish between proper and improper when he gets angry. -PTI
Soni takes a dig at Advani: 'I thought he had retired' NEW DELHI: Union Minister Ambika Soni took a dig at senior BJP leader L K Advani for his apology to Congress President Sonia Gandhi over a BJPappointed task force report on Swiss bank accounts, saying she thought he "had retired". "I thought Mr Advani has retired some time back and left space for younger people like Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley who are now occupying two positions of leaders of Houses," she told reporters here on the sidelines of a function here. The Congress leader was asked about her reaction to Advani apologising to Gandhi
for a party-appointed task force report, which had alleged that she and her late husband Rajiv had accounts in Swiss banks. "Mr Advani has been making a statement every day on different subjects... probably he not having enough study of what he is saying," she said. BJP had appointed the task force on unravelling the amount of black money stashed by Indians in foreign banks and ways to bring it back. The report had alleged that Sonia Gandhi and former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi were among Indians who held Swiss bank accounts. -PTI
'Students in TVU should be allowed to study in US' NEW DELHI: With hundreds of complaint said. Indian students of California"The US Immigration and Cusbased Tri Valley University fac- toms Enforcement (ICE) is curing an uncertain future, Govern- rently probing the visa violation ment has said it has asked US au- (charges) against some of the Inthorities to treat them as victims dian students. Simultaneously diof fraud and allow them to study rectors/owners of Tri-Valley Unielsewhere in that country. versity are also being investiOverseas Indian Affairs Min- gated," Ravi said. ister Vayalar Ravi, replying to a He said External Affairs Minisquestion in Lok Sabha, said the ter S M Krishna had also taken matter has been taken up with US up the issue with US Secretary department of Homeland Security, of State Hillary Clinton last week Department of Justice, and Immi- requesting her to intervene in progration and Customs Enforcement requesting them to treat the Ravi said the government students as "victims of fraud and not crimi- has also requested the US nals". authorities to allow the The Tri Valley University (TVU) was shut students to pursue down on charges of massive visa fraud af- studies in other fecting hundreds of In- American universities dian students, who were studying in the university. tecting the interest of Indian stuRavi said the government has dents and allow them to study in also requested the US authorities other US universities. to allow the students to pursue Investigations by Immigration studies in other American univer- and Customs Enforcement (ICE) sities. have found that while students According to a federal com- admitted to various residential plaint filed in a California court in and on-line courses of the UniJanuary, the University helped versity were stated to be living foreign nationals illegally acquire in California, but in reality they immigration status. The Univer- "illegally" worked in various sity is said to have 1,555 students. parts of the country as far as As many as 95 per cent of these Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania students are Indian nationals, the and Texas.-PTI
Advani apologises to Sonia on Swiss bank account issue NEW DELHI: Senior BJP leader L K Advani has apologised to Congress President Sonia Gandhi for a party-appointed task force report, which had alleged that she and her late husband Rajiv had accounts in Swiss banks. BJP had appointed the task force on unravelling the amount of black money stashed by Indians in foreign banks and ways to bring it back. The report had alleged that Sonia Gandhi and former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi were among Indians who held Swiss bank accounts. This had led Sonia Gandhi to write a letter to Advani denying the allegation. Sources said in the letter, Gandhi had said that neither she nor her husband held Swiss bank ac-
counts. In his reply to the Congress President's letter, Advani expressed regret over her name and that of her late husband being mentioned in the task force report. -PTI
L K Advani
10 India Post
March 4, 2011
India announces additional aid to LDCs NEW DELHI: India has announced additional assistance to Least Developed Countries (LDCs) which included establishment of a special fund of USD five million and a USD 500 million credit line for developmental projects, strengthening its commitment to aid these nations. Terming as "clearly unacceptable" the pace of progress in LDCs in changing their country status, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said, "The number of Least Developed Countries has almost doubled from 25 in 1970 to 48 in 2011. Only three countries have so far graduated out of their LDC status. "It is time that we take up the cause of the LDCs on a war-footing and work together. Without the progress of these countries there can be no equitable global growth and prosperity," he said while inaugurating a ministerial conference of LDCs. Given the enormity of the challenges facing the LDCs and the "less than satisfactory results of international efforts" so far, it is imperative that "we explore new and innovative ways to supplement the mainstream effort to assist these countries and look for out-of-the-box solutions to assist our least developed country partners," he said. Apart from announcement of financial aid including the setting up of a special fund of USD five million over the next five
years for the follow-up to UN LDC Four conference to be held in Istanbul in May, India also announced another five scholarships every year under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation Program (ITECP) for each LDC. Earlier, a delegation of leaders from LDCs called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
"Today, as the world's largest democracy, which supports fundamental human rights and human freedoms, we are proud of the progress we have been able to register to meet the economic aspirations of our people. We stand ready to share our experience with our friends and brethren in the Least Developed Countries," Krishna said.
External Affairs Minister S M Krishna addressing the India-LDC Ministerial Conference in New Delhi
Foreign ministers of 35 of the 48 LDCs and also about 45 permanent representatives in New York of the LDCs are participating in the two-day conference here. Apart from LDCs, Finland, Australia, Slovenia, China, Hungary, Croatia, Georgia, European Union, the US, Germany and Hungary will also attend the meeting as observers. The objective of the Conference is to provide inputs to the Fourth UN-LDC Conference, which is expecting an ambitious outcome, one which would allow at least 50 per cent of the countries to reach the threshold of graduation by 2020. The meeting will provide an opportunity for India to explore the untapped opportunities of South-South cooperation which can contribute significantly to the sustained development of LDCs, the minister said. "We have seen significant growth in a few LDCs, attributed mainly to concerted national efforts and some international support. But the overall progress continues to be halting, uneven and fragile," Krishna said. Over the decades, the foreign direct investment from India to LDC countries has increased dramatically, and is estimated to be around USD 35 billion. It has provided USD 4.3 billion lines of credit to LDCs over the years. -PTI
Charlie Chaplin's grandson gets married in Karnataka SIRSI: Iconic comic actor Charlie Chaplin's grandson Mark Joplin (60) married Tear Tiffani (52) over the weekend at Gokarna in Karnataka according to Hindu traditions. The couple were dressed like traditional Hindu bride and groom, Rajagopal Adi, the priest who conducted the marriage ceremony, said. Explaining that both Joplin and Tiffani have a common interest in Indian culture, Adi said Tiffani participated in the "Harikatha" and "Keerthana" with Joplin for several years. They decided to marry as per Indian traditions and expressed interest in this regard to their friend Parameshwar Shastri, a hotel industrialist, who made arrangements for the wedding in his lodge at Kudle beach of Gokarna, Adi said. Joplin has been a regular visitor to Gokarna for about 40 years, deeply interested in Indian culture, tradition and mythology and art, he said. He has knowledge of and command over the languages of Malayalam, Hindi, Tamil and Bengali and had published "Keertanas" on Sant Tukaram, Tulasidas, Jnanadev and Samartha Ramdas, he added. The couple, who are followers of Swami Ramdas, Swami Sachchidananda and Swami Muktananda of Kerala, were learning music from Vidushi Usha Bhat of Kasargod for the past 15 years, Adi said. Tera is Joplin's longtime friend and daughter of a US industrialist. "The wedding was marked by simplicity and a down-to-earth approach," Rajagopal,
Charlie ChaplinĂs grandson Mark Joplin (R) marries Tiffani in Gokarna, Karnataka according to Hindu rituals
who conducted the wedding on February 18, said. The groom, wearing the customary white and gold shimmering Karnataka 'peta' or headgear and dressed in a white 'dhoti' and 'vastram', was led to the wedding 'mandap' in a procession with young women carry-
ing trays full of auspicious symbols including hand mirror and flowers. The ceremony commenced with the traditional 'shuddi karan', a purification ritual. The ceremony was marked by various rites before the bridegroom exchanged flower garlands with the bride, who was dressed
in a sea-blue saree, her forehead covered by the 'maangtika' and hair adorned with fresh jasmine flowers. Seated cross-legged, the couple repeated the Vedic mantras after the priest, and took the oath of marriage round the sacred fire. The groom also tied the mangalsutra, a symbol of marriage, around the bride's neck. The bride was also "given away in marriage" during the customary Indian "kanyadaan" ceremony. The bride assumed a new name as is a custom among Indian married women when they enter their marital house, he said. The five-hour long wedding was witnessed by 25 friends and acquaintances of the couple, mainly Indians, he said. The couple who later sat on a royal crimson colored throne, also received gifts. The bride was presented with saree and the bridegroom with traditional apparel. The simple wedding was followed by traditional coastal Karnataka cuisine for lunch. The menu for the guests included rice with a variety of curries and vegetables flavored with coconut and Indian spices, laid out on fresh banana leaves. For deserts it was 'jalebis' (a sweet) and 'payasam', a traditional rice pudding. "The bridegroom insisted that the lunch be pure vegetarian cuisine", said the priest. The couple fed each other morsels of food, marking their unity. Joplin, a lover of Indian culture, insisted that the marriage remain a lowkey affair, he said. Rajagopal said he was approached by the couple's friend Parameshwar Shastri, a lodge owner, to conduct the ceremony. PTI
March 4, 2011
Indians may get 20,000 visas under deal with EU LONDON: Indians may get up to 20,000 UK visas a year under a deal it is negotiating with the European Union and in return India has put forward an annual 4 billion pounds trade with the EU, media reported. Under the proposed deal, Britain will have to accept thousands of workers in exchange for potentially lucrative export deals, despite figures showing that the number of unemployed in the UK stood at 2.5 million, The Sunday Telegraph reported. Negotiations for the EU-India free trade agreement have seen New Delhi lobbying for between 35,000 and 50,000 visas a year across the 27-member states, the report said. Quoting sources, the report said Indians wanted Britain to give between 15,000 and 20,000 visas to its citizens every year, compared with 3,000 for France and 7,000 for Germany. Only highly-skilled workers would be eligible for the visas. Under the deal, Britain is predicted to win about half of the proposed 4 billion pounds trade, providing a significant boost to exports. If the European Union accepts the plan spearheaded by Jose Manuel Barroso, the president of
the EU Commission, it would be the first time power over migration from outside the EU had been handed to Brussels, the report said. It would also be the first time any country has gained access to a fixed number of British visas every year.
Nearly 30,000 Indian workers came to Britain last year, 19,000 of whom arrived through the intra-company transfer (ICT) scheme, which is also exempt from the Coalition's interim immigration cap Britain would be expected to take vastly more Indian workers than the newest EU countries. Estonia is scheduled to accept just 19 Indians, while Lithuania is down for 33. A spokesman for the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills said: "The UK strongly supports the conclusion of an ambi-
tious free trade agreement which is currently being negotiated by the Commission. "The long-term benefits for both parties would be considerable and will deliver significant economic benefits to the UK, reducing both tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade. Negotiations on the free trade agreement are ongoing and we expect a conclusion this year." He said "The Government's approach will be consistent with our commitment to limit levels of economic migration to the UK. Strict criteria are being negotiated to ensure there is a focus on highly-skilled and highly qualified professionals entering the UK temporarily." Nearly 30,000 Indian workers came to Britain last year, 19,000 of whom arrived through the intracompany transfer (ICT) scheme, which is also exempt from the Coalition's interim immigration cap. Unlike the ICT route, the Indian deal will not require companies to have an office in this country, and individuals will also be able to apply. Last week, the Government announced that non-EU workers who earn more than 150,000 pounds a year will be exempt from the immigration cap. -PTI
ISRO finds safe cave on moon NEW DELHI: ISRO scientists have discovered a giant underground chamber on the moon, which could be used as a lunar base by astronauts for interplanetary missions. Scientists at the Space Applications Centre (SAC), using data gathered from Chandrayaan-I's Terrain Mapping Camera and Hyper Spectral Imager (HySI) payloads, found a 1.2 km long buried, uncollapsed and near horizontal lava tube. The hollow cave situated just above the lunar equator on the nearside of moon, can accommodate a large number of astronauts and scientific instruments, and also protect them from hostile lunar environment. "Such a lava tube could be a potential site for future human habitability on the Moon for future human missions and scientific explorations, providing a safe environment from hazardous radiations, micro-meteoritic impacts, extreme temperatures and dust storms," a team of scientists led by A S Arya of SAC,
Ahmedabad said reporting the findings in 'Current Science'. Scientists said identifying sites for permanent base for human settlements on the moon is important for further explora-
â€˜After less than one meter, no effects of radiation due to or induced by solar particle events are observable. Natural or induced radioactivity does not play a significant role in the lava tube exposures,â€™ the scientists said tion. "Lava tubes provide a natural environmental control with a nearly constant temperature of
minus 20 degrees Celsius, unlike that of the lunar surface showing extreme variation, maximum of 130 degrees Celsius to a minimum of minus 180 degrees Celsius in its diurnal (day-night) cycle," they said. The scientists said the lava tubes offer a dust-free environment and adapting them for human use requires minimal construction. The structures also shields its occupants as after 6 meters depth, no effects of radiation due to or induced by galactic cosmic rays were observed in simulation, they said. "After less than one meter, no effects of radiation due to or induced by solar particle events are observable. Natural or induced radioactivity does not play a significant role in the lava tube exposures," the scientists said. "Thus lava tubes are not only a safe natural cavity, but also a readymade structure for a lunar base, being a habitat," they said. -PTI
Kasab to file appeal in Supreme Court, says his counsel MUMBAI: Pakistani terrorist tened to what I said. Ajmal Kasab will file an appeal in Finally, he said 'Theek hai, hum the Supreme Court challenging supreme court jayenge' (Ok, we the judgment of the Bombay High would go to the Supreme Court)," Court confirming death penalty Shah said. awarded to him for his role in the "Kasab did not speak much 26/11 terror attacks, his counsel and this may be fallout of his soliFarhana Shah said here. tary confinement," she said, addKasab told his ing that he wanted lawyer, who met to read newspahim in jail, that he pers in his cell. wished to move an Kasab's lawyer appeal in the apex told him that she court. would not be in a Shah told PTI position to give that she informed him newspapers Kasab that the as she did not High Court had, in have any such auits judgment, upthority and asked held the trial him to make such court's verdict a request to the awarding him jailor. death penalty. "To this, However, Shah Kasab merely Ajmal Kasab said she did not nodded his head," give details of the Shah said. High Court verdict upholding the The High Court had on Februtrial court's judgment but men- ary 21 confirmed the death penalty tioned to him that he had a right awarded to Kasab while dismissto challenge the order in the Su- ing the Maharashtra Government's preme Court. She informed Kasab appeal challenging the acquittal of that he would soon get a copy of Indian co-conspirators Faheem the High Court judgment. Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed in "He (Kasab) was quiet and lis- the 26/11 case. -PTI
Pak defense spending exceeds budgetary limits by Rs 60 bln ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's deAs a result, fiscal deficit has fense spending has exceeded been contained below 2.9 per cent budgetary limits for the first six of the GDP. months of current fiscal by about A portion of security spending Rs 60 billion due to the enhanced is treated separately as grants beexpenditure on the war on terror cause of "unusual one-time" fisand the military's prolonged en- cal requirements to restore peace gagements in the tribal belt, a me- in the tribal region bordering Afdia report said here. ghanistan, the official said. Under a federal spending plan With this pace of spending, the put in place by the finance minis- country's annual defense expentry, defense expenditure in the first six months of the financial year Higher than expected expenshould have been diture on defense and lower around Rs 175 billion but actual spending than anticipated revenue had exceeded Rs 235 collection year were offset by billion, a senior una tight squeeze on the named official was quoted as saying by development program Dawn newspaper. The government had envisaged Rs 442 billion as de- diture could cross Rs 580 billion, fense spending for the current fis- against Rs 552 billion estimated cal year. by the International Monetary Higher than expected expendi- Fund and the budgeted allocation ture on defense and lower than of Rs 442 billion. anticipated revenue collection in The ministry of finance had put the first half of the year were off- a restriction on ministries, divisions set by a tight squeeze on the de- and other arms of the federal govvelopment program that has been ernment in August last year to limit restricted to Rs 88 billion in almost their expenditures to 40 per cent of seven-and-a-half months of the the approved annual budget duryear, the official said. ing first half of the year. -PTI
Desi News Prof Pandey honored with research award India Post News Service
CHICAGO: A front ranking India-born scientist at University of Chicago, Prof. Ghanshyam Pandey, was honored with a UIC Researcher of the Year Award at a well attended function held at University of Chicago recently. Dr Pandey was honored for his work on clinical research to study depression, suicide using basic science. The professor of pharmacology and psychiatry combined basic and clinical research throughout his career. As put by a colleague, "It is difficult to think of anyone who has produced such a broad array of pioneering studies."
COMMUNITY ACROSS AMERICA
Over 10,000 participate in HSS Yogathon Details on page 17
12 India Post
March 4, 2011
Ameya Pawar - first Indian American Alderman
Details on page 14
United Sikhs' pension scheme for suicide widows India Post News Service
NEW YORK: Fifty widows of debt-ridden farmers who committed suicide in the State of Punjab started receiving a monthly pension from February under the Rescue a Family (RAF) pension scheme of the US-based Sikh advocacy group, United Sikhs, even as thousands of others in similar situation await aid. According to United Sikhs, thousands of Punjabi farmers are committing suicide every year swallowed by the rising tide of debt leaving nothing but more debt behind for the family. Details on page 15
Debra Silver Stein with her Indian supporters
RAMESH SOPARAWALA India Post News Service
Lakshmi image on aphrodisiac upsets Indians SURESH SHAH
CHICAGO: Indian Americans are upset with the image of goddess Lakshmi being used on the bottle of "Potion 9" "mood enhancement shots", which some of the sellers are claiming to boost sex drive. A group of Indians across the country led by Rajan Zed, President of Universal Society of Hinduism , asserted that it was very disturbing and disgusting to see the highly revered goddess Lakshmi on the bottle of Potion which some of its retailers claimed to increase "intensity of orgasms". Lakshmi was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not for pushing such potions for mercantile greed, Rajan said in a statement. Details on page 16
CHICAGO: The fact that Indian Americans in Chicago have been slowly getting into, and that too quite successfully, mainstream politics was proved at a local level here in Chicago last week. A young Indian American, Ameya Pawar, sought and fought successfully the Aldermanic battle in the 47th Ward and emerged to be the first ever Indian American Alderman elected to the august assembly of City Council. Ameya Pawar, who was opposed
by Tom Jacks and Matt Reichel, carried the day winning over 50 per cent of the votes cast thus avoiding a much feared run-off. Interestingly, Pawar was endorsed by two prominent English dailies published from Chicago Chicago Tribune and Sun Times and obviously Indian Americans individually and collectively backed him as he was set to create history. Indo American Democratic Organization (IADO) held a public event before the elections to endorse him and pledged all round support. Harendra Mangrola, IADO President, said, "there was
Mayor Rahm Emanuel with Indian Americans
no doubt in our minds that he other than Rahm Emanuel - the would emerge victorious and we now new Mayor of Chicago suchave no doubt in our minds now ceeding legendary Richard Daley that he would live up to the expec- who reigned in the city for over tations and trust that voters in the two decades. 47th Ward have reposed in him." ContĂd on page 15 Pawar had announced that he would take a voluntary cut in the salary that he would get as Alderman, at least till the financial woes that the City faces now are over. He would pick up nearly half the salary - $60,000 - that Aldermen are entitled. For the projects in his ward he would set up a committee that would advise him on the work to be carried out in his Ward. Mangrola said that IADO would soon organize a public reception honoring Pawar for his well deserved victory. IADO had also backed other candidates and one of them was none City Clerk Susan Mendoza
Bernard Stone with supporters
Community Across America
March 4, 2011
India Post 13
'Vishnu Avatar' lessons at Art Institute ANUPAMA PATEL
Chicago Art Institute
Major exhibition on Lord Vishnu at Nashville India Post News Service
Nashville, TN: "Vishnu: Hinduism's Blue-Skinned Savior", said to be the first major museum exhibition to focus on the Hindu deity Vishnu, has opened at Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville (Tennessee, USA). Curated by Dr. Joan Cummins, Asian Art Curator at Brooklyn Museum (New York, USA), it introduces Vishnu to broader audiences through over 170 sculptures, paintings, prints, textiles, and ritual objects created in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, going as far back as fourth century, and reveals the many ways Vishnu was portrayed and celebrated. Accompanied by a 292-page illustrated catalog, it also provides a brief survey of Hindu art styles as well as an examination of Vishnu-worshipping traditions. It will continue at Frist till May 29 and then move to Brooklyn Museum from June 24 to October two. According to the Museum sources, the first section of the exhibition, 'Images of Vishnu', introduces Vishnu in his primary form with subsections dedicated to his attributes and legends. The second section, 'The Avatars of Vishnu', is devoted to Vishnu's avatars (incarnations) explored as a group as well as individually and includes substantial sections devoted to Rama and Krishna. The third section, 'Worshiping Vishnu', explores some of the ways the deity has been venerated over the centuries. The Center has even formed a "Vishnu Advisory Committee" just for this exhibition. The Vishnu exhibition includes "Balarama Diverting the Course of the Yamuna River with his Plough" (watercolor; 1740-65), "Lakshmi Massaging the Foot of Vishnu" (watercolor; 1765-70), Standing Vishnu (terracotta; fifth century), Vishnu
Flanked by His Personified Attributes (sandstone; 12th century), LakshmiNarayana (sandstone; 10th century), Varaha Rescuing the Earth (watercolor; 1730-40), "Pendant Depicting the Avatars of Vishnu" (early 18th century; gold with champlevé enamel, citrine quartz, emeralds, rubies, and diamonds), Krishna Fluting for the Gopis (watercolor; 1730), "Miniature Shrine for an Icon or Ritual Object" (19th century; gold, rubies, emeralds, diamonds, and pearls), "Swing for an Image of Krishna" (18th century; silver and gold), etc. Contíd on page 14
CHICAGO: Art Institute of Chicago (USA), one of the major art museums of the world, has developed a "lesson plan" for classroom activity in which students of 4-8 grades solve a global issue by taking the role of one of the Avtars of Lord Vishnu. Of the three primary Hindu deities who embody God, Vishnu is the preserver of the universe. (The two others are Brahma, the creator, and Shiva, the destroyer.) He descends on earth at various intervals during the cycles of existence in the form of one of 10 avatars to establish dharma (divine law). The ten Avtars of Lord Vishnu are Matsya, Kurma, Varaha, Narasimha, Vamana, Parasurama, Sri Rama, Sri Krishna, Buddha and Kalki. Students are required to write a story about a problem facing the earth. They would imagine themselves as one of Vishnu's avatars who can solve the problem. Students are encouraged to incorporate recognizable attributes to their avatar. The Art Institute of Chicago, founded in 1879 as both a museum and school, whose collection now encompasses more than 5,000
Ten Avtars of Lord Vishnu
Students are required to write a story about a problem facing the earth. They would imagine themselves as one of Vishnu's avatars who can solve the problem. Students are encouraged to incorporate recognizable attributes to their avatar
years of human expression from cultures around the world. The school's graduate program is continually ranked as one of the best in the country. Thomas J. Pritzker is Board of Trustees Chairman while James Cuno is President. Search of "Vishnu" at Institute website reveals 22 artifacts related to Vishnu, including a 9th century bronze from Eastern India.
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14 India Post
Community Across America
March 4, 2011
Prof Pandey honored with research award India Post News Service
CHICAGO: A front ranking India-born scientist at University of Chicago, Prof. Ghanshyam Pandey, was honored with a UIC Researcher of the Year Award at a well attended function held at University of Chicago recently. Dr Pandey was honored for his work on clinical research to study depression, suicide using basic
"It is difficult to think of anyone who has produced such a broad array of pioneering studies in the field of biological psychiatry that have had such an impact over such an extended period," writes J. John Mann science. The professor of pharmacology and psychiatry combined basic and clinical research throughout his career. As put by a colleague, "It is difficult to think of anyone who has produced such a broad array of pioneering studies." The UIC Researcher of the Year Award, now in its third year, is
Board and the vice chancellor for research, each winner receives a $3,500 cash prize. For Ghanshyam Pandey, his studies of the neurobiology of the brain have always been closely connected to his concern for the clinical issues facing patients and physicians. Pandey's research has direct impact on the understanding and treatment of mood disorders, including bipolar disorder and depression. "It is difficult to think of anyone who has produced such a broad array of pioneering studies in the field of biological psychiatry that have had such an impact over such an extended period," writes J. John Mann, the Paul Jansson professor of transnational neuroscience in psychiatry and radiology at Columbia University, in supporting Pandey's nomination for Researcher of the Year. Pandey, professor of pharmacology and psychiatry, first came to Chicago to work at the Illinois State Psychiatric Institute. "From the beginning, I was doing clinical and translational as well as basic research," he says. In his earliest research, Pandey showed how the transport of lithium in the blood of people with bipolar disorder is altered, so that some patients respond better to treatment with that medication. Pandey found that the receptors for the neurotransmitter nore-
Prof Pandey with other awardees (L-R): Dr. Ghanshyam N. Pandey (recipient of 2010 Research of the Year Award in Clinical Sciences), Dr. Simon T. Alford (recipient of 2010 Research of the Year Award in Natural Sciences and Engineering), Dr. Brian Bauer (recipient of 2010 Research of the Year Award in Social Sciences and the Humanities), Vice Chancellor Garcia, Dr. Miodrag Radulovacki (recipient of 2010 Inventor of the Year Award), Dr. Donald Morrison (recipient of 2010 Research of the Year Award in Basic Life Sciences), Dr. David Carley (recipient of 2010 Inventor of the Year Award)
tempted suicide. The worst consequence of mood disorders is suicide, says Pandey, who set out to learn more about the neurobiology of these individuals. "I was also concerned that there might be a difference between the brains of patients we
laboration with a colleague in Maryland, where the governor and medical examiner recognized the importance of this research and made the tissue available. Using this resource, Pandey has expanded his research into what he calls some of the most tragic suicides, those of teens. Probably the only researcher in the world studying the neurobiology of teen suicide, he is an active
member of the American Society for Suicide Prevention. Last year he received the society's 2010 Research Award. Other Researchers of the Year are: Simon Alford: How does the brain work? The questions continue; Brian Bauer: Into the wild, using new ways of studying Inca civilization; Donald Morrison: Sharing results helps other scientists further their work.
Major exhibition on Lord Vishnu at Nashville ContĂd from page 13
(L-R): Anand Kumar, M.D., Professor and Head, Department of Psychiatry, UIC; Joe G.N. "Skip" Garcia, M.D., Vice Chancellor for Research, UIC; Ghanshyam N. Pandey, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Psychiatry, UIC
given in four categories: social sciences and humanities, natural sciences and engineering, clinical sciences and basic life sciences. Selected by the Campus Research
pinephrine were altered in individuals with depression. He was one of the first researchers to note that the neurotransmitter serotonin is altered in patients who at-
were studying who attempted suicide and individuals who completed a suicide," he says. This concern led him to study postmortem brain tissue through col-
It is sponsored by HCA and TriStar Family of Hospitals and First Tennessee Bank and supported by National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) (a US federal government agency). Rajan Zed, president of Universal Society of Hinduism, appealed to major art museums of the world, including Musee du Louvre and Musee d'Orsay of Paris, Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Los Angeles Getty Center, Uffizi Gallery of Florence (Italy), Art Institute of Chicago, Tate Modern of London, etc., to emulate the example of Nashville and host similar Hindu art focused exhibitions sharing the rich Hindu art heritage with the rest of the world. Zed has urged NEA to fund more Hinduism centered art projects so that more Americans could immerse in the rich phi-
losophy Hinduism offered. "We are honored to organize and present Vishnu: Hinduism's Blue-Skinned Savior, the first major exhibition to explore the Vaishnava tradition in art," said Frist Center Executive Director Dr. Susan H. Edwards. The Frist Center, whose vision is "to inspire people through art", has hosted a spectacular array of art from the region, the country, and around the world. William R. Frist is Chairman of Board of Trustees. Vishnu is "preserver" in the Hindu triad with Brahma and Shiva as the aspect of the Supreme. He had ten incarnations to establish dharma (divine law). Capital of the state of Tennessee, Nashville is known as "pilgrimage center" of country-music, home of Vanderbilt University, and is famous for its honky tonk bars.
March 4, 2011
Community Across America
India Post 15
United Sikhs' pension scheme for farmer suicide widows India Post News Service
NEW YORK: Fifty widows of debt-ridden farmers who committed suicide in the State of Punjab started receiving a monthly pension from February under the Rescue a Family (RAF) pension scheme of the US-based Sikh advocacy group, United Sikhs, even as thousands of others in similar situation await aid. According to United Sikhs, thousands of Punjabi farmers are
committing suicide every year swallowed by the rising tide of debt leaving nothing but more debt behind for the family. United Sikhs started this pension scheme in October 2010, as one of its aid projects, after its local partner, the Baba Nanak Education Society (BNES), informed it that farmer-suicide widows, due to poverty, were removing their children from school in order to have an extra pair of hands to earn some income.
Ameya Pawar - first Indian American Alderman ContĂd from page 12
the votes while Debra had 33 per cent. Both would face each other on April 5 in the run off. Immigrants from the Indian sub continent showed divided loyalty in this race. Many are unhappy over the way Barnard Stone addressed local issues. Parking, street cleaning, security and beautification were some of the problems that kept bothering the residents as well as visitors and shoppers from other areas of the city and suburbs. Ahmed Khan promised to address these issues effectively and had geared up some support. However, it was Debra who garnered support from com-
IADO had a pre-election rally announcing its unequivocal support to Rahm Emanuel, a former Chief of Staff for President Barack Obama in Washington DC. Rahm was opposed by five others but he scored 55 per cent of the votes and avoided a possible run-off. In his address to those attending the IADO meet, he had assured that he would strive to have cultural diversity of the City reflected in his administration. Indian Americans had also supported Susan Mendoza in her bid to get elected as City Clerk. She won handsomely trouncing her rival Patricia Horton. The 38- Rahm was opposed by five year-old Susan is Mexican American and others but he scored 55 per would be the first cent of the votes and avoided woman to ascend to the position of City Clerk. a possible run-off. In his adThe first thing that she dress to IADO, he had assured promised after election was that "City stickers that he would strive to have for the cars would be cultural diversity of the City sticking now.' The most pivotal reflected in his administration race for the Indian Americans for the Aldermanic elections was at the 50th munity stalwarts like Balwinder Ward which is dubbed as little In- Singh and others. Bernard Stone dia Town. It houses over 500 small on the other had got support from and big business owned by Indi- activists led by Iftekhar Shareef, ans, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis. Sohan Joshi and others. There were a number of immigrants In a talk to this paper, Balwinder from the Indian subcontinent Singh exuded hope that the pressettled here. ence of multiple candidates hurt The race was five cornered Debra and now the race being beamong the sitting Ald Bernard tween Bernard Stone and Debra, Stone, challengers noted CPA she would emerge victorious. The Debra Silverstein, architect Greg supporters of Stone feel that the Brewer, attorney Michael Moses 83 years old seasoned politician and businessman Ahmed Khan. would carry the day. All eyes are Interestingly, Chicago Tribune had now set on April 5, but the fact endorsed Greg Brewer but at the remains that Indian immigrants are local level the contest had bogged now getting more and more indown between Bernard Stone and volved in mainstream politics and Debra Silverstein. The incumbent that is a harbinger of better days Stone bagged only 38 per cent of for the community as a whole.
Among the first to feel the brunt of a farmer-suicide are the children left behind, the organization says
"The Punjab State has started to acknowledge the problem which was previously dismissed as nonexistent. However, state widow pensions are not being given to all such widows and in any case they are minimal at 250 rupees a month," said Mejindarpal Kaur, a United Sikhs director who is coordinating the pension scheme. "Thousands of families find themselves in this desperate position. A study by the Punjab Ag-
ricultural University in the districts of Bhatinda and Sangrur indicates 2,890 suicides between 2000 and 2008. A study is ongoing for the remaining 18 districts in Punjab which will paint a bigger picture of the farmer suicide problem," added Mejindarpal Kaur. Among the first to feel the brunt of a farmer-suicide are the children left behind, the organization says. ContĂd on page 17
Community Across America
16 India Post
March 4, 2011
Lakshmi image on aphrodisiac upsets Indians SURESH SHAH
CHICAGO: Indian Americans are upset with the image of goddess Lakshmi being used on the bottle of "Potion 9" "mood enhancement shots", which some of the sellers are claiming to boost sex drive. A group of Indians across the country led by Rajan Zed, President of Universal Society of Hinduism , asserted that it was very disturbing and disgusting to see the highly revered goddess Lakshmi on the bottle of Potion which some of its retailers claimed to increase "intensity of orgasms". Lakshmi was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not for pushing such potions for mercantile greed, Rajan said in a statement. Sohan Joshi, a community activist and former president of FIA Chicago is joined by Nand Kapur, a former President of AIA Illinois in condemning derogation of Indian deities by American manufacturers of host of consumer items and feel that the "we should be united in boycotting the products which are repugnant to our tastes and belief. It is only through this type of measure that the manufactures would realize that their gimmicks do not pay." The manufacturer, Brand New Energy, was asked to immediately remove the image of Lakshmi from the Potion bottles which was of-
fensive to the devotees. Rajan also made an appeal to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ask the Potion company to withdraw all the bottles with Lakshmi image from the market and not to use the image anymore. He also asked online retailer amazon.com, where the one ounce bottle of this potion was selling for $12.99, to remove the potion photo with image of Lakshmi (shown as seated on a lotus flanked by elephants and having four arms and holding lotus in her two hands) from its website. Lakshmi, or very commonly Sri, is the goddess of good fortune, prosperity, wealth, and beauty. Wife of Lord Vishnu, Lakshmi appears in Vedic texts and finds men-
Rajan also made an appeal to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ask the Potion company to withdraw all the bottles with Lakshmi image from the market and not to use the image anymore
tion in Vishnu Puran, Ramayan, "Churning of the Ocean", etc., and is closely associated with most popular Hindu festival Diwali. She is also known as "world-mother", Zed adds. Some online retailers of "Potion 9", liquid mood enhancement shots, describe it as "marketed towards men and women who are interested in increasing pleasure in their sexual and social lives", "increase intensity of orgasms", contains Yohibine HCL which may be used to "boost sex drive, increase penile blood flow and maintain longer and harder erections", etc. Warnings include, "Do not drive, or operate any machinery after taking this product." "Love Potion No. 9", a famous
song written in 1959 by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, describes a man seeking help finding love. It was originally performed by the Clovers, but later "The Searchers" (US number three hit in 1965) and other groups also sang it. It features in "American Graffiti" (1973) and finds reference in animated "Shrek 2" (2004). "Love Potion No. 9" (1992), about a geek biochemist with no luck with women, is a film directed by Dale Launer and starring Tate Donovan and Sandra Bullock. FDA, headquartered in Silver Spring (Maryland), besides other things, is also responsible for assuring that foods and dietary supplements are properly labeled. Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg is the Commissioner of Food and Drugs.
Largest Hindu temple complex in Netherlands India Post News Service
CHICAGO: Netherlands in Europe will have the largest Hindu
temple complex soon. The over one million Euro complex will be set up in Hague following approval of the project by The Hague
Mayor and Council Construction is expected to begin in 2013 and the complex is said to open in 2014. This complex, located directly behind the station Hollands Spoor in Laakhaven West area, will have three temples built side by side and linked together, including International Society for Krishna Consciousness and Arya Samaj and containing two towers, 90 apartments, and facilities for yoga and meditation. Roughly over 10 percent population of Hague and one percent of Netherlands is Hindu (coming from Surinam, India, Sri Lanka, etc., besides western Hindus). In Netherlands, there are said to be Hindu temples in Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Enschede, Heerlen, Leiden, Lelystad, Roermond, Rotterdam, Utrecht, and Wijchen. Josias van Aartsen is the Mayor of Hague; Anne Bertram is City Manager while Rajesh Ramnewash and Mitra Rambaran are Councilors. The Hague (Den Haag), originating around 1230, also known as "international city of peace and
justice", is the seat of the Dutch parliament, government and Royal Court; headquarters of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands; home to over 150 international organizations, including International Court of Justice; home of Royal Dutch Shell and T-Mobile; and is
etc. Hindus across the USA have welcomed this move and await eagerly its completion as it would help in better understanding of Hinduism, the oldest and third largest religion of the world. Rajan Zed president of Univer-
This complex, located directly behind the station Hollands Spoor in Laakhaven West area, will have three temples built side by side and linked together, including International Society for Krishna Consciousness and Arya Samaj and containing two towers, 90 apartments, and facilities for yoga and meditation known for the Peace Palace. Bollywood's Filmfare Award winner film "Hum Tum" (Kunal Kohli) was shot here. Prominent residents include Nobel laureate Jan Tinbergen, film director Paul Verhoeven (Total Recall), philosopher Baruch Spinoza, Punjabi singer Imran Khan (Ni Nachleh),
sal Society of Hinduism, Nevada, has termed it a historical milestone for the community in continental Europe and has urged other countries of Europe to set aside land for Hindu temples in major cities so that the community had places to worship keeping the culture alive.
March 4, 2011
Community Across America
India Post 17
Over 10,000 participate in HSS Yogathon India Post News Service
NEW YORK: Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh USA (HSS) concluded its Fifth Annual "Health for Humanity Yogathon" on January 30. During this twoweek Yogathon, despite unusual wintry weather throughout the US, over 10,122 participants warmed themselves up with 988,302 repetitions of the yoga routine known as the Sun Salutation, or Surya Namaskar, in 224 cities and towns from 38 states. Not only did HSS volunteers actively participate but also health-conscious people across the nation participated regardless of their race, religion, gender, ideology, ethnicity, and age. Seventeen public schools from California to the heartland of America, 25 Universities, 14 Yoga Studios, and many Temples actively participated in this project. HSS launched the "Health for Humanity Yogathon", also known as Surya Namaskar Yajna (SNY), as an annual event in 2007 to create awareness about yoga and its advantages in achieving a healthy
body, mind, and spirit. The Surya Namaskar yoga routine integrates simple postures of well-balanced movements in ten steps with an easy breathing technique to provide immense health benefits for everyone from beginners to yoga enthusiasts. One of the first-time participants commented on his experience, "The cost to participate in this Yogathon is zero, but its health
stamina, plus it helps motivate me." Mayors of Tampa FL, Milpitas, CA, Cupertino, CA, Sunnyvale, CA, Morrisville, NC, Austin, TX, Normal IL, and Bloomington IL, declared "Health for Humanity" day and encouraged their constituents to participate in the locally held Yogathons. Famous for his health conscious agenda, Mayor Michael Bloomberg of the
benefits are priceless." Shekhar Aggarwal of Patanjali Yogpeeth (USA) Trust, commented to Indian-Americans, "This country has given us wealth; let us all give the health to this country by promoting Surya Namaskar." Stephen Knapp, Vedic Friends Association President shared his experience, "I certainly notice a difference in my health, especially my energy and
City of New York integrated this Yogathon with "Shape up New York" program and urged his city employees and residents alike to participate and receive the health benefits. Similarly, Judge Ed Emmett of Harris County, TX, the third largest county in the US, declared January 29, 2011 as "Health for Humanity Day". State House of New Jersey adopted resolution by State Representative Upendra Chivukula and acknowledged benefits of Surya Namaskar and expressing the best wishes to participants of the Yogathon.
United Sikhs' pension scheme for farmer suicide widows Contíd from page 15
These kids drop out of schools to labor in the fields to feed their families. The cycle of poverty continues, and every year another crop of suicides is harvested in Punjab, India's bread basket. "Under our RAF pension scheme, a farmer-suicide family will receive between 1000 to 1500 Rupees (up to $32) per family for
as long as their children remain in school. These pensions are paid into bank accounts opened for them. We have identified 300 more families who are in need immediately," said Mejindarpal. These pensions are supported by donors from UK, Thailand, Singapore, Canada, USA and Switzerland, the United Sikhs informs.
Contíd on page 18
Passport surrender camp at Palatine gurdwara SURESH SHAH
PALATINE: Punjabi Cultural come prepared with completed apSociety of Chicago (PCS) in con- plication forms, the additional junction with the Sikh Religious documents, photo copies required Society of Chicago Palatine is or- to supplement the application ganizing an Indian passport sur- package, and the required fees in render certificate issuing camp on money order or cashier check. Sunday March 13 at SRS Palatine Otherwise they will not be able to Gurdwara in Palatine, from 10 a.m. get the job done. to 1 p.m. The services are free and The required items for the suropen to all. render certificate application pack"For the convenience of our age are: community the officials from the 1) Surrender Certificate AppliConsulate General of India, Chi- cation Form cago office have been invited to 2) US Passport Copy: First be on site to accept applications and last two pages and any page for Indian passport surrender cer- with important observation tificate, and they will issue the cer3) Copy of latest Indian Passtificate on the same day provided port: First three and last two pages, all the documents are complete," said Balwinder Singh Girn, "The officials will also proPCS president. vide information on how to "The officials will also provide information apply for PIO or OCI cards. on how to apply for PIO The application process is or OCI cards. The application process is being being outsourced just like outsourced just like the the Indian visa” Indian visa," said Rajinder Singh Mago, the event coordinator. and any page with important obIndian passport surrender cer- servation tificate is a requirement in the pro4) Original Indian Passport cess to get those PIO/OCI cards, 5) Copy of the US Naturalizaand to receive the Indian visa in tion (citizenship) certificate future for those who have re6) Proof of Address nounced their Indian citizenship. 7) Fees (Cashier check or Those who have a "cancelled" Money Order only, No cash acstamp on their latest Indian pass- cepted): $20 (for US or foreign citiport are not required to have the zens who naturalized before 1st. surrender certificate. June, 2010); $175 (for US citizens Due to limited time and space, who naturalized on or after 1st applicants are urged to pre-regis- June 2010) ter with P.C.S. Chicago. The appliFor more information on cations will be accepted on first- March 13 camp, please contact come, first-served basis. Punjabi Cultural Society of ChiThe applicants are required to cago, 847-359-5PCS,
18 India Post
Community Across America
March 4, 2011
am a convert to the religion of Islam. I am proud to be a Muslim but I am not proud of some Muslims. I am appalled and angered by the frequent acts of violence against other Muslims and members of other faiths at the hands of these so-called Muslims who zealously "defend" the honor of Islam and the Holy Prophet Muhammad by extinguishing the lives of others. Their unspeakable atrocities are the very defamation they claim to remove. I reject their contention that they are being "true" Muslims by mercilessly butchering the innocent in the name of God. And I am saddened and dismayed beyond words when a great number of those innocents belong to the same Islamic sect as I - the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. On Sunday, Feb.6th, in yet another heinous act of evil in the name of Allah, an estimated 1,500 angry Muslims armed with bamboo poles, spears, knives and machetes viciously attacked 20 unarmed members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in a rural village in south Banten province, Indonesia. Three Ahmadi Muslims were brutally killed and five seriously injured at the scene while dozens of policemen stood by and watched. The motive for the attack? Ahmadis are considered heretics in Islam. Calls by hard-line Muslim clerics and political leaders for the disbanding of the Ahmadiyya sect and for the persecution of its mem-
True Muslims are Muslims for peace bers often result in Ahmadis being the victims of looting, arson and unrepentant murder by mobs of the kind that attacked the Banten Ahmadis on Feb. 6th. Critics of Islam say that what passes for the faith of nearly 1.5-billion people today, in all its brutish rage, is merely the fruit of the seeds planted 1,400 years ago in the deserts of Arabia - that Islam started out violent, evil and oppressive and stayed that way, true to its core principles. Peaceful Muslims, they say, aren't being "true" Muslims. Others, myself included, answer that a religion whose primary descriptive is 'peace' cannot then be its opposite. It has devolved into the barbarity and inhumanity we now see visited upon its perceived enemies, within and without, but that is a result of the corruption and decay of the faith from its pristine understanding and practice, not a product of its original design and manifestation. This is evident following the advent of Islam in the 7th century AD by the moral, social and spiritual transformation of preIslamic Arabia into a civilization whose
light eventually reached Europe, ending the Dark Ages. Islam established a way of life for its adherents that forbade idolatry, non-defensive war, murder, drinking, gambling, promiscuity, theft, deceit, bribery, infanticide and every kind of evil, while mandating belief in One God, compassion for the needy, justice for the oppressed, equal spiritual rank and the right to education for men and women, charity to strangers, neighbors, relatives and orphans, and the promotion of every kind of good. Compared to the savage feudalism it replaced, Islam was eminently spiritual, civilized, merciful, tolerant, forgiving and moral. How is it possible for a religion routinely labeled as barbaric, evil, immoral and intolerant to contain and produce the epitome of social and moral tenets if the core values of that religion are barbarism, evil, immorality and intolerance? Muslims today who believe in bloody Jihad and killing the innocent have lost sight of the real purpose and message of Islam - to attain peace and Oneness with God, and peace and brotherhood with hu-
manity. These ideals form the true foundation of Islam and are the main reasons people convert to Islam. This is the Islam practiced and preached since 1889 by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, now in over 195 countries. Their motto is: "Love for All - Hatred for None." Peace-loving Muslims and non-Muslims must join forces to empower this type of Islam to counter its extremist forms. They can do this by standing up for and with the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, either in membership or in sympathy, and through the applied rule of law to protect the innocent and end extremism and hate in Islamic countries like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Indonesia. To paraphrase a well-known truth that we must all take to heart, "All that is required for evil people to triumph is for good people to do nothing." I am proud to be an Ahmadi Muslim and I choose to stand with the good. Jonathan M.A. Ghaffar Writer and speaker on Islam, Chino, CA
Disclaimer :- India Post does not endorse opinions expressed in the letters.
Over 10,000 participate in HSS Yogathon ContĂd from page 17
Child members of HSS Balagokulam and young adults eagerly wait for this Yogathon every year and take a challenge. Many children around age 10 perform 500 + salutations over this two week period. Eleven year old Srimitha Srinivasan from Reading,
ticular type of Yoga exercise helps to keep our internal organs such as brain, heart, and liver healthy and also helps in proper blood circulation. With the assistance from HSS volunteers, the women's health program "GLOW", at Valley Medical Center, Rentan WA, intends to continue this as an everyday required
MA performed 3,876 Sun Salutations. India's Padmashree Award recipient and renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Kamaljit Singh Paul encouraged and guided the Yogathon participants at the Gurudwara of Fox Valley in Menasha, Wisconsin. He outlined the benefits of Surya Namaskars as beyond just muscle development and said that this par-
exercise for their member participants. HSS Yogathon National Coordinator Praveen Dhir summed it up by stating, "It is a real achievement of this project that many participants continue this exercise year round and spread the message to stay fit and shape up with their friends, family and the society".
March 4, 2011
India Post 19
HAMBANTOTA, Sri Lanka: Kenya appeared totally out of their depth and posed no challenge to Pakistan at Hambantota, Collins Obuya's death-or-glory 47 being the only highlight for them as Shahid Afridi helped himself to 5 for 16 in a massive 205run win, Pakistan's biggest win in World Cups and the eighth largest overall. Four of Pakistan's batsmen cashed in to raise half-centuries and set up a total of 317 for 7 after a brief wobble against the new ball and Kenya made little effort to mount a serious challenge in their pursuit, rather looking to a lay a solid platform in the hope of batting out their full quota of overs. That ultimately proved a futile effort, too, although their innings did at least last until the 34th over - longer than their entire match against New Zealand. Kenya's slide began in earnest when Afridi brought himself on and, in his third over, tempted Steve Tikolo down the pitch only for the ball to rush straight on to rattle the stumps. Kenya were 73 for 3 in the 23rd over when Tikolo was dismissed, without any real hope of chasing more than 300 but at least looking steady enough to last the full 50 after the top order had showed at least a little grit. There was no such offering from the middle, however, as the remaining seven wickets fell for just 39 runs in just over ten overs. Afridi was the chief wrecker, quickly ending a bustling innings from Tanmay Mishra and making short work of Jimmy Kamande and Thomas Odoyo as he unfurled a mixed bag of leg breaks, sliders and quicker ones as the ball began to bite and spit off the surface. Amid the carnage, Obuya opened up to smite three enormous sixes but was caught on the boundary attempting a fourth to give Afridi the best figures by a Pakistan bowler in a World Cup, beating Wasim Akram's 5 for 28 against Namibia in Kimberley at the 2003 tourna-
March 4, 2011
Afridi's fiver helps Pak humble Kenya from a first over that included three no-balls. Kamran proved the more fluent of the two early in his innings but Younis provided sensible support and, as the spinners came on, plenty of ones and twos were taken to keep the score ticking over. Kamran eased past 50, from 62 balls, and looked set for plenty more before he charged down the wicket to left-arm spinner Shem Ngoche and was easily stumped. Kenya were buzzing once more with the
Ultimately they flattered to deceive, but against expectations Kenya had actually bossed the opening exchanges of the match, Thomas Odoyo and Elijah Otieno showing admirable control with the new ball Man of the match Umar Akmal's (L) good show with the bat and Shahid Afridi's 5-wicket haul ensured that Pakistan got its World Cup campaign off to a winning start
ment. Once he went, the end was mercifully quick in coming. Ultimately they flattered to deceive, but against expectations Kenya had actually bossed the opening exchanges of the match, Thomas Odoyo and Elijah Otieno showing admirable control with the new ball. Otieno provided the first breakthrough when Hafeez tried to force a length delivery into the leg side but hit it uppishly and Seren Waters, at straight midwicket, leapt
to his left and managed to cling onto a juggled catch mere inches from the turf. In the very next over Shehzad, who had scratched around for 17 balls that yielded just a single run, chipped a leading edge to give Jimmy Kamande a simple catch at midoff and Pakistan were in some serious strife. The pressure soon began to lift, however, Kamran Akmal and Younis Khan quickly settling and Nehemiah Odhiambo suffering a shambolic start to his spell as 16 runs came
breakthrough, but despite giving a far a far better account of themselves than they had against New Zealand at Chennai they lacked the necessary firepower to land the killer blow. Misbah-ul-Haq opened his World Cup account with a massive six off Tikolo and rushed into the 20s at better than a-runa-ball to complement the more circumspect Younis, who showed the value of steady accumulation before he was dismissed lbw for exactly 50 despite an optimistic review. -PTI
Tendulkar practices batting left-handed BANGALORE: Senior India batsman Sachin Tendulkar here surprised everyone when he opted to bat left handed during the team's practice session at the M Chinnaswamy stadium here. Indian cricket team, which has been camping here for their crucial Group 'B' league match against England, had a rigorous batting session at the National Cricket Academy before shifting to the stadium. Tendulkar grabbed everyone's attention by choosing to bat left-handed with a few of his teammates and local bowlers bowling at him. He also did not wear gloves, while all other batsmen, who faced two deliveries each, wore their cricketing gears. Tendulkar sent the very first delivery he faced over the ropes before stepping out to hoist another six, missing only one out of eight deliveries.
Besides the rigorous batting session, the team also went through a brief 10-minute catching practice session. Pacers Zaheer Khan and Ashish Nehra had light training session
Tendulkar surprised everyone when he opted to bat left handed
Besides the rigorous batting session, the team also went through a brief 10-minute catching practice session. Pacers Zaheer Khan and Ashish Nehra had light training session at the NCA gymnasium to strengthen their backs. Kirsten spent more time with youngsters such as Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Virat Kohli and Yusuf Pathan. -PTI
March 4, 2011
Fans lath charged outside Chinnaswami Stadium BANGALORE: Chaos reigned supreme outside the Chinnaswami Stadium here as police lath charged thousands of disgruntled fans who had camped outside the KSCA office to buy tickets for the high-voltage World Cup showdown between India and England. Police were seen hitting fans with sticks as chaos broke out among those who had been waiting outside the arena since the night to buy tickets from the box office. "Mad rush is expected for any good match. A lot of people desire to watch the match. About 6000 tickets have been sold at the gate," said Karnataka State Cricket Association secretary and former India pacer Javagal Srinath. However, contrary to Srinath's claims, it was learnt that only 1000 tickets out of 45000 - the capacity of the stadium - have been put on
not enough." The Indian Cricket Board and the KSCA, meanwhile, have said that the stadia capacity is limited and the International Cricket Council's (ICC) demand for tickets have to be accommodated.
A policeman uses a stick in an attempt to control cricket fans jostling in a queue for tickets at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore
sale here. "We are still waiting for tickets to come back from the ICC and BCCI. If they come back, the only way we can give the public is through net, through Kyazoonga, the official ticketing partner for the event," Srinath said.
He said that it's always difficult to satisfy everyone's needs ahead of such high-voltage clashes. "We are trying to cover as much as possible. But for a match of this magnitude, even if you double (the capacity) or triple, it's
Ponting reprimanded by ICC for TV incident AHMEDABAD: Ricky Ponting has accepted that he crossed the line with his dressing-room reaction to being run out against Zimbabwe in Ahmedabad, but is keen to put the incident behind him. Ponting was reprimanded by the ICC for breaking the Code of Conduct when he threw his groin protector at his kit bag and it bounced up to damage a television, and he said he wished he could take his actions back. "I think there's a limit [to how much] you can let off steam in a dressing room," Ponting said. "It is a pretty sacred sort of place, an international cricket team dressing room, but there's a line that you can't overstep and when some equipment is damaged in the change room then I accept the responsibility for that happening
the other day, albeit by total accident and with no malice involved in it whatsoever. What's happened has happened. I'd like to be able to take it back but I can't. Now we've just got to move on." The TV incident emerged on the morning after Australia's 91run victory, but the initial reports in local newspapers incorrectly
suggested that an angry Ponting had smashed the set with his bat. Given that Ponting was not even fined for the level one offence, it was not surprising that in Nagpur, all he wanted to do was concentrate on the match against New Zealand. "It was hit by my box that I'd thrown down into my cricket kit," he said. "[There was] some small damage to the TV set; I went and reported it to the team manager straight away, and let him know what had happened. They replaced the television set there and then. "Some of the stories I've been hearing the last couple of days have been a little bit different than what the list of events actually were. Hopefully we can put this all behind us and start worrying about cricket." -PTI
AIFF decides to sack Houghton NEW DELHI: Unhappy with the performance of Indian football team in the Asian Cup last month, the AIFF Executive committee has decided to sack national coach Bob Houghton from his post. The AIFF Executive Committee, which met here, decided to accept the recommendation of the Technical Committee which in its review had expressed disappointment at the performance of the Indian team in the continental showpiece event held in Doha, Qatar. India had lost all their three group matches - against Australia (0-4),
Bahrain (2-5) and South Korea (1-4). "In their report, the Technical Committee said that in spite of spending a huge amount of money and giving all the facilities, India's performance was disappointing. So the AIFF Executive Committee accepted the opinion of the technical committee in its review and decided to remove Houghton," a top AIFF official told PTI on condition of anonymity. Houghton's contract was renewed last year to run till 2013 and sources said if he is to be removed now, the AIFF will have to give him
a large amount of money for sacking him before the expiry of his term. The AIFF is now seeking legal opinion how to get out of this contract. "The Executive Committee expressed its concern over the performance of the national team and also expressed its unhappiness regarding the conduct and derogatory remarks made by Bob Houghton. The Executive committee has unanimously decided to seek legal opinion regarding its course of action," a statement of the AIFF said.-PTI
The ICC, in a letter to organizing committee chairman, Sharad Pawar, has asked him to sort out the ticketing mess as soon as possible "The biggest challenge we are facing now is trying to meet the expectation of people, and that's not possible. There is a limit till where we can keep people happy. Beyond that unhappy people will
always say things which we can't answer," Srinath said. KSCA president Anil Kumble refused to speak on the issue, saying that Srinath had addressed a press conference. The ICC, in a letter to organizing committee chairman, Sharad Pawar, has asked him to sort out the ticketing mess as soon as possible. The ICC pointed out that with tickets in very short supply, box office sales could turn into a security nightmare. The ICC has not been given its share of tickets for matches for its international sponsors who are entitled to complimentary tickets. The official online ticketing agency, which had been expected to sell just 1,000 tickets for the final in Mumbai, crashed after 10 million fans tried to log on in just 20 minutes. -PTI
Nehwal, Narang, Mary Kom Olympics hopes MUMBAI: Pinning hopes on the likes of Saina Nehwal, Gagan Narang and Mary Kom to win medals at the 2012 London Olympics, world chess champion Vishwanathan Anand has said India will have to start planning for the 2016 edition of the quadrennial event from now to get good results. "Right now the likes of Saina, Gagan and Mary are some of our big hopes. Then we also have some younger promising players," the chess ace told PTI when asked about India's medal hopefuls at the mega sporting event. "Clearly, our target is two. It's better than one but we should be able to get more. It think you need some time to build it up. At this
moment we not only have to plan for 2012, but 2016 as well for good results," he said. Anand will be mentoring and training potential athletes for Olympics and is going to be active on the 'Power your champion' initiative of the Olympic Gold Quest (OGQ), the NGO floated by legends Prakash Padukone and Geet Sethi. The 41-year-old said the OGC's objective was to ensure that the country did not lose out any medals just because the talented athletes lack access to facilities or equipment. "I think as athletes what we would have liked is some organization to take the practical details out of the way. -PTI
Anand would love to checkmate Kramnik at home MUMBAI: Stating that he would love to defend his world crown at home, chess ace Vishwanathan Anand says he would not mind putting his title on line against Russia's Vladimir Kramnik, who had helped him during his successful campaign last year. "India now has a couple of months to arrange a bid for the World Championship. For me that would be very exciting. I would love to play in India. And to play a World Championship would be fantastic. If that happens that would be very good," he told PTI. "But we won't really know if the bid is won or not till the challenger is out. I really enjoyed playing in
Hyderabad and would really love to play in India," he added. Anand said despite the withdrawal of Magnus Carlsen of Norway from the tournament, the field was very strong and Kramnik was the favorite to win. "The field is still very strong even though Carlsen withdrew. Probably most people feel it would be Vladimir Kramnik. I generally agree, but you cannot rule out (Veselin) Topalov or (Aronian) Levon either," he added. The 41-year-old said despite Kramnik helping him in his title defense against Topalov last year, it would not be of much advantage to either of them as they have many tricks up their sleeves. -PTI
Tatas to set up 1,000 cr housing project in Punjab, HP CHANDIGARH: Real estate developer Tata Housing Development Company has proposed to set up two residential projects in Punjab and Himachal Pradesh with an estimated investment of Rs 1,000 crore. "We have plans to set up two (residential) projects in Punjab and Himachal Pradesh, which will involve an investment of Rs 1,000 crore," company's MD and CEO Brotin Banerjee told reporters here. Tata Housing, which is a subsidiary of Tata Sons Limited, is keen to build affordable and value homes in Punjab on Public Private Partnership mode over an area ranging 30-60 acres of land and a luxury housing project in Himachal Pradesh up to 10 acres of land. "About 60 to 65 per cent of our investment (Rs 1,000 crore) will be made in Punjab and rest in HP," he said. Stating that the company was looking to develop affordable homes in Ludhiana, Jalandhar and periphery of Chandigarh, he said the company wanted to develop this project on PPP mode in the wake of high land prices in the state. "Land is quite costly in the state (Punjab) and it will not be feasible to develop low cost housing project viable. We are trying to develop houses in affordable segment in Punjab on PPP mode and we have also held preliminary meetings with state government officials in this regard," he said. -PTI
Real Estate 22
Gujarat SEZs attract Rs 42000 crore investment Details on page 23
March 4, 2011
Indian Govt opposes residences near Rashtrapati Bhavan
aising security fears, the union government has stoutly opposed plans by a subsidiary of real estate giant DLF to build residential flats on a plot near Rashtrapati Bhavan. In a comprehensive affidavit filed recently in the Delhi high court, the central government has said any such project raises "security and aesthetic issues" and sought cancellation of permission granted by a single judge to convert a dairy land for residential purposes. Filed through advocate Arjun Harkauli, the affidavit informs the division bench currently hearing the case that any high-rise, that too residential, poses a grave security threat to the Rashtrapati Bhavan close by. To buttress its point, the government adds it reached this conclusion after receiving elaborate inputs from various agencies like the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), the home ministry and also the President's secretariat. It added, if required it can place all the annexure raising red flag on
the residential project on security grounds, before the judges. The affidavit has placed a copy of the DLF's website showing Edward Keventer Successors Private Ltd (EKSPL) to be its subsidiary and urged the court not to permit any private builder from using the prime Chanakyapuri land for building private housing. The government affidavit
and obtained a stay, with the division bench asking the ministry to place its objections before it. The private firm has also moved an application in court seeking early hearing into the matter and documents on the basis of which the government had decided to oppose permission. After the central government said it will place all the sensitive documents
While granting permission to EKSPL to convert a dairy farm for private residential purpose, the single judge of HC had last year also asked the firm to deposit conversion charges comes in the backdrop of the HC division bench staying the single judge's clearance to develop a 22acre prime plot neighboring Rashtrapati Bhavan for residential purposes. Stung by the implications inherent in the single judge's ruling, the union urban development ministry had rushed in appeal
before the bench for it to read them, the court has posted the matter for April. While granting permission to EKSPL to convert a dairy farm for private residential purpose, the single judge of HC had last year also asked the firm to deposit conversion charges of the land val-
ued at roughly Rs 1200 crore. The ministry in its appeal faulted the single judge for "exceeding his jurisdiction" by "granting a mandatory order in a purely discretionary and contractual matter" and claimed the power to permit land use change rests solely with the government as per the agreement between it and the private firm. On its part the private firm maintained it held the property under a perpetual lease deed since 1942 and had for the first time in 1970 communicated to the UD ministry seeking permission to use the property in question for residential purposes by way of constructing flats. However, the matter remained enmeshed in a dispute between EKSPL and the government over what amount ought to be paid as conversion charges. In 2008 the firm deposited some amount with the ministry that was later refunded by it, prompting EKSPL to seek intervention of HC.
DLF launches luxury residences in Delhi
he country's largest realty firm, DLF, launched one of the costliest residential projects in New Delhi offering 38 luxury housing units at a price range of Rs 15-25 crore. The super luxury residential project 'DLF King's Court', is spread over 2.3 acres of land at Greater Kailash-II in South Delhi, with a project cost of about Rs 700 crore.
sion will be given within three years." Although DLF is yet to fix the basic selling price of the housing units, sources said these will be available for about Rs 15 crore to Rs 25 crore. The company is likely to sell these flats and villas at Rs 35,000-40,000 per sq ft, sources said, adding that the project cost is estimated at Rs 700 crore, including the land
The company is likely to sell these flats and villas at Rs 35,000-40,000 per sq ft, sources said, adding that the project cost is estimated at Rs 700 crore, including the land cost DLF, which had developed 3,000 acre DLF City in Gurgaon and many colonies in Delhi in 1960s, is offering 27 flats, with sizes ranging between 5,000 sq ft and 7,200 sq ft, and 11 villas each of 7,000 sq ft. DLF Group executive director Rajeev Talwar said, "The apartments will be very premium in nature that never has happened in Delhi. The construction has already begun and posses-
cost. Last year, DLF had launched another luxury residential property 'Capital Greens' where flats were sold for about Rs 4 crore per unit at Shivaji Marg, close to Moti Nagar (near Central Delhi). The flats were offered at Rs 11,000 per sq ft. Rival Parsvnath has two residential projects in the National Capital - one at Subhash Nagar (West Delhi) priced at Rs 7,500 per sq ft and the other at
Civil Lines (North Delhi) tagged at Rs 10,000 a sq ft. Another developer Emaar MGF offered apartments at Rs 12,700/sq ft in its Com-
monwealth Games project. At present, DLF has 302 million sq ft of development potential, out of which 40 million sq ft is under construction.
March 4, 2011
Gujarat SEZs attract Rs 42000 crore investment
round a dozen new Special Economic Zones (SEZs) are likely to come up in the state in the next few years which will attract investment of more than Rs 42,000 crore, senior government officials said. A number of developers have proposed to set up SEZs in the state. This includes Sealand Ports, which has proposed a multi-product SEZ at Kutch which would attract investment of Rs 14,700 crore, DNA reported, citing officials close to the situation. According to officials, a number of developers have proposed to set up SEZs in the state. This includes Sealand Ports Private Limited, which has proposed a multi-product SEZ at Kutch which would attract investment of Rs 14,700 crore. Makson Group has proposed two SEZs, which would attract investment of more than Rs 14,100 crore. However, one of its projects is yet to be approved.
Similarly, Avash Logistic Park has proposed a Free Trade Warehousing Zone at Kutch, which would attract Rs 4,400 crore investment. "Buoyancy of the state's economy is what is primarily attracting SEZ developers to Gujarat. The SEZs will not only attract large amounts of investments, but will also create thousands of jobs for locals," said officials. The officials, however, accepted that many of these projects are in the initial stage, and it may be a few years before they take-off. They also conceded that some of the projects may not even materialize. Among other companies, Solargise has proposed investment of Rs 2,500 crore for a SEZ, which may come up in north Gujarat. However, the proposal is yet to be formally approved. Similarly, Anique Infrastructure has proposed a SEZ which would attract Rs 1,800 crore investment.
Plastene Infrastructure, Gujarat (Bhal) Construction, Myron Realtors and Cargo Motors are the other developers that have proposed SEZs in the state. In addition to the new projects, existing SEZs in the state are also likely to attract investments of more than Rs 20,000 crore. According to officials, Dahej SEZ, being developed by ONGC and GIDC, is expected to attract fresh investment of Rs 10,000 crore over the next couple of years. Adani Group's Mundra SEZ, the country's first port-based multi-product SEZ, and JB SEZ, a pharma SEZ at Panoli in Bharuch, are expected to attract fresh investments. More investments will also flow into The Gem & Jewellery Park SEZ at Ichhapore in Surat. The Synefra SEZ and Chervil IT SEZ in Vadodara are also expected to attract more investments over the next couple of years.
Pune to re-examine deal with D B Realty
n a change of stance, the state home department has decided to look into its own move to shift out the Yerawada police station on the Pune-Ahmednagar road and allow commercial exploitation of the three-acre plot on which it stands. It may be recalled that the state home department had all along ignored protests from the Pune police against shifting out the police station. Incidentally, the home department had entered into an agreement for the re-development of the plot with D B Realty, the Mumbaibased real estate company whose managing director Shahid Balwa
has been arrested by the CBI in the 2G spectrum allocation scam. The plot was to be re-developed on a public private partnership (PPP) basis. According to earlier reports, D B Realty had purchased a large piece of land next to the plot where the police station is. The company had felt it would be able to develop its property better if it took over the three-acre plot. According to the agreement between the state government and D B Realty, the police station was to be shifted to an adjacent piece of land and the developer would also build 500 police quarters elsewhere.
Additional chief secretary (home) Umesh Chandra Sarangi said, "We have received objections from the Pune police against allowing the developer (D B Realty) to develop the police station's land. We have not handed over the plot to the developer yet. We will examine the objections before taking a final decision on whether the land is required to be handed over to the developer." The stand taken by home department comes as a moral victory for the Pune police because Sarangi's predecessors had snubbed top police officers when they had objected to the deal.
HC quashes land acquisition notification BANGALORE: Quashing a notification acquiring 79 acres of land two decades ago in favor of a private housing cooperative society, Karnataka government has ordered initiation of contempt proceedings against the state government. "The acquisition is not for public purpose but a colorable exercise of power in order to facilitate a house Society which consists of bogus members as is held by GVK Rao committee report appointed by the High Court," Justice D V Shylendrakumar ruled in his order. The judge also imposed Rs 40,000 cost on government payable to four petitioners who had challenged the acquisition of their land. The petitioners Kempaiah,
Nanjundaiah, Hanumaiah and Chandra, all residents of Jarakabande Kaval, had moved the High Court challenging the acquisition of 79 acres of land in Jarakabandekaval in Yeshwanthpur Hobli, Nelagadarahalli and Laggere, for the Karnataka Gruha Nirmana Sahakara Sangha Limited (KGNSSL) in 1988. The judge said the Society has not been able to furnish details of site distributed by it to its members. "In acquisition of these lands, middle men are also involved and certain amount was also agreed to be paid to the middle men by the Society", the judge said. The court also said the documents were fabricated and produced before the court in order to
sustain the acquisition of land. "In view of all these illegalities, the entire acquisition proceedings are vitiated and therefore the entire acquisition notification and all further proceedings are quashed", the judge said. The petitioners submitted that the High Court-appointed committee headed by former Additional Registrar of Co-op Societies to look into bogus societies has named the respondent Society for indulging in several alleged illegalities. They also stated the Society has indulged in real estate business by involving middlemen." The report has also indicted the Society for it various irregularities and has termed them as serious and grave", the petitioners submitted. -PTI
Real estate most preferred investment option
round 75% young Chandigarh residents employed in public sector undertakings, working in multinational corporations or having different types of businesses or professions prefer to invest in real estate. This was revealed in an Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASSOCHAM) survey titled "Latest Investment Trends Among Urban Professionals", which was carried out in five cities. Chandigarh was second to Delhi when it came to the importance of real estate as an investment option. The urban professionals included doctors, lawyers, businessmen and those employed at offices. The survey was carried out between September 2010 and January 2011. Chandigarh-based professionals divulged that they preferred to invest in the real estate business for the long run as on one hand, it guaranteed them higher future returns and on the other, it helped them stay away from risky investment options like stock market, equity, mutual fund
and gold. ASSOCHAM's interaction with big players in the realty sector found that even expatriates preferred to invest in property in and around the Tricity and that had increased the value of areas like Zirakpur, Pinjore, Kharar, Kalka, Kurali, Ropar, Morinda and Banur,
Chandigarh was second to Delhi when it came to the importance of real estate as an investment option where real estate giants are competing to build residential and commercial complexes. ASSOCHAM secretary general DS Rawat said, "Realty is India's money-making sector as it allows urban individuals to pay monthly rental and provides them with tax benefits as they repay loans."
TOP TEN HINDI FILM SONGS
1 Baby When You Talk To Me: Patiala House 2 Darling: 7 Khoon Maaf 3 Kyun Main Jaagoon: Patiala House 4 Utt Pataang: Utt Pataang 5 Laung Da Lashkara: Patiala House
March 4, 2011
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
o not listen to what people say, what matters is how you feel. This is the strategy that Bollywood couple Bipasha Basu and John Abraham follow. When the entire world is speculating about their break up, the Bong girl and the handsome hunk seem not to care. Bipasha posted on her micro-blogging site, "Whoever from media quoted me in print saying John n me are like a boring couple, is bizarre. My real opinion, we look "Smoking Hot." The actress took over all the rumors that a few days ago were reported by the media. While some speculated that they had broken up as they are not making any public appearances together, some reports said that something is very wrong in the relationship between them as Bipasha has not been visiting John's house for quiet sometime now. While, John prefers to not-respond to all these speculations, Bipasha clears the air every time through the micro-blogging site. The actress also added that they have a magical chemistry on-screen too, "Was watching clips of all my films and I have to say Jism is still my favorite! Everything about the film was magical."
erfectionist Aamir Khan feels he should not have taken the role of a college student in 3 Idiots. "I shouldn't have acted in 3 Idiots as in no way do I look like an 18 year old. The only reason I did the film was because it was about education," said Aamir at a function in the capital. Aamir said he was drawn to the subject of education in movies after directing Taare Zameen Par. "I was drawn towards stories about education ever since Taare Zameen Par and then 3 Idiots happened. Cinema has the ability to reach out to people and more films upholding this cause should be made," said the actor.
uzz has it that the Om Shanti Om girl, Deepika Padukone is a front runner to star opposite Salman Khan in Ramesh Taurani's Ladies and Gentleman. Ramesh Taurani of Tips is again teaming up with Rajkumar Santoshi for the film. As per sources, Deepika might even cut down her fee for this project; money is not the issue. "She is so kicked about working with Sallu that she hasn't charged her market price. This is not something she does often," says a source. The actress has consistently mentioned in interviews that she's love to work with the Dabangg star. However, Taurani maintains, "The film goes on floors in December but we haven't locked an actress yet." We hope Dippy's wish comes true.
March 4, 2011
ana Gupta made her debut into Bollywood with the item number Babuji in Dum (2003) which went on to be a rage among cine goers. Later, she also featured in the item song Oh! What A Babe in Rakht (2004) and in a music album of her own. Gupta is better known to the Tamil audience for 'Kadhal Yaanai' in Anniyan. She is now-a-days in news once again with the dance reality show 'Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa 4'. She has impressed everyone with her dancing skills. So much is her dedication to the show that she broke her nose while performing in a dance sequence but managed to complete her performance with the broken nose before rushing to hospital. She had to undergo an operation for the fracture. Here is what the beautiful 31 year old Czech-born model-actor wrote on her micro-blogging site, "Remember our domestic violence act? Did X-ray finally and my nose is fractured. I wonder how I managed to dance till the end."
ollywood's most talked about couple who can't seem to have enough of each other, Priyanka and Shahid could not have asked for a better film than a love story chronicled over a span of 100 years. Well, Priyanka Chopra and Shahid Kapoor's reel life relationship is expected to last a century. The Kunal Kohli directed film will be an out and out love story spanning a time period of 100 years. The lead roles will be played by Priyanka and Shahid, who, as everyone from the movie buffs to income tax guys knows, are in a relationship. A source said, "This is a very different script dealing with the concept of eternal love. Priyanka loved the script the moment she heard it and has accommodated her dates to shoot with her beau Sasha." When Priyanka heard the narration of this centurylong love story, that too with Shahid, she was reportedly so thrilled that she made changes in her dates diary to accommodate Kunal's film, likely to go on the floors in May this year. Previously Priyanka and Shahid were seen in Vishal Bhardwaj's Kaminey (2009).
riyanka Chopra got into a heated argument with a man in Delhi while promoting her film "7 Khoon Maaf". He was out to rattle her. The incident happened at the recording of an interactive interview. A man, apparently from Punjab, piped in to accuse her of "not being a Punjabi". Said a member of Priyanka's entourage: "Priyanka was taken aback by the accusation. At first she laughed it off saying she is very much Punjabi. But the man kept piping in loudly with his allegation. Priyanka finally told him to shut up and quit before he faces the consequence of her wrath." The man soon after disappeared from the venue, but Priyanka, known to be extremely warm to fans, was hurt by the vehemence of the accusation. Apparently the man kept insinuating she had done nothing for Punjab and Punjabis. A spokesperson said, "It was weird and inopportune. Priyanka's Punjabiyat had nothing to do with the occasion. We don't know where the man came from and where he disappeared to. But the whole incident was suspicious." Priyanka's father is Punjabi while her mother is from Jharkhand. Priyanka spent her growing years in Rai Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh. This is the first time her Punjabi antecedents were questioned, and that too in full public view.
March 4, 2011
On the making of the documentary in the mythic 'heart' of Australia, Uberoi says: "We found ourselves in a family of Aussie farmers, good-natured battlers working hard towards a simple ideal of a good life. As director, this was particularly challenging for me as I was born and brought up in India. I migrated to Australia fourteen years ago but had always lived in Sydney, never venturing into the Aussie 'outback' except on well-ushered tours. Now I found myself trying to decode the workings of rural Australia and a quintessential (white) Australian family. What we found was deeply human and transcended all cultural boundaries. We found love."
Chris and Rachel with their family on their wedding day Chris and Rachel Rohrlach sharing a beer
India Post News Service
NEW YORK: Indo-Australian filmmaker Safina Uberoi's award-winning documentary A Good Man, which opened in New York Feb 25, is the first documentary made by an Indian origin filmmaker to get a nationwide theatrical release in the US. Emerging Pictures and New York's Quad Cinema presented the theatrical premiere of A Good Man (79 minutes) receiving rave reviews.
journalism. Uberoi also made a film for the BBC on British Asian writer and actress Meera Syal as part of the high profile series 'Who Do You Think You Are?. She has won an impressive total of 29 awards for her films. While many of Uberoi's films have been on Indian subjects, in A Good Man she turns her lens on an Australian farmer. The film explores the relationship between Chris Rohrlach and his wife Rachel who is severely quadriplegic. Chris has spent the last 14 years
awards including the Foxtel Award for Best Australian Documentary. At IDFA, the world's largest documentary festival in Amsterdam, A Good Man was voted in the top ten films. Deeply moving and surprisingly funny, this intimate portrait expands the way people think about love, sex, fidelity and disability. "When I met the Rohrlachs," Uberoi recalls, "I knew
Uberoi says the film raises several questions such as: Can a loyal husband and a loving father open a brothel with a clean conscience? Can a 'good' family man also be a good pimp? "These are some of the questions which drove me to make the film. The result is not an exposition, but an exploration. The film invites the audience to frame their own questions and seek their own answers. " A Good Man is an observational documentary following a man who has made some extraordinary choices in his life. This is a warm, intimate, and challenging portrait of Chris Rohrlach's life as family man and sex trader. This is a story about the price of love.,." she says. Indeed, for the Rohrlach's extended family the process of making the film allowed their hidden fears, angers and deep grief to come to the surface. But these good people steer a course that keeps these darker thoughts in check. All seem to agree that they found strength of character that has made them better people.
Chris and Rachel in hospital after the birth of their first child Kieron
‘A Good Man is an observational documentary following a man who Rachel Rohrlach with her teenage son Kieron
Trained in India and Australia, Uberoi is best-known for her documentary My Mother India, an autobiographical film about her multi-cultural family, centered around her Australian mother's life in India after she married the respected Indian anthropologist J.P.S. Uberoi. The film won 11 major awards including the Australian Film Critics Circle Award for best Australian documentary. Uberoi also wrote and directed 1800-INDIA for PBS which won a Golden Eagle Award for excellence in
looking after Rachel, and despite her condition they have two children. In an extraordinary twist to this true story of love and sacrifice, the film follows Chris as he battles against drought and decides the only way to make money for his family is to open a brothel! Filmed with great sensitivity towards the extended family as they cope with Rachel's condition, A Good Man has played at numerous 'A' list international festivals. Premiering at Hotdocs in Toronto, A Good Man went on to win 6 major
has made some extraordinary choices in his life. This is a warm, intimate, and challenging portrait’ immediately that it would be a great privilege to make a film on them. I guess when we talk about people with disability and those who care for them we imagine a story about sadness and sacrifice. I certainly thought that Chris and Rachel's story would be worthy, but kind of depressing. I was so wrong. Chris and Rachel's home was full of light and laughter. Despite everything, they have forged a marriage and built a solid relationship. Their parents…the whole family show a loving solidarity that is truly inspirational."
Rachelís parents, Sandra and Smokey Dawson
With co-producer Jenny Day, Uberoi put together a top notch team, including award-winning cinematographer Himman Dhamija and Editor Nicholas Beauman. While New York Magazine called it "an overwhelming emotional experience", Variety, USA's review said: "Cheerful stoicism buttresses a surprisingly upbeat relationship between a wannabe brothel owner and his quadriplegic wife in the beguiling documentary… offering frequent belly laughs but respecting a rural family's plight… Uberoi proves a sensitive interviewer."
March 4, 2011
Lara-Bhupati get married in Goa Bhupathi expressed his love for Lara by saying, â€˜I look forward to growing old with you.â€™ He continued, "Lara, when I first met you, this day was a dream. Today it is reality. When I'm on the tour, not a day goes by without me wishing I was home with you not a day goes by without me wishing I was home with you instead, so even when I'm gone I am with you." Among the invited guests were Btown celebrities Ritesh Deshmukh, Sajid Khan, Bipasha Basu, Priyanka Chopra, Celina Jaitley, designers including Wendell Rodricks, Sheetal Malhar and from the sporting field Rohan Bopanna and Leander Paes along with his wife Ria Pillai. They all blessed the newly wedded couple. "The couple made sure that the wed-
GOA: The much talked about wedding of the tennis ace Mahesh Bhupati and Bollywood actress Lara Dutta was solemnized at the sunset venue of a heritage five-star resort near Candolim beach. Former Miss Universe Lara, 32, Lara wore an Ellie Saab couture gown for the wedding and looked resplendent. The dress with a 10 meter train looked fetching with a diamond tiara. The look was complemented by the flower girls in a matching shade. Mahesh, 36, wore a black tuxedo, best suited for his tall frame, and matched the style quotient of his ladylove. Lara looked like a princess on her wedding day. Tweeting about this Lara says, "A pic for all my twitter friends and followers! Thankyou for all ur wishes! Had the perfect wedding!" Lara, standing beside the man of her destiny, broke down in tears of happiness. Holding her tight with love, Bhupathi expressed his love for Lara by saying, "I look forward to growing old with you." He continued, "Lara, when I first met you, this day was a dream. Today it is reality. When I'm on the tour,
ding place located within the premise of Taj Aguada resort on the 16th century fort is beautifully decorated," sources close
to the couple said. After the wedding ceremony, the couple in their message said, "We had a memorable time at the wedding. Looking forward to the rest of out lives together... We thank our families and all our friends for making this weekend so special for us." The couple had legally registered their marriage in a Mumbai Court on Feb 17 after which they flew down to Goa.
March 4, 2011 www.indiapost.com
Children's Film Festival and workshop in Elgin Rihela - The Journey Telugu
Foto Malli Tamil Scene from three of the movies to be screened at Children's Film Festival
RAMESH SOPARAWALA India Post News Service
CHICAGO: For the first time in USA, over 26 award winning children's films from India will be showcased here at Visual Performance Arts Center, Elgin Community College in Elgin, a north side Chicago suburb in the third week of March. The event dubbed Children Film Festival is organized by SILPIX Entertainment, Inc. in association with Children's India and
it will be a whole day affair for March 26 and March 27. The movies will be in various Indian languages and, according to Arun Murthy, VP Public and Media Relations, the organizers plan to screen documentary and feature films also from India. All the foreign language movies will have English subtitles. Arun said, "This is not just another film festival" as in addition to screening of movies, there will be workshops in different disci-
plines of movie making conducted by professionals and/or academi-
Children's India, has been organizing children's festivals in India for the past few years cians from the film industry. "Five different theaters will be used to screening the movies si-
multaneously and many classrooms will be dedicated for workshops and other activities to be conducted by renowned Film and Arts Schools." SILPIX, a recently set up company by a group of IT professionals, is also conducting a Talent Hunt in movie-making as part of this film festival, he said. The Opening Ceremony will be a multicultural event organized in association with various local community and cultural organizations.
"Besides, we expect that some of the film celebrities and personalities from India and local political and community leaders invited to attend this event would come and grace the occasion," Arun said. Its Indian associate, Children's India, has been organizing children's festivals in India for the past few years and is likely to help the Chicago company in this direction. Free and ample parking space is available for those attending the festival.
Anil Kapoor, Vidya Balan at channel launch
At an event held at New York's Marriott Marquis Hotel recently, Times News Network's 'Times Now' and 'Zoom' channels were launched on premier satellite service provider Dish Network. Actors Anil Kapoor and Vidya Balan were present on the occasion. Group picture shows Naveen Chandra, Senior VP Times Television Network; Sunil Lulla, CEO and MD of Times Now Television; actor Anil Kapoor; Izabela Slowikowska, Director International Marketing; actress Vidya Balan; and Chris Kuelling, VP International Programming. -Pic Mohammed Jaffer-SnapsIndia
he small town of Bhimtal is famous as a lake resort. It offers to the tourists a quiet vacation and facilities for water sports. This beautiful town also attracts hundreds of tourists every year by its peaceful green surroundings. Bhimtal is located in the northern part of the state of Uttarakhand, in the northern region of India. It is located at an altitude of 1,371 m above sea level amongst the Kumaon hills. It is 23 km from Nainital. The weather in Bhimtal is alpine. Summers (April-June) are mild and winters are cold (November-February). It experiences southwestern monsoon rains in July-September. Best time to visit: The best time to visit Bhimtal is from mid-April to mid-July and from mid-September to October.
29 India Post
March 4, 2011
In the middle of the lake, there is a beautiful island with a restaurant. The island provides a panoramic History: The origin of this small town is obscure. Bhimtal got its name from Bhim, one of the legendary personalities and central characters mentioned in the Indian epic of Mahabharata. Tourist attractions: The main tourist attraction of this small hill station is its lake. It is one of the largest lakes in the district of Nainital. The lake offers scope for boating to travelers. In the middle of the lake, there
is a beautiful island with a restaurant. The island provides a panoramic view of the lake as well as its luxuriant surroundings. Travelers can also explore the region around the lake and take a walk through the quiet forest surrounding the lake. There is a large Victorian dam at one end of the lake and terraced flower gardens can be found on either side. Contâ€™d on page 30
view of the lake as well as its luxuriant surroundings
Travel & Hospitality Post
March 4, 2011
Tourists turn from Egypt to Goa PANAJI: Unrest in countries like Egypt and Tunisia has worked in favor of tourism in Asian destinations, including Goa, where foreign tourist arrivals have gone up by 15 per cent, officials said here. Room occupancy by foreign visitors in the state has gone up by 15 per cent since
for the tourists who had to cancel their Egypt trip following the massive popular uprising there against the Mubarak regime, he said. Ralf de Souza, spokesman for Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG), an umbrella organization of tour operators and
A section of travelers, who had plans to visit Egypt and Tunisia, are now heading to Goa and other popular spots in Asia, Naik said. The state government is in talks with union Home Ministry to relax visa norms for the tourists who had to cancel their Egypt trip following the massive popular uprising there Tourism Director Swapnil Naik
the trouble started in Egypt and the trend is expected to continue for the rest of the year, Goa's Tourism Director Swapnil Naik told PTI. A section of travelers, who had plans to visit Egypt and Tunisia, are now heading to Goa and other popular spots in Asia, Naik said. The state government is in talks with union Home Ministry to relax visa norms
hoteliers, said that the tour operators were scouting for newer options when they had to cancel trips to Egypt. He said that the central government should not be stubborn and relax visa norms so that the tourism industry can reap the benefits. Goa receives around 24 lakh tourists annually, of which 4 lakh are foreigners. -PTI
Nepal sends its civil servants up Everest KATHMANDU: Fifteen Nepalese civil servants will soon abandon their desks for the slopes of Everest to improve government understanding of the challenges facing the Himalayas, organizers said. The civil servants from different ministries, including tourism, education and foreign affairs, are aged between 27 and 54 and aim to reach the top of the world's highest peak during the main climbing season in May. The 30-million-rupee (USD 420,000) cost of the expedition is being covered by the state, and team member Laxman Bhattarai said he hoped it would help the team understand the impact of climate change and mass tourism. "This will be the first time government employees will leave their desks and head for such a challenging mission," Bhattarai, the spokesman for Nepal's tourism ministry, told journalists. "The government officials who work with mountaineers don't have any practical experience of the mountains, and that has hampered the process of formulating policies related to this sector." Around 3,000 people have climbed the 8,848-metre (29,028-foot) Himalayan peak, which straddles Nepal and China, since it was first conquered by Edmund Hillary and
Tenzing Norgay in 1953. The 15 members of the government team began training for the climb last summer and will leave Kathmandu in early April to begin their 75-day expedition. Before ascending to Everest base camp they will climb the 6,160-metre Island Peak to help them acclimatize to the altitude.
Their trainer Padam Ghale, an experienced mountain guide, said he was confident all 15 would make it to the top, even though none had any prior experience of mountaineering. "It was a new experience for me to train these people. They are mentally and physically fit to climb," said Ghale adding that more training sessions have been planned for the coming months.-PTI
Bhimtal: Water sports & quiet vacation
Naukuchiatal Contâ€™d from page 29
Bhimtal is also known for its lovely dappled paths, ravines festooned with dog rose and wild raspberry. Farmhouses are set among terraced fields and citrus trees laden with fruits. There is a Folk Culture Museum in Bhimtal, which is a private institution. It has
a good collection of artifacts and information about the hill districts of Uttar Pradesh. The collection includes ancient wooden artifacts, information about traditional rites, rituals, stone implements, and items of archeological importance. It also houses a sizable collection of reproductions and photographs of rock art.
Places around Naukuchiatal is 4 km from Bhimtal. It is a lake having nine corners. Like Bhimtal, Naukuchiatal also has quiet verdant environs, which attract the travelers. This tree-fringed lake is good for boating. Sat Tal (literally seven lakes) is 7 km from Bhimtal. It is another
important place to visit. Sat Tal was originally a cluster of seven lakes, out of which two have dried up. It is famous for fishing and boating. The densely wooded hills and little creeks along the shores of the lakes are a perennial attraction for tourists. Godhakhel Temple is 3 km from Bhim Tal.
How to reach Air: Bhimtal does not have an airport of its own. The nearest airport is at Pant Nagar (55 km) and the nearest railway station is at Kathgodam (23 km). Road: Bhimtal is well connected by bus with Nainital and Kathgodam. Tourists can also reach Bhimtal by hiring taxi from Nainital or Kathgodam.
March 4, 2011
Travel & Hospitality Post
Exhibition of Chinese antiquities opens in Delhi NEW DELHI: An exhibition of antiquities that brings alive over 10,000 years of Chinese history through some amazing pieces of artifacts like terracotta warriors and special tri-colored pottery of China has opened for the people of Delhi. Inaugurating the exhibition, Minister of Culture Kumari Selja said cultural exchanges between the two Asian countries that are deep-rooted in history are an important source of strengthening people-to-people bonds. The exhibition displays a collection of over 90 selected Chinese artifacts from the Neolithic age of 10,000 BC right through to the 20th century when China was ruled by the Qing dynasty. The exhibition on the 'Ancient Treasures of China' comes three years after a similar exhibition of Indian artifacts was put across four Chinese cities. "The two countries are recognized as the world's two most ancient civilizations, and cultural exchanges between them are rooted in history. The warm interest with which the Indian exhibition was greeted in China in 2006 was indication that mutual interest in each other's culture is very much alive," Selja said. Besides Delhi, the exhibition will also be held in the cities of
Indian-owned casino seeks time to pay taxes KATHMANDU: A leading Indian-owned casino here has sought 30 days time to clear its dues after Nepalese government asked the betting houses to pay taxes by mid-February or to face closure. "We have asked the Tourism and Finance ministries for 30 days grace period for paying the taxes on installment basis, " the general manager of Casino Anna, owned by Rakesh Wadwa, said. The casino owes 7 crore Nepalese rupees to the government as taxes, general manager Tapta Bahadur Bista said. Troubled by Nepalese government's attitude towards the casinos, Wadhwa has recently sold 50 per cent share of the Casino
Anna situated near the old Narayanhity Palace to two busi-
"The government should not discourage casino business as it is providing employment to thousands of people and giving crores of rupees as revenue to the government” nessmen from Chhattisgarh and also overhauled the management by appointing a new general manager. Now Wadhwa is currently op-
erating four casinos in Kathmandu -- Casino Nepal, Casino Tara and Casino Everest and Anna. Wadwa has to pay 20 crore Nepalese rupees as taxes to the government. According to the government, many casinos have not paid taxes for a long time. "The government should not discourage casino business as it is providing employment to thousands of people and giving crores of rupees as revenue to the government as well as helping to promote tourism in the country," a senior casino staff said. The closure of the casinos will directly affect employment of over 8,000 Nepalese people who are employed in all the casinos. -PTI
Book on Tagore's writings during travel KOLKATA: In its sesquicentennial tribute to Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, West Bengal Tourism department has brought out a compilation of his works created during his travels within the country and abroad.
Named 'Jatri Ami,' the three-volume compilation also contains the complete itinerary of Tagore's travels, besides some rare photographs of the poet. The prose and the poetry have been arranged in a chronological order.
"This is a very good publication. The inclusion of poems composed abroad adds a new dimension to the book," Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, an ardent Tagore fan, said while releasing the book.-PTI
Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Kolkata over a period of 10 months, ending in November. The minister said such joint ventures help strengthen the bond of affection between people of the two countries. She said India is preparing to take an exhibition of paintings of Rabindranath Tagore to China as part of celebrations of the 150th birth anniversary of the Nobel Laureate.
Besides Delhi, the exhibition will also be held in the cities of Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Kolkata over a period of 10 months, ending in November "We are readying a second exhibition of Indian antiquities and Tagore paintings. I hope the two sides will collaborate effectively on this so that we can take it to China at the earliest," she said. She also said that such exchanges will also help promote tourism between the two countries by introducing the people to the other culture and history. Chinese Ambassador to India
Zhang Yan said the relics put on display have been collected from six museums from all across China. "Last year, we celebrated the 60th year of establishment of diplomatic relations and the year 2011 was announced as a year of cultural exchange during Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to India last year. "This year, we are looking at a series of activities. We will send art troupes to perform in India, and will hold more exhibitions, seminars and workshops here," he said. Finely carved jade objects, Buddhist sculptures, porcelain pottery and gold objects are other chief attractions of the exhibition that began at the National Museum here and will go on to be displayed at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya in Mumbai from April 7, the Salar Jung Museum at Hyderabad from June 23, and the National Library of Kolkata from September 8. The exhibition is being organized by the Archaeological Survey of India in collaboration with the State Administration of Cultural Heritage of China and Art Exhibitions China as its executing agency. India and China have had intense cultural exchanges over centuries with mostly travelers and Buddhist monks acting as agents of exchange. -PTI
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Tech News Swan defends stakes of Rcom, Essar NEW DELHI: Swan Telecom, now known as Etisalat DB, and Loop Telecom, which have come under the CBI probe into 2G spectrum scam, have told the Supreme Court that the stake of Reliance Communication and Essar Group respectively in their companies were within the permissible limit to be eligible for the allocation of the radio waves. Both the companies said Anil Ambani Group firm RCom and Ruia's controlled Essar Group had less than 10 per cent share capital in Etisalat and Loop Telecom when they applied for 2G licenses during the tenure of A Raja as Telecom Minister. Shahid Usman Balwa, promotor of Swan and Director of Etisalat DB, has already been arrested and was confronted with Anil Ambani during the investigation by CBI. Essar Group CEO, Prashant Ruia, was also summoned by CBI for examination and was confronted with Loop Telecom's CEO Sandeep Basu recently. It was alleged that both the companies were ineligible for 2G spectrum as ADAG and Essar had more than 10 per cent shares in Swan and Loop respectively. -PTI
NComputing bags computer education project CHANDIGARH: Computing solutions provider NComputing says it has been allotted computer education project worth Rs 7.5 crore by the Punjab government. "Punjab government has selected NComputing to deliver computer labs to 480 schools in Punjab ...this initiative will provide computer access to thousands of school children throughout the state," company's CEO Stephen Dukker told reporters here. NComputing will deliver its virtual desktop product which it claims requires 75 per cent less maintenance and 90 per cent less energy consumption than traditional PC Labs. "In a region of such promise as Punjab, where almost 60 per cent of population is under 25, much of its future lies in next generation of educated and ICT aware students," he said. Each of 480 schools will have a five seat computing lab comprising four virtual desktops, one PC, UPS and a printer. "Once installed, the new computer lab will be used to teach computer skills as well as subjects such as reading and maths," he said. -PTI
TechBiz 34 India Post
March 4, 2011
I&B Min disagrees with TRAI on uplinking NEW DELHI: Disagreeing with TRAI recommendations, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry has said the suggested net worth criteria for Rs 25 crore for the first channel and Rs 10 crore for every additional channel for uplinking and downlinking purposes will benefit only big companies. The Ministry said it will deny an opportunity to the medium and small players in TV channels business and adversely affect new or first generation entrepreneurs. ContĂd on page 36
US latex firm taps into 3billion unit condom market in India India Post News Service
NEW YORK: Natural rubber latex is a stretchy material, so it may be fitting that one of America's most innovative latex manufacturers is now stretching its horizons eastward - to India. Vystar Corporation, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, is the developer of Vytex Natural Rubber Latex (NRL) recently finalized an exclusive licensing arrangement with KA Prevulcanised Latex Pvt. Ltd. (KAPVL) of Nagercoil, Tamil Nadu, India to produce Vytex NRL for sales within India and the SAARC countries. NRL features significantly reduced antigenic proteins that can cause latex allergies and a cleaner, purer raw material with proven manufacturing cost efficiencies. Why India, and why now? For one thing, the company says, in India there is access to a large base of manufacturers that produce a wide range of products made with
natural rubber latex. Because natural rubber latex is grown primarily in South and Southeast Asia, most US latex manufacturers have moved operations overseas to be closer to the raw material source.
Other avenues for Vystar growth include the export surgical and exam glove market as India vies for increased share in the growing global infection-control arena Also, by seeking business opportunities in India, Vystar has an opportunity to tap into an over three-billion-unit condom market supported by government HIV/
AIDS prevention programs servicing the 2.3 million Indians living with HIV. Then there is the matter of timing. "The strength of the Indian economy and the accelerated
William R. Doyle, President and CEO of Vystar Corporation
growth of its middle class bodes well for our future in India," says William R. Doyle, President and CEO of Vystar. "India is expected to become the fifth-largest con-
USIBC launches public education initiative on India India Post News Service
NEW YORK: The US-India Business Council (USIBC) has launched "Introduction to India", a public education initiative to reach out to Members of Congress, the business community, and the wider public about USIBC's mandate and efforts to strengthen the US-India commercial relationship. "Since our founding, we have actively opened doors for American businesses in India, one of the world's fastest growing economies," said Ron Somers, President of USIBC. "While the US economy continues to strengthen, our message to Congress and the American people is simple: India is open for business, and the opportunities on the table represent
a 'win-win' opportunity that benefits both economies."
Ron Somers, President of USIBC
"Our two-way trade is close to $50 billion annually and is growing at an unprecedented rate. We
are excited about this new initiative to help the US Congress, the American business community, as well as the public appreciate and realize the opportunities India presents, which translates into more jobs here at home," concluded Somers. Among the highlights of Introduction to India, are: USIBC's membership is comprised of 400 American companies, joined by the largest global Indian corporations; Defense needs in India over the next five years total $50 billion; The Government of India estimates future infrastructure development opportunities to be worth $1.7 trillion; USIBC is actively engaged in India's energy, defense, high technology, retail, insurance and financial services sectors.
sumer economy by 2025. Such growth provides us greater access to a broad manufacturing base, particularly in condoms, gloves and bedding. Rising household incomes, and increasing consumer thirst for higher-value goods and more environmentally sensitive products, will be an advantage for companies like us that serve these markets." Other avenues for Vystar growth include the export surgical and exam glove market as India vies for increased share in the growing global infection-control arena. KAPVL is part of Kurian Abraham Limited/Ooppoottil Group, India's largest latex concentrate processor and the country's largest latex glove producer. This deal was aided by Vystar management's longstanding relationship with KAVPL's principals, who have helped Vystar's move into the country.
Punjab leading state in honey production MOGA: Punjab has emerged as a leading State in beekeeping contributing more than 30 percent of the national honey production. Stating this, a senior Punjab Agricultural University faculty member said the educational institution has been working towards making the sector productive in the state. PAU Head of Entomology A K Dhawan told beekeepers of Moga, Faridkot and Ferozepur district at a gathering here that Punjab had more than 25,000 beekeepers in 2.5 lakh colonies. He said the annual production of honey had risen to more than 10,000 Metric tonnes. Dhawan said Punjab exports honey to at least 47 countries. -PTI
March 4, 2011
Some inflationary pressure to remain: FM NEW DELHI: Maintaining that "some inflationary pressure" will remain in a growing economy, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee urged the states to strengthen PDS to enable the government insulate the poor from the adverse impact of inflation. Replying to members' concerns during Question Hour in Rajya Sabha, Mukherjee said the Centre is waiting for a report on how to strengthen and restructure the existing Public Distribution System in the country. He informed the House that a committee consisting of some chief ministers to look into the issue was constituted in February last year after a conference of Chief Ministers here whose report is awaited. Admitting that there was a big difference between the price paid to a producer and the one paid by a consumer, Mukherjee said, "We shall have to take steps but this cannot be tackled by the central government alone." He was responding to a question by Congress member T Ratna Bai who asked the government about the measures being taken to control inflation. "We can reduce the impact of high rising prices...If we could develop PDS, at least we would be able to protect these vulner-
able sections...," Mukherjee said listing out schemes for providing food grains at cheaper rates to BPL families. "In a growing economy, it will be difficult to say there would be no inflationary pressure....price increase is taking place all
the responsibility of the government to see it remains within manageable limits." Replying to a supplementary by Ravishankar Prasad (BJP) as to when the consumer price index would come down, Mukherjee noted that consumer price index
Mukherjee also sought to remind Brinda Karat (CPIM) that the minimum wages in West Bengal was Rs 56, when the central government had fixed Rs 60 as the wage to be paid to MNREGA workers in the past. "I am afraid, madam, I would not be entering into debateâ€? Pranab Mukherjee
over the world. Some impact will be there. As a growing economy, some amount of inflationary pressure would be there," he said. He, however, quickly added, "It is indeed
of industrial workers and rural workers has come down to single digit since August last year well after a gap of 16 months. The Minister agreed with Shivanand
Tewari (JD-U), who said that the income of common man should also increase along with the growth in economy. "This is an effort, the government has to do....this is the exercise we have to make," Mukherjee said adding the central government's flagship program MNREGA has increased the purchasing capacity of rural households. . Mukherjee also sought to remind Brinda Karat (CPI-M) that the minimum wages in West Bengal was Rs 56, when the central government had fixed Rs 60 as the wage to be paid to MNREGA workers in the past. "I am afraid, madam, I would not be entering into debate. ...When I had fixed Rs 60 as minimum wage, the minimum wage in West Bengal was Rs 56," he said adding that a worker can purchase at least two kilograms of rice when the minimum wage is Rs 100 but he can do very little if the wage is Rs 8 or Rs 10. Mukherjee also said strengthening of PDS is "essentially the job of the state government" adding that the Union government cannot be expected to monitor PDS from Delhi. "If they (states) have an effective PDS system, we will be able to insulate these people from the adverse impact of inflation," he added. -PTI
ONGC has 1.7 bn tonne oil reserves in domestic, foreign fields NEW DELHI: State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) has over 1.7 billion tonnes of oil reserves in its domestic and foreign fields, according to independent audits. ONGC's 64 domestic fields have a total reserve of 1.06 billion tonnes of oil and oil equivalent natural gas while its 12 properties in countries like Russia and Sudan hold almost 640 million tonnes of reserves. The company, in preparation for its share sale next month, had engaged Gaffney Cline and Associates (GCA) and DeGolyer & MacNaughton (D&M) to audit its
64 domestic fields and assets in Russia, Sudan, Syria, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Vietnam, Myanmar and Egypt, official sources said. While GCA prepared audited estimates for ONGC's giant Mumbai High field, D&M carried audit of 63 other domestic fields and the overseas assets. The government plans to sell 5 per cent of its shareholding in ONGC in the follow-on public offer (FPO) next month to raise Rs 12,000-13,000 crore. According to the audit estimates, the 64 fields have proved or 1P reserves of 612.55 billion
tonnes of oil and oil-equivalent gas. Furthermore, 888.04 million tonnes were estimated as probable or 2P reserves which have at least 50 per cent chance of being produced. Another 1.06 billion tonnes of reserves were classified as possible or 3P which have a 10 per cent chance of being recovered. D&M estimated that the firm's overseas assets hold 1P reserve of 119.977 million tonnes, 2P reserve of 288.299 million tonnes and 3P reserve of 639.706 million tonnes of oil and oil equivalent gas.
Invest surplus in developing nations: Pranab PARIS: India has pressed for investment of global surpluses into financing infrastructure in developing countries with the help of multilateral development banks (MDBs). Expressing concern over the lack of physical and social infrastructure in developing and low income countries, India's Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said here that a high level panel on infrastructure financing being set up under the G20 Development Agenda could focus on this issue. The panel could work in a manner in which "global surpluses could be productively channeled into financing infrastructure in-
vestment in developing countries through the modalities of MDBs," he said.
To improve its own infrastructure, India is seeking an investment of USD one trillion during the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17) from internal and global resources Addressing a gathering of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and S Africa) finance ministers on
the sidelines G20 meeting, Mukherjee said the major economies should stand committed to ensure sufficient resources for MDBs. To improve its own infrastructure, India is seeking an investment of USD one trillion during the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17) from internal and global resources. Mukherjee also invited South Africa to join a BRIC study regarding where the world economy would be in the near future and the role of BRICS countries in it. With South Africa joining the BRIC, the club of four fastest growing economies, has now become BRICS. -PTI
The audited estimates are higher than ONGC's self assessment that put domestic and overseas reserves at 1.655 billion tonnes (3P reserves). 1P reserves were estimated at 951.77 milion tonnes and 2P reserves were put at 1.4 billion. Sources said ONGC's self-assessment put 1P, 2P and 3P reserves in domestic fields at 770.86 million tonnes, 1 billion tonnes and 1.21 billion tonnes respectively. For overseas assets, the figures were 180.91 million tonnes, 404.16 million tonnes and 445.61 million tonnes oil and oil equiva-
lent gas. Sources said oil reserves were primarily a measure of geological risk - of the probability of oil existing and being producible under current economic conditions using current technology. The three categories of reserves generally used are proven (reasonably certain to be producible), probable (50 per cent chance of these being produced) and possible reserves (having 10 per cent certainty of being produced). The reserve audit will help ONGC get a good response to the planned share sale likely to open on March 15. -PTI
36 India Post
March 4, 2011
Stop multi-billion tax sops to corporates and rich: Left NEW DELHI: Expressing disquiet over "loot" of public money, the CPI-M has demanded that concessions worth several lakhs of rupees to corporates and high-end taxpayers should be stopped, and used for narrowing the rich-poor gap. Resuming the discussion in the Rajya Sabha on the Motion of Thanks to the President for her address to Parliament, Sitaram Yechury said two Indias are in the making IPL India and BPL (Below Poverty Line) India. Asking the government to shift policy directions, he said living conditions of the people have "abysmally" deteriorated as multi-billion tax concessions (worth Rs 2, 25, 000 crore) have been given to corporates and high-end tax payers. "If these tax concessions had been collected and invested in food security and health, we would have generated employment-demand and growth," he said, adding that petrol prices have been revised seven times in the last eight months. As much as Rs 2, 22,000 crore is being collected as taxes from the petroleum sector. Taking a dig at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's recent remark over comparison between sops to the telecom sector and subsidy to the poor, Yechury said the "argument is bogus." He wondered how incentives for big business houses were good but subsidy on food was detrimental for growth, as was being pointed out. Referring to the 2G telecom scam, he said, "You have chosen not to tax the corporates but the scam lies in the fact that the licenses were sold at least six times their value within six months." He said if the government had agreed for a Joint Parliamentary Committee earlier, the Winter session of Parliament could have been saved. He said the Opposition demanded JPC "to examine how the system was so manipulated to allow such scams." While the UPA Government keeps talking about inclusive growth, it was "doing exactly the opposite" by allowing inflation to increase by encouraging policies like fu-
tures and "speculative" trading of essential commodities. On the argument from the Congress benches that the Rs 1.76 lakh crore loss pointed out by the CAG should be treated "notional", Yechury said it was because the government chose not to collect the spectrum and licensing charges at fair market rates. This money, being described as notional loss, could have been adequate to finance 35 kg subsidized foodgrain to over 80 per
drawn 23 out of 25 PPP," he said. He also cited example of delay in commissioning of the Delhi Airport Metro line. "Delhi Airport, which was PPP, was the only metro line which did not start before the Commonwealth Games", Yechuri said, dubbing the PPP as "Profit-making through Public Fund". Criticizing the government on internal security situation, the CPI-M leader said while the Prime Minister described Maoists as the gravest threat, a minister in the Union
Sitaram Yechury said two Indias are in the making IPL India and BPL (Below Poverty Line) India. Asking the government to shift policy directions, he said living conditions of the people have "abysmally" deteriorated as multi-billion tax concessions (worth Rs 2, 25, 000 crore) have been given to corporates and high-end tax payers Sitaram Yechury
cent of the total households. Alternatively, this could have funded schemes like right to education and healthcare for all, he said. Yechury was highly critical of the Public-Private- Partnership (PPP) models being pursued by the government. The President's address also emphasized the need for involving the private sector in infrastructure development which needs an investment of USD one trillion in the 12th Plan. The Left leader said the deficiencies of the PPP model have been detected even in the west. "London Transport has with-
Cabinet has a "nexus" with the same people. "This government has one member in the Cabinet who has nexus with Maoists," he said. Without naming the minister, he said, "Promises have been made (by the minister that) if we come to power we will release all the Maoists." On incidents like Malegaon, he asked the government to immediately release wrongfully confined youth belonging to a particularly religion. He warned the government that in case these young people were not released, it would lead to "breeding terrorism".
Kerala brings in bill to realize compensation from Coke THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The CPI(M)-led LDF government in Kerala has introduced a bill in the Assembly for setting up a special tribunal to realize compensation from soft drink major Coca Cola for the 'losses' its plant at Plachimada village caused to the people in the area. The bill was introduced following recommendations of a High Power Committee which found that losses worth Rs 216.16 crore had been caused by the Hindustan Coca Cola Beverages Pvt Ltd's plant in Palakkad district. The bill, piloted by Water Resources Minister N K Premachandran, said the function-
ing of the plant had caused environmental and soil degradation and water contamination due to over-extraction of ground water. Functioning of the plant had led to scarcity of drinking water and decline in agricultural produce caused by disposal of sludge containing metals like cadmium, lead and chromium, the bill said. It said the sludge disposal also affected the health of people causing skin ailments, breathing problems and other debilities. The special tribunal was intended to settle all disputes relating to problems caused by the plant within a fixed time limit. The Plachimada plant has been
virtually dysfunctional for the last several years following prolonged agitations by resistance groups including tribals and legal battles against extraction of ground water by the company. The government had banned production and sale of the cola but it was lifted later following a High court order. The bill, titled 'Plachimada Coca Cola Victims' Relief and Compensation Claims Special Tribunal - 2011', was earlier referred to the Subject Committee. The legislation envisaged creation of a three-member tribunal including a Chairperson, an administrative member and an expert member. -PTI
He asked the government as to how it would compensate those who have been acquitted in the Godhra case after languishing for nine years in jail. On foreign policy, he charged the government with yielding to the US pressure. Yechury said India reacted to developments in Egypt only after the US gave its official statement supporting the Egyptian people. He said the US pressure on the Indian foreign policy was also visible on the proposed Iran gas pipeline. "If India does not become endpoint, China will be," he said, reminding the government that the US is not as powerful as it used to be. He said India should assert itself. Rajeev Shukla (Cong) urged the Opposition to restrain itself from painting an entirely negative image of the government saying it impacts foreign direct investment in the country. The Opposition, he said, knew well the intricacies of coalition politics and that is why it had offered certain ministries like defense to the same person for a long time. Applauding the decision for a JPC probe into the 2G spectrum allocation, he said, "JPC probe should be 1990 onwards...if possible, probe should be done on disinvestments too....either by Arun Shourie or us." It is a matter of detailed probe as to how valuable properties like Khajuraho Hotel and Laxminiwas in Udaipur were sold for a few crores, he said. He also demanded a White Paper on the memorandums of understanding (MoUs) entered by the Gujarat government for brining in investments. Talking about huge wastage of food in parties he said, "Lakhs of of tonnes of food is being wasted in 5 to 7 lakh parties across the country daily and even states like Pakistan have a law to check it." Steps need to be initiated to check it, he said. Besides, he said, legislation was needed to check the conduct of the judiciary. Referring to abduction of Malkangiri district collector RV Krisha by Maoists, he said officers should also ensure that they don't fall in the trap of extremists. -PTI
I&B Min disagrees with TRAI on uplinking ContĂd from page 34
There has been a significant growth in regional channels which do not require huge production and establishment costs as their markets are limited to the local population where they provide an innovative mix of diverse contents catering to the population in local language, it said. The regulatory body has, however, reverted back that this was encouraging non-serious players and hence some financial stability is required. â€œAfter careful consideration of the concerns of the government, it is recommended that the net worth requirement be fixed
at Rs 15 crore for the first channel and Rs 5 crore for each additional channel,â€? the TRAI said. The Ministry said TRAI in its analysis has estimated that the capital cost of non-news channels is in the range Rs 10-15 crore whereas the operating cost is roughly estimated to be in the range of Rs 15-20 crore per annum. Based on the capital cost requirement, it is proposed that the net worth requirement of nonnews and current affairs channels and downlinking of channels may be increased from Rs 1.5 crore to be pegged at Rs 5 crore and enhanced by Rs 2.5 crore for each additional channel. -PTI
More US companies cover transgender surgery
SAN FRANCISCO: More and more large corporations, including Coca-Cola, Campbell Soup and Walt Disney, are covering surgery for transgender employees as part of their health plans. The trend follows a concerted push by transgender rights advocates to get employers and insurers to see sex reassignment the way the American Medical Association does as a medically indicated rather than an optional procedure. The number is expected to go up dramatically this year, when the nation's largest gay rights lobbying group adds availability of surgery-inclusive medical benefits to the criteria in its annual corporate diversity report card. Kraft Foods, AT&T, Yahoo!, Eastman Kodak, Sears and State Farm are among 85 large businesses and law firms that cover the cost of at least one surgery. -AP
Flu found most often in the young
PIERRE, SD: Two-thirds of the lab-confirmed flu cases in South Dakota so far this winter are in people age 24 and younger. They also account for 41 percent of the hospitalizations. The state Health Department reported 15 hospitalizations and no deaths in the latest weekly reporting period. It characterizes the severity of the respiratory flu as minimal. Officials say the young often are more susceptible to the flu because they haven't built up immunity. Deaths occur more often in the elderly because they have weaker immune systems and often have other health-related problems. -AP
Flu activity in Arizona earlier than usual
MESA, Ariz.: State health officials say Arizona's flu activity is peaking earlier than usual. The latest report shows there were 851 cases of lab-confirmed influenza for the week that ended Feb. 12. That's just slightly less than the previous week. Arizona health officials say activity of the virus usually picks up in the early part of each year, but this is earlier than usual. Influenza is a respiratory virus that thrives in colder weather, though it can be seen year round. Officials told The East Valley Tribune that about 50 percent of the confirmed influenza cases in Arizona this year have been in children younger than 18. -AP
Health Science March 4, 2011
More than 800 flu cases documented in Wyo. JACKSON, Wyo.: State health officials have verified more than 800 cases of flu around Wyoming so far this winter. The pattern resembles a typical flu season with illness picking up in January and February. Flu season usually begins to taper off in late February. -AP
Judge tosses suit against Obama health care plan WASHINGTON: A federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit claiming that President Barack Obama's requirement that all Americans have health insurance violates the religious freedom of those who rely on God to protect them. U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler dismissed a lawsuit filed by the American Center for Law and Justice, a Christian legal group founded by evangelist Pat Robertson, on behalf of five Americans who can afford health insurance but have chosen for years not to buy it. The case was one of several lawsuits filed against Obama's requirement that Americans either buy health insurance or pay a penalty, beginning in 2014. Kessler is the third Democraticappointed judge to dismiss a challenge, while two Republican-appointed judges have ruled part or all of the law
unconstitutional. Kessler wrote that the Supreme Court will need to settle the constitutional issues. Three of the plaintiffs are Christians who said they want to refuse all medical services for the rest of their lives because they believe God will heal their afflictions. They say being forced to
fer to pay for their health services out of pocket, in part because insurance often doesn't cover their chosen methods of healing. The lawsuit argued that Congress does not have the power under the Constitution to require health care purchases and that the mandate violates the Religious
The case was one of several lawsuits filed against Obama's requirement that Americans either buy health insurance or pay a penalty, beginning in 2014. Kessler is the third Democratic-appointed judge to dismiss a challenge buy insurance would conflict with their faith because they believe doing so would indicate they need ``a backup plan and (are) not really sure whether God will, in fact, provide,'' the lawsuit said. The two others have a holistic approach to medical care and pre-
Freedom Restoration Act of 1993. Kessler rejected both arguments and ruled that Congress has the right to regulate health care spending under the Commerce Clause and that the individual mandate must be viewed not as a stand-alone reform but as an es-
sential part of the law Obama signed 11 months ago aimed at reducing overall costs. She also said that anyone who objects to having health care for religious reasons can choose to pay the penalty instead as the lawsuit said all five plaintiffs plan to do. Kessler also expressed doubts that they can really determine whether they will never require health care. ``Individuals like plaintiffs who allege now that they will refuse medical services in the future may well find their way into the health care market when they face the reality of illness or injury,'' she wrote. The five plaintiffs were Margaret Peggy Lee Mead of Hillsborough, N.C.; Charles Edward Lee and Kenneth Ruffo of San Antonio, Texas; Susan Seven-Sky of West Harrison, N.Y.; and Gina Rodriguez of Plano, Texas. -AP
India brings hope to fight against polio TILKESHWAR, India: Tilkeshwar is one of India's forgotten villages. It's 20 miles (30 kilometers) from the nearest paved road, untouched by electricity, running water, sanitation and even the barest of health care. Life is so bleak that nearly all adult men leave to search for menial work for their families' survival. Here, deep in the floodplains of the Kosi River, the polio virus has stubbornly hidden. And it is here where the long-stalled global fight to eradicate the crippling disease might be on the verge of a badly needed victory. The sudden optimism has been stoked by a startlingly effective campaign by the government and aid groups to finally drive polio out of India. The scale of the effort is staggering. In just five days last month, 2 1/ 2 million workers visited 68 million homes to inoculate 172 million children. Similar campaigns have fallen
short in the past, but two factors this time are different: Health workers are armed with a new, more effective vaccine, and nearly airtight monitoring means virtually no child is missed, not even in the most remote of villages. For India, teetering between the worlds of poverty and new wealth,
mote people. "(It shows) what we think is impossible is actually possible in public health,'' said Bruce Aylward, the head of the World Health Organization's global polio campaign. Across India, one of four nations where polio remains endemic,
India's near success, and a similar plunge in cases in Nigeria, has brought a surge of energy to the long-stalled global campaign against a disease that has paralyzed millions defeating a disease long forgotten in richer countries would be a crucial step in its transformation into a global power. ``It's a stigma for India,'' said Dr. Lakhindra Prasad, chief medical officer of India's Darbhanga district, which covers Tilkeshwar. For the rest of the world, success in India would create a precedent for bringing health services to even the poorest and most re-
only 42 cases were recorded in 2010, a drop of 94 percent from the year before. It is the lowest number ever recorded here. In the Kosi floodplains of central Bihar, there hasn't been a case since last January. In Uttar Pradesh, the other region in India where polio remains endemic, there hasn't been a case since April. ``We think the end of polio is
near, we definitely feel it,'' said Dilip Kumar Mukhiya, a member of the Tilkeshwar village council. India's near success, and a similar plunge in cases in Nigeria, has brought a surge of energy to the long-stalled global campaign against a disease that has paralyzed millions. Last month, philanthropist Bill Gates pledged $102 million to eradication, which he called his top priority; Abu Dhabi's crown prince, Sheik Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, pledged another $50 million to vaccinating children in Afghanistan and Pakistan against polio and other diseases; Rotary International, which has already given more than $1 billion to eradication, unveiled a fundraising campaign entitled ``This Close.'' "This is the best situation I've ever seen,'' said Tim Peterson, a polio expert with the Gates Foundation. ``I certainly think there's light at the end of the tunnel.'' -AP
Health Science Post
March 4, 2011
Red Devils are angels to breast cancer patients FREDERICK, Md.: Teena Broadrup never thought she'd need help from the Red Devils. When she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009, she tried to adjust to her new reality. It was the Red Devils who helped her. The Red Devils is a Maryland organization founded in 2002 by the families of two young women who died of breast cancer. The Red Devils help with the little things in the life of a breast cancer patient - cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping. For Broadrup, it was a session of reflexology at the FMH Wellness Center that gave her a feeling of normalcy. ``I think the thing that's so strong about this group is they look at each individual,'' Broadrup said. ``They're very gentle and kind without being at all intrusive.'' The Red Devils suggested Broadrup get a foot massage, a session of reflexology and a hand massage. She got the reflexology and a hand massage at no cost. ``It was so relaxing,'' Broadrup said. ``I realized I could find relief. They open the door back to that other world that you left when you got that phone call.'' After her diagnosis, Broadrup found that people's responses to her varied. ``Some people act like they might catch it,'' she said. ``Some people don't know what to say.'' She went through stages of grief for her pre-cancer life. ``You are mourning the life you had before,'' she said. The Red Devils called with the suggestion of reflexology right when she needed it, she said. ``The social workers at SOS (another breast cancer support organization) and Red Devils, they
know when to leave you alone. The thing that's so strong about that group (the Red Devils) is that they look at each individual.'' Broadrup progressed from reflexology and hand massage to yoga after her chemotherapy and radiation treatment ended. Red Devils paid for her first session of yoga classes at the Wellness Center. Starting in June, she took Yoga for Cancer Recovery. Red Devils works with local hospitals to determine what will
Broadrup progressed from reflexology and hand massage to yoga after her chemotherapy and radiation treatment ended benefit patients the most. The Wellness Center staff thought Broadrup would enjoy the new Yoga for Cancer Recovery class. ``They called and said, 'I think this is something you might like to try,''' she said. ``It came at just the right time,'' Broadrup said. ``It was amazing they knew.'' Broadrup, 62, had taken yoga in college, but not since then. ``This was the perfect thing to add back into my life,'' she said. ``You don't feel like doing physical exercise when you're hurting.'' Yoga gave her the physical outlet she needed, without asking too much of her. Class instructor Margy Smariga adapts the poses to suit each student. Some use
chairs, others do poses against a wall until they become comfortable doing floor poses. ``I get a fantastic workout,'' Broadrup said. ``I got back into the yoga breathing technique. We all got to be really comfortable with each other. It was a very wonderful support group.'' After the Red Devils support ended, Broadrup decided to continue with the class. She now takes Yoga for Seniors, because the time suits her schedule better. ``I'm moving slowly,'' she said. ``I do part of it on the floor, and part of it in a chair, and I do some on a wall instead of lying down. I'm not in any rush.'' Broadrup has been cancer-free for two years, but she suffered one of the side effects some patients have, and that was lymphedema. This causes a painful accumulation of fluid, usually in the arms or legs. Broadrup wants to help other cancer patients, and she is now a mentor for the Red Devils. ``All the things they did for me, I will be doing that as well,'' she said. ``It's a wonderful organization. You do nothing, and they send you a letter and welcome you.'' Cancer makes it tough for people to continue with social ties. In Broadrup's case, she kept working at the Frederick County Board of Education, where she supervised the parent/child literacy program. That gave her the social connections she needed while going through treatment. But without Red Devils, she would never have gone beyond that. She is also advocating that women get annual mammograms, because that is how her cancer was discovered. -AP
Trying brain pacemakers to zap psychiatric disease WASHINGTON: Call them brain pacemakers, tiny implants that hold promise for fighting tough psychiatric diseases if scientists can figure out just where in all that gray matter to put them. Deep brain stimulation, or DBS, has proved a powerful way to block the tremors of Parkinson's disease. Blocking mental illness isn't nearly as easy a task. But a push is on to expand research into how well these brain stimulators tackle the most severe cases of depression, obsessivecompulsive disorder and Tourette's syndrome to know best how to use them before too many doctors and patients clamor to try. ``It's not a light switch,'' cautions Dr. Michael Okun of the University of Florida. Unlike with tremor patients, the psychiatric patients who respond to DBS tend to improve gradually, sometimes to their frustration. And just because the tics of Tourette's fade or depression lightens doesn't mean patients can abandon traditional therapy. They also need help learning to function much as recipients of hip replacements undergo physical therapy, says Dr. Helen Mayberg of Emory University. ``Once your brain is returned to you, now you have to learn to use it,'' she told the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Roughly 70,000 people around the world have undergone deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's or other movement disorders when standard medications fail, says Okun, among leading researchers who gathered at that meeting to assess the field. How does it work? Surgeons implant a wire deep in the brain. Tiny electrical jolts running from
a pacemaker-like generator near the collarbone up the neck to that electrode disable overactive nerve cells to curb the shaking. Scientists figured out which spot to target based on surgery that sometimes helps worst-case Parkinson's patients by destroying patches of brain tissue. But with deep brain stimulation, the electrodes don't destroy that tissue. The electrical signals can be adjusted or even turned off if they don't help, or if they cause neurological side effects. (The surgery, however, does sometimes cause dangerous brain bleeding or infections.)
Unlike with tremor patients, the psychiatric patients who respond to DBS tend to improve gradually, sometimes to their frustration Psychiatric illnesses require a similar operation but surgeons must implant the electrode into a different spot in the brain. There's the rub: It's not clear which spot is best for which psychiatric disease. In fact, two manufacturers Medtronic and St. Jude Medical have begun major studies of DBS' effects on depression. Each places the implant in a different region, based on promising pilot studies. And the Food and Drug Administration in 2009 approved Medtronic's version for a small group of obsessive-compulsive patients who get no relief from today's treatments, under a special program that lets devices for rare conditions sell before there's final proof that they work. -AP
Auburn to be new home of strongest brain scanner AUBURN, Ala.: The hallways at Auburn University's new MRI center are quiet, the offices and laboratories half empty, and the room that will soon house the strongest brain-scanning device in Alabama is locked up tight. But the scientists here and elsewhere say the work they're doing in this silent space may unlock secrets of the brain. Around the country and the world, researchers are using brain scans to map the brain's architecture, figure out how it transmits messages, and even look at why we eat what we eat, buy what we buy and learn the way we learn. Their work could lead to break-
throughs in treatments for depression, autism, traumatic brain injury and diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. "What we're doing now is just the tip of the iceberg,'' said Thomas S. Denney Jr., the director of Auburn's Magnetic Resonance Imaging Research Center, which opened in the fall. ``We've got this whole area below the surface.'' The key to the work is a highpowered machine made for functional magnetic resonance imaging, fMRI. A step above the typical MRI scanner in a doctor's office, these magnets are able to track changes in the brain by measuring oxygen flow.
Originally put to use in the early 1990s, fMRIs give scientists a way to investigate many of the body's functions, including the heart and limbs. But they soon caught on in a range of fields, especially with psychiatrists, psychologists and other social scientists who realized they could provide insight into why people act the way they do. In the 20 years since the machine came into use, the number of scientific papers citing fMRI studies has skyrocketed from zero to about 2,000 per year, according to the National Institutes of Health. And while early studies focused on the brain's basic anatomy, they're increasingly looking at emo-
tion and higher-order cognition. For instance, psychologists at the University ofAlabama at Birmingham have examined why people choose cheeseburgers over salads, when schizophrenics may not respond to drugs and how autistic children deal with language. At Auburn, researchers with possible projects include a kinesiologist who wants to look at the effects of massage on the brain, a business professor interested in risk-taking and entrepreneurship and an artist curious about how learning art affects the brain. Take David Knight, a psychologist at UAB who is studying emotional responses, especially fear. On a recent afternoon, Retta
Watkins, a UAB undergraduate who volunteered for Knight's study, was strapped into the machine. Pads were stuck to her hands to measure how sweaty she got, and she was given a joystick. After a quick scan of her basic brain architecture, a series of short tones was piped into the machine, followed by the occasional burst of unpleasant static. Using the joystick, Watkins was able to indicate when she thought she might hear static. Using the scanner, Knight and his team were able to see what happened in her brain when she was braced for the sound, and when she heard it unexpectedly. Contâ€™d on page 39
March 4, 2011
Health Science Post www.indiapost.com
Auburn to be new home of strongest brain scanner Contâ€™d from page 38
``When you have an unpleasant event occurring, what regions of the brain are involved?'' Knight asked. While the basic anatomy is largely understood, Knight's work has helped show that the response is larger when the event is unexpected, and the brain is quieter when it's a surprise. And that could have other applications: Knight is applying for funding from the Department of Defense to try a similar experiment on veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder. He's also working with a neuropsychologist to look at patients who've had traumatic brain injuries to see whether they process emotion differently. While many researchers, like Knight, are doing specific experiments, others are working to catalog brains in their resting state, so scientists can compare a normal brain to one with, say, Alzheimer's, or match up a child's brain and a teenager's to see what's different. Still other scientists, including Auburn's Gopikrishna Deshpande, who has a joint appointment in psychology and electrical engineering, are focused on the fibers that connect regions of the brain. ``It's a revolution in a certain sense, because there are aspects of the human brain that we couldn't study in animal models, and now with fMRI we can,'' Deshpande said. But the fMRI comes with some limitations.
First of all, scientists have to be careful not to read too much into the results, which may not always provide a direct link between cause and effect. Second, the scans aren't instantaneous, although future fMRIs may be able to capture shorter and shorter time spans and some researchers are combining fMRI with other devices to fill in the blanks.
'It's a revolution in a certain sense, because there are aspects of the human brain that we couldn't study in animal models' Then there's the problem of the machine itself: Although the sleek white capsule that houses the scanner looks innocuous, it can trigger claustrophobia and panic. Even the calmest subject may have trouble staying still enough for long stretches to capture clear images - a wiggle more than a few millimeters can make the scan unusable - and evaluating patients with certain disorders is even harder. Autistic subjects, for example, may react poorly to the machine's noise, and patients with tremors may move too much. -AP
In Brief New Arizona bill would step up immigration effort PHOENIX: A new bill introduced in the Arizona Senate would take new steps to combat illegal immigration. The bill would tighten identification requirements for school enrollment and other public services, make it a crime to drive a vehicle in Arizona if in the United States unlawfully and toughen the state's mandate that employers check the eligibility of new hires. The bill is scheduled to be considered by the Senate Appropriations Committee. That committee is already scheduled to consider other legislation on illegal immigration. Those include bills to challenge automatic citizenship for US-born children of illegal immigrants and to require hospitals to confirm whether non-emergency patients are US citizens or in the country legally. -AP
Bill would allow Utahns to sponsor immigrants SALT LAKE CITY: A Utah legislative proposal would allow legal residents to sponsor an immigrant who wants to work or study in the state. The Daily Herald of Provo says the bill would allow an unlimited number of sponsored immigrants as long as the sponsor accepted financial responsibility for the immigrants. Republican Rep. John Dougall of Highland says he plans to introduce a bill but it is still being drafted. Dougall says there would be an application fee to cover the costs for administering the program. Dougall says it would provide a way for family members of legal immigrants to come to the state. -AP
March 4, 2011
CE auditing 1,000 more companies' hiring records WASHINGTON: The Obama administration is launching a new round of worksite investigations, maintaining the pressure on businesses to make sure they are hiring only people who can legally work in the US. Details on page 42
'Voluntary' immigration program not so voluntary WASHINGTON: A voluntary program to run all criminal suspects' fingerprints through an immigration database was only voluntary until cities refused to participate, recently released documents show. The Obama administration then tightened the rules so that cities had no choice but to have the fingerprints checked. Thousands of documents made public by the Homeland Security Department provide a behind-the-scenes glimpse of how the administration scrambled to quiet the criticism and negative publicity surrounding the immigration enforcement program known as Secure Communities. The administration rewrote the program's participation rules, the documents show, considered withholding federal funding and FBI information from resisters and eventually dug up case law to justify requiring cooperation. Throughout the turmoil, according to the documents, top officials knew they would get local resistance and were advised in late 2009 that the fingerprints could be checked against the immigration
database without local buy-in. ``The SC (Secure Communities) initiative will remain voluntary at the state and local level. . Until such time as localities begin to push back on participation, we will continue with this current line of thinking,'' says an e-mail written by Randi Greenberg, the communications and outreach chief of the program. It was sent to several people whose names DHS blacked out before releasing the documents.
willingly became part of the program or didn't oppose the state signing them up with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. By fall of last year, ICE decided local officials could not stop immigration officials from culling the fingerprints. The locals could only refuse to receive the information from the federal government on the immigration status of people they were holding in their jails. Local officials, however, still had to hold
Top officials knew they would get local resistance and were advised in late 2009 that the fingerprints could be checked against the immigration database without local buy-in The pushback came. Washington, D.C.; Cook County, Ill.; Santa Clara, Calif.; Arlington, Va.; San Francisco; Philadelphia; and the states of Oregon, Washington, Minnesota and Colorado either raised questions or tried to avoid participating, according to the documents. The communities are only a small percentage of more than 1,000 that
non-citizens for ICE if asked. Patricia Montes, executive director of Centro Presente, a Latino immigrant advocacy group in Somerville, Mass., said the documents showed federal officials are giving local officials ``mixed messages'' and only added to the ``confusion and fear'' among various immigrant communities. Montes scheduled a meeting
with other advocates to discuss the documents. Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has delayed enrolling his state in the program, but has said states are required to join, upsetting some advocates. ``How are you going to make decisions based on information that is not clear?'' said Montes. ``This has to do with lives of people.'' Some local law enforcement agencies generally resist the job of policing immigration. Politically, they feel it's a federal responsibility. Practically, they want residents to feel free to report crimes and act as witnesses without fear of being caught as illegal immigrants. The documents were released as a result of a Freedom of Information lawsuit filed by the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law in New York, the National Day Labor Organizing Network and the Center for Constitutional Rights, which oppose Secure Communities. The Associated Press obtained the documents from Homeland Security after a New York federal district court judge overseeing the lawsuit ordered them made public. Contâ€™d om page 43
LCA in the age of telecommuting CYRUS D. MEHTA & MYRIAM JAIDI
ICE agents seize 940 lbs of pot in Phoenix PHOENIX: Federal agents say they seized more than 900 pounds of marijuana and arrested a suspected smuggler at a west Phoenix auto shop. A statement from US Immigration and Customs Enforcement says agents raided the shop near Indian School road and 39th Avenue after learning it was being used to stash marijuana. Agents seized 41 bundles of marijuana weighing 941 pounds as well as scales and wrapping material. The 40-year-old Mexican citizen who owned the shop was arrested. He was legally in the US. -AP
n H-1B employee has a job with a company based in New Jersey. Her job can, however, be performed remotely from virtually anywhere in the United States or the world. So long as she has good internet access, she can sign in to her employer's server and perform her work as if she were in the office. She usually works at her office, but has decided to work from home in Pennsylvania for two months. When her boyfriend's mother, who lives in California, becomes ill, she and her boyfriend go out to care for her, staying for six weeks. She then goes on a cruise in US waters, still telecommuting to work. She has no work-related duties in Pennsylvania or California (or out in US waters during the cruise), such as working with clients there, and will
be effectively telecommuting to the New Jersey office. What would her employer need to do in order to comply with the Department of Labor's regulations for H-1B workers, specifically with regard to the Labor Condition Application (LCA) rules?
the period of employment, locations at which the H-1B worker will be employed, and that the LCA and accompanying documents are available for public inspection. Telecommuting (or "telework" as labeled by the US government) has become more and more preva-
Telecommuting employees raise important questions and issues in the immigration context, especially with regard to the Labor Condition Application required for H-1B nonimmigrant workers As a background, the LCA is to an H-1B worker like a leash is to a dog. The LCA ensures that notice is provided to US workers about the fact that an H-1B worker is being sought, the occupational classification, the wages offered,
lent. (See studies here, http:// t i n y u r l . c o m / 6 j c c 7 w w. ) Telecommuting employees raise important questions and issues in the immigration context, especially with regard to the Labor Condition Application required for H-1B
nonimmigrant workers. The first issue raised under the facts above is whether a new LCA is required for each location, and if so, whether the posting should be done in the employee's home and in her boyfriend's mother's home. These situations raise interesting concerns about how (and where) work is "actually" performed (as stated in the regulations) in a global economy increasingly characterized by telecommuting. Can it be argued that because the employee is logging into the employer's system in New Jersey, the work is actually being performed in New Jersey? Not likely given the structure of the regulatory scheme, but it is something that should be considered in the global economy. Contâ€™d om page 43
March 4, 2011
Ark. legislature looks at illegal immigration bill LITTLE ROCK, Ark.: An Arkansas lawmaker pushing to prohibit the state from providing non-emergency benefits to illegal immigrants doesn't deny the chief argument against his proposal: that it would cut off services for children and pre-natal care the state provides. Rep. Jon Hubbard, who is expected to present his measure to a House panel, said he doesn't like that the legislation he's backing would affect those services. But the freshman Republican lawmaker from Jonesboro said that's the only way to stop the flow of illegal immigrants. ``I'm not an ogre,'' Hubbard said. ``I'm not trying to be somebody that's hard on the kids. The kids are innocent victims of this, just like the citizens of this state are innocent.'' Hubbard's proposal, which is expected to go before the House State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Committee, would bar the state agencies from providing benefits to anyone in the country illegally. The proposal would not apply to cases involving emergency or life-saving measures. The problem, Gov. Mike Beebe and other state officials say, is it would go too far by denying other essential services to some of the most vulnerable in the state. ``You're talking about taking health care away from unborn children, you're talking about taking health care away from disabled children, you're talking about tak-
ing mammograms away from women to detect breast cancer,'' Beebe spokesman Matt DeCample said. ``And that's all pretty dangerous stuff. ... By just his conscience, the governor cannot support any bill that deprives unborn children of health care or deprives developmentally disabled children from the help they need.'' Opponents of the measure say that many of the restrictions on benefits are already covered by state and federal law, but state
Hubbard said he understands that they will be affected, but described it as a necessary step to stop illegal immigration agencies say the range of other non-emergency services affected could be large. John Selig, director of the Department of Human Services, said a major concern is that the proposal would cut off funding for prenatal care for women who are in the country illegally. The care is provided by the state to women earning up to 200 percent of the poverty level who are either undocumented or who are documented citizens but have not been
in the country legally long enough to qualify for a similar Medicaid program. Selig said the care helps avoid future medical costs and also helps hospitals avoid the cost of uncompensated care. ``Our concern is they are going to be American citizens and Arkansas citizens,'' Selig said, referring to the unborn children. A DHS spokeswoman said other programs that could be affected by the legislation include child welfare and protection and some services for developmentally disabled children. Hubbard said he understands that they will be affected, but described it as a necessary step to stop illegal immigration. ``The prenatal care part to me is like the magnet that draws the parents here in the first place,'' Hubbard said. Another part of the bill that has drawn opposition is a provision that Hubbard said he plans to remove that would have required state agencies to have anyone receiving public benefits to sign an affidavit that they're in the country legally. Hubbard said he plans on removing that provision, which would have required agencies to provide notary public services at no cost to the applicant. Selig said that would have required his agency to spend at least $20 million to comply with that section and hire hundreds more employees. -AP
Kan. House advances immigrant tuition measure TOPEKA, Kan.: The Kansas House advanced a bill to repeal a 2004 state law allowing some illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition at public universities and colleges, with supporters calling it a matter of enforcing the rule of law. ``This is a nation where sovereignty is important. Citizenship is not a trivial thing,'' said Rep. Forrest Knox, an Altoona Republican. Students who are not US citizens but have graduated from a Kansas high school can qualify for in-state tuition at any of the 32 institutions governed by the state Board of Regents, including the University of Kansas, Kansas State University and 19 community colleges. The students aren't eligible for public grants or financial aid, but can receive private scholarship money to fund their schooling. As a condition of the tuition status,
students must work toward becoming naturalized U.S. citizens. The regents say 413 students enrolled under the law last fall. The law has been the target of criticism since it was enacted.
â€˜Your constituents know what they want and they do want this bill,â€™ said Tyson, the primary sponsor of the repeal Critics argue the policy violates federal law, encourages illegal immigration and is unfair to out-of-state and foreign students at Kansas universities and colleges. They estimate the students pay about $1 million less collectively in tuition than if
they paid out-of-state tuition, based on a full year of study at a regents university. Rep. Caryn Tyson, a Parker Republican, said surveys among her voters and others suggest broad support for repealing the law. ``Your constituents know what they want and they do want this bill,'' said Tyson, the primary sponsor of the repeal. Supporters say it helps people who were brought illegally to Kansas by their parents as children. They note the children have met all other requirements to earn the lower in-state tuition. Rep. Mario Goico began the debate by reading testimony he presented to the House Federal and State Affairs Committee when it worked the bill. He told of fleeing Cuba in 1961 following the failed Bay of Pigs invasion and his efforts to get an education. -AP
PRADEEP ROY-SINGH B.A. LL.B. M.B.A. J.D. Attorney-at-Law
Former Assistant StateÂ’s Attorney
Civil & Criminal Litigation Felonies, Misdemeanors, Inc DUI 1 Personal Injury, Business, Divorce etc. 1 Property Tax for Commercial Properties 1 1
2335 W. Devon Ave., Suite 204, Tel: 773-381-1820 Chicago, IL 60659
March 4, 2011
ICE auditing 1,000 more companies' hiring records WASHINGTON: The Obama administration is launching a new round of worksite investigations, maintaining the pressure on businesses to make sure they are hiring only people who can legally work in the US. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has said it has notified 1,000 companies of upcoming audits of their I-9s, forms that new employees complete, and of the identification documents those employees provided to show they are eligible to work in the US. ``The inspections will touch on employers of all sizes and in every state in the nation no one industry is being targeted nor is any one industry immune from scrutiny,'' ICE said in a statement. The agency declined to name the businesses to be inspected.
The latest round of audits will differ slightly from previous ones. Agents previously were told to audit a certain number each of small, medium and large businesses, said Dawn Lurie, who advises businesses on immigration compliance.
have more auditors and other resources for those larger investigations. Audits are usually performed at the state in which a company is headquartered, but agents are being told they can audit other parts of the company if their records re-
ICE still conducts raids, but they are smaller and less visible. The current administration also has been criticized for auditing mostly small businesses But this time agents are being encouraged to investigate larger companies if that's where tips and leads are pointing them. A new Employment Compliance Inspection Center in the Washington suburb of Crystal City, Va., means they'll
view shows there may be problems beyond the headquarters, Lurie said. Lurie said the new focus for the audits is a sign that ICE is becoming more sophisticated in its worksite enforcement.
Immigration enforcement bill brings lawsuit threat NASHVILLE, Tenn.: Republican state Rep. Joe Carr has introduced a bill empowering local law enforcement officers to ask suspects whether they are legally in the country, a proposal that immediately prompted the threat of a lawsuit. A similar measure that formed
part of Arizona's toughest-in-thenation immigration law that passed last year is currently the subject of a federal suit. Carr, from Lascassas, and Senate sponsor Bill Ketron, RMurfreesboro, would not say specifically how their legislation dif-
fered from the enforcement measure in the Arizona bill. They did say they believed their bill would survive a court challenge. That may be put to the test. American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee executive director Hedy Weinberg said afterward that the group would pursue litigation if the bill passed unchanged. â€œIt invites racial profiling, hinders public safety and betrays core American values of equality and fairness,'' she said. Ketron said in the news conference that ``profiling is not acceptable.'' He said law enforcement officers would have to follow criteria establishing when it was reasonable to question suspects about whether they are legally in the country. He would not say what the criteria are. They are not spelled out in the bill itself. Carr, who heads a House committee on illegal immigration, also filed a bill to require employers to use the federal E-verify program to see if employees are legally able to work in the U.S. and a bill to require state agencies to verify that applicants for benefits are legally in the country. -AP
The Obama administration's worksite strategy differs from that of the Bush administration, which focused on high-profile raids that led to arrests of hundreds of workers at a single work site. ICE still conducts raids, but they are smaller and less visible. The current administration also has been criticized for auditing mostly small businesses. Lurie said she thinks the administration's audit tactic is having an effect. ``I do think businesses should be more frightened. Companies across the US need to take compliance seriously. It's ridiculous to say you are not doing anything. We will wait until the federal government knocks at door,'' she said. Companies can take small, inexpensive steps to help themselves, she said. The administration has investigated records of such companies as Krispy Kreme and Abercrombie
and Fitch. An immigration official has said such audits doubled in 2010 over 2008. But critics say the administration's tactic isn't going far enough. At a recent House subcommittee hearing, Republican lawmakers suggested returning to raids and questioned whether more people not legally working could be detained and deported. ICE assistant secretary Kumar Kibble told the House critics that the audits could not be assessed in a vacuum and are part of a larger enforcement strategy that helped bring about the record deportation of nearly 393,000 people last year, he said. Kibble said that in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, ICE performed 2,746 worksite investigations, more than double the 1,191 two years earlier. It arrested 196 employers and fined employers nearly $7 million. That compares to fines of $675,209 in 2008. -AP
Senate rejects bid to stop immigrant licenses SANTA FE, N.M.: Proposals to stop New Mexico from issuing driver's licenses to illegal immigrants failed in the Senate on politically charged party-line votes. Senate rejection of two Republican-backed measures represented a setback for GOP Gov. Susana Martinez, who campaigned last year on ending the state's practice of granting licenses to illegal immigrants. Both proposals failed with 25 Democrats opposing them and 14 Republicans in support. Republicans said New Mexico's licensing system poses a public safety risk, and they suggested that terrorists might be able get a state driver's license. ``It's really about the security of our families. That's what this is about,'' said Sen. William Sharer, R-Farmington. But Democratic Sen. Eric Griego of Albuquerque said the legislation was driven by a fear of immigrants, mainly from Mexico. ``There has been a lot of discrimination throughout our history but we've always overcome it. We have always had the strength of the American character to know that we are a nation of immigrants,'' said Griego. Democrats defended the license law, saying it imposes an insurance requirement on motorists. ``If we get rid of this, it's not going to reduce the number of people without immigration documents who are driving. It's just going to put them into the shadow
world of forged licenses or fake licenses or driving with nothing at all and just running as soon as they are in an accident,'' said Sen. Gerald Ortiz y Pino, D-Albuquerque. ``This is a bad idea. The fact that it's a popular idea doesn't change the fact that it's a bad idea.'' The Senate votes came as Republicans offered amendments to a bill changing requirements for teenagers to get a driver's license.
Republicans said New Mexico's licensing system poses a public safety risk, and they suggested that terrorists might be able get a state driver's license Three states New Mexico, Washington and Utah allow illegal immigrants to get licenses because their laws do not require proof of citizenship. A 2003 law allows foreign nationals in New Mexico, including those living in the country illegally, to get a driver's license. Rather than provide a Social Security number as part of their identification, applicants in New Mexico can submit a passport, a Matricula Consular card issued by a Mexican consulate, or a certified foreign birth certificate with a notarized English translation. -AP
March 4, 2011
'Voluntary' immigration program not so voluntary Contâ€™d from page 40
Fingerprints of all criminal suspects collected by local law officers have always been forwarded to state agencies, which then send them to the FBI to check against its criminal histories and fingerprint database. Under the Secure Communities program, the fingerprints also are run through the Homeland Security Department's immigration database, and authorities can determine the suspect's immigration status and begin deportation proceedings if necessary. ICE hopes to be checking fingerprints collected from more than 30,000 booking sites in the country by 2013. As of Feb. 1, Secure Communities had 1,006 cities and counties in 38 states, according to ICE. The program is credited with the deportations of at least 58,300 immigrants convicted of crimes. ICE declined to make available some of the top officials mentioned in the e-mails, in part because the agency remains involved in a lawsuit with the advocacy groups over the documents' release. In a statement, ICE repeated what it is now telling local officials: The fingerprint sharing is between federal agencies, and local communities can't opt out of sending fingerprints to the federal government. Their only choice, ICE says, is to not receive the results of the fingerprint check, leaving them vulnerable to claims that they don't care about illegal immigrants in their jail. ``This program has already resulted in the arrest of more than 59,000 convicted criminal aliens, including more than 21,000 convicted of major violent offenses like murder, rape and the sexual abuse of children,'' an ICE official who declined to be identified by name said in an e-mailed statement. Most of the participating states and communities signed up voluntarily the city of Houston was the first. But the trouble began in so-called sanctuary cities, jurisdictions that have passed laws prohibiting law en-
forcement from asking people whether they are allowed to be in the country, unless necessary for an investigation. When Secure Communities began, the federal government told law enforcement agencies the program was voluntary and if they chose, they could ``opt-out'' of having fingerprints from their communities forwarded to DHS, several e-mails and documents show. ``Each Department will be invited to presentation that will explain the details for the program, they will then decide whether or not to participate,'' says an Aug. 10, 2009, e-mail whose author and recipient were blacked out. Answering a written question from Congress last year, ICE said the agency ``does not require any
In a statement, ICE repeated what it is now telling local officials: The fingerprint sharing is between federal agencies, and local communities can't opt out entity to participate in the information sharing technology at the state and local level.'' But even as it said this, ICE officials were discussing whether their program was indeed voluntary, as the Aug. 26, 2009, e-mail from Greenberg shows. Opposition from the few resisters grew strong enough to create significant angst within ICE. Emails show month after month of wrestling with how the agency would respond when it was asked whether a local jurisdiction could ``opt out'' of Secure Communities. In some months, the issue appears to be settled, only to be followed by another string of e-mail exchanges on whether communities could opt out. Last year, ICE posted on its website a statement titled ``Setting the Record Straight'' to correct
what officials saw as misinformation issued by advocates. But documents show that too had to be rewritten. ``The (Secure Communities) `Setting the Record Straight' document currently posted on the SC website should be modified to remove the information regarding how a jurisdiction can `opt out' of activation,'' says an undated document titled ``Recommendations for Outreach on Required Activation of Secure Communities.'' It was attached to a Sept. 15, 2010, e-mail sent to Greenberg. Opposition in San Francisco and Santa Clara, Calif., drew queries from Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California, then the chairwoman of the House Judiciary Committee's immigration subcommittee. She also looped in Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Attorney General Eric Holder, elevating the issue and the anxiety over the program. Although Lofgren had told ICE in May that she was satisfied with an explanation on local participation, she said in her July 7 letter that ``there appears to be significant confusion about how local law enforcement agencies may `opt out' of participating in Secure Communities.'' That confusion persisted long after Lofgren's letter. ``We really need to clear up what we can say about SC and making it clear that ICE is not inclined to allow folks to opt out'' altogether, Richard Rocha, then a Washington spokesman for ICE, said in a Sept. 29, 2010, e-mail. By this time, Napolitano already had responded to Lofgren in a Sept. 7 letter, with instructions on whom communities should contact if they wanted to opt out. The rules first allowed meetings to be held to discuss the communities' concerns and possibly resolve them, but later some communities were told it was up to their states, not them. ``It seems like a lot of states and LEAs (law enforcement agencies) don't want to say they support this due to political pressures, and
Indiana Senate OKs contentious immigration bill INDIANAPOLIS: The Indiana Senate approved a contentious Arizona-style that would crack down on illegal immigration. The Republican-ruled Senate voted 31-18 for the bill, which contains penalties for businesses that hire illegal immigrants and allows police officers to ask someone for proof of immigration status if they have a reasonable suspicion the person is in the country illegally. Supporters say Indiana must act because the federal govern-
ment has shirked its responsibility to deal with illegal immigration. Sen. Brent Waltz, R-Greenwood, said police in Indiana should have the right to enforce federal immigration law just as they enforce other laws. ``I don't understand why immigration should be any different,'' he said. Bill opponents fear the measure would lead to racial profiling and hurt economic development and tourism efforts.
``I can't be quiet while Indiana becomes one of a handful of states to adopt some of the most restrictive and racially controversial measures in the country,'' said Sen. Karen Tallian, D-Portage. ``We should not do this.'' Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels has declined to take a public stance on the proposal, which has been opposed by the conservative Indiana Chamber of Commerce, Indiana's Republican attorney general and others. -AP
want us to make it mandatory to let them off the hook. Would you support a new strategy for activations?'' Susan Penney of Secure Communities said in a Feb. 10, 2010, e-mail. As the District of Columbia's city council considered a bill last summer prohibiting police from participating in the program, ICE considered cutting off money the federal government pays local communities for holding immigrants. ``Grants should be denied them in the future if the bill referred to
below by (name redacted) passes. It is absurd to claim that the presence of illegal aliens in your jails is an undue burden at the same time you refuse to cooperate with ICE in removing them,'' said a May 5, 2010, e-mail sent to Susan Penney and others with the subject ``FW: Update on DC.'' In a Sept. 29, 2010, e-mail, Gibson suggested refusing to give criminal history information from the FBI to local officials who didn't participate. ``If you want their data, you play ball with all federal partners,'' she said in her e-mail. -AP
LCA in the age of telecommuting Contâ€™d from page 40
The laws governing the LCA and H-1B processes are out-dated. They do not recognize, and in fact guidance issued by USCIS in 2010, available at http://tiny.cc/z3ZU8, makes clear that some government agencies view with skepticism, the global economy and the increasing frequency of telecommuting. The LCA and the attestations an employer makes when submitting one were developed as a means to protect wages and working conditions, and to ensure that US workers are made aware of the hiring of H-1B professionals (which makes the concept of posting an LCA in someone's home or vacation hotel room somewhat absurd). The regulatory scheme is largely location-oriented. Violation of the regulatory framework may result in fines, debarment from participation in the LCA (and thus H-1B) process, and further investigations. Thus, even where a company pays the required wage for any location and has no intent of violating the procedures, a failure to comply with the specific technical requirements, even where compliance seems absurd, may result in penalties. USCIS has become more location-oriented in its analysis of H1B petitions. USCIS now examines worksite issues more closely and, with the recently issued Form I-129, has begun to request greater detail on worksites and itineraries for all H-1B petitions. The agency's interest stems in part from its concern with the existence of a proper employer-employee relationship to support an H-1B petition. (For more information, see From Problem to Springboard: Tips on Using the Neufeld Memorandum in Support of H-1B Petitions, available at tinyurl.com/33t7fkz.) Such a relationship is defined in part by where an employee is working and whether the employer
has control over the employee's work at that location. The companies currently subjected to the highest scrutiny are those that place workers at end client sites (i.e., work locations not controlled by the petitioning employer) to perform services/work. But the concerns raised in that category may spread to other circumstances, such as the employee telecommuting from home. The definitions addressing where an H-1B employee works were developed originally with a focus on the worker's actual physical location, assuming that the job duties would need to be performed
Violation of the regulatory framework may result in fines, debarment from participation in the LCA in a particular location. Gathering statistics and issuing prevailing wage determinations require pinpointing a particular city or geographic area. The entire prevailing wage framework is place-based. 20 CFR 655.715 provides the following definitions: Area of intended employment means the area within normal commuting distance of the place (address) of employment where the H-1B nonimmigrant is or will be employed. Place of employment means the worksite or physical location where the work actually is performed by the H-1B, H-1B1, or E-3 nonimmigrant. (To be continued) * Cyrus D Mehta, may be contacted at 212-425-0555 or firstname.lastname@example.org
44 India Post
March 4, 2011
Fri March 4 • DJ Rekha at Sunstar Music Festival Venue: Kelly-Strayhorn Theatre, 5941 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, Pennsylvania, Time: 9pm to 2am Contact: 516-994-6664
Sat March 5
Sat March 5 • Learn Fab Bollywood Dance Routines! Venue: Dance SPA, 1890 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, Illinois Time: 11:30am to 12:30pm Contact: 650-380-6270
• Lo Gujjubhai Ghode Chadaya
Sat March 12
Venue: Hindu Temple Auditorium, 143 - 09 Holly Avenue, Flushing, New York Time: 7pm to 11pm Contact: 732-763 -0118
• Rajasthani Association Venue: Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago, 10915 Lemont Road, Lemont, Illinois Time: 5pm to 10pm Contact: 630-886-3106
Sat March 19 • Westchester County Home Show
Fri March 18
Venue: Westchester County Center, 148 Martine Avenue, White Plains, New York Time: 5pm to 6pm Contact: 860--918-0891
• Art of Living Course Venue: Westmont, 127 Whote Birch Lane, Westmont, Illinois Contact: 630-654-0852
Fri March 4 • Lo Gujjubhai Ghode Chadiya Venue: Eastern High School, 1401 Laurel Oak Road, Voorhees, New Jersey Time: 8:30pm Contact: 732-277-6687
Sun March 20 • Holi Venue: Knights of Columbus Hall, 116 Grand St., Iselin, New Jersey Time: 10am to 11:30am Contact: 732-207-7592
Sun April 10 • Maywood Springtime Family Festival Venue: Maywood Market Place, 78 West Pleasant Ave, Maywood, New Jersey Time: 10am to 5pm Contact: 201-998-1144
Upcoming Sun March 6 • Come And Meet Shankar Mahadevan Venue: Reston Sheraton, 11810 Sunrise Valley, Drive Reston, Virginia Time: 4pm Contact: 1-888-SHANKAR
SAT MARCH 12 Scarlet Night "An Affair of the Heart" Venue: San Jose Convention Center, 150 W San Carlos St, San Jose, CA Time: 6pm to 11:30pm Contact: 650 940 7242 Highlights: The South Asian Heart Center's fundraiser, Scarlet Night, is an entertainment extravaganza featuring a fashion show, casino and a banquet. Join dynamic emcee Prakash Vaswani to show your support for the cause.
Sun April 10 • Ganesh/Kumaresh - Violin Duet Venue: ICC (India Community Center), 525 Los Coches St, Milpitas, Bay Area Time: 8pm Contact: (408) 370-6932
Thurs May 5 • Fund raising Volleyball tournament Venue: Ponderosa Park, Sunnyvale, CA Time: 8am to 5pm
Mon July 4
Sat Nov 12
• Rathyatra, Festival of India
• Hello Namaste Satsriakal Masti
Venue: National Mall (in front of Air & Space Museum), Washington, DC Time: 10:30am to 9pm Contact: 301-299-2100
Mon August 22 • Shri Krishna Janamastami Venue: Hare Krishan Temple, 10310 Oaklyn Drive, Potomac, Maryland Time: 4:30am to 1am Contact: 301-299-2100
Venue: Chandni Restaurant, 5748 Mowry School Rd, Balentine Plaza, across Hilton Hotel, Newark, CA 94560 Time: 7pm Contact: 510-299-1138 Highlights: Bollywood Singers and Lollywood Music Director Hungama Musical Live Band Dance Party Dance Performances Banquet Style Dinner, Single Ladies and Men - Come and Register with Hamraahi Matrimonial.
Sat March 5 • Jhoomti Shaam 2011 Venue: Fred Kavli Theatre for the Performing Arts, 2100 Thousand Oaks Blvd, Thousand Oaks, California Time: 5pm to 9pm Contact: 408-221-2229
Sat March 12 • Disco Deewane Venue: Chakra, 151 S Doheny Dr, Beverly Hills, California Time: 9pm to 2pm Contact: 818-977-3472
Sun March 20 • Holi on the Beach 2011 Venue: Will Rogers State Beach (Between towers 5&6), Pacific Coast Highway & Temescal Canyon Road, Pacific Palisades, Alabama, CA Time: 10am to 3pm Contact: (310) 923 6491
Sat April 16 • Pediatric Feeding Seminar Venue: Embassy Suites Hotel, 2053 Grant Rd Suite 158, Los Altos, Los Angeles Contact: 650-752-4993
Sat April 30 • Festival of Books Venue: University of Southern California, 3551 Trousdale Pkwy, Los Angeles Contact: 866-790-5813
Mon Aug 1 • Yogalicious! Venue: Art of Living Center Los Angeles, 948 W Adams Blvd, Los Angeles, California Time: 6:30pm to 9pm Contact: 310-820-9429 Highlights: Its programs teach a blend of ancient eastern breathing techniques and wisdom that help eliminate stress, restore the highest human values.
March 4, 2011
India Post 45
Your Weekly Future by Pandit Parashar
MARCH 4TH TO MARCH 10TH ARIES (MARCH 21 TO APRIL 20)
TAURUS (APRIL 21 TO MAY 20)
aturn's transit in sixth will bring lots of relief in your mind. Good chances are that few major issues causing stress for past few years will suddenly get resolved. You may find a very good and suitable match for marriageable child. Business will pick up suddenly and you may get favorable outcome in ongoing legal battle also.
xpect some fortunate changes in life. You will get the news but may take another week or so to get things implemented. Planet will throw an excellent opportunity in career which will be impossible to ignore. You may also start some kind of loan process. Once again you will put the past behind and enjoy life.
GEMINI (MAY 21 TO JUNE 20)
CANCER (JUNE 21 TO JULY 22)
hysical activities will increase. Not only you will accomplish a lot but shed away few pounds in the process. Money will come from more than one source. You will go out and spend money on yourself too after long interval. New product will open doors for more revenue in business.
aturn's transit in third will free you from all bondages of past. You will have a big chance to prove your ability. Deal is all yours. You may make big money through stocks also. You will spend money on buying some fine quality item for personal use.
LEO (JULY 23 TO AUGUST 22)
VIRGO (AUGUST 23 TO SEPTEMBER 22)
ou may invest heavily in a massive project. An important business trip will be finalized. You may go with family on a short trip to a beautiful place this week. Mind will become very creative and you will make few changes inside your home. Some one needy will call for help. Very fruitful week for people in real estate or food business.
resentation given recently will start to reap rich rewards. A big contract will be signed. You will also receive a big check in mail. A female will be instrumental in opening new doors. Legal issues causing stress will get cleared without causing any damage. You may also arrange a small get together and invite few colleagues.
LIBRA (SEPTEMBER 23 TO OCTOBER 22)
SCORPIO (OCTOBER 23 TO NOVEMBER 22)
ou will see the uncertainty and pressure at work going away. Changes at work will benefit you for long time. You may recover some past due money also. You will have the chance to help many with your expertise. People in business will have increased foot traffic and make new clients. You may visit an interesting place with family.
ou should be careful and think of a backup plan before buying the property for investment purpose. You will really take interest and enjoy the new assignment. This is the perfect time to pick up the phone and make the appointment you had been avoiding. Money wise you will continue to do well.
SAGITTARIUS (NOVEMBER 23 TO DECEMBER 22)
CAPRICORN (DECEMBER 22 TO JANUARY 19)
avorable outcome in legal matters are in the air. Once again you will start to feel lucky as most of your attempts will be successful. A new member will be added in the family soon. You will be moved to an important project. Boss will be friendly but keep an eye on the progress. You are going to spend lots of money.
evelopments taking place now will improve your income for long time to come. Planets will bring positive changes in your attitude. You may be drawn towards an interesting personality and start a secret relationship. Money long overdue will be recovered using little diplomacy. You will spend quality time with friends.
AQUARIUS (JANUARY 20 TO FEBRUARY 18)
PISCES (FEBRUARY 19 TO MARCH 20)
ou will be given very limited choice and asked to make up your mind quickly. People involved in research work will finally get the breakthrough. You may make an offer on an old property that needs some visible repairs. You will finally start to feel relaxed abut a child also. You will be invited to a big party this weekend.
Pandit Parashar, CEO & COO Astro Scan USA is also available for individual consultations. He can be reached at: email@example.com
ou will put all worries aside and enjoy with family and friends this week. A new person will give valuable lead and advice. You will slowly start preparing for an upcoming important presentation. Mind will be at ease and spouse will be a big support. You will be traveling to a warmer place with family and some friends.
925-833-7170 website: www.parashar.com
March 4, 2011
Obama's AfPak policy has failed thanks to Pak AJAI SAHNI & TUSHAR RANJAN MOHANTY
...if it weren't for nuclear weapons, Pakistan would be the Congo... US State Department note published by Wikileaks
or far too long, Western powers - vigorously led by the US - have been party to a comprehensive cover-up, a pretence that has sought to minimize Pakistan's role in the active sponsorship and export of terrorism, and an effort to distract international attention from the country's failing institutions, to emphasize, instead, its acts of purported 'cooperation' with global counter-terrorism efforts. This farce, and elements of the international community's real appraisal of Pakistan and the many players in the country, lay fully exposed with the Wikileaks disclosure of US diplomatic correspondence and confidential assessments in 2010. These have fully confirmed the continuing complicity of the Pakistani establishment in terrorism in the South Asian region and beyond; the corruption and mendacity of its various institutions of Government; the
is spreading into northern Sindh as well." Another post notes, "The bad news is that the militants increasingly are setting the agenda." Moreover, "The government's anti-terrorism strategy is based on 'dialogue, deterrence and development'; however, it lacks the military capacity to deter militants and the financial resources to develop the FATA and NWFP. Its historic fallback has been to play for time by conducting negotiations with militants, a disastrous tactic that only has made the extremists stronger." The country was facing "pending economic catastrophe." Then Special Advisor on AfPak, Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, in a May 29, 2009, note, observed that Pakistan was a centre for terrorist financing through Islamic charities. Despite a clear acceptance of these many aspects of the chaos that is Pakistan, the US remained helpless to counter these trends, since it saw itself as being trapped in a "co-dependent relationship" with Pakistan. Significantly, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP)
intelligence and security agencies, with fatalities rising from 277 to 347. Civilians also bore the brunt of terroristrelated fatalities in Punjab, though fatalities even in this category fell from 293 in 2009 to 272 in 2010. Nevertheless, an index of the inherent instability of the system was provided by the assassination on January 4, 2011, of Salman Taseer, the Governor of the Province, by his own bodyguard, with the possible foreknowledge of his entire security detail. The Taseer assassination is only the latest and most dramatic manifestation of the passions and abuse that have flowed from Pakistan's blasphemy laws. Nevertheless, in the wake of the killing, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, under visible pressure from Islamist extremist parties, made it abundantly clear that the law would not be amended. Sherry Rehman, a former Information Minister, was pressured to withdraw a private member's bill pending in Parliament, seeking reforms in the blasphemy law. Rehman angrily declared, "Appeasement of extremism is a policy that will
Despite a clear acceptance of these many aspects of the chaos that is Pakistan, the US remained helpless to counter these trends, since it saw itself as being trapped in a "co-dependent relationship" with Pakistan country's hurtling trajectory towards state failure. In sharp contrast to frequent public declarations of faith in Pakistan's capacities to tide over its rising crises, one leaked diplomatic post thus reads, "Although we do not believe Pakistan is a failed state, we nonetheless recognize that the challenges it confronts are dire... The government is losing more and more territory every day to foreign and domestic militant groups; deteriorating law and order in turn is undermining economic recovery. Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff, General Ashfaq Kayani, is revealed to have plotted an 'informal coup' to dismiss the President. Hundreds of millions of dollars of US aid, earmarked for fighting militants, were being diverted. Crucially, then US ambassador to Pakistan, Anne Patterson, warned that no amount of US aid would change the Pakistan army's covert support for four major terrorist formations, the Afghan Taliban, the Haqqani group, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar's fighters, and the Lashkar-e-Toiba: "...there is no chance that Pakistan will view enhanced assistance... as sufficient compensation for abandoning support to these groups". Moreover, extremism was "no longer restricted to the border area", and fighters were increasingly being recruited from the Punjab province, even as "the phenomenon
wife in the 26/11 attacks. The Raymond Davis episode has further strained US-Pakistan diplomatic relations. Davis, suspected to be an undercover spy, shot dead two persons on January 27, 2011, in Islamabad. Reports suggest that the two may have been ISI agents, though Davis claims he fired during an apparent robbery attempt. The Barack Obama's administration has proposed to Congress a total of USD 3.1 billion in its budget for economic and security assistance and diplomatic operations in Pakistan, for the fiscal year 2012, beginning October 1, 2011. Earlier, on January 27, 2011, President Barack Obama discussed ways of achieving US goals in Afghanistan and Pakistan with his top security and foreign policy advisors. There seems to be growing uneasiness in the US over the status of its AfPak policy, which many believe has failed to generate any positive impact. Indeed, the continuing farce of the US AfPak policy, and the war of imminent flight the ISAF is seen to be fighting in Afghanistan, can only destabilize the region - and
Indeed, the continuing farce of the US AfPak policy, and the war of imminent flight the ISAF is seen to be fighting in Afghanistan, can only destabilize the region - and Pakistan in particular
CO-OPERATION FROM ALLY: A Pakistani driver looks for items inside an oil tanker that was attacked by suspected militants at a terminal in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. Islamist militants attacked and set fire to at least 20 tankers carrying oil for NATO and U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
accounts for the overwhelming proportion of the dramatic drop in fatalities and violence, essentially indicating active disengagement between the SFs and extremists in this Province, as the total killed declined from 5,497 in 2009 to 1,202 in 2010. Terrorism related fatalities also fell in the Punjab, from 441 to 316 over the same period. However, FATA saw 5,408 killed in 2010, as against 5,304 in 2009; in Balochistan, fatalities rose from 277 to 347; while Sindh saw an increase from 66 to 162. FATA has acquired particular significance for Islamabad, since the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), which threatens the country with massive internal destabilization, has now substantially concentrated its forces in this Province. Pakistan's SFs have, consequently, focused overwhelming attention against this principal sanctuary of the TTP, even as they continue to studiously avoid any action against elements of the Afghan Taliban, the al Qaeda and the various Indiadirected groups that continue to be seen as serving the countries perceived 'strategic interests'. Balochistan continued to witness overwhelming and relentless military repression, human rights violations and excesses by
have its blowback", and is presently under death threats from extremist groups. With cumulative evidence of Pakistani reluctance to act against major terrorist formations operating in Afghanistan, it is unsurprising that relations between Islamabad and Washington have come under increasing strain. On December 16, 2010, the Central Investigation Agency (CIA) station chief in Islamabad, Jonathan Banks, was forced to leave the country after his name was disclosed in a class-action lawsuit brought by Kareem Khan, a tribesman from the NWA, who sued the CIA over the deaths of his son and brother in a 2009 US missile strike. The diplomatic relation between the two countries fell to an all-time-low as it was suspected that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) leaked the CIA station chief's name. It was no coincidence that the lawsuit against the CIA station chief occurred shortly after the head of Pakistan's directorate, Lieutenant General Ahmed Shuja Pasha, was accused in a civil lawsuit for alleged involvement in the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai. The suit was brought in US District Court in Brooklyn by family members of the American rabbi killed alongside his
Pakistan in particular - even further. Islamabad remains unwilling to act consistently against a wide spectrum of Islamist terrorists and extremists - with the exception of the TTP and factions that operate within the country, even as stranglehold of radicalism strengthens over the country's institutions and chokes of the most incipient signs of reform. A significant proportion of foreign aid continues to be diverted to the extremist constituency in the country, even as this constituency continues to enjoy unfettered access to a wide range of independent financial sources. In December 2009, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wrote, somewhat coyly, that "some ISI officials... continue to maintain ties with a wide array of extremist organizations, in particular the Taliban, LeT and other extremist organizations." The persistent ambivalence about the role of state institutions in promoting terrorism sourced from Pakistan is now no longer sustainable. Regrettably, the world, and the US in particular, is yet to respond unambiguously to the continuing adventurism of a nation that should have been declared rogue more than two decades ago. Ajai Sahni is Editor, SAIR; Executive Director, Institute for Conflict Management and Tushar Ranjan Mohanty is Research Assistant, Institute for Conflict Management
March 4, 2011
India Post 47
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very real religion consists of two parts. One part teaches what is to be done. The other part teaches how to do what the first part teaches. This part is preserved in secret in special schools. Organic life transmits planetary influences of various kinds to the earth, and it serves to feed the Moon and to enable it to grow and strengthen. But the Earth is also growing in the sense of greater consciousness, greater receptivity. The cessation of evolution may mean the destruction of humanity. Humanity is moving in a circle. In one century it destroys everything it created in another. The growth of knowledge in one domain evokes the growth of ignorance in another. A balanced process cannot be changed at any moment it is desired. It can be changed and set on a new path only at certain "crossroads". In the law of octaves, these "crossroads" are called the "intervals" mi-fa and si-do. Life is governed by those who are the least conscious, by those who are most asleep. In life we see a preponderance of vulgarity and stupidity of all kinds. Contemporary culture requires automatons. Man is becoming a willing slave. The whole of humanity is composed of several concentric circles. The inner circle, the "esoteric", consists of people who SWAMI KRISHNANANDA
s there a world? We know it is, by means of sensations from outside, which are converted later into perceptions and concepts. But is it really a world that we perceive? We receive sensations and have ideas formulated according to what we think is a logical way of dealing with things. And when we have a visual, auditory or tactile sensation, we feel we are in contact with an object. But have we any contact with what is not a sensation? We have every right to assert that we have real sensations and real experience. But of what? Of sensible qualities. Science has taught us today that the sensed properties point to a something of an indeterminable nature, observable as radiant energy, force, etc. We are told that the mass of a body is variable. It appears to be fixed in low rates of motion, but it cannot be perceived in states of high velocity. Objects are fields of force, which appear as substances due to our channelising the consciousness through sensory moulds. Pure force cannot be con-
have attained the highest development possible for man. The next outer circle, the "mesoteric", is the middle circle. The third circle is called the "exoteric". There also exists an outermost circle. There are four ways to enter the innermost circle: • Way of the fakir - the physical body • Way of the monk - the religious way • Way of the yogi - the way of
which a man must do on himself. Everything happens; no one does anything. The human mind is incapable of even realizing its own helplessness. The density of vibrations and the density of matter express many other properties of matter. The speed of vibrations shows the intelligence or the consciousness of matter. There is nothing dead or inanimate in nature. In ordinary science, classifica-
watch on the whole of himself. A man is much too lazy. He will never attain the necessary intensity by himself. In work, only super-efforts are counted. A super-effort is an effort beyond the effort that is necessary to achieve a given purpose. Another form of super-effort is carrying out any kind of work at a faster rate than is called for by the nature of the work. The three principal centers - the
Inner growth depends on man's work on himself Life is governed by those who are the least conscious, by those who are most asleep. In life we P. D. Ouspensky
see a preponderance of vulgarity and stupidity
the mind • Fourth way - the way of the work Transitions from one level of being to another were marked by ceremonies of presentation of a special kind, that is, initiation. But a change of being cannot be brought about by any rites. Systems and schools can indicate methods and ways, but no system or school whatever can do for a man the work that he must do himself. Inner growth, a change of being, depends entirely upon the work
tion is made according to external traits - bones, teeth, and so on. In exact knowledge, classification is made according to cosmic traits. The cosmic level of being is determined by (1) what the creature eats (2) what he breathes (3) the medium in which he lives A man can not improve on his food or air, but he can improve on his impressions. Schools are imperative because of the complexity of man's organization. A man is unable to keep
thinking, the emotional, and the moving - are connected together, and in a normal man, they are always working in unison. This unison is what presents the chief difficulty in work on oneself. Everything is connected, and one thing cannot exist without another thing. In life everything is always arranged far too comfortably for man to work. Excerpted from 'In Search of the Miraculous' The 133rd birth anniversary of P.D. Ouspensky falls on March 5
fined to space or time, and the shape, position and time of location of an object have different significations in different perspectives or frameworks of perception. We see a world, because we do not see ourselves properly as essential elements in all experience. The student who studies the world goes with the world, and in vain
cess envisaged by an all-inclusive consciousness. There are no bodies visible or tangible, but there is a tremendous mystery that ever recedes from our world which has been reduced to mere frames of reference to a witnessing consciousness. Where is the world of experience? It has shriveled into conditions of feeling and sensation,
it is an illusion created by him. No amount of intellectual analysis and understanding to the effect that the juggleries are unreal will prevent one from taking those phenomena as real, instinctively, and without thought. The world passes for reality to those to whom it becomes a content of experience. Only the magician behind these
We are never conscious of what is non-existent Swami Krishnananda
does he attempt to know it, because he himself is involved in it. He merely sees the laws and limitations which no one can overstep. The universe turns out to be a body of a collective interpretation by its individual contents, and that all men see the same world does not mean that it is independent of the observational perspective. The world is an interrelated pro-
We cannot say that our experiences are unreal as long as our consciousness is associated with them and gets identified with their formulations modes of the observation of a universal 'Observer of Himself.' Our dear world is at stake. Reality is something different. The way in which reality presents itself as appearance is, to the mind of man, inexplicable. Those who witness a legerdemain conjured up by a magician cannot but take it for reality, as long as they see it. But the magician himself is fully aware that
appearances can know what their essential nature is. We cannot say that our experiences are unreal as long as our consciousness is associated with them and gets identified with their formulations. Our trouble is that we are never conscious of what is altogether nonexistent. We glibly talk of a real universe, even as we get excited when we see silver in nacre.
The self-existent Lord pierced the senses to turn outward. Thus we look to the world outside and see not the Self within us. A sage withdrew his senses from the world of change and, seeking immortality, looked within and beheld the deathless self. -Katha Upanishad Whether the body perishes now or lasts the age of moon and stars, what matters it to me having Consciousness alone as my body? What matters it to the sky in the pot, whether it (the pot) is destroyed now or exists for a long time. -Varaha Upanishad Like the butter hidden in milk, the Pure Consciousness resides in every being. That ought to be constantly churned out by the churning rod of the mind. -Amrita-Bindu Upanishad Those who are clever in arguments about Brahman, but are without the action pertaining to Brahman (infinite consciousness) and who are greatly attached to the world those certainly are born again and again (in this world) through their Ajnana (ignorance). -Tejo-Bindu Upanishad
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March 4, 2011
India Post 49
Can the Taliban be convinced to renounce al Qaeda? RADHA VINOD RAJU
wo scholars of the New York University, Alex Strick van Linshoten and Felix Kuehn, who have spent years in Afghanistan, have come out with a report that the Taliban has been wrongly perceived as ideological ally of al Qaeda, and that the guerrilla group can be persuaded to renounce al Qaeda. The report claims that there was substantial friction between the groups' leaders before 9/11, and the hostility has only intensified. The authors argue that intensified operations against the Taliban may make it harder to reach a settlement, and that attacks on Taliban field commanders and provincial leaders will leave the movement open to younger and more radical elements. This will result in the al Qaeda getting more influence over the Taliban. The report suggests that the United States government should engage older Taliban leaders before they lose control of the movement. Osama bin Laden had settled in Afghanistan in early 1996, after he was compelled to leave Sudan due to international pressure on that government. SteveColl, in his magnificent work Ghost Wars has written about the lavish construction projects and generous donations that bin Laden made to the Taliban's coffers when it was struggling to establish itself in Afghanistan. This fostered an intimate relationship between bin Laden and the Taliban leadership. From the time of President Clinton, the US tried through Pakistan to convince the Taliban to handover Laden to the Americans to stand trial for the attacks on American targets. Though the Taliban was not recognized by the US, through informal contacts they also tried to get custody of bin Laden, but the Taliban just ignored the request. It is known that even after the 9/11 attacks on the twin World Trade Centre Towers, the Taliban refused to hand over bin Laden to the United States despite attempts by Pakistan to convince them of the threat of war by an enraged United States. According to Sajjan Gohel, Director of International Security, Asia Pacific Foundation, "the Taliban remained loyal to alQaeda. There is an ideological connection: al Qaeda adopts a very strict interpretation of the Quran that is Wahabi/Salafi-esque; the Taliban is Deobandi. The relationship is close ideologically, and it is that relationship
that binds them together. The Taliban is a number of different factions - whether you are looking at the Haqqani network (based in the city of Khost and led by a popular warlord, Jalaluddin Haqqani), or the Quetta Council (led by Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar) but they are based in Pakistan. In addition, they receive support from the Pakistan Taliban, (which is) already ideologically intertwined with groups like al
In an interview to Al Arabia TV, Abdul Salaam Zaeef, the former Ambassador of the Taliban to Pakistan, said that the Americans had only one demand, to handover Osama bin Laden to them. He said they offered to try bin Laden in Afghanistan, if the Americans provided evidence. According to Zaeef, the Americans refused to understand Afghan traditions and culture, and that the Taliban had to defend the country's independence, as a reli-
India Post Health of Congress
Qaeda; and that is why al Qaeda Central, the Islamic Jihad Union, Islamic movement of Uzbekistan, and a whole plethora of groups are based in the tribal areas because of the Taliban code of allowing these groups to be based there in providing sanctuary, in supporting them. That is not going to change."
Pakistan cannot guarantee what the Taliban would do once in power. In this scenario, it would be a huge risk to base any major decision on the premise that the Taliban can be convinced to renounce the al Qaeda According to Ronald E. Neumann, President, American Academy of Diplomacy and former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, "This idea that if the Taliban comes back, al Qaeda either doesn't come with them or is controllable or isn't a threat - is a very speculative theoretical foundation. This seems to me a very speculative basis, which has no real solid evidence to support it, on which to take a very large national security riskâ€Ś"
gious responsibility. According to Ahmed Rashid, the respected Pakistani columnist, the Taliban leadership is sheltered by Pakistan in safe houses. Though they are grateful to Pakistan for the shelter provided to them, they are resentful of the constant Pakistani meddling in their internal affairs. The fact that the Taliban resented Pakistani interference in their affairs is also mentioned by Zaeef in his book "My life with the Taliban." There is thus enough indication that the Taliban and al Qaeda are ideologically close to each other, and therefore there is no certainty that they can be made to renounce the al-Qaeda. There is evidence that the Taliban have withstood pressure from Pakistan on crucial matters of importance to them. There is evidence that they resented interference from Pakistan in their internal affairs. Before 9/ 11, Pakistan sold the line to the United States that the Taliban can be brought round, and that the United States should engage with the Taliban. The same line is being sold now. There is indication that Pakistan cannot guarantee what the Taliban would do once in power. In this scenario, it would be a huge risk to base any major decision on the premise that the Taliban can be convinced to renounce the al Qaeda. The writer is Former Director General, NIA. Courtesy IPCS
t his recent meeting with TV editors, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh looked alternately grim, grimmer and grimmest. If the conference was called to reassure the nation it did not serve the purpose. If later he did climb down and concede the opposition's demand for a JPC on the 2G scam, it was not done very gracefully. It was done as he said, because the "country could ill afford disruption of the crucial budget session." If it had come earlier, it could have saved the last session of Parliament and much embarrassment to the ruling party. The impression therefore remains that he conceded the JPC because parliament was paralyzed. The PM may be justly proud of his integrity but it appears that he would have done little to pull up those under him had there be no pressure from the opposition, the media and the general public. What use is personal integrity if you allow free corrupt practices by those answerable to you! His meeting with media only reinforced the impression that he was helpless. In areas where he needs to take firm action he is found exhorting others to do so. Although he is often found blaming the BJP and the opposition for the disruption in governance it is apparent that it is his own party that doesn't allow him to function. Claimants for his seat are freely discussed. Those hoping to do well in the Congress cannot hitch their bandwagon to the losing star and therefore keep looking up to the Gandhi family. And it is the Gandhi family which is letting everybody down by holding the reins of power but refusing to accept responsibility. The general practice in the party is to blame the prime minister and keep the heat off Sonia Gandhi and those close to her. A well known columnist who had been dead against Sonia Gandhi becoming prime minister, now would welcome her taking that position because then she can be held responsible for the drift in the country due to nongovernance. It was a clear division of labor between her and Manmohan Singh in that she would keep the political power and he would only carry out her wishes as an executive. This arrangement served well for sometime, at least in the first term of the UPA. Used to being hobbled by Left parties as allies in the first term, the Manmohan government lost the capacity to govern. Now that there is no scapegoat like the Left it was expected the government would carry out reforms which were held back in the first term. But it seems Manmohan Singh is missing them because now he doesn't know who to blame for the delay in reforms which the Left had been blocking. Whether it is Manmohan Singh or Sonia Gandhi, it is clear that public perceptions and pressures mounted through the media have forced them to act. The prosecution of Raja is a political move sanctioned by Sonia Gandhi after much dithering over the crucial support his party provides to the central government. In the final reckoning it must be understood that even Sonia Gandhi doesn't enjoy full support of the nation and that the Congress is only the largest party in a coalition. The dreams of crown prince Rahul Gandhi of a return to one party dominance were cruelly crushed in Bihar where in attempts to go it alone the Congress was able to win mere six seats. So the future of the Gandhi family also is not assured and the earlier the Congress understands this the better it will be for its health.
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